Word&Way News: Feb. 9
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a report about opposition to state bans on child marriage that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a look at anti-democracy arguments by some Christians.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Theology Confronts Wrongdoing in Eagle Pass. Lutheran theologian Duane Larson critiqued the bad theology and bad history of some MAGA-sympathetic theologians.
Review: Gratitude. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Gratitude: Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being by Cornelius Plantinga.
Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee Faces More Abuse Lawsuits. Bob Smietana reported on new lawsuits against the SBC, including one that invokes the RICO Act created to target organized crime.
Conservative Nebraska Lawmakers Push Bills that Would Intertwine Religion with Public Education. Margery A. Beck reported on legislation in the Cornhusker State.
Why Faith Leaders Lost the Battle Against Online Sports Betting. As Americans are expected to wager $1.3 billion on this Sunday’s big game, some clergy are still warning against gambling.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
On Tuesday (Feb. 6), Republican U.S. Representative Eric Burlison of Missouri insisted it was inaccurate to call the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, an insurrection. He also claimed that such behavior was commonplace at his state’s Capitol building.
“When I was in the Missouri Capitol, we had protesters come in all the time. We would call what happened on that day (Jan. 6), a Wednesday in the Missouri Capitol, okay. We welcome free speech,” said Burlison, a former state lawmaker.
I was stunned by his remarks because I’ve been to the Missouri Capitol many times. In fact, I had just been there the day before to testify against two bills that would carve out special religious exemptions to anti-discrimination rules and public health rules. But that was a Monday, so maybe that’s why things were calmer. So after mustering up my courage, I returned the next day to see what carnage “a Wednesday” at the Missouri Capitol would bring. Warning: the video is not graphic.
On his campaign website, Burlison highlights his church membership and describes himself as a “leading voice” for “Christian family values.” Why isn’t telling the truth one of those values? Like other attempts to rewrite the events of Jan. 6 — such as a congressman who called it “a normal tourist visit” — Burlison’s remark is obviously false. It’s like the people who praised the naked emperor’s clothes as “beautiful” even when they saw otherwise. Yet, Christians are supposed to be people of the Truth.
Other News of Note
Embattled New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, compared himself to Jesus as he talked about his critics.
John Blake of CNN analyzed how a focus on White evangelicals in the U.S. ignores the Black, Latino, and Asian evangelical communities.
John Otis of NPR reported on efforts by Venezuela’s authoritarian leader, Nicolás Maduro, to win (and buy) the support of evangelicals.
“What Happens in Vegas … Stays in KC. #LombardiTrophy” —a United Methodist church in a Kansas City suburb has been getting attention for its sport-themed messages on its sign as local teams have been finding success in recent years.
Greg Locke, a Tennessee pastor who gained fame by defying COVID-19 public health measures, is now in violation of numerous building and fire code rules after snow damaged his church’s circus tent where they hold services.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!