Mark Bergen

Mark Bergen is a contributing editor at KtB. He lives in Chicago and blogs here.

Recent Posts by Mark

What’s Left?

Daniel Schultz parses a political theology.

Killing the Buddha

Ground Zero for American Islam

A few weeks ago, we were all talking about race. An event—the accidental firing of Shirley Sherrod, a USDA employee—set off one of those “national conversations”:  a spurious debate driven by a cable chatter, rising incessantly until the next blip arrives. The conversations are then capped off by one, maybe two, Times columnists. Now we’ve…

Killing the Buddha

Prayer and the Spill

What is hell on earth? It may be there in those terrifying photos of oil-soaked pelicans in the Gulf. The endless spewing from underground has a darkly surreal quality, as if it were not of this world. Lawmakers in Louisiana, helpless in stopping the spill, are now looking to the heavens. They officially declared Sunday…

A Tale of Three Bus Ads

If he were around today, Martin Luther might very well thump his 95 Theses angrily into a blog post. Or perhaps he’d stick them on a bus. That seems to be the preferred vessel for religious provocations these days. Over in the UK, they have a bit of a row taking place on the side…

Killing the Buddha

Miss USA, Hyphenated

She stumbled a bit on her evening gown, but ended the night standing tall. Rima Fakih, a 24-year-old Lebanese immigrant from Dearborn, MI, won the Miss USA Pageant Sunday night. Although official pageant records are sketchy, Fakih likely became the first Arab-American to don the crown. Praise erupted for the minor, albeit significant, cultural milestone….

Killing the Buddha


He’s just a “regular guy” who, like so many of us, heads off for a new, exciting life in the Big Apple. So reads the plot sketch for a cartoon series Comedy Central is considering called “JC.” The protagonist leaves for NYC to “escape his father’s enormous shadow,” which actually sounds pretty funny. Apparently, JC’s…

Killing the Buddha

Bill No. 666

Do you think John of Patmos, as he scribed away in exile, ever had the premonition that his words would carry such weight 2,000 years later, in the democracy labs of the world’s most powerful nation? Probably not. Last week, as all eyes turned to Arizona and its controversial immigration bill, the state’s legislature quietly…

Killing the Buddha

Onward Christian Soldiers

To a wave of criticism, the new head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, released a 2009 report on the impending danger of “right-wing extremist activity.” Now it seems that the Department might have its first par exemplar: a group of middle American soldiers prepping to battle the Antichrist. Last night, the FBI raided the homes…

Montana Plate by Spappy.joneS

Stupaking the States

The latest twists and turns of the abortion debate.

Liquid Faith

Down the road from the Smucker’s factory, a new religion emerges in the living rooms of Latinos in America.