God Bless America lifts the veil on strange and unusual religious beliefs and practices in the modern-day United States. Do Satanists really sacrifice babies? Do exorcisms involve swearing and spinning heads? Are the Amish allowed to drive cars and use computers? Taking a close look at snake handling, new age spirituality, Santeria spells, and satanic rituals, this book offers more than mere armchair research, taking you to an exorcism and a polygamist compound-and allowing you to sit among the beards and bonnets in a Mennite church and to hear L. Ron Hubbard's stories told as sermons during a Scientology service. From the Amish to Voodoo, the beliefs and practices explored in this book may be urthodox-and often dangerous-but they are always fascinating. While some of them are dying out, and others are gaining popularity with a modern audience, all offer insight into the future of religion in the United States-and remind that fact is often stranger than fiction.
Karen Stollznow is a linguist with a background in history and anthropology. She is a columnist, podcaster, and the author of Haunting America, Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic, and Red, White and (True) Blue. Karen was a researcher at the University of California-Berkeley, and has spent many years writing about a diverse array of topics, including language, culture, religion, and anomalous claims. She lives in Denver, Colorado.