This week: I learned how Latter-day Saints follow Jesus and checked in on the most popular posts so far this year at The Anxious Bench. (I also flew home after a week in Germany — more on that next week…)
• For my money, the most important moment from this week’s hearings on the January 6th insurrection came when a widely respective conservative federal judge warned that Donald Trump and his allies constitute a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”
• But if these Nevadans are typical, the evidence presented at those hearings is somehow not changing Republicans’ minds.
(That wouldn’t surprise historian John Fea, who argued that the “Trump Generation” is a lost cause — better to reinvest in the kind of education necessary for democratic citizenship. If so, this bipartisan bill funding civics education seems like a good first step.)
• Meanwhile, one journalist found that internal strife was paralyzing numerous progressive advocacy groups.
• RIP Mark Shields, one of my favorite political commentators.
• I hadn’t heard the term “sportwashing” before, but this op-ed piece criticizing Saudi Arabia for using. a professional golf tour to “to launder its reputation globally” reminds me of how we’ve discussed China’s use of the Olympics in our History and Politics of Sports class.
• I don’t think I’ve ever typed the word urine at this blog… but the Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing a fertilizer shortage, and it turns out that “not wasting our waste” might offer a solution.
• That war is also reviving “geopolitically driven energy insecurity and resource competition” — and in the long run, that might “actually accelerate the shift to a lower-carbon global economy.”
• In the meantime, one Christian college professor explained why climate change still hits the poor hardest of all, and another asked how Christians can adapt their “spirituality and practice in order to become healers of this damaged earth?”
• In my mind, summer solstice is more associated with pagan religions, but Hannah Anderson made a Christian case for celebrating the longest day of the year.
• A reminder that “pastoring and working in an egalitarian paradigm does not guarantee that women will not experience the harsh reality that regardless of our standing, complementarianism is at work.”
• At an annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention that also saw messengers approve recommendations from a task force on sexual abuse, outgoing megachurch pastor Rick Warren made a surprising appearance.
• The Christian Reformed Church voted to give “confessional” status to its traditional position opposing same-sex behavior (by roughly the same percentage as a somewhat similar vote in the Evangelical Covenant Church three years ago), a result that may have repercussions at the CRC’s flagship university.
• Meanwhile, students protesting LGBT policies at Seattle Pacific University are continuing their sit-in even after that Christian college’s June commencement. If there’s no change by July 1st, they plan to sue the university’s governing board.
• Is there a difference between empathy (as it’s often defined as a learning objective in schools and colleges) and compassion (as the Bible uses that term)?
• Not so long ago, historically black colleges and universities seemed to be in crisis mode… but there’s some evidence that “their nurturing mission, increased funding and growing visibility have been drawing a new wave of students.”