Category : History

(Terry Mattingly) a Marvin Olasky flashback: Back to the evangelical clashes over character and two-party politics

Back in 2016, Olasky noted that opposing Trump was risky: “Our call for a different Republican candidate will lose us some readers and donors.” Then in 2021, Trump-era tensions played a major role in his exit at World, after serving as editor for nearly three decades.

“Many people continue to stress that we are electing a president, not a preacher,” said Olasky. “I am also aware that God can do many things outside the limitations of what I think about all of this.”

But Olasky stands by his views in “The American Leadership Tradition” about fidelity and character. “From my selfish point of view,” he added, “the whole Trump era has been a vindication of that book.”

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(NYT) Christine McVie, Hitmaker for Fleetwood Mac, Is Dead at 79

Christine McVie, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist who became the biggest hitmaker for Fleetwood Mac, one of music’s most popular bands, died on Wednesday. She was 79.

Her family announced her death on Facebook. The statement said she died at a hospital but did not specify its location or give the cause of death. In June, Ms. McVie told Rolling Stone that she was in “quite bad health” and that she had endured debilitating problems with her back.

Ms. McVie’s commercial potency, which hit a high point in the 1970s and ’80s, was on full display on Fleetwood Mac’s “Greatest Hits” anthology, released in 1988, which sold more than eight million copies: She either wrote or co-wrote half of its 16 tracks. Her tally doubled that of the next most prolific member of the band’s trio of singer-songwriters, Stevie Nicks. (The third, Lindsey Buckingham, scored three major Billboard chart-makers on that collection.)

The most popular songs Ms. McVie wrote favored bouncing beats and lively melodies, numbers like “Say You Love Me” (which grazed Billboard’s Top 10), “You Make Lovin’ Fun” (which just broke it), “Hold Me” (No. 4) and “Don’t Stop” (her top smash, which crested at No. 3). But she could also connect with elegant ballads, like “Over My Head” (No. 20) and “Little Lies” (which cracked the publication’s Top Five in 1987).

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music

One I try to get to Every Year this week–(WSJ) Melanie Kirkpatrick–Thanksgiving, 1789

It is hard to imagine America’s favorite holiday as a source of political controversy. But that was the case in 1789, the year of our first Thanksgiving as a nation.

The controversy began on Sept. 25 in New York City, then the seat of government. The inaugural session of the first Congress was about to recess when Rep. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey rose to introduce a resolution. He asked the House to create a joint committee with the Senate to “wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God….”

It fell to a New Englander to stand up in support of Thanksgiving. Connecticut’s Roger Sherman praised Boudinot’s resolution as “a laudable one in itself.” It also was “warranted by a number of precedents” in the Bible, he said, “for instance the solemn thanksgivings and rejoicings which took place in the time of Solomon, after the building of the temple.”

In the end, the Thanksgiving resolution passed—the precise vote is not recorded—and the House appointed a committee. The resolution moved to the Senate, which passed it and added its own members to the committee.

The committee took the resolution to the president, and on Oct. 3 George Washington issued his now-famous Thanksgiving Proclamation. In it, he designated Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789 as “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” He asked Americans to render their “sincere and humble thanks” to God for “his kind care and protection of the People of this Country.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History

Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Office of the President, Religion & Culture

The 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks — for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation — for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war — for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed — for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Office of the President

(1st Things) Dan Hitchens on Richard Henry Tawney (1880–1962): A 20th Century Prophet

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a cult. Browsing in a secondhand bookshop, I picked up R. H. Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism and, remembering a vague resolution to read it one day, took it to the counter. The fresh-faced student at the cash register was delighted. “It’s . . . amazing,” he said reverently. A few days later, finding myself in full agreement, I emailed a writer in whose work I perceived some Tawney-like themes to ask whether he knew the book. “I read it fifty years ago,” he replied, “and it changed my life.”

In recent decades, membership of his fan club has declined—too Christian for the socialists, too socialist for the Christians—but at one time Richard Henry Tawney (1880–1962) towered over British intellectual life. To his contemporaries he was a legend, “the greatest living Englishman,” according to the historian Sir Michael Postan. The Guardian declared in 1960 that his writings “will be read with delight as long as the English language is spoken.” Surveying Tawney’s contributions, not just as a historian, but as a writer, activist, teacher, and mentor, someone suggested to Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple that what Britain needed was “more men like Tawney.” The archbishop replied: “There are no men like Tawney.” To a generation that had run out of faith in free-market capitalism, he appeared to be that unusual thing, a prophet who actually knew what he was talking about.

