This week I wrote devotionals about everything from celebration to suffering, plus a Graham Greene novel, and I invited four Anxious Bench colleagues to share their experience of teaching under COVID.
• While undergraduate enrollments have declined less than expected, the pandemic does seem to be depopulating another kind of educational institution: public schools.
• Conservative religious organizations — Christian and Jewish — continued to function as pandemic hot spots.
• Donald Trump may be recovering from the disease himself, but his appalling mismanagement of the crisis led another medical journal to editorialize against his reelection.
• Why are active duty military personnel turning away from Trump? A former NATO supreme commander explained.
• Oh, and there’s yet another well-reported exposé of the endless corruption of the Trump presidency.
• Dan Williams wrote a really smart piece on the theological reasons why white evangelicals haven’t supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 — and why things might move a bit next month.
• But it might simply be that evangelicals — like Mormons — have become skeptical of the same democratic culture that fed their movement in the 19th century.
• And if you don’t believe me that our democracy is at stake (and we are a democracy, whatever certain Republican lawmakers might say), believe one of the world’s leading historians of authoritarianism.
(Or if you don’t believe me that this country needs a Biden landslide, believe a leading conservative writer.)
• Meanwhile, Rich Mouw thought that the exhausted aftermath of the election “may actually be an opportune time for the rest of us — in churches, temples, mosques, as well as in other community gatherings — to reflect together on how to restore civic friendship” — one of the essential components of a “patriotism of compassion.”
• There’s been much ink spilled on the role of cable news and social media in fostering ideological echo chambers, but let’s not overlook the impact of an older medium.
• It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on the ongoing debate over LGBT equality and religious liberty, but a federal court upheld the right of a leading evangelical seminary to expel two students who entered same-sex marriages.
• Gordon joined Seattle Pacific and Houghton among evangelical flagship colleges resetting their tuition.
• Is it time for American colleges to revisit an old idea and stop emphasizing residential education (and all the expensive ancillary services that accompany it)?
• Why don’t we have cameras in all courtrooms? Blame my buddy Charles Lindbergh. (Well, “blame” is strong, but he’s kinda responsible.)