News & Ideas

Friday's News & Ideas - 4/19/2024

  • Volunteer school chaplains approved in Fla.
  • Housing effort faces pushback
  • Politics and religious influence
  • House bill on 'Hinduphobia' 
  • Russians attack Ukrainian churches
  • Which poets should I read?

Ron DeSantis brings volunteer chaplains into schools in the name of religion
Fortune: The only requirements for a chaplain to participate would be passing a background check and having their name and religious affiliation listed on the school website. 

'A NIMBY case': Houston pastor battles downtown real estate developers
Houston Chronicle: Rudy Rasmus, once Beyoncé's preacher at St. John's Downtown, is facing pushback as he helps build a development for people experiencing homelessness.

Why religion is becoming an even stronger force within the Republican Party*
Washington Post: Religion is declining in America overall but in some ways becoming an even more important force within the Republican Party. We have less religion but still very religiously influenced politics, writes Perry Bacon Jr.

House bill aims to condemn ‘Hinduphobia’ but draws concern from progressive groups
NBC News: The resolution has several points, including that the House celebrates the contributions of Hindus and condemns anti-Hindu bigotry. But progressive groups say “Hinduphobia” was invented by the Indian far-right to shut down criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Russia is waging a war against religious freedom in Ukraine
The Hill: At least 630 religious sites have been damaged, looted or destroyed due to Russian aggression. Russia’s physical and spiritual pincer movement has wrought incredible destruction upon Ukraine’s religious landscape.

The Spark

Leila Mottley picks 10 books to read this National Poetry Month
Writer Leila Mottley recommends books by poets ranging from Ocean Vuong and Ntozake Shange to Sonia Sanchez, Good Morning America says.

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Nathalie Nelson Parker

Reflective Leadership Grants offer a step back

“The ability to slow down ... allowed me time to listen, explore and be more impactful for the communities I am called to serve.” 

— Nathalie Nelson Parker, Civitas Consulting Group 

Christian leaders from a variety of roles are welcome to apply. The grants provide “balcony time” to reflect on accomplishments, broaden perspectives and discern next steps. The application deadline is May 28, 2024.

Learn More