White Christian Fascism has come to America: Whoopie, we’re all gonna die


Despite all of the pearl clutching by Christianist apologists the straight up fact is that white Sectarian Christians (those who think that my kids will burn in hell) and a sub-gaggle of conservative white Catholics elected a fascist regime. Donald Trump is the product of White Conservative Christianity. They want an authoritarian white guy. They don’t care if he’s really very “moral” or anything. Just as long as he is white and will give them license to fuck everyone else in the country on laws about equality, health, science, and shit like that. Thank you Jesus. Thank You LORD. Thank you for delivering us into the hands of Satan.

We now have a genuine fascist as the most important figure in the White House. It is because of White conservative Christians. Steve Bannon being the most important person in the Executive Branch should scare people, but instead we’ve normalized it. We now have federal employees disobeying judicial mandates. That is because of Conservative Christianity and its embrace of Trumpian Fascism.

And, to make sure we keep having alternative facts, Dictator Trump can certainly count on the many private foundations like Templeton, Pew, Lilly, and etc. to provide him with alternative facts, while shutting down the collection of real facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dept of Justice, Census Bureau, CDC, ETC…….

Our only hope is that this fucker is impeached, quickly.

Spoiled Identities and Enduring Identifications: Why “Evangelical” will go the way of “Fundamentalist”

This is REAL evangelical

This is REAL evangelical

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States has caused considerable turmoil among politicized religious groups fighting for space under their evangelical umbrella. The recent spat between Jonathan Merritt and Daniel Schultz is an understandable outcome.
Much of the furor over the ownership of “evangelical” identity can be explained by the sociological processes involved in creating, contesting, and rejecting identities. And, I want to point out how identifications with more permanent structural entities—organized religious denominations—allow us to understand continuity in the connections between religion, politics, and other social institutions.
For sociologists “evangelical” is an adjective describing movements that proselytize. Evangelical groups seek to grow through grabbing members from other groups or from among the ranks of the unaffiliated, and evangelical individuals consider “witnessing” a part of their personal identities. “Evangelical” was also appropriated by several movements to indicate a willingness to cooperate or merge across ethnic denominations. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is not “evangelical” in the sociological sense, but it brought together Lutherans of varied nationalities. A similar connection happened in Calvinist movements, but neither Lutherans nor Calvinists are interested in recruiting. Notably, using the sociological definition, liberal universalistic religious groups can be evangelical, and many conservative exclusivist religious sects are not evangelical.
In the early 1980s, Christian conservative political activists sought an identity that would hold together the tremendous diversity of organized Protestantism. “Fundamentalist” was an identity tainted by the evolution controversies in the early 20th century. “Born Again” didn’t quite fit the bill, largely because it was based on a specific theological belief that was alien to many conservative Protestants. And, the televangelism scandals of the 1980s and Jimmy Carter’s loss to Ronald Reagan spoiled the “born again” moniker. Spoiled identities result in personal and collective conflicts over who you are, what you believe, and who is one of you. We see this for racial and ethnic identities and sexual identities as well. “Negro” and “colored” become tainted, and a struggle ensues to identify as “Afro-American”, “black”, or currently “African American.” Homosexual is replaced by “gay” then “gay and lesbian” then perhaps “queer” or “LGBT.”
Evangelical became the collective identity for many conservative Protestants starting in the early 1980s. This brought together people from a diverse set of Protestant denominations, ranging from Pentecostals to Southern Baptists to Reformed Calvinists. Notably, most members of each of these three groups embracing the “evangelical” identity think that members of the other groups are going to hell (or at least will not see heaven). Glossolalia is essential for salvation for Pentecostals, while Baptists and Calvinists would consider it an indicator of demon possession. While Baptists opine that Calvinists must repent and be born again, Calvinists believe they were born into the covenant—and Baptists were not. The diverse array of exclusivist Protestants in the United States makes holding them together a difficult task.
Yet, Evangelical as an identification became all the rage. Faced with rapid social change on issues like gender roles and sexuality, and a growing secular rejection of religiosity in general, many moderate and even liberal Protestants came to identify as “evangelical.” By the end of the first decade of the 21st century we have stories about “evangelicals” advocating gay rights, “evangelicals” supporting environmental justice, and “evangelicals” protecting undocumented immigrants. This transmogrification of “evangelical” into a catch-all term for “Christian” was bound to result in conflict. The evangelical umbrella simply wasn’t big enough to cover the hordes crowding under it and now some must be pushed out or some must leave—and find a new umbrella.
For constructed collective and personal identities like “evangelical” exit is easy enough, though it may be painful initially, as Russell Moore and Jonathan Merritt may attest There are no membership dues, no paperwork, you don’t have to quit your job, move, or even change which church you go to. Simply stop identifying as an evangelical. There are many identities we shed throughout our lives. People who play sports may consider it a vital part of their identity and the key community to which they belong—but an injury may mean that you are no longer a runner, a cyclist, or an ultimate Frisbee player. Since “evangelical” as an identity is unencumbered by any real attachments, it could be shed relatively easily. You and your people will still be Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, or Calvinists, but “your people” will no longer include those other people.
Because broad collective identities are contested and fluid, they are not well-suited for studying long-term connections between religion and other social institutions like politics. In ten years, few will likely claim “evangelical” as their personal or collective identity. But, people generally do maintain identifications with concrete social movement organizations like political parties and religious denominations. As I have shown in Changing Faith, while some people do switch religious denominations over the life course, most remain attached to their denomination of origin. And, these denominations tend to remain fairly fixed in their theological orientations and how they see that connected to other institutions like family, science, education, and politics. Merritt is correct that Jimmy Carter hasn’t completely untangled himself from the Southern Baptist Convention (his church still lists an affiliation—though they may not being giving the SBC any money). However, the Baptist congregational polity allows them to affiliate with other organizations, and Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains is a member of the more liberal, developing denomination of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Politics, gender, and family issues are splitting the SBC. And, if Carter is still to be identified as an “evangelical” it is in the sociological sense of the term, not as a politicized identity dominated by right-wing politics.
The broad evangelical coalition, which at one time even sought to encompass African American Protestants, is dead. The evangelical umbrella has collapsed and now only covers white, exclusivist Protestants who adhere to white nationalist political values and connections. After Trump, “evangelical” as an identity embraced by individuals and groups may go the way of “fundamentalist.” But, enduring ties to conservative Protestant religious denominations will see them come together again under a different banner—or maybe they’ll keep evangelical and simply purge the liberals and moderates.

