Sunday, May 31, 2020

Reaping the Whirlwind: America Now Confronts the Reality of Its 2016 Election

Imagine what they're capable of when they're not live on national television. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

In a Play to His Base, US President Demands That Churches Open "Right Now": Twitter Talks Back

As US President Demands That Churches Be Re-Opened, Tragic Failure of Imagination of Many US Christians Driving Re-Opening Project

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

As Churches Re-Open Across US, CDC Issues Report on Arkansas Church in Which a COVID Cluster Spread into Wider Community

In the current pandemic, churches and church gatherings have proven repeatedly to be a perfect petri dish for spread of coronavirus infection. Churches within which infection begins to circulate then bring the infection into the wider community. Yet many Americans continue clamoring for churches to be re-opened even as medical officials urge caution, and. as they clamor, they want to weaponize the pandemic with claims that shutting churches down is an attack on religion.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Book I Co-Authored with Bill Russell and Mary Ryan Now Published: A Family Practice: The Russell Doctors and the Evolving Business of Medicine, 1799-1989

This is a brief update to information I shared with you last October: in the posting I have just linked, I told that a book I had co-authored with Bill Russell, a cousin of mine, and Mary Ryan, was to be published in spring 2020. The book's title is A Family Practice: The Russell Doctors and the Evolving Business of Medicine, 1799-1989.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols Calls for Catholic Churches to Be Allowed to Reopen Before Others: My Reflections

Harriet Sherwood reports in the London paper The Guardian today that the Catholic archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, is calling on the British government to open Catholic churches before other worship places re-open, because Catholics have special needs that other religious communities do not have. Sherwood's report is entitled "Catholic churches 'should be allowed to reopen before others.'"

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Remember the Discussion Here About Dangers of Singing Together in Churches During Pandemic? See the Update Below

Over a month ago, I pointed readers of this blog to a statement by Harvard epidemiologist Bill Hanage indicating that gatherings of any size pose dangers during this pandemic, and churches pose particular dangers given their habit of encouraging people to gather close to one another, to hug, shake hands, and sing together, etc. As Hanage states, church gatherings of any sort have the capability to be "super-spreading" events, and we know for a fact that some serious clusters of coronavirus infection have spread right from churches into surrounding communities.

German Catholic Bishops on Dismal Failure of Predecessors in Nazi Period; Anne Barrett Doyle on Anniversary of Vos Estis Lux Mundi

Writing in The Tablet yesterday, Christa Pongratz-Lippit reports on an in-depth study the German Catholic bishops recently commissioned in preparation for the 75th anniversary of World War II. The study, which is entitled in English "German Bishops During World War II," focuses on the role of the German bishops during the Nazi period. I'm highlighting this article as a footnote to my recent discussion of Susan Neiman's book Learning from the Germans.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans and Working Off the Nazi Past and the American Racist Past: A Report with Excerpts

In February, I blogged a number of times about Susan Neiman's book Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019). As I told you in one of those postings, one reason Neiman's important book caught my attention and made me decide to read it is that Susan Neiman grew up in the American South during the Civil Rights era, as I did. Neiman is, however, Jewish, and she saw the struggles for African-American rights in Atlanta through the lens of her own marginalization as a Jew, an experience I did not have growing up as a white Anglo Southerner descended from slaveholding ancestors. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Here's How I See the Response to the Pandemic Playing Out Now in the United States: People Who Will Pay Highest Price for "Re-Opening" Are the Vulnerable, Elderly, Poor, Minorities

Here's how I see things playing out now: the "re-opening" process is going to be more or less the norm across the US. We Americans are never long-term thinkers, in any case. We like frenzy and mobility and things to do. We also don't have a solidaristic bone in our bodies: it's all about individualism and (my) liberties.