Life Recap and this Blog Moving Forward

I had a busier summer than I expected between an unexpectedly higher volume of work, some travel, and vacations. While my writing has made a comeback lately, it has not happened in this blog.

Here’s a summary of my work in the last 6-months(ish):

  1. Spoke at Skepticon 11 where I
    1. Released the topline results of the Secular Voices Survey (a nationally-representative survey of nonreligious Americans about various social and political matters).
    2. Introduced the Secular Voices Panel (a monthly survey of secular Americans about the 2020 elections, visit the link, we’re still recruiting)
    3. Announced the Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the project (You can still help)
  2. Wrote a few reports and analyses based on the Secular Voices Survey:
    1. Secular Identity, Belief in God, and 2020 Preferences (about candidate preferences in 2020 [In my company research blog in Medium])
    2. Voter Registration and 2020 Vote Intention (about how candidate preferences vary by voter registration status [in the Medium blog]).
    3. The Importance of Organized Secularism in Politics (about variation in political engagement by affiliation in secular organizations [in The Humanist]).
  3. Started writing for Religion in Public, a collective of political science experts in religion and politics. My first post:
    1. Rising Secularism and the Vanishing Latinx Republicans (Explores how the declining number of Republicans among Latinx people is not just about “immigration politics” but also because the pool of religious conservative Latinxs is declining).
  4. Started a new monthly column in The Humanist: ‘Nonedecision 2020‘ about nonreligious Americans and electoral politics. The first entry:
    1. Nonedecision 2020: Four Decades of the None Vote (analysis of how nones have voted for president since 1980.

The future of this blog

It seems that I have rearranged my writing into various camps: work-related research can be found at my company blog in Medium; more scholarly-type writing in Religion in Public; and movement-related political analysis in The Humanist. Initially, I wanted this blog to serve as a hub for that.

Instead, I will make this a more personal blog. I think it will fit better with the social justice angle of the collective. Expect rants about children’s shows. I have various theories and have spent a lot of time overthinking about gender relations in Thomas the Tank Engine, deconstructing my child’s favorite singers and bands, as well as discussions of race in the current political context…possibly about the election when these don’t fit any of my other writing outlets. Some of these will be in Spanish since many of my child’s favorite songs and books are in that language and audience-wise makes more sense.

That’s it for now….

Life Recap and this Blog Moving Forward
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I joined The Orbit!

I’ve been a fan of this platform since its inception, having been an avid reader of several of the bloggers here before The Orbit launched. Now, I’m happy to be part of this amazing group.

Who am I?

I ask myself that question with some frequency. For the purpose of this blog I am a writer, scholar, advocate. All of these facets are informed by my background as a political scientist.

Don’t you have a blog already?

If you are one of the few people who still read my old blog The LatiNone, this is going to be very different. The now-defunct, but still online, The LatiNone started as a platform to raise the profile of Latinx Nones. Since 2009, when The LatiNone got its start there weren’t many visible Latinx folks in secular spaces. Since those days organizations like Hispanic American Freethinkers (HAFREE), communities like Facebook’s Secular Latino Alliance, and bloggers like Luciano Gonzalez (my co-host at The Benito Juárez Experience) and The Orbit’s own Alyssa González (no relation to Luciano as far as I know) have appeared (around the time I had to take a dissertation-writing break from blogging).

So…what should you expect from Beyond Church & State?

As a political scientist I have always wanted to move away from demographic descriptions of the (still) growing Nones population in the USA and more into political analysis. I am especially interested in the political implications of demographic change within the Nones. But as a person interested in social justice I also want the Nones to focus on policy matters that go “beyond church and state” issues such as prayer in schools or religious discrimination. These are important topics nonetheless, but are also not the only issues that should concern us as a community. Thus, in this blog I will also focus on how other issues affect us. So you will get some nerdy statistical analysis, some policy commentary, and the occasional rant (because, hey, I’m still human).

Hope you enjoy this new blog!

I joined The Orbit!