Saturday, September 21, 2002

They say that religion and politics are the two things you don't say in polite company. Unfortunately, the two things happen to be of great interest to me and I focused on the intersection of the two subjects in college, so most of the time I don't have much to say in polite company, at least not much of substance.

And the two are linked. Just an example. . . according to the sociologist-priest Andrew Greeley, the decline of party affiliation in the United States strongly correlates with the decline in church attendance. This lends credence to the theories of de-affiliation rather than re-affiliation. Religion remains a highly salient factor for anyone who wishes to study voting behavior. Sadly, most people are interested in the effect of religion on conservative politics, the opposite of my academic focus.

As a matter of disclosure, I am a practicing Roman Catholic, the type who didn't lose his faith in college and who still goes to Mass. I also vote Democrat. I'm not a New Democrat and I'm not quite a mainstream liberal. I've taken to calling myself a postmodern progressive, in part because of the reaction it gets out of some people.

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