Iran and Israel on the nuclear brink
Your right to vote Has the Justice Department gone soft on ballot integrity?
PLUS Boy Scouts turns 100 FIFA wins World Cup Hot Maryland governorâ€™s race
J u ly 31 , 201 0
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J u ly 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 / V O LU M E 2 5 / N U M B E R 1 5
CONTENTS F E AT UR E S
34 Justice undone
COVER STORY The resignation of a civil-rights attorney at the Justice Department sheds light on the administration’s refusal to enforce election laws fully. Are some voters more equal than others?
40 Feeling crabby
Beyond Tea Partiers, Maryland governor’s race shows lifelong Democrats increasingly turned off by incumbents
42 Arming and dangerous
As Iran moves toward gaining nuclear weapons, Israel and the United States try to apply brakes
46 Scout’s honor
Despite controversies, Boy Scouts turns 100
50 Power kick
Spain may have won the World Cup, but the unaccountable FIFA was the event’s biggest winner
54 Investment opportunity
Connecting capital with opportunity in the developing world takes Job-like patience and ingenuity
58 Where are they now?
More than a decade after we profiled them in WORLD, these compassionate people and groups are going strong ON THE COVER: Illustration by Krieg Barrie
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The late Robert R. Lavelle personified the Christian worldview
here are two ways, whenever my assignment in a column like this is to discuss some fairly complex topic, to frame the conversation. One approach is to hit the issue head-on in the abstract, doing my best to state what’s only theoretical but still make it interesting. That’s always my second choice. My preference by far is to introduce you to a real person, or maybe a real organization, or a real anything— some flesh-and-blood entity that exemplifies the conceptual idea. Or, as WORLD’s editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky has for years reminded our staff: Show, don’t tell. That’s why, when I heard of the death on July 4 of Robert R. Lavelle of Pittsburgh, all I could think was: If ever there was a man who lived out this thing we abstractly call a “Christian world view,” it was Robert Lavelle. He was, as he wrote me a few weeks ago, 94½. Bob Lavelle was a gentle crusader. The status quo was never good enough. But in his zeal for reform, it was never his habit to put other people down. Even before the federal government launched Freddie Mac in 1968, Lavelle had a vision for increasing home ownership among fellow AfricanAmericans in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. His Lavelle Real Estate Company was already well-established. But a huge turning point came in 1957 when he approached a local bank on behalf of a couple needing a loan to buy a house he wanted to sell. “No, we can’t approve that loan,” a bank officer told him—in an almost routine rejection that Lavelle had heard often. “But would you be interested in buying our bank?” Somehow, it all worked. Dwelling House Savings & Loan became a close partner to Lavelle Real Estate Co. Home ownership in the big neighborhood,
which stood at just 12 percent when Dwelling House was launched, is now over 40 percent. What worked in Pittsburgh was an altogether different model from the fiascos that have dominated the news in recent years. Instead of cleverly calibrated derivatives, Lavelle stressed personal acquaintance with his customers. Over its 52-year history, Dwelling House averaged getting 20 families each year into their own homes. Most of those 1,000 families knew what it was like to hear Bob Lavelle personally ring their doorbell to see how things were going. Those who had fallen behind in their payments got a mandatory but sweet-spirited lesson in family budgeting—which more often than not was good enough to avoid an eviction notice. So unusual was this approach that on three occasions in the last 14 years, WORLD has featured the unique work of Bob Lavelle, his real estate business, and Dwelling House Savings & Loan. It’s true that saturating Lavelle’s whole approach to business was his warm Christian testimony. Bank statements included appropriate scripture verses. Lavelle prayed with hardpressed clients. The local Post-Gazette said in its report of Lavelle’s death that “the Hill District financial institution was a Christian mission and his means of spreading the Gospel.” But to understand Bob Lavelle—and to get the nuances of his worldview—you have to appreciate that his business was never just a means, and absolutely never a gimmick, to get people to listen. There was a wonderful integrity to the wholeness of his life. That’s also why, in spite of what some people might call a sad ending to this story of remarkable success, Lavelle refused to see it in such terms. By the fall of 2009, Dwelling House Savings & Loan was reporting a loan portfolio of some $20 million—and very unlike Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Dwelling House’s borrowers were performing well. But so were some mischievous embezzlers, who electronically burrowed into the bank’s bookkeeping system and stole as much as $4 million. The crime was more than the bank could sustain, and regulators insisted that Dwelling House close down. “It’s never what we do,” Lavelle wrote me a few weeks ago. “It’s never our good works that God looks at. It’s his mercy that we get to do anything at all.” Even helping others—which was Bob Lavelle’s whole life—was a gift he ralized he didn’t deserve. That’s a worldview way too complex to be described in the abstract. It takes a real person, like Bob Lavelle, to help it even begin to make sense. A J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Dispatches NEWS HUMAN RACE QUOTABLES QUICK TAKES
TARGETING CIVILIANS: An injured man is carried into a hospital after twin bomb blasts tore through crowds watching the World Cup in Kampala.
African jihad >> NEWS: Islamic terrorist group moves outside Somalia with bomb attacks on civilians in Uganda by alisa Harris
A group of Americans on a shortterm mission from Pennsylvania gathered in an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala, Uganda, on July 11. They had decided to prolong their Uganda trip to finish building a wall around the church and school they helped support. But then an explosion ripped through the restaurant. The al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Shabaab took credit for the bombings—one in the restaurant and another at a rugby club— that killed 76 people and wounded others.
The Americans at the restaurant sustained burns, shrapnel wounds, and broken limbs. One young man ended up with his eye swollen shut from the shrapnel. The pastor they were helping—Peter Mutabazi of Bwaise Pentecostal Church—died in the bombing, leaving behind a wife, five children, a church, and a school with a new wall around it. It’s not the first time Al Shabaab has slain Christians, aid workers, or humanitarians. The United States has been monitoring the group, an Islamic terrorist group in Somalia, since it was designated a terrorist group in 2008. It has disrupted humanitarian aid to Somalia and assassinated peace-keeping troops, aid workers, and journalists. This is the first time Al Shabaab has spread its terror J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Dispatches > News
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Looking Ahead Message from above
Armed forces of the United States will get a boost July 30 when the Air Force thrusts a new communication satellite into space aboard an Atlas 5 rocket deploying from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The satellite, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency spacecraft, is designed to hover in geosynchronous orbit relaying secure communiqués between the Pentagon and commanders in the field of duty.
Arizona gets tough
Unless the United States Department of Justice manages to secure an injunction, Arizona’s new immigration law takes effect on July 29, requiring residents to have proof of legal status. Earlier in July, the Justice Department filed a suit in federal court to try and halt the law.
President's day As
President Barack Obama turns 49 on Aug. 4, it will be up to first lady Michelle Obama to make the day special. In January for the first lady’s birthday, the president threw a surprise party at a tony Washington restaurant for his wife. Republicans, meeting at the Republican National Committee annual summer meeting in Kansas City, Mo., will be discussing their plans to force the president into an early retirement party.
On Aug. 6, 1945, 65 years ago, crewmen on the Enola Gay became the first ever to deploy the atomic bomb, dropping it on the Japanese city Hiroshima. Estimates indicate the bomb initially killed 80,000 Japanese—though many historians argue that the death toll would have been much higher had Allied forces invaded Japan.
