Pondering ‘Things to Come,’ with help from savvy thumbsuckers and backgrounders

Point of personal liberty. “Things to Come” is the title of a Religion Guy favorite, Dizzy Gillespie’s jazz pulse-pounder from 1946 that’s ever contemporary. Check out this remarkable high school performance just last year.

Turning to our beat’s things to come in 2021 and beyond, here are some savvy thumbsuckers and backgrounders you might have missed.

Evangelicals and the ineludible Donald J. Trump — The outgoing President, who told Religion News Service this year he’s “a non-denominational Christian, ” hopes to control the Republican Party through 2024 with helper media visibility. His politically crucial following among white Catholics may well fade, but what will his digital preeminence mean for those ultra-loyal white evangelical Protestants?


GetReligion contributor and political scientist Ryan Burge, who rose as never before this year as the go-to guy on belief and U.S. politics, says the evangelical “brand” is not as tarnished by Trump as countless theorize. Two major inspections present little change in Americans marking with the movement — currently 34.6% — over the past decade. Another Burge opus reinforces The Guy’s observation on Trump-era political and moral rift between evangelical leader and the grassroots.

Speaking of evangelical managers , nothing has done more significant work than attorney David French in two decades defending freedom for religious groups and individuals, especially on secular campuses. He says he’s considered up front the “astonishing intolerance and even outright hatred” that a relentless “illiberal left” is aiming against good-hearted believers.( Did that help the Republican in November ?)

French’s weekly belief editorial for TheDispatch.com has become a must-read, though few fellow conservatives will applaud when he turns to fiery anti-Trump speeches. One column labelled “Christian Trumpism” as “idolatry” that peril American law and order. Another contended that evangelicals returning strife upon themselves over issues like race and immigration that face the U.S. in the 2020 s.

An election eve reflection by Christianity Today’s brand-new CEO Timothy Dalrymple made a more temperate approaching to these issues.

American Christianity in “free fall”? — Last year’s large-hearted Pew Research report on the decline of U.S. Christianity prompted historian Philip Jenkins to respondthat those “nones” who tell pollsters their religion is “nothing in particular” are surprisingly religious. They exactly “neither like nor trust” religious conservatories any longer. Can you say that familiar old “Sheilaism” mantra, “Spiritual but not religious”?

This year ended with a wide-reaching look in National Review from New York Times reporter Ross Douthat, a conservative Catholic. He assesses what’s left when U.S. mainline Protestantism “evaporates” in merely decades. Result: “a country without any clear religious centre, any culturally built faith, ” as conservative followers absence the needed influence to overcome intense anti-traditionalism in education, politics, and the media.

Religious commitments likewise suffer from western culture’s resistance to marriage, clas ties and child-rearing, a growing trend examined by Eastern Orthodox writer Rod Dreher now.

Then this. In USAToday, Jon Gabriel observes that devotion to politics completes the vacuum-clean left by religious reject, and “politics is a terrible religion.” If you scorned the “Christian right, you’re really going to hate the post-Christian right, ” he counsels( repetition a Dreher topic in the last decades or so ).

What hath COVID-1 9 function? — Through the pandemic, the media have accommodated regular coverage of an influence on religious congregations’ assemblies, donations, business and morale. What we learn about longer-term outcomes through 2021 will be a commanding storyline.

The Economist’s year-ender offers a really intriguing case( paywalled but accessible through email enrollment) that pestilence doesn’t precisely generating short-term ruin but can literally redirect record. Illustrations: Electing which pope conducted the Thirty Years’ War, why Cromwell’s Protestant semi-dictatorship in England came and how fiscals trumped morality to undergird bondage.

QAnon and on and on — This Internet-driven conspiracy theory about anything from COVID to child-molesting Satanists has surprising notoriety that frightens intellectuals who see it as a direct aggression on Christianity. The best survey appeared in The Atlantic, known for pertinent religion sections. Too indicate coverage in Baptist Press, Christianity Today and World magazine. Ever-handy ReligionLink weighed in on sourcing. Here’s a quick link to the motion of GetReligion material — including podcasts — on this topic.

Will there be a 15 th Dalai Lama? — The 2020 story hurly-burly ended with that incomprehensibly massive COVID-1 9 relief greenback. Among the surprises folded into it was background on the oppression of Buddhists in Tibet and a U.S. ask that China’s atheistic rulers enabled them to freely judge the rebirth of their next spiritual leader.

The current Dalai Lama, the 14 th in this line of see bodhisattvas, turned 85 this year and gues surely twirls around whether and how there can be a 15 th. During six decades of exile in India, the incumbent Tenzin Gyatso has ceded claims to the post’s worldly regulation, but China meets him as security threats and despises arbitrations. For background when death comes, restrain this on hand from TheConversation.com.

Read more: getreligion.org