God Save the Capitol

How a Cold War Spiritual Arms Race Led to the Jan. 6 Plot to Overthrow the Government

“I am here by special divine appearance, a living soul,” Pauline Bauer stated in federal court this summer while standing trial for crimes including violent entry. “I do not stand under the law. Under Genesis 1, God gave man dominion over the law.”

Bauer and some of her fellow Jan. 6, 2021 rioters have testified that they were divinely inspired to participate in insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. They carried crosses and religiously themed posters and participated in a prayer on the Senate floor. Testifying to a congressional committee a few …

The 2022 Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize Explores Place | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The 2022 Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize Explores Place

Since 2012, We’ve Honored Works That Visit Landscapes Both Real and Imagined

Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has recognized the U.S. writer of a poem that best evokes a connection to place. Zócalo is now accepting submissions for our …

Did the Pandemic Rejuvenate Christianity? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Did the Pandemic Rejuvenate Christianity?

Away from the Headlines, Believers Across California Scrambled to Adapt—And Underwent Some Startling Changes

Judging by news coverage, the only religion trend originating in California during the pandemic was of conservative evangelical COVID denialism and defiance.

One California church, South Bay United Pentecostal in …

How Early Americans Narrated Disease | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Early Americans Narrated Disease

This Tradition of Storytelling Around Illness Still Pushes Us to Grieve—And Imagine a Path Forward

In April, as COVID-19 marched wearily into its second year, my mother became suddenly and unnervingly ill. Barely coherent, she was hospitalized.

Only a couple of days earlier she had …

My Childhood in a Cult Prepared Me for COVID-19 Lockdown  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

My Childhood in a Cult Prepared Me for COVID-19 Lockdown 

The Pandemic Pushed Me to Confront My Painful Past, and to Truly Help Save the World—By Listening to Science

I can vividly recall the final time I hugged friends before the lockdown. We were crowded in the velvety closeness of a dark music venue where they were performing. I …