Word&Way News: Feb. 3
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a piece about a minister who provided pastoral care on death row that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a look at the history and evolution of the National Prayer Breakfast.
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Top 5 at wordandway.org
Review: A Gift Grows in the Ghetto. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed A Gift Grows in the Ghetto: Reimagining the Spiritual Lives of Black Men by Jay-Paul Michael Hinds.
Tyre Nichols Police Beating Video Prompts Faith Leaders to React With Grief, Goals. Clergy in Memphis, Tennessee, and across the country reacted to the latest high-profile video release of police violence.
Progressive National Baptists to Deploy $1 Million Grant to Boost ‘Compelling Preaching.’ Adelle M. Banks reported on plans for a five-year training program for ministers of the historically Black denomination as they adapt their preaching in an age changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trial Date Set for Case Involving Patterson, SWBTS. In April, a U.S. district judge will oversee a lawsuit by a Jane Doe against former Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson for negligence, violation of privacy, and liability after she was raped on campus.
Clergy Protest Legislation Targeting Transgender Children in Missouri. Emily McFarlan Miller reported on how Jewish and Christian clergy are speaking out against anti-LGBTQ bills.
This week: Andrew Seidel on American Crusade
Another noteworthy podcast this week:
Journalist Dalia Hatuqa appeared on Global Dispatches to explain the recent escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
This evening, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will speak at a “Power of the People” rally hosted by Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA at Trump National Doral resort in Miami, Florida. It would be hard to find a more perfect trinity of Christian Nationalistic insurrection than Trump, Kirk, and Bolsonaro.
Kirk, who will also speak at the event tonight, has been working to mobilize churches for Christian Nationalistic politics and amplified Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election. Additionally, Kirk’s group helped make the events of Jan. 6, 2021, happen by busing people to Trump’s rally and even paying some of the speakers.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro lived up to his nickname “Trump of the tropics.” Both men relied on the support of evangelical and Pentecostal Christians to get into office. After controversial terms, both lost reelection but spread false claims of election fraud. And in both cases, supporters violently stormed government buildings while praying and carrying Christian symbols and messages.
Clearly the threat we saw on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C., and on Jan. 8, 2023, in Brazil is not over. Those who preach Christian Nationalism and push violent anti-democracy insurrections are still mobilizing. Thus, the rest of us must not grow weary in standing up for the real Good News.
Other News of Note
Sarah Leach of the Holland Sentinel reported on how Christian Nationalism is impacting local politics in a Michigan county (and Kristin Du Mez reflected more on the story at her Substack newsletter).
The Washington Post reported on a wave of anti-Christian violence in India, in part due to the rise of Hindu Nationalism.
Elise Ann Allen of Crux reported on Pope Francis’s trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo as he met with survivors of war.
“We conclude that creating a pink cake with blue frosting is not inherently expressive and any message or symbolism it provides to an observer would not be attributed to the baker.” —a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling against a baker who refuses to serve same-sex couples and now a transgender person.
Writing for Religion & Politics, Hayden Royster profiled Marvin Olasky and his vision of “biblically objective” journalism.
With the Super Bowl matchup set, Clemente Lisi wrote for Religion Unplugged about how both quarterbacks for the big game are outspoken about their faith.
Madoline Markham wrote for Veranda about the man leading the efforts to preserve Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rick Pidcock at Baptist News Global reflected on themes of faith in the movie Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.
Angela Denker wrote at her Substack newsletter I’m Listening about her experiences at Christian retreats and why they’ve disappointed her.
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