This piece originally appeared in the Yale ISM Review.
“As an American Indian, all my life I have been cursed with the myth of the ‘Indian rain dance,’” Johnny P. Flynn wrote in Religion Dispatches in 2012 when the United States Agricultural Secretary, Tom Vilsack, suggested a rain dance to end a drought. “I am here to say there is no such thing. Not in my Potawatomi tribe or in any other tribe across the Americas.” Weather-related rituals, Flynn wearily pointed out—including the Hopi’s famous late summer dances—recognize the season rather than bring on the rain.
That hasn’t stopped some from trying. Continue reading “Praying for Rain in California”
Learning from History: The Japanese Internment and Reactions to Muslim Americans
Published by the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, November 24, 2015
When Roanoke, Virginia Mayor David Bowers referred to the internment of the Japanese Americans in the context of the terrorist attacks by ISIS, he wasn’t the first to see the parallels between World War II and today. Japanese and Muslim American community leaders also have recognized that the fear of Muslims following terrorist attacks reflects the fear of Japanese following Pearl Harbor. Continue reading “Learning from History: The Japanese Internment and Reactions to Muslim Americans” →