Wednesday's News & Ideas

  • The other side of Ferguson
  • Funerals without religion
  • Ferguson pastor on 'the talk'
  • Toughest pilgrimage?
  • Church comfort dog
  • Why we yawn

The other narrative about Ferguson, Mo.Religion News Service: Based on his years as a pastor there, Tom Ehrich says Ferguson is a strong community -- racially divided and angry, yes, but also rooted, with civic pride, strong churches, and a desire to make an integrated community work.

Burying your dead without religionThe Atlantic: The proportion of Americans who don't identify with a specific faith is growing. What does this mean for the future of funeral rites?

Ferguson pastor: How to handle a confrontation with the policeTime: Within African-American communities and families, "the talk" is too often a cautionary tale.

Is this the toughest pilgrimage in the world?The (London) Guardian: St Patrick's Purgatory is the Ironman of Christian pilgrimages, a gruelling three days of fasting, sleep-deprivation, hypothermia-inducing temperatures and prayer that attracts the gnarliest, toughest of pilgrims.

Church's comfort dog spreads joy on first dayThe Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch: At the end of Sunday's service at Atonement Lutheran Church, parishioners headed to the exit with their newest member ready to greet them -- Rosie, a 14-month-old golden retriever.

The Spark

The real reason we yawnResearchers are starting to unravel the mystery surrounding the yawn, the Wall Street Journal reports. Yawning, they have discovered, is much more complicated than previously thought.

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