This week I wrote a letter to my students about the coming fall, recorded a podcast about sports under COVID, and introduced readers to a Lindbergh biographer who never got to finish her book. Elsewhere:
• I’m worried that masks are going to make it harder for my students and me to get to know each other. But we can still look each other in the eye, and Peter Marty would remind me that that’s no small thing for a Christian.
• In any case, count me more skeptical than most American college students that we’ll be on campus for the full fall.
• Two social studies teachers discussed teaching under COVID, one of them feeling that, “in some ways, my historical training kind of failed me. I always felt like I’d find answers in the past. I don’t really find any answers.”
• One of the stars of the new American Experience film on women’s suffrage, historian Martha Jones, shared a poignant connection between her academic research and her family’s history.
• “As part of America’s reckoning with its oppressive past,” wrote a professor in South Carolina, “the nation now faces the question not just of what statues and other images should be taken down, but what else – if anything – should be put up in their place.”
• Just like Jack Hamilton, I’ve “found myself thinking quite a bit about ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ lately, probably the most troublesome piece of music in the catalogue of the Band, who are one of my favorite artists.”
• In a particularly deranged moment this week, Donald Trump claimed that Joe Biden was “against God.” Um, no.
• Even the National Review can’t believe that some conservatives are questioning the citizenship of Biden’s choice of running mater — who is not just the first African American woman to be a major party’s vice-presidential nominee, but the first Indian-American to accomplish that feat.
(And no, Kamala Harris isn’t against God, either. Though even so anti-Trump a conservative as Michael Gerson worried that the Harris choice underscored the Biden campaign’s challenge in appealing to some religious voters.)
• Even as I share such links, I have to wonder what, if anything, can reach Trump voters at this point…
• A former Liberty professor hoped that the country’s second largest Christian university can recover its mission in the absence of Jerry Falwell, Jr.
• At the other end of the evangelical political spectrum, the founder of Sojourners was replaced as editor of its magazine after Jim Wallis took down an essay criticizing white supremacy in the Catholic church.
• Finally, Victoria Reynolds Farmer wrote my favorite kind of essay: not just eloquent, funny, and poignant, but able to make me see the world — and my faith — differently.