Word&Way News: July 8
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a review of Fortune by Lisa Sharon Harper that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a piece looking at an effort by a Christian college to undermine public schools in multiple states.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
One Bite at a Time. Sarah Blackwell reflected on the seemingly insurmountable task that looms over Southern Baptists regarding what to do about the recent release of an internal database of abusers.
When Abuse Victims are Adults, They’re Often Treated as ‘Sinners,’ Threats to Churches. Bob Smietana reported on how churches often blame adult abuse survivors for leading a “holy man” astray.
Review: A Curious Faith. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed A Curious Faith: The Questions God Asks, We Ask, and We Wish Someone Would Ask Us by Lore Ferguson Wilbert.
Presbyterians to Divest from 5 Oil Companies, including Exxon Mobil, after Years of Debate. In an overwhelming vote, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted this week to align its investment strategy with a long-held value of combatting climate change.
Inflation Boosts Demand at Food Banks as Pandemic Anti-Hunger Measures Fall Away. While President Joe Biden recently signed the Keep Kids Fed Act to extend free meal programs for schoolchildren, many stopgaps funded during the pandemic have ended or are only available in some states.
This week: Max Finberg on Growing Hope Globally
Other good podcasts this week:
David Gushee (a Christian ethicist and Word&Way board member) was the guest on The Bible For Normal People to talk about Christian ethics.
On Respecting Religion, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman discussed the problems with the recent Supreme Court decision on school prayer.
Other News of Note
Ronit Y. Stahl wrote for Religion & Politics about how “the Supreme Court is decimating public education as a common good.” But NPR reported that while the Christian Right is winning in court, it’s losing in public opinion.
Kara Voght and Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone reported about a conservative Christian activist caught on a hot mic bragging about praying with U.S. Supreme Court justices while her organization argued cases before the high court.
A United Church of Christ in Kansas City, Missouri, was defaced with an anti-LGBTQ message after the church put up an affirming message.
Emily Belz reported for Christianity Today about New York shutting down Olivet University in California, a Christian school founded by a controversial figure accused by some of leading a cult. That religious leader, David Jang, is also being sued by Newsweek (now run by former associates of Jang).
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
On Tuesday (July 5), five environmental activists in London glued their hands to the frame of a painting in the Royal Academy of Arts. Gluing themselves to art or other places is a strategy they’ve used before to call attention to policy changes needed to combat climate change. But this time the image caught my eye. The activists were beneath a full-scale copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.
The last supper for us all is coming sooner if we do nothing.
The activists from Just Stop Oil glued themselves to the frame of a painting known as Copy of Leonardo’s The Last Supper, which is attributed to one of da Vinci’s pupils, Giampietrino, in about 1520. The painting makes for a dramatic backdrop for the protest. (I’ve seen the original in Milan and it is indeed an amazing sight to behold.)
Although the group didn’t claim a religious reason for choosing the site of their latest protest, the symbolism still shouts. Our society continues to eat, drink, and be merry without concern for the destruction to come.
While I agree we must do more to stop climate change, I find the idea of gluing my hand to something pretty crazy. I find it painful enough when I get just a little drop of super glue stuck on my finger after repairing one of my son’s toys!
But the biblical prophets often pulled crazy stunts as they sought to wake people up. I can see old Isaiah today slopping some glue on his hand and sticking it on the frame of The Last Supper.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!