Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A Doctor, A Scientist, and a Professor Walk Into a Church...

James Taranto highlights a New York Times piece on how evangelicals think about politics in his Best of the Web Today roundup that almost seems like a parody:

If you found that last story aggravating, here's an academic tale that will make you smile. Tanya Luhrmann, a Stanford anthropologist, did some field work on an exotic tribe called "evangelical Christians." She explains their mysterious ways to the open-minded, curious readers of the New York Times.

"If you want to understand how evangelicals conceive of their political life, you need to understand how they think about God," she explains. "I saw that when people prayed, they imagined themselves in conversation with God. They do not, of course, think that God is imaginary. . . . They imagine God as wiser and kinder than any human they know."

Fascinating, isn't it? Apparently some of these people live right here in America! In her fieldwork, Luhrmann reports, "I met doctors, scientists and professors at the churches."

Smart people who don’t think God is imaginary? Probably not news to those with even a basic understanding of religion in America, but I’m sure it will come as a surprise to more than a few readers of the NY Times.