An eclectic collection of news and views from the past week on faith, language, and literature, as well as other topics of interest.

A recent study has predicted that the extinction of religion in Canada is drawing near. Canadian scholar Reginald W. Bibby has an excellent response in the Holy Post, calling the study’s conclusions “way off the mark.”

It’s April, and that of course means it’s National Poetry Month for book Canada and the United States. This one is more of a public service announcement than a link to an interesting article per se. If you’re in Saskatchewan, you might want to consider attending this event with readings by our newest poet laureate Don Kerr.  If you’re elsewhere in Canada and looking for a way to celebrate, you can check out The League of Canadian Poets’ reading calendar (it’s by no means comprehensive, but you might find a worthwhile event to attend).

Josh Cacopardo has an entertaining take on the benefits of e-readers (which include, he assures us, the ability to trick children into reading books: “Kids – let’s be honest – are not very smart,” he writes. “How hard can it be to trick them into reading a book just because it’s on a battery-operated screen?”). The article appears at The Curator and is entitled “The Willful Death of a Luddite”.

In honour of the 400th anniversary of its publication, The Globe Theatre in London has announced it will be reciting the King James Version of the bible in its entirety from Palm Sunday through Easter Monday. It’d be an excellent opportunity to experience the Scripture as most people originally experienced it: by hearing it read aloud.

BBC News reports the alleged discovery of what might be the oldest Christian texts in the world – possibly dating within decades of Christ himself. Whether the find turns out to be authentic – and whether the lead-plate books actually turn out to be Christian in origin – remains to be seen, as the texts, while Hebrew, are apparently written primarily in code.

Finally, the Associated Baptist Press reports that Westboro Baptist’s infamous “God hates fags” signs are actually the result of typographical errors; that they were instead intended to read “God hates flags” as a criticism of overseas sweatshops where many flags are made. “Phelps said protestors didn’t notice the error,” the article explains, “because they only see the back of the signs while they are holding them.” I’ll admit this one threw me for a loop (halfway through reading it I had to double-check that I was really on the Associated Baptist Press’ website and not a fake-news site), but then I got to the end which read: “Happy April Fools’ Day from your friends at Associated Baptist Press.” Ah, if only it were all true…