Friday, March 7, 2014

Recommended Reading 3.7.14 Edition

Each week I send out a weekly e-mail of my thoughts to folks in my church.  I include in it what I found worth reading in the past week.  Here's this week's recommended reading:
  • You may have seen Matthew McConaughey's acceptance speech for the best actor Oscar at the Academy Awards this week.  He gave thanks to God and then said, "[God] has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates."  Of course, people of faith know this to be true, but so do people of science.  It apparently not only a religious "fact," but also a scientific one that gratitude underlies our relationships. 
  •  Did you read this week about the Roman Catholic Attorney General of Kentucky who opted not to defend the commonwealth's ban on same gender marriage?  It's nice when a politician's faith actually leads him to make principled decisions that defend oppressed people rather than politicians who use their religion to oppress people.
  • The Millennial generation is abandoning organized religion--here's a thoughtful piece by an atheist on why that's happening.
  • Why do we idolize sports figures?  Here's a great essay by a friend of mine (also an avid football fan) on why we do it and what it says about us.  
  • I like Pope Francis, and I think his views on poverty and the global economy are spot on.  I'm also grateful for his less judgmental approach to LGBT people--it's not the acceptance I would like, but it's better than his predecessors.  When it comes to his views on women, however, he is just as bad as the last two popes.  I'm thankful that the feminist Catholic theologian, Elizabeth Johnson, is still out there making the case that God loves women and wants them to flourish.  She continues to write and teach God does not wish women to be subordinate to men. Here's a great article about her. Her book She Who Is remains as one of the most important theological works--feminist or otherwise.  
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