The growing religious fervor on the right and the illusions shattered by Putin’s war: the week in commented articles

This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from The New York Times, read aloud by the journalists who wrote them.

The Christian right has been closely tied to American conservatism for decades, culminating in the Trump era. And elements of Christian culture have long been present in political rallies. But worship, a sacred act showing devotion to God expressed through movement, song, or prayer, was largely reserved for the church. Today, many believers import their worship of God, with all its intensity, emotion and ambition, into their political life.

At events across the United States, it is not uncommon for attendees to describe their encounter with the divine and feel they are doing their part to bring God’s kingdom to earth. For them, right-wing political activity itself becomes a sacred act.

Written and narrated by Dave Itzkoff

Molly Shannon is wiser than her oblivious characters, like Marie Katherine Gallagher, the misfit but spunky schoolgirl who was her starring role on “SNL,” but she shares their determination to move on happily no matter the circumstances. That spirit is alive in her new memoir, “Hello, Molly!”

But before readers experience Shannon’s picaresque tales of her upbringing and career, they must first follow her account of one of the darkest days of her life and the car accident that devastated her family.

Written and narrated by Sabrina Tavern

The last time “The Daily” co-host Sabrina Tavernise was in Russia in 2015, she faced a contradiction. “What if a place was not free, but also happy?” she writes. “How long could it stay like this?”

Moscow was a city full of meticulously laid out parks, bike paths and parking spaces. The average Russian’s income has increased significantly over the past decade. At the same time, its political system was moving ever closer to authoritarianism under President Vladimir V. Putin, but many had learned to live with it.

Many Russian liberals had gone to work for nonprofits and local governments, embarking on community building — making their cities better places to live. The thought was that grand politics was hopeless.

In the weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, those who turned to “small acts” feel a shock.

Written and narrated by Michael Paulson

After a dark winter in which the Omicron variant shrunk Broadway’s lucrative holiday season, New York’s vaunted theater industry is betting on a great spring, nearly doubling the number of shows on offer as the plagued business to the pandemic is hungry for a rebound.

Adding up all those plays and musicals — 16 new productions plus three returning from hiatus opens over a five-week span — was always going to be a gamble, because no one knows, in this not yet post-pandemic era, there are enough tourists and locals going to the theater to support so many shows.

And now the stubborn persistence of the coronavirus complicates matters even further. A growing number of cases in New York City, coinciding with the arrival of the BA.2 subvariant of the virus, has rocked Broadway again, infecting some of its biggest stars, including Daniel Craig, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, and forcing four shows to temporarily cancel performances.

Written by Katie Glueck and Patricia Mazzei | Narrated by Katie Glueck

Whether in state capitals or in schools, Americans are increasingly at odds over issues of identity and language, who can play on which youth sports teams, and what can and cannot. not be said in the classrooms. These issues pit governors against their state legislatures, business leaders against conservative activists and, in some places, Republicans against each other, as Democrats calibrate their responses and some transgender people increasingly feel isolated.

To Democrats and some Republicans, the Legislature grow on these issues amounts to an effort to inflame the GOP base at all costs — even if it means children and their families see their governments singling them out.

Much of the political dispute in the first months of 2022 has centered on two issues: efforts to restrict transgender youth’s health care and participation in girls’ sports, and a sweeping Florida law signed by the governor. Ron DeSantis, a potential presidential candidate. This legislation, which prohibits the classroom teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in certain elementary grades, is called the “Parental Rights in Education” measure – or, for its critics, the “Don ‘t Say Gay’.

The Times narrated articles are written by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan, Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo, and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.

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