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RNS Morning Report: Francis’ Environmental Appeal; Science Politicized During Pandemic; Eric Metaxes

Pope Francis delivers his speech as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Need to know: Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Pope Francis makes a heartfelt appeal for the environment: ‘Creation is groaning!’

'We are running out of time,' the pope said in a message on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (Sept. 1).

John MacArthur claimed there is ‘no pandemic.’ He was politicizing science, experts say

The church appears to be wading into a highly politicized campaign to minimize or outright deny the existence of the coronavirus.

Eric Metaxas confirms he punched protester, says protester was to blame

Last week, a viral video began circulating on social media showing a man who closely resembles Eric Metaxas striking a protester and running away backward. 

Northern California church accrues thousands of dollars in fees for violating public health orders

North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara County has so far been fined a total of $25,000 in five notices of violation, a Santa Clara County spokesperson told Religion News Service.

What Jerry and Becki Falwell can learn from Jim and Tammy Bakker

Both Jim Bakker and Jerry Falwell Jr. were entrepreneurs who drove the Christian nonprofits they ran to great heights only to be done-in by their personal failings, writes John Wigger.

Natural helpers: Needed reinforcements to head off looming suicides of despair

People thinking about suicide often turn to pastors, coaches and teachers first for help. We need to make sure these natural helpers are trained to lend a hand, writes Glen Bloomstrom.



Latest news from RNS

Charges dropped against former Village Church children’s minister Matt Tonne

The district attorney moved to dismiss the charges, alleging ‘the complainant cannot and has not positively identified defendant as the person who committed this offense.‘

Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo defends decision to host campaign for Kyle Rittenhouse

Meanwhile, more than 12,000 people have signed Faithful America's petition calling on the Christian crowdfunding site to take down the Rittenhouse campaign.

Liberty announces investigation into Falwell’s tenure

The investigation will look at legal, real estate, and financial matters.

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What Mormons do in this election matters – not only politically, in swing states such as Arizona, but in terms of the church’s own reputation and even its missionary efforts, writes Jana Riess.

Chadwick Boseman’s faithful purpose showed from ‘Black Panther’ to his dignified death

In a country built on casually snatching our lives away prematurely, he lived to show Black children that they can be poetry, not just prey or property, writes Tyler Burns.