That Was The Week That Was

This week I considered the importance of Christian friendships between women and men and shared a bit more about the origins of our Faith and History devotional. (Click that link to learn how to pre-order with a publisher’s discount.) Elsewhere:

• We’re now less than a month away from starting face-to-face classes at Bethel… I hope someone’s been thinking about the problem of ventilation on campus.

• “There was a little bit of hope for everyone on opening weekend,” wrote fellow baseball fan Louisa Thomas… then the COVID tests started coming back positive.

Umpire wearing a COVID mask
Creative Commons (All Pro Reels)

• A progressive magazine criticized the most progressive pro sports league for the way it restarted its season.

• Most of what I’ve seen online covering the plight of Uighur Muslims in China has come from conservatives, so I hope progressives were paying attention when John Oliver talked recently about that human rights crisis.

• My fall Cold War class certainly seems more timely than ever, as Sino-American relations grow more tenuous.

• “We’re all political junkies now,” observed Claire Potter — and that’s not something to celebrate.

• Also from a historian writing in The Bulwark… Daniel Gullotta considered what the multi-party election of 1844 has to teach us in 2020.

• Some musicologists brought back to life the first known composition by women in American history.

• One more historical parallel with 1918: the great influenza pandemic inspired humorous responses.

• David Brooks hoped that Joe Biden has been studying FDR and the New Deal.

• I think Barack Obama’s eulogy for John Lewis is right up there with the 50th anniversary speech he gave at Selma among the few great examples of American political rhetoric this far into the 21st century.

Obama and Lewis embracing at the 2015 Selma anniversary – The White House

• If you’re going to be teaching your history classes partly or fully online this fall, you might want to check out this wiki from the American Historical Association.

• David Swartz shared another fascinating story of transnational religious history, connecting a Guatemalan pastor to a Korean prayer manual and American politicians.

• As more media go back to capitalizing “Black” to describe race, Nell Irvin Painter asked if we shouldn’t do the same with “white.”

• Pollster Robert Jones concluded that “we white Christians have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the nation’s dominant cultural power, we have constructed and sustained a project of perpetuating white supremacy that has framed the entire American story.”

• For a seemingly benign example… a contemporary worship music leader inadvertently provided “a classic example of white supremacy in action, because he assumed that the preferences of white people are universal moral imperatives.”

• With his leadership called into question by a scandal involving his own son, John Ortberg resigned after seventeen years as pastor of Menlo Church.