Category Archives: Politics & Government

America’s Great Divide | Reflections

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump [Frontline, PBS] REFLECTIONS Frontline’s brand as a reputable and prestigious producer of documentaries for PBS continues with this sweeping survey of the most significant events and turning points in the Obama to Trump

America’s Great Divide | Reflections

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump [Frontline, PBS] REFLECTIONS Frontline’s brand as a reputable and prestigious producer of documentaries for PBS continues with this sweeping survey of the most significant events and turning points in the Obama to Trump

To Be A Witness | Reflections on Witness At Tornillo and Targeting El Paso

To Be A Witness REFLECTIONS Last night. Congregation Etz Chayim in partnership with Spark Church hosted a film screening of Witness at Tornillo. You can see the film trailer below, and host your own screening by visiting Tugg. The event

To Be A Witness | Reflections on Witness At Tornillo and Targeting El Paso

To Be A Witness REFLECTIONS Last night. Congregation Etz Chayim in partnership with Spark Church hosted a film screening of Witness at Tornillo. You can see the film trailer below, and host your own screening by visiting Tugg. The event

Public Opinion | Reflections & Notes

Walter Lippmann. Public Opinion. Free Press, 1922. (272 pages) cf. Google Play; .pdf; Wikipedia Page; The Basic Problem of Democracy. REFLECTIONS In short, Public Opinion has surmised and summarized the great weaknesses of democracy being located in our human psychology and offered

Public Opinion | Reflections & Notes

Walter Lippmann. Public Opinion. Free Press, 1922. (272 pages) cf. Google Play; .pdf; Wikipedia Page; The Basic Problem of Democracy. REFLECTIONS In short, Public Opinion has surmised and summarized the great weaknesses of democracy being located in our human psychology and offered

How Christian Opinion Articles Fall Short

The world lacks not of critics from every angle. From the “Too little, too late,” to “Finally!”, the December 19 #ChristianityToday article has rallied our primitive selves, invigorated our already established opinions, and charged us all with the imperative to

How Christian Opinion Articles Fall Short

The world lacks not of critics from every angle. From the “Too little, too late,” to “Finally!”, the December 19 #ChristianityToday article has rallied our primitive selves, invigorated our already established opinions, and charged us all with the imperative to

Uncivil Agreement | Reflections & Notes

Lilliana Mason. Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity. University of Chicago Press, 2018. (183 pages) REFLECTIONS Allow me to sum up the most important takeaways if we are going to have a civil society: Do not identify with a

Uncivil Agreement | Reflections & Notes

Lilliana Mason. Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity. University of Chicago Press, 2018. (183 pages) REFLECTIONS Allow me to sum up the most important takeaways if we are going to have a civil society: Do not identify with a

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Keynote Address at ADL’s 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate | Transcript, Highlights, and Reflections

  TRANSCRIPT & HIGHLIGHTS Thank you, Jonathan, for your very kind words. Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry. And to be clear, when I say “racism, hate and bigotry” I’m not

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Keynote Address at ADL’s 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate | Transcript, Highlights, and Reflections

  TRANSCRIPT & HIGHLIGHTS Thank you, Jonathan, for your very kind words. Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry. And to be clear, when I say “racism, hate and bigotry” I’m not

How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God

How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God, Brenden O’Connor [Splinter], August 8, 2017 In 2005, at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Evangelicals was on the verge of doing something novel:

How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God

How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God, Brenden O’Connor [Splinter], August 8, 2017 In 2005, at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Evangelicals was on the verge of doing something novel:

The Climate Casino | Reflections & Notes

William Nordhaus. The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World. Yale University Press, 2013. (377 pages) REFLECTIONS One of the most respected American economists, with one of the most excellent reputations, produces one of the most clearly articulated

The Climate Casino | Reflections & Notes

William Nordhaus. The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World. Yale University Press, 2013. (377 pages) REFLECTIONS One of the most respected American economists, with one of the most excellent reputations, produces one of the most clearly articulated

Democracy Devouring Itself | Reflections and Paper

REFLECTIONS I have felt for a long time that the problems we are facing in America (and around the world) are fundamentally epistemological and that everything else is symptomatic of what we think, how we know, and our perception of

Democracy Devouring Itself | Reflections and Paper

REFLECTIONS I have felt for a long time that the problems we are facing in America (and around the world) are fundamentally epistemological and that everything else is symptomatic of what we think, how we know, and our perception of

Out of Many Faiths | Reflections & Notes

Eboo Patel. Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity & The American Promise. Princeton University Press, 2018. (215 pages) There is but one destiny … left for us, and that is to make ourselves, and be made by others a part of

Out of Many Faiths | Reflections & Notes

Eboo Patel. Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity & The American Promise. Princeton University Press, 2018. (215 pages) There is but one destiny … left for us, and that is to make ourselves, and be made by others a part of

The End of White Christian America | Reflections & Notes

Robert P. Jones. The End of White Christian America. Simon & Schuster, 2016. (321 pages) REFLECTIONS This is an incredibly insightful and helpful read for two specific audiences. First, for anyone wondering and/or despondent about our current socio-political state of affairs,

The End of White Christian America | Reflections & Notes

Robert P. Jones. The End of White Christian America. Simon & Schuster, 2016. (321 pages) REFLECTIONS This is an incredibly insightful and helpful read for two specific audiences. First, for anyone wondering and/or despondent about our current socio-political state of affairs,

