1. “Voting to let drug addicts die of starvation isn’t a very nice thing to do, but it is particularly galling coming from someone who admittedly cannot control his alcohol consumption and who likes to use cocaine.”
2. The new archbishop of Canterbury is, like the new pope, a humble man who seems easy to like. Welby and Francis can both be criticized for “changing the tone” without amending the substance, yet what we’re seeing from both of them shows that a change in “tone” seems to affect substance — to shift it in ways that go deeper than style and perception. (And here’s a bit of good news that seems substantial.) In any case, it’s good to see these two large Christian communions being led by people who seem to take Rule No. 1 seriously.
Yet the new archbishop is not without his critics: “Fix your collar, Justin Welby.”
I especially liked this bit: “You can choose to pursue a master of arts degree or a certificate. We suggest the masters, since our museum studies certificate is designed to benefit our bank account more than your career (museums rarely, if ever, advertise for someone with a graduate certificate. sorry).”
5. Here’s a mostly encouraging bit of news from a few stops away on the PA Turnpike: “Pa. Students Ban Use of ‘Redskins,’ Get Sent to Principal.”
That’s from Neshaminy High School, which shares the same racist mascot as the professional football team in Washington. Kudos to the kids who run the school paper for determining not to use that name in print, even if their principal, Robert McGee, has overruled them. “I don’t think that’s been decided at the national level, whether that word is or is not [offensive],” McGee said. “It’s our school mascot.”
Baby steps. The giant landmark/eyesore totem pole that used to advertise the Neshaminy mall finally came down in the 1990s. It’s long past time to change the school’s mascot too.
As Christians, we must be concerned with outcomes — are the hungry fed, are the naked clothed, are the sick visited. The more strategies that are brought to bear on the problem — which current policy or lack thereof has made a pressing problem — the greater the likelihood that it will be dealt with as Christ, who identifies himself unambiguously with those in need, tells us it must be. There is no analogy to be drawn between a beleaguered community governed, in effect, by a hostile and alien occupation, and a modern society that can indeed govern itself and care for its own as it chooses.
If we were indeed a Christian country I think we would be making other choices than many self-proclaimed Christians are trying to impose on us now. No talk of compassion impresses me when the tone of all reference to those who are struggling is hostile and judgmental.
7. “Are you being persecuted?” A handy reference tool for North American Christians.