At last — a manifesto! We wish we’d written it ourselves, but, failing that, we’re glad it came from our friend Steve Prothero, whose book, American Jesus: How The Son of God Became a National Icon, is one of the most important investigations of faith, theology, and American history to be published last year. Funny, too.

As a result, the media spotlight turned on Steve. He found himself being asked a lot of questions about what he believes — uncomfortable territory for religion scholars and journalists alike. Steve could have fallen back on the “‘erotics of Religious Studies’ by suspending ad infinitum his judgments, endlessly playing his own religious world against the worlds of his subjects, and otherwise refusing closure.” Instead, he broke free of chains with which he’d been bound, and this is his mighty yawp of freedom: “Belief Unbracketed.”

“I am crazy for people who are crazy for God: people nearly as inscrutable to me as divinity, who leave wives and children to become forest-dwelling monks in Thailand, who wander naked across the belly of India in search of self-realization, who speak in tongues and take up serpents in Appalachia because the Bible says they can…” Read more.

And then visit our discussion in preparation for tomorrow’s Bloggercon and unbracket yourself on the subject of online religion.