A Confession, Lament, and Hope in Showing Up | Reflections From My Public Protest

#CaravanToClint On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in response to the news of the migrant crisis at the US border, a friend and I got on a plane and headed to Clint, TX to join the #CaravanToClint protest group organized by Julie

A Confession, Lament, and Hope in Showing Up | Reflections From My Public Protest

#CaravanToClint On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in response to the news of the migrant crisis at the US border, a friend and I got on a plane and headed to Clint, TX to join the #CaravanToClint protest group organized by Julie

Doughnut Economics | Review & Notes

Kate Raworth. Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017. (309 pages) The most powerful tool in economics is not money, nor even algebra. It is a pencil. Because with a pencil you can

Doughnut Economics | Review & Notes

Kate Raworth. Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017. (309 pages) The most powerful tool in economics is not money, nor even algebra. It is a pencil. Because with a pencil you can

Dear America | Reflections & Notes

Jose Antonio Vargas. Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. HarperCollins, 2018. [Advance Reader’s Edition] (231 pages) REFLECTIONS The fraying of political discourse by its abstract and categorizing rhetoric is a dehumanizing cycle that needs to be seriously reconstructed. Books

Dear America | Reflections & Notes

Jose Antonio Vargas. Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. HarperCollins, 2018. [Advance Reader’s Edition] (231 pages) REFLECTIONS The fraying of political discourse by its abstract and categorizing rhetoric is a dehumanizing cycle that needs to be seriously reconstructed. Books

RBG | Reflections

https://www.rbgmovie.com %5BPG%5D 2018. Movie Info (from Rotten Tomatoes) At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique

RBG | Reflections

https://www.rbgmovie.com %5BPG%5D 2018. Movie Info (from Rotten Tomatoes) At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique

TED | Robin Steinberg: What if we ended the injustice of bail?

“I hate injustice and simply can’t sit still when I see it.” TRANSCRIPT I will never forget the first time I visited a client in jail. The heavy, metal door slammed behind me, and I heard the key turn in

TED | Robin Steinberg: What if we ended the injustice of bail?

“I hate injustice and simply can’t sit still when I see it.” TRANSCRIPT I will never forget the first time I visited a client in jail. The heavy, metal door slammed behind me, and I heard the key turn in

The Facebook Dilemma | Reflections

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/facebook-dilemma/ REFLECTIONS This is an agonizing series of lessons on unintended consequences, optimistic naïveté, and how a mission and core values are ultimately subsumed under the gravity of the economics of your business model. A few thoughts. First, it is

The Facebook Dilemma | Reflections

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/facebook-dilemma/ REFLECTIONS This is an agonizing series of lessons on unintended consequences, optimistic naïveté, and how a mission and core values are ultimately subsumed under the gravity of the economics of your business model. A few thoughts. First, it is

21 Lessons for the 21st Century | Reflections & Critical Notes

Yuval Noah Harari. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Spiegel & Grau, 2018. (372 pages) REFLECTIONS If a book sits on a shelf and no one reads it, does it make a sound? p. 326 If you want provocation, look no

21 Lessons for the 21st Century | Reflections & Critical Notes

Yuval Noah Harari. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Spiegel & Grau, 2018. (372 pages) REFLECTIONS If a book sits on a shelf and no one reads it, does it make a sound? p. 326 If you want provocation, look no

Reversing Roe | Reflections

Netflix. Reversing Roe. [NR, 2018] 99 minutes. Movie Info (from Rotten Tomatoes) Forty-five years after it revolutionized abortion law in America, the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade is once again at a crossroads. In their timely new

Reversing Roe | Reflections

Netflix. Reversing Roe. [NR, 2018] 99 minutes. Movie Info (from Rotten Tomatoes) Forty-five years after it revolutionized abortion law in America, the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade is once again at a crossroads. In their timely new

Documenting Hate | Reflections

Watch the film at PBS Frontline. Reflections Take a deep breath. We’re in for a long ride. Frontline has for years been a source of award-winning journalism. Through really amazing story-telling, their documentaries have consistently provided the in-depth investigation that

Documenting Hate | Reflections

Watch the film at PBS Frontline. Reflections Take a deep breath. We’re in for a long ride. Frontline has for years been a source of award-winning journalism. Through really amazing story-telling, their documentaries have consistently provided the in-depth investigation that

Costly Grace | Review & Notes

Rob Schenck. Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister’s Rediscovery of Faith, Hope, and Love. Harper, 2018. (324 pages) Review I really love this book, for several reasons. First, the question that is American Evangelicalism–what it has become, and why it continues in

Costly Grace | Review & Notes

Rob Schenck. Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister’s Rediscovery of Faith, Hope, and Love. Harper, 2018. (324 pages) Review I really love this book, for several reasons. First, the question that is American Evangelicalism–what it has become, and why it continues in

The Armor Of Light | Reflections

The Armor Of Light, 2015 [PG-13] http://www.armoroflightfilm.com/. I was reminded of this film because of Rob Schenck’s new book Costly Grace that was featured on a recent NPR broadcast, Once Militantly Anti-Abortion, Evangelical Minister Now Lives ‘With Regret’. THE ARMOR OF LIGHT follows

The Armor Of Light | Reflections

The Armor Of Light, 2015 [PG-13] http://www.armoroflightfilm.com/. I was reminded of this film because of Rob Schenck’s new book Costly Grace that was featured on a recent NPR broadcast, Once Militantly Anti-Abortion, Evangelical Minister Now Lives ‘With Regret’. THE ARMOR OF LIGHT follows

