1. This is perhaps the most far-reaching and devastating news, which is why I’m leading with it. Those who pay attention already know that Christians are globally persecuted more than any other religion. A year ago, however, UK’s Jeremy Hunt asked the Bishop of Truro to assess the extent of the problem. A year later, he’s not done because the problem is too big. And western church leaders rarely address it, nor do we hear much about it from our western media sources. Christianity is wrongly considered a “white colonialist” religion; it’s not PC to admit that the vast majority of Christians persecuted around the world are not only poor (i.e. not colonizers), but those we call “people of color” — that is, not European. You can read more about it here or elsewhere. There are, thankfully, a number of media outlets that reported on the UK’s investigation.
2. Meanwhile, in the US, our elected officials have gotten into the game of harassing Christians who protest outside Planned Parenthood. Or, I should say, one elected official: Brian Sims, a representative from Pennsylvania. I’ve now watched two of his videos, in which he harasses and berates protestors who are praying the rosary. His anger and hatred towards Catholics is over-the-top; I rightly concluded that he had grown up Catholic (verified by the Wiki on him). He’s also gay, which might explain his anger toward the church. He might have also been damaged by somebody in the church, but that’s too big a leap to make without evidence. All I know is that he’s an incredibly broken man, and he’s trying to fix himself by venting his emotions on those he considers to be “fake Christians”. The most disturbing part is his asking his viewing audience to dox the protestors and to protest outside their houses. I first heard of this on Catholic radio, but you can read more about his harassment here. For an even more disturbing video, go to his Twitter account. He links out to a Periscope, where he harasses an elderly woman who’s doing nothing but pacing and holding onto a rosary. She tries to ignore him, but you can see her getting increasingly nervous as his emotionally-volatile shouting continues.
3. This is a difficult one to respond to. Over the weekend, Rachel Held Evans died. At one time, I read her blog and her books with interest because she came on the Christian nonfiction/memoir scene strong a number of years ago as an anti-evangelical Christian. Being neither a millennial nor a progressive, I found both the furor and love over her writing fascinating. Furor, as in, many people considered her a heretic. Others found her to be the voice they needed to hear as they grappled with how to be a Christian and a progressive at the same time, which does present a few intriguing dilemmas. I’m not going to make any comments on that, except to say I agreed with almost nothing she stood for. Despite my disagreements with her, she honestly seemed to be a warm friendly woman, who leaves a husband and children behind her. For that, I grieve, and my heart goes out to her family. For more, here’s a link.
4. There was a fourth one I had collected in my head, but it’s gone the way of the wind. I’ve forgotten about it. Perhaps it was the Pope’s anti-nationalist sentiments. He is often misquoted/misinterpreted but this is probably not one of those times; in any case, it was another piece of news I heard on Catholic radio. He makes the odd claim that nations “betray their mission” when they stir up nationalist sentiments. This is the classic double-speak of globalism, to claim that a nation must undermine its status as a nation in order for it to be a … nation at all. Because I heard it on the radio, I don’t have a direct link. But I’m sure you can find one if you’re interested.