Can Bethel Church Make Redding, California, Heaven on Earth?

Maybe Not, but the 11,000-Member Community Gives Unsparingly to the City

Is this heaven, or Redding?

These days, the city of 91,000 at the north end of the Sacramento Valley, seems to sit halfway between the godly and the earthly—and not just because of the divine spectacles of nearby Mounts Shasta and Lassen. At the heart of Redding stands a quintessentially California church with a focus on community impact so intense you could almost call it supernatural.

Bethel Church may not be a household name in California, but it should be. Because there is no other institution in our state better at engaging …

The ‘Black Catholic Movement’ That Reinvigorated American Catholicism

In the Industrial North, African Americans Witnessed a Flourishing of Liturgical Innovation, New Preaching Styles, and Activist Scholarship

The story of how Roman Catholics “became American” is very well-known. Beginning in the 19th century, Catholics were a feared and despised immigrant population that Protestants imagined to be inimical …

O Ye of Little Faith in Los Angeles! Eric Garcetti Has a Message For You.

If the Mayor of the City of Angels Wants to Be President, His Campaign Should Be a Moral Crusade

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is being coy about whether he’s running for president. But he doesn’t fool me. I’ve already written the speech, or perhaps I should say sermon, …

In Whose God Do Americans Trust?

How the Religious Right Projected Evangelical Conservatism Onto the Founding Fathers

Charles Bennett, a Democratic Congressman from Jacksonville, Florida, was afraid of communism. In July 1955, he spoke of his concerns on the floor of the House of Representatives. “In these …

How Conservative Christians Co-Opted the Rhetoric of Religious Freedom

By Adopting the Language of Individual Rights, Evangelicals Cast Themselves as a Beleaguered Minority

Today, just about everyone—including lobbyists, state legislators, and Supreme Court litigants—assumes that freedom of religion naturally means opposition to same-sex marriage and reproductive rights, and sits in tension with anti-discrimination …