Tragic, Hopeful, Silly: What Our Editors Are Reading | Sojourners

Tragic, Hopeful, Silly: What Our Editors Are Reading

The most recent cover of Time looks like a cruel chalkboard, meticulously tallying up the 200,000 COVID-related deaths in the U.S. As Brian Stelter pointed out on Twitter, this is only the second time the publication has utilized a black border; 19 years ago, a black frame surrounded a photo of the Twin Towers burning.

And the September fires continue today: While Oregon wildfires consumed nearly a million acres in just 72 hours, domestic and international powers looked for ways to alter the results of the upcoming election. But somehow, joy has also continued, mainly because it must. In the September/October issue of the magazine, Stephanie Sandberg insists that the show must go on. COVID may have shut down Broadway, she explains, but it democratized the theater. People who could never afford $100 tickets, now watch for free on the internet. Below, you’ll find Sandberg’s article, and nine other stories — from our publication and around the internet — our editors have been reading this week: the tragic, the hopeful, and the silly.  -Jenna

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1. Does the GOP Only Want to Win Elections Through Voter Suppression?

“The U.S. prides itself as being a beacon of democracy, and yet instead of making it easy for every eligible citizen to vote, some elected officials are erecting barriers to make voting more difficult, which they try to justify with spurious claims of voter fraud.” By Adam R. Taylor via Sojourners magazine.

2. COVID-19 Has Killed Nearly 200,000 Americans. How Many More Lives Will Be Lost Before the U.S. Gets It Right?

“The tragedy is that if science and common sense solutions were united in a national, coordinated response, the U.S. could have avoided many thousands of more deaths this summer.” By Alex Fitzpatrick and Elijah Wolfson via Time.

3. ‘I Had the Powers of Love’: A Pastor’s Reflection on 9/11

“Violence begets violence. Our response to 9/11 has cost countless civilian and military lives. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on wars.” By Vishavjit Singh via

4. How to Talk to Kids About Racism and Police

Schools do students a disservice when they fail to teach them about difficult issues. By Dani McClain via The Atlantic.

5. American Theater Isn’t Dead

How the coronavirus pandemic could bring more democracy to U.S. theater. By Stephanie Sandberg via Sojourners magazine.

6. Could the Parents of LGBTQ+ Kids Decide the Presidential Election? Advocates Are Putting Money on It.
“Equality voters” account for 29 percent of the electorate. By Kate Sosin via The 19th.

7. A Moment of Truth for White Christianity

The central religious issue in this election is racism. By Jim Wallis via

 8. Brilliant Forests, Burning

“The orange tint to the moon is the burnt bones of long-dead wolves, the flesh of whole voles. It is the black-and-yellow millipedes that smell like almonds when scared.” By Becca Rose Hall via Orion Magazine.

9. How Big Oil Misled the Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
An NPR and PBS Frontline investigation reveals how the oil and gas industry used the promise of recycling to sell more plastic, even when they knew it would never work on a large scale. By Laura Sullivan via NPR.

10. Less-Boring Alternatives to “I Hope This Email Finds You Well”

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