In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
While my life and mind have been shaped by both American evangelicalism and political liberalism, I feel little personal connection to either C. S. Lewis or John F. Kennedy. Like a lot of people, I have mixed feelings about both men; perhaps more importantly, I wasn't around yet when they died. In any case, neither anniversary made me catch my breath this week. Here's what did: Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday.
A week from Sunday, on the Feast of the Reign of Christ, Holy Covenant UMC in Chicago—where I work part time as a musician—is holding its second annual service spotlighting the music of Bob Dylan. (Not calling it a Dylancharist.) If you're in Chicago the evening of 11/24, come out and join us. Below is the piece I wrote for the church newsletter.
When it comes to weirdly argued crankiness, tsk-tsk-ing about lazy, entitled millennials is a pretty competitive field. But Jennifer Graham's piece last week stands out from the pack: In colonial times, nine out of 10 people worked on food production, hence John Smith’s famous edict at Jamestown: “He who works not, eats not.” (There was no enabling 99-cent value menu then.) The millennials, alas, are trophy kids, a generation spawned not for their usefulness at harvest but because they look so precious in those matching pajamas from Hanna Andersson. No need to respond to most of this, because in the millennial retort category—another tough bracket—we already have a winner.
Christopher Michael Jones is pastor of First Baptist Church of Hillside, New Jersey. He’s used the African American Lectionary—which I wrote about for the Century—in worship, though he doesn’t use it every week. Jones has also contributed to the AAL’s resources. I asked him a few questions about his experience.
President Obama wasn’t being honest when he said that if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it. But that doesn't make Obamacare bad policy.
In my article on alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary, I praised the African American Lectionary's extensive resources, but I didn't really describe them in any detail. There is a wealth of good stuff on the AAL website. The AAL is based on weekly themes, many of which do not correspond to the liturgical calendar the RCL follows. This Sunday is Caregivers Day, one of several new AAL observances this year.
Friday's food stamps cut is simply the end of a temporary increase. That’s a small comfort for struggling Americans whose tight grocery budgets just got tighter.
Of the four projects I focused on in my article on alternate lectionaries, Eric Lemonholm's Open Source Lectionary arguably got the least attention—the fewest words, the fourth slot of four. But that's not because I found it to be the least interesting or significant.