Five for Friday: Religion in the Air, Disqualified Male Pastors, Earth’s Lungs

Air france

CHICAGO, IL (April 8, 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.

Cases of Religious Intolerance in the Air Demand a Response

Air France will soon resume flights to Iran after an eight-year hiatus, but female flight attendants are objecting to the company’s requirement that they wear hijabs when exiting the plane in Iran. At the same time, another case on an El Al flight raises the question of how far airlines should go to accommodate religious beliefs.

From the article: “El Al, Israel’s flag carrier, provoked dismay when cabin crew asked Renee Rabinowitz, a retired lawyer, to move seats, after a haredi (ultra orthodox Jew) man refused to sit next to her, claiming that such proximity to a woman was against his religion.”

The writer goes on to suggest that the airlines are wrong in both cases but the Air France issue is less egregious. It does seem clear that an airline cannot be expected to accommodate the religious beliefs of every single passenger. Yet Air France is hardly placing an undue burden on its attendants. After all, it is not uncommon for companies to prescribe dress codes for their employees.

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Seven Reasons Men Should Not Be Pastors

Sometimes the best way to deal with widely held beliefs is to turn them on their head. Many women pastors say they have heard most of these critiques. The text accompanying the video encourages people to check out the work of the late David Scholer, who originated the list. The text references his time as professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, but before that, he was a much beloved professor at North Park Seminary.

cage free chickens

What Does Cage-Free Really Mean?

More major companies say they will move to selling only cage-free eggs. But cage-free doesn’t mean free-range. It means the chickens won’t be stuck in cages that prevent them from moving, as has been the case for millions of birds. They’re still crammed together, just not in cages.

Even that transition won’t come quickly.

From the article: “And switching a huge company to 100 percent cage-free is way easier said than done. It will take decades and require a massive overhaul of industrial egg-farming practices until you can be sure all your breakfast sandwiches and cookies are made with cage-free eggs.”

Mind-blowing statistic: Walmart buys 11 billion eggs a year.

tree lungs

Earth Has Lungs, Watch Them Breathe

The levels of carbon dioxide in the air plunged between June and November thanks to trees. A wonderful NASA video presents a stunning depiction of a year in the life of Earth’s CO2. But despite there being an estimated 3.1 trillion trees in the world, there are not enough to keep up with the rising carbon dioxide levels, and the number of trees is falling. After reading the article, you will not only want to hug a tree to say thank you, you’ll want to plant some.

As a side note, treat yourself to the fascinating podcast Radiolab, which is co-hosted by the article’s author, Robert Krulwich.


Emory Students Upset over Pro-Trump Chalkings

Student response to chalked messages supporting Trump on Emory’s campus seems to be yet another example of college students who argue for inclusion yet do so by seeking to crush free speech. If the First Amendment doesn’t apply to everyone, it can’t apply to anyone.

From the article: “I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well…I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school.”




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