Wednesday's News & Ideas - 12/19/2018

  • Church vs. border wall
  • Giving & vocation
  • Funeral homily backlash
  • Generosity on the border
  • Post-Soviet, theology & politics
  • Burnt-out teachers' Advent lament

In south Texas, the Catholic Church vs. Trump's border wall
Texas Observer: A charismatic priest and the local diocese hope to save a 120-year-old chapel near the Rio Grande.
Texas Tribune: In the Rio Grande Valley, plans for a border wall ignite fight between church and state

Giving and vocation
Insights: People of faith respond to a sense of calling in a host of ways, and philanthropic giving can be one meaningful response, says Melissa Spas.

Why it's so difficult for Catholic priests to eulogize suicide
Slate: The backlash to a homily at a teen's funeral is missing a few key points.
Associated Press: Parents demand removal of priest who criticized son's death

Informal networks of generosity are supporting asylum seekers on both sides of the border
The Conversation: Along the U.S.-Mexico border, help is often given in kind rather than in dollars and cents. Without it, migrants might have nowhere to go and nothing to eat.

In post-Soviet lands, theology and politics are hard to disentangle
The Economist: In Kiev and Moscow, church loyalties are a matter of state.

The Spark

An Advent lament for burnt-out teachers (and our needy students)
Being a teacher, Ben Self says, is easily the hardest thing he has ever done. So, in the last week before Christmas break, he offers up at Mockingbird a "lament before God, on behalf of my fellow burnt-out teachers (and our needy students)."

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