• The chipmunks are awake. The little tomato thieves have ended their long winter’s nap, so even though the forecast calls for more snow today, I finally feel like spring is on its way.
• Here is another reason I don’t believe in ghosts. If the dead could come back to haunt the living, then there’s no way a blood-soaked killer like Oliver North would dare to say something like this: “Nobody died in Iran-Contra.” Oliver North was not a soldier, he was a criminal and a murderer. The terrorists he funded illegally with the profits of illegal arms sales to Iran assassinated dozens of Nicaraguan candidates for office and fought a decade-long civil war that left more than 50,000 dead.
Oliver North is about as honest as he is honorable.
• 11,952 < 13,200. It just is. I’m so old I can remember when basic arithmetic wasn’t regarded as a matter of opinion, with contrasting partisan opinions that must all be treated respectfully. “I personally do not believe that.” Irrelevant. 11,952 < 13,200.
• This animated map shows the spread of Walmart stores across America. If you look at it backwards, it winds up being a map of America’s national parks and forest preserves. The closer the map gets to the present, the more clearly you can see the boundaries of the Acadia, Glacier and Yellowstone and Adirondack parks.
• Marg Herder participated in “Oriented to Love,” a dialogue sponsored by my old gang, Evangelicals for Social Action. In grand Siderian Mennonite fashion, this was a three-day event that brought together a small group of Christians with a wide range of conflicting views about whether or how the church ought to include and love LGBT people. Herder has written six fascinating, insightful and nakedly honest posts following the event: one, two, three, four, five, six. I’m encouraged by this — it’s not something I could imagine ESA being part of 15 or even 10 years ago. No good as a final step, but hopeful as a first one.
• On the other hand … Amaryah Shaye goes deep in addressing the inadequacy of this “reconciliation” framework, and how it presumes and reinforces the unjust status quo without ever allowing justice to become a precondition for reconciliation: “Refusing to Reconcile: Against Racial Reconciliation” and “Refusing Reconciliation: Spatiality, Fugitivity, and Blackness as Wild(er)ness.”
• I love that scene in Raising Arizona when the bank robbers order everyone to freeze and get down on the ground. “Well, which is it, young feller?” an old man asks. “You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a gonna be in motion.”
That’s what I thought of when I heard Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress railing against “godless, immoral infidels who hate God.” Which is it, young feller? If’n they’re godless, then they can’t rightly hate God. And if’n they hate God …