Word&Way News: June 10
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to an analysis of new VBS material that highlights the culture war on abortion that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on a unique campaign strategy of a candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Profession of Faith Blues. Sarah Blackwell reflected on her mixed emotions after one of her sons recently made a public profession of faith.
Review: The Pastor’s Bookshelf. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed The Pastor’s Bookshelf: Why Reading Matters for Ministry by Austin Carty.
Judge Orders Church Led by CBN Spokesman Brad Jurkovich to Turn Over Financial Records. Bob Smietana reported about how a key leader in the current push to move the Southern Baptist Convention rightward faces legal turmoil in his own church.
First Transgender Bishop of Largest Lutheran Denomination Resigns. Alejandra Molina reported on a controversy after racial and cultural insensitivities by a Lutheran bishop.
New Vaccine May Be Option for Troops With Religious Concerns. Lolita C. Baldor reported about a new COVID-19 vaccine that officials hope will be acceptable to those who refused earlier vaccine options.
This week: Khalia Williams on the Practice of Worship
Another good podcast this week:
On the CBF Podcast, host Andy Hale spoke with Kaitlyn Schiess about the Liturgy of Politics.
Other News of Note
David Siders wrote for Politico about the Christian Nationalism of Pennsylvania gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano (and at A Public Witness we previously looked at Mastriano’s Christian Nationalism).
Sarah Jones of New York Magazine’s Intelligencer spoke with sociologists Philip Gorski and Samuel Perry about how White Christian Nationalism is “a fundamental threat to democracy.” (And learn more from Perry in a recent Dangerous Dogmas episode.)
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Last night was the first public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol. The powerful, bipartisan presentation included previously nonpublic footage from the attack, clips from depositions with key officials in the Trump administration (like Attorney General Bill Barr and Ivanka Trump), and live testimony from witnesses like a police officer badly wounded in the attack. There were also new revelations, such as the fact that several members of Congress sought presidential pardons after the actions of that day. And more hearings are still to come.
The first hearing didn’t explicitly focus on the role Christian Nationalism played in fueling the insurrection. Hopefully that conversation will occur in later hearings. As Amanda Tyler of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty wrote in a Religion News Service column yesterday, “We cannot turn away from the danger that Christian Nationalism poses to our country. The upcoming hearings provide an opportunity for the public to see Christian Nationalism for what it is: a clear and present danger to American democracy.”
But while not mentioned in the hearing, the footage the committee played showed Christian flags and other religious symbols. In fact, the closing shot of the main video ended by showing a Trump flag flying above a Christian flag.
That order seemed symbolically accurate. When one flies multiple flags, the more important one is supposed to be higher. That’s why you’ll see the U.S. flag above your state flag. On Jan. 6, Christian symbols were co-opted to serve a deadly partisan cause. But that didn’t make it Christian. Instead, the Christian witness was hurt by the events of that day.
Jesus warned we cannot serve two masters. Some at the insurrection may have tried, but the order of the flags show us who they really followed.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!