The sad case of Esteban Santiago-Ruiz

The gunman at Fort Lauderdale’s airport had psychiatric problems, and the symptoms seem to have started after he was deployed to Iraq. Some researchers point to a link between combat stress and violence at home. But other research says there isn’t such a direct link between the two. Santiago-Ruiz killed five people in Florida, and now faces the […]

Survey: Most churches stayed “above the electoral fray”

A new Pew study says that Among voters who report attending religious services at least once a month, relatively few say information on political parties or candidates was made available to them in their places of worship (14 percent), and even fewer say they were encouraged to vote in a particular way by their clergy […]

Come to the Mark Twain Writers Weekend

It starts Friday night and continues through Sunday. Here’s a schedule. You can pretty much register at the last minute. I’m teaching a class on non-fiction research at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. BEFORE YOU START SNORING, I promise it won’t be dull. Come early! Come heckle!

We need research into gun violence

For all the rhetoric that has been flying back and forth in the last few days, we are mostly just guessing about what are the best solutions to gun violence, because research dried up for it (thanks, NRA!) 20 years ago. We need research, now. I wrote this, Ignorance Is Killing Us, for Conn. Health […]

Jay Dickey comes to Jesus

But Jesus is busy. It’s too late for countless of thousands of victims of gun violence since 1996, but the former GOP congressman who is responsible for the lack of funding on gun violence has had a change of heart.  Jay Dickey: who spearheaded efforts in 1996 to block the Centers for Disease Control and […]

The sad and sorry case of Jared Fogle

Jared Fogle, who became famous as the Subway Guy when he lost 200 pounds by eating primarily at Subway restaurants, pleaded guilty this week to engaging in sex with minors, and distributing and receiving child porn. The affable rags-to-riches guy turned out to be a garden variety pedophile. You can read more here, but the […]

Pray for me, won’t you?

Tomorrow, I’m giving the Cremins Lecture at University of Hartford, which is an honor and I’d be over the moon  to be asked if I wasn’t so damn nervous. I’m not usually nervous. Give me a mic and I’m happy as a clam, but this time, I’ve agreed to talk about Frog Hollow, as in […]

So the IRS sent me a letter from the future

It arrived yesterday, April 20, and was dated next week, April 27. Evidently, they haven’t received my check for my 2014 tax bill, which wasn’t huge and I’m not complaining, but it’s the IRS and you don’t want to mess with them so: I immediately called their 800 number and spent 10 minutes punching numbers, […]

So how are the Nones doing with child rearing?

Not too shabby, according to Vern Bengtson, a USC researcher who recently added secular families to his field of study. The Longitudinal Study of Generations, which Bengston oversees, looks at religion and family life over generations. From a Los Angeles Times story, Bengtson was surprised by what he found: High levels of family solidarity and […]