Colombian turn? Colombia will swear in president-elect
Juan Manuel Santos Aug. 7, taking power from Álvaro Uribe. Santos has signaled he would like to become cozier with his Venezuelan and Ecuadorian neighbors, inviting President Hugo Chavez and President Rafael Correa to the inauguration.
rubik's cube: handout • satellite: Lockheed Martin • obama: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images • enola gay: AP • santos: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
beyond Somalia, but its methods in Uganda are in keeping with its history of violence toward innocents and civilians. The UN sanctioned the group earlier this year, and in April President Barack Obama issued an executive order freezing the group’s assets, saying the acts of violence “constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The Kampala blasts killed one American, Nate Henn, an aid worker with Invisible Children whose Ugandan nickname was “Oteka,” meaning “The Strong One.” Henn was at the rugby field watching the game with his Ugandan friends and another worker for Invisible Children, a group involved in protecting youth from the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda. His friends rushed him to the hospital, where he fell unconscious and died. In a statement, Invisible Children said that during Henn’s trip, “he wrote home about being in the best days of his life.” Rob Smith, CEO of Earthwise Ferries Uganda, learned of the bombs when two of his investors emailed him the next day expressing their concerns. Two of his employees were close to the rugby stadium and heard the blast rattle the windows of their house. They thought it was thunder at first—then noticed it wasn’t raining. People at the restaurant reported later that the explosion hurled severed body parts and shrapnel through the restaurant. Smith’s business partner transported two of the injured to Kampala International Hospital. The day after the bombing, Smith passed both of the ravaged sites, where police had cordoned off the access roads. He had coffee in a usually crowded, Somali-owned coffee shop that was now deserted. The town is normally alive with tourists at night, but Smith said the “town was rather quiet and subdued the following day.” As of July 13, he said life seemed to have achieved an uneasy normalcy, judging from the traffic jams. Smith said every time he comes to Uganda, the planes are full of people coming for short-term mission trips and volunteer trips. With terrorist groups leaving dead humanitarians in their wake, he’s afraid that charity may diminish. A
Magic Cube turns 30
Happy 30th birthday, Rubik’s Cube. On July 26 in 1980, the Hungarian inventor Erno Rubik created a model to help him explain three-dimensional geometry. Along the way, Rubik’s model became a best-selling toy with around 300 million sold worldwide. While a teen in 2008, Erik Akkersdijk of the Netherlands set the world record for fastest solution to the 3-by3-by-3 puzzle: 7.07 seconds. Take that, amateurs.
Who has been winning souls and planting churches among unreached tribes and nations in the jungles and mountains of Latin America?
Who provides financial support for indigenous evangelistic missions in Latin America?
Q. How is Christian Aid financed? A. Christian Aid is supported entirely by freewill gifts and offerings from Biblebelieving, missionary-minded Christians, churches and organizations. Q. Do indigenous missions in other countries also need our financial help? A. Christian Aid is in communication with more than 4000 indigenous missions, some based in almost every unevangelized country on earth. They have over 200,000 missionaries in need of support. All Christians who believe in Christ’s “Great Commission” are invited to join hands with Christian Aid in finding help for thousands of native missionaries who are now out on the fields of the world with no promise of regular financial support.
Native missionaries trained and sent out by indigenous evangelistic ministries.
Since 1953 Christian Aid Mission has been sending financial help to indigenous Bible institutes and missionary ministries throughout all of Latin America.
For more than 50 years Christian Aid has been sending financial help to indigenous evangelistic ministries based in unevangelized countries. More than 740 ministries are now being assisted in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. They deploy over 75,000 native missionaries who are spreading the gospel of Christ among unreached people within more than 3000 different tribes and nations. Most are in countries where Americans are not allowed to go as missionaries.
Christian Aid . . . because we love the brethren.
Christian Aid Mission P. O. Box 9037 Charlottesville, VA 22906 434-977-5650 www.christianaid.org
When you contact Christian Aid, ask for a free copy of Dr. Bob Finley’s 285 page book, RefORMAtiOn in fOReiGn MiSSiOnS. 58:007
Dispatches > News
BP had initial success on July 15 in stopping for the first time since April the world’s worst oil spill, but Senate Democrats are raising the prospect of more public-relations trouble for the oil company. Four U.S. senators are calling for the State Department to investigate whether the London-based company pressured Britain to free Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing that killed 270. They say a $900 million exploration agreement BP reached with Libya in 2007 might have influenced the British and Scottish governments to release al-Megrahi. “If BP is found to have gained access to Libyan oil reserves by using a mass murderer as a bargaining chip, then make no mistake, any money it makes off that oil is blood money, pure and simple,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.
No subjects here
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle staved off same-sex civil unions when she vetoed last- minute legislation that would have legalized them. In a July 6 veto statement, Lingle, a Republican, criticized last-minute passage of the bill and said she objected to it because a civil union “is essentially marriage by another name.” She denied that her decision wasn't about religion but said voters should decide—not “one person sitting in her office or . . . members of the majority party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus.” The American Civil Liberties Union has promised to take her veto to court.
Found and lost On July 8 Nagla al-Imam and her two children were singing. On July 12 they disappeared. A controversial attorney and human-rights activist in Egypt, al-Iman made public her conversion from Islam to Christianity in the last year. In an interview broadcast by Free Christian Voice, she described being arrested and beaten by Egyptian security forces for her change of faith. She said an officer took her by the hair and bashed her head against his desk. Later al-Imam published on YouTube a video of herself singing with her two children—an Arabic spiritual song about suffering—displaying facial bruises and a broken tooth. Four days later Al-Tarek, the TV station that helped to make her broadcasts, reported that it had been unable to contact al-Imam, and friends said neither she nor her children could be found. Al-Tarek also reported its CONVERTED: Al-Imam in 2008 (left) office in Egypt had been vandalized by Egyptian security. and singing with her children (above).
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al-Megrahi: ap • Declaration of Independence: Susan Walsh/ap • lingle: Eugene Tanner/ap • al-imam: handout CREDIT
As Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he frequently crossed out words and replaced them. Such edits provided historians with insights into the thought process of the Founding Father as he tried to put into words why the colonies sought a break from England. But Jefferson took extra pains to remove one word: Blotting it out, he wrote the word “citizen” over it to form the phrase “our fellow citizens,” and historians have long debated what was hidden by the blot. But thanks to spectral imaging technology, scholars at the Library of Congress announced on July 2 that they have uncovered what was hidden—and it’s not equivalent to “citizens.” Jefferson originally addressed the people of the 13 colonies as “subjects”—showing just how powerful British colonialism weighed on the minds of the New World’s top revolutionaries and wordsmiths.