Watermelon in Easter Hay, Zappadan Always Ends this way


The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe


In an unpresidented show of respect, Jack Bruce reenacted his classic track from Apostrophe. Of course, Jack is no longer with us anymore, he went on y’know. He bit the big one.  It is kind of surprising that an adderol addicted, facist, playboy fucktwat is somehow alive, still. Of course, Jack died at 71, and Trump is still only 70…..

Religious fanatics can make it be all gone….


You can’t run a country by a book of religion
Not by a heap,  Or a lump or a smidgeon
Of foolish rules, Of ancient date
Designed to make You all feel great
While you fold, spindle and mutilate
Those unbelievers from a neighboring state

Something’s got to be done, before America scarfs up the world and shits on it…


“We’re involved in a low key war against apathy….a lot of what we do is designed to annoy people to the point where they might just for a second question enough of their environment to do something about it. As long as they don’t feel their environment they don’t worry about it, and they’re not going to do anything to change it. And something’s got to be done, before America scarfs up the world and shits on it.”

Fuck you, Captain Tom…..


David Bowie famously stole Adrian Belew from Zappa, and Frank wasn’t happy about it. But, Frank knew. Bowie was his peer. He was a real musician. He needed real musicians for his band. And, Adrian Belew sparked some of the best stuff that Bowie ever recorded. We can be heroes.




God Damn Right, Weasels will rip your flesh, and all you’ll be left with is rat tomago…..


Yes indeed. We now have a weasel ripping the flesh from the body politic. He never was the cutest boy in town. No self respecting lesbian would give him the time of day. He loves white guys in brown suits who have wives that take phone calls. For the most part, we are dumb allover. Yes, we are. Oh, no! Where’s the glue! We must be free, free like the worthless rich bloodsucking vermin who pay nothing and suck us dry. Free like the wind. Tighten our headbands for Jerry’s solo. Extra rush. Free is not having to do nothing or pay for nothing, we want to be free. Free like Donald Trump.

Zappadan will not be cancelled because of the fascist theocracy


Zappadan must go on. Frank put on a suit and tie and went on loser ass TEEVEE programs with right wing hacks, and testified in congress to prevent restrictions on free speech. Fascist theocracy is even closer than it was in 1986.

I was so depressed I missed Black Napkins Friday, but I’m back on it….


Why RELTRAD Sucks: Contesting the Measure of American Religion

I've got you now, Bunny.....

Jesus says: “The Bunny Asked for it”, but of course…..

For the full paper including GSS syntax codes, click here aftertheresurrection-working

Contesting the Measure of American Religion: Darren Sherkat and Derek Lehman
The new generation of conservative Christian incumbents in the field of the sociology of religion prefer their individual and collective identity as “evangelical”—an identity which is not wedded to identification with specific organized religious denominations or families of denominations. However, the adoption of evangelical as an identification is problematic because evangelical is also a sociological concept signifying groups with proselytizing behaviors and soteriological theologies (Weber [1922] 1993; Sherkat 2014). Notably, the identity of “evangelical” will likely also be jettisoned by partisans as it becomes spoiled (as happened with “fundamentalist” and “born again”). Now that “evangelicals” have been identified as the key constituency that helped elect Donald Trump, even sectarian Christians like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore are disavowing an evangelical identity.

