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Word&Way News: Sept. 29
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a review of The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received an essay on churches and moral leadership.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
The Element of Divine Surprise. Juliet Vedral wrote about the new film Surprised by Oxford and what happens when our plans and expectations are thwarted by the vagaries of life.
Review: Disobedient Women. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Disobedient Women: How a Small Group of Faithful Women Exposed Abuse, Brought Down Powerful Pastors, and Ignited an Evangelical Reckoning by Sarah Stankorb.
From Rockettes to Riverside: Senior Minister Adriene Thorne Leads NYC Church. Adelle M. Banks spoke with Rev. Adriene Thorne after her installation at a historic pulpit (and Thorne previously appeared on Dangerous Dogma).
National Cathedral Windows Shift From Themes of Confederacy to Racial Justice. A prominent Episcopal church in the nation’s capital installed new windows after removing those honoring Confederate leaders.
When It Comes to Preventing Abuse, Are All Churches Equal? Kathryn Post looked at what factors help explain why the Anglican Church in North America is seeing multiple cases of leaders covering up clergy sexual abuse.
This week: David W. Peters on Post-Traumatic Jesus
Other noteworthy podcasts this week:
Christianity Today launched a special podcast series, COVID and the Church, looking at various ways the pandemic impacted churches and how churches responded in different ways.
Barbara Leung Lai appeared on The Bible for Normal People to talk about reading the Bible to consider the inner life of biblical characters.
by Jeremy Fuzy, Word&Way Digital Editor
Amid a rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster shot — recommended for everyone ages six months and up — became available to the public two weeks ago. Well, sort of.
Unlike previous boosters that became accessible almost immediately after approval from the Food and Drug Administration, this new booster has experienced a bumpy rollout. Many people are having trouble finding it and when they do insurance coverage has often been an issue. So, why is this?
We decided to commercialize the vaccines.
The number one health crisis currently facing the public and we are leaving it up to the private market to take care of it. Up until now, the federal government has purchased the vaccines on our behalf and made them free for everyone. With this booster, pharmacies have had to purchase the vaccines from suppliers, creating several issues.
Though sufficient doses of the new booster were created, distribution has been unreliable, causing widespread appointment cancelations due to uncertain supply. Since pharmacies are also on the hook for the cost of each dose, insurance processing issues such as being “out of network” have cropped up even though everyone is supposed to be covered.
According to KFF, “The commercial price being charged by Pfizer and Moderna is $115 to $128 per dose, respectively, about 3-4 times higher than the price paid for by the federal government.” And despite the CDC’s efforts, uninsured adults have no guarantee of free vaccines — my local health department is still waiting for the updated booster to be delivered to their clinics.
So as we often do in this country, we have privatized what should be a public good. This especially seems like a missed opportunity since well over twice the number of people who got last year’s bivalent booster plan to get this one.
I take this issue personally since my wife developed a serious chronic illness in the wake of a COVID-19 infection last year. I can only imagine what the pandemic would have looked like if leaders chose our welfare over profits or political gain.
So please go get your booster shot to protect our vulnerable neighbors just as we would want them to protect us. That is, if you can track it down.
Other News of Note
A new poll showed more Republicans view Donald Trump as “a person of faith” than other political figures, including his GOP primary rivals and President Joe Biden (who has attended church more frequently than any other modern president).
“With religious persecution of Christians at some of the highest levels ever reported, closing the door to refugees and asylum seekers threatens the lives of Christians — and American Christians must not remain silent.” —Report from World Relief and Open Doors US urging Christians to advocate for the United States to expand its refugee resettlement and asylum processes.
An armed man entered during worship services at a church in Virginia on Sunday. The pastor spoke with NBC News about the incident that ended without violence.
A Catholic diocese in Germany dismantled a statue of a late cardinal after he was accused of abuse.
Descendants of Dred Scott are dedicating a new grave marker for him at the Catholic cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was buried after he challenged slavery in the landmark Supreme Court case that bears his name.
Diana Butler Bass wrote at her Substack newsletter The Cottage about efforts to mark a Black cemetery that had been desecrated by development:
Photo of the Week
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