This week I celebrated my 10th anniversary of blogging, and a vacation on Lake Superior made me reflect on the importance of historical complexity.
• It’s always good to see your own country through other eyes, like those of the BBC journalist who wrote that, “in modern-day America, there is no such thing as a bygone era. The battlefields of yesteryear are also combat zones of today. The political geography of America is increasingly being shaped by a politicised historiography. The past is viewed through a partisan prism.”
• “I don’t think it’s possible,” wrote Michael Gerson, “to be a conservative without believing that racism is, in part, structural.”
• But Dan Williams explained why conservative evangelicals can at once “welcome Blacks into their churches and ministries and treat them as full human beings” and “show no interest in changing the structures of society that perpetuate racial inequality.”
• Jim Wallis said a final farewell to the magazine he founded half a century ago.
• Further proof that religion in the Upper Midwest is more than just Lutherans and Catholics… meet the Pentecostal woman who preached in St. Paul, sang on Garrison Keillor’s radio show, and raised over a thousand foster children before dying at age 89.
• “One of the few remaining outlets for activism and witty resistance in Hong Kong” closed up shop, and the Biden Administration banned the import of solar energy materials made by slave labor in China.
• What’s at stake in the class action suit challenging religious colleges and universities’ exemptions to Title IX? A law professor at one school explained.
• Meanwhile, is the Supreme Court about to hand one side a huge victory in the clash between religious freedom and LGBTQ equality?
• I once proposed an all-star team composed of baseball players who had attended Christian colleges and universities, with Ben Zobrist batting clean-up and playing right field. Unfortunately, he’s been in the news more recently because of a divorce story that includes his wife’s alleged affair with their pastor.
• Finally, I got one of my periodic reminders that I’m not really a U.S. historian, when I learned for the first time that the WPA published a sprawling series of travel guides to American states, territories, and cities.