Charlie Gard and the Nazis

We know how it ended. But we always seem to forget how it began.
It ended with liberation and the end of war. It ended with Nuremberg and the promise of “Never again!”
But it began with kinder euthanasia–the supposed mercy killing of children. The Holocaust Encyclopedia (HE) calls the program “a rehearsal for Nazi Germany’s subsequent genocidal policies.” A program we remember.
First, they came for infants and toddlers with severe mental or physical disabilities. No one else spoke up for they were not among the targeted.
Then they came for disabled children up to the age of seventeen, then to the physically disabled and elderly (HE). The weak of any age. Those who were not weak did not speak up. Continue reading “Charlie Gard and the Nazis”

The Real Church Schism

“It is . . . dechristianization . . . with the man defined strictly without God and without transcendence. Religion is experienced as a feeling, but not worshiping God as creator and savior. In this great picture, these factors are not good for the transmission of the lived Christian faith, and for this reason it is necessary not to lose our energies in internal struggles, in conflict with each other, with the so-called progressivists seeking revenge by hunting all so-called conservatives. Cardinal Muller
It’s a fascinating discussion. Cardinal Muller talks as if there is room for compromise between conservatives and the “so-called progressives.”
How would compromise work?
Abortion? The baby is dead or alive–there is no in between place.
Gay marriage? A valid union or an invalid union–no wiggle room there either.
More to the point–“worshiping God as creator and savior”? If we are to commit ourselves to true worship, we affirm the transcendence of humanity.  We affirm that people are more than we see through human experience. There is more beyond this world. And we are accountable to our “creator and savior.” Continue reading “The Real Church Schism”

Dunkirk: A Review, From War to Home

When I was a kid, war movies were history. World War II movies were the history my parents had lived. The war was the big event of their lives, in which they had participated, Mom as a typist in the Coast Guard, Dad, as a Navy medic in the South Pacific.
So we laughed at The Wackiest Ship in the Army. We thrilled at Patton. We mourned at The Great Escape
The events these movies depicted–sometimes quite accurately–were important to know about. But they didn’t seem to be something we might still experience. Then I grew older. And my kids grew up.
The actors in war movies were now younger than I was, not the older heroes almost of myth, but young men and women. Much like my own kids.
And the world changed too. War became something we could experience. It was something many of us were experiencing. Continue reading “Dunkirk: A Review, From War to Home”

Agony and Betrayal–Part II

“First, there’s no moral equivalence between the agony experienced by victims of sexual abuse, especially children, and the hardships of a falsely accused priest. The point is not to compare the two things, but rather, that you can’t remedy one injustice by creating another.” John L. Allen
First, there was Tawana Brawley. More recently, as Thomas Guerino points out, there was the Duke University Lacrosse team. A gang rape at the University of Virginia. And Alan Dershowitz–a Harvard law professor accused of having sex with an underaged girl.
All those stories fell apart. They weren’t true. It’s a big problem today–false accusation. We are wide awake, we hope, to allegations of abuse of all kinds.
But sometimes people tell lies because of malice or greed. Continue reading “Agony and Betrayal–Part II”

Agony and Betrayal–Part One

They’re stories that have happened everywhere–and more often than we like to think.
In the 1990s, I was a radio news reporter. A huge story at the time was the Francis Luddy trial. Luddy had been a respected priest until someone accused him of sexual abuse and sued him. Luddy admitted that he had abused boys. But this particular boy, he said, “wasn’t my type.”
The jury didn’t believe Luddy. After all, if someone could abuse children, he could lie about it too. They called upon the local diocese to pay up.
Luddy’s victim died in 2012 at the age of 44. Few questions surround this case.
Such is not the case regarding Jerry Sandusky of nearby Nittany Valley–Penn State.
Despite Sandusky’s ongoing denials, too many believable accusers won their day in court.
A cloud of accusation and doubt encased the final days of beloved Coach Joe Paterno. But national news coverage of Sandusky has neglected what could be an important factor. Continue reading “Agony and Betrayal–Part One”

