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RNS Updated Budget — Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Religious artifacts — from a pre-Civil War pew to a Bible studied before a church massacre — will be featured among the 175 objects in a new exhibition on the Reconstruction period, when U.S. slavery had recently been outlawed. The exhibition […]

RNS-Reconstruction-Religion: Religious artifacts in new Reconstruction exhibit depict resilience, racism
(RNS) — Religious artifacts — from a pre-Civil War pew to a Bible studied before a church massacre — will be featured among the 175 objects in a new exhibition on the Reconstruction period, when U.S. slavery had recently been outlawed. The exhibition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture also features the pair of stained-glass windows honoring Confederate generals that was removed from Washington National Cathedral. By Adelle M. Banks. 600 words. (category: a)

RNS-Politicians-Ban: Kenyan Methodists defy ban on campaigning at church, saying ‘humans are political’
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Some churches in Kenya have barred politicians from addressing their congregations, saying campaigning during services disrespects the sanctity of worship. The national Anglican, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches have all issued bans, as many of the politicians begin early stumping for next year’s general elections. The Methodist Church, however, is keeping the church doors open for all, saying barring politicians would mean discriminating against some of its members. By Fredrick Nzwili. 639 words. (category: i)

RNS-BlackWomen-Leaders: Women making strides in leadership of Black denominations amid hesitancy
(RNS) — Even as her friends and associates celebrated the election of Rev. Gina Stewart as the first woman leader of a U.S. Black Baptist organization, questions remained about where Black denominations stand on women’s leadership. Juxtaposed with this historical “first” is a continuing hesitation among these religious groups that have and have not placed women in their top ranks. By Adelle M. Banks. 1,250 words. (category: a)

RNS-WhiteHouse-Faith: Christian leaders meet with White House to advocate for social programs, voting rights
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Faith leaders representing a broad spectrum of Christian groups will meet with White House officials on Wednesday (Sept 22) to advocate for voting rights and social programs they say protect the poor and vulnerable. By Jack Jenkins. 500 words. (category: a)

RNS-Pray-Rain: supports family farms hit by historic droughts
(RNS) — On Wednesday, Sept. 22, launched a campaign called Pray for Rain to raise funds for family farms afflicted by historic droughts in California. The app, which boasts 10 million users, is partnering with Community Alliance with Family Farmers and will match each donation dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000, until Oct 31. By Kathryn Post. 650 words. (category: a)

RNS-SBC-Abuse: SBC Executive Committee agrees to pay for abuse review, stalls on waiving privilege
(RNS) — Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee voted to spend $1.6 million dollars to investigate the agency’s handling of sexual abuse allegations. But the committee remains divided over the details of the investigation. By Bob Smietana. 1,500 words (category: a)

RNS-Balmer-Book: Randall Balmer on why race, not abortion, birthed the religious right
(RNS) — In his new book, “Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right,” Randal Balmer shows race rather than abortion galvanized white evangelical political action. Specifically, as Balmer shows, it was government interference in “segregation academies” such as Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, that launched the religious right. By Yonat Shimron.  1,000 words. (category: a)

RNS-Zagano-Oped: Pope Francis wants every Catholic to have a say. Why haven’t US Catholics heard about it?
(RNS) — Pope Francis’ plan is for ordinary Catholics to have their say. It begins with the coming synod in Rome, which opens on October 9 and in every diocese in the world on October 17. The problem: no one seems to know about it. The bigger problem: U.S. bishops don’t seem to care. As the U.S. bishops fulminate over which Catholic politician can receive Communion, they’ve done little to plan for the worldwide discussion on the needs of the church. They were asked to get organized last May. They haven’t. By Phyllis Zagano. 800 words. (category: k)

RNS-Jones-Oped: White Christian nationalism found fertile soil in post-9/11 America
(RNS) — Two decades ago, out of the pain and grief and anger that flowed from 9/11, we had an opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to a religiously and racially pluralistic democracy. Instead, the data show Republicans and white evangelicals have embraced anti-Islamic views that provided sustenance for an exclusivist vision of a white Christian America. This was the stage that was set even before Donald Trump walked onto it. By Robert P. Jones. 1,550 words. (category: k)