That Was The Week That Was

This week I celebrated the value of scholarly citation (really) and told the story of a rather enterprising Catholic priest who lamented the rise of what we now call “religious nones” at the end of World War II. Elsewhere:

• Bob Smietana broke the story of popular speaker-writer Beth Moore leaving the Southern Baptist Convention.

• If you’re not sure why that’s such a big announcement… I pulled together a bit of quick context from previous posts at The Anxious Bench. You can find more in-depth analysis from Courtney Pace, who traced the longer arc of Moore’s career as a woman in a patriarchal religious culture.

• Bonnie Kristian asked if Moore’s departure was “a preview of Southern Baptist divisions to come, and, if so, what will those divisions mean for the whole United States?”

• Next to the Beth Moore story… the one I saw discussed most often this week in my social media timelines was Shadi Hamid’s essay on the dangers of politics taking the place of religion.

One year ago in Toronto… – Creative Commons (EelamStyleZ)

• In other news… it was a year ago this week that the World Health Organization declared the COVID pandemic, but we should consider that the “pandemic will not have one anniversary; it will have millions of them, each commemorating its own private tragedy.”

• What has COVID meant for American teenagers? Alec MacGillis reported on the emotional toll taken on students in the Southwest.

• For my Anxious Bench colleague Melissa Borja, the pandemic has helped her “[rediscover] the mission that drew me to research and writing in the first place: a commitment to serving people and alleviating suffering.”

• One of my blogging heroes, John Fea, is launching a new online journal, Current. (Never fear: his blog will continue at the new site, which will also host other essays.)

• On this weekend when we lose an hour of sleep, consider the case for Daylight Savings Time.

• Need to apologize for something? Don’t do it like Andrew Cuomo.

Political paraphernalia related to Whig leader Henry Clay – Cornell University Library/Wikimedia

• Will the GOP go the way of the Whigs?

• It’s possible to roll your eyes at Republican legislators trying to turn Dr. Seuss into a conservative martyr… and still be wary about some progressives’ response to his books.

• And Winston Churchill’s best biographer warned that legitimate criticism of a complicated, flawed statesman is giving way to “bizarre, unhistorical, and totally factually incorrect assaults” on him.

• Earlier this month, the Pentagon identified the remains of a Catholic army chaplain who is in the unusual position of having receiving the Medal of Honor and being canonized as a saint.

• I teach German history from time to time, yet I’d totally forgotten that January marked the 150th anniversary of Germany becoming a nation-state. An oversight that underscores Katja Hoyer’s point: the Second Reich is still overshadowed by the Third.

Anton von Werner’s painting of the German Empire being declared at Versailles in January 1871 – Wikimedia

• The newest source of disruption in higher ed: Google.

• And an appellate court ruled against Gordon College in the case of a former social work professor who was turned down for promotion. (I’ll have more to say about the case next week at Anxious Bench: not that I’m a legal expert on the “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws, but I often wonder if Christian college professors like me are acting as Christian ministers…)