Friday's News & Ideas - 6/9/2017

  • Did Bernie Sanders cross a line?
  • Who was that 'meddlesome priest'?
  • Anti-Shariah marches unnecessary
  • Middle-aged women and the church
  • James Martin's LGBT ministry
  • The complicated history of SC rice

Bernie Sanders's religious test for Christians in public office
The Atlantic: The U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Sen. Bernie Sanders flirted with the boundaries of this rule during a confirmation hearing for Russell Vought, nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Religion News Service: Trump: 'It's time to put a stop to attacks on religion'

The shocking medieval execution story referenced by James Comey
History: "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" This quote from the James Comey hearing refers to one of the darkest moments in the fraught battles between church and state in the Middle Ages.

How anti-Shariah marches mistake Muslim concepts of state and religious law
Religion News Service: In advance of the Marches Against Sharia planned in more than two dozen U.S. cities on Saturday, a University of Wisconsin law professor explains what Shariah is and why marches against it are unnecessary.

Middle-aged women face a crisis of discipleship
Christianity Today: Older women often feel marginalized both as disciples and disciplers. Who, then, is asking what discipleship looks like for them? And what do middle-aged women want their discipleship of others to look like?

Meeting on the bridge: James Martin's ministry to LGBT Catholics becomes a book
Religion Dispatches: As the Rev. James Martin’s profile has grown as a celebrity priest, it has also included a focus on one of the Catholic church’s most marginalized groups, the LGBT community. He has gathered an expanded version of a talk and scripture meditations for LGBT Catholics into a new book, "Building a Bridge."

The Spark

Who owns Uncle Ben?
Food writer Shane Mitchell's family roots reach 300 years deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where rice anchors every table. But the history of rice in the Lowcountry is troubling and complicated. In an essay for The Bitter Southerner, she writes, "My people are rice eaters. Marry into my family a potato or pasta eater and we will convert you. To brown rice, red rice, basmati and jasmine, Forbidden rice, Arborio, and yes, even commercial brands of white rice like Uncle Ben’s. But here’s the issue. The roots of rice in the South have always troubled me."