THE AUTHOR INTERVIEW
MEET RACHEL—A new book by best-selling author Rachel Held Evans is a clarion call to Christians to reclaim the great treasures within their tradition. In our new interview with Rachel, she says that too many “Christians” seem to have forgotten about the core of their faith, especially those conservatives pushing for legalized bias against LGBT men and women. The truth is: Christianity is a spiritual treasure trove, if only Christians would remember and reclaim the best of their tradition. Rachel’s interview is both provocative and filled with hope!
WHY THIS MATTERS
FRANK BRUNI of the New York Times made a similar point in his Sunday column in the Times, urging Christians to wake up and realize that the future of their faith doesn’t depend on trying to bash LGBT men and women. He writes, “Homosexuality and Christianity don’t have to be in conflict in any church anywhere.” In the column, Bruni quotes evangelical Bible scholar Dr. David Gushee, author of Changing Our Mind.
BENJAMIN PRATT, the popular author and columnist, writes about the powerful ways sharing stories can build healthier communities. This week, Benjamin writes about the enduring influence of Bambi, a Life in the Forest, published nearly a century ago by the Jewish author Felix Staten, who was forced to flee the Nazis and died in 1945. There’s more to this “children’s story” than you may have guessed. Benjamin also announces the winner of his Bambi challenges. And, he poses a fresh challenge to readers—so, please, check out his invitation.
SOCIOLOGIST Dr. Wayne Baker, a leading scholar at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, writes that the trends described by Rachel Held Evans, Frank Bruni and David Gushee have been obvious for quite a while. What’s more, they relate to the 10 core values that define a United America. His series explores the American meaning of “Religious Freedom.”
- PART 1—Who’s on the right side of history?
- PART 2—‘The Good Wife’ (and polls) say we’re confused.
- PART 3—Could 100-plus tech leaders be wrong?
- PART 4—Were Thomas Jefferson and Shaker Ann Lee both right?
- PART 5—Can we transcend values conflicts?
HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES
ALL THE HOLIDAYS—Tell friends about www.InterfaithHolidays.com for our master calendar and dozens of fascinating cross-cultural stories. This week …
PASSOVER—Until sunset on Saturday, millions of Jewish families around the world celebrate their core belief that God liberated the people of Israel through the Exodus from Egypt.
- THE HOLIDAY—Jewish scholar Joe Lewis and Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton collaborate on telling the story of Passover.
- WHY PASSOVER MATTERS—Debra Darvick shares an inspiring story about how Passover both changes and remains the same in her family.
- FEED THE SPIRIT—Bobbie Lewis tells readers about the fascinating Jewish custom of scouring the house to get rid of “chametz” before Passover. Plus, yes, she’s got another tasty recipe—pineapple kugel (and, it’s gluten free)!
LINCOLN SCHOLAR DUNCAN NEWCOMER published a nationwide call to organize discussions for the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death (that milestone is “next week” on April 15, 1865). This week marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.
- IN NEW YORK The Lincoln Group of New York will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. A symposium on March 28 at the historic Cooper Union will include 2015 Lincoln Prize winner Harold Holzer, an appearance by “Walt Whitman,” and a keynote by the author of Freedom National (2013) James Oakes. For more details, read this PDF.
EASTER (PASCHA) CONTINUES—from Easter Monday (or Dyngus Day) festivities in the Western Christian tradition—to the Eastern Orthodox realm of Christianity where, this year, Pascha is celebrated on April 12. Meanwhile, some American churches like to celebrate April 12 as Holy Humor Sunday.
FILM, FAITH & POPULAR CUTURE
ALL THE REVIEWS—You’ll find more than 1,000 faith-and-film reviews at www.VisualParables.org
- NEW FROM ED McNULTY—Our faith-and-film reviewer highly recommends ’71, about Northern Ireland (5 out of 5 stars). Ed also reviews the chilling horror film It Follows (4 stars) and Wild Tales (5 stars).
- RODNEY CURTIS recommends that TV fans catch up with the terrific, provocative new series Better Call Saul.
- FAITH GOES POP—Ken Chitwood serves up a fascinating array of “sightings” this week. Here’s his opening line this week: “We’ve got a fresh new harvest of #FaithGoesPop sightings ranging from water bottles to the passion of Justin Bieber, from soul food seders to surf church and everything in between.” Now, how can you resist that!?!
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD
Good media builds healthy communities …
GODSIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman uncovers another amazing story, this one about a beloved Presbyterian minister who set out for Brazil on the eve of Pearl Harbor with his new wife. It’s his legacy, today, that will surprise you—and the story involves the tiny object this woman is holding in her hand.
ALL THE HEROES—You’ll find more than 100 inspiring profiles at www.InterfaithPeacemakers.com and new this week …
- DANIEL BUTTRY continues his series on Latin American peacemakers with stories of Paulo Freire, Gustavo Gutierez and Baruch Tenembaum.
BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—A great resource for classes and small groups is www.BullyingIsNoLaughingMatter.com where we display an ever-changing array of comics (with activity guides) that adults can use with kids to talk about the tough challenge of putting a stop to bullying. This week, we reach waaay back into comic history for Part 1 of a tale known as Daredevil. (And, no, it’s not the “Daredevil” you know from Marvel comics.)
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