Friday's News & Ideas - 4/29/2016

  • China signals continued religious crackdown
  • Professor sues Gordon College
  • Last survivor of speaks of rescuing WW2 intellectuals
  • Why you helped that stranger
  • Catholic women seek diaconate
  • English battle against American squirrels

China reveals what it wants to do with Christianity
Christianity Today: The death of a pastor's wife who was buried alive by a bulldozer trying to protect their church has shocked Christians worldwide. But the president’s long-awaited speech on religion will impact Chinese Christians much more.
TIME: China’s leader Xi Jinping reminds party members to be ‘unyielding Marxist atheists’

Fallout from speaking out
Inside Higher Ed: A Gordon professor is suing the college, accusing it of retaliating against her for opposing a controversial request that the institution be exempt from a federal law barring discrimination against LGBTQ employees.

The professor's daring past
New York Times: Justus Rosenberg, 95, is thought to be the last remaining member of a team assembled by the journalist Varian Fry to provide safe passage out of Vichy France to anti-fascist intellectuals fleeing the Nazis. Two thousand men and women, including Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall and André Breton, were shepherded to safety.

Why you just helped that stranger
Wall St. Journal: Belief in a “moralizing god” may help to explain some of the human capacity for pro-social cooperation among strangers, new research indicates.

Women want to be deacons, want clergy to speak up about it
National Catholic Reporter: Catholic women who feel called to the diaconate are speaking out and sharing their stories of call, writes Christine Schenk.

The Spark

The epic century-long English battle to rid itself of American squirrels

North American grey squirrels – which first entered Britain as pets for the upper classes in the Victorian era -- are decimating the native red squirrels. Under the Squirrel Accord, conservationists such as Prince Charles are seeking to control the grey squirrel population and save the red squirrels. And that’s where things get messy.