What Is A Better Argument? | Reflections & Notes

Reflections I am deeply concerned for this moment in our nation’s history for numerous reasons, including–but not limited to–losing our moral center, damaging any credibility and trust we have established in the world, prioritizing short-term power at the cost of

What Is A Better Argument? | Reflections & Notes

Reflections I am deeply concerned for this moment in our nation’s history for numerous reasons, including–but not limited to–losing our moral center, damaging any credibility and trust we have established in the world, prioritizing short-term power at the cost of

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission | Critical Reflections

Read the oral arguments here. Listen to the oral arguments here. Download my highlighted copy of the decision here. Critical Reflections The comments thus cast doubt on the fairness and impartiality of the Commission’s adjudication of the Phillips’ case. – Syllabus

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission | Critical Reflections

Read the oral arguments here. Listen to the oral arguments here. Download my highlighted copy of the decision here. Critical Reflections The comments thus cast doubt on the fairness and impartiality of the Commission’s adjudication of the Phillips’ case. – Syllabus

The Final Year | Review

The Final Year. Magnolia Pictures, 2017 “History doesn’t move in a straight line. It zigs and zags. Sometimes goes forward, sometimes moves back. Sideways.” – Barack Obama REVIEW Overall, not a great documentary. I didn’t find it terribly “compelling” or

The Final Year | Review

The Final Year. Magnolia Pictures, 2017 “History doesn’t move in a straight line. It zigs and zags. Sometimes goes forward, sometimes moves back. Sideways.” – Barack Obama REVIEW Overall, not a great documentary. I didn’t find it terribly “compelling” or

The 10 Toughest Questions We Get, By Bill and Melinda Gates | Letter & Reflections

Our 2018 Annual Letter: The 10 Toughest Questions We Get February 13, 2018 By Bill Gates and Melinda Gates We are outspoken about our optimism. These days, though, optimism seems to be in short supply. The headlines are filled with awful

The 10 Toughest Questions We Get, By Bill and Melinda Gates | Letter & Reflections

Our 2018 Annual Letter: The 10 Toughest Questions We Get February 13, 2018 By Bill Gates and Melinda Gates We are outspoken about our optimism. These days, though, optimism seems to be in short supply. The headlines are filled with awful

Command and Control | Reflections & Transcript

Command and Control: THE LONG-HIDDEN STORY OF THE DAY OUR LUCK ALMOST RAN OUT. April 25, 2017 REFLECTIONS We quite literally and poetically hold the stars in our hands. There are 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence, globally. If they were

Command and Control | Reflections & Transcript

Command and Control: THE LONG-HIDDEN STORY OF THE DAY OUR LUCK ALMOST RAN OUT. April 25, 2017 REFLECTIONS We quite literally and poetically hold the stars in our hands. There are 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence, globally. If they were

Able Works Forum: American Dreamers: Creating An Immigration System That Works For All | Notes & Reflections

ABLE:WORKS Forum. NOTES Keynote Speaker: Jose Antonio Vargas. DOCUMENTED [film] White People, MTV Full Documentary: The keynote began with the question, How do you define “American?” Vargas’s use of data was excellent, all of which can be found at defineamerican.com/facts, and defineamerican.com/daca.

Able Works Forum: American Dreamers: Creating An Immigration System That Works For All | Notes & Reflections

ABLE:WORKS Forum. NOTES Keynote Speaker: Jose Antonio Vargas. DOCUMENTED [film] White People, MTV Full Documentary: The keynote began with the question, How do you define “American?” Vargas’s use of data was excellent, all of which can be found at defineamerican.com/facts, and defineamerican.com/daca.

Boston Declaration | Full Text & Reflections

A PROPHETIC APPEAL TO CHRISTIANS OF THE USA Nov 20 THE BOSTON DECLARATION Occasion As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) we hear the cries of women

Boston Declaration | Full Text & Reflections

A PROPHETIC APPEAL TO CHRISTIANS OF THE USA Nov 20 THE BOSTON DECLARATION Occasion As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) we hear the cries of women

Putin’s Revenge | Reflections & Transcript

PBS, FRONTLINE (Parts 1, 2) tells the inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the United States as an enemy — and why he decided to target an American election. Reflections If we can set aside partisanship, and

Putin’s Revenge | Reflections & Transcript

PBS, FRONTLINE (Parts 1, 2) tells the inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the United States as an enemy — and why he decided to target an American election. Reflections If we can set aside partisanship, and

Tickling Giants | Reflections

Tickling Giants (2016) TV-14 | 1h 51min | Documentary | 10 April 2017 (Egypt) One of the most engaging documentaries I’ve seen in a while, Tickling Giants displays what we in America often take for granted, presenting democracy and its innate values more accurately as a humanity-wrenching value. It

Tickling Giants | Reflections

Tickling Giants (2016) TV-14 | 1h 51min | Documentary | 10 April 2017 (Egypt) One of the most engaging documentaries I’ve seen in a while, Tickling Giants displays what we in America often take for granted, presenting democracy and its innate values more accurately as a humanity-wrenching value. It

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnett, (1943) | Transcript and Highlights

In a world that is summarized in 144 characters, lengthy wisdom is lost on public discourse. So articulately and hauntingly predicted by Neil Postman and others, this dearth in our national conscience is truly a threat to our national soul.