Let voters decide
Dispatches > News
Down to business Healthcare’s first tax and first court challenge hit this month by edward lee pitts
The legal battle over Obamacare began July 1 in a Richmond, Va., courtroom, and it isn't likely to end until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. Virginia Solicitor General E. Duncan Getchell argued that the healthcare law’s insurance mandate is an “unprecedented” and “radical” overreach. Lawyers for the Obama administration countered that requiring citizens to buy health insurance is within federal government authority. The hearing occurred the day a new Virginia statue went into effect making it illegal to force residents to purchase insurance. District Court Judge Henry Hudson said he would decide within 30 days whether the case can proceed. With Americans facing a fine unless they buy insurance by 2014, 20 other states have joined a similar suit in Florida. A hearing for that case is scheduled for Sept. 14. July 1 also commenced the first tax of Obamacare: a 10 percent tax on tanning beds, expected to raise $2.7 billion toward the healthcare law's $1 trillion cost. Not surprisingly, the Indoor Tanning BROWN BUT Association is afraid that the tax levy jeopardizes the NOT OUT: nation’s 19,000 tanning salons and the approximately Tanning-bed 160,000 workers they employ. “This directly violates the business promise President Obama made not to raise taxes on the owners and customers middle class,” said Dan Humiston, president of the assoprotest the ciation. “A tax like this could be devastating to thousands new tax at the of ‘mom and pop’ tanning businesses across the country.” state capitol But they won't be alone: When fully implemented, tax in Lincoln, Neb., hikes tied to Obamacare will total $569 billion. on July 1.
ties to terror
Siljander with his wife (left) and lawyer (right) leave federal court on July 7 after pleading guilty.
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Former Michigan congressman and U.S. ambassador to the UN Mark Siljander pleaded guilty to two felonies July 7 in connection with his advocacy for an Islamic charity that could land the former Republican lawmaker in prison for up to 15 years. Siljander, 59, admitted to obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent. He admitted that in 2004 he agreed to accept $75,000 from the Islamic American Relief Agency to lobby for the group's removal from a Senate Finance Committee list of charities with suspected ties to terror.
tax protest: Nati Harnik/ap • Bolbach: handout • siljander: Orlin Wagner/ap CREDIT
Delegates for the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly elected Cynthia Bolbach, an elder from Arlington, Va., to serve as the denomination’s new moderator. Of six candidates, Bolbach was the only one to express complete support for same-sex marriage: “Those in favor of the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in our life together—and I include myself in that group—believe that we fail to satisfy the gospel imperative of inclusiveness as we continue to exclude gays and lesbians from leadership in our church.” The 2010 General Assembly took other actions regarding the denomination’s decadeslong debate over human sexuality: PCUSA commissioners meeting in Minneapolis voted to send to local presbyteries for ratification a constitutional amendment deleting the PCUSA's standard for church officers to exercise “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” But it turned aside attempts to convey the PCUSA’s blessing upon same-sex marriages. “Leaders of the PCUSA are still confused about the biblical teaching that channels sexual expression through the marriage of man and woman,” said Alan Wisdom of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “But we can take comfort that people in local Presbyterian churches do uphold the teaching. They have proven that in four votes over the past 14 years to confirm the ‘fidelity and chastity’ standard for church officers. It is unfortunate that we will have to summon them again to defend that biblical standard in another set of presbytery votes.”
Middle bench Meet the judges who decide 99 percent of appeals cases By Emily Belz
top: istock • chatigny: Connecticut Law Tribune/ap • liu: UC Berkeley School of Law
The fate of deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf at times has rested on a group of judges that receives far less attention than the Supreme Court: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which oversees federal appeals in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. After U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman overturned the Obama administration’s moratorium on drilling, the administration appealed his decision to the 5th Circuit. Three judges, Jerry Smith, W. Eugene Davis, and James Dennis, heard the arguments in New Orleans July 8 and upheld the judge’s ruling, banning the drilling ban. With a new moratorium in place, further court challenges are possible. In this scenario, the Supreme Court isn’t much of a remedy to litigants. The lower court judges can act with dispatch—hearing the administration’s arguments and ruling within 24 hours. The Supreme Court grants a hearing months and months ahead of time and often doesn’t issue a decision for months and months. The high court hears about 1 percent of cases appealed from the lower courts—so the vast majority of appeals courts’ decisions become settled law. Few people are familiar with the judges who decide 99 percent of federal appeals—but several who await confirmation in the Senate have controversial backgrounds. Two in particular conservatives are fighting:
nominated to the 2nd Circuit Chatigny was the judge who tried to stay the execution of serial killer and rapist Michael Ross in 2005—a stay the Supreme Court overturned. Ross confessed to the crimes and said that he derived sexual gratifi-
cation from strangling his victims. But Chatigny said Ross “may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row” and suggested “he never should have been convicted.” Instead of deeming the sexual sadism an aggravating factor, Chatigny considered it a mitigating factor—as if Ross suffered from a mental illness. Chatigny has said recently he regrets “very much my choice of words” about whether Ross should have been convicted. The judge also urged the public defender to request a stay of Ross’ execution, saying he would “have his law license” if he discovered Ross was incompetent to appeal further. A panel of federal judges reviewed Chatigny’s actions, saying they weren’t improper, but “unusual.”
Courts of appeal 179 total federal appellate judges 20 current vacancies 12 nominations pending 7 awaiting floor vote: Goodwin Liu ➙ 9th Circuit Robert N. Chatigny ➙ 2nd Circuit Raymond J. Lohier Jr. ➙ 2nd Circuit Scott M. Matheson Jr. ➙ 10th Circuit James A. Wynn Jr. ➙ 4th Circuit Albert Diaz ➙ 4th Circuit Jane Branstetter Stranch ➙ 6th Circuit 5 awaiting a committee vote: James E. Graves Jr. ➙ 5th Circuit Susan L. Carney ➙ 2nd Circuit Edward C. DuMont ➙ Federal Circuit Mary H. Murguia ➙ 9th Circuit Kathleen M. O’Malley ➙ Federal Circuit
Goodwin Liu nominated to the 9th Circuit
The 9th Circuit, covering the West Coast, has a solidly liberal reputation. Liu has that reputation, too. He has suggested that racial reconciliation isn’t possible without affirmative action and perhaps reparations for slavery. In comments on a documentary, Traces of the Trade, he said, “What are we willing to give up to make things right? Because it’s gonna require us to give up something, whether it is the seat at Harvard, the seat at Princeton. Or is it gonna require us to give up our segregated neighborhoods, our segregated schools? Is it gonna require us to give up our money? It’s gonna require giving up something, and so until we can have that further conversation of what it is we’re willing to give up, I agree that the reconciliation can’t fully occur.” He says the Constitution “adapts to the many changes the country would confront.” He also supports gay marriage, and the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 law banning gay marriage is likely to come before the 9th Circuit. Still, Liu has been much more transparent about his opinions than Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan—and those opinions may sink his confirmation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could hold a vote on either nomination anytime, but he may push the potentially controversial votes back to after the midterm elections. A J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Dispatches > News
Signs of the times
Ever seen those signs on construction sites that proclaim the project is funded by the “American Reinvestment and Recovery Act,” or the stimulus? The EPA insists the signs are required on its stimulus projects, but Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., introduced a bill at the beginning of July to cut funds for them—which would save about $20 million nationwide. “Less than 8 percent of this bill actually went to infrastructure, and then of that tens of millions of dollars [are] getting wasted on signs,” he told Pajamas Media. He and other Republicans don't think it's just unnecessary spending—they say it's also political propaganda. President Obama himself said about the signs last year, in remarks at the Department of Transportation announcing stimulus projects, “These emblems are symbols of our commitment to you, the American people—a commitment to investing your tax dollars wisely.” The House rejected Schock's proposal, in a 232-184 vote that fell mostly along party lines.
