It's great to see David Beckmann convince Mark Bittman to join the fast against attempts to cut federal programs
that help the poor and the hungry. Bittman's dismissal of the religious element
of the effort by Bread for the World and others--"I doubt God will intervene
here"--betrays his unfamiliarity with Christian thought. (I'm tempted to send him
one of my ELCA "God's work, our hands" fridge magnets.) But thanks to Bittman's
involvement, now even the Nation is
giving the progressive evangelical effort positive coverage.
Tuesday on the CBC interview show Q, Jian
Ghomeshi talked to actor Ed Begley Jr., Hollywood's leading environmental
activist and green-lifestyle enthusiast. Discussing Living With Ed, the reality TV show in which Begley
and wife Rachelle Carson clash over his carbon-footprint obsession, Begley
observed that Carson is the sort of person who cares about the earth but
doesn't go to extremes.
As a church musician, I've been known to program what I thought were familiar Charles Wesley hymns, only to find my non-Methodist song leaders tongue-tied by the ambitious melodies and all-doctrine-all-the-time words. When I have a week off and visit an Episcopal church, the Hymnal 1982's Arthur Sullivan tunes make my mind wander to operetta.
I grew up around evangelical church leaders who were hardcore
about spiritual fasting, sometimes going a week on just water or 40 days on
just fruit juice. (I never made it more than a day.) When I started running in mainline
circles, I was thrown by the way people used the word "fast" to mean giving up
chocolate or beer or television.
The House of Representatives is
voting today on a bill that would prevent public radio stations from paying
their NPR dues with federal money. This follows the video that brought down NPR head Vivian Schiller and
senior VP Ron Schiller (no relation to each other).
It's the most wonderful time of the year for
fans of collegiate (men's) sports. I'm not one, but I can appreciate the thrill
of a single-elimination tournament. I also enjoy the creative ways people use
March Madness to bring attention to other subjects.
By now, the no-longer-new food movement has provoked
files full of skeptical responses. Most follow familiar scripts: foodies are
elitist, or environmentally ignorant, or impractical about global hunger.
Amid the apocalyptic to-do about Rob Bell possibly
considering an idea that other Christians have considered for centuries, Rachel
Held Evans had a fun idea: an
interview with another Rob Bell, a web designer in the U.K.
Last month, VIDA published a tally
of male and female bylines at a variety of thought-leader magazines in 2010.
The results aren't pretty. At the Atlantic,
men outnumbered women by a three-to-one ratio. The New Yorker was only slightly better, and Harper's and the New Republic
were worse. Worst of all?