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Author Andy Watts

Andy Watts is professor of religion at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Requiring immigrants to learn the English language as a condition of citizenship is a contemporary form of jingoism, which provides the opportunity for discriminatory acts toward a group of people along linguistic and racial lines. […] Read More

We are a nation of hypocrites, at least those of us franchised into the political economy are. We say we want democracy but what we actually want is something more like “Lord of the Flies.” Take the current debt-ceiling battle. We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking it’s simply a fiscal debate. So what is the […] Read More

Health care has recently emerged to be one more system based on the myth of merit, joining education and business as American shibboleths of individuality. The myth of merit, in turn, creates self-perpetuating systems of disadvantage for those stuck at the bottom. This point forcefully hit me while watching the Tennessee Titans football game recently. […] Read More

Is it really better for government and religion to stay out of each other’s affairs? This is a question that Joshua DuBois, the new director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships established by President Barack Obama, most likely will have to answer time and time again. May his wisdom surpass his […] Read More

In order for racial reconciliation to be an act of discipleship, white Christians must start at the ethical beginning, that place where we learn what sin is by learning of Christ’s grace: worship. Although I believe Bennett is wrong, I must admit at times since the election I’ve had the same thoughts. In fact, these […] Read More

Robert Parham of has issued a clarion call for faith leaders in America to speak out on the economic crisis. I second his motion with a few reservations and stipulations. First, I’m not sure if most American Christians know how to respond to the “total market” ethos holding America captive. Many of us are […] Read More

Christianizing Campaigns

Every morning when I walk to my office, I pass the centerpiece of Belmont University: the 150-year-old bell tower. From it currently hangs a 20-foot banner advertising “Debate 08,” the Oct. 7 town hall presidential debate hosted by Belmont. I’m excited to be a part of an institution that seeks to participate in the public […] Read More

So the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Bill foundered in Congress. Everyone knew it would stall and fail. What’s the big deal? For many American Christians, the deal is not that it failed but that their freedoms are being threatened to begin with. Many American Christians believe that the American government is threatening to force Americans to […] Read More

Avoiding Advent Boycotts recently carried a Religion News Service story about a new church movement called the “Advent Conspiracy.” It appears to be the initiative of a local Portland pastor in response to American consumerism’s captivity of the meaning of Christmas. An earlier essay on the same site voiced similar concerns. Sam Davidson, co-author of New Day […] Read More

A central question we must ask is: Does Jesus in fact say nothing about what form our economic relations should take as we are his church to the world? It might seen odd to begin a commentary celebrating new Baptist beginnings with a quote from a Catholic. Yet Pope John Paul II said something quite […] Read More