Monday's News & Ideas - 8/5/2019

  • Don't normalize violence
  • Dying church gives away $1 million
  • Clergy privilege under fire
  • What's the future of religion?
  • No atheists in US politics
  • Our idea of old movies is all wrong

Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, and the normalization of violence
Religion News Service: “As a bad Catholic, I need to make a confession. I no longer pay attention to mass shootings...I feel guilty, but I simply cannot take it anymore,” writes Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest. “Religious leaders cry out but few listen.”
Christianity Today: Recent shootings spur pastors to call out white supremacy

A liberal Baptist church will close its doors and give $1 million to nonprofits
Washington Post: Two years ago, the congregation of Twinbrook Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland, realized its numbers were falling and its days as a full-time ministry were probably limited. It will build on its legacy by selling the church building and donating $1 million of the proceeds.

Should clergy be required to report abusers who confess?
Mother Jones: Clergy privilege is a special legal protection that exists in all 50 states. Lawmakers in Utah and New York are currently pushing to eliminate the confession exception, which they say has allowed religious institutions to cover up sexual abuse by clerics and congregation members.

Tomorrow’s gods: What is the future of religion?
BBC: Throughout history, people’s faith and their attachments to religious institutions have transformed, argues writer Sumit Paul-Choudhury. So what’s next?

‘I prefer non-religious’: why so few U.S. politicians come out as atheists
The Guardian: Current polls suggest America will get its first female, gay or Muslim president before its first atheist.

The Spark

Our ideas about what early movies looked like are all wrong
During the first film screenings in the 1890s, viewers saw shorts which included glimpses of everything from Niagara Falls to elephants in India. But they were hardly the grainy and frantically paced footage that has become synonymous with "old film" today. Rather, viewed in their original form on large screens and prior to decades of degradation, these movies were vivid and realistic.

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