Five for Friday: Making Sacrifices, Schooling Adults, Judeo-Christian Values

CHICAGO, IL (October 20, 2017) — 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.

A Statistical Defense (Sort of) of the Sac Bunt

Life is like baseball. Sometimes you wonder if the sacrifices you make are wise ones. Or maybe baseball is like life. It depends.

From the article: “The case against bunting is apparent. You’ve drastically reduced your chances of scoring multiple runs in an inning. You’ve also increased your probability of scoring 0 runs by a slight amount (1.79%). However, you’ve actually increased your chances of scoring exactly one run by 5.69%. Situationally, with a weak hitter at the plate with a poor platoon split down one run in a late inning, a bunt might actually help you. Of course, bunting means you’re playing for the tie at that point rather than looking to score multiple runs and take the lead, but if you have a strong bullpen it just might be a sound strategy. Still, it seems like something that would be helpful only in very specific situations. Of course, it still increases the chances of scoring 0 runs, which still hurts your chances of even tying the game. So even in that situation, I’m not sure I’m ready to defend the sac bunt with one runner on.”

Eight-year-old’s Brilliant Response to Teacher’s Sexist Question

With a one-word answer, a child schools her district.

From the article: “No doubt the teacher didn’t anticipate Yasmin’s thoughtful and far more appropriate response when assigning these questions. However, the response hopefully gave the responsible party something to think about as social media championed the girl for refusing to subscribe to outdated gender roles.”

What Is Judeo-Christian Anyway?

The author questions just how much “Judeo” is in “Judeo-Christian values.”

From the article: “‘Judeo-Christian’ was a bone that America threw to the Jews, letting us think that our religious faith was an equal partner in American life. When you consider that American Jews never constituted more than three percent of the American population, it seemed like a rather generous move. And because American Jews were (rightly) sick to death of being other, and being persecuted, we parroted ‘Judeo-Christian’ along with everyone else. It meant that Jews were strangers no more, that we were not peripheral, that we were ready for prime time.”

School Pulls ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ from 8th Grade Lesson Plan

The school district said it pulled the literary classic because it included the “N” word, which made some people uncomfortable.

From the article: “Kenny Holloway, vice president of the Biloxi School Board, said, ‘There were complaints about it. There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books. It’s still in our library. But they’re going to use another book in the 8th grade course.’”

Too Few Children in Church of England

I don’t know how church attendance can average zero unless it was zero all the time. Regardless, the numbers cited in this article are daunting and a wakeup call to the church. The question is whether churches will wake up or hit the snooze button.

From the article: “The average C of E church has just three children attending, and the smallest 25 per cent have, on average, none at all, according to the latest Statistics for Mission. The data, collected by parishes a year ago, shows the overall decline in attendance to be almost twice as pronounced among children. The average attendance by children, defined as being under 16, fell by 22 per cent between 2006 and 2016, compared with a 13-per cent fall among adults.”

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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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