Jul 17, 2002
On the long climb to Jerusalem I notice two kinds of trucks. One kind is carrying huge battle tanks still muddy from combat in the West Bank. The other is carrying tents sent from America for Palestinians who have lost their homes in the fighting. The tanks tell rush-hour commuters, “We are at war.” I see them again pictured on T-shirts that say “Peace Through Superior Force.” The tents on the other trucks draw little attention. Their Palestinian recipients will eventually reject them as signs of the duplicity of American policy..
Christians throughout history may be justly accused of many failures, but it appears neglecting evangelism is not one of them. Observers of Christian growth have been suggesting over the last few decades that the faith is experiencing a significant migratory moment, not unlike the first explosive venture outside the tribe of the Jews into the unfamiliar world of the gentiles. That movement internationalized Christianity, then Hellenized it and eventually Europeanized it.
Think of a conflict between father and son, and chances are good you'll find it buried somewhere within Road to Perdition, director Sam Mendes's first film since the hugely successful, if flawed, American Beauty. Based on a graphic novel (a high-end comic book) written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner, Road to Perdition is a great-looking gangster movie set in 1931 Chicago, when the Capone gang flourished and lesser mobsters came to the big city to pay homage or seek favor.
Last summer around this time I was on the island of Nantucket, once a whaling port and now a tourist destination, where I noticed numbers of people wearing canvas clothing in a peculiar shade of pink. Men wore trousers made of it, women wore jumpers, and I even saw a baby in a stroller wearing a pair of bib overalls made of it. When I asked my innkeeper what I was seeing, she sent me to Murray’s Toggery Shop down on Main Street, where I learned all about “Nantucket Reds.”