Thursday's News & Ideas - 12/17/2020

  • Holy Land during COVID
  • Mormonism’s third century
  • Pastor cuts SBC ties
  • Vaccine ethics
  • Divisions in faith & politics
  • Naomi Osaka’s voice

Holy Land preps for scaled-down Christmas amid COVID-19
Crux: Like much of the rest of the world, the Holy Land -- the place of Jesus’s birth, ministry and death -- has felt the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result, will be celebrating Christmas a little differently this year.

The most American religion*
The Atlantic: Perpetual outsiders, Mormons spent 200 years assimilating to a certain national ideal -- only to find their country in an identity crisis. What will the third century of the faith look like?

Ralph D. West, Houston pastor, cuts ties to Southern Baptists over critical race theory rejection
Religion News Service: A pastor pursuing a doctorate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, announced in an editorial that he was withdrawing from his degree program and severing his megachurch’s affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention over a recent statement by its seminary presidents on critical race theory.

The COVID-19 vaccine is here. What ethics should guide its rollout?
Sojourners: Initially, the available doses of the vaccine are limited; experts estimate that it could be months before the vaccine is available to most Americans. And for the incoming administration as well as public health experts, this raises a number of ethical questions, most importantly: Who should be the first to receive the vaccine?

Church vandalism exposes divisions over faith and politics
Associated Press: Vandalism at four downtown Washington churches after rallies in support of President Donald Trump is exposing rifts among people of faith as the nation confronts bitter post-election political divisions.

The Spark

How putting on a mask raised Naomi Osaka’s voice
The tennis star used her time away from competing during the pandemic to reflect on the world and her place within it. When the time came to speak,* she approached it in her own distinct way, according to The New York Times.

*access is limited for nonsubscribers

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