The underdog who beat Goliath, the author of the psalms, the ancestor of the Messiah: this is how we imagine King David. But historian Joel Baden calls him an invented hero.
King David: Not So Glorious
Whether it’s a child on a playground facing a bully, or a country asserting its independence against great odds – the image of David defeating Goliath has long provided inspiration for the underdog. But as with so many heroes, there was a real man behind the myth. And David probably didn’t kill Goliath – it was more likely a Biblical nobody who offered a convenient story to burnish David’s legend.
Joel Baden, author of The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero
Pope Francis Busts a Bishop for High Living
He’s accused of dropping $475,000 on walk-in closets, $20,000 on a delux bathtub and $33,000 on a dining table. Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany is now immortalized as “The Bishop of Bling.” The high roller was just suspended by Pope Francis after he reportedly spent more than $42 million renovating his official residence and allegedly lied under oath in a legal case.
Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service
Christian Weisner, leader of church reform movement We Are Church Germany
A Call for a ‘Clemency Sabbath’
Every Thanksgiving, the President pardons a turkey. Yet the President doesn’t show much mercy to the thousands of human beings who languish in prisons long after they’re a public threat. That’s the contention of a nun who wants the President and governors to weild their power of official forgiveness more often. She’s calling on religious leaders to preach about clemency to their congregations one Sabbath per year – scheduled the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Sister Mary Ann McGivern, creator of the Clemency Sabbath