The Slingshot: Disorganized nonreligion. Ancient text. Journalism as ‘terrorism.’


Need to know: 09/22/2016

Abandoning the field

More ‘nones’ than you think, but many won’t show up on Election Day

A new study shows that a full quarter of U.S. adults now say they have no religious affiliation. But despite their heft, the ‘nones’ are no voting bloc. More from Religion News Service

End of the journey?

Why most people leave religion? They just ‘stop believing’

In a gloomy forecast for organized religion, only seven percent of the ‘nones’ say they are looking for a religion. More from Religion News Service


Modern technology unlocks secrets of a damaged biblical scroll

The nearly 2,000-year-old chapters of the Book of Leviticus appear identical to the authoritative version of the Hebrew Bible and the one often used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles. More from

He’s onto us

Pope Francis says journalism based on rumors and fear is ‘terrorism’

In an audience with Italian journalists, the pontiff warned that when journalism is based on rumors or on stoking fear in the public, it can become a "form of terrorism" and a "weapon of destruction" of both people and nations. More from

From more Jesuits who know something

The new Know-Nothings

“The reek of this creed of tribalism and intolerance should be instantly recognizable to modern-day Catholics,” write the editors of America magazine in condemning Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and supporters. More from America Magazine

Oy vey

The GOP’s Jewish donors are abandoning Trump

So far in 2016, of all the money given to major-party candidates by donors who appear to be Jewish, 95 percent has gone to Hillary Clinton and just 5 percent has gone to Donald Trump. More from FiveThirtyEight

Bonus tracks


Is Leonard Cohen’s new song his most Jewish ever?

His latest song is the plaint of a narrator addressed to God, asking why bad things happen to good people, why mankind suffers, and why God seemingly wants us to descend to the darkest depths before offering redemption, writes Seth Rogovoy. More from The Forward

Stop the presses?

Why the church can rescue us from our smartphones

Southern Baptist Russell Moore agrees with Roman Catholic Andrew Sullivan: In our distracted, tech-driven world, perhaps the church can save us from ourselves. More from


His Holiness, the Bill Murray

Murray is not just a very funny actor; he's an icon who represents, onscreen and off, the longing for a more engaged and awakened life, says David Allan. More from CNN

Reality bites back

Goodbye to ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’

Joshua Harris, author of a best-selling abstinence manifesto, is reconsidering the lessons he taught to millions. More from Slate Magazine

The line forms on both sides

Why only ‘Cafeteria Catholics’ can survive in American politics

What Tim Kaine and Mike Pence say about the diluted identity of the American church. More from The Atlantic