In a move to accommodate Beijing, Google made changes to its search engine after officials threatened not to extend its content-provider license—set to expire June 30—if it continued to redirect mainland Google users to a site in Hong Kong. Now mainland China users must click on a link to redirect searches to Google’s Hong Kong facilities, which are not subject to Chinese censorship. Google first threatened to exit China’s search market, with its estimated 350 million online users, in January and explicitly repudiated the censorship in March by automatically rerouting mainland-originated searches to Google Hong Kong.
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NBC will change its application process to allow same-sex couples to participate in the Today show’s “Modern Day Wedding Contest.” A staple of the popular morning show, the contest allows viewers to vote on plans for a wedding, which is then broadcast live. Its rules allowed only couples who could be legally married in New York, since the weddings take place there. But GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, launched a campaign against the requirement "since New York State legally recognizes samesex marriages licensed in other states,” adding, “NBC mistakenly equated the marriage license with the wedding celebration.”
OBAMA: Amy Sancetta /ap • germany: istock • Merkel: Charles Dharapak/AP • couple: istock CREDIT
Germany’s fragile coalition government reached an agreement July 6 to fund an increasing deficit in its public health system—often cited as a model for U.S. government healthcare—by increasing health premiums to 15.5 percent of gross pay. Officials said employers will contribute 7.3 percent while employees will pay 8.2 percent of the premium. Without the increase, Germany’s healthcare system faced a $13.9 billion funding gap. But it further weakens the coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel; 62 percent of the German public says it is skeptical of the ability of the current governing coalition to maintain its hold on power.
nBC & GLAAD
Explore the Life, Works, and Legacy of C.S. Lewis Millions of readers have experienced the enchanting world of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories. But this beloved children’s author was also a renowned medieval scholar; a literary critic; a philosopher and theologian; a popular author of poems, novels, and science fiction; and an inspirational advisor and role model to countless Christians. The Life and Writings of C.S. Lewis takes you through the unique and diverse legacy of one of Western literature’s most beloved authors. These insightful 12 lectures are delivered by award-winning Professor Louis Markos, who credits C.S. Lewis as the greatest influence on his life. Under his expert guidance, you explore the wealth of moral lessons and spiritual allegories behind virtually the entire Lewis canon, from Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and A Grief Observed. This course is one of The Great Courses®, a noncredit recorded college lecture series from The Teaching Company®. Award-winning professors of a wide array of subjects in the sciences and the liberal arts have made more than 300 college-level courses that are available now on our website.
Order Today! Offer expires Wednesday, September 29, 2010 The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis Course No. 297 12 lectures (30 minutes/lecture) Audio CDs
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Priority Code: 40025
The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis Taught by Professor Louis Markos, Houston Baptist University
Lecture Titles 1. The Legacy of C. S. Lewis 2. Argument by Desire— Surprised by Joy and The Pilgrim’s Regress 3. Ethics and the Tao— Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man 4. Nature and Supernature— Miracles and The Problem of Pain 5. Heaven and Hell— The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce 6. Lewis the Scholar— Apologist for the Past
7. Paradise Regained— The Space Trilogy I 8. Temptation, Struggle, and Choice—The Space Trilogy II 9. Smuggled Theology— The Chronicles of Narnia I 10. Journeys of Faith— The Chronicles of Narnia II 11. The Beginning and the End—The Chronicles of Narnia III 12. Suffering unto Wisdom— Till We Have Faces and A Grief Observed
Dispatches > Human Race Panamanian dictator in April after he spent two decades in a Miami prison on drug trafficking charges.
charged The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a second arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on July 12, adding genocide to an existing 2009 indictment charging him with crimes against humanity. ICC judges had denied the genocide charge but added it on appeal, finding "there are reasonable grounds to believe him responsible for three counts of genocide" over the deaths of thousands in Darfur at the hands of progovernment militias beginning in 2003. Bashir has eluded arrest but could be apprehended if he travels to an ICC member country.
jailed A French court sentenced Manuel Noriega, 76, to seven years in prison July 7 on money laundering charges. The United States extradited the former
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Swiss authorities ended house arrest for film director Roman Polanski, ending U.S. efforts to extradite him for sentencing over his 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl. But legal action could restart should the 76-year-old Oscar winner leave his residence in France.
wedded Former Miss California Carrie Prejean, who generated controversy last year over racy photos and antigay-marriage comments before losing her crown for allegedly breaching her contract, has landed a new title: “Mrs.” On July 2 Prejean, 23, married Oakland Raiders quarterback Kyle Boller, 28, during a private ceremony in San Diego.
Bronislaw Komorowski emerged victorious July 5 as Poland’s new president after defeating Jaroslaw Kaczynski—the twin brother of former President Lech Kaczynski, whose April death in a plane crash spurred the early election.
died Author and speaker Gladys “Rusty” Hunt died July 4
died Shiite leader Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, once considered the spiritual head of Hezbollah, died July 4 at age 74. The fiercely anti-American Lebanese cleric was linked to the 1983 Beirut bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks that killed 241 U.S. servicemen. Shortly after Fadlallah’s death, CNN editor Octavia Nasr expressed admiration for him on Twitter— a comment that cost her her job.
al-bashir: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images • polanski: Dominique Charriau/WireImage/getty images • mohler: handout • Komorowski: Alik Keplicz/ap • prejean: Joe Leonard/wenn photos/newscom • Fadlallah: Hussein Malla/ap CREDIT
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. conducted his final radio program July 2. The live, weekday talk show aired for nine years. Starting in September, Mohler will provide commentary via podcasts.
at age 83. Hunt, whose books included Honey for a Child’s Heart and Women of the Old Testament, ministered to students through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship alongside her husband Keith. Together they helped found Cedar Campus, InterVarsity’s Great Lakes training and retreat center.
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Dispatches > Quotables “Definitely a hamburger on the menu. Not even close.” David Salyers of The Richards Group, an agency that works for Chick-fil-A, in answer to Ad Age: “What do you think would happen first: a hamburger on the menu, or a Chick-fil-A opening on a Sunday?”
“This means that one of their spies is worth two and a half of ours.” A moscow radio commentator, quoted in the Telegraph, on the deal to swap 10 Russian spies for four accused of spying for the West. The deal highlighted that those spying for the West perhaps obtained more intel.
“The internet is completely over.” The recording artist Prince on shutting down his website and not allowing his new album, 20Ten, to be available for download on iTunes. “The internet's like MTV,” he said. “At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.” 16
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Anglican pastor DAVID HOULDING, after the Church of England's General Synod voted on July 12 to allow female bishops.
“We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.” The final sentences of what was up to that point a standard obituary in the Las Vegas Review-Journal for Charlotte McCourt, who died July 8 at the age of 84.
prince: Michael Caulfield/Wire Image/getty images • greene: Mary Ann Chastain/ap • spies: Aggie Kenny/ap • houlding: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images CREDIT
“The scope for remaining in the Church of England is getting more and more narrow, and the options are rapidly closing.”
Dispatches > Quick Takes
Going nowhere, slowly A drunk driver in Madrid, Iowa, had twice the legal blood-alcohol level but he wasn’t even going half as fast as the posted speed limit. That’s because he was driving a six-speed Bolens lawn tractor with a top speed of 5 mph. Boone County authorities, who arrested the unidentified man July 7 on Highway 17 at 1 a.m., said Iowa law prohibits driving any type of motor vehicle while drunk.
