Category: News & Politics

Mockingjay’s Syrian refugees

Although The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 brings an otherwise excellent sci-fi franchise to an underwhelming conclusion, one provocative scene particularly resonates this week in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent, polarizing conversation surrounding refugees. At this point in the Hunger Games narrative, ambivalent heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has snuck…  [more]

Jesus was a refugee

Jesus was a refugee, along with his mother Mary and father Joseph. They fled their native Israel out of fear for their lives. They were able to return some years later, only after the politics of their homeland changed. Sound familiar? It should. It is happening today, and in the same neighborhood that the Holy Family was from. People there again fear for their lives. The vicious and brutal militants of ISIS are…  [more]

Paris, terror and what to say when it all comes down

With 50,000 others I ran the New York City Marathon two weeks ago. We ran through five boroughs and crossed over four bridges. It was challenging, colorful and crowded. From a variety of angles during the race I could see 1 World Trade Center - the Freedom Tower. I saw it from bridges that had a view of the skyline; I saw it glimmering in the sun and poking above other buildings as we ran down Fifth Avenue; I saw it…  [more]

Mourning Jihadi John

In the last year, the world has been assaulted by disturbing ISIS videos depicting the beheading of journalists, beginning with American James Foley. The masked executioner — identified by intelligence agencies as Mohammed Emwazi and often referred to as Jihadi John — struck terror into many hearts and inflamed desire for vengeance, a flame that may very well have been satisfied yesterday. According to…  [more]

The New York Times’ redemptive use of virtual reality

The thick bundle that is the Sunday edition of the New York Times arrived in our driveway as usual last weekend, but this time it had an extra pouch attached. Inside was a Google Cardboard — a small, rectangular, virtual reality viewer. After downloading a video from the Times onto your smartphone and then sliding your phone into a notch on the viewer, you could look through the lenses and watch a 360-degree,…  [more]

Do Christians underestimate fiction?

I’m not one to worry about those aspects of modern life that threaten good old-fashioned reading. After all, even though I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 7 and though I studied English and writing in college and though I’ve spent a career as an editor and a writer, I wasn’t a big reader as a kid. Though I did read and liked it — the click of the syntax, the weaving of sentences,…  [more]

The WHO bacon scare and a theology of enjoyment

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) tried to take our bacon away. Or at least that’s how some news organizations first interpreted the announcement that processed meats have been classified as carcinogenic to humans. The real news was less dire, only announcing that the evidence confirms a link between colorectal cancer and certain eating habits (such as eating two strips of bacon a day). Over at…  [more]

Watching the Washington Redskins during Native American Heritage Month

Football has been on my mind recently, as the debate over the Washington Redskins name rages on. California recently became the first state to ban the use of the “R-word” for public school mascots, while earlier this year a federal judge upheld a decision to cancel six trademarks held by the NFL team because they “may disparage” Native Americans. I understand that the team’s branding…  [more]

The aggressive exegesis of Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter is not one to shy away from bold, controversial statements. In her latest, Coulter rails against the “evangelical establishment” for its timidity and failure to support the antics of would-be president Donald Trump. According to Coulter, Trump represents “real Christian courage” when he “defend[s] America from destruction by immigration.” According to Coulter,…  [more]

Hummus for peace and the beauty of communion

After a series of stabbings and shootings in the Holy Land, I would have guessed that lines along ethnic and religious differences would be drawn sharper than ever. The owner of a restaurant in Tel Aviv, though, has taken a different approach. He advertised 50 percent off for Jewish and Arab patrons who eat together. The Facebook page of the Hummus Bar makes the peacemaking motivation even more clear: “Are you…  [more]

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