Rapidly shifting gears from translating Martial’s Epigrams to explicating the scriptures (What the Gospels Meant) to scrutinizing the classified memos of George Kennan is bound to induce wear and tear on the transmission of even the most tireless polymath’s intellectual lathe.
It’s a rare day when people as politically different as defense secretary Robert Gates, liberal Democratic congressman Barney Frank and libertarian Republican congressman Ron Paul agree on something. But all three have said recently that the time has come to cut the U.S. military budget.
In a familiar routine, mainline Presbyterians at their biennial General Assembly voted 373-323 to lift a ban on partnered gay clergy, sending the proposed change for the fourth time in nearly a dozen years to the denomination’s 173 regional presbyteries for ratification.
Last August, Darryl Jackson Jr., a 24-year-old African American, was arrested in Valparaiso, Indiana, for resisting arrest and failure to identify himself. Jackson was approached by a white police officer while parked by a curb waiting for a friend. Criminal charges were dropped, but the mayor objected to the police action, and activists at Valparaiso University came to Jackson’s defense. Through mediation by citizens, the mayor, the sheriff, and Jackson had collaborative discussion, resulting in a joint statement of apology and reconciliation (WBEZ, November 10).