Thursday's News & Ideas - 5/6/2021

  • Political privilege & secularization
  • Livestreaming funerals?
  • Communion power struggles
  • Buddhism on the lotus flower
  • QAnon podcast
  • Brood X cicadas are coming

Political privilege is harmful for Christianity
Christianity Today: Our analysis of 166 nations suggests the biggest threat to Christian vitality is not persecution, affluence, education, or pluralism. It’s state support.

At last, I will be able to help bereaved people say a proper farewell at funerals
The Guardian: The Church of England said that around four in 10 funerals were livestreamed during the pandemic. Of the people who watched one, more than two-thirds said they felt live streams were a good idea.

Bishops’ move to press Biden not to take Communion reflects power struggle in split Catholic Church
The Conversation: President Joe Biden is the highest-profile and most powerful lay Catholic in American life today -- but he also holds policy views that diverge from many Catholic bishops. And that is causing some problems.

Repairing generations of trauma, one lotus flower at a time*
The New York Times: The lotus flower, blooming out of muddy waters, has long been a symbol of rising above suffering. In the wake of Anti-Asian attacks, spiritual leaders hope it can help heal the trauma of racial violence in the U.S.
Religion News Service: Six arrested in burglary of an Arkansas Buddhist temple, in what may be a nationwide spree

United Methodist pastor’s podcast ‘Cross Over Q’ challenges QAnon, comforts its victims
Religion News Service: In the first episode of his podcast, Vicar Derek Kubilus describes QAnon as ‘the most violent and dangerous Christian heresy to come along this century.’

The Spark

Cicadas have an existential problem
When the cicadas* of Brood X start to swarm the United States in their billions, try to look beyond their overwhelming numbers. Instead, focus on just one of them, The Atlantic says

*access is limited for nonsubscribers

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