Main Menu

John Ross


“I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us,” Douglass said, “I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary!"

Opinion: The Fourth of July: Time to celebrate or lament?

Frederick Douglass

by: Paul O’Donnell (Antipas L. Harris) July 2, 2020 (RNS) — Like most people, I love the Fourth of July: Picnics, family reunions, summer vacation, fishing trips, packed beaches, street festivals, the romance of (and under) the fireworks make it the highlight of the summer. But the facts of the birth of our country show our Independence Day celebrations are romanticized in more ways than one. On July 4, 1776, there were already hundreds of thousands of slaves in Britain’s American Colonies and in some, such as Virginia, Blacks madeRead More

“God answers prayer,” said Jackson, president of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention.

Some question replacing Mississippi’s Confederate symbol with ‘In God We Trust’

Mississippi flag

by: Jack Jenkins (RNS) July 2, 2020 — The Rev. Isiac Jackson Jr. was one of many Mississippi residents who took it as a spiritual victory when the state’s lawmakers voted Sunday (June 28) to remove the Confederate symbol from the state’s flag. “God answers prayer,” said Jackson, president of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention. “He may not come when you want him, but he’s always on time.” Jackson was one of many Black faith leaders who had spoken out against the flag, which was adopted in 1894 asRead More

The court’s 5-4 ruling, with conservatives in the majority, came in a dispute over a Montana scholarship program...

Supreme Court lifts ban on state aid to religious schooling

by: Kathryn Post WASHINGTON, June 30, 2020 (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for religious schools to obtain public funds, upholding a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling. The court’s 5-4 ruling, with conservatives in the majority, came in a dispute over a Montana scholarship program for private K-12 education that also makes donors eligible for up to $150 in state tax credits. The Legislature created the tax credit in 2015 for contributions made to certain scholarship programs for private education. The state’sRead More

Editor's Links of Interest

Opinion: America has a heart problem — and it needs a transplant – Chicago Sun-Times

The idea that black folk would have to prove the existence of racism is evidence of how deeply systemic racial hate is ingrained in the fabric of America. Read John W. Fountain’s column: America has a heart problem — and it needs a transplant

Clearly, Trump’s support has declined while Biden’s lead, about 5 percentage points in both April and May, jumped to nearly 14 percentage points in June.

Opinion: Surveys suggest protests, not pandemic, have lost Trump white evangelical support

by: Paul O’Donnell (Ryan Burge) June 24, 2020 (RNS) — The last few months have not been good for President Donald Trump. His administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been criticized for being too slow to meet the rising number of cases. Then, in just the last few weeks, the killings of a number of Black Americans by police and white vigilantes have led to the largest nationwide protest movement since the height of the Vietnam War. Against that backdrop, Trump is seeking reelection against the Democratic nominee, JoeRead More

The survey from the American Enterprise Institute showed that 64% of Americans said they were “somewhat uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” attending in-person worship.

Survey: Most Americans aren’t comfortable going back to religious services

by: Yonat Shimron June 23, 2020 (RNS) — A new study examining Americans’ response to COVID-19 shows that with the exception of white evangelicals, a majority of Americans are not comfortable returning to in-person religious services. The results of the survey suggest that despite political pressure to reopen houses of worship — from President Donald Trump as well as leading conservative Christians and religious liberty advocates — Americans aren’t quite ready to take a seat in a sanctuary. The survey from the American Enterprise Institute showed that 64% of AmericansRead More

Protesters on Friday toppled a Serra statue in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

California bishops say protesters ‘failed the test’ of history in toppling Junipero Serra statues

by: Alejandra Molina LOS ANGELES, June 23, 2020 (RNS) — The California Catholic Conference of Bishops is denouncing the toppling of Junipero Serra statues that protesters took down in San Francisco and Los Angeles over the weekend. “If this process is to be truly effective as a remedy for racism, it must discern carefully the entire contribution that the historical figure in question made to American life, especially in advancing the rights of marginalized peoples,” the California Catholic Conference said in a statement. “In calling for the removal of imagesRead More

Beginning with the end of the Civil War, Vischer enumerates in the video the damage segregation...

‘VeggieTales’ creator Phil Vischer releases viral video on race in America

by: Kathryn Post June 19, 2020 (RNS) — Bob the Tomato wants you to care about racism. Earlier this week, Phil Vischer — creator of “VeggieTales” and voice of Bob the Tomato in the popular Christian animated series — posted a now viral video called “Race in America” that attempts to answer the question: “Why are people so angry?” Filled with graphics, photo montages and factoids— and a few comic asides — that make the concept of systemic racism accessible for all ages, the 17-minute tutorial had garnered more thanRead More

The march, led by communities of faith, went past the lakefront, past...

Chicago celebrates Juneteenth with interfaith march through iconic Grant Park

Juneteenth interfaith march

by: Emily McFarlan Miller CHICAGO, June 19, 2020 (RNS) — Selena Smith, 48, came downtown with three generations of her family and a large group from Salem Baptist Church of Chicago to celebrate Juneteenth this year. She came with her daughter, 18-year-old Abria Smith, who just graduated high school and is headed to university in the fall. She came with her mother, 66-year-old Maddie Bogan, who lived through 1968 — a year marked by the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the riots that followed — andRead More

"The world is waiting for us to come together..."

African American leaders call for Southern Baptists to stand together in unity

by Tess Schoonhoven NASHVILLE, June 17, 2020 (BP) — Calling the racial unrest roiling the nation “spiritual warfare,” and saying “unless hearts change, nothing will change in America,” Philadelphia pastor K. Marshall Williams urged Southern Baptists to stand together in unity against injustice. “The world is waiting for us to come together,” said Williams, senior pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church of Philadelphia. “Because Beloved, truth be told, this is just a dress rehearsal for when we get around the throne. I think maybe God is stripping us. I don’t knowRead More