Friday's News & Ideas - 4/30/2021

  • Preachers & ghostwriters
  • Religion’s role in pandemic
  • CT ends religious vaccine exemption
  • Black Protestants on denomination
  • Quebec’s secularization
  • Will movie theaters survive?

Why some preachers rely on holy ghostwriters and other pulpit helps
Religion News Service: To keep up with the demand for high-quality sermons, preachers often turn to ghostwriters and researchers, without telling their congregation. At least one expert calls that ‘cheating.’

Religion both helped and hurt during the pandemic
Scientific American: It was good, on balance, for people’s mental health -- but not so good for physical health.

Connecticut ends its state religious vaccine exemption
Associated Press: Connecticut will no longer allow a religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements for schools, colleges and day care facilities, becoming the sixth state to end that policy.

What Black Protestants say about denominational affiliation
Pew Research: When it comes to choosing a house of worship, most Black Americans don’t prioritize denominational labels. A welcoming congregation and inspiring sermons are far more important to them, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.

How Quebec went from one of the most religious societies to one of the least*
Christian Century: Americans don’t have to look as far away as Europe for an example of how quickly secularization can come.

The Spark

Crowds, concentration, and a new perspective: The case for movie theaters
The pandemic taught us what theaters are for, Vox says.

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