Disney still promises ‘A Beautiful Tomorrow’
COVER STORY—This year is the 60 anniversary of Walt Disney’s daring expansion in 1955 from movies into daily television with The Mickey Mouse Club and amusement parks with the opening of Disneyland. In our Cover Story, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm writes about a three-generation spiritual pilgrimage his family undertook to Disney World. Then, GodSigns author Suzy Farbman—an expert on the life-saving power of spiritual inspiration—shares some of her all-time favorite lines from Disney characters.
MEET THE VETS EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
‘THE HAT’—Have you seen this hat? Do you know what it means to many who wear it? Today, MSU’s Joe Grimm continues our series—Meeting ‘Our’ Veterans—with the inspiring story of one man who wears such a hat.
THE SERIES—The Michigan State University veterans project, launched by students at the MSU School of Journalism, is far bigger than a single new book. Headline news about the project has appeared in more than 200 media outlets—fueled by AP reporter Jeff Karoub’s story: “Journalism students aim to dispel myths about veterans.” The title is 100 Questions and Answers About Veterans, but the “book” really is a nationwide multimedia effort packaged in book form. Read our first story about the project—and see some videos included in the book.
IS AMERICAN MORALITY CHANGING?
OUR VALUES—Or … are we losing our moral bearings? New Gallup research shows how far “we” have moved to the “left” in recent years. This week in the OurValues series, sociologist Wayne Baker explores how far we’ve moved—and asks readers to talk with friends about why we are seeing so much change.
- PART 1—So, are we really more tolerant? Or just slipping morally?
- PART 2—Is anything morally wrong anymore?
- PART 3—How bad is the overall state of moral values?
- PART 4—Is “soft” religion the problem?
- Just catching up with OurValues? Dr. Baker just finished a series you’ll definitely want to share with friends if you’re an animal lover. It’s about Americans’ growing belief that animals have rights, too.
WHO SHAPED OUR MORAL CODE?
- ROGER WILLIAMS—The founder of Rhode Island was a strong advocate for religious liberty.
- HAYM SALOMON—A “Financial Hero of the American Revolution,” Salomon also was an early activist against ethnic bigotry.
- JOHN LELAND—This Baptist minister worked hard to ensure protection for religion in our U.S. Constitution.
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
DON’T MISS ONE! Tell friends about www.InterfaithHolidays.com
- CELEBRATE SUMMER! Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton provides a spirited overview of summer holidays and special month-long themes. (Did you know there’s a National Ice Cream Month?) Seriously, she also forecasts a long, hot Ramadan this year—and looks ahead to two WWII milestones 70 years ago that reshaped our world.
- LAILAT al BARA’AH—A special occasion for Muslim prayer in many communities worldwide.
- CORPUS CHRISTI / ALL SAINTS—This Christian holiday varies in tradition from Western to Eastern branches of the church.
AND POPULAR CULTURE
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of faith-and-film reviews by Edward McNulty.
- LOVE AND MERCY—Don’t miss this movie version of the troubled life of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, starring both Paul Dano and John Cusack. (Ed gives 5 out of 5 stars.)
- GOOD KILL—A powerful film about the men and women who fire deadly rockets. (4.5 stars)
- DESERT DANCER—Seek out this unusual Iranian film. It’s worth the search. (4.5 stars)
- FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD—It’s not a bad remake—and a good choice for couples planning a night out, Ed says. (4 stars)
- MAD MAX—Ed says it’s basically one long, violent chase scene turned into a movie, but there are some deeper themes as well. (3 stars)
FAITH GOES POP—The creative mind of www.FaithGoesPop.com columnist Ken Chitwood serves up a mixed bag of religion sightings.
STORIES THAT SHAPE OUR LIVES
“STORIES that shape your life” is a core theme at ReadTheSpirit. We’re inviting you to take part!
- BELOVED STORIES—Benjamin Pratt started this series with Bambi and The Wizard of Oz. Debra Darvick added A Hole Is to Dig. Mitch Horowitz told about Stevie. Sociologist Wayne Baker focused on the power of stories to inspire kids about the natural world—and Suzy Farbman told the story of real-life reading activist Pam Good.
- WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Come on! It’s your turn. Readers already are emailing us at [email protected] so, please: What’s your story?
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD
Good media builds healthy communities …
CELEBRATE WITH RODNEY! Since his life-threatening diagnosis of cancer, author, humorist and photographer Rodney Curtis has inspired countless men and women nationwide by poking fun at the dreaded foe: cancer. Please, check out his memoir. Today, in a new column, he celebrates a five-year milestone!
BOB ALPER—The author of Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This continues to criss-cross the nation. Any chance you’ll be near Cape Cod later this month? He’s performing later this month at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater.
FEED THE SPIRIT—Adventurous food writer Bobbie Lewis guides us, each week, in appreciating our diverse cultures through the flavors and stories she shares with us. This week, Bobbie embarks on a global quest to understand the culture of—turnips! If you’ve been away over the holiday, you’ll enjoy the previous guest column by marketing pro Nancy Schwartz who shares some savvy lessons from the remarkable life of Aunt Frances—plus a recipe for her braised cabbage and onions.
DR. DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind will play a key role at the Atlanta Reformation Project Conference June 11-13 with Matthew Vines. The conference is a national gathering of Christians working toward inclusion with LGBT men and women. For more details, including ticket information, click here or on the Reformation image.
‘END THE SUFFERING’—The new video by Ken Wilson and the Third Way Newsletter team—called “End the Suffering“—is reaching viewers across the country. If you care about LGBT inclusion in churches—please watch this video, too, and share it with friends. The www.ThirdWayNewsletter.com is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women. And, fans of Parker Palmer should check out this news item about Palmer’s own call for a Third Way in America.