‘… and who is my neighbor?’ — a parable for a time of civil discord (as angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol)

Screen shot from Washington Post, Jan. 11, 2021. Video by Joy Sharon Yi. I'm sure Kate Woodsome of the Washington Post didn't set out to write a parable when she covered the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week. That's not what reporters do. She's the Post's op ed video editor, and … Continue reading ‘… and who is my neighbor?’ — a parable for a time of civil discord (as angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol)

Charlayne Hunter-Gault on making history, and the obligation to keep making it when no one seems to learn from it

History is often defined as what happened in the past, and, as my journalism professor said on the first day of class, “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” -- Charlayne Hunter-Gault On the 60th anniversary of the day she and another Black student desegregated the University of Georgia at Athens, … Continue reading Charlayne Hunter-Gault on making history, and the obligation to keep making it when no one seems to learn from it

Op ed piece: ‘post-Trump’ structural, political incentives to partisanship; former DHS official on Christian nationalism

Grist for discussion part of a larger study of "Luther's dear angels in Roger Williams' garden?" An opinion piece just as the first Congress was sworn in after Trump lost the Nov. 3, 2020 election, suggesting GOP strategy to undercut incoming Biden administration on economic recovery for partisan reasons ... comments within hours of its … Continue reading Op ed piece: ‘post-Trump’ structural, political incentives to partisanship; former DHS official on Christian nationalism

‘Us vs. them mentality’ in evangelical post-election support of Trump, ‘Christian nationalism’ (cited in CSM story)

Notes and quotes for my research on Swedish immigration -- from an article on a "Jericho march" protesting Pres. Donald Trump's defeat in the Nov. 3, 2020, election ... Citation: Harry Bruinius, "Will election become a new ‘lost cause’ for evangelical conservatives?" Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 16, 2020 https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2020/1216/Will-election-become-a-new-lost-cause-for-evangelical-conservatives? A summary from the Monitor, under headnote … Continue reading ‘Us vs. them mentality’ in evangelical post-election support of Trump, ‘Christian nationalism’ (cited in CSM story)

Notes on a review of an important new book about Faulkner, the Civil War and race (with a tangent on grad school in English at UT-Knoxville in the ’60s)

What Faulkner recognized was the ubiquity of such struggles over identity and their centrality to the American experience—the way that the question “Who am I?” is always connected to the question “Who are we?” -- Casey Cep, review of Michael Gorra, The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War, The New Yorker, Nov. 23, 2020 I … Continue reading Notes on a review of an important new book about Faulkner, the Civil War and race (with a tangent on grad school in English at UT-Knoxville in the ’60s)

A Jesuit, Martin Luther and a statehouse reporter walk into an elevator … surviving the aftermath of this year’s election

Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville (Wikipedia) In an online election-eve article titled "Jesuit tools to help you survive the election (and its aftermath)," Fr. James Martin, SJ, laid out some tips for America magazine readers on "navigating the rough emotional waters over the next few days, weeks and perhaps months or years." Naturally enough, they come … Continue reading A Jesuit, Martin Luther and a statehouse reporter walk into an elevator … surviving the aftermath of this year’s election

After the tumult, a moment of peace … and a moment for peacemakers

St. John's Episcopal-Lafayette Square in background. Business Insider, Nov. 7, 2020. It's been quite a week for peacemakers! Sunday, Nov. 1, was All Saints' Day, and the assigned gospel reading was the version of the Beatitudes in the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Including this (which isn't in Luke's version): "Blessed are the peacemakers, for … Continue reading After the tumult, a moment of peace … and a moment for peacemakers

‘The Benedict Option’: Notes and quotes from Rowan Williams, David Brooks

Wikipedia notes author Rod Dreher's involvement in controversies on race and gender, among other issues https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Dreher *** Rowan Williams, "The Benedict Option: a new monasticism for the 21st century," NewStatesman, May 30, 2017 https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2017/05/benedict-option-new-monasticism-21st-century.  Its argument is simple. For conservative religious believers, the battle on the political field has largely been lost; there is no point … Continue reading ‘The Benedict Option’: Notes and quotes from Rowan Williams, David Brooks

WaPo story on civil religion

Important update (imho) on the issue, at a time the culture wars were just beginning ... Keith Richburg, "America Already Has a Civil Religion," Washington Post, Sept. 8, 1985 https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1985/09/08/america-already-has-a-civil-religion/89818518-9e27-45bd-814a-fbae9981a823/. Verbatim excerpts: Education Secretary William J. Bennett sparked the current debate with his unusual Aug. 7 speech to a Catholic lay organization, in which he … Continue reading WaPo story on civil religion

‘Dear Church’: A tapestry of discipleship and a call for white folks to ‘do good white folk work’ to help dismantle racism

What can the "whitest denomination(s) in the US" do about institutional racism in this time of pandemic and racial reckoning? Quite a bit, actually. At least more than you'd think, according to the Rev. Lenny Duncan of Vancouver, Wash. Mission development pastor at a Lutheran church in Vancouver, Duncan is the author of Dear Church: A … Continue reading ‘Dear Church’: A tapestry of discipleship and a call for white folks to ‘do good white folk work’ to help dismantle racism