That Was The Week That Was

This week I announced our 2020 sports history tour (and talked through it with fellow guides Sam Mulberry and Chris Moore), then used my Anxious Bench post to share some of what I found reading through the library of Charles Lindbergh’s parents. Elsewhere…

Branscombe, "The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth"
Jennie Augusta Branscombe, “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) – Wikimedia

• I would guess that most readers of this blog know that there’s a big gap between the history and mythology of the first Thanksgiving. But just in case

• Remember that time when lots of conservative white Christians overlooked a Republican presidential candidate’s many personal flaws? It was only about a century ago.

• Did you know that it’s been more than four decades since a Democrat won the presidency with less than 55% of moderate voters?

• That’s probably good news for Pete Buttigieg, who managed to have a serious conversation about faith and politics in the pages of Rolling Stone.

• One way that Democrats might appeal to moderates: commit to making abortion more rare.

• Or they could make international religious freedom more central to their foreign policy platform.

• Speaking of religious liberty… that was part of the defense for an activist acquitted after harboring undocumented migrants from Central America. (You can learn more about him in this Anxious Bench post by Melissa Borja.)

• My Lindbergh editor reviewed a new history of “spiritual socialists” in U.S. history.

• Only in the Southern Baptist world could Karen Swallow Prior be seen as anything other than staunchly conservative.

• One of Billy Graham’s lesser-known legacies — a Christian radio station broadcasting a couple miles from my house — turned 70 this year.

• Christmas music is starting to show up earlier and earlier.

• Even if Tom Hanks’ new movie isn’t as good as it sounds, it has inspired some great pieces on Mr. Rogers, including Cathleen Falsani connecting the public TV legend to C.S. Lewis and Ryan Pemberton considering the liturgical power of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Finally, a couple of controversies in the world of Christian higher education:

• Fuller Seminary is being sued after it expelled a female student who is married to another woman.

• Several years ago BYU-Idaho was the poster child of “disruptive innovators” in higher ed. Now the Mormon institution is in the news for very different reasons.