Monday's News & Ideas - 10/9/2017

  • Searching for God in Las Vegas
  • A church repents for racist founders
  • Anti-Semitism gives The Forward new resolve
  • Negativity & creativity
  • Church buildings become breweries
  • The race for human attention

Sermon on the Strip: ‘Where is God?’
Religion News Service: Since Stephen Paddock shot hundreds of people on Oct. 1 in Las Vegas, there have been calls for unity and calls for information as investigators still have no real insight into Paddock’s motives. There have been outpourings of donations and frustrations as everyone in this city -- both residents and those passing through -- seek some reason behind the chaos of last Sunday night.
Religion News Service: In Las Vegas as before, spontaneous ‘shrines’ bring healing after horror
The Washington Post: Church criticized for promoting AR-15 raffle days after Las Vegas massacre

On its 100th birthday, a church repents for its racist founders
The Washington Post: A historic D.C. church did not celebrate with cake, balloons or rejoicing. Instead, congregants gathered in a somber mood and utter silence. This church’s birth, 100 years ago, wasn’t something they felt called to celebrate. The roots of this church are a source of unique shame.

Anti-Semitism’s rise gives The Forward new resolve
The New York Times: The Forward has chronicled the experiences of Jews in the United States for 120 years. Initially published as a Yiddish-language lifeline for those who fled hatred and strife in Europe, in recent years it had to work harder to stay relevant. Then came 2016, and a sudden clarification of its mission that would be strikingly familiar to the publication’s founders: covering the rise of public displays of anti-Semitism.

Is your negativity getting in the way of your creativity?
Big Think: Negativity bias is a well-studied and heavily documented phenomenon with implications for nearly every aspect of our lives. One area where it affects us daily, almost without our noticing it, is in our decision-making. Nearly all people are more risk-averse than they think they are.

Holy spirits: Closed churches find second life as breweries
The Associated Press: Ira Gerhart finally found a place last year to fulfill his yearslong dream of opening a brewery: a 1923 Presbyterian church. It was cheap, charming and just blocks from downtown Youngstown, Ohio. At least 10 new breweries have opened in old churches across the country since 2011.

The Spark

Our minds can be hijacked
Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. The Guardian reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks alarmed by a race for human attention.

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