Deeply earnest, prematurely bald, self-deprecating to the point of masochism, Tawney nevertheless exuded an unmistakable charisma that can still be experienced today in the texture of his prose—its beautiful cadences, smash-and-grab satirical raids, elegiac melancholy, pin-sharp analysis, metaphorical exuberance, and spiritual clarity. The supreme example is Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, based on the Holland Memorial Lectures he delivered at King’s College, London in 1922. The bestselling history book in interwar Britain, it owed its success partly to a widespread feeling that the reigning economic system had failed, partly to the national weakness for nostalgia: Tawney was one of those writers who located his ideals in a consciously romanticized past, and the book is above all a lament for a lost moral order.

From the twelfth through the sixteenth century, in Tawney’s telling, money was, at least to an extent, governed by Christian moral norms. Feudal lords might be merciless, guilds might be ­monopolistic, the papacy might be corrupt, but late-­medieval society still shone out with, in ­Tawney’s characteristically memorable phrase, “a certain tarnished splendour.” Widespread cruelty and oppression could not wholly extinguish the idea of social solidarity, of a world that made eternal salvation its ultimate goal and thus put money-­worship in its place. Peasant and lord, craftsman and merchant knew their duties to each other, and the strong were regularly prevented from exploiting the weak. In the institutions that fed the hungry and provided credit to the financially insecure; in the ecclesiastical or civil courts where usurers were excommunicated and fined; in the pulpits where avarice was denounced as a deadly sin, and in the confessionals where middlemen would have to repent of overcharging customers or not sharing their goods with the poor, medieval man was prevented from destroying his own soul and his neighbor’s livelihood.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture

Music for his Feast Day–Sing Joyfully, by William Byrd (1540-1623)

Lyrics:

Sing joyfully to God our strength; sing loud unto the God of Jacob!
Take the song, bring forth the timbrel, the pleasant harp, and the viol.
Blow the trumpet in the new moon, even in the time appointed, and at our feast day.
For this is a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

Posted in History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(VA) Shane Whitecloud–What Veterans Day means to me

I was sent back to Hawaii where I went to my chain of command to report the incident again. I was placed on restrictive duty for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” I was discharged from the Navy in 1995 with a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge.

There weren’t a lot of resources for Veterans back then and the ones I heard about I was leery of. I fell into homelessness, drugs, and eventually incarceration. I was lost and alone. I didn’t want to be found. I attempted suicide twice before I turned 21. I used to tell people I’d never live to see 30.

I found that singing was my way of saving $40 on a shrink and I sang for touring rock bands for the next 20+ years. Something was still missing though. I never had that feeling of accomplishment.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, History, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Psychology, Suicide

Veterans Day Statistics 2022

You can find a page of 4 graphs there. There is also a research summary here and an infographic there. An excellent short summary of the history of Veterans Day may be found at this link. Finally, a link for the Veterans History Project is well worth your time exploring today. The VA’s National Cemetery Administration currently maintains 155 national cemeteries (you can find more facts about the national Cemetery Administration there). Twenty percent (105,845 Veterans interred in FY 2020) of U.S. Veterans who died (estimated 592,682 in FY 2020) in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in FY 2020 were buried in a national, state or tribal Veterans cemetery. As new national, state and tribal Veterans cemeteries open, this percentage is expected to increase.

Finally, a 16 page teachers guide for Veteran’s Day 2022 may be found there.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces

For Veterans Day 2020–The Poem For the Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces, Poetry & Literature

(NYT Op-ed) ‘Black Wall Street’ Was Burned Down in 1921, but It’s Being Revived

The Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Okla., was so prosperous at the start of the 20th century that Booker T. Washington, the educator and author, called it Negro Wall Street, which later morphed into Black Wall Street. A white mob burned it down in 1921 and killed hundreds of people. Now there’s an effort to revive Black Wall Street, creating opportunities for Black venture capitalists and entrepreneurs not just in Tulsa but also across the United States. I recently interviewed Ashli Sims, a longtime Tulsa resident who is leading the project.

Sims told me that when she was growing up in Tulsa in the 1980s and ’90s, the race massacre of 1921 was spoken of in hushed tones. “There was a lot of focus on the tragedy and not on the excellence that came before, how much wealth there was,” she explained. She said that as the years went by she realized that Greenwood could be not just a warning but also an inspiration to Black people. Her message: “You are destined for greatness because this is where you came from.”

