Century Marks

Century Marks

But is she running?

Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton has not declared herself as a candidate for president, a Faith Voters for Hillary website has been launched on her behalf. The group behind the website is in the process of filing to become a PAC (political action committee). “The teachings of her faith, the principles of the Methodist church, and the examples of her family have been the guiding light throughout her life,” the website says. Clinton recently spoke at the United Methodist Women Assembly meeting in Louisville (Washington Post, April 25).

Just wars?

Self-justification is the most basic of human instincts, argues Ted Peters. We want to draw a line between good and evil and put ourselves on the side of good. What is true for individuals is also true of groups, nations included. A country cannot go to war against an enemy without identifying itself with good and the enemy as evil. An American marine in the Iraq war was asked if he had any difficulty with killing. “No, I don’t have a problem shootin’ shitheads,” he replied. Appealing to God to justify war is the strongest form of self-justification, says Peters (Dialog, Spring).

No comment department

Annette Bosworth is running in the Republican primary in the race to fill the seat of Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.), who is retiring. She posted the following on Facebook: “The food stamp program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They proudly report that they distribute free meals and food stamps to over 46 million people on an annual basis. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, run by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us ‘please do not feed the animals.’ Their stated reason for this policy being that . . . the animals will grow dependent on the handouts, and then they will never learn to take care of themselves. This concludes today’s lesson. Any questions?” (Raw Story, April 30).

More stories like this

In her controversial account of the trial of Nazi executioner Adolf Eichmann, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt told the story of Anton Schmid, who was in charge of a German patrol in Lithuania. His job was to find and return stray German soldiers. Secretly, he befriended Jewish members of the underground and helped Jews escape the Nazis. After a year of his clandestine activity, he was caught and executed. Arendt said, “How utterly different everything would be today . . . if only more such stories could be told” (Humanities, March/April).

Just enough

Marilyn McEntyre was at first wary when congregants were asked in a worship service to “write your spiritual autobiography in six words.” Then these words came to her: “Eat the manna. More will come.” To McEntyre this was an expression of her ongoing anxieties about “saving and spending, keeping and letting go, prudent stewardship and the practice of generosity.” Her six-word autobiography reminded her of the way her mother lived—not far from poverty yet “rich in trust and stories about just the right amount of food, money, help showing up just when it was needed” (What’s in a Phrase? Eerdmans).