Word&Way News: Aug. 25
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. This week at A Public Witness, we published a review of American Idolatry, a report on a Russian pastor in exile for speaking out, and a look at how 2024 presidential hopefuls are dealing with the issue of capital punishment.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Will MBC Messengers Save SBU and HLGU? Russell Jackson urges Missouri Baptists to take action to stop the dismantling of two universities.
Review: Theology Without Deception. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Theology without Deception: God, the Poor, and Reality in El Salvador — Conversations with Charo Marmol by Jon Sobrino.
Nicaraguan Government Bans Jesuit Order & Says All Its Property Will Be Confiscated. A Catholic religious order has been outlawed by the government of Daniel Ortega.
More Than 100 Chaplains Urge Texans Not To Hire School Chaplains. An advocacy campaign in Texas organized by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Interfaith Alliance, and Texas Impact is pushing back against a new law in the Lone Star State.
Sean Feucht Event Sparks Political Controversy in Eastern Washington. Jack Jenkins reported on the backlash to a mayor participating in an event led by a musician who pushes Christian Nationalism and MAGA politics.
This week: Benjamin Perry on Cry, Baby
Other noteworthy podcasts this week:
Good Faith Media released a six-part narrative podcast, A Second Language, exploring how a prominent Baptist church in Little Rock, Arkansas, navigated issues of racism, politics, and faith as culture changed around it.
Felipe Hinojosa, a Latino Mennonite historian, appeared on The Bible for Normal People to talk about Latino political and religious resistance.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
This coming Monday (Aug. 28) marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that included Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as addresses by John Lewis, Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, and others. It dominated the news at the time and helped push the civil rights agenda.
So with coverage today looking back at the important March, I peeked in the Word&Way archive to see what coverage we gave it. I found almost nothing.
The large event keynoted by a Baptist minister didn’t get mentioned in the next issue of our print publication. The second issue after the March included a short blurb from the Religion News Service about leaders of the American Baptist Convention (now American Baptist Churches USA) supporting the March and encouraging people to attend.
Two issues later, another RNS reprint included a comment by evangelist Billy Graham at a crusade in California: “In his sermon, Dr. Graham referred to the huge crowd and said: ‘We have enough people here to march on Washington, alluding to the recent March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He added that ‘if they keep throwing the Bible out of the school, we just might do that.’”
And that was it. An after-the-fact report that some White Baptists would go to the March and a quip from a prominent White evangelist who didn’t attend instead complaining about the loss of a Christian Nationalist privilege. But the content of the event itself was overlooked, despite the leadership and speeches by clergy.
We must do better. And we try to today. Earlier this month, I reported from the annual meeting of King’s denomination. It’s not enough, but we’ll try not to again overlook the stories and voices that need to be lifted up.
Other News of Note
A new poll shows that only 42% of Donald Trump voters trust religious leaders to tell them what is true, while 71% trust Trump, 63% trust their friends and family, and 56% trust conservative media personalities.
“Over 1,300 trees have been planted in Clane as a result of the sacramental life of the church. If we had a tapestry of parishes across Ireland engaged in that kind meaningful witnessing, it would be a profoundly rich symbol.” —Ciara Murphey of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice about a Catholic church that gifts a native Irish tree to everyone baptized or married in the parish.
NPR reported that a church in Louisville, Kentucky, that was kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention for having a female pastor is supporting her.
Last year, Trump attorney Jenna Ellis called A Public Witness “a bad actor” for a report we published. This week, she showed up at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia to turn herself in and have her mugshot taken after she was indicted for her role in trying to overturn the 2020 election. Talk about a bad actor!
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!