We've seen a veritable cornucopia of "top 10 lists" over the past weeks (including ours here on the Café). But there's not been much analysis of what the lists tell us about religion in America. There's been even less discussion of what we can learn by looking at which group puts which story in the top 10.
David Gibson tries to fill that void. He's written an article that both looks at how various voices along the political spectrum analyze the religious trends and then tries to find their common ground.
You can find it here.
Here's a taste from the end of the essay after his discussion on the role of religion in the recent election:
"[p]undit Mark Shields had perhaps the best verdict on the year in politics, calling November's 'shellacking' of Democrats 'the Mae West election.' It was West, as Shields told the Commonweal audience, who famously said: 'Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.'
In other words, having rejected Bush and the Republicans in the previous two election cycles, voters -- still disgruntled -- took it out on Obama and the Democrats this year.
The upshot is that Americans continue to view politics in religious terms, listening to prophets and looking for a messiah. The problem is that they don't have faith in anyone except themselves."