Rough on riders Oliver and Gillian Schonrock of the London suburb of Dulwich found themselves in trouble recently with local school officials, who threatened to report them to the English equivalent of child protective services. Their crime: They allow their 8- and 5-year-old children to ride bicycles to school. The Schonrocks say they are trying to allow their children to learn a measure of independence with the daily one-mile ride, but school officials objected. The case became so well-known that the mayor of London in early July took note of it—and called the Schonrocks heroes.
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Going bananas A Japanese firm was busy installing its first vending machine in late June, but don’t expect to press A-1 for a bag of Cheetos. A Japanese subsidiary of the international food distributor Dole debuted the nation’s first banana vending machine in an underground mall in Shibuya. The vending machine is equipped with a refrigerator able to keep the bananas at a cool 55 degrees. The machine sells single bananas for about $1.50 and a bunch for about $4.50.
illustration: krieg barrie • vending machine: AFLO/newscom • unicorn meat: handout • Schonrocks: © by Julian Andrews CREDIT
Online retailer ThinkGeek says it’s feeling a bit underappreciated after recently receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the National Pork Board for using the board’s trademark, “The Other White Meat.” Since April Fool’s Day, the online novelty store has sold “Unicorn Meat” under the marketing tagline, “The New White Meat.” The website said the prank item is an “excellent source of sparkles” and that the unicorns are fed a diet of candy corn before slaughter. Officials with the National Pork Board weren’t laughing. “Yes, it’s funny. But if you don’t respond, you are opening your trademark up to challenges,” said Cici Snyder, a National Pork Board vice president. In response, ThinkGeek CEO Scott Kauffman said, “Where we feel victimized, is I don’t know of another organization that does more to promote pork products than our site.” ThinkGeek sells a number of bacon-themed items including bacon soap, bacon mints, and bacon-themed plush toys. “To be attacked in this manner, given all we do for pork, the irony is not lost on us.”
Around the bend On July 8 citizens of Bend, Ore., held a memorial service to mourn 109 victims of euthanasia. These victims weren’t human, though. They were geese. City officials in Bend decided to euthanize the geese with gas in order to keep them from overrunning city parks. The decision was and remains controversial in a state that since 1997 has allowed the physician-assisted suicide of humans. “I think a memorial like this will help people console each other,” Bend resident Foster Fell told the Bend Bulletin. “I, myself, in the last few days have been nursing a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat.”
memorial: Ryan Brennecke/The Bulletin • baldwin: handout • illustration: krieg barrie • steel reserve: handout CREDIT
Paul Baldwin of Portsmouth, N.H., should be thankful that a recent comment didn’t lead to contempt-of-court charges. Although for Baldwin, facing charges would be nothing new: It was his 154th lifetime arrest, Baldwin told the judge he didn’t need a lawyer to represent him because, “I’ve been in this court more than you have.” This time Baldwin was taken into custody for stealing two 18-packs and one 12-pack of beer from a convenience store. Twelve days before his most recent arrest, the 49-year-old had finished up a one-year stint in prison for stealing a $1.99 beer.
When in Rome... Perhaps trying to give the United Kingdom a run for status of nanniest nation, Italy is pressing forward with scores of “public security” laws meant to protect Italians from themselves. Most recently, a town near Milan instituted $200 fines for anyone who would be so presumptuous as to sit on the steps of one of the town’s monuments. But Milan isn’t alone. All told, about 150 decorum laws have been passed in Italy since Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took office and encouraged local councils to outlaw things like building sandcastles on the beaches in a town near Venice, kissing in a moving vehicle in a town near Naples, or feeding stray cats in Cesena.
Bad hair day Every dog has his day. And perhaps every dog of a hairstyle too. Pittsburgh residents bold enough to sport mullets were rewarded for their questionable fashion sense when on July 5 the Pittsburgh Zoo gave out discounts for mulleted patrons. Known by pejorative nicknames like “The Kentucky Waterslide,” “Business in the front, party in the back,” and “Hockey Hair” in Canada, the mullet is a hairstyle requiring a male (and more rarely a female) to keep bangs short, the sides high and tight while letting the hair on the rear of the head grow long. The zoo awarded a behind-the-scenes tour to the “best mullet” at the event. Some runners-up were offered free haircuts.
What may seem for some like the nexus of entrepreneurship and community service is, for Dwayne Smith of Fort Worth, Texas, simply a nuisance. The Cowtown native is complaining about a neighbor who has a Pepsi machine in his backyard. The catch: Drop in six quarters and press one of the buttons and the Pepsi machine dispenses a 12-ounce can of Steel Reserve malt liquor. Smith told a local television station that neighborhood folks stop by at all hours of the night, slip into the homeowner’s backyard and buy beer. For Smith, the problem happens when thirsty night owls dispose of the cans in his yard. Police have issued warnings to the beer-selling homeowner.
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Janie B. Cheaney
The end of accomplishment? With bureaucracy’s triumph over excellence, big and important projects have stalled
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h, the things our society could accomplish if we put our minds to it! “If we can go to the moon, then we can surely. . . .” Fill in the blank with your own impossible dream: eradicate poverty, eliminate crime, lower the earth’s temperature. More recently we were assured that scouring the Gulf of millions of gallons of oil can’t be too difficult for a nation that sent a man to the moon. We may pass over too lightly what it took to achieve that goal. My friend Steve once handled real estate for a gentleman who kept a photograph of himself with jfk in his office. When asked about the photo, the man shared his history of working on the Apollo program. His most vivid memory: In the early days of NASA, his engineering team was surprised by a visit from the president, who strode into the office with no security detail, sleeves rolled up, radiating energy. “Gentlemen,” Kennedy announced, “I’m here to set the agenda. In eight years we will send a man to the moon.” The immediate protests—that the goal was impossible within the time frame, that too much groundwork remained—he merely waved away. “It can be done,” the president said. “And it will.” Years later, Steve tells me, the engineer still got goose bumps recalling that moment. The Apollo program required, first, a vision: a science-fiction dream that could conceivably come true. Next it took a leader with the presence and charisma to strike the spark. And finally it took subordinates who caught the vision and pooled their talents to embody mathematical equations in steel and fire. The rest is history, but history may have turned downhill. Bruce Charlton, blogger and university professor, believes it did. “The landing of men on the moon and bringing them back alive was the supreme achievement of human capability . . . and I suggest the real reason we have not been
to the moon since 1972 is that we cannot any longer do it. Humans have lost the capability.” Three reasons why: a preference for diversity over excellence in hiring, the expansion of committees and regulatory agencies, and the erosion of individual responsibility. These were trends that had begun decades before, but by 1970 “the human spirit began to be overwhelmed by bureaucracy.” The world has seen no greater force than free agents who devote themselves to a common goal, for good or ill. The novelist Mario Llosa writes that 500 years ago, a tiny expeditionary army under Francisco Pizarro overwhelmed the mighty Inca Empire because the natives “were incapable of taking individual initiative, or acting with a certain degree of independence according to the changing circumstances”—unlike the Spaniards who slaughtered them. Centuries later, a band of renegade British subjects pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the establishment of a new nation, and the mother country could not extinguish their united will. Still later, that same nation was able to subdue two deadly enemies on opposite sides of the world, and then single-handedly rebuild them. Today we can’t seem to muster the organization to achieve a consensus to approve measures to clean up an oil spill. Vision, leadership, unity, and talent are ground to dust by bureaucracy. Human creativity will never die, just divert. A society that can no longer go to the moon can still make thrilling movies about it—indeed, can accomplish just about anything in the digital universe. Meanwhile, big projects in the real world have stalled, perhaps for good. That’s a depressing thought. But one mighty force remains, of individual souls freed from bondage, pledged to a common cause, inspired by a common vision, under perfect leadership. It’s called the church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, much less the muddle of bureaucracy. Where human progress falters, there the church rises. We have God’s word on that; it’s time to believe it. A