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnett, (1943) | Transcript and Highlights

In a world that is summarized in 144 characters, lengthy wisdom is lost on public discourse. So articulately and hauntingly predicted by Neil Postman and others, this dearth in our national conscience is truly a threat to our national soul.

Just Mercy | Review, Reflections, and Notes

Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Spiegel & Grau, 2015. (349 pages) Review and Reflections What Stevenson does in this book is brilliant, for he does not just state the problem with erudite arguments, though he is

Just Mercy | Review, Reflections, and Notes

Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Spiegel & Grau, 2015. (349 pages) Review and Reflections What Stevenson does in this book is brilliant, for he does not just state the problem with erudite arguments, though he is

Homo Deus | Notes & Critical Reflections

Yuval Noah Harari. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Harper, 2017 (449 pages) 1 The New Human Agenda For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die

Homo Deus | Notes & Critical Reflections

Yuval Noah Harari. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Harper, 2017 (449 pages) 1 The New Human Agenda For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die

The New Jim Crow | Reflections & Notes

Michelle Alexander. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press, 2010. (312 pages) Reflections For anyone with even a scosh of compassionate humanity, reading this will be difficult, perhaps causing at times outbursts of screaming

The New Jim Crow | Reflections & Notes

Michelle Alexander. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press, 2010. (312 pages) Reflections For anyone with even a scosh of compassionate humanity, reading this will be difficult, perhaps causing at times outbursts of screaming

13th: A Conversation With Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay | Reflections

13TH: A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey & Ava DuVernay – Netflix We’re all human at the kitchen table. – Ava DuVernay Our church has been going through The New Jim Crow for our book club, and I’ve been personally growing

13th: A Conversation With Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay | Reflections

13TH: A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey & Ava DuVernay – Netflix We’re all human at the kitchen table. – Ava DuVernay Our church has been going through The New Jim Crow for our book club, and I’ve been personally growing

Birth of a Movement | Reflections

This documentary is the story of William Monroe (W.M.) Trotter, the nearly forgotten editor of a Boston black newspaper who helped launch a nationwide movement in 1915 to ban Hollywood’s first blockbuster movie, the later controversial The Birth of a

Birth of a Movement | Reflections

This documentary is the story of William Monroe (W.M.) Trotter, the nearly forgotten editor of a Boston black newspaper who helped launch a nationwide movement in 1915 to ban Hollywood’s first blockbuster movie, the later controversial The Birth of a

Finding A Way Forward: Mass Incarceration, Community Policing, & The Effects On The Family | Notes

Panelists: George Gascón,  San Francisco District Attorney and former Chief of Police. Frederick Hutson, founder, CEO and Head of Product for Pigeonly, a service which allows inmates to efficiently and affordably connect with their families and loved ones. Pastor Michael McBride

Finding A Way Forward: Mass Incarceration, Community Policing, & The Effects On The Family | Notes

Panelists: George Gascón,  San Francisco District Attorney and former Chief of Police. Frederick Hutson, founder, CEO and Head of Product for Pigeonly, a service which allows inmates to efficiently and affordably connect with their families and loved ones. Pastor Michael McBride

TED | Robb Willer: How To Have Better Political Conversations

So you probably have the sense, as most people do, that polarization is getting worse in our country, that the divide between the left and the right is as bad as it’s been in really any of our lifetimes. But

TED | Robb Willer: How To Have Better Political Conversations

So you probably have the sense, as most people do, that polarization is getting worse in our country, that the divide between the left and the right is as bad as it’s been in really any of our lifetimes. But

Trump’s Road to the White House | Reflections

Trump’s Road to the White House. Frontline, PBS, 2017. I realize that commenting on anything political in this season is highly risk, so rather than comment, perhaps a reflection? As I have said many times before, the principle, “seek first

Trump’s Road to the White House | Reflections

Trump’s Road to the White House. Frontline, PBS, 2017. I realize that commenting on anything political in this season is highly risk, so rather than comment, perhaps a reflection? As I have said many times before, the principle, “seek first

Divided States Of America | Review & Reflections

PBS Frontline. Divided States of America. 2017. Synopsis: FRONTLINE investigates the partisanship that gridlocked Washington in the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president. —review— In good Frontline fashion, this two-part documentary is a measured

Divided States Of America | Review & Reflections

PBS Frontline. Divided States of America. 2017. Synopsis: FRONTLINE investigates the partisanship that gridlocked Washington in the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president. —review— In good Frontline fashion, this two-part documentary is a measured

The Righteous Mind | Notes & Review

Jonathan Haidt. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. 2012. (419 pages) I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them. –

The Righteous Mind | Notes & Review

Jonathan Haidt. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. 2012. (419 pages) I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them. –

Okay. Let’s Talk About It.

“Seek first to understand.” – Socrates “Shema (שמע)” – Deuteronomy 6:5 Okay, friends. Let’s talk about it. A Pastor, The Pulpits, and Politics: A Lament Over this political season, a tremendous–and painful–quandary has arisen. As clergy, I am bound by

Okay. Let’s Talk About It.

