• Christianity,  News

    A Meditation on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

    I’ll never forget where I was on September 11, 2001. My wife and I were in our second year of marriage, and we were living in Louisville, Kentucky while I was working on my Ph.D. On the morning of the attacks, I had a seminar later that day, and I was in our apartment when she called me from her work to tell me to turn the television on. I think both buildings had already been struck by the time I tuned in, but I was watching live television as the towers eventually crumbled to the ground. Americans were horrified by what we saw that day. As the flames engulfed…

  • News

    9/11: One Day in America

    Earlier this week I finished watching the new National Geographic documentary titled “9/11: One Day in America.” I cannot recommend this program highly enough. The documentary does not focus on pundits or politicians and what they did that day. Rather, it focuses on the lives and stories of the people at ground zero in Manhattan. We became familiar with many of these faces 20 years ago in the immediate aftermath. It is good to see so many of them again telling their stories in long form. I know that there are many retrospectives that have been produced in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary. But this one really is the…

  • Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    The Verdict

    Earlier today, a jury in Minneapolis delivered three guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed George Floyd. The jury deliberations were relatively short, which seemed to signal in advance that guilty verdicts were in the offing. And indeed they were. I was not able to watch the whole trial (who could?), but I did read news coverage as it progressed. I also caught some of the closing arguments from both the defense and the prosecution. From what I saw, it was clear to me that the prosecution was very effective at proving its case. The key features that the trial confirmed were cause of death and…

  • Christianity,  News

    Southern Baptists Prepare To Expel Gay-affirming Church

    The Associated Press reports on items of controversy facing Southern Baptists at the Executive Committee meeting next week. Among other things, the report states: On the agenda [is] a recommendation that a church in Kennesaw, Georgia, be ousted from the SBC because it accepted LGBTQ people into its congregation, contravening Southern Baptist doctrine… Jim Conrad, the pastor of Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, said he’s at peace with the likelihood that his church will be “disfellowshipped” by the executive committee during its meeting Monday and Tuesday. But Conrad sees broader challenges for the SBC as its stances on various sensitive issues are questioned from inside and outside. “The problem…

  • Christianity,  News

    Why Conservatives Don’t Trust the Media about the Election

    Ross Douthat has an insightful analysis of why so many conservatives believe that the election was stolen. In particular, he explains why they aren’t listening to the tsk-tsking of the news media and elites who are upbraiding them for believing in conspiracy theories: [The media’s] story of the spring and early summer starts with our country’s leaders and experts calling for unprecedented sacrifice, with lockdowns and closures that disproportionately affected small businesses, churches and families with children — all conservative-coded groups and institutions — while liberal professionals on Zoom were in better shape and the great powers of Silicon Valley expanded their influence and wealth. Then, based on a single…

  • Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    Attorney General Daniel Cameron Announces Charges in Breonna Taylor Case

    Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury indictment in the Breonna Case. The Grand Jury indicted one officer for several counts of “wanton endangerment,” but the Jury did not indict any officer for murder. Every person in the country should read or listen to the statement that Attorney General Daniel Cameron made earlier today. The statement mourns Taylor’s death as a great tragedy while also arguing for the rule of law, due process, and justice—the stuff that civil rights, freedom, and democracy are built upon. You can watch or read the AG’s statement below. Remarks by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Press Conference Regarding the Grand Jury Proceedings…

  • News,  Personal

    My Hometown of DeRidder in the Aftermath of Laura

    Last week, I wrote about Hurricane Laura as it bore down on my hometown of DeRidder, Louisiana. None of us knew then exactly what path the storm would take, but it turns out that the eye of the storm passed right over my childhood home. As the dust settled on Thursday, it became really clear that our little town was devastated. In fact, the federal government has designated our city as a disaster area. My parents have been taking care of my aged aunt who has been having extreme difficulties that have rendered her unable to walk or care for herself. For that reason, they had decided to ride the…

  • News,  Personal

    Waiting for the Storm

    I suppose most of the country is watching a political convention tonight. Not me. I’ve been focused all day on Hurricane Laura that is bearing down on Southwest Louisiana. My hometown is DeRidder, LA, and my parents still live there. It is 80 miles from the Gulf and is far enough inland that we usually don’t worry about Hurricanes there. We found out 15 years ago from Hurricane Rita that our inland “safety” is not as safe as we once thought. Mom and Dad rode that storm out, and it was one of the most harrowing experiences of their lives. The winds churned through our town. Mom and Dad said…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    Can we weep with those who weep?

    Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Heather MacDonald titled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism.” In the essay, MacDonald provides compelling empirical evidence to prove that blacks are not shot or killed by police at a level disproportionately higher than whites. She writes: In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  News

    Second Comings

    Writing in a time of chaos and hopelessness, W. B. Yeats subverts the Christian story of the world and paints a dark picture of the end in his poem “The Second Coming.” It is easy to slip into this kind of hopelessness when things are coming apart. That is why it is imperative that we remember right now that the true story of the world does not end in chaos and destruction. The true story of the world is better than how the anarchy of the moment makes us feel. The only people prepared to bear witness to this truth in a week like this one are those who know the…