Apr 15: Pompeo hearings, Cabinet Bible study, academic religious bias, and more

Legislative Branch

Confirmation hearings began for Mike Pompeo’s appointment as Secretary of State to replace Rex Tillerson. Muslim and Jewish groups have criticized his nomination due to his past statements about Islam and affiliation with anti-Muslim pundits. He faced questions about those issues as well as his continued opposition to same-sex marriage based on his religious beliefs.

Executive Branch

The BBC covered the man who leads Bible study for Donald Trump’s cabinet secretaries, and the political stances he promotes based on his reading of the Bible.

Donald Trump declared April 12-19 as Days of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust.


Buzzfeed News aggregated and analyzed anti-Muslim statements from state politicians since 2015, finding that elected officials had criticized the religion, explicitly and implicitly, in 49 states.

Washington State passed legislation enacting restrictions on the sharing of individuals’ religious affiliations with employers, law enforcement and the federal government.

Other reads

Some discussion this week on academic philosophy blogs and Christian blogs about bias in university hiring led me to the original data, which was compiled by George Yancey in his 2011 book, Compromising Scholarship: Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education.

He surveyed over 1,000 academics about attributes of a job candidate that would enhance or damage the respondents’ support for hiring that candidate. A table of some of his data is below:

The book also gives survey response averages, which are slightly less informative, for other attributes from “Hunter” to “Bisexual.” This data is available broken out by academic department, but I aggregated it for simplicity.