Word&Way News: Nov. 22
Happy Thanksgiving from Word&Way! So that we can go enjoy turkey time, here’s the weekly roundup a bit early. This week, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on religious freedom in Ukraine.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
The Day I Became a Swiftie. Sarah Blackwell reflected on the power of music to reveal bits of the mystery of God.
Review: Church Conflicts. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Church Conflicts: The Cross, Apocalyptic, and Political Resistance by Ernst Käsemann.
Claiborne, Barber, Budde Among Christian Leaders Calling for Gaza Cease-Fire at White House Vigil. Jack Jenkins reported on Christians pushing for peace and criticizing President Joe Biden.
Manhattan’s Middle Collegiate Church Begins Façade Demolition. Fiona André reported on the latest for a historic New York City church three years after a devastating fire.
Art Simon, Founder of Christian Anti-Hunger Group Bread for the World, Dies at 93. The Lutheran minister who led political advocacy to end world hunger impacted the lives of millions.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Like politicians across the country, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders “pardoned” two turkeys a few days ago. I’m not sure what their crime was, but it must have been something … fowl. Hamming it up at a press conference with the birds and representatives from the turkey industry, she said she pardoned them “so they can enjoy a peaceful Thanksgiving.”
The same can’t be said for Charlie Vaughn, a man with mental illness and a developmental disability who has been serving 32 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Not only has lots of evidence emerged showing his innocence, but someone else even confessed to the crime. But just a couple months ago, Sanders denied his request for clemency and refused to say why.
Matt Campbell of the Arkansas Times critiqued “how the political math works in Sanders’s world: A silly holiday photo op has a small amount of political value, while allowing a sliver of grace and humanity to a man who the justice system failed decades ago does not.” But we shouldn’t find it cute when politicians cosplay as merciful in live ads for the turkey industry. When justice is just for the birds, our system really is quite foul.
Other News of Note
The leading evangelical political activist in Iowa endorsed Ron DeSantis, but it might not save the governor’s struggling campaign as Donald Trump still enjoys a large lead.
Rev. Jeff Hood reflected on serving as the spiritual advisor for Casey McWhorter as Alabama executed McWhorter last week.
“Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were without a doubt each other’s best friend. While doing research and in the course of conversations with them for the book, I concluded that Rosalynn was the only person Jimmy Carter fully trusted.” —Randall Balmer reflecting at Good Faith Media on the passing of Rosalynn Carter.
Christians in Jerusalem are rallying to support the Armenian community as it fights to keep its historic land.
Daoud Kuttab reported on an effort in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to get churches to pray for Gaza.
A Presbyterian church in California created online worship services for people with memory loss.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!