Archive for August, 2012

Jesus + Republicans = Rape Babies: The Republican Christian War on Women, continued…..


Opposition to legal abortion in case of rape: 2010 GSS

The problem with crazy is that it’s contagious! It is often assumed that Republicans’ problems with women are a function of their cultivation of fundamentalist Christians—and there is some truth to that. However, as I showed with support for same sex marriage, political movements often have their own independent socializing effect on moral values. After all, one of the most vocal opponents of women’s rights is a fat guy from across the river who  takes recreational viagra on his sex tours with young boys. Jesus has little to do with his opposition to abortion, Rush Limbaugh just hates women and wants them to suffer however they can. But, Jesus does matter.
Above I present opposition to legal abortion by republican party identification and beliefs about the Bible from the 2010 GSS. Nearly half of Republican fundies (who believe the bible is the word of gawd) are opposed to abortion in the case of rape—but only 31% of non-republican fundies hold that view. Similarly,  nearly 20% of Republicans who think the bible was inspired by a god want rape babies, while only 12% of non-Republicans hold that view. Interestingly, the small minority of Republicans who hold secular views of the abrahamic texts are similar to non-republicans in their beliefs about rape babies.
Parties matter, but you need a little Jesus to make them really horrible.

Rape Babies: What Christian America Really Wants—repost—Just can’t get enough Republican Christian Rape Babies


Support for forcing rape victism to have a child: 2010 GSS

Propagandist pundits often assert that sectarian Christians are no different from anyone else, they just want to be left alone…And, it is they who are the truly oppressed. Yes, nobody is more oppressed than white Sectarian Christians! So, what do they want to do when they get into power? Why, they want to force women who have been raped to have the rapists’ child! Yes, That’s what Christian America really wants. To do otherwise is repression against Christians, who are offended that anyone would suggest that rape is anything other than what those secular sluts asked for when they refused to accept Sectarian Jesus as their lord and savior. We all know they deserve it, and they should pay dearly for the consequences of their sin.

Above you can see just how much like everyone else Sectarian Christians are! A shameful 12% of mainline Protestants (most of them disgusting conservative Presbyterians and Lutherans) think that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape. That figure doubles among Baptists (our largest Sectarian group). Among respondents affiliated with other sectarian groups (like Sarah Palin and her ilk) nearly HALF agree that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape, and Mormons for Mitt aren’t far behind (magic underwear would have prevented the rape…).  Almost 21% of Catholics fall in line with the pedophile priests. In contrast, non Christian Americans are opposed to the barbarity of forcing a women to bear the child of a rapist—only 3% are opposed to legal abortion in this case (hopefully they misunderstood the question response), while less than 8% of non-affiliates support primitive misogyny.
Of course, this is all a part of the ongoing war against women—and yes, indeed, there is actually an UPWARD TREND in opposition to legal abortion even in the case of rape!

Fear and Loathing in Denver


shiny happy people

I managed to get out of the ASA meetings without being lynched by conservatives or glitter bombed by GLBT activists, so I guess I should feel lucky.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the big ASA’s. But, this year I managed to selectively associate, and mostly hang out with an odd assortment of old buddies ranging from Rob Benford to Willi Jasso to Ken Land to Jeff Will and Jennifer Glass. Denver was a very good choice for ASA, and I hope we go back soon. I’m not a fan of places where you have to cab or train everywhere, and Denver had a lot of dining and drinking options. I’m Sure that Jeff and Rachel Rayburn’s fave was the all you-can -drink breakfast mimosa place, and I had a nice time with Tom Shriver, Vinnie Roscigno, Bill Danaher and Amy Chasteen on Friday.

Still, I don’t know why, but those meetings depress me a bit. On Sunday, I was toast. I was sick of sociology. Nothing interests me. I don’t want to see anyone or hear what they are doing. I hid in my room for a while after a run. Finally, I went out to grab a beer by myself and do a bit of work. And I met this young woman. She was kindof being hit on by someone way creepier than me and I could tell she was from the conference before she pulled out her program. Turns out she’s some undergrad kid whose parents are also at the conference. The kid is really excited. She’s been to a shitload of sessions, and even took notes. With a pen. It was a reflective moment, and her enthusiasm was rejuvenating for me. I wound up picking myself up and going to the religion section reception, and seeing Jay Demerath and Jim Richardson and Penny Edgell and Dan Olson and a bunch of really nice up and coming scholars. And, I was even happy and into things for the big board meeting that eve with all the heavies.

Still, despite a bunch of shit going on, I was happy to return not wanting to quit the field. I think that’s progress!

Screwed? Reflections on the last quarter century…..


Heavily screwed

Twenty five years ago this week I quit my job at the 15th Street Grill in Tulsa OK and moved to Durham NC to start graduate school in sociology at Duke. Fordyce Eldred and Bob Butler (the owners and chef) gave me a really nice mixed case of wine and two wine tools—one of which has survived the quarter century. I had just graduated from the University of Tulsa, and I decided to go to Duke instead of Stanford or UNC (the other two top choices). I’d been working at 15th Street Grill off and on since 1983, and when I left it was among the top cool restaurants in the US.

