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My favorite television show of all-time is The X-Files. The show ran from 1993 to 2002 and then, after a brief reboot in 2016, the show concluded. The plot revolves around FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who traverse the United States, investigating paranormal events from the bizarre to the benign.
I began to watch the show due to my love of sci-fi but the reason I finished all 218 episodes and remained faithful even throughout the 2016 reboot is because of Dana Scully. There’s not a more complex TV character than Scully: She is a medical doctor who knows karate and although she openly antagonizes her partner, Mulder, for placing stock in supernatural explanations instead of logical ones, she openly identifies as Catholic. Scully’s complexity gets to the heart of what the show is all about: the desire to believe.
The desire to believe in things, people, science, and God is at the very core of what it means to be human. We want to believe Roe v. Wade isn’t in danger of being overturned thanks to a supermajority on the Supreme Court; we want to believe megachurch pastors aren’t beyond saving; we want to believe Congress gives a damn about antisemitism; we want to believe that banning books won’t devolve into attempts at banning people.
What’s more impressive than our desire to believe is our ability to help others believe that the world can change. What often initiates that change? Stories. We hope that the stories selected this week encourage you to embrace The X-Files' popular refrain (which is almost biblical): I want to believe.
1. Woe to You, Los Angeles
When the Super Bowl comes to town, unhoused folks get kicked out — and Jesus has some words. By Kevin Nye via sojo.net.
2. Amy Coney Barrett’s Long Game
The newest Supreme Court Justice isn’t just another conservative — she’s the product of a Christian legal movement that is intent on remaking America. By Margaret Talbot via The New Yorker.
3. Why I Can’t Stop Watching ‘Righteous Gemstones’ Absurd Pastors
Danny McBride’s dark comedy asks why megachurch pastors hold such power over the masses — and over us. By Caroline McTeer via sojo.net.
4. The Threat to Roe v. Wade Is Driving a Religious Movement for Reproductive Choice
Americans who see a religious case for abortion access try to shift the narrative. By Michelle Boorstein via washingtonpost.com.
5. Pope Benedict XVI Apologizes to Abuse Victims But Denies Cover-up
In the letter, Benedict expressed his “deep shame” and “great pain,” as well as his “sincere request for apology to all victims of sexual abuse.” By Philip Pullella, Reuters, via sojo.net.
6. How a Queer Christian Student Helped Defeat a Proposed Book Ban
When some New Jersey residents cited their Christian faith to ban LGBTQ content, Josiah Kemp organized with other students to speak out. By Quinn Clark via sojo.net.
7. More States Want To Restrict How LGBTQ+ People, Issues Are Discussed in School
At least seven state legislatures are discussing whether to regulate how textbooks, teachers, and school curriculums talk about gender and sexualities. By Orion Rummler via The 19th.
8. Rabbis Tell Congress Faith Communities Need Security Training
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who helped save his synagogue from a terrorist attack in January, testified before a House committee, calling for an increase in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. By Zoya Mirza via sojo.net.
9. ‘They Go Absolutely Insane and Tear Everything Apart’: Weasels Love German Cars
Automakers are building defenses against stone martens, a type of weasel that invades engines and eats the wiring. By William Boston via wsj.com.
10. As Russia Advances, Ukraine’s Churches Say ‘No’ to Military Solution
While the forces of imperialism seem inescapable, the role of the church is to show the way out. By Adam Russel Taylor and Rose Marie Berger via sojo.net.