David R. Brockman

David R. Brockman, Ph.D., a religious studies scholar and Christian theologian, is a nonresident scholar in the Religion and Public Policy Program at Rice University's Baker Institute. He also teaches at Brite Divinity School, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University. He is the author of Dialectical Democracy through Christian Thought: Individualism, Relationalism, and American Politics.
While the Christian share of the national population has been dropping, the percentage of religiously unaffiliated has risen sharply, especially among younger adults.
Texas Politics

In NO God We Trust?

An atheist seminar in Fort Worth drew a capacity crowd, evidence that Texas’ growing nonreligious population is finding its political voice here in the Bible Belt.

The protester’s T-shirt read “REPENT or PERISH”; his sign said, “There are no atheists in HELL.” He and a few other fundamentalists were gathered at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on July 14 to protest an “educational seminar” sponsored by … Read More

Texas Legislature

‘We Got Nothing:’ Few Wins for the Christian Right in the 86th Texas Legislature

Though Christian conservatives chalked up a few narrow victories in this year’s session, they may have run up against the limits of their legislative power.

A quiet surprise of the 86th Legislature was the failure of many of the Christian right’s priorities. While lawmakers closely aligned with religious conservatism proposed several measures to enable religion-based discrimination, further blur the line between church and state and … Read More

first baptist, robert jeffress
LGBT Rights

Texas Republicans’ Push for a Religious ‘License to Discriminate’ is Depressingly Familiar

Today’s targets of religious discrimination are members of the LGBTQ community. Not long ago they were African Americans and women.

One of the landmark constitutional questions of our day is being fought at the Texas Capitol:  Does the right to religious freedom give people license to discriminate against others? Some evangelicals believe it should. Christian conservatives this session have filed … Read More

Sen. Dan Patrick
Human Rights

The Christian Right’s Politics of Cruelty

The policies pushed by politicians like Donald Trump and Dan Patrick are anything but Christ-like.

It’s an especially bitter irony. You might expect that the rise to power of politicians who either are outspokenly Christian or have overwhelming support from conservative Christians would bring to government the virtues Jesus taught, like mercy and compassion. Instead, … Read More

Texas Legislature

Growing Secular Movement Could Indicate Change in Political Tide — Even in Texas

“Elected officials are using their narrow Christian beliefs to create laws and policies to the detriment of the population of all Texans,” a state House candidate said.

“The future of American voters is secular.” So said Sarah Levin of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Secular Coalition for America, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd at the Texas Democratic Party Convention in Fort Worth Friday. The occasion was the second-ever … Read More

Texas Politics

Southern Baptists Grapple with Their Own ‘Horrifying #MeToo Moment’

As the Southern Baptist Convention met in Dallas, stories of sexual abuse raised questions concerning the denomination’s teachings about women.

The signs said “Jesus Never Shamed Women” and “Misogyny is Bad Theology.” Under an oppressive noonday sun, 40 to 50 people, mostly Baptist women, gathered last week for a protest outside the Dallas Convention Center, where the Southern Baptist Convention … Read More

Texas Politics

Why Some Baptists Weren’t Happy with Mike Pence’s Stump Speech at Texas Gathering

Mike Pence’s visit to the national meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas highlights an identity crisis among members.

How do you turn a denominational meeting into a political campaign rally? Give Mike Pence the microphone. The vice president spoke Wednesday at the annual national gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas. Though he began by speaking of … Read More

salman bjohani
Texas Legislature

When Islamophobia Backfires

While Muslim-bashing is relatively common in Texas and other red states, two recent incidents from North Texas show that it’s not always political gold.

In Texas, Islamophobia has been a ticket to political success for some. Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne was appointed to a position in the Trump administration after gaining national notoriety by fueling fears of creeping Sharia law in her Dallas … Read More

evangelical, trump, jeffress
Texas Politics

The Little-Known Theology Behind White Evangelical Support of Donald Trump

Christian virtues like love, mercy and forgiveness apply to individuals, not government, according to Two Kingdoms theology deployed by evangelicals like Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress.

As news of Donald Trump’s alleged affair with a porn star heated up the airwaves this month, Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor and Trump religious adviser, assured Fox News viewers that the affair is “totally irrelevant” to his fellow … Read More