“Seek first to understand.” – Socrates “Shema (שמע)” – Deuteronomy 6:5 Okay, friends. Let’s talk about it. A Pastor, The Pulpits, and Politics: A Lament Over this political season, a tremendous–and painful–quandary has arisen. As clergy, I am bound by

13th | Reflections & Loose Transcript

13th. Netflix, 2016. — via reflections — I find my heart being broken and my soul being weighted down more often these days. The more I discover about the plight of my fellow human beings, the greater my frustration and

13th | Reflections & Loose Transcript

13th. Netflix, 2016. — via reflections — I find my heart being broken and my soul being weighted down more often these days. The more I discover about the plight of my fellow human beings, the greater my frustration and

God In The White House | Notes & Review

Randall Balmer. God In The White House: A History – How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. HarperOne, 2008. (243 pages) Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, Riches take wing, and only character

God In The White House | Notes & Review

Randall Balmer. God In The White House: A History – How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush. HarperOne, 2008. (243 pages) Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, Riches take wing, and only character

The Choice 2016

Transcript | View Film | NARRATOR: This past July, Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination. DONALD TRUMP: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States! [cheers] NARRATOR: It was a moment of vindication for

The Choice 2016

Transcript | View Film | NARRATOR: This past July, Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination. DONALD TRUMP: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States! [cheers] NARRATOR: It was a moment of vindication for

The White Helmets | Reflections & Quotes

Netflix Documentary, 2016. In the White Helmets, we have a motto. “To save a life is to save all of humanity.” It’s hard to put into words the depth of emotion that I felt watching this. There’s the mere destruction,

The White Helmets | Reflections & Quotes

Netflix Documentary, 2016. In the White Helmets, we have a motto. “To save a life is to save all of humanity.” It’s hard to put into words the depth of emotion that I felt watching this. There’s the mere destruction,

The Making Of Evangelicalism | Notes & Reflections

Randall Balmer. The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond. Baylor University Press, 2010. (89 pages) Journal of Southern Religion review. Interview with Scot McKnight, Patheos. INTRODUCTION As I will argue later, the American strain of evangelicalism is

The Making Of Evangelicalism | Notes & Reflections

Randall Balmer. The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond. Baylor University Press, 2010. (89 pages) Journal of Southern Religion review. Interview with Scot McKnight, Patheos. INTRODUCTION As I will argue later, the American strain of evangelicalism is

Policing the Police | Reflections & Quotes

[UPDATE, July 10. The Mayor of Newark, through the city’s Communications Director posted a statement in the comments below. I encourage all to read it as it is an important voice in the conversation in which all truth and all

Policing the Police | Reflections & Quotes

[UPDATE, July 10. The Mayor of Newark, through the city’s Communications Director posted a statement in the comments below. I encourage all to read it as it is an important voice in the conversation in which all truth and all

Saudi Arabia Uncovered | Transcript

How James Jones Uncovered a Rarely Seen Side of Saudi Arabia; 5 Ways Ordinary People Are Challenging the Saudi Government. WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY James Jones YASSER: [through interpreter] In Saudi, they say “Be careful. The walls have ears.

Saudi Arabia Uncovered | Transcript

How James Jones Uncovered a Rarely Seen Side of Saudi Arabia; 5 Ways Ordinary People Are Challenging the Saudi Government. WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY James Jones YASSER: [through interpreter] In Saudi, they say “Be careful. The walls have ears.

TED | Benedetta Berti: The surprising way groups like ISIS stay in power

For the past decade, I’ve been studying non-state armed groups: armed organizations like terrorists, insurgents or militias. I document what these groups do when they’re not shooting. My goal is to better understand these violent actors and to study ways

TED | Benedetta Berti: The surprising way groups like ISIS stay in power

For the past decade, I’ve been studying non-state armed groups: armed organizations like terrorists, insurgents or militias. I document what these groups do when they’re not shooting. My goal is to better understand these violent actors and to study ways

Melissa Fleming: How to help refugees rebuild their world

So I started working with refugees because I wanted to make a difference, and making a difference starts with telling their stories. So when I meet refugees, I always ask them questions. Who bombed your house? Who killed your son?

Melissa Fleming: How to help refugees rebuild their world

So I started working with refugees because I wanted to make a difference, and making a difference starts with telling their stories. So when I meet refugees, I always ask them questions. Who bombed your house? Who killed your son?

Escaping ISIS | My Prayer

Even though it’s dangerous, we’re going to keep going because if one girl escapes, it’s a blow to them. But for now, I can’t forget there are still so many in captivity. Khalil Al Dakhi Where are you, LORD? In

Escaping ISIS | My Prayer

Even though it’s dangerous, we’re going to keep going because if one girl escapes, it’s a blow to them. But for now, I can’t forget there are still so many in captivity. Khalil Al Dakhi Where are you, LORD? In

40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags | Response & Reflections

This post by Kevin DeYoung was sent to me by a respected inquiring mind. Because I regard both the person and the heart-felt conversations we’ve engaged in over the past several years with high esteem, I offer this–my reply–to honor

40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags | Response & Reflections

This post by Kevin DeYoung was sent to me by a respected inquiring mind. Because I regard both the person and the heart-felt conversations we’ve engaged in over the past several years with high esteem, I offer this–my reply–to honor

Obergefell v. Hodges | Highlights, Reflections, and Commentary

In the quest to be well-educated on issues, to speak with an informed mind, to engage with a humble spirit, it is important to go to the original sources. Here is my original source work. Below are excerpts from my

