Five for Friday: Inventing a Religion, Grief Police, Valentine’s Day at White Castle

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CHICAGO, IL (January 22, 2016) — 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.

The World’s Poorest Households Are More Likely to Have a Mobile Phone Than a Toilet
Drive around some of the poorest countries, and you will see numerous ads for cell phones in remote areas. In places where homes have no electricity, roadside vendors use generators to charge villagers’ phones. The spread of the technology was supposed to help economies develop and provide more opportunities for the poor. That isn’t what’s happened according to a report by the World Bank.

If You Could Invent a Religion, What Would It Look Like?

Wikipedia_Wordle_-_Religion (1)The New York Jewish nonprofit and cultural center 92nd Street Y is partnering with the radio broadcast and website On Being on a contest in which people propose a new religion that would make the world a better place.

The contest is being run entirely on Facebook, and organizers encourage people to “Imagine a religion or philosophy that cuts across boundaries, strengthens our sense of community and acts as a force of good. Design a new philosophy to live our lives, a framework for a new belief system—or a reimagining of an existing one.”

Enter the Grief Police

bird griefHow long should you grieve after someone dies? How public or private should that grief be? Who are you even “allowed” to grieve over? If you don’t do it right, there always is someone eager to let you know. Now in the age of social media when more and more people are grieving publicly online, plenty of others are telling them to shut up and get over it.

After David Bowie’s recent death, many fans expressed their grief in various ways. Many others responded by lambasting them, including the film critic for Britain’s The Sunday Times, who took to social media to say she was sickened by the “Bowie blubberers” and that “After several lengthy trips to the vomitorium today, I am now rather dreading what will happen on social media when Paul McCartney dies.”

But the story’s writer Megan Garber offers a more generous perspective: “It was evidence of people doing what they always will: using the tools available to express themselves and share their feelings with other people. They were forming a community of grief. #RIPDavidBowie was a hashtag, yes; it was also a funeral.”

The 484 People Killed in Chicago in 2015
The names of each person who was killed, their age, and the neighborhood in which they were killed are all listed on one page that appeared in the editorial section of The Chicago Tribune. It is a powerful expression of grief and anger. The same neighborhoods show up frequently on the list. For the story behind each killing, the site DNA Info has information on the person who died, including some photos and links to the story of their death.

White Castle Is Accepting Valentine’s Day Reservations Again
white castle reservationThis year marks the 25th anniversary of White Castle offering its Valentine’s Day special, which is so popular that reservations are recommended for the special evening that features tableside service.

If you think a great divide exists between the worldviews of Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, it’s nothing like the chasm between those who love the greasy gastronomic goodness that is the original slider and those who have no appreciation for the finer things in life. Given these differences, couples need to be aware of any such division in their relationships. It may be the 25th anniversary of the Valentine’s Day special, but if men suggest to their wives that they celebrate at the porcelain palace, they may not live to see their next anniversary.




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