Five for Friday: Libraries of the Future, the Immorality of Watching Football

By Stan Friedman

CHICAGO, IL (September 5, 2014) — 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 of any views expressed.

25 Ways to Ask Your Kids “So How Was School Today?” without Asking Them “So How Was School Today?”

If you want to hear responses that are more than “fine,” or “good,” try these questions. I love this one: “If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?” I would have chosen Melody W. She was the school bully.

Are You Ready?

This brief article on preparing for disasters states, “Dealing with a disaster situation is difficult enough, but problems can compound if you support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” This is an excellent piece for churches as well as individuals. For more information about working with people who have disabilities, check out the Covenant’s Disability Ministry website. There is also a survey for churches to fill out to help determine what other resources might be needed.

Help Your Library Pursue Part of $2.5 Million Innovation Prize

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury once said, “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” The Knight Foundation has issued a challenge to libraries to develop proposals addressing “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?” But first the foundation wants to hear how libraries have inspired you and what you see as challenges and opportunities.

You could quote Groucho Marx, who quipped, “I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.” When you’re done, make sure your local library knows about the challenge.

Pew: Social Media Fosters a “Spiral of Silence” on Controversial Issues

Given the role social media has played in discussions, rants, debates—and action—related to Ferguson, Missouri, and race, the results in this Pew report might seem counterintuitive. Then again, the study occurred before the shooting of Michael Brown last month, and evaluated responses to just one issue—the release of documents by Edward Snowden. This article acknowledges that “The spiral of silence theory may not have been proven if the issue were something different.” Yet the Pew results show that “the fear of isolation, being disagreed with and becoming ostracized by social media followers and friends is evidently a real concern for Facebook and Twitter users.”

Is Watching Football Immoral?

Lifelong fan and author Steve Almond now thinks it is immoral to watch football and vows to never view another game. He reasons, “Football is a remarkably exciting game, but it also reinforces a lot of basic American pathologies around race, violence, greed, sexuality, sexual orientation, and we give a free pass. We don’t even think of it as something that deserves moral scrutiny, when it’s the biggest thing in America. And that’s nuts.”

There are a whole lot of reasons to criticize football. Did you know, for example, that the NFL has special tax-exempt status, yet its commissioner Roger Goodell made $44 million last year? That’s nuts.

What’s also nuts was the way the Seattle Seahawks thrashed the Green Bay Packers last night, 36-16.




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