Obergefell v. Hodges | Highlights, Reflections, and Commentary

In the quest to be well-educated on issues, to speak with an informed mind, to engage with a humble spirit, it is important to go to the original sources. Here is my original source work. Below are excerpts from my

TED | Bill Gates: The next outbreak? We’re not ready

When I was a kid, the disaster we worried about most was a nuclear war. That’s why we had a barrel like this down in our basement, filled with cans of food and water. When the nuclear attack came, we

TED | Bill Gates: The next outbreak? We’re not ready

When I was a kid, the disaster we worried about most was a nuclear war. That’s why we had a barrel like this down in our basement, filled with cans of food and water. When the nuclear attack came, we

United States of Secrets | Reflections

“We have to remember that, you know, we’d had— we had had terrorists living in this country for a number of months and we didn’t know about it. What else didn’t we know? And so there was a great deal

United States of Secrets | Reflections

“We have to remember that, you know, we’d had— we had had terrorists living in this country for a number of months and we didn’t know about it. What else didn’t we know? And so there was a great deal

Climate of Doubt | Reflections

As a climate scientist, I think a lot about the future. It goes with the job. And I want to make sure that in 50 years or 100 years or 200 years, nobody can ever say we didn’t warn them.

Climate of Doubt | Reflections

As a climate scientist, I think a lot about the future. It goes with the job. And I want to make sure that in 50 years or 100 years or 200 years, nobody can ever say we didn’t warn them.

TED | Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

When I was a young officer, they told me to follow my instincts, to go with my gut, and what I’ve learned is that often our instincts are wrong. 0:24 In the summer of 2010, there was a massive leak

TED | Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

When I was a young officer, they told me to follow my instincts, to go with my gut, and what I’ve learned is that often our instincts are wrong. 0:24 In the summer of 2010, there was a massive leak

Thomas Friedman “The Next New World” Global Forum | Notes

— LIVE PERSONAL NOTES — What World Are You Living In? How we have gone from connected to hyper-connected and from interconnected to interdependent. An address by Thomas L. Friedman. We built this conference as a platform to share with

Thomas Friedman “The Next New World” Global Forum | Notes

— LIVE PERSONAL NOTES — What World Are You Living In? How we have gone from connected to hyper-connected and from interconnected to interdependent. An address by Thomas L. Friedman. We built this conference as a platform to share with

How Do You Kill 11 Million People | Notes & Review

Andy Andrews. How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why The truth Matters More Than You Think. Thomas Nelson, 2011. (84 pages) The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under

How Do You Kill 11 Million People | Notes & Review

Andy Andrews. How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why The truth Matters More Than You Think. Thomas Nelson, 2011. (84 pages) The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

http://praythedevilbacktohell.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pray_the_Devil_Back_to_Hell Liberia, a West African country of 3 million people, was founded in 1847 by freed American slaves. Their descendants formed an elite class which dominated indigenous ethnic groups for more than a century. Rising tensions finally erupted into

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

http://praythedevilbacktohell.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pray_the_Devil_Back_to_Hell Liberia, a West African country of 3 million people, was founded in 1847 by freed American slaves. Their descendants formed an elite class which dominated indigenous ethnic groups for more than a century. Rising tensions finally erupted into

TED | Jonathan Haidt on the Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives

Suppose that two American friends are traveling together in Italy. They go to see Michelangelo’s “David,” and when they finally come face to face with the statue, they both freeze dead in their tracks. The first guy — we’ll call

TED | Jonathan Haidt on the Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives

Suppose that two American friends are traveling together in Italy. They go to see Michelangelo’s “David,” and when they finally come face to face with the statue, they both freeze dead in their tracks. The first guy — we’ll call

California Listening Tour Education Forums

California Listening Tour Education Forums (in Partnership with StudentsFirst) [VIA: I have striven to be as accurate as possible in this summary. I take responsibility for any misrepresentions. The quotes that follow are not exact.] The main speaker was Michelle

California Listening Tour Education Forums

California Listening Tour Education Forums (in Partnership with StudentsFirst) [VIA: I have striven to be as accurate as possible in this summary. I take responsibility for any misrepresentions. The quotes that follow are not exact.] The main speaker was Michelle

TED | Bryan Stevenson: We Need to Talk About an Injustice

http://www.eji.org/eji/ | http://jjie.org/founder-of-equal-justice-initiative-greeted-standing-ovation-at-ted/76755 Bryan Stevenson spends most of his time in jails and prisons and on death row. He’s a lawyer, and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. So he’s found it very energizing at TED, and wanted to start by

TED | Bryan Stevenson: We Need to Talk About an Injustice

http://www.eji.org/eji/ | http://jjie.org/founder-of-equal-justice-initiative-greeted-standing-ovation-at-ted/76755 Bryan Stevenson spends most of his time in jails and prisons and on death row. He’s a lawyer, and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. So he’s found it very energizing at TED, and wanted to start by

Milk | Notes & Review

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_%28film%29 Here is the closing line of the movie: If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door… And that’s all. I ask for the movement to continue. Because it’s not about personal gain, not

Milk | Notes & Review

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_%28film%29 Here is the closing line of the movie: If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door… And that’s all. I ask for the movement to continue. Because it’s not about personal gain, not

“The Man Who Knew” | Notes & Review

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/knew/ “…the old-timers have seen it all before.” “Don’t kill your mavericks. They might save your life one day. And they’re the ones with all the great ideas. So try and take care of them. John was a maverick. A

