Word&Way News: June 9
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a list of recommended summer reads that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a profile of a pastor making a longshot bid for the presidency.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Review: Trauma-Informed Evangelism. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Trauma-Informed Evangelism: Cultivating Communities of Wounded Healers by Charles Kiser and Elaine A. Heath.
Ted Cruz Criticizes Baptist Pastor for Defense of Executing Gays. Brian Kaylor reported on a Twitter spat between a U.S. senator and a prominent Southern Baptist minister.
Rick Warren Campaigns for Southern Baptist Reinstatement of Saddleback Church. Adelle M. Banks reported on the public advocacy for women in ministry by retired pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren.
Oklahoma School Board Approves What Would Be the 1st Taxpayer-Funded Religious School in U.S. Sean Murphy reported on a controversial move by a state board in the Sooner State to approve a charter school application from the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma.
Restoration Lags for Syria’s Famed Roman Ruins at Palmyra & Other War-Battered Historic Sites. Several years after Islamic State militants blew up iconic Roman ruins, restoration work remains slow because of security concerns and a lack of funding.
This week: Allison Tanner on Apartheid-Free Communities
Other noteworthy podcasts this week:
On State of Belief, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush interviewed Ryan Burge and Jay Michaelson about religion and politics.
On Respecting Religion, Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman discussed new developments regarding religion in public schools.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
This week, legislators in Louisiana approved a bill to require the posting of “In God We Trust” in every public school classroom. I wrote about the problems with the legislation in February, but apparently not enough lawmakers in the Pelican State subscribe to A Public Witness.
The bill still needs a signature from Gov. John Bel Edwards before it goes into effect. But an activist in Florida is already sending posters to schools so they can post them. However, the posters might not be what the sponsors of the bills imagined.
One version of the poster puts the national motto in Arabic. Another uses English but includes an LGBTQ-Pride design. Chaz Stevens previously sent the Arabic version to some schools in Texas after lawmakers passed a similar bill last year. After I wrote about the Louisiana bill, Stevens sent me a signed copy of a new poster he was already preparing for the state.
So there on my office wall is a poster that reminds us of the threat of Christian Nationalism — and also how some people are pushing back in creative ways. I suspect that like in Texas most schools will come up with excuses to not use the posters created by Stevens. But his project highlights the hypocrisy of those trying to make our public schools more sectarian.
Other News of Note
Katherine Stewart wrote for MSNBC about the risk of courts affirming Oklahoma’s unconstitutional approval for a publicly-funded sectarian charter school.
Liam Adams of the Nashville Tennessean wrote about a report from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas that documented excessive spending by former President Adam Greenway — like 1st-class airfare to the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, $11,000 on an espresso machine and accessories, and $60,000 in Christmas decorations.
“Do not think that just because someone disagrees with your biblical position that they don’t love the word of God, honor the authority of the word of God, and hold true to its core teachings.” — John Stumbo, president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, said as the denomination voted to ordain women as pastors.
Dan Bilefskay of the New York Times wrote about how members of a pacifist Christian group that a century ago emigrated from Russia to Canada are wrestling with their Russian heritage in light of the war on Ukraine.
Ken Camp of the Baptist Standard wrote about Ukrainian Christians who converted a missile into a church pulpit in the spirit of the prophet Isaiah’s dream that people would “ beat their swords into plowshares.”
Adam Johnson wrote at his Substack newsletter The Column about the problem of U.S. evening news broadcasts ignoring climate change when reporting on the Canadian wildfires that made the east coast smoky this week:
Photo of the Week
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