Mitchell Atencio 10-19-2021

The most incredible part of landing on the moon is not the making it there, but the safely making it back. NASA’s missions to the moon and back were feats of engineering, math, and creativity. The stories are oft retold from a variety of angles and perspectives, and I will never tire of it.

Some people may not know that when we went to the moon, we left a lot of junk there. Lighter space crafts can escape gravity easier, so anything that didn’t need to come home didn’t. Included on the list of things that didn’t need to come back from Apollo 11 through Apollo 17: Twelve Hasselblad camera bodies and lenses. (Another fun fact: Until recently, one of the cameras that was supposed to return had been missing for nearly 50 years.)

David W. Congdon 10-19-2021

The FDA’s full approval in late August of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, known commercially as Comirnaty, has led to a spate of government and corporate vaccine mandates for employees and patrons — as well as the inevitable backlash. Much of that backlash has been on religious grounds, with some Christians claiming exemption from the mandates using what journalist Mattathias Schwartz describes as the “rhetorical Swiss Army knife” of religious freedom.

Betsy Shirley 10-15-2021

One of the best things I ever found at Goodwill was a complete set of all Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories — a major coup for middle-school, mystery-loving me. Unfortunately, the books smelled as if they had spent a few decades in the smoke-infused den of Holmes’ Baker Street lodgings. I sandwiched dryer sheets between the pages and read them all cover-to-cover.

Juliet Vedral 10-15-2021

What kind of parent raises a mass murderer? What would the aftermath of a school shooting be like for the parents of the child who shot his classmates and then took his own life. Unimaginable? Mass, Fran Kranz’s writing and directorial debut, immerses viewers in these questions, challenging us to consider our capacity for forgiveness.

Adam Russell Taylor 10-14-2021

Most of the U.S. public doesn’t “know anything at all” about congressional Democrats’ Build Back Better infrastructure plan, according to a CBS poll released this week. Even though the provisions the plan contains could help countless families, the language of “infrastructure” is both distant from our daily lives and too obscure to generate a sense of urgency. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” the prophet Hosea warns (Hosea 4:6). How true that rings now.

Jeff Mason, Reuters 10-14-2021

President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis on Oct. 29 before attending a two-day summit of G-20 leaders in Rome where he hopes to reach agreement on a Global Minimum Tax of 15 percent, White House officials said on Thursday.

On the second foreign trip of his presidency, Biden will then attend the U.N. climate conference known as COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, from Nov. 1-2 and announce key actions on the conference's top themes, including goals for fighting climate change and forest and land use, one White House official told Reuters.

Indhira Udofia 10-12-2021

As I was watching [RuPaul's Drag Race], I came to the realization that the drag community and those recovering from spiritual trauma have many similarities: Both communities are marginalized communities within the broader society but are often the subject of pop-culture conversations.

Amar D. Peterman 10-11-2021

As Christians, I believe we must reject the project of the melting pot. In the Bible, the church is not portrayed as an ambiguous, homogeneous entity. Instead, difference and diversity are understood as a strength — as God’s gift to the church (Acts 2).

Pope Francis on Sunday launched a two-year worldwide consultative process that could change the way the Roman Catholic Church makes decisions and leave its mark long after his pontificate is over.

Proponents see the initiative called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” as an opportunity to change the church’s power dynamics and give a greater voice to lay Catholics, including women, and people on the margins of society.

Conservatives say the three-stage process is a waste of time, may erode the hierarchical structure of the 1.3 billion member church, and in the long run could dilute traditional doctrine.

Katy Johnson 10-11-2021

It’s not enough to carry bags of flour to those experiencing the impact of our actions. Our grief must play a part in generating climate-adaptive solutions for the most vulnerable now.