In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
Last week Pew released some more data from its spring survey on the rise of the nones. They asked people if they thought the growing number of "people who are not religious" is good, bad or neutral for American society. One interesting finding: while most of the nones said neutral, nearly as many said "bad" as "good." Almost a fifth of the nones think the growth of the nones—of their own group—is bad for society. Lots of people seem surprised by this finding.
I like Keith Getty's "In Christ Alone." I think the PCUSA hymnal committee probably made the right call on the whole "wrath of God was satisfied" business, but still: it's a good song for congregational use, accessible but with some theological meat. It's a little bizarre, however, to present "In Christ Alone" and Getty's other songs as one side of a two-sided debate over church music, as NPR does here.
A recent report from PLOS One finds that growth in global agricultural yield is not projected to keep up with growth in demand. Brad Plumer picked it up, and someone gave his post this blog-snappy headline: "This terrifying chart shows we're not growing enough food to feed the world." Well, not exactly.
I spent last week on a rural island in Wisconsin, where the Century was cosponsoring the Wisconsin Council of Churches' annual summer forum. It was a great event. It was also a pretty momentous news week, and there I was away from the office and mostly offline. Since returning I've been taken aback by just how much more ink the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act decision has gotten than its Voting Rights Act decision.
The money in the farm bill is dominated by food stamps. The debate over it is dominated by everything else. But debate or no debate, the Senate wants to cut food stamps a little, the House wants to cut them a lot more, and now GOP Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas wants to bring House Democrats around to the farm bill by making sure food stamps will get slashed regardless.
David Brooks says some silly stuff, but his June 14 column included a doozy even for him: "In Corinthians, Jesus tells the crowds..." The text was soon corrected to identify the letter as First Corinthians and its writer as Paul, though as of today it still has him telling crowds things. Whatever. Michael Peppard finds the error ironic.