Where the money is: The Congressional Research Service reported that CEOs are paid, on average, 179 times more than rank-and-file workers—almost double the 90-to-one ratio of 1994. If the federal minimum wage had risen as much as executive pay has since 1990, it would now be $22.61 an hour, according to the Institute for Policy Studies. Instead, it increased to $5.85 on July 24, the first increase in a decade (AP).
Where would Jesus bike? Bicycling advocates in Chicago are seeking to close a network of boulevards on Sundays from May to October so they can be used by bikers, roller bladders and skaters. They’ve met resistance from some churches along the route. One of the pastors adamantly opposed to the plan is calling for a compromise—wait till Sunday afternoon to close the streets (Chicago Reader, June 22).
Icon you not: In June, an image of Jesus could seen on a car window in Texas, the word Allah was visible in a sliced tomato in Britain, the face of God could be seen on the ceiling of a Tennessee church and Elvis’s profile was sighted on a rock in Colorado (Chicago Sun-Times, June 19).
Poetic resemblance: Jewish theologian Neil Gillman once asked an Israeli astronomer, “Was the big bang loud?” Somewhat indignantly, the astronomer replied: “Of course not, there was no air so there was no sound.” When he found out that Gillman is a theologian, the astronomer smiled and said, “You know what? Big bang is much more theology than it is science. Both are poetry” (Cross Currents, Spring).
Silent retreat: Brian Doyle, sometime contributor to the Christian Century, reports that his sister, who lives in a monastery, once went on a summer-long silent retreat. He asked her what her first words were when she broke her silence. She grinned and said “Pass the butter,” and when he complied, she laughed: those actually were her first words after the retreat. He also asked her if it had been hard to remain silent. At first it was, she said, but then it had become a prayer (U.S. Catholic, June).