Our Divided American Tribe

“People speak with incredible contempt about–depending on their views–the rich, the poor, the educated, the foreign-born, the president, or the entire US government. It’s a level of contempt that is usually reserved for enemies in wartime, except that it’s applied to our fellow citizens. Unlike criticism, contempt is particularly toxic because it assumes a moral superiority in the speaker. . . . People who speak with contempt for one another will probably not remain united long.” (Sebastian Junger 126)
We are a divided people–a people in many ways at war with each other. Sebastian Junger examines the reasons in Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. I picked the book up because it’s the common read this fall on the campus where I teach freshman composition. All incoming freshmen receive a copy of the chosen book each year.
I haven’t participated in the common read before. Other books didn’t fit with my course plan, and some students indicated great relief that I wasn’t making them read the books.
But when I read the description of Junger’s book last week, I couldn’t wait to get ahold of it. It deals substantively with the division of our society and with PTSD–Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Junger explores why PTSD is a larger problem for us today even with a military much smaller than those of the World War II, Korea, and Vietnam eras.  Continue reading “Our Divided American Tribe”

Sunshine Blogger Award!

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the amazing, versatile Mitch Teemley!  Please visit his website. It’s fabulous and inspiring.
Thank you, Mitch! And keep shining the light!
My Answers to Mitch’s Questions

  1. What would you like us to know about you? I love Jesus, my family, and my life right now. So blessed to be able to write and teach. Still young enough to live boldly but old enough to be allowed the occasional (I hope) eccentricity.
  2. How long have you been blogging? Just passed my two-year anniversary.
  3. What is your goal for your blog? To speak truth, encouraging Christians of all traditions to walk together in faithfulness and accord.
  4. Would you share one of your favorite quotes? “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis
  5. What has been most rewarding for you since starting your blog? Having a post  I revised published at July 15, 2017!
  6. What are your hobbies? Sewing crafts and clothing for grandkids, restoring antique quilts, reading.
  7. If you were starting all over with your blog, what would you do differently? I wouldn’t obsess over the numbers so much.
  8. If you had to live in any time in history other than this one, what time period would you choose and why? I think I’d pick the era of World War II and the post-war times. Wonderful heroes in those days–like my parents! But I wonder if I would be a person of faith if I lived in a different time. So I’m content here and now.
  9. If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice, what would it be? Put yourself out there. That deep feeling or fear you’re hiding is exactly what someone else needs to read about. Be transparent.
  10. What has been your most useful life lesson? Trust God, no matter what!

Questions for My Nominees
Mitch’s questions are terrific, so I’m going to do what he did and ask the same questions. 
The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog (see above)
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you (see below)
  • List the rules and display the award logo
  • Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award and ask them 11 questions

My list isn’t 11, but it’s a good list! I nominate the following bloggers!

  1. John Lewis 
  2. Colleen Scheid
  3. Chris Lindsay
  4. M.R. Charles
  5. Rob Stroud
  6. Laura Booz

Written Out of History: The Lost Faces of Key Founders

We don’t like to think about it, but most of us will disappear from history. All we do for family and friends will vanish over the next several generations.
To be sure, God will remember. But it’s human nature; people forget. Over time, even our memory of the very remarkable tends toward distortion–for good or bad–or extinction.
It’s a sad case, even when someone played a big part in one of history’s most notable moments.  Take the case of Aaron Burr, for example. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) does just that in his new book Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government. Continue reading “Written Out of History: The Lost Faces of Key Founders”

More Than a Feeling

Posted on today–Sunday, May 20, 2018.
The pastor said, “If you’re like me, you . . .” Then he described feelings that closely reflected my own. I was surprised to think my experience might be common.
When I was new at the church my husband and I now attend, Communion was wonder-filled. Not remarkably different in its practice from my previous experience. But profound with awe.  Continue reading “More Than a Feeling”

The Paradox of Rules for Free People

“Sin is the failure to live freedom excellently.” George Weigel
When we were children, we told ourselves, when we grew up, we would do what we want. We would stay up late, drive a car, and watch whatever we want on television.
But then we grew up and wished we could go to bed earlier. We wondered how we’d pay for car repairs. And we wanted to find some time to watch TV. Or when we did have the time, we wished there’d be something on worth watching.
We didn’t realize as children that our extra sleep helped us function and learn. Our parents chauffeured us around while bearing the burdens of car ownership and maintenance. And we enjoyed an innocence about how the world worked–or failed to work well.
We still don’t realize–and often don’t like to admit–rules are good for us. Continue reading “The Paradox of Rules for Free People”