This is a great, searching vision. In its majesty and profundity, in its perception of the evil inherent in human nature, it exposes the shallow religiosity of a born-again White House that, against every Augustinian and Calvinist insight, proclaims the doctrine of the inherent goodness of man and the aspiration to produce a government as good, decent, virtuous, loving, etc., as the American people. The challenge to American smugness and hedonism, to the mediocrity of our mass culture, to the decline of self-discipline and civic spirit, is bracing and valuable.

If you’re interested in why Christians are so confusing, it’s because most don’t know, quite frankly, the basic principles of core Christianity. Your beliefs about Christianity, though, (and even about most world religions, for that matter), are probably profoundly incorrect. You have the right to be apathetic, but you don’t have the right to be needlessly ignorant. Read on if you want to know what I think is going on…

Roger W. Stump, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Geography & Planning at the University at Albany, SUNY, is the author of a unique and compelling text, The Geography of Religion: Faith, Place, and Space. As I continue to read through the text, I find myself reflecting on the themes of secularization and desacralization with increasing frequency. Perhaps the notion of some ambitious (future) project makes me happier than I’d like to admit, but I see fascinating avenues of research ahead of me. Stump’s Geography, along with Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, would make for a fine analytical framework with which I can approach many concerns my undergraduate honors thesis on French anticlericalism will bring to the surface.