The organization of which she is managing director, Build in Tulsa, staged its first Black Venture Summit last year, on the centennial of the massacre, with Black-led firms looking to invest and Black-led start-ups looking for investors. The second summit, a larger, three-day affair, ends on Friday.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Race/Race Relations

(LH) The Most Important Poem of the 20th Century: On T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” at 100

Robert Crawford: Though I do understand why people often see—and hear—“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” as inventing modern poetry in English, I think The Waste Land does so more comprehensively. It’s as if this poem can give anything—a cry, a list of place-names, a snatch of conversation, a Sanskrit word, a nursery rhyme, an echo—an almost infinite and carrying resonance that brings with it unforgettable intensity. Ezra Pound who, prior to editing The Waste Land,  had just been editing an English translation of an avant-garde collage-style French poem by Jean Cocteau, helped give the poem its intensity; but the words were Eliot’s.

As I’ve argued in Young Eliot, Pound’s editing was highly ethical in that he did not add or substitute words of his own; he just honed what Eliot had written. Eliot had learned from Pound’s bricolage style, but where Pound went on to go on and on and on, Eliot (with Pound’s editorial help) learned as a young poet just when to stop. That’s a great gift. So the poem exemplifies at once the way in which poetry can incorporate all kinds of diverse materials; yet it also constitutes a supreme example of poetic intensity. It’s quite a combination—and one from which innumerable poets (from Auden to Xu Zhimo and from MacDiarmid to Okigbo and beyond) have learned.

David Barnes: Basil Bunting famously compared Ezra Pound’s Cantos to the Alps: a poet ‘would have to go a long way around’ if they wanted to avoid them. I don’t know if The Waste Land is quite like that. Certainly, poetry was not the same after The Waste Land; at the same time, it’s perhaps more difficult to trace the influence of the poem than it is with Pound’s experimentations. In some ways, it’s quite difficult to go forward after The Waste Land, as it’s a poem that seems to have said it all. I sometimes wonder if The Waste Land hasn’t had more of an influence on the modern novel.

Read it all.

Posted in History, Language, Poetry & Literature

(TLS) Andrew Preston reviews Max Hastings new “The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 (William Collins)”

Perhaps the book’s most interesting contribution is its reassessment of the key figures, for this really was a historical moment driven by personality, which turned on individual decisions. Of the three key players, only John F. Kennedy comes out with his reputation intact, indeed burnished. Hastings doesn’t hesitate to point out his mistakes, but throughout the American president seems to be the only sane person in the room. By contrast, Nikita Khrushchev is one of the book’s main villains, albeit a very human one: ambitious and impulsive, but also vulnerable and bewilderingly inconsistent. The megalomaniacal Castro, almost suicidally committed to resisting Yankee aggression at any cost, even nuclear war, is subject to stern criticism. Of the supporting cast Hastings praises Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Secretary of State Dean Rusk for encouraging Kennedy’s diplomatic manoeuvres. He saves his harshest words for the Strangeloveian US military, which pushed relentlessly for authorization to bomb and invade Cuba despite – or, for some of the brass, precisely because of – the chance that it would lead to World War Three. The civilian members of the White House’s fabled ExComm who advocated for military intervention also come in for stinging criticism. Hastings is shrewd to zero in at times on the hawkish National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy, one of Kennedy’s less famous but most important aides, who was “so smooth and smart that you could have played pool on him”, but whose surface polish concealed some poor judgement.

But while Abyss makes reputations from 1962 come into clearer focus, the lessons for diplomats and politicians today remain frustratingly murky. Hastings shows how, in the face of unimaginable pressure, Kennedy’s patient diplomacy found an incredibly narrow path to a peaceful solution. And from there he draws a line from the warmongering of Kennedy’s adversaries during the missile crisis – in the Pentagon, not the Kremlin – to the subsequent escalation of the war in Vietnam. Some US officials, including Bundy, did in fact push for war in Cuba, then in Vietnam. Yet that line wasn’t always so straight: in 1964-5 the Joint Chiefs were actually reluctant to wage war in Southeast Asia, while McNamara and Rusk, the civilian voices of reason during the missile crisis, applied the crisis-management techniques that were so successful in Cuba to the conflict in Vietnam, this time with disastrous results.

