That Was The Week That Was

Apart from an Anxious Bench post on the new Christians Against Christian Nationalism statement, I took the week off from blogging to finish moving into my new office and to read through several years’ worth of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s diaries and letters. Elsewhere:

• If you can see any shades of gray on the debate over abortion, you’ll want to read this long piece by an American doctor practicing medicine in a country with very different abortion laws.

Warren announcing her presidential campaign earlier this year

• It’s no surprise that Elizabeth Warren is the most professorial candidate in the 2020 field — but what kind of professor (and school teacher) was she?

• Apparently, two-thirds of “people like me” are Republican — and just saying that I’m religious and a Protestant added 40 points to that score.

• Five years after the killing of Michael Brown, Jemar Tisby reflected on how the response of white evangelicals to Ferguson sparked a ‘quiet exodus’ of African Americans “from white evangelical congregations and organizations. We distanced ourselves both relationally and ideologically from a brand of Christianity that seemed to revel in whiteness.”

• As usual, Emma Green offered some perceptive, nuanced religion reporting, this time as she considered Christian responses to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton: “In the midst of rising hatred, Christians cannot agree on what their prophetic role should be, and whether there are political solutions for America’s apparent recent uptick in overt violence and bigotry.”

• Many historians have wrestled with whether it’s appropriate to compare Trump’s America and Weimar Germany. But there’s another, much older historical analogy that’s both appealing and misleading.

• Per my post last week on challenges facing farmers in the Midwest… the Washington Post profiled Minnesotans facing farm bankruptcies.

• Did you know that the federal government employed taste testers who “served as the gatekeepers in a larger federal project that… has attempted to influence what food winds up in American kitchens”?

Government taste testers in the 1930s – U.S. National Archives/Smithsonian

• I remember telling our administrators a year or two ago that I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to slash our sticker price to better reflect net tuition — but that if we took that approach, we shouldn’t wait until everyone else had already done it.

• I’ll be giving a talk on general education this fall… One thing I’m sure I’ll say: most colleges could do a better job talking to students about the purposes of gen ed.

• A group of gay rights activists has asked the NCAA to investigate one large Christian university’s treatment of LGBTQ students.

• Do conservative college students suffer lower grades because of their political views? After reading a new study on that question, Jonathan Wilson concluded that “college students’ experiences reflect the same incoherence that all American political discourse sometimes involves.”

July 2015 at Field of Dreams in Dyersville, IA: Yes, I “had a catch” with my son. And yes, I cried.

• Then in the miscellaneous category… I’m glad I’ve already taken the kids to the Field of Dreams in Iowa… it’s about to change.

• And I’d be happy if all Jason Isbell did was put out great music… but he’s also pretty great at Twitter.