Friday's News & Ideas - 11/1/2019

  • Paula White joins White House
  • Witness faces xenophobic attacks
  • PTS scraps apartment plans 
  • A Rocha leaders killed
  • Tubman driven by faith
  • What can speaking Klingon teach us?

Paula White, Trump’s personal pastor, joins the White House*
New York Times: White, a controversial figure even among evangelical Christians, will be overseeing a White House division that conducts outreach to key parts of the president’s base.

Alexander Vindman's testimony against Trump revives anti-Semitic accusations of divided loyalties
NBC: Attacks on Vindman’s Americanness are particularly worrisome, for in addition to the xenophobia, they are tinged with anti-Semitism: the trope of a Jew being disloyal to their country, writes Lev Golinkin.

Princeton Theological Seminary scraps plans to build new student housing on Stockton Street
Planet Princeton: Seminary officials cited increased cost estimates for the project, which involved tearing down existing buildings and constructing new apartments. The plan was met with neighborhood opposition.

A Rocha co-founder, CEO killed in crash in South Africa
Christianity Today: Miranda Harris and Chris Naylor helped lead the organization’s groundbreaking global efforts to bring together Christian convictions and environmental concerns. Peter Harris and the driver, who both survived the crash, remain in stable condition.

Harriet Tubman, in movie and real life, guided by faith in fight for freedom
Religion News Service: Faith was the principal driver of everything Tubman did to help people escape slavery, historians say.

The Spark

Tongue twisters
Invented languages -- or conlangs -- have a scientific and cultural impact far beyond Klingon or Elvish. Conlangs are exploding, thanks to the internet, and researchers are trying to answer big questions about how we learn languages using conlangs as experimental probes.

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