That Was The Week That Was

This week I shared video of my first Lindbergh book talk and considered whether we’re seeing a realignment of American Christianity along lines other than the mainline-evangelical divide. Elsewhere:

• If you liked my post last weekend on the history of religious colleges in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, you’ll want to read pieces by Benjamin Young (at The Anxious Bench) and Paul Putz & Jonathan Root (at Christianity Today) on the religious and sports history of Oral Roberts University, whose Golden Eagles are playing tonight in the Sweet Sixteen.

• Meanwhile, fellow baseball fans longing for Opening Day should invest some time in reading this essay on what it means for Major League Baseball finally, fully to affirm the Negro Leagues.

• On Thursday I dedicated part of my World War II class to telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, celebrating their 80th anniversary this year.

The first cadets at Tuskegee in 1941 – Wikimedia/U.S. Air Force

• As I turn to the slaughter of Jews next month in that class, I’m sure I’ll mention that the Polish government has attempted to punish and deter historians who investigate Poles’ role in the Holocaust.

• Meanwhile, how did Christian women in Germany respond to Nazism?

• My favorite blog post title of the week came from my Anxious Bench colleague Agnes Howard: “For God So Loved the World He Gave Us Sundried Tomatoes,” on the history of Christian diet books.

• I don’t enjoy dancing, but that activity has been integral to some Christians’ religious experience for centuries.

• I hate spending more than $60 on shoes. I’ll clearly never understand celebrity pastors

• Anthea Butler has a new book out on White Evangelical Racism. While Butler is a historian and the book is published by an academic press, John Turner suggested that we read it as “a powerful work of prophecy, in the manner of Hebrew prophets who called the people to account for their sins…”

• Meet some of the young evangelicals trying to rescue environmentalism from the culture wars.

The Center for the Humanities at Lee University – Wikimedia

• Lee University in Tennessee is the latest Christian college to host a public rift between a conservative administration and LGBTQ-affirming alumni.

• Franklin Graham deserves all sorts of brickbats for his behavior in recent years, but if our goal is to get to herd immunity against COVID, I’m going to praise him for not only encouraging evangelicals to get vaccinated — to the anger of many of them — but having his organization host vaccine clinics.

• “There will still be — and will always be — temperamental differences between liberals and conservatives,” concluded Paul Rosenberg. “There are temperamental gifts on both sides, as well as in between. But there’s a common liberal cultural heritage that makes it pragmatically possible for both sides to achieve what’s most important to them. Conservatives need to claim that heritage and own it for themselves.”