The vaccine is still considered experimental, but it seems to be working and World Health Organization officials think they have enough of it to resolve the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yay science!
• I was pleased to read that many churches stepped up to assist furloughed federal workers and those who were required to work without pay. I was also pleased and pleasantly surprised to see Christianity Today commending this unambiguously without deeming it “controversial” or trying to both-sides it down into a lukewarm puddle of goo.
Kudos to those churches, though, because we shouldn’t expect Jose Andres to do everything by himself.
• “Provisions in 2017 tax law will cost places of worship thousands.” With the Trump tax cuts, the Republican Party mostly abandoned the pretense that it cares about budget deficits. But all that money they gave away to the wealthiest 1 percent had to come from somewhere, and it seems local churches are being forced to pay more so that hedge fund managers can pay even less.
There were dozens of other, larger, more important reasons that so many of America’s churches shouldn’t have declared their lockstep allegiance to Wall Street’s favorite political party, but this was also another reason.
The above link is from an Independent Sector press release (via RNS). For a local angle, here’s a good piece by Charleston’s Post and Courier, “21 percent federal tax on church, nonprofit parking spaces creating confusion in SC.” Caitlyn Bird’s report highlights how this tax will fall heaviest on urban congregations and historic downtown churches. Once upon a time, back when America was more serious about “liberty and justice for all,” that sort of effect was called “disparate impact.”
• Also via RNS, I just read a press release about a social media campaign. Always odd to read a news report about a social media campaign that I’ve not previously heard about via social media. This one — “Faith Counts” — seems to be a kind of “Rock the Vote” for religion, I guess? OK, sure, finewhateverwhynot?
Just be careful of that Templeton money, kids. Those folks also threw their money behind “Gamergate,” so their agenda isn’t as benevolent as they make it seem.
• All Things Linguistic shares a fine example of “morphosyntax.” That’s not always an R-rated, NSFW thing, but in this case it is.
• That lovely Gillette ad modestly urging men to be better — and the ugly pushback against it — has me thinking again of this old Mark Heard song, the lyrics of which provided the title to this post: