does-god-want-you-to-be-rich-susie-meister-prosperity-gospel

Does God Want You To Be Rich?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:25). I learned this verse when I was in elementary school. I was from a lower income family, so I wasn’t worried about what it meant for me. But I remember the teacher said this […]

is-trump-the-scientology-of-politicians-susie-meister-phd

Trump: The Personification of Scientology?

Many consider the Church of Scientology to be one of the world’s most fascinating and bizarre religious traditions. The church’s Hollywood presence and secretive practices make it intriguing. In addition to its peculiar practices and high-profile members, Scientology’s litigiousness and aggression against former members raises eyebrows. Typically, churches don’t make a habit out of suing people who […]

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How is Coffee Changing Christianity?

If you’ve been to an evangelical, Pentecostal, or non-denominational Christian church in the last few years, you may have noticed a new refreshment in the lobby: coffee. And lots of it. And, I’m not talking about a crappy pot of diner brew, I’m talking Starbucks. In the foyers. Of churches. Christians aren’t known for indulging in […]

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How is Porn Affecting the Church?

Chastity, abstinence, and modesty are strong themes within many religious traditions. Believers are expected to treat their bodies as metaphorical temples of God, and be faithful spouses. Many see adultery as both antithetical to a successful marriage and a betrayal of God. As such, how are Christians handling the murky waters of pornography? Given porn’s ubiquity and accessibility in the digital age, […]

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Does Ivanka’s Judaism Make Donald Holier?

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” So says the Ten Commandments found in Exodus. And many faithful people around the world go to great lengths to devote one day a week to God. The Huffington Post recently published an insightful piece about Ivanka Trump and her role in the Trump campaign. The article highlighted the contrast between Ivanka’s grace […]

bill nye takes on religious leaders susie meister

Can Bill Nye Debunk Religion?

If you grew up in the eighties or nineties, you know Bill Nye the Science Guy from his hit children’s television show. Since then, Nye has made a name for himself sparring with religious leaders and others who make anti-scientific claims. Now Nye will continue his pro-science mission in his new Netflix series, Bill Nye […]

stained glass

Sinner & Saint: Mother Teresa’s Doubt

Yesterday, the Vatican declared Mother Teresa a saint. The “saint of the gutters” and founder of the Missionaries of Charity received this honor less than twenty years after her death through an expedited process facilitated by the Church. While the notorious nun is not without controversy (with Christopher Hitchens famously calling her a fraud), her legacy […]

Festival Hippies

Do Cults Still Exist?

If you listen to my podcast, you know I am fascinated with cults. Scholars tend to avoid the word “cult” altogether because it has been used carelessly by the media for so long that it is now seen as pejorative. Instead we usually use the phrase “New Religious Movements” (NRMs), fringe religion, or alternative religion. For shorthand, […]

LED Fairy Lights Globe Susie Meister

Welcome to the Garden

You might be sensing a theme that I am a fan of produce and gardening. My husband is actually the one with the green thumb around here, but I am an aspirational gardener. This May, our friends sent my son a little gardening kit (which you can get here: http://amzn.to/2b6aibw). It’s an egg carton with packets […]

Book review, Beach, All At Sea,

Book Review: All At Sea

I love books, but I really love memoirs. There’s something about knowing that the story you’re reading actually happened that makes it more riveting. All at Sea by Decca Aitkenhead is no exception. Aitkenhead’s story begins with her family of four on vacation when her son runs into the ocean and begins to drown. Her […]