“The Man Who Knew” | Notes & Review

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/knew/ “…the old-timers have seen it all before.” “Don’t kill your mavericks. They might save your life one day. And they’re the ones with all the great ideas. So try and take care of them. John was a maverick. A

Son of Hamas | Notes & Revew

Mosab Hassan Yousef. Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices. Salt River, 2010 (265 pages) Visit also: http://sonofhamas.com/ A few intriguing quotes from the entirety of the story: Without a constitution to maintain

Son of Hamas | Notes & Revew

Mosab Hassan Yousef. Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices. Salt River, 2010 (265 pages) Visit also: http://sonofhamas.com/ A few intriguing quotes from the entirety of the story: Without a constitution to maintain

President Obama’s Message for America’s Students | Notes & Review

Full transcript here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-in-a-National-Address-to-Americas-Schoolchildren/ At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, parents, and the best schools in the world, and none of it will matter, unless you all fulfill your responsibilities…to put in the

President Obama’s Message for America’s Students | Notes & Review

Full transcript here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-in-a-National-Address-to-Americas-Schoolchildren/ At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, parents, and the best schools in the world, and none of it will matter, unless you all fulfill your responsibilities…to put in the

The Women’s Crusade

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine/23Women-t.html Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes.com, 2009-08-17. Kristof’s journalism continues to inspire me, and this article is up there on the top (see also the Girl Effect). The following are a few poignant quotes. I recommend reading the whole article, however, because

The Women’s Crusade

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine/23Women-t.html Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes.com, 2009-08-17. Kristof’s journalism continues to inspire me, and this article is up there on the top (see also the Girl Effect). The following are a few poignant quotes. I recommend reading the whole article, however, because

Ten Trillion and Counting

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tentrillion/view/ A few select quotes that stood out to me in the program: When choosing between what is politically right, and what is economically right, they chose what is politically right at the expense of the economy. The “starve the

Ten Trillion and Counting

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tentrillion/view/ A few select quotes that stood out to me in the program: When choosing between what is politically right, and what is economically right, they chose what is politically right at the expense of the economy. The “starve the

The Electronic Wasteland

Where do the millions of computer monitors, cell phones and other electronic refuse our society generates end up? In places like Guiyu, China. There are similar places in other countries like India, and it’s unseen, underground, and highly toxic to

The Electronic Wasteland

Where do the millions of computer monitors, cell phones and other electronic refuse our society generates end up? In places like Guiyu, China. There are similar places in other countries like India, and it’s unseen, underground, and highly toxic to

Obama’s Speech at Notre Dame and CitizenLink’s Common Ground

Focus on the Family, in a recent email update stated that they are “committed to exposing the deceptive rhetoric from today’s pro-abortion political regime and challenging the policies of abortion extremism.” They were referring to President Barack Obama’s speech at

Obama’s Speech at Notre Dame and CitizenLink’s Common Ground

Focus on the Family, in a recent email update stated that they are “committed to exposing the deceptive rhetoric from today’s pro-abortion political regime and challenging the policies of abortion extremism.” They were referring to President Barack Obama’s speech at

The Story of Stuff

Website: http://www.storyofstuff.com/ NYTimes.com article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/education/11stuff.html This ~20 min. video and connected website is a captivating production of consumption in America. Key words: Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal. — VIA — In my estimation and observation, the heart of this particular

The Story of Stuff

Website: http://www.storyofstuff.com/ NYTimes.com article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/education/11stuff.html This ~20 min. video and connected website is a captivating production of consumption in America. Key words: Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal. — VIA — In my estimation and observation, the heart of this particular

Time to Reboot America

Another thought provoking Op-Ed article from Thomas Friedman. Here’s the brunt of his rant: My fellow Americans, we can’t continue in this mode of “Dumb as we wanna be.” We’ve indulged ourselves for too long with tax cuts that we

Time to Reboot America

Another thought provoking Op-Ed article from Thomas Friedman. Here’s the brunt of his rant: My fellow Americans, we can’t continue in this mode of “Dumb as we wanna be.” We’ve indulged ourselves for too long with tax cuts that we

President-Elect Obama on 60 Minutes

Here is the video. Not only was the interview well done, I was thankful for Obama’s tone and sober attitude toward the work ahead. I appreciated the following… Regarding the auto industry and fuel prices, “we go from ‘shock’ to

President-Elect Obama on 60 Minutes

Here is the video. Not only was the interview well done, I was thankful for Obama’s tone and sober attitude toward the work ahead. I appreciated the following… Regarding the auto industry and fuel prices, “we go from ‘shock’ to

The Religious Case For/Against Gay Marriage | Saying A Lot About So Little

While reading the current Newsweek cover article (“The Religious Case for Gay Marriage” by Lisa Miller), it struck me how much we say about how little the Bible mentions. The summation of the Newsweek article is found, really, in one

The Religious Case For/Against Gay Marriage | Saying A Lot About So Little

While reading the current Newsweek cover article (“The Religious Case for Gay Marriage” by Lisa Miller), it struck me how much we say about how little the Bible mentions. The summation of the Newsweek article is found, really, in one

California’s Proposition 8 | Reasoning Through the Rhetoric of Same-Sex Marriage

I received an email from a family member from the Courage Campaign to repeal proposition 8. There’s also a new post at Out of Ur entitled “A Win-Win on Same-Sex Marriage.” By now, everyone is well aware of the emotional