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Reviews MOVIES & TV BOOKS Q&A MUSIC
Truth & consequences >> MOVIE: The sci-fi tale Inception boldly explores the concept of reality and the results of rejecting it
Warner Bros. Entertainment
by Megan Basham
Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker interested in truth, particularly how it diverges from perception. The theme has played a part in every movie he’s made, including Memento, Insomnia, and The Prestige. Even his Batman films delve into the issue. But none of his previous works have been as boldly philosophical in their exploration of truth as his latest, Inception. Through a dazzlingly original sci-fi tale it, like Pilate, asks, what is truth? Can we create it, as many in our postmodern age insist we can? Is what we believe the same as what is true? And what is the source of our ideas, both true and false? The movie opens to an unspecific time in the future. Cars haven’t changed, clothes haven’t changed, even cell phones haven’t changed. But one important thing has—the government has created a technology that allows people to invade each other’s subconscious via their
dreams and uncover their innermost secrets. If the invader does it skillfully enough, the dreamer will never know he was there. They call the process extraction. No extractor is as skillful as Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a former architect who traded a career designing buildings for one that allowed him to create dream worlds where natural laws don’t apply. But when he became too enamored with his dreams, tragedy ensued, and he no longer creates. He just goes in, collects the information, and cashes his check. That is, until he meets Saito (Ken Watanabe), the head of an energy company who offers him a very special job, one that will finally allow him to quit his life of mind-raiding and return home to his children. Instead of stealing an idea, Saito wants him to plant one. Inception—idea planting—is generally believed impossible. As Dom’s partner Arthur J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Reviews > Movies & TV Cotillard), that does the intellectual heavy lifting. Unlike Dom, Mal is still living in the dream world, unwilling and unable to escape, and she wants her husband to rejoin her. At one point she prods him to accept her faux reality as an equally valid option, saying, “You keep telling yourself what you know, but what do you feel?” Tom responds that it doesn’t matter what he feels because his feelings may deceive him, just as hers have. Having come to realize that his own creations are pale imitations of real creation, above all else, Dom wants what is real. It is only guilt for a past shameful act that
Inception alone are stupefying, then you add in a series of intersecting narratives of dreams within dreams along with mind-bending metaphysical concepts, and one viewing doesn’t feel like near enough to absorb it all. (And there certainly isn’t enough space here to review it all.) But though Nolan at times overloads his film with ideas, his classic heist plot keeps us riveted. It is the subplot involving Dom’s wife, Mal (Marion
keeps him from pursuing it wholeheartedly. Sound like some meaty spiritual themes to chew on? Without a doubt, they are. Even better, the PG-13 Inception avoids anything beyond mild violence and a few profanities, giving parents with sci-fi-loving teens little reason not to see it together. After all, smart, gripping thrillers that make the case that there is absolute truth and that death awaits those who settle for anything less usually only exist in our dreams. A
DREAM WORKS: Cotillard and DiCaprio.
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Despicable Me by Rebecca Cusey
When a dastardly villain meets three oh-so-adorable orphan girls in Universal’s Despicable Me, something’s gotta give. Steve Carell of The Office voices Dru, an ambitious but unsuccessful evil mastermind. He’s stolen the Eiffel Tower . . . from Las Vegas . . . and the Times Square Jumbotron. However, to really earn his notation in the annals of evildom, he sets his eyes on a bigger prize. Dru, with the help of an elderly mad scientist (Russell Brand) and hordes of cute, clumsy minions, will steal the moon. His rival evildoer, a sleek, slick villain named Vector (Jason Segel), creator of the nefarious Squid Gun, has an all-important shrink ray and Dru must steal it back for his moon larceny. Dru, decidedly old-school, finds Vector always one step ahead in his IKEA-like minimalist castle. Vector, however, has a weakness. Coco-nutty cookies, sold by three adorable orphan girls. For Dru, adopting them is the easy part. Controlling them is harder. This movie (rated PG for mildly rude humor and mild action) is silly from start to finish and harkens back to the golden age of Loony Toons cartoons in its mania and complete disregard for physics. From the moment Dru survives a direct hit from a battery of heat-seeking missiles to the moment he slips the moon into his pocket, the viewer knows he’s in a world of wacky mayhem. Despicable Me is one of the best 3D movies in recent years, with action landing practically in the audience’s laps. One scene takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride that’s almost as much fun as the real thing. Underneath the fun, there’s a good deal of heart, with some sweet moments as Dru and the girls find their home in each other. While it doesn’t have the transcendent moments of the beautiful Toy Story 3, Despicable Me bows with a sweet nod to family life and the happiness found in balancing dance recitals with workplace ambition, even if the workplace is a villain’s lair.
Despicable Me: Universal Pictures • inception: Warner Bros. Entertainment
(Joseph Gordon-Leavitt) explains it, inspiration occurs so spontaneously, from a place so deep within the subconscious, that any attempt to artificially manufacture a thought causes the brain to reject it. But Tom believes that if they wrap the idea in a promise of reconciliation—the ultimate desire of every human being—they can accomplish the feat. After recruiting a new architect (Ellen Page) and a forger (Tom Hardy) who duplicates not handwriting but personas, the team sets out to plant an idea that will reform the beliefs of Saito’s business rival. It sounds confusing, and it is. The visual dynamics of
I Am Love
Box Office Top 10
For the weekend of july 9-11, according to Box Office Mojo
cautions: Quantity of sexual (s), violent (v), and foul-language (l) content on a 0-10 scale, with 10 high, from kids-in-mind.com 1 Despicable Me * Pg > S2 • V3 • L2 ` 2 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse* `
PG-13 > S5 • V7 • L3
3 Predators r > S2 • V10 • L8 ` 4 Toy Story 3 * g > S1 • V3 • L1 ` 5 The Last Airbender Pg > S1 • V5 • L1 ` 6 Grown Ups * PG-13 > S6 • V4 • L4 ` 7 Knight and Day * `
PG-13 > S4 • V7 • L5 The Karate Kid* Pg > S2 • V4 • L1 ` 9 The A-Team* PG-13 > S4 • V7 • L5 ` 10 Cyrus r > S6 • V3 • L7 ` 8
*Reviewed by world
The Screwtape Letters by Marvin Olasky
i am love: magnolia pictures • screwtape: Noreen Heron and Associates/ap
Who is love in I Am Love (Io sono l’amore)? Depending on the viewer’s interpretation, the title may be ironic or ominous in this tragic Italian film (released with English by Alicia M. Cohn subtitles). The logical guess for the title role is Emma Recchi (Tilda Swinton). Emma is a Russian import to a large and successful Italian family, married to the heir of the Recchi family business and mother of three adult children. The first half of the movie details Emma’s building dissatisfaction with her comfortable life, as the lives of everyone around her begin to change. Her children are making adult decisions about love and life (the eldest son getting married, the daughter announcing she is homosexual); her husband is thinking of selling the business. Yet nothing in Emma’s life appears to change; she remains behind closed curtains— symbolism used throughout the movie—and shut away from even her own interests. Emma becomes inspired by her daughter’s experimental life choices to remodel her life. Director and writer Luca Guadagnino uses soft light, filmy glows, blurred shots, and a dramatic score in an attempt to distract the audience from what is essentially a simple story of a married woman having an affair with a younger man. The camera lingers on quivering flowers, succulent shrimp, and bare skin (the movie is rated R for sexuality and nudity) with equal affection, as if to say, “All of this is natural and should be enjoyed.” Fortunately, the movie does not ignore the consequences. While his mother pursues his friend Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), son Edoardo struggles with the ethics of the Recchi business. When Edoardo’s desire to do the right thing finally confronts his mother’s quest for pleasure, tragedy strikes the entire family. I Am Love appears to have a values-driven message, but it is not a hopeful one. The climactic moment is unbelievably selfish, and if there is a lesson somewhere in this story it is one that Emma chooses not to learn.
