He "inspired a generation of young people to challenge injustice"
May 02, 2006
When William Sloane Coffin Jr. was honored last year at Yale as a civil rights leader, an antiwar activist, an endearing university chaplain and an unfearing liberal preacher, at one point he summed up his faith—and by extension, himself: “I believe Christianity is a worldview that undergirds all progressive thought and action,” Coffin said.
If, as Tertullian taught, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, in a liberal society church growth has to find its inspiration elsewhere. Western society was built partly on the premise that people shouldn’t have to suffer for their faith. That’s why talk of martyrdom often seems exotic or irrelevant in churches in the U.S.
In Chicago winter lingers well into March, like a house guest unaware that she’s worn out her welcome. But some of us hardly notice; we’re mesmerized by the NCAA basketball tournament involving 65 teams from Division I schools.
If President Bush were running for reelection, he would probably be opposed to letting an Arab company run six American ports. He would use Karl Rove's game plan for electoral success: run on national security, and stress that you, unlike your opponent, understand the ruthlessness of terrorists and the gravity of threats in the post-9/11 world. Many members of Congress seemed to be mindful of Rove’s advice as they blasted away at the Bush administration for allowing Dubai Ports World to manage shipping terminals in the U.S. In this case, the Bush administration has taken a nuanced view of national security, one that argues that long-term security depends on good relations with the Arab world and on the ability to foster alliances in the Middle East.
Cartoons are, by their nature, caricatures: they are oversimplified in order to make a forceful point and provoke debate. Editors know that one powerful cartoon can generate more furor than dozens of provocative articles, so they make a rough calculation: Will the cartoon generate light as well as heat? Will the publishing of it be, as St. Paul would put it, not only lawful but beneficial?
Did Flemming Rose, culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, make the wrong calculation in publishing cartoons that featured the Prophet Muhammad?
The 35 people executed in the United States in 2014 represent the fewest number in two decades, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The decline is driven in part by continuing legal disputes related to drugs used in lethal injection and by state moratoriums on the death penalty. The center, which opposes the death penalty, also found that the 72 death sentences issued in 2014 represents the fewest in 40 years. Perhaps most striking about the 2014 report was the fact that Texas, the perennial leader in carrying out the death penalty, was no longer alone at the top (as it has been for 17 years). It was tied with Missouri for the most executions, with ten (RNS).