Run Sheet for Friday, September 27th


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20 YEARS AGO TODAY. . .
FREEP: When Tiger Stadium closed, Detroit lost a piece of its soul


THE ATLANTIC: Three Decades Ago, America Lost Its Religion. Why?

. . . in the early 1990s, the historical tether between American identity and faith snapped. Religious non-affiliation in the U.S. started to rise—and rise, and rise. By the early 2000s, the share of Americans who said they didn’t associate with any established religion (also known as “nones”) had doubled. By the 2010s, this grab bag of atheists, agnostics, and spiritual dabblers had tripled in size.

  • . . . religion is more than a theism. It is a bundle: a theory of the world, a community, a social identity, a means of finding peace and purpose, and a weekly routine. Those, like me, who have largely rejected this package deal, often find themselves shopping à la carte for meaning, community, and routine to fill a faith-shaped void. Their politics is a religion. Their work is a religion. Their spin class is a church. And not looking at their phone for several consecutive hours is a Sabbath.

CT: Another Look at the ‘Least Religious Generation’

American twentysomethings have their frustrations with the church, but they are far more faith-friendly than commonly supposed.


CP: Olympics scientists can’t agree on new regulations for trans athletes competing in women’s sports

  • According to the sources, scientists who opposed the proposal cited recent findings from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden that suggests testosterone reduction in trans-identified athletes plays little role in reducing overall muscle strength. 
  • The study’s findings show that the physical advantages of being a biological male still persist, despite going through the process of a “transition,” The Guardian adds.  The study’s findings show that the physical advantages of being a biological male still persist, despite going through the process of a “transition,” The Guardian adds. 
  • Three girls who run high school track in Connecticut filed a complaint with the federal government earlier this year over a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy allowing boys who identify as transgender to compete in girls’ high school sports. The girls missed the cut to qualify for the New England regionals — an event attended by college scouts — after two biological male participants finished first and second in a qualifying event. 

RNS: Growing the religious left by confessing our sins against nature to plants

  • Since its heyday in mid-20th-century America, progressive Christianity’s force has gradually been eroded as mainline Protestant churches have gone into decline. A third of all Democrats call themselves religiously unaffiliated — compared with just 13% of Republicans. Meanwhile, alternative, more explicitly progressive spiritual practices, such as contemporary witchcraft, are attracting those disillusioned with what they see as the sexism or entrenched racism of Christianity.
  • While challenging the secular world with their Christianity, progressives also criticize what they see as insufficiently enlightened elements of Christian tradition, no matter how deeply ingrained. Writing on gender and sexuality in her latest book, Bolz-Weber said St. Augustine, the fourth-century author of a strict sexual ethic, “took a dump and the Church encased it in amber.”
  • For Union’s progressives, a world in which plants, animals and human beings live in harmony is held up as a corrective to a world spoiled by the original sins of structural inequality and conquest. In this view, the same ethos of violence underpinning patriarchy, racism, capitalist exploitation and colonialism also underpins human exploitation of the natural world.
  • By contrast, conservative Christians tend to celebrate the idea of dominion expounded in the Old Testament Book of Genesis, in which God gave control over Earth to humans. At a 2012 energy summit, Catholic politician Rick Santorum dismissed concerns about climate change, arguing, “We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit, not for the Earth’s benefit.”

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