The Slingshot: Nonstop pope. Gender wars. Christian intellectuals RIP?


Need to know: 08/18/2016

Nonstop papa

Pope Francis names Dallas bishop to key new Vatican post

The pontiff’s choice of a pastor much like himself signals an effort to ensure the legacy of Francis’ more welcoming approach to Catholic ministry. More from Religion News Service

Got a problem with that?

In defense of the ‘staycation’ of Pope Francis

Taking a vacation and taking a rest aren't necessarily the same thing, and for Pope Francis, lunching with Syrian refugees and meeting women rescued from prostitution is a form of leisure. More from

Again with the Jesuits!

Commending Phoebe

“We are certain that the church would be greatly enriched by expanding roles for women at every level of service and governance,” write the editors of America in backing the idea of ordaining women as deacons. More from America Magazine

He said, she said

No, God isn’t transgender

Bible scholar Robert Gagnon counters a recent New York Times op-ed claiming the Hebrew Bible depicts God as changing sexual identity by citing the actual Hebrew Bible. More from

A chaser for that shot

Illinois pastors don’t deserve exemption from conversion therapy ban

The practice aimed at “curing” queer kids is harmful, fraudulent, and discredited, no matter who’s practicing it, says Derrick Clifton. More from Chicago Reader

Bonus tracks


Brooklyn’s first Holocaust museum isn’t about death

The Amud Aish Memorial Museum is about Jewish religious life, according to Rabbi Dovid Reidel, the museum's director of research. More from Chicago Reader

From the Middle East to Middle-earth

The secret Jews of The Hobbit

“To someone like me, who grew up loving ‘The Hobbit,’ the discovery that Tolkien had based his dwarves on Jews was startling – and the cause of some concern, writes Meir Soloveichik. More from

Speaking of fantasy epics

How a Trump caliphate might operate

Let’s use our imagination and create our own adventure that would inevitably result from Trump’s winning the election, writes Wajahat Ali. More from Religion News Service

Paging Brigham Young

Salt Lake’s first lesbian mayor weds amid resignations from LDS church

Mayor Jackie Biskupski wed her partner, Betty Iverson, as Quit Mormon held “mass resignation” rally in nearby park. More from Religion News Service

Good long read

What became of the Christian intellectuals?

“Half a century ago, such figures existed in America: serious Christian intellectuals who occupied a prominent place on the national stage,” writes Alan Jacobs. “They are gone now.” More from Harpers