Friday's News & Ideas - 12/4/2020

  • Metaxas’ transformation
  • Urging churches to stay closed
  • SCOTUS & religious decline
  • Reopened church’s pastor dies
  • Pandemic generosity?
  • The 1st Christmas card

How Eric Metaxas went from Trump despiser to true believer
Religion News Service: How a onetime aspiring public intellectual and Trump doubter turned into a true believer in stolen elections.

NIH director tells churches to do the “altruistic, loving thing” and stay closed
NPR: Collins, himself a regular churchgoer who speaks often about his Christian faith, discussed measures that church leaders can take to protect their congregations in a Zoom conversation on Thursday.

The Supreme Court is colliding with a less-religious America*
The Atlantic: Justices’ drive to promote “religious liberty” may only become more intense.

Pastor dies of COVID-19 weeks after Fontana megachurch reopened for indoor services*
The Los Angeles Times: An associate pastor for a megachurch in San Bernardino County died of COVID-19 about a month after the facility reopened indoor services.

Is the pandemic making people more generous -- or more selfish?
Vox: The data on how people are giving in 2020 may surprise you.

The Spark

Cheers! Or not: ‘Scandalous’ 1st Christmas card up for sale
The first commercially printed Christmas card is up for sale -- a merry Victorian-era scene that scandalized some who denounced it as humbug when it first appeared in 1843, the Associated Press reports.

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