Conservative Christian religious sociologists are opposed to the established sociological concept of “sect”–denoting religious groups and movement impulses that claim exclusive access to and understandings of supernatural understandings, rewards and compensators. The concept of sect versus “church” (indicating more universalistic organizations and impulses)  is rooted in nearly a century of sociological research and theorizing from Weber to Stark to the contemporary era. The sect-church-sect cycle of H. Richard Niebuhr is empirically verifiable, and rooted in organizational and demographic processes identified in works by Stark, Bainbridge, Finke, Iannaccone, and others.  Operationalizing religious diversity was a key to the resurrection of the sociology of religion, yet the system now favored by conservative Christian religious incumbents in the field of the sociology of religion instead collapsed the middle—placing moderate Protestant denominations in both the “evangelical” and “mainline” religious categories. This conforms with their narrative of a “collapsing middle” and a culture wars between “orthodox” and by implication “unorthodox” Protestants.

This scheme also ignored the distinctiveness of ethnic and quasi-ethnic denominations, and lumped all African American Protestants together. Worse still, it linked religious participation to “evangelical” identifications among respondents who do not claim a specific Christian identification (Steensland et al. 2000).  Using the RELTRAD mode of classification in General Social Survey samples collected since 2000,  25.3% of the “evangelicals” are misclassified. The misclassified “evangelicals”,  include  liberal Protestants (“other Presbyterians” are .9% of the “evangelicals” in RELTRAD), Lutherans (Missouri or Wisconsin Synod, comprise 6.2% of RELTRAD “evangelicals” ), and respondents with no denominational identification but higher than average religious participation (who are a whopping 18.2% of those classified as “evangelical” in RELTRAD). This huge group of unidentified Christians may well include many in fundamentalist sects, but it also includes people who participate in more moderate megachurches, or even people heavily involved in non-denominational gay churches and other non-traditional liberal churches. There is simply no sociological justification for selecting identifications based on religious participation. For many applications, this is simply selecting on the dependent variable. This coding scheme served to increase the size of the “evangelical” group, while also making them more educated, higher income, and less extreme in political and religious orientations.

We advocate a more sociological operationalization of religious identification for use with contemporary data. In our paper, we provide the full coding scheme for this operationalization applied to GSS data.  Religious identifications should be as specific as analytically possible. Christian denominations in America are marked by a history of unions and schisms which sometimes complicates boundary drawing and often tests the capacity of respondents to accurately place their identifications. Added to that are differences in ethnic history and also of liturgical and ritual practice. Table 1 presents our classification of identification groups, breaks down a few of the groups by even more specific classifications, and compares them on select religious, status, and social orientations.  Our coding scheme avoids conflation with politicized religious identities and facilitates analyses of change over time.

Table 1 shows that Protestant denominations are clearly arrayed in terms of exclusivism, indicated by subscription to biblical inerrancy, and these identifications are salient for structuring political and social values and social status. Liberal universalistic groups and Episcopalians are substantially less prone to believe in biblical inerrancy, participate less frequently in religious services, and have substantially higher levels of educational and income attainment compared to other Protestants—including the moderate Protestants and Lutherans with whom they are often lumped.  Table 1 also shows that Liberals and Episcopalians are significantly more supportive of abortion rights, less patriarchal, and less likely to condemn homosexuality. Sectarian Protestants and Baptists are significantly more likely to subscribe to inerrant beliefs about the Bible when compared to all other groups—and notably the Moderate Protestants and Lutherans. Indeed, while the dominant measure of religious identification places Wisconsin and Missouri Synod Lutherans in the “evangelical” camp, their beliefs about the Bible are much more similar to other Moderate Protestants than to sectarians or Baptists. Notably, people who embrace Christianity but do not specify a denomination fit more with the Moderate Protestants and Lutherans in their religious beliefs and participation, as well as their educational attainment, income, and social values. Baptists and other Sectarians have the lowest incomes and levels of education compared to all other religious classifications. Ethnicity intersects with religion to structure values and social status (particularly among Catholics), however the sect/exclusivist-church/universalist distinction remains for African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans (Sherkat 2014). Obviously, the grouping of denominations will be determined in large part by the sociological question and the size of the sample available—however distinguishing sectarian Protestants clearly is a key for virtually all sociological examinations involving religion, and mixing them with liberal Protestants and moderate Protestants is sociological malfeasance—and the gaggle of conservative Christians who concocted this misclassification did this for their own divine purpose, not for sociological clarity.