History

The Consequences of Not Making a Difference

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I was eleven when I first read Number the Stars, my first introduction to the 20th-century atrocity known as the Holocaust. I was fourteen when Schindler’s List won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I was sixteen when I watched it for the first time, finally receiving permission from my parents to watch it with my AP US history class. I was nineteen when my World Civilization professor preached ...

The Content of Haitian Character

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Add me to the list of people bristling over the recent words of the President of the United States of America. I don’t consider myself an especially political person; I did not vote for Trump or Clinton. My thoughts today are a discussion of human dignity and human rights as much as they are a response to an insensitive statement made by the leader of the free world. The people of Haiti were broug...

Missing in Action—The Voices We Don’t Hear

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Last month, I researched a story on churches and the problem of sexual harassment and assault. As I proceeded, it became clear that voices were missing in the national dialogue we were having; those of African-American women and other minorities.  (I reached out to a prominent African-American scholar to ask why – but that’s another story!) Ironic, isn’t it, that while a black woman launched the #...

Why the Bible?

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If you’ve spent any time with Christians at all, you know that the Bible holds a pretty central place in our world. But maybe you haven’t read it—most people haven’t. And so you might be wondering what the point of it is. What the Bible Is Not For Here are some of the things that are not the main purpose of the Bible. People may use it for these purposes on occasion, and most of them are valid, bu...

The Discomfort with Dismantling

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A few years ago, my husband and I began exploring the possibility of moving into a new home. Having done a bit of research, we identified neighborhoods and entered our preferences into an online search bar, along with our price limits. We were disappointed by how few homes met our qualifications, but were excited to find a single, promising, slightly suspicious possibility: a spacious home, in a t...

I’d like to say I’m surprised by Charlottesville. But I’m not.

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Writing a public piece on social justice, in our current climate, during this moment in history feels like a weight—one I have not yet earned the right to carry. Yes, I’m alive in this moment watching, alongside the rest of the world, to see how our country navigates our way through the minefield of systematic, historical, covert, and poisonous racism. But the topic is complex, possessing a histor...

Ignoring racism won’t fix it.

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When I was six, I lived next-door to one of the most bigoted people I have ever encountered. There was a public field behind our houses, and if we walked through his yard to get to the field, he would come outside to yell at us. He even put up a one-foot high garden fence between our houses to show us the division. One day I made the mistake of walking through his yard. I was headed toward the fie...

The Faith vs. Science Fight Club

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A few years ago, my son and I were strolling through an exhibit about the life of the famous scientist (genius, really) Galileo Galilei. Galileo is as much famous for having been put on trial by the Catholic church of his time, as he is for having helped invent the telescope, and having been part of the great 17th-century scientific revolution. After having been put on trial for claiming that the ...

Is the U.S. a Christian Country?

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Updated February 24, 2017—Item #5 was added. 1. Although there were several earlier non-native settlements (mainly Roanoke and Jamestown), it was the story of the Pilgrim Fathers, who established the first permanent settlement, that is revered in early American history. Only a third of the occupants of the Mayflower were Protestant Separatists; most of the others were crew, support tradesmen &...

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