De-politicizing refugee resettlement, virtual Thanksgiving, and other stories our editors are reading.
During the 2016 presidential election, 22 percent of eligible Georgia voters were unregistered. Four years later that number has dropped to just two percent.
Rev. Dr. Willie Jennings, professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale Divinity School and author of After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging, said that the critiques against U.S. Senate candidate Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock are an attempt to “take from Black religious figures” what is granted “to white religious figures.”
Even before ballots were cast in the 2020 presidential election, many were suspicious of how the Trump White House would handle a potential transfer of power. As the election wound down with clear margins in President-elect Joe Biden’s favor — and as Donald Trump continued his refusal to concede — more people began to use the word “coup.”
On Nov. 12, at a virtual event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jesuit Refugee Service, President-elect Joe Biden doubled down on his promise to increase presidential determination for annual refugee admissions to 125,000. That pledge marks a big increase from the record low of 15,000 refugee admissions President Donald Trump had set for the 2021 fiscal year.
The CDC urges Americans to avoid Thanksgiving travel, delayed election certification, tips for countering misinformation, and other stories our editors are reading.
Nearly 13,000 candidates with religious titles ran for office in Brazil's Nov. 15 local elections – an increase of 24 percent compared to previous municipal elections.
“They want to count the votes in places where he is winning and don’t count the votes where he seems to have lost or is losing. It is a shame before God and man. Trump has taken gangsterism to a new level. He makes Al Capone and his crew look like choir boys,” Detroit NAACP president Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony said.
“President Trump and some of his appointees have sowed fear and division among religious communities,” says the letter. “The Biden administration must act quickly to correct these actions and reclaim a positive vision of religious freedom that protects all Americans.”
Misinformation is widespread, and it can be dangerous. And while correcting misinformation can feel urgent, a team of experts told Sojourners that challenging our loved ones’ beliefs is a difficult and time-intensive undertaking. This is because misinformation about politics, religion, and health often ties into our deepest beliefs about ourselves: Challenging them isn’t just correcting facts, it’s resetting an entire worldview.
“We understand that this policy is being used to distract us from the fact that you are policing us at a greater rate than ever before,” said Brittany White, who spent five years at an Alabama correctional facility after being convicted of drug trafficking and now works to engage newly enfranchised voters. “We are not fooled by this First Step Act and the other minor policies that have been implemented.”
“I’ve been a pastor for 44 years in Detroit in the urban setting. I have never seen this level of organization and mobilization toward an election as I saw this time,” said Bishop Edgar Vann II, senior pastor of Second Ebenezer Church. “This one went deep into the literal souls of people because everything everyone has gone through this year.”
New rituals to bury our dead, how political candidates engage with religious voters, our tendency to doomscroll, and other stories are editors are reading this week.
Against the backdrop of the Minneapolis skyline, three mosaic pillars stand tall on what was once Dakota land. They are inscribed with 11 words: We believe you. We stand with you. You are not alone.
This is the first permanent memorial in the U.S. dedicated to survivors of sexual violence.
Before winning the election, Biden touted endorsements from more than 1,600 faith leaders, the largest number for a Democratic candidate in modern history. The noteable outreach could be attributed partially to President Donald Trump’s relationship with religious conservatives. The increasing visibility of religious leaders in progressive politics also provided an opportunity. However, when looking for a catalyst to the campaign’s faith outreach, experts in faith and politics point to Joe Biden himself.
With testimony from 90 witnesses and dozens of documents, letters, and transcripts from Vatican and U.S. Catholic church archives, the 460-page document offers a remarkable reckoning by an institution known for its secrecy, portraying a man long able to convince superiors of his innocence.
In president-elect Joe Biden’s acceptance speech on Saturday he “pledge[d] to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.”
Yet over the weekend, some social media users used their platforms to warn pastors not to conflate peace-building and unity with forced reconciliation.
On Aug. 19, as she accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president of the United States, Harris quoted 2 Corinthians 5:7 expressing her commitment “[t]o the Word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight. And to a vision passed on through generations of Americans ... of our nation as a Beloved Community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”
“I’m a practicing Catholic. I believe faith is a gift. And the first obligation we all have is, ‘Love your God,’ the second one is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’” Biden said. The president-elect’s religion and theology had been a central part of his pitch to “restore the soul of America,” which has been reflected in his schedule, policy, and statements from the campaign trail.