Monday's News & Ideas - 6/12/2017

  • Lessons from the Pulse shooting 
  • Religious liberals want in the game
  • Clergy are politically divided
  • SBC continues decline
  • Church isn't an escape
  • Portraits let people tell their stories

What I learned after the Pulse nightclub shooting
Religion News Service: After the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando one year ago today, megachurch pastor Joel Hunter writes, “I was brokenhearted not because I had so many relationships in the LGBTQ community, but because I had so few. Was I complicit in the divisions that led to this destruction?”
PBS: After Pulse shooting, Orlando’s faith and LGBTQ groups opened dialogue

Religious liberals sat out of politics for 40 years. Now they want in the game.
New York Times: Faith leaders whose politics fall to the left of center are getting more involved in politics to fight against President Trump’s policies.

Your rabbi? Probably a Democrat. Your Baptist pastor? Probably a Republican. Your priest? Who knows.
New York Times: America’s clergy are even more politically divided than the rest of us, according to a new data set representing the largest compilation of American religious leaders ever assembled.

Southern Baptists have lost a million members in 10 years
Baptist News Global: Membership in the Southern Baptist Convention declined for the 10th straight year, while baptisms dropped to the lowest level in 70 years, according to statistics released in advance of the SBC annual meeting.
The Atlantic: Southern Baptists embrace gender-inclusive language in the Bible

Half-full of grace
LA Review of Books: "Church isn’t an escape from the world," says screenwriter Dorothy Fortenberry. "It’s a continuation of it. My family and I don’t go to church to deny the existence of the darkness. We to go to look so hard at the light that our eyes water."

The Spark

Dear World
Dear World began in 2009, when founder Robert X. Fogerty took pictures of people in New Orleans with “love notes to the city” written on their bodies. In each place its photographers go, they ask people to share something about themselves or to send a message to someone or something they care about regardless of religion, race or language. Projects have included galleries of people from South Sudan and child laborers; the latest project is “Dear Orlando,” a series of portraits marking the anniversary of the Pulse shooting.