One of the prevailing myths in North America’s mourning-avoidant culture is that within a relatively brief time after a loved one dies, we will want and receive closure. Living in liminal space and profound pain, we yearn to end such grief, to lose the sense that we’re on the bridge to nowhere. After our 25-year-old daughter Krista died while volunteering in Bolivia, as parents we heard the term often.
Last week our new hosted blogger, Drew Hart, took up a challenge to name “10 books that have ‘stayed’ with me or have had a long lasting impact.” The week before Richard Lischer lamented how readers often “read too many books and return to too few.” As for the books worth revisiting, they’re those that “probe the heart or expand the reader’s vision.”
I got inspired to create a list of books that have stayed with me that I’ve also come back to because they’ve probed my heart and expanded my vision.
America is extraordinarily tolerant of the NFL. “Pro football, it seems, can do anything but drive us away,” wrote the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal in August. He described moves the NFL has made that would ruin another business: undercut your partners, maintain a nonprofit status while paying huge executive salaries, accept unnecessary public subsidies, stay out of Los Angeles so your teams can use the prospect of moving there as leverage to keep demanding those subsidies.
And this: alienate women, who make up 45 percent of the NFL’s viewership.
Last week, news broke of the massive iCloud security breach that included nude photos of several celebrity actresses. In the wake of the leak, we have heard the usual chorus of victim blaming. New York Times tech editor Nick Bilton tweeted the essence of the argument.
A few months ago I wrote about the difference between having two jobs and two vocations. A commenter wondered, "What if you really do have two callings?” I’ve been doing bivocational ministry in one way or another for the past seven years. Overall I have found having two vocations—I serve as a hospital chaplain in addition to being a Century editor—to be fruitful and fulfilling. But I have to confess that it isn’t easy.
Today, 30 LGBT-affirming African religion scholars and faith leaders begin meeting in South Africa. The purpose of the consultation is to build an African faith foundation for the acceptance of LGBT people. It was organized by Kapya Kaoma of Political Research Associates and Michael Adee of the Horizons Foundation’s Global Faith and Justice Project. Kaoma is an Anglican priest from Zambia; Adee is an elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The PCUSA now officially stands with the LGBT people who are criminalized in 78 countries.
“Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa?” asks Ronald S. Lauder. The World Jewish Congress president frames the question in a larger paint-by-numbers argument defending Israel’s assault on Gaza and criticizing the moral instincts of “beautiful celebrities,” reporters, and the U.N. who have not responded adequately to the brutality of Boko Haram and ISIS.
An argument like Lauder's is liable to predictable demands for greater American military involvement in the region. But the silence he names is real.