Thursday's News & Ideas

  • Pope: No free agents
  • Prayer as a cultural bridge
  • Religion & misogyny
  • History of Mormon excommunication
  • Contempt & Christianity
  • Average is OK

Church is essential for faith; there are no 'free agents,' pope saysCatholic News Service: Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis says.

Prayer can help promote unity in diverse settingsNew York Magazine: Prayer can serve as a useful "bridging cultural practice" that increases group cohesion, researchers say.

Hey religion, your misogyny is showingCNN Belief Blog: Patriarchy comes in all forms, but religious patriarchy seems particularly pernicious, Randal Jelks says.

Banishing dissent: The excommunication of Mormon activist Kate KellyReligion & Politics: For Mormons, disciplining individual members has a long history and has been a fairly predictable response to uncomfortable moments in the church's cautious reconciliation with modernity.

The problem of contempt in ChristianityThe American Conservative: What if we tried to assume the best of the other, looked for shared truths, united on core doctrine, and spoke with honesty and generosity about the things we see as misguided or wrong?

The Spark

In defense of being averageIn today's competitive world, being called "average" feels offensive, Fast Company reports. The suggestion that you're just like everybody else is an insult. Instead, we all want to be special, unique, and exceptional. Except that the vast majority of us are not.

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