Wednesday's News & Ideas - 5/31/2017

  • Mosque wins discrimination case
  • Dozens arrested in health-care protest
  • Cloistered nuns on Facebook
  • Virtue and American politics
  • Remembering Brian Doyle
  • The glossary of happiness

NJ mosque wins $3.25 million in settlement of discrimination case
Religion News Service: A New Jersey mosque will receive $3.25 million from a township that repeatedly denied it the right to build a permanent house of worship. The township held 39 hearings on the planned building, which subjected mosque members to anti-Muslim tirades.

Dozens arrested after health-care protest in North Carolina
Associated Press: The Rev. William Barber, architect of the Moral Mondays movement, and 31 other protesters were led away by police as supporters continued protest chants in support of health care for all.

Cloistered nuns on Facebook: What’s not to like?
Religion News Service: With their own website, Facebook page and even a cellphone, the 10 remaining nuns in a convent in Oristano, Sardinia, are embracing the internet and social media and raising their profile as part of an effort to ensure the order’s survival.

The disappearance of virtue from American politics
The Atlantic: Sen. Ben Sasse has written a new book, “The Vanishing American Adult.” It advances a thesis that’s at once out of place at this political moment and almost too on-the-nose for the Trump years: He believes Americans have lost their sense of personal integrity and discipline.

Paying our respects to Brian Doyle
America: Writer and editor Brian Doyle, who died Saturday, had an ability to focus on all the easily missed moments that surround the bigger events of our days. He described these instants of faith, of doubt, of change. He saw the everyday with new eyes, writes Nigel Jaquiss.

The Spark

The glossary of happiness

The Positive Lexicography Project aims to catalogue foreign terms for happiness that have no direct English translation. It is a veritable catalogue of life’s many joys, featuring terms like utepils (Norwegian, “a beer that is enjoyed outside . . . particularly on the first hot day of the year”), mbuki-mvuki (Bantu, “to shed clothes to dance uninhibited”), tarab (Arabic, “musically induced ecstasy or enchantment”), and gigil (Tagalog, “the irresistible urge to pinch/squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished”).

It also raises the question: does language itself shape our thoughts and perceptions?