Coming to New York and wanting to see an off-Broadway play (perhaps with a non-Christian friend)? I’d recommend The Screwtape Letters, a sizzling dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic that stars Max McLean as a smoking-jacketed devil in a skull-lined study. McLean, an award-winning actor and church elder, has now done the high-energy performance about 350 times in various cities (see WORLD, Nov. 1, 2008), so he doesn’t worry about forgetting lines—but he still takes batting practice before a performance. One evening I watched him, 40 minutes before showtime, rolling his r’s and popping his p’s for each soliloquy’s signoff: “Your affectionate uncle, Scrooo-tay-pe.” Then he went to his dressing room, put on an undershirt with a sewn-in pocket in the back for a microphone, and did his own makeup—adding a little devilish red to his forehead and nose—as he listened to the sounds of the audience filling the 300-seat theater, with the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil playing in the See all our movie reviews at worldmag.com/movies
ackground. The music, McLean said, b starts the process of “making a connection with the audience so they’re in this world with you.” That world, as designed by C.S. Lewis and brought to life by McLean, is one in which Satan’s psychologists are working overtime to get humans to ignore Christ and live on pride. For 75 minutes McLean’s Screwtape responds, with increasing desperation, to letters from above that show a new Christian growing in grace despite numerous devilish attempts at distraction. As Screwtape races around the stage, becoming frustrated and disheveled as he realizes he’s losing “the patient” to God, we learn more about the devil’s lures, including contented worldliness and disdain for “Puritan” virtues. Afterward McLean spoke about the challenge and the satisfaction: “a lot of energy expended to get this dense material across in a way that the audience could enjoy and be edified. Their response at the curtain was deeply gratifying.” J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Reviews > Books
Based on true stories
Novelists turn Bible books into fodder for action-adventure and literary speculation By Marvin Olasky
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ture are another discussion).” I also asked Greanias why he had Joshua relying on the machinations of man rather than the miracles of God. He replied, “As for Joshua, having seen what God did in Egypt with Moses during the Exodus, and his faith as a spy—clearly he believes in the miraculous. But it’s like David and his five stones: If David was so sure God had given him victory and that he couldn’t miss Goliath with the first stone, then why did he pack five?” Hmmm. Don’t read The Promised War for theology, but it’s an action/adventure page-turner. Michael O’Brien’s Theophilos (Ignatius, 2010) is a quieter, more literary work centered on the mystery man of Luke’s Gospel and Acts. Coptic tradition sees Theophilos as a Jew of Alexandria; others speculate that he was a high priest in Jerusalem; others speak of a Roman official—but O’Brien has him as Luke’s adoptive father, a physician worried that his son has become part of a crazy cult. This well-researched novel shows well the complexity of ancient Greco-Roman and Jewish culture, which we often tend to see largely in terms of robes and chariots. I asked O’Brien to compare our contemporary situation with that of 2,000 years ago. He replied,
“As in the Roman era, the physical danger of martyrdom remains. . . . Approximately 50,000 people lost their lives last year as witnesses to Christ.” O’Brien emphasized that in Europe and North America Christians typically face not death but “assimilation by paganism. . . . The struggle between good and evil, which will continue until the return of the Lord in glory, has moved to a new dimension of intensity, backed by all the powers of modern media. . . . We are simultaneously in the midst of the greatest apostasy in the history of the Church and the most allpervasive cultural revolution ever experienced by mankind.” In such an environment the task of re-evangelization is difficult, O’Brien emphasized: “We must be prepared to lose everything for the sake of the Gospels, to bear witness to Jesus regardless of the cost. We must keep our eyes on the coming victory of Jesus, and our ears open to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He leads us through. Authentic evangelization demands that we bear witness with our whole lives.” Two novels. One offers up military warfare sprinkled with wackiness. The other offers worldview warfare salted with meditation. Both work well within their genres. A Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Taking of Jericho, by James Tissot/Jewish Museum, New York/superstock
Two new novels take on the Old Testament book that most upsets moderns and the New Testament book that Christian journalists and historians tend to revere. The Promised War by Thomas Greanias (Atria, 2010), a best-selling action/adventure writer best noted for fiction about the mythical Atlantis, offers justification for the annihilations described in the book of Joshua. Greanias portrays Jericho as a city filled with airborne diseases that would have killed the Israelites had they not killed the Canaanites. When I asked Greanias about his justification for that, he responded by email, “I felt it extremely important to distinguish the righteousness of the Israelites from the genocide of her enemies. To casual observers the Israelites and tribes in Canaan appear as moral equivalents, which in reality translates to bias against the Jews, both yesterday and today. I wanted to rectify that to the extent historical facts allowed.” This page-turner has a batty way of explaining how the walls came tumbling down: time-travel that shoots into the past an explosives expert, complete with explosives. Greanias explained, “I absolutely believe that God intervened miraculously in the destruction of Jericho, just as he still miraculously intervenes in our world today. It’s just that . . . most of my readers are not Christians, and I didn’t want them to reject the message of redemption in The Promised War because they reject the miraculous (unless, of course, it involves Atlantis, global conspiracies, etc., but the contradictions of our cul-
Four books on Christian doctrine and life > reviewed by susan olasky
Atonement edited by Gabriel Fluhrer Seven eminent pastors and theologians, including J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, and Sinclair Ferguson, examine the Atonement from different perspectives. Fluhrer writes in the introduction, “The pride of our sin dilutes the simple, clear, and shocking teaching of the New Testament: God killed his perfect Son to save hate-filled rebels from the wrath they deserve.” The essays cover reconciliation, propitiation, and limited atonement, but these are not exercises in abstract theology. Sproul shows how “Jesus lived out the drama of the curse.” Ferguson shows how the description of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah formed the way Jesus thought about His life and work. There’s meat here for those willing to chew.
