Wednesday's News & Ideas

  • Church of U2
  • Pitfalls of righteous rhetoric
  • Dawkins, Down syndrome & logic
  • Mainline tensions over Israel
  • Vatican weddings & coming changes
  • Slow Reading Club

The Church of U2The New Yorker: Even critics and fans who know about U2's Christianity often underestimate how important it is to the band's music, and to the U2 phenomenon.

Us v. Them: The pitfalls of righteous rhetoricReligion & Politics: "Chaos rhetoric" has deep roots in American political history, new book argues.

Dawkins, Down syndrome and the bankrupt logic of utilitarianismAustralian Broadcasting, Religion & Ethics blog: Fundamentalists often say that they are "merely following the logic." History shows how often "merely following logic" leads to evil.

Yale chaplain's resignation reflects larger mainline tensions over IsraelReligion News Service: Flare-up reflects ongoing debate within several mainline denominations about divestment from Israel, sensitivities around anti-Semitism and uneasy attempts to strike a balance.

Pope's marriage celebrations hint at coming changes for ChurchTIME: Popes rarely preside over public marriage ceremonies, but when they do, they tend to be linked to moments when the Church is trying to make a bigger point about the place of the family in society.

The Spark

Read slowly to benefit your brain and cut stressOnce a week, members of a New Zealand, book club arrive at a cafe, grab a drink, shut off their cellphones, and read in silence for an hour, the Wall Street Journal reports. The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from electronic devices and read, uninterrupted.

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