David R. Swartz, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). Reviewed by Gregory Metzger at ChristianityToday.com:
Swartz has produced a must read not only for those interested in American religion and politics, but also for students of global Christianity. In relatively short order (the book's main text comes in at 266 pages), Swartz gives a richly textured narrative of some of evangelicalism's brightest thinkers, most creative activists, and most controversial provocateurs.
"Few crimes are more harshly forbidden in the Old Testament than sacrifice to the god Moloch (for which see Leviticus 18.21, 20.1-5). The sacrifice referred to was of living children consumed in the fires of offering to Moloch. Ever since then, worship of Moloch has been the sign of a deeply degraded culture....
"...The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year). more
Griswold writes that in 1999, Gbowee "was introduced to a fledgling network of women working to bring peace and social justice to West Africa. She quickly discovered a focus for her talents—and a way to fight against the war that threatened to destroy her. In a dream, almost a religious vision, she heard a voice telling her quite clearly to 'gather the women to pray for peace.' The result was the creation of the country’s first Christian-Muslim alliance, which eventually grew into the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a nonviolent women’s protest movement that helped end the dictatorship of Charles Taylor and the war...."
By Susan K. Harris (Oxford Univ. Press), review by Harold K. Bush, Jr., in Christian Century, 4 Oct. 2011:
God's Arbiters reopens the closet concealing...dusty skeletons of our national past: it is an elaboration of the ideologies at work in the United States from roughly 1898 to 1902 that provided the means and motivation for imperial adventures undertaken under the banner of the Lord, as [President William] McKinley and many others asserted. Central beliefs and values called for an overlapping of religious and racial identities that has been a source of great confusion throughout U.S. history -- and still is. One might think that Christian intellectuals would clarify this confusion and reject outright the idea that the United States is the site of the kingdom of God on earth. Instead Christian leaders have often been the most vocal supporters of Christian-nation ideology. This despite the sheer heft of historical atrocities, not the least of which occurred in the Philippines, where promises were broken and treaties ignored and where women and children were murdered in the name of God and country....
by J. Alexander Sider (William B. Eerdmans, 2011).
“Not just another book on John Howard Yoder, Sider’s To See H istory Doxologically is unique. Putting Yoder into conversation with figures as diverse as Cyprian, Oliver O’Donovan, Ernst Troeltsch, Gillian Rose, and Rowan Williams, Sider develops an account of holiness that helps us see that holiness is difficult — but in that difficulty is salvation.” — Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
“A masterful book. . . . Sider makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Yoder’s thought and an even more significant contribution to the discipline of seeing the church always in its concrete particularity — a discipline rooted in praise of the Lamb that was slain and issuing in practices of repentance, forgiveness, memory, and dialogical vulnerability.” — Jeremy M. Bergen, Conrad Grebel University College
Former Sen. Mark Hatfield, an outspoken critic of war whose liberal views often put him at odds with fellow Republicans, died Sunday. He was 89....
One of the first American servicemen to enter the Japanese city of Hiroshima following the atomic bombing, he once said one of his major accomplishments was helping usher through Congress a ban on U.S. nuclear weapons testing in 1987.
“Every president other than Eisenhower has been seduced by the military concept that that is our sole measurement of our national security and the more bombs we build, the more secure we are,” Hatfield said a decade later.
Jeff Crocombe of Heidelberg College sent word of this web site, which tells the inspiring story of the Civilian Public Service program in which conscientious objectors lived out their commitment to peace during World War II.
by Adam Hochshild Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 2011
"In this deeply moving history of the so-called Great War, those opposing its mindless folly receive equal billing with the politicians, generals, and propagandists obdurately insisting on its perpetuation. Implicit in Adam Hochschild's account is this chilling warning: once governments become captive of wars they purport to control, they turn next on their own people."--Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War