Five for Friday: The Death of CCM, Red Cross Builds Few Haiti Homes, Truth About Chocolate

CHICAGO, IL (June 5, 2015) — 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 post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Who Killed the Contemporary Christian Music Industry?
The author begins with the claim that the plunge in sales of contemporary Christian music from 55 million records in its heyday to 17 million in 2014 is a reflection of America’s waning interest in Christianity as a whole. Yet writer Tyler Huckabee fails to back up that assertion. Instead, his evidence indicates that the downturn may have more to do with the music industry as a whole. One of the people Huckabee interviewed was Derek Webb, who helped start Caedmon’s Call, a band the author refers to as “a dusty afterthought of a bygone industry” and a microcosm of what has happened to the genre in general.

Red Cross Raised Half Billion Dollars for Haiti, Built Six Homes
The Red Cross tries to make excuses but there are none. This story is shameful. And it’s not the first time the organization has botched key aspects of its aid work. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider supporting Red Cross and its disaster relief until they get their house in order.

A Sneaky Cop Pretended to Be a Panhandler to Catch Drivers on Cell Phones
I’ve nearly been hit too many times by drivers talking on their cell phones. Why can’t we get it through our heads how dangerous this practice is? I’ve stood at four-way stops and seen drivers in every lane talking with phone in hand. As a former chaplain and newspaper reporter, I’ve seen too many dead bodies and dealt with too many grieving families because somebody did something stupid behind the wheel. If cash-strapped states and cities really wanted to do something to combat budget deficits and improve public safety, they would get aggressive about enforcing anti-cellphone laws.

Teacher to NBA Star: Stay Away from My School
High school English teacher Matt Amaral wrote an open letter asking NBA superstar Stephen Curry never to speak at Mt. Eden High School. Amaral said the school where he teaches is made up almost entirely of low-income students and an inspirational speech by Curry, who grew up privileged, would only give them false hopes about a future in professional sports. The post went viral with people chiming in both to laud the teacher for being honest and to denounce him as a horrible educator with no faith in his students. Charlton Jimerson, a former Mt. Eden student who went on to play four years in Major League Baseball, took exception and issued his own open letter to Curry to say he would love for the NBA player to speak at his alma mater. Amaral says he only wanted to spark a conversation about what opportunities are afforded people with privilege that are barely available to those who are not. He certainly did that.

I Fooled Millions into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss: Here’s How
Stories about the study claiming that eating chocolate helped with weight loss were picked up around the world. But the study itself was a cruel—oh so cruel—hoax. Scientist John Bohannon shows why we should be careful when we hear about studies that sound too good to be true. He lays out the steps of how he set up the study to achieve false positives (by using a small sample group) and to get his results widely published. The article is a good warning for all of us.




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