THOUSANDS OF LIVES CHANGED,
STARTING WITH THE AUTHOR
COVER STORY—ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm interviews Dr. David P. Gushee, the leading Christian ethicist who published a startling book one year ago. In Changing Our Mind, Gushee admitted that his past “Christian” teachings condemning LGBT men and women—were wrong. Since that publication, Gushee has circled the planet speaking in churches, universities, seminaries and other venues to large crowds who mainly appreciate what he has done. He also has weathered strident attacks from critics who still staunchly condemn his new friends. Live near Michigan? This story ends with links to information about two major appearances by Gushee in southeast Michigan in early October.
POPE FRANCIS … AND POP FRANCIS
FROM KEN CHITWOOD—Pop Francis? No, that’s not a typo! FaithGoesPop columnist and religion scholar Ken Chitwood charts the cross-over from sacred to secular as Papal-mania spills across the Americas. You’ll especially love his 10 Best Pop Francis Sightings, including Bobblehead Francis.
SERIOUSLY FOLKS—Ken Chitwood’s ongoing FaithGoesPop column has lots of thought-provoking photos and stories about the many ways religion and popular culture mingle in America. AND, our readers also are enjoying this column by David Crumm about Pope Francis and his inclusive message.
FESTIVALS & FOOD
THE EQUINOX—It’s one of the world’s oldest annual festivals, revived by modern Pagans as Mabon to mark the time when day and night equalize. FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis has a story about Mabon, which includes a delicious recipe for apple cake that you’ll enjoy whatever your religious tradition might be. And, our Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton also reports on the Mabon/Equinox milestone, including Do It Yourself links to crafts ranging from applehead dolls and corn dollies to a pinecone wreath.
SUKKOT—One of the world’s oldest harvest festivals is the joyous Jewish tradition of Sukkot, which involves building outdoor, temporary shelters with thatched rooves open enough to look up and see the autumn stars at night. Stephanie Fenton has the story. Stephanie also reports on the world’s most valuable fruit, the etrog, highly prized as a key symbol during Sukkot prayers. This year, many etrogs are coming from Morocco, she reports.
AND FROM INDIA—It’s the annual festival celebrating the courageous god in Hindu tradition who has the head of an elephant: Ganesha. The Holidays column has this overview of the holiday, including news about ecological trends in the creation of the countless elephant-shaped statues for the festival. Then, FEED THE SPIRIT welcomes Hindu scholar, writer and activist Padma Kuppa, who describes her family’s experiences with the festival, and provides a delicious recipe, as well! THIS WEEK, we add a new story about Anant Chaturdashi, the colorful and dramatic celebration as Ganesh departs for the year.
WHAT DO OUR COMICS SAY ABOUT US?
OUR VALUES—Sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker, the founder of the OurValues project welcomes a special series, this week, on the values reflected in the comics that now dominate American media. Are you wondering how that statement can be true? Comics are dominant now in ways that might surprise you. It’s time to explore what our comics say about us, and our American culture.
- Part 1—What’s your favorite comic?
- Part 2—Little Orphan Annie and ‘United America.‘
- Part 3—Beetle Bailey and the Greatest Generation.
- Part 4—Rabbi Harvey and other minority heroes.
- Part 5—Create your own! Kurt Kolka launched The Cardinal.
BACK TO SCHOOL—International peace activist Daniel Buttry invites readers to meet some of the younger generation of peacemakers. “They are taking us all back to school by new ways of organizing and expressing their activism,” Buttry writes. And this week, “we look at emerging young leaders in Africa, two peacemakers amid hot conflicts, and one former child soldier who became a rapping voice for peace.”
- EMMANUEL JAL—This former child soldier “escaped hell” and now uses music to promote peace.
- BOAZ KIEBARAK—This Kenyan activist is inspired by his inclusive approach to Christianity to build bridges between communities in conflict.
- ANTHONY FABRICE KETTEMALLET—A school teacher risks working for peace and justice in Central African Republic.
- REMEMBER—The simple Web address www.InterfaithPeacemakers.com takes you to more than 100 inspiring profiles of men and women who have crossed boundaries in pursuit of peace.
FAITH and FILM
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty.
- YOUNG & PRODIGIOUS T.S. SPIVET—Americans loved the unusual illustrated novel about this eccentric young map maker from Montana. Now, the movie version also is delightful, says Ed McNulty (4.5 out of 5 stars)
- HE NAMED ME MALALA—The new documentary film about the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize honoree is wonderful, says Ed McNulty, giving it 5 out of 5 stars. (Earlier, Interfaith Peacemakers profiled Malala’s painful and daring pursuit of peace.)
- BLACK MASS—This film about the master criminal “Whitey” Bolger is gripping! (4 stars)
- LEARNING TO DRIVE—It’s extremely rare to find a Sikh main character in movie and, here, Ben Kingsley does a marvelous job in the role. (4 stars)