It wasn’t until the nineties, long after Lindy Chamberlain had been convicted of her baby’s murder and spent time in prison for it then exonerated, and after she and her husband Michael had divorced, that some of us actually started to say out loud “Er..I don’t think she did it.” Before that time, nobody would have dared say that in public. You’d have been shouted down. You’d have been uninvited to coffee mornings and barbeques and footy games. You’d have had people you considered to be intelligent, reasonable adults roll their eyes at you and spit “Of course she bloody did it!” And to this day, many vehemently defend this view. After all, the horse has pretty much bolted. Tasteless jokes have been told, and tasteless t-shirts worn. …
How is it easier to believe a human mother could behave like a wild dog towards her own child than it is to believe a wild dog could behave that way?
Tony Jones: “Bonhoeffer Bends a Lot of Ways“
[Eric] Metaxas’s account of Bonhoeffer’s life has been almost universally derided by Bonhoeffer scholars. They say that he simply took bits and pieces of Bonhoeffer’s biography — all cribbed from earlier books — and pasted them together to make his point that Bonhoeffer was actually a conservative cultural warrior who repudiated liberal Christianity and considered fundamentalists in America to be in the same plight as German Jews.
In the Association of Contemporary Church Historians Quarterly, for instance, Victoria J. Barnett of the US Holocaust Museum writes:
There are two central problems here. The first is that he has a very shaky grasp of the political, theological, and ecumenical history of the period. Hence he has pieced together the historical and theological backdrop for the Bonhoeffer story using examples from various works, sometimes completely out of context and often without understanding their meaning. He focuses too much on minor details and overlooks some of the major ones (such as the role of the Lutheran bishops and the “intact” churches). The second is that theologically, the book is a polemic, written to make the case that Bonhoeffer was in reality an evangelical Christian whose battle was not just against the Nazis but all the liberal Christians who enabled them.
And that’s the nice part of the review.
Richard Rohr: “Fortnight for Freedom“
The Catholic Bishops of America have initiated a two week campaign to fight for religious freedom in America. It is called a “Fortnight for Freedom.”
It strikes a large part of the population as crying wolf when there is no wolf. Probably no population in human history has had more religious freedom and more religious support than the present population of the USA. (I myself, as a Franciscan vowed to common purse, pay no taxes. Nor do our local parishes or institutions.) It feels like entitled people wanting more entitlement.
How different from the early Christian martyrs, whom we piously venerate, who became holy and courageous through the limitations imposed on them by empires and emperors. Too bad Sts. Perpetua and Felicity could not sponsor a fortnight for freedom from their prison cells. Now we suffer no limitations or constraints, refuse to dialogue fairly or up front, and just complain that “our freedoms are being taken away.”