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Monday Mix: Sex abuse probes, 'controlling' church, Mormon Jesus, sanctuary arrest, empty churches

Monday Mix: Sex abuse probes, 'controlling' church, Mormon Jesus, sanctuary arrest, empty churches

Welcome to another edition of the Monday Mix, where we focus on headlines and insights you might have missed from the weekend and late in the week.

The fine print: Just because we include a headline here doesn't mean we won't offer additional analysis in a different post, particularly if it's a major story. In fact, if you read a piece linked here and have questions or concerns that we might address, please don't hesitate to comment below or tweet us at @GetReligion. The goal here is to point at important news and say, "Hey, look at this."

Three weekend reads

1. “The Catholic Church has proven that it cannot police itself. And civil authorities can’t let the church hide child sexual abuse allegations as personnel matters. They’re crimes. We need a full accounting of the church.”

The Washington Post rounds up the wave of state and federal investigations spurred by the Pennsylvania grand jury report:

The explosive report about sexual abuse by Catholic priests unveiled by a Pennsylvania grand jury in August has set off an unprecedented wave of investigations over the last several months, with attorneys general in 14 states and the District of Columbia announcing probes and demanding documents from Catholic officials. Those efforts have been joined by a federal investigation out of Philadelphia that may become national in scope.

The swift and sweeping response by civil authorities contrasts sharply with the Vatican’s comparatively glacial pace. While some U.S. dioceses have published lists of priests they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and two cardinals have been ousted, the Vatican this month put on hold a vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on measures to hold bishops more accountable until after a global synod in early 2019. In the meantime, Rome has done little to address the crisis.

2. "It totally sucks you away from all other aspects of your life. It doesn’t allow you to enjoy your life.”

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Chinese 'evangelical Trumplicanism?' Vancouver Sun floats a totally new buzz word

Chinese 'evangelical Trumplicanism?' Vancouver Sun floats a totally new buzz word

Sometimes there’s an unusual religious group out there that reporters don’t have the contacts or the linguistic abilities to crack. One such group are the 100,000 Chinese Christians in Vancouver, B.C. They’re too large to ignore but if you don’t know Chinese, it’s tough to get an entrée.

Actually, Vancouver has 400,000 Chinese total, so the 100,000 estimate may be a bit low. And so Douglas Todd, the religion blogger for the Vancouver Sun, has found a way around this problem by engaging a bilingual scholar who can interpret this people group.

What do you know? Todd discovered -- taking American politics all the way outside our borders -- that these folks are very pro-Trump. The larger question: Why does this matter and how it this linked to larger religion issues?

Here’s what he wrote last week:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is getting support from an unusual source -- Chinese evangelicals in Canada.
Social media in Canada is ablaze with Chinese Christians coming out in support of the bombastic would-be strongman. Trump’s Chinese supporters see him as a beacon of authoritarian stability in a world that could be headed towards apocalypse. The Chinese Christians also think Trump could ensure their ongoing prosperity.
“Trump … is (seen as) a dose of strong law-and-order medicine on the world stage,” says Assistant Prof Justin Tse, who studied Metro Vancouver’s more than 400,000 ethnic Chinese while obtaining his PhD in geography at the University of B.C.
Some Chinese evangelicals in Canada are supporting Trump to “ensure the stability of global markets through authoritarian law-and-order regimes,” says Tse, a visiting assistant professor in the Asian American Studies Program of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, Chicago.
At my request, Tse wrote up a short analysis of Trump’s Chinese-evangelical support, in which he refers to the cohort as “Trumplicans.”

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Statuary assault: Papers ponder push for Billy Graham's likeness in Capitol

Statuary assault: Papers ponder push for Billy Graham's likeness in Capitol

Billy Graham has spanned continents, counseled presidents, preached to some 215 million people. And lawmakers are praising one more virtue: He's not Charles B. Aycock.

"Eh?" you may well ask. Well, Aycock was an early 20th century governor of North Carolina and, according to historical accounts, a noted white supremacist. That makes his statue in the U.S. Capitol rather noxious, although it's stood there since 1932.

So, for some Tar Heels, it's time for a change, reports the News and Observer. Hence the move by the state's lawmakers for a marble version of the famous evangelist in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Graham's virtues? Rather scant, according to the newspaper: Graham's "legacy of ministry and charitable work." Also, he's "the least polarizing of all the people who are worthy of consideration."

Well, how nice. An evangelical leader is thought to be non-polarizing. But to ignore the many accomplishments of the modern era's greatest evangelist -- in a newspaper in his home state -- well, in GetReligion terms, it amounts to a haunted house full of religious "ghosts."

The Asheville Citizen-Times mainly quotes the Senate version of the bill:

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