California’s Proposition 8 | Reasoning Through the Rhetoric of Same-Sex Marriage

I received an email from a family member from the Courage Campaign to repeal proposition 8. There’s also a new post at Out of Ur entitled “A Win-Win on Same-Sex Marriage.” By now, everyone is well aware of the emotional

Books Not Bombs

(This is the second of two posts that highlight the endeavors that are helping to change the world through creative and contrarian ways of thinking.) This video on The Developments In Literacy programs is of a similar vein to one

Books Not Bombs

(This is the second of two posts that highlight the endeavors that are helping to change the world through creative and contrarian ways of thinking.) This video on The Developments In Literacy programs is of a similar vein to one

Barack Obama Elected President | November 4, 2008 – The Double-Edged Sword of Iconism and Racism

History has been made. What an incredible and virtually unreal joy to be a witness to this event. Whether one supported Obama or McCain in this historic election, it’s extremely difficult to argue the iconic nature of this event. And

Barack Obama Elected President | November 4, 2008 – The Double-Edged Sword of Iconism and Racism

History has been made. What an incredible and virtually unreal joy to be a witness to this event. Whether one supported Obama or McCain in this historic election, it’s extremely difficult to argue the iconic nature of this event. And

Our Financial Crisis – Money is Truly About Behavior and Discipline

My second post of Lencioni’s commentary. This is the closing paragraph from “The Financial Crisis.” And so the lesson that comes from all of this, or at least one of the most important ones, has nothing to do with legislation

Our Financial Crisis – Money is Truly About Behavior and Discipline

My second post of Lencioni’s commentary. This is the closing paragraph from “The Financial Crisis.” And so the lesson that comes from all of this, or at least one of the most important ones, has nothing to do with legislation

Warren, McCain, Obama and the Saddleback Civil Forum

If you haven’t heard the buzz around the “Civil Forum on the Presidency” hosted by Rick Warren, Saddleback, and Faith in Public Life, aired by CNN, (July interview with Warren) it was quite the event. Below is a “live-blog” post

Warren, McCain, Obama and the Saddleback Civil Forum

If you haven’t heard the buzz around the “Civil Forum on the Presidency” hosted by Rick Warren, Saddleback, and Faith in Public Life, aired by CNN, (July interview with Warren) it was quite the event. Below is a “live-blog” post

It Takes a School, Not Missiles

There are some articles that just need to be widely promulgated. This is one of them. I commend it to you to think in small local ways where you are, where you live. While everyone cannot necessarily go where Mortenson

It Takes a School, Not Missiles

There are some articles that just need to be widely promulgated. This is one of them. I commend it to you to think in small local ways where you are, where you live. While everyone cannot necessarily go where Mortenson

A Not-So-Public Man: The Private Character of John McCain

The following article from JPost.com (full text below) was a delightful read. While there is a bent towards political favoritism towards the end (yes the article is biased), I want to make it clear that I am sharing this for

A Not-So-Public Man: The Private Character of John McCain

The following article from JPost.com (full text below) was a delightful read. While there is a bent towards political favoritism towards the end (yes the article is biased), I want to make it clear that I am sharing this for

Evangelical Politics

Krista Tippet from American Public Media mediated a fascinating multi-generation discussion between Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne on the subject, “Evangelical Politics” at the National Pastors Conference in San Diego, April 2008. You can see the transcript here,

Evangelical Politics

Krista Tippet from American Public Media mediated a fascinating multi-generation discussion between Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne on the subject, “Evangelical Politics” at the National Pastors Conference in San Diego, April 2008. You can see the transcript here,

Hamas & Al Fatah

This is just a point of education for me on this post. While I’ve heard much about the Palestinian political parties, I actually know very little about them. These “Times Topic” explanations were helpful. HAMAS Hamas, one of the two

Hamas & Al Fatah

This is just a point of education for me on this post. While I’ve heard much about the Palestinian political parties, I actually know very little about them. These “Times Topic” explanations were helpful. HAMAS Hamas, one of the two

Encounter Point – What To Do With The Pain

Encounter Point is an 85-minute feature documentary film that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to

Encounter Point – What To Do With The Pain

Encounter Point is an 85-minute feature documentary film that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to

RELEVANT’s Burning Issues: War

The May_June 2008 edition of Relevant Magazine posted 7 burning issues: Injustice, Homosexuality, Faith, Politics, Culture, Consumerism, and War. WAR: How Should We Respond? 1. Jim Wallis – Followers of the Prince of Peace should be the hardest to convince

RELEVANT’s Burning Issues: War

The May_June 2008 edition of Relevant Magazine posted 7 burning issues: Injustice, Homosexuality, Faith, Politics, Culture, Consumerism, and War. WAR: How Should We Respond? 1. Jim Wallis – Followers of the Prince of Peace should be the hardest to convince

RELEVANT’s Burning Issues: Politics

The May_June 2008 edition of Relevant Magazine posted 7 burning issues: Injustice, Homosexuality, Faith, Politics, Culture, Consumerism, and War. POLITICS: Is Either Party Right? 1. Brian McLaren: We need to get beyond the idea that Christians should be in one

RELEVANT’s Burning Issues: Politics

The May_June 2008 edition of Relevant Magazine posted 7 burning issues: Injustice, Homosexuality, Faith, Politics, Culture, Consumerism, and War. POLITICS: Is Either Party Right? 1. Brian McLaren: We need to get beyond the idea that Christians should be in one