Home / World News / Growing Religious Fervor on the Right and the Illusions Shattered by Putin’s War: The Week in Narrated Articles

Growing Religious Fervor on the Right and the Illusions Shattered by Putin’s War: The Week in Narrated Articles

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

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

At events across the United States, it is not unusual for participants to describe encountering the divine and feel they are doing their part to install God’s kingdom on earth. For them, right-wing political activity itself is becoming a holy act.

Written and narrated by Dave Itzkoff

Molly Shannon is more knowing than her oblivious characters, like Mary Katherine Gallagher, the maladapted but plucky schoolgirl who was her signature role on “S.N.L.,” but she shares their determination to forge ahead happily no matter the circumstances. That spirit is vivid in her new memoir, “Hello, Molly!”

But before readers get to 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 automobile accident that devastated her family.

Written and narrated by Sabrina Tavernise

The last time Sabrina Tavernise, co-host of “The Daily,” was in Russia in 2015, she faced a contradiction. “What if a place was unfree, but also happy?” she writes. “How long could it stay that way?”

Moscow was a city full of meticulously planted parks, bike lanes and parking spaces. Income for the average Russian had risen significantly over the previous decade. At the same time, its political system was drifting 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, throwing themselves into community building — making their cities better places to live. The thinking was that big politics were hopeless.

In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, those who turned to “small acts” are feeling a sense of shock.

Written and narrated by Michael Paulson

After a gloomy winter in which the Omicron variant shriveled Broadway’s lucrative holiday season, New York’s vaunted theater industry has been betting on a big spring, nearly doubling the number of shows on offer as the pandemic-battered business thirsts for a rebound.

Adding all those plays and musicals — 16 new productions plus three returning from hiatuses are opening over a five-week stretch — was always going to be a gamble, since no one knows, in this not-yet-post-pandemic era, whether there are enough tourists and theatergoing locals to sustain that many shows.

And now the stubborn persistence of the coronavirus is complicating matters even further. A rising number of cases in New York City, coinciding with the arrival of the virus’s BA.2 subvariant, has once again rocked Broadway, 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 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 be said in classrooms. These issues are pitting governors against their state legislatures, business leaders against conservative activists and, in some places, Republicans against one another, while Democrats calibrate their responses and some transgender people feel increasingly isolated.

To Democrats and some Republicans, the legislative pushes on these issues amount to an effort to inflame the G.O.P. base at all costs — even when it means children and their families see their governments singling them out.

Much of the policy dispute in the first months of 2022 has centered on two issues: efforts to restrict transgender youths’ health care and participation in girls’ sports, and a sweeping Florida law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible presidential candidate. That legislation, which prohibits classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in some elementary school grades, is called the “Parental Rights in Education” measure — or, to its critics, the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The Times’s narrated articles are made 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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