Vote, but Don’t Stop There

From my post today on the Emerging Scholars Blog:

Here’s the thing, though: voting is about the smallest thing you can do to contribute to the well-being of your community. It’s important, for sure, and I vote in every election — national, state, and local. But the act of voting, and even the political process that it’s part of, is only one element of civic life.

Stewardship, Membership, and Voting: Reflections on Wendell Berry’s A Place on Earth

Is There Political Bias Against Evangelicals?

Comment is a great magazine “equipping and connecting the next generation of Christian leaders” – and I’m not just saying that because they published an essay of mine. I think you might like it. Here’s the opening paragraph:

In the political conflicts between right and left, evangelical Christian faculty are often in danger of being squeezed in the middle. Not only are they frequently out of step with the academic political mainstream, but the strong connection between evangelicalism and conservative politics outside the academy can make them seem like a “fifth column” to their more liberal colleagues.

Read the whole thing, if you’re interested in more. Here’s the link:

Is That Disagreement Religious—or Political?

Are Smarter People More Liberal?

Sculpture of man emerging from ape

Emergent Man

Ah, yes, another article proclaiming that smart people are liberal. Elizabeth Landau of CNN reports on a soon-to-be-published article by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa that claims higher IQ is associated liberal politics and religion, as well as “sexual exclusivity” (a.k.a. monogamy).

I haven’t seen the article (it’s not available yet), but there are a couple of problems with the simple equation “smart = liberal.” First, notice how “liberal” is defined:

The study takes the American view of liberal vs. conservative. It defines “liberal” in terms of concern for genetically nonrelated people and support for private resources that help those people. It does not look at other factors that play into American political beliefs, such as abortion, gun control and gay rights.

Strange definition. In America, conservatives favor the use of private resources to help people. As far as the “genetically nonrelated” issue, I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. Part of the problem here – as with most discussions of liberalism and conservatism – is that the terms can mean many different things. Continue reading