I am Charles Louis Richter, a PhD candidate in American Religious History at the George Washington University. I study irreligion, apocalypticism, and their intersections with American culture.
As I started work on my dissertation, I decided to share some thoughts, stories, and reactions to the material I was researching, namely, the difficulties inherent in the juxtaposition of a preponderantly religious society with an ostensibly secular state. My research deals with the critics of irreligion in the 20th century and their reasoning. By necessity, it covers many prominent atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, and others who have no religion or religious belief, however they may have defined that state, but it is not primarily their story. Instead, I focus on the rest of the country, those for whom religion (most often Christianity) is the default state, and indeed an essential characteristic of being American.