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Word&Way News: Jan. 6
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. Ahead of the second anniversary today of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, this week at A Public Witness we published an essay on how “Stop the Steal” took God’s name in vain, highlighted a piece published by Religion & Politics about mainline Protestants and Christian Nationalism, and published a report on a Catholic archbishop’s call to fast for the insurrectionists.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Capitol Vigil Protests Christian Nationalism on Insurrection Anniversary. Jeremy Fuzy reported on a prayer vigil this morning outside the U.S. Capitol.
Review: Better Religion. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Better Religion: A Primer for Interreligious Peacebuilding by John D. Barton.
Congress’ New Class Has Much Higher Percentage of Christians than American Public. Adelle M. Banks reported on the religious makeup of the new U.S. Congress.
‘Emotional Roller Coaster’: Delays in Effort to Shut Down Agape Dishearten Former Students. Clara Bates reported on the failure to shut down a Christian boarding school in Missouri despite numerous allegations of abuse.
Faithful Mourn Benedict XVI at Funeral Presided Over by Pope. The death of the first pope to resign in 600 years led to an unusual funeral of a dead pope presided over by a living pope.
This week: Lisa Weaver Swartz on Stained Glass Ceilings
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Russian authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin this week announced a 36-hour ceasefire in his attacks on Ukraine. It starts today and runs through tomorrow, which is Christmas on the Russian Orthodox Church’s calendar. Ukrainian officials called the move a propaganda ploy and hypocritical. And they’re not wrong.
There is war right now because of Putin’s illegal invasions of a neighboring nation. If he really wanted peace, all he would have to do would be to withdraw his troops and stop attacking Ukraine. Not just for 36 hours but for good.
Adding to the hypocrisy of a Christmas ceasefire was the Kremlin’s announcement that this was the idea of Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill. Let’s not pretend Kirill is being righteous. He has blasphemously justified Russia’s war as a Christian crusade. Kirill worships the Russian state, not the baby born in the shadow of an empire that invaded its neighbors.
During our recent Unsettling Advent series, I reflected in a devotional on the World War I “Christmas truce” in 1914. I suggested that such a temporary pause in killing cannot be celebrated as the heavenly peace promised on that first Christmas. And to resume killing people after a brief break on Christmas suggests the message of Christ doesn’t actually change our lives.
So while it’s always good when there is less violence, let’s not be fooled into praising Putin or Kirill for a Christmas pause in their slaughter of the innocents in Ukraine. If Putin or Kirill cared about Christmas or the one it celebrates, they would stop their damned war.
Other News of Note
Arkansas Baptist College, a historic Black school in Little Rock, hired a new president following a period of financial difficulties.
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