Since hearing the news on my way to work yesterday that Edward Kennedy passed away after battling brain cancer heroically for a year, I felt the immediate need to say something, to somehow eulogize the man who has been my senator from Massachusetts for the entirety of my life and most of my parents' lives as well.
Last night my wife and i watched a special on television that further solidified what I'd always known about the man, he was a fallen, broken human being and a transcendant, idealistic poltician. It is clear that after it became clear that he would never be President of the United States, something shifted or something inside him rose to the service and that part that wants to climb to the ighest position in the land was supplemented by the genuine desire to serve the people of this country.
Anyway, there's so much I'd like to say about the man, and so many ways in which I don't want to feel like I have to defend him, so I'm going to defer to somebody else's words to say what I myself am not up to.
You can argue the politics if you like, declaring the government shouldn't care about racism, or gender equality, or health care, that the extent of their 'intrusion' should be to pave our roads and provide an army, leaving us to fend for ourselves with the rest of life. You can point to his failures. But what you can't do is declare that he didn't "give a damn" about the least of these. As the church has, in recent years awakened to her calling to care for those who can't care for themselves, we've been reminded that caring for those on the margins is our calling precisely because such acts of mercy make the character of Christ visible.
Click the link above to read the piece in its entirety and take a moment to thank God for putting people like Teddy Kennedy on the planet, fallen, broken people who he still chooses to use.
Remember Christian rap? We might as well start way back with DC Talk, that’s where we all started anyway, but how much more do you know? Ever heard of E.T.W. or A-1 Swift, some of the early innovators? What about Christianity’s answer to N.W.A., The Gospel Gangstaz? Former DC Talk dancers Grits? Philly’s The Cross Movement? The Tunnel Rats? LA Symphony?
Any of this ringing a bell?
As time went on the genre matured and the music got a lot better. I bet most of you have at least heard a few of those groups, and a tiny percentage has maybe heard of all of them. Well, for me, back in the day, I not only listened to all of these guys (and girls), I wanted to be them.
Does anyone remember Building 429? True, they were responsible for one of CCM’s biggest radio successes, the infinitely overplayed “Glory Defined.” But everything after that is a blur. There have been three follow-up albums to their initial splash. The results? Well, if you don’t know, that says it all.
Which is what makes Heroes of Silence all the more appealing. The brainchild of reclusive 429 guitarist Jesse Garcia (he’s the silent type—in my two encounters with the band, he’s never actually spoken), Silence is all about post-rock. That’s right, the brooding, expansive, overlong stuff. But wait: a lot of it works surprisingly well. And considering Garcia’s current main attraction, it’s more than a little bit, well, shocking. Sure, band members of any semi-notable success are starting their own sideshows all over the place. Jon Foreman lit the fire, and I’m afraid it’s turning into a bit of a fad. But calling Garcia’s fleeting, introspective wonders a vanity project is just unfair.
After the jump, what this unexpected turn sounds like.
In response to my article from last week, "Higher Ground," which asked the question "Where will Christians fall when the marijuana debate lights up?" I've received some excellent feedback via email. I wanted to share a few of the thoughtful responses and give other readers the opportunity to respond and weigh in on this necessarily controversial topic.
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