Where the miles are marked in blood and in gold

Where the miles are marked in blood and in gold September 13, 2021

• Kudos and thanks to Alvin McEwen for 15 terrific years of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.

• It would be wrong to suggest that every member of ACNA is a Dreher-esque, authority-shopping serial convert seeking a figleaf of “tradition.” But it would also be wrong not to recognize that folks like that are drawn to such splinter-traditions, or that something like the Anglican Church in North America exists to provide a pretext of traditional authority while insulating its members from any accountability to, you know, the Anglican Church qua the Anglican Church, without those additional parochial qualifiers.

It’s like when someone tells you they played college athletics at Penn State without mentioning that it was Penn State Brandywine campus. OK, then.

• Joy E.A. Qualls writes about “The Role of Women in Pentecostalism.” The charismatic (in more than one sense) leadership of women played a huge role in the creation and spread of this stream of American evangelicalism but, as Qualls says, that has been checked and throttled by Pentecostals’ desire to seek “respectability” and approval from other, patriarchal strains within white evangelicalism, where “your daughters must never prophesy” reigns as dogma.

• Speaking of pioneering women of faith and of prominent women in the North American Anglican tradition, Erik Loomis visits the American grave of Frances Perkins. Perkins was the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet and as secretary of labor she changed the world in ways that still benefit the lives of every American today (the 40-hour work week, the end of child labor, Social Security, among others).

Frances Perkins is also recognized as a notable saint, a “public servant and prophetic witness” of the Episcopal Church whose feast day is celebrated on May 13, when the following prayer may be included in the liturgy:

Loving God, we bless your Name for Frances Perkins, who lived out her belief that the special vocation of the laity is to conduct the secular affairs of society that all may be maintained in health and decency. Help us, following her example, to contend tirelessly for justice and for the protection of all in need, that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

• Jayson Casper writes for Christianity Today about two more Christian universities finally realizing that “Crusaders” is not the best mascot. Both Evangel University (Assemblies of God, Missouri) and Valparaiso (Lutheran, Indiana) have recently better-late-than-never decided to retire the unholy warriors as school symbols and the nicknames of their sports teams.

That CT report is focused more on perception than on the ugly reality of the actual crusaders and crusades, which Casper mainly addresses with grim understatement (“the Crusaders were not necessarily the good guys”). And I worry a bit that these name changes are, in part, a way to avoid the uncomfortable conversations about that reality that the former mascot unintentionally prompted. But let’s accentuate the positive here and just celebrate that Evangel and Valpo have done a Good Thing.

• Because some things can and sometimes do get better.

• “In God We Trust” — all others pay cash.

• The link above is about a Christian nationalist politician who (allegedly) broke laws forbidding fraud and theft. Here’s an item about another politician attempting to break the law — Duverger’s law, “Andrew Yang is starting a third political party.”

• For several years, I’d mark the anniversary of 9/11 here by reciting John M. Ford’s haunting “110 Stories” (which should be anthologized and studied, forever, I think) and the eerily prescient “white plume” bit from E.B. White’s “Here Is New York” and such like.

But over time it seemed more and more evident that “never forget” meant only “never learn,” and so here’s a deeper cut from The Rising, which is as much as I have left to say about that anniversary this year:

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