What explains the continuing strong support by evangelical Christians for a president whose actions are the antithesis of following Jesus? Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez answers that question in her new book, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.
“Where was the ‘adult’ in the Prime Minister’s Office?” Commentators asked that question after controversy erupted when the charity WE, which has close links with the Trudeau family and other Liberals, was chosen without an open process to run a $900 million dollar youth volunteer program in Canada this summer.
When it comes to social and political issues, I confess that my own impulse is toward public silence. Even in the face of the ongoing, widespread protests against anti-Black racism, part of me preferred silence. Not because I am unconcerned about the reality of racism in our culture (as I have told myself). Rather, a significant part of me has felt I should just get on with faithfully relating to students and colleagues and friends who are people of colour.
By any descriptor that has been applied to the Trump presidency thus far – unorthodox, theatrical, controversial – his photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in June was particularly shocking given its physical environment of civil unrest. That Trump intended the photo-op to be a justification of his use of brute force against his own citizens, using Christian props and setting to portray himself as a “Christian” leader, seems evident.
Most of us acquire our science from others either through classes and textbooks or on TV shows We learn about facts that are generally accepted by the scientific community. Then these facts are integrated into theories that explain our world within some overarching framework. This static textbook view of science may include the histories of current theories and the explanations they replaced, but the information is presented as final, accepted truth.
While many churches around the world have temporarily closed their doors due to COVID-19, Cape Town’s Central Methodist Mission has not had a regular service since last Christmas. Normal church operations were interrupted in late October of 2019 when a few hundred refugees sought refuge in the sanctuary. They remained in the building for five months until they were evicted during South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown.
My heart broke when I heard that a police officer had killed another Black man. My first response was “Not again!” When I finally saw the video of George Floyd’s death, I was upset and angry. I do not typically curse, but this time I did, and I prayed. It was unbelievable to see a white police officer pressing his foot on the neck of Mr. Floyd with a hand in his pocket in the presence of other police officers and bystanders.
As I write this article, all the headlines on Canada’s news websites are dominated by COVID-19, rapidly dropping oil prices and the possibility of the economy opening up again. You could be forgiven for assuming that everything to do with the dispute a few kilometres down the Morice West Forest Service Road in northern B.C. must be done and settled. After all, if media coverage has moved on, everything must be okay now, right?
While living in Jordan, my wife Sally and I fell in love with Syria and its people through many visits stretched over four decades. Our last adventure in 2006 was to Aleppo, when we stayed in a converted khan in the middle of its souq (market), which sold traditional hand-crafted goods, inlaid wood, beaten copper, loom-woven silks and braided gold. We saw Syria through the eyes of besotted tourists and barely noticed the unrest roiling under the surface.
Don’t forget that love is a decision, not a feeling. And there are many other ways to be loving, of course. This list is to simply get you thinking. We are a people of prayer and service. We pray that people get better, that medical professionals and government leaders act with wisdom, and that those of us who are healthy help and serve others — this includes attending not only to physical needs where appropriate, but spiritual needs too. This persists in a pandemic.
Of the over three million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, more than 53,000 of those are in Canada. Half of the over 3,200 coronavirus disease-related deaths are linked to outbreaks in long-term care homes. The most common way the virus spreads is by respiratory droplets. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, and an uninfected person comes into contact with these droplets and touches their mouth, nose or eyes before washing their hands, the uninfected person can become infected.
There’s a sympathetic throwaway line in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead that speaks to our human susceptibility to seemingly random misfortune: “pirates could happen to anyone.” Indeed, none of us are immune to the vicissitudes of life. I’ve always thought of Matthew 5:45 as a biblical version of this sentiment, the gospel-writer’s reminder that God “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”