The way most people think about religion and politics is only loosely linked to empirical reality, argues Ryan P. Burge in 20 Myths about Religion and Politics in America. Instead, our thinking is based on anecdotes, a quick scan of news headlines, or worse, flat-out lies told by voices trying to push a religious or political agenda on a distracted public.
Burge sees this fundamentally flawed understanding of the world around us and our misperceptions about where we fit into the larger fabric of society as caustic for the future of American politics and religion. Without an accurate picture of our society, when we subscribe to only caricatures of what our country looks like, we never really address the problems facing us.
Striving to be an impartial referee, Burge describes with accessible and engaging prose--and illustrates with dozens of clear, helpful graphs--what the data says. Step by step, he debunks twenty myths, using rigorous data analysis and straightforward explanations. He gives readers the resources to adopt an empirical view of the world that can help all of us, religious and nonreligious alike, get past at least some of the unsupported beliefs that divide us.