Mother Jones Articles on Faith and Religion

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

All the Right Moves
The Right Nation
Reviewed By Michael Kazin
July/August 2004 Issue
The men from the Economist explain why conservatism won out in America.

Roy’s Law
September 10, 2003
How far could Alabama’s ‘Ten Commandments Judge’ go ruling according to what he calls the ‘moral foundation’ of our laws?

Jails For Jesus
By Samantha M. Shapiro
November/December 2003 Issue
President Bush wants faith-based programs to take over social services. But what happens when evangelical Christians try their hand at running prisons?

Born-Again Zionists
By Ken Silverstein & Michael Scherer
September/October 2002 Issue
Christian conservatives are teaming with hard-line Jewish groups to transform American policy toward Israel.

Believe It Or Not
November/December 1997 Issue
Is it a fit of nerves about the coming millennium? A sneaking suspicion that there is more to life than money, success, and a great hairdo? Or is it a genuine desire for communion and transcendence? Whatever the source, Americans’ search for spiritual meaning is well under way.

Faith: Marianne Williamson Is Full of It
By Lynda Gorov
November/December 1997 Issue
She is the high priestess of pop religion. Millions buy her books and tapes. Fans worship her. As for critics, she warns, “Laugh at all this at your emotional peril.”

When Science and Religion Collide or Why Einstein Wasn’t an Atheist

By Gordy Slack
November/December 1997 Issue
Scientists talk about why they believe in God.

Religion Is a Virus
Richard Dawkins, Interviewed by Michael Krasny
November/December 1997 Issue
Why God is a product of natural selection

Stepping On Sacred Ground
By Jeffrey Klein
November/December 1997 Issue
Religion affects our political landscape: Two out of five Americans report that religion heavily influences whom they choose to support in an election.

The Dalai Lama
Interviewed By Robert Thurman
November/December 1997 Issue
On China, hatred, and optimism

By Cheryl L. Reed
November/December 1997 Issue
As many as half of all priests break their celibacy vows, leading spiritually compromised lives. Inside the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the Catholic church.

Does the Bible Tell Me So?
By Ann Monroe
November/December 1997 Issue
How Americans Misread the Good Book

What is Sacred?
By Jeffrey Klein
November/December 1995 Issue
What role can religion play in moral regeneration? What is the proper relationship of religion to the state?

The World of Religion According to Huston Smith
Interviewed By Marilyn Snell
November/December 1997 Issue
Smith has devoted his life to the study of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. He believes in them all.

Sources for “Faith in the System,” in the September-October issue of Mother Jones

Lead Stat:
60% of Americans now believing…
Gallup Poll, Religion, 2002.

Jesus and SUV:
Pew Research Center, July 24, 2003, “Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus” p. 21

Citizens and Church graph:
New Millenium Survey, Gallup International, December 1999,

Church Attendance (core party loyalists):
National Election Studies, Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan

Rev. Sun Myung Moon Narrative:
John Gorenfeld ,, June 21, 2004

Ashcroft: Bob Jones University Commencement Address, June 1999
Boykin: “The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior,” William M. Arkin, Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2004
Boykin: “Faith-based Chief cites Culture War,” Peter Wallsten, Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2004
Goldwater, 1981 speech, Associated Press, May 30, 1998
DeLay, July 10, 2001, speech organized by the Center for Christian Statesmanship

2. Time poll, June 21, 2004,
3. BBC News, January 29, 2002,

4. “Hatch Deal Could Span Ethics Inquiry, Experts say,” Robert Gehrke, Associated Press, August 22, 2003
5. Christian Exodus,
6. Pew Research Center, July 24, 2003, “Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus.” p. 10
7. Ibid p. 10
8. Ibid p. 4
9. CNN, June 2004,
10. American Religious Identification Survey, City University of New York, 2001
11. ABC Online, June 16, 2004; The Guardian, June 16, 2004, “Inquest on the Inquisition; Historians say it wasn’t that Bad,” Sophie Arie.
12. Pew Research Center, July 24, 2003, “Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus,” p. 8.
13. “Experts in Sex Field Say Conservatives Interfere With Health and Research,” Mireya Navarro, The New York Times, July 11, 2004.
14. The Alliance to end Hunger and Call to Renewal Survey, conducted by Tom Freedman and Jim McLaughlin, 2004.
15. Pew Research Center, July 24, 2003, “Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus,” p. 20.
16. Mother Jones Poll, May 2004
17. Pew Research Center, July 24, 2003, “Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus.” p. 10
18. Peace Index Survey, Tami Steinmetz Center For Peace Research, June 2004
19. Evangelicals in America, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc., April 2004,
20. “Robertson Charity Wins Faith-Based Grant,” Washington Post, October 3, 2002
21. Ibid
22. Letter to Health and Human Services Dtr. Tommy Thompson from Rep. Henry Waxman
23. The Texas Faith-Based Initiative at Five Years, October 2002, Texas Freedom Network Education Fund,
24. The Texas Faith-Based Initiative at Five Years, October 2002, Texas Freedom Network Education Fund,
25. Family Research Council,
26. 2000 National Survey of Religion and Politics, University of Akron Survey Research Center,


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend