The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week. Check back in every Friday to see the latest wrap up of religious news that made us think and reflect.
Coming out as a son of a preacher man
The Guardian features an opinion piece by a young gay man who is the son of an Anglican vicar exploring his experiences coming out to his father. Despite apprehension, the revelation was a non-event and their experience seems to illustrate that “no matter how complex the conflict between religion and homosexuality is made to be, by all parties, it really is possible to just wholeheartedly welcome, embrace and champion both.”
Christian mother not up for the Norf Norf
The Huffington Post puts the spotlight on viral sensation Krystle Partido, an American Christian mother who felt the Vince Staples hip hop song Norf Norf went too far for mainstream radio and uploaded an 11 minute video to express her disgust at the music’s offensiveness.
Partido’s video, which included her reciting Staples’ expletive-heavy lyrics with her children nearby, soon received remix treatments on YouTube with multiple media outlets picking up the story.
The Independent reports on Vince Staples’ response to Partido which may surprise you.
Mel Gibson returns to faith-based filmmaking
Christian Today reports on Mel Gibson’s new film Hacksaw Ridge, which received glowing reviews and a 10 minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
The film focuses on a real-life Seventh-Day Adventist war hero who saved many lives during the battle of Okinawa, all without firing a weapon. Gibson—who hasn’t directed a feature film since 2006’s Apocalypto—has been keen to return to faith-inspired filmmaking and Hacksaw Ridge may well open the floodgates for more Christian-themed work: rumours are circulating in the film industry that his next project will be a sequel to his mega-success The Passion of the Christ.
Christian writer murdered in Jordan
ABC reports on the fatal shooting of a Christian writer in Jordan who was about to stand trial for sharing a cartoon deemed to be offensive to Islam on Facebook. Jordan is no stranger to religious and sectarian tensions and the authorities thought that the social media post violated the laws around contempt of religion and incitement of sectarian strife.
Security sources are reporting the gunman was a Muslim preacher.
The savage beauty of Gentileschi’s biblical paintings
The Guardian examines the work of baroque age artist Artemisia Gentileschi and her brilliant career which was marked by tragedy and struggle. Described as “the greatest female artist of the baroque age”, Gentileschi’s depiction of Judith and Holofernes (from the deuterocanonical Book of Judith) brought out “an element of the biblical story no male artist had ever dwelt on.”
Study: Churches use of their budget to pay their staff
A new study released by the Leadership Network and the Vanderbloeman Search Group has looked at the salary trends of 1,200 churches with regular attendance of 500 or more people throughout the United States and Canada, and found that almost half of their entire budgets, go to paying staff. Relevant reports.
Russian anti-evangelism laws nets American pastor
The Christian Post reports on an American pastor who felt the full force of Russia’s tough anti-evangelism laws when his appeal against charges of illegal missionary activity were upheld by the courts in Oryol, a city 360 kilometres south of Moscow.
The pastor, a resident of Oryol for over a decade, was charged for conducting a religious service in his home and placing an advertisement in a public place inviting others to attend.