Wow. What a wild ride. I was glad to have guys like Fordyce Eldred and Jerard Campbell and Bob Butler and Jim Williams and Jim Ross and Chris Cauthon and Octavia Booker there at the Grill. But, there I was, 21, married, with a kid, and heading off to grad school…

Grad school was a breeze compared to having to live at the margins. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to go to school. The early marriage thing didn’t turn out so well, but other than that, I learned a lot in graduate school, and I was fortunate to land a very nice job at Vanderbilt. Things went well with my research, and I met all kinds of cool people like Alfred Darnell, Victor Anderson, Anthea Butler, Walt Gove, Jack Gibbs, Kim Green, Andy Fiala….and Alison Watts. I started playing ultimate frisbee and then running seriously, and did a few triathlons and lots of duathlons. In the last ten years I’ve mostly raced bikes, but it’s strange how each period seems like a different experience, disconnected and alien…especially from where I was 25 years ago.

It’s strange how my professional connectivity has varied over my career. Over the last decade, I’ve become a bit alienated from my main area of research, but yet I find that scholars in general are open and informed about who is doing what and the subtle difference between good and not quite as good.

Mostly, I’m lucky to have gotten out at all. 25 years ago I was a busboy in Tulsa, and I left to go to graduate school at Duke.

I’m glad I did.

Mayer Zald: 1931-2012


Mayer Zald

The academic world has lost one its most important figures, someone who lifted a previously obscure area of study from oblivion and made sociological insights about political processes relevant–rather than deviant. Mayer Zald was a consummate intellect, who read everything he could and took seriously what he read. He was the opposite of the ideologues who wanted to delimit the field of social movements to groups of a particular persuasion or of a limited level of resource mobilization. Mainstream politics became a sociological topic because of Mayer Zald, and sociology reclaimed some of its intellectual import into the realm of politics because Mayer coaxed us out of the backwaters of non-institutionalized political action. Mayer also made substantial contributions to the connection between religion and politics, and seminal forays into organizational analyses used the YMCA as a case study—lest we forget that the YMCA is a Christian organization. His insights that religious organizations are theological crucibles forging ideologically structured action provide us with a framework for analyzing the intersections between religion and politics into the 21st century. His wisdom lives on.

When I started my career, resource mobilization theory was both  dominant and controversial. Partisans on both sides were dismissive of alternative perspectives to explain movement formation, actions, and success. And discussions of rational motivations for collective action tended to get downright ugly.  Yet, when I first met Mayer Zald in Spring of 1988, it was at the Southern Soc. Society meetings, and he was a presenter and discussant in the main session on social movements. I was presenting a synthetic paper on how RM and frame analytic perspectives might explain movement activism following a natural disaster (co-authored with Jean Blocker and Burke Rochford, neither of whom were there, as I recall). I was expecting fireworks and harsh criticism. Instead, Mayer offered very cogent criticism and effusive support for my research. I was floored. Here I was, a first year grad student expecting to get slapped by the evil genius of RM, and instead he said “yeah, I really think we need to have more cultural perspectives on why people do or do not get involved.”

Not long after, I had the privilege to meet Mayer in more informal settings at Tony Oberschall’s seminars at UNC. Mayer came down at least once a year to see his old colleague from Vanderbilt, and it was always an event when he did.

Mayer was a strong supporter when I went to Vanderbilt, and while he and Tony warned me of the political pitfalls, both of them were active in helping me throughout my career. Mayer was especially influential, and I’m sure his recommendation helped sway people like  Ernie Campbell, Bill Rushing, and Pete Peterson to vote for my early promotion.

I still marvel at how Mayer maintained his focus on scholarship and his commitment to the discipline. It is easy to quit. I think about quitting a lot. Mayer never quit.

Christian Terrorists Kill More Sikhs! 12th or 13th since the War on Islam

They all look the same to me!

They all look the same to me!

Jesus Fuck! These Christian Terrorists really suck! Once again, the Sikhs get targeted by some religious nutcase out to git’m some muslins! Towelheads, right? No, those would be the Sikh, a rather different (albeit syncretic of Islam) religious group, though they do live near lots of Muslims….But, not these people. They live(d) in suburban Milwaukee, and their kids all  wind up going to Northwestern and Chicago and DUKE! I’ve said this before in another post about Christian Terrorists killing Sikhs in the US, but between Bend it Like Beckham and the omnipresent male Sikh student bouncing around Cameron Indoor Stadium during the Duke basketball games has always made me somewhat fond of Sikhs. I’m sure if I lived in the Punjab and was surrounded by Sikh fundies I’d have a different perspective. But these were Americans. Killed by some religious nutjob fighting the War on Islam at home. I wonder what kind of nice shiny guns he had?