By Stan Friedman
CHICAGO, IL (November 29, 2013) – Many Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos with one another that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday, we will post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement of any views expressed.
1. Hobby Lobby, the Little Sisters of the Poor and the NY Times. The website does a great job of examining how the media covers religion. In this article, they both praise and criticize the New York Times and its coverage of the so-called contraceptive mandate included in the Affordable Care Act. The Get Religion review is helpful in better understanding the issues involved and comes the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review two cases. Wouldn’t it be great if complicated issues could be reduced to sound bites?
2. Sweden Closes Four Prisons as Number of Inmates Plummets. The country is selling two prisons and will let other government entities use the remaining two of the four being closed unless they’re needed again for their original purpose. Nobody is exactly sure why the prison population is declining although speculation focuses on the country’s emphasis on rehabilitation over incarceration as well as judges handing out lighter sentences for drug offenses.
3. Chattanooga Arrests 32 “Worst of the Worst.” Which one of these pictures is not like the others? The similarities raise questions about the issue of criminal justice in our nation. The photos, which show all 32 of what Chattanooga’s police chief termed his city’s “worst” criminals, ran on the cover of the Chattanooga Free Times Press. Many readers complained, and the paper’s reporter wondered why “the worst of the worst” were all black, even though many in the group committed only minor crimes. Some answers might be found in author Michelle Alexander’s recent TED Talk. One thing’s for sure, the U.S. is not headed in the same direction as Sweden — and neither is Canada, as that nation’s prison population is at an all-time high. And there’s a New Jim Crow there, too, as the number of minorities is up 75 percent over the last decade.
4. Pope Calls for Big Changes in the Church. Pope Francis is at it again. This time he’s saying the Catholic Church may need to undergo some reformation. Women wanting to become priests shouldn’t expect that anytime soon, however. That’s still “not open for discussion.”
5. Women live in a profoundly different, more dangerous world. The former president isn’t letting anyone off the hook and writes, “One of the most powerful truths in my Christian faith is that I and all other people are equal in the eyes of God. Many believers of all religions – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists – violate this basic premise by claiming that men are exalted at the expense of women.”