Five for Friday: The Other Side of Rural Alaska, Spread of Humanity, Anthem Unity

Friends Greta Schuerch, Andrea Sanders and article author Laureli Ivanoff harvested a moose during a recent camping trip. Photo credit: Laureli Ivanoff

Friends Greta Schuerch, Andrea Sanders and article author Laureli Ivanoff harvested a Caribou during a recent camping trip. Photo credit: Laureli Ivanoff

CHICAGO, IL (November 18, 2016) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Why Can’t Media Portray the Rural Alaska I Know

Covenanter Laureli Ivanoff wants readers to know that the numerous stories in the media about the financial and social struggles in rural Alaska fail to capture the richness of her life there.

From the article: “That day, on the beach, we felt like rich women. That day we remembered what’s important in life. Not stuff and the product-driven society we live in. Not having a big house full of things. Or even having the biggest, baddest snowmachine. That afternoon we gave thanks to a land that provides for us. To friends who shared their food with us. To friends who shared their stories of traveling upriver, who shared warm smiles and jokes.”

How Humanity Spread Around the World

This six-minute video from the American Museum of Natural History shows how humanity spread from a handful of people in Africa to more than seven billion across the world. It is fascinating to see on the map the toll inflicted on the world by the bubonic plague in the fourteenth century, when it killed 75 million people, or how the Industrial Revolution and modern medicine have enabled the world population to grow by six billion in the last 200 years.

Photo credit: Kent State Athletics

Photo credit: Kent State Athletics

Kent State Players Deliver Unity Message During Anthem

The Kent State men’s basketball team decided that rather than take a knee during the national anthem, they would make a show of unity.

From the article: “Each player entered the stands before Wednesday night’s victory over Mississippi Valley State and selected a fan of a different age, race or gender to stand alongside them while ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ played.”

Judge: Youth Can Sue Government over Climate Change

A federal judge ruled that young environmental activists can proceed with their lawsuit against the U.S. Government. Their complaint states that the government’s failure to act on climate change violates their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and happiness. The government, as well as representatives for large energy companies, had tried to have the suit dismissed. The lawsuit wants the court to require the government to create a plan that would slash greenhouse gas emissions.

From the article: (Judge Ann Aiken) wrote in her decision, “This action is of a different order than the typical environmental case” and noted that “a deep resistance to change runs through defendants’ and intervenors’ arguments for dismissal.”

Gender Pronouns That Are Neither Male nor Female Quietly Catching On

Language is impacted by social change, and language can effect social change. So it is likely that the use of these small words will become a big issue.

From the article: “The 127-year-old American Dialect Society, an authoritative voice on American English, named the singular ‘they,’ as 2015’s word of the year (it was also Quartz unofficial nomination for word of the year). ‘While editors have increasingly moved to accepting singular they when used in a generic fashion, voters in the Word of the Year proceedings singled out its newer usage as an identifier for someone who may identify as “non-binary” in gender terms,’ the society noted in a statement.”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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