Thursday's News & Ideas - 5/10/2018

  • Supreme Court's view of religion
  • Early Christian women were leaders
  • Blacks more likely to read the Bible
  • UMC bishops' LGBTQ proposal sparks response
  • Church a minor player in Irish abortion vote
  • A fat woman working in food justice battles stereotypes

How the Supreme Court grasps religion
New York Times: Two imminent decisions will tell us a lot about how the current court thinks about religion -- specifically, how it defines religious discrimination and who it thinks needs the court’s protection, writes Linda Greenhouse.
Forbes: Religious organizations rally to preserve favorable tax treatment of clergy housing allowances

What early Christians knew that modern Christians don’t: Women make great leaders
Washington Post: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson’s domineering attitude does not stem from his Christian roots, but rather from a lack of rootedness: Christianity’s past is replete with heroic women.

Blacks more likely than others in U.S. to read the Bible regularly, see it as God’s word
Pew Research: Scripture’s importance to the black population in the U.S. is reflected in Pew Research Center survey data showing that black people are more likely than most other Americans to read scripture regularly and to view it as the word of God.

Bishops’ proposal garners range of responses
UM News Service: The United Methodist Council of Bishops is getting a range of reactions to its recommended way forward for a denomination long divided around how to minister with LGBTQ individuals. The bishops themselves have interpreted their action in different ways, and the denomination’s advocacy groups are making their varied perspectives known.

Church and religion take back seat as a secular Ireland votes on abortion
Reuters: Three decades after Ireland introduced one of the world’s only constitutional bans on abortion, the Church that was so pivotal in securing the law’s passage finds itself a minor player in the now mainly secular battle to repeal it.

The Spark

My life as a public health crisis
As a fat woman working in food justice, Harmony Cox sees firsthand how even those trying to help continue to spread dangerous stereotypes about obesity and poverty. “I’m a walking, talking example of a public health crisis, working to eradicate myself with government funding. It gets awkward,” she writes. And yet, she knows that “in the reality of feeding a struggling family, the food pyramid is irrelevant. Keeping us fed was a source of pride, junk food was a source of joy, and so our diets endured.”