This week Luciano and Juhem discuss the recently decided SCOTUS case Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. We debate the merits of the case, discuss the nuanced differences in opinion between justices, and wonder what's next in church-state jurisprudence with Utica College political science professor Daniel Tagliarina.
A Major Church-State Ruling That Shouldn't Have Happened (Garrett Epstein, The Atlantic)
Written by Professor Tagliarina
This week Luciano discusses how the world view’s America in the Trump era looking at a recent Pew Global poll conducted around the G20 meeting where Trump ranks last among the 4 main leaders of the G20 (China, Germany, Russia) in terms of confidence. Juhem analyzes some of the global public opinion while also finding time to discuss global First Ladies.
U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump’s Leadership (Pew Global Attitudes & Trends)
Tracking U.S. favorability and confidence in the U.S. president, 2002 to 2017 (Interactive Chart by Pew Global)
First Lady Incidents
Poland (Vanity Fair)
Japan (The Hill)
USA (Boston Globe)
Juhem and Luciano explore Latinx identity with Dr. Arlene Sanchez-Walsh, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Asuza Pacific University. Toptic include: navigating identity as an ethnic minority in the country and a religious minority in the community, "reverse" missions from Latin America to the USA, sociological explanations of Pentecostal conversion.
About the guest
Arlene M. Sánchez-Walsh, Ph.D., is associate professor of religious studies and the author of the award-winning book Latino Pentecostal Identity: Evangelical Faith, Self, and Society (Columbia University Press, 2003). She has authored more than a dozen articles and book chapters on the subject of Latino/a Pentecostalism, and has served as a media expert for outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and “On Being” with Krista Tippett, and served as an expert on Latino/a religious history for the PBS series “God in America.” Sánchez-Walsh’s current writing projects include a textbook on Pentecostalism in America, and a monograph on Latinos/as and the prosperity gospel. Her current research is on the rise of nonbelief among Latinos/as.
Luciano and Juhem discuss the recent special elections to replace GOP congress persons who have joined Donald Trump's cabinet. While Democrats have come close to winning, given the partisan leaning of those districts, they have yet to light a cigar. Our co-hosts debate how important these "special elections" are, and whether the Democrats need a leadership change.
Where Can Democrats Win? By Nate Silver in FiveThirtyEight
Juhem and Luciano revisit a topic from their very first episode. The New York Times recently revived discussion of the religious left with a long and in-depth piece about the problems getting the movement going. Juhem and Luciano discuss the article and some other pieces reacting to it. They also offer their opinion about the limits of the religious left, and why those limitations can help the secular left carve its own political space.
In the second part of our Paris Accord episode Luciano explains why Nicaragua was not among the countries that signed the agreement and why the USA leaving is not a comparable action. Juhem discusses Latinx public opinion on climate change and theorizes about how transnational ties influence Latinx perspectives on this issue.
Juhem's piece: "Latino/as are Key to the Future of Climate Change Policies"
Juhem & Dan Cox piece: "Are Transnational Ties Leading Latinos to Express Greater Concern about Climate Change?"
Cover image source: NASA
President Trump got the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord(s) earlier this month. This week, in the first of two episodes dedicated to analyze this event, Luciano explains what is the Paris Climate Accord, why it is important, and the limits of this international agreement. Juhem discusses the public opinion on climate change and introduces the concept of "Trumpslating": the art of translating the President's statements into something that makes sense.
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
President Trump's speech on Paris Climate Agreement (annotated by NPR)
Cover image source: NASA
This week Juhem and Luciano discuss two articles exploring the same piece of research: Are atheists undercounted in the United States? Juhem focuses on the different ways surveys measure non-belief while Luciano questions whether people who do not use the word atheist should be identified as such. The discussion, naturally, later revolves about politics and whether an openly atheist politician can have a long and successful career.
Is one American in Four an Atheist? (Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard)
Way More Americans May Be Atheists Than We Thought (Daniel Cox, Fivethirtyeight.com)
'American Nones' ISSSC Report (2009)
'Nones on the Rise' Pew Report (2012)
'Exodus' PRRI Report (2016)
Secular Nation podcast on the Freethought Equality PAC
Image source: Religion News Service
Recently, the Republican-controlled legislature in North Carolina removed
funding for schools in districts represented by Democratic Party legislators.
Luciano discusses the politics behind this move and the consequences of
these actions while Juhem places these events in the larger national contexts of partisan polarization and the role of public education in society.
Image source: North Carolina GOP