What, then, were the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis? As Vladimir Putin rattles his nuclear sabre over Ukraine, what can Joe Biden learn from his hero Jack Kennedy? Not much, it seems. “In 1962, the world got lucky”, Hastings concludes. Let’s hope we get lucky again.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Books, Cuba, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Military / Armed Forces, Office of the President, Politics in General, Russia

Meet the Physicist Who Has Created 1600+ Wikipedia Entries for Important Female & Minority Scientists

Watch it all–hats off to her.

Posted in Blogging & the Internet, History, Science & Technology, Women

(TLS) Paula Fredriksen reviews Kyle Smith’s ‘Cult of the Dead: A brief history of Christianity’

Grisly torments. Hideous dismembering. Extreme self-mortification. Voluntary live entombment. The collection and even the theft of human body parts. The celebration of violent death. Such are some of the themes treated in Cult of the Dead. Yet reading this book conveys the feeling of bouncing over bumps at high speed on a sunny day in an all-terrain sports utility vehicle. How can such lugubrious topics provide so much fun? The tale is animated by the telling. With sly wit, subtle humour, agile prose and empathetic imagination, Kyle Smith narrates the growth of one of Christianity’s defining traditions: its adoration of the martyr.

Smith’s interest in the subject was ignited by chance, when he was introduced to a luridly illustrated catalogue of tortures. Treatise on the Instruments of Martyrdom featured spikes and swords, axes and arrows, weights and wheels. Composed in the sixteenth century and translated into English in 1903, this bibliographic find led Smith to contemplate the ways in which martyr cults affected Christian piety and politics, the economic development of the post-Roman West and the very measurement of time.

“Being killed is an event”, Smith notes, quoting Daniel Boyarin. “Martyrdom is a literary genre.” That genre was already enshrined in Christian scripture, with its narrations of Jesus’s crucifixion in the gospels and of the stoning of Stephen in Acts. By the time that the New Testament was firmly canonized (in the early fourth century, impelled by the newly converted emperor, Constantine), the age of the martyrs was, technically, past: pagans could no longer make martyrs of the faithful. How many actually suffered is unknown and unknowable: as late as the 240s, the great theologian Origen commented that their number could easily be counted (Against Celsus 3.8). Nor do we know much about the legal mechanisms that may have brought people to trial. Nor can we date martyrdoms with much security. What we do know is that stories about martyrs were tremendously popular. With Constantine’s conversion their production bloomed.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Books, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Religion & Culture

([London Times) Kallistos Ware–Gentle-voiced Oxford don and Greek Orthodox bishop who spread understanding of his faith in the English-speaking worl

The young Ware had entered a world of perpetual controversy, between different nations and ethnicities and between different shades of ideology. The remainder of his life was devoted to wrestling with these contradictions and helping others to do so.

Having won a King’s Scholarship to study classics at Magdalen College, Oxford, he took a double first and wrote a doctoral thesis on St Mark the Ascetic. At the same time he deepened his commitment to Orthodoxy. He loved Russian spirituality but was wary of being embroiled in Russian controversies. His wisest Russian mentors advised moving closer to the religious mainstream and joining the Greek church, into which he was received in 1958, later being elevated to the priesthood, tonsured as a monk and given the name Kallistos in 1966.

By that time he had been guided by Amphilochios Makris, a visionary monastic on Patmos, who said that care for the environment, especially trees, was a Christian duty. It was this monk, canonised in 2018, who advised the young Englishman that his future lay in teaching Orthodox Christianity in the West.

Ware faithfully carried out this mission during three decades as an Oxford lecturer, presenting arcane theological issues with clarity and humour.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Orthodox Church, Theology

Ripon Cathedral 1350th Anniversary Celebrations are announced

A ledger stone, honouring the cathedral’s founding father St Wilfrid, will be dedicated by Archbishop Stephen at the end of a service that will have celebrated the incredible life and mission of St Wilfrid of Ripon.

Throughout this year, in marking the 1350th anniversary of the dedication of Ripon’s crypt by St Wilfrid, the cathedral community has been telling the story of this remarkable missionary bishop with art installations, son et lumieres, lectures and worship.

Wilfrid, a man of great vision, motivation, courage and faith, not only built up the church and brought countless people to faith but also helped the church on the fringes of Europe become more up to date and better connected. This became symbolized in the way he brought Roman influence to bear on the building of a stunning church in Ripon.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(ESPN) New York Yankees star Aaron Judge launches 62nd home run, sets AL single-season record

The American League has a new single-season home run king.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge launched his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night on the road against the Texas Rangers, breaking the AL record he shared with Roger Maris.

