That Was The Week That Was

Apart from sharing the news of our history devotional that’s coming out in December, it was a quiet blogging week for me, as I moved into the last stages of writing my Lindbergh manuscript. Elsewhere:

• #EverythingHasAHistory, including protests at historic sites.

• On the same day, Princeton announces that it’s dropping Woodrow Wilson’s name from a school and the Mississippi state legislature moves toward removing the Confederate symbol from that state’s flag.

Creative Commons (Maina Kiai)

• There’s been a lot of thoughtful reflection on the nature of memorials in this country, but no essay packs as much of a punch as one from a poet whose “very existence is a relic of slavery and Jim Crow.”

• Emily McFarlan Miller had a really interesting article on “white Jesus” images like Warner Sallman’s Head of Christ. (Here’s my own attempt at telling that story, back in 2016.)

• I wasn’t sure how she would get from COVID masks to systemic racism when her Anxious Bench post started, but Andrea Turpin connected the dots rather compellingly.

• Fusing rigorous research and reporting and creative data visualization, this New York Times article is as good an explanation of the spread of COVID in the United States as anything you’ll see.

• I’m as big a sports fan as anyone, but I can’t pretend there aren’t practical, political, and ethical reasons not to resume play.

• As the disease surges on, we’re seeing effects on everything from Bible camps and VBS programs to European tours. (By the way, at this point I think it’s unlikely I’ll lead another Pietist Schoolman Travel tour before 2022, but I’ll announce a firmer decision by the end of the summer.)

• One possible educational effect of the pandemic: “Americans may come to recognize by the end of this schooling crisis that we would all be better off without letter grades.”

• The governing board of Cedarville University reinstated its president, who hadn’t disclosed a hire’s history of sexual misconduct… prompting two trustees to resign, one of them a Southern Baptist seminary president.

• Talking about a religious “option” is very 2017, but I’m interested in any Christian approach to cultural engagement that centers Francis of Assisi.