A look inside Liberty University

Here’s my November 4 newsletter. To receive my latest articles, favorite religion reads and other updates in your inbox each Saturday, sign-up here

I write for a relatively conservative and mostly Christian audience at the Deseret News, and it’s sometimes a struggle to push readers out of their religious and political comfort zones. When I publish an article about the unpopularity of evangelical Christians or faith-based criticisms of the Trump administration, I know to expect some push back. Oh, and I skip the comments section.

Being aware of my audience is good in one sense, because it helps me choose topics and frame articles in a way that will appeal to them. But in another sense, this awareness is problematic, because it keeps me from trying something new that might help my readers see the world in an unexpected way.

This week, I took a leap on writing about the more progressive voices of faith who jumped into the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. I explored data related to religiously based service refusals and offered a snapshot of the whole religious landscape, rather than just its more conservative end. It was a challenging and exciting experience, and I got a lot of great feedback. The article was a reminder that I do my best work when I shake up the status quo.

FRESH OFF THE PRESS FROM ME

Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders bring progressive voice of faith to Masterpiece Cakeshop case

TOP RELIGION READS

Jerry Falwell Jr.’s parable of talents, Inside Higher Ed

Could your church help you solve your weight problem? Deseret News

What to do when racists try to hijack your religion, The Atlantic

JUST FOR FUN

I’ve got another TV recommendation for you this week: Grantchester. It’s a murder mystery show available on Amazon Prime. Who doesn’t want to watch a priest in the Church of England solve crimes with a crotchety detective? Two thumbs up.

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