After depositing a Tim Mayza sinker into the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen to tie Maris’ mark last Wednesday, Judge went without a home run during the Yankees’ final regular-season homestand — a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Back on the road, Judge, who had gone 2-for-9 with two singles in two games against the Rangers through Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, took Texas pitcher Jesus Tinoco deep in the first inning of the nightcap to reach No. 62.

“It’s a big relief. I think that everyone can sit back down in their seats and watch the ballgame, you know? No, but it’s been a fun ride so far,” Judge said. “Getting a chance to do this, with the team we’ve got, the guys surrounding me, the constant support from my family whose been with me through this whole thing … it’s been a great honor.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Sports

(NYT) ‘We Tell The Whole Truth’: A Talk With the Head of Charleston’s New African American Museum

There’s a short stretch along the Charleston waterfront, just a few hundred yards from the South Carolina Aquarium, where tens of thousands of enslaved people took their first steps in the New World.

The site, Gadsden’s Wharf, was among the most prolific international slave trading ports in the United States. But until recently, the site bore no mention of its slave-trading past. It was only during the development of the International African American Museum — a landmark $100 million project that has been in the works for more than 20 years — that researchers brought to light the full history of Gadsden’s Wharf.

“We were part of how Gadsden’s Wharf was coming into community recognition and community conversation,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, the museum’s president and chief executive. While Gadsden’s Wharf has long been acknowledged as a historic site, she said, “we weren’t actually talking about what that history was.”

The I.A.A.M., which opens in January, will change that. Dedicated to “telling the full story of the African American journey, from ancient African civilization to modern day,” the museum’s nearly 150,000 square feet of space will include nine galleries as well as a genealogy center where visitors can get help researching their family histories. Dr. Matthews said she is already seeing a strong response from the public.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, History, Race/Race Relations

(NYT) Hilary Mantel, Prize-Winning Author of Historical Fiction, Dies at 70

But it was a long and arduous road to reach those heights, beginning with a tough childhood. “I was unsuited to being a child,” Ms. Mantel wrote in a 2003 memoir, “Giving Up the Ghost.” She endured numerous health problems, leading one doctor to call her “Little Miss Neverwell.” The doctor was the first of many to fail to properly treat her.

Her illnesses later proved so debilitating that she could not hold down regular jobs, steering her to writing. But even then it was a writer’s life of fits and starts. Mainstream success did not come to her until she was well into her 50s….

In her 20s, Ms. Mantel was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to that lining the womb grows elsewhere. Around that time, a doctor ordered her to stop writing. Her response, described in her memoir, was typically forthright: “I said to myself, ‘If I think of another story, I will write it.’”

At 27, having had the endometriosis diagnosis confirmed, she had surgery to remove her uterus and ovaries, although that did not stop the pain. The complications from her illness made a normal day job impossible, she said.

“It narrowed my options in life,” she said, “and it narrowed them to writing.”

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Poetry & Literature

(R U) Terry Mattingly–The Last Rites For Elizabeth II

“Queen Elizabeth was one of those people in this mortal life who always thought ahead,” said David Lyle Jeffrey, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. When preparing these rites, the queen was “clearly looking for prayers, Scriptures and hymns that made connections she wanted to make for her family, her people and the world. … I think she succeeded brilliantly.”

An Anglican from Canada, Jeffrey said the events closing the queen’s historic 70-year reign were an appropriate time to explore the “essence of her admirable Christian character.” Thus, the retired literature professor wrote a poem after her death — “Regina Exemplaris (An exemplary queen)” — saluting her steady, consistent faith. It ended with these lines:

She who longest wore the heavy crown

Knew but to kneel before the unseen throne

And plead her people’s cause as for her own,

And there to praise the Lord of All, bowed down,

More conscious of his glory than her high acclaim,

Exemplar thus in worship, in praise more worthy of the Name.

After the “Kontakion of the Departed,” Bishop David Conner, the dean of St. George’s Chapel, noted the importance of this sanctuary to Queen Elizabeth. She had worshipped in the Windsor Castle chapel as a girl, sometimes singing in the choir and taking piano lessons with organist Sir William Henry Harris. The queen included some of his music in the committal service.

