The Slingshot: Activist scholars; Puritans and Pilgrims; Judah Maccabee shot

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The essay collection “Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump” was a hot seller at publishers’ exhibition hall at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literacy in Boston. RNS photo by Cathy Lynn Grossman

Need to know: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Applied academics

Religion scholars turn activist in the shadow of Trump

Alarm about Trump’s presidency — and the anti-intellectual forces several scholars say he has empowered — pervaded the annual joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature. More from Religion News Service

Talkin’ turkey

The ’Splainer: Who are you calling a Puritan?

What’s the difference between a Pilgrim and a Puritan and which of them do we thank for Thanksgiving? More from Religion News Service

Sisters in sorrow

Two Texas churches, linked by tragedy amid the pews

First Baptist Church in Daingerfield and First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs are both rural churches that are separated by 400 miles yet bound by eerily similar attacks 37 years apart that have tested and defined them both. (Subscription may be required) More from www.nytimes.com

Same issue, different sides

Now it’s liberal states clashing with the federal government over religious freedom

For years, religious businesses and nonprofits pounded the government with lawsuits over Obamacare’s birth-control-coverage requirement. Now legal challenges are coming from state attorneys arguing the Trump administration is illegally limiting women’s access to contraceptives. More from www.theatlantic.com

The Father Jim effect

Priest is building a bridge between church and LGBT community

Boston radio host Margery Eagan praises the Rev. James Martin for willingly sticking his neck out in a church known for “shipping provocative priests to a figurative gulag.” (Subscription may be required) More from BostonGlobe.com

No immunity

Judah Maccabee went to the doctor. Then the anti-vaxxers got very mad.

A Hanukkah children’s book about a boy who bravely gets a scary booster shot has drawn ire from people who subscribe to the belief – discredited by studies involving millions of children – that vaccines pose dangerous risks. More from www.jta.org