The Waning Dominance and Influence of White Christians in America: What It Means for the United States and for the UCC

“Long the dominant group in American religious life, White Christians have fallen below a majority of the U.S. population—and are moving to the right politically as they recede.” So wrote CNN and Los Angeles Times political analyst Ronald Brownstein, in an article that highlighted the results of a 2015 Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Survey.…

God Bless the Child That’s Got Her Own: Dysfunction and Economic Unfairness in America and in the Church

In a lengthy essay that was excerpted from his latest book, lawyer and journalist Steven Brill wrote of a widespread perception that America no longer works socially, politically, and economically, and that our country has become narcissistic and sclerotic. This is largely the fault of the Baby Boomer generation, Brill argued (“How Baby Boomers Broke…

Intersecting Snapshots: The American Mainline Church and the UCC

Are the changes and trends that are occurring in the American Protestant Church—and particularly, in the old mainline (e.g., Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Methodist) congregations—also evident in the United Church of Christ (UCC)? Obviously, the United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant denomination.  Yet it may be distinguished from the old mainline by its relatively…

Incivility in the Public Square and in the American Church

A virulent debate came to a head over this past Fourth of July (2018) weekend, in Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States, over the lack of—and the utter need for—“civility” in the public square. As CNN producer Harmeet Kaur noted, with the “growth [of] outrage” over our country’s “immigration policies and [its] separation and detention…

Something is Profoundly Wrong at the Heart of the White Church

“Charmaine Pruitt wrote the names of 12 churches on strips [of paper], and dropped them into a bag. It was Sunday morning and time to pick which church to attend.” That’s how journalist Campbell Robertson began his investigative account of how Christians of color are abandoning white Evangelicalism (“A Quiet Exodus: Why Blacks Are Leaving…

Candy Is Dandy, But Caring for People Won’t Rot Your Teeth: Why America Needs Big Denominational and Governmental Social Justice Programs

In a recent Washington Post column, conservative commentator and pundit George F. Will argued that big government, and big government programs, can’t solve America’s problems or help those who are struggling. As conservative orthodoxy from the Reagan-era, Will’s argument was old stuff—but it caught my attention because of its unwelcome implications for America and the…