Discover more from A Public Witness
Word&Way News: Sept. 9
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. This week at A Public Witness, we published a report on a Canadian worship leader helping lead the effort to promote investments in Trump’s Truth Social platform.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
DeSantis Preaches Dangerous Armor of God. Brian Kaylor reflected on the problem of political rhetoric that misuses biblical texts.
Michael Flynn: From Government Insider to Holy Warrior. Michelle R. Smith analyzed how a controversial Trump adviser became the face of a religious-political crusade.
Review: Reading Theology Wisely. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Reading Theology Wisely: A Practical Introduction by Kent Eilers with art by Chris Koelle.
On Colombia’s San Andres, a Historic Baptist Church’s Roots Run Deep. Luis Andres Henao visited a 175-year-old Caribbean church with a rich legacy.
Reckoning With the 9/11 Anniversary Effect. Ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Christina Ray Stanton reflected on how traumatic reactions can be a normal part of the grieving process and what this means for how we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week: Teddy Wilson of Radical Reports
Other noteworthy podcasts this week:
Brian Kaylor was a guest on the CBF Podcast with host Andy Hale to discuss religious journalism and Baptist life.
Angela Parker appeared on The Bible for Normal People to talk about “the White Supremacy of inerrancy.” (Parker is a co-author, with Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood, of a forthcoming 2023 Lenten devotional.)
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
On Thursday (Sept. 8), U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke during the annual meeting of the National Baptist Convention, USA. One of the five largest Protestant denominations in the country today, the NBCUSA was created after the Civil War by formerly enslaved Black Baptists in the South.
But Harris’s address wasn’t like when then-Vice President Mike Pence spoke to an annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2018. Because Harris is actually part of the NBCUSA.
Polling last year showed that most Americans knew President Joe Biden is Catholic but few knew about Harris’s faith. That might be, in part, because few media outlets note that — even in the coverage of her remarks yesterday. Perhaps this is because too many in the media treat religion as a Republican thing. And perhaps this is because too many reporters overlook Baptist groups that aren’t the SBC.
But if they were listening, they would’ve heard Harris point out her own pastor at the meeting — civil rights icon Amos C. Brown.
“For two decades now, at least, I have turned to you,” Harris said to Brown during her NBCUSA remarks. “And I will say that your wisdom has really guided me and grounded me during some of the most difficult times. And you have been a source of inspiration to me always.”
That religious leaders like Brown receive less attention than many figures on the far-right is truly a tragedy. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to him multiple times and encourage people to also listen to his wisdom. You can hear my 2020 podcast interview with Brown, read a column he wrote in 2021 for Word&Way, and read comments he offered for A Public Witness earlier this year.
Other News of Note
Gretchen M. Rehberg, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, Washington, wrote a column for the Spokesman-Review criticizing the Christian Nationalism of the ReAwaken America Tour event occurring nearby next week.
We’ve reported on the problem of various political candidates campaigning in churches in our “partisan pulpit” series this year. Here are three candidates who showed up in churches this week: Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist spoke during Sunday worship at Koinonia Worship Center in Pembroke Park; Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro, who is Jewish, spoke during Sunday worship at Triumph Baptist Church in Philadelphia; and Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano campaigned Wednesday at Grace Life Church in Pittsburg.
An old church building in Columbia, South Carolina, is being transformed into apartments — including one unit with a large Jesus stained glass window.
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!
A Public Witness is a reader-supported publication of Word&Way. To receive new posts and support our journalism ministry, subscribe today.