“We are bound to call to mind,” said Conner, “someone whose uncomplicated, yet profound Christian faith bore so much fruit … in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also, and especially to be remembered in this place, in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family, friends and neighbors.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYT front page) With Sadness and Uncertainty, Britons Close an Elizabethan Age

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest on Monday after a majestic state funeral that drew tens of millions of Britons together in a vast expression of grief and gratitude, as they bade farewell to a sovereign whose seven-decade reign had spanned their lives and defined their times.

It was the culmination of 10 days of mourning since the queen died on Sept. 8 in Scotland — a highly choreographed series of rituals that fell amid a deepening economic crisis and a fraught political transition in Britain — and yet everything about the day seemed destined to be etched into history.

Tens of thousands of people lined the route of the cortege past the landmarks of London. In Hyde Park, people watching the service on large screens joined in “The Lord’s Prayer” when it was recited at Westminster Abbey. Thousands more cheered, many strewing flowers in the path of her glass-topped hearse, as the queen’s coffin was driven to Windsor Castle, where she was buried next to her husband, Prince Philip.

“In this changing world, she was a pillar of the old world,” said Richard Roe, 36, who works in finance in Zurich and flew home for the funeral. “It’s nice to have something that’s stable and stands for good values.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Spectator) [Former Bishop of London] Richard Chartres–The Queen’s life was anchored by Christianity

She was always reticent about her personal opinions about people and policies. She was reluctant even to divulge whether she had a favourite hymn, knowing that she would be condemned ever afterwards to hear it on every occasion.

During the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, in a speech at Lambeth Palace the Queen was explicit about her own view of the role of the Church of England in a multicultural country. ‘The concept of our established church is occasionally misunderstood and I believe commonly underappreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.’

The Queen believed that the ‘Defender of the Faith’ should be the friend and protector of all the faiths which make up the national community. She was an assiduous visitor to temples, gurdwaras and mosques. The idea, however, that you could slip the Christian anchorage in favour of a generalised benevolence to all religions was not one she instinctively favoured. To be simply a ‘Defender of Faith’, rather than the Faith, suggests that one occupies an elevated position in which all faiths are seen as more or less adequate local editions of something vaguely lying beyond them all. Spiritual progress and deeper appreciation of other traditions comes from the serious and disciplined choice of a particular way to follow. The Queen was intensely disciplined in every aspect of her life including in its spiritual dimension. Wherever she was, Sunday worship was a priority.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

An All Souls, Langham Place, Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

take the time to watch it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Religion & Culture, Theology

(GR) Elizabeth the Great: Why do many journalists choose to edit faith out of her Christmas talks?

Contrast the Post summary with this language from her majesty’s 2011 talk, as transcribed by the BBC.

Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. ‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves — from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person — neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.

That’s a bit more specific, isn’t it? Year after year, Queen Elizabeth stressed that her faith was at the heart of her life and work. Was this a valid and important part of her (news) story?

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Posted in Church of England, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

May we Never Forget Twenty-One Years Ago Today–A Naval Academy “Anchormen” Tribute to 9/11

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music, Terrorism

Twenty One Years Later, we Remember 9/11

“The cloudless sky filled with coiling black smoke and a blizzard of paper—memos, photographs, stock transactions, insurance policies—which fluttered for miles on a gentle southeasterly breeze, across the East River into Brooklyn. Debris spewed onto the streets of lower Manhattan, which were already covered with bodies. Some of them had been exploded out of the building when the planes hit. A man walked out of the towers carrying someone else’s leg. Jumpers landed on several firemen, killing them instantly.

“The air pulsed with sirens as firehouses and police stations all over the city emptied, sending the rescuers, many of them to their deaths. [FBI agent] Steve Bongardt was running toward the towers, against a stream of people racing in the opposite direction. He heard the boom of the second collision. “There’s a second plane,” someone cried.”

–Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Random House [Vintage Books], 2006), pp.404-405

Posted in America/U.S.A., Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Terrorism

The Legacy Website for September 11, 2001

This site is intended as a place to remember and celebrate the lives of those lost on September 11, 2001. It includes Guest Books and profiles for each of those lost.

It is well worth your time to explore it thoroughly today.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Terrorism

Must not Miss 9/11 Video: Welles Crowther, The Man Behind the Red Bandana

The Man Behind the Red Bandana from Drew Gallagher on Vimeo.

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Sports, Terrorism

King Charles III’s first address to the nation: The full transcript

“The role and the duties of monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England – the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.

“In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.

“As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.

“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Language, Politics in General