Wednesday's News & Ideas - 12/12/2018

  • Black church closures
  • Return of paganism?
  • Heading to the door @ 13
  • Faith leaders arrested @ border
  • Trump evangelicals & sentencing reform
  • Your childhood teddy

As one historically black Episcopal church closes, others face strong headwinds
Religion News Service: As North Carolina wrestles with the aftermath of Jim Crow, some of the churches bound up in the racial history of the region are slowly fading from view.

The return of paganism
The New York Times: Maybe there actually is a genuinely post-Christian future for America, says Ross Douthat.

Study shows young adults leaving church start down that path at age 13
Catholic News Service: To find Catholics who have left the church, start looking at the faces in the pews, according to a recent report.

At least 30 faith leaders arrested in border protest
Religion News Service: After a tense standoff with officials at the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday, at least 30 American clergy were taken into custody over the objections of demonstrators.

Trump's evangelical advisers could help him secure a win on sentencing reform
The Atlantic: Conservative Christian leaders are a major force behind criminal-justice legislation being considered in the Senate. But black and progressive clergy see danger in allying with the president, even on this issue.

The Spark

Still have your childhood teddy? The psychological power of the toys we keep
Infants often find comfort in "transitional objects" that help them on the path to independence. At The (London) Guardian, readers discuss the security blankets and teddies they have held close.

Want to get News & Ideas in your inbox every weekday?
Subscribe to our News & Ideas newsletter or receive our RSS feed in your RSS reader.