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I want to welcome John Green and Jan Shipps aboard for the inaugural sail of this blog. We’ll be getting this site in more presentable shape very soon–a banner that identifies it as an enterprise of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, bios of the main contributors, etc. But it seemed good, on the eve of the biggest religion speech since JFK addressed the Houston ministers in 1960, to get up and running. Our purpose is to provide smart and reasonably evenhanded commentary on all matters having to do with religion and American politics–with perhaps a nod now and then to religion and politics in other parts of the world. For those of you–if any there be out there at the moment–interested in bathing in Mormons and politics, you might be interested in taking a look at the video of a conference on the subject that took place in Princeton last month. The contribution of yours truly is #20. For Jan’s excellent discussion of the early history of Mormons in politics, look here. So far as I can tell, they do not yet have what John had to say online. Which is a great shame, because he had some excellent survey data to impart.