It's a new week and there's already plenty to read despite the fact that not much of anything is happening today. A few suggestions with brief comment:
1) New York's profile of Tim Keller, which goes beyond the typical tough-but-fair approach most New York publications with local evangelical endeavors into almost unfettered positivity. Since Redeemer isn't news to me, I'm mostly interested in the media angle: who got New York interested in this story, who the reporter is, etc. The prose feels a lot like what a savvy Christian journalist might write about a church he respects, with some mild devil's-advocate thrown in for the required due diligence. What I'm really waiting for is a piece that digs into the Christian artist/writer/academic/church/social world in New York and sizes up its signficance. I guess if no one else writes it, maybe I'll have to.
2) Chelsea Clinton's new fiancee's father is much more of a criminal than her own. Former representative Ed Mezvisky just finished his prison sentence for a lifetime of Bernie Madoff-esque swindling. Funny the things that attract people to one another.
After the jump, how to be a pundit when you don't know what to think, the fake scandal over climate change, and more.
Many of you will be travelling to your family's home today and tonight. There you may participate in the traditional night-before-Thanksgiving-get-togethers including, but not limited to, high school reunions, football games, obligatory yearly "how've you been" meetups at local pubs and other treasures of twenty-first century American awkwardness.
We here at Patrol want you to have a fun, safe and, above all, morally sound holiday weekend, so, with that in mind, we offer you this friendly reminder from the folks at the Encounter Generation Conference. And, oh yes, it's real. Mother Jones looked into it.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
I have more or less committed to lay off Sarah Palin until there's something worth talking about, but her series of comments on Israeli settlements and Muslim profiling seem to meet the standard. First, we have her Barbara Walters interview, making a rather confusing case for letting Israel expand the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo past the 1949 armistice border:
I disagree with the Obama administration on that,” Palin told Walters. “I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.”
Then we have her last night on Sean Hannity, saying she supports profiling of Muslims to "save innocent American lives." If you take those two quotes and do some oversimplifying, you pretty much have Sarah Palin's Middle East strategy: let Israel do whatever it wants, and stop those Arabs at the gate to make sure they aren't coming in here to kill us."
After the jump, why Palin takes reflexively pro-Israel stances.
On hundred quotes from all five seasons of the best show in television history.
And if you've ever watched it, you probably know not to play this front of sensitive ears.
I have been baffled, ever since the first few minutes after the announcement, by every argument against bringing 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed to Manhattan for trial. They have each in turn reeked of counterintuitive hysteria, and, when combined, are a mass of nonsensical paranoia. They have nothing to do with the law, take a cowering stance toward Islamic radicalism, and seem incognizant of the benefits of the United States operating a fair, even-keeled trial in full view of the world.
To briefly summarize, the opponents of trying KSM in New York say: 1) it's a disgrace to New Yorkers to return him to the scene of the crime; 2) terrorists don't deserve the same rights as American citizens; 3) the terrorists will turn the trial into a political circus that will jeopardize American secrets and recruit other radicals to their cause. I will take them one at a time.
We defy you not to watch this at least 25 times.
It's self-referential day at Patrol, so I'll pile on one more. My good friend Stewart at Drunken Koudou writes:
The language of evangelicalism is tired, so much so that I don’t even think it’s worth discussing anymore. I exhort Patrol to stop speaking of evangelicalism altogether and find a new label. Others will give you a label if you won’t give one to yourself–you might as well have some say about it! It would be worthwhile to articulate positive beliefs rather than merely negative anti- (or post-) evangelical sentiments. Those sentiments are completely valid, but need a positive complement. If the problem with evangelicalism is an obsession over “what” we are to believe, I would like to ask this: who are you? I don’t think you’re only the disgruntled children of the evangelical movement, but that is all post-evangelicalism says. To escape the adolescent rebellion, one needs a mature and positive articulation of who one is. This wouldn’t be an orthodoxy or a statement of ethics, but rather a statement of who one is. It’s hard (and dangerous) to make a positive assertion, and it’s easier to criticize–but I would like to see a positive articulation of who these people are from Patrol.
After the jump, more analysis of Patrol and a few more meta thoughts about it. Jesus we need to cut it out, right?
We've gotten lots of letters—some of them very angry letters—asking why we don't put comments on our articles, editorials, music reviews, etc. As we want you to interact with us as much as possible, we shall endeavor to explain ourselves a bit.
First of all, we do have a Facebook page, where we post nearly every article and blog post that goes up on this site. Follow it and you can comment to your heart's content. You even have 100 percent certainty that you'll annoy us by sending us an email alert every time you give your opinion. We also read all of your replies to / mentions of us on Twitter every day.
But about comments. The tone of some of your letters has reflected a mentality that infects web users these days, and one that we strongly question: the notion that feedback, reader input, crowdsourcing, "Web 2.0," etc., is a God-given right of internet users. No matter what it is—pictures of a cute cat, a story about someone's awful day, a serious article about theology—people expect to be able to drop in their two cents.
Really, though, who would say that the thing the internet needs is more unfiltered commentary? After the jump, what we believe is the future of internet discourse.
- “Orthodoxy” Book Club, Chapter 3: “The Suicide of Thought”
- Orthodoxy Book Club: Chapter 2, “The Maniac”
- Introducing the Confront-Your-Prejudices Book Club on G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”
- The Men of Fox News are Right: My Breadwinner Wife is Destroying My Marriage and Undermining Civilization
- Philosophical Flavors
- No public Twitter messages.
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