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Disaffected Patriots

From: 90.1 WFYI Public Radio
Length: 08:46

An exploration of the religious and political views of flea market dealers.

Default-piece-image-2 Farnsley is a long-time regular at one of the nation?s largest flea markets. While doing research for a book, he interviewed dozens of vendors, to get a better understanding of their political, religious and cultural beliefs. He finds that flea market vendors are representative of an important segment of American culture: citizens who are deeply patriotic and spiritual, and yet highly suspicious of institutions such as government and organized religion. Further, he concluded that the common perceptions about the political views of Christian fundamentalists are not necessarily accurate within this group. Among the people Farnsley interviewed, many are both Biblical literalists and populists. In fact, they are a bellwether of the large group of Americans (many of whom are disaffected non-voters) who are religiously conservative without also being politically conservative. Format: This piece takes the form of an extended essay, with soundbites and ambient sound supporting the observations made by Farnsley, who is an expert in the field of religious sociology.

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Piece Description

Farnsley is a long-time regular at one of the nation?s largest flea markets. While doing research for a book, he interviewed dozens of vendors, to get a better understanding of their political, religious and cultural beliefs. He finds that flea market vendors are representative of an important segment of American culture: citizens who are deeply patriotic and spiritual, and yet highly suspicious of institutions such as government and organized religion. Further, he concluded that the common perceptions about the political views of Christian fundamentalists are not necessarily accurate within this group. Among the people Farnsley interviewed, many are both Biblical literalists and populists. In fact, they are a bellwether of the large group of Americans (many of whom are disaffected non-voters) who are religiously conservative without also being politically conservative. Format: This piece takes the form of an extended essay, with soundbites and ambient sound supporting the observations made by Farnsley, who is an expert in the field of religious sociology.

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