Our founding editor, Jeff Sharlet, was on NPR this week talking about religious freedom, what it means to assign the Christian label to the American population, and the long history of Christian persecution rhetoric in U.S. politics.  Listen here.

“There were never school shootings when prayer was in school.”  The Ohio school shooting, some believers have pointed out, comes on the approximate 50th anniversary of 1962’s  Engle v. Vitale, a Supreme Court decision that ended school prayer.  I would like to add that a few other laws have changed since 1962.

I’m not a done-sold Melissa Harris-Perry fan but I’ve been enjoying watching her new show, oddly named MHP, on MSNBC.  Here’s a clip of MHP, a professor at Tulane, taking on The Help, a feel good movie about the Jim Crow South.

“Debbie does Radical Muslim Fundraiser.”  Really.  Stephanie Butnick points us to the sexualized headlines Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Jewish Democrat, was subjected to last week.

“D’oh my God: faith in The Simpsons,” a piece at The New Humanist by Andrew Mueller, examines what The Simpsons, TVs longest running show, really never got right. (h/t David Farley)

“A nihilistic dictatorship of relativism.”  Mark Silk quotes Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete to get us closer to the real nature of the culture wars.

Analyzing Santorum’s “Meet the Press” back-track–he recently accused the President of having a “phony religion” and has some face to save–The New Yorker‘s James Wood, theology aside, finds something particularly secular and even–gasp!–rational humanistic in the Republican Presidential candidate’s words!

Note, too, that all this talk about making man the objective sounds quite like the supposed heresy of rational humanism. If you took away the theological context of Santorum’s screed, you would have a program for secular politics: Since we are here to serve man, then we should start getting busy with projects of political salvation, like universal health care, environmental protection, the alleviation of poverty, and so on.