Rescuing Ambition Dave Harvey Since we are “wired for glory,” it is foolish to try to deny ambition. Instead Harvey wants readers to be ambitious for the right things and in the right ways. Because human beings are fallen, ambition can be corrupted in the same way that any human desire can be. Why read this book? Harvey asks in the introduction: “Read it to make connections between what you want and what you do . . . between your present opportunities and your future hopes . . . between your life and God’s glory. These connections rescue us from fruitlessness, pointlessness, purposelessness, and the haunting gray twilight of wasted time and lost opportunities.” This is an excellent book that focuses on rescuing ambition, redirecting it for our good and God’s glory.
The Unquenchable Flame Michael Reeves
SPOTLIGHT Since 1982 San Jose State University has awarded a prize for the best opening “for the worst of all possible novels.” The BulwerLytton Fiction Contest—named after the writer who wrote “It was a dark and stormy night . . . ”— recently announced its 2010 winner: Molly Ringle of Seattle, Wash. Her sentence: “For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every
Michael Reeves is a great storyteller, and this terrific short history of the Protestant Reformation focuses on some key figures and places. A final chapter asks if the Reformation is over—and Reeves shows that it is ongoing, since it’s “about moving towards the gospel.” Our culture, he says, “jettisoned the idea that we might ever be guilty before God and therefore need his justification.” Instead we practice secular versions of a religion of works—“we will be more loved when we make ourselves more attractive”—but Reeves writes, “The Reformation has the most sparkling good news. As Luther put it: ‘Sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.’”
stolen rendezvous with a kiss—a
Welcome to a Reformed Church Daniel R. Hyde
on the meadow thistles by the Old
Daniel Hyde has written a useful introduction to the Reformed branch of Protestantism, explaining history, doctrine, and worship. The book contains a mini systematic theology that explains concepts like covenant, justification, sanctification, and the marks of a true church, including discipline. It gives the basis for believing in an authoritative Bible and explains the sacraments. In a clear style meant for laymen, Hyde “hopes to clear up any misunderstandings you might have about what Reformed churches believe and even begin to open your eyes to a new world, a new way of looking at ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.’” The book contains ample footnotes and Scripture references for further study. Email: email@example.com; see all our reviews at worldmag.com/books
lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cagemounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.” Rick Cheeseman of Minnesota grabbed the Fantasy award for this beauty: “The wood nymph fairies blissfully pranced in the morning light past the glistening dewdrops Mill, ignorant of the daily slaughter that occurred just behind its lichenencrusted walls, twin 20-ton mill stones savagely ripping apart the husks of wheat seed, gleefully smearing the starchy entrails across their dour granite faces in unspeakable botanical horror and carnage—but that’s not our story; ours is about fairies!”
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Reviews > Q&A
Singing the gospel Culture, like facts, isn’t neutral, says apologist William Edgar, and a place at the table isn't everything By Henry Bleattler
William Edgar teaches apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary and has written books on music and Christian understanding. How did you come to faith? In my sophomore year at Harvard I had a professor who was a Christian. He strongly suggested that I connect with a friend of his, Francis Schaeffer, on a trip I was taking to Switzerland. So in 1964 [in Europe] I pulled this little slip of paper out of my pocket that said, “Francis A. Schaeffer,” with a name and address, and I called him up. The Schaeffers urged me to stay for several days, and I thought, “This is really amazing hospitality.” When I got there I realized that it was a Christian community with a very strong emphasis on cultural apologetics. I ended up staying the rest of the summer. At Westminster Theological Seminary you studied with Cornelius Van Til. Why is he so important to Christian apologetics? Van Til is considered to be the leading exponent of “presuppositionalism,” an apologetic that looks at issues of the heart and worldview, rather than simply
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amassing great doses of evidence that are presented as though facts were neutral. Van Til was very favorable to evidence but it had to be in a framework. I took that ball and ran with it into the area of culture studies, and now I teach cultural apologetics. You say that “culture” is never neutral, but always driven by religious commitments. What we call the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:21 and following says that as imagebearers of God we are to populate, replenish, and subdue the earth. In the subduing of the world we’re doing culture. We are cultural beings because of that first mandate. Despite the Fall it has not been abrogated; it’s been redefined in Christ in His Great Commission. For me, culture is central to the way we think and move and have our being. Apologetics that simply take tight philosophical arguments, dump them on people, and then simply wait to see if they can say “uncle” or not, are not very effective. First of all, not all of us are philosophers; second, it doesn’t reach into heart commitments, which is where the issues of life are. It’s not how bright I am and whether I can think through a
problem that is going to lead me to Christ. It’s whether I have the kind of information, wisdom, and preaching that will challenge my deepest assumptions and lead me to Christ. The idea that facts aren’t neutral sounds a little postmodern. Is that true? Yeah, there’s good and bad in the socalled postmodern condition. The good is that there’s much more recognition of heart commitments, positions, and faith. For that reason, religion has been more recognized and given a better catalyst for faith than when I was growing up, when it was much more modern and science had supposedly refuted the Bible, and so forth. But the tradeoff is that heart commitments aren’t neutral either. A postmodern mindset can fall into the purely relativistic idea of, you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and we can live with each other. Hard-core relativism is just as destructive as modernism. But postmodernism at least allows religion to have a place at the table. . . . You have to be deeply aware of the shape of the table when you come to it. Being invited to the table in a negative way could be, “Let’s bring the Christian Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
along in fairness,” or, “He’s got his point of view and we’ve got ours, and let’s see if we can get to a lower common denominator.” Just having a place at the table doesn’t necessarily do away with the relativism. You talk about the role that Christianity played in the development of AfricanAmerican music. . . . I think the best African-American music comes out of the church. As you know, enslaved Africans came over to North America beginning in the early 17th century, and by the 18th century the numbers were just appalling. The horrors are very hard to describe—only about half the people survived the trip, and those who did were separated from each other and bought and sold. Into this mix comes a remarkable wave of evangelism, both from white and black sources and ministries. Slaves responded, right? In huge numbers, and the remarkable historical miracle is that they were able to differentiate between the Jesus who was preached and the lifestyle of the preacher, who was often OK with slavery. When they became Christians they gave back this marvelous form of music and worship, and other innovations, to their former oppressors. It’s one of the great miracle stories of history. What did they sing? The black sermon, which came out of the King James Bible, begins in a speech-like manner and then goes into singing, with instruments supporting. The congregation doesn’t just listen—they help you along with amens and “fix it, brother” and all sorts of wonderful responses. So it’s an antiphonal call and response pattern. Music was sung responsively because people like Isaac Watts were helping to develop music by “lining it out.” That’s a technique where the lead singer would sing the Copy goes here
Melanie Blanding/Genesis Photos for world
first line of the psalm, and the congregation would sing it back. The Africans were right at home in this. The African-American aesthetic came out of spirituals? The African-American aesthetic is the narrative that moves from deep sorrow into inextinguishable joy. That’s found in all good jazz, and all good blues, and all good spirituals. There’s a passionate, poignant suffering that reflects the deep misery of slavery. There are lots of ties with ancient Israel, enslaved in Egypt. And then there’s this liberation, emancipation, the joy of freedom that was the experience of the Israelites and ultimately Jesus and the apostles. That aesthetic found its way into Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, all the greats. And what’s the background of the blues? While spirituals address God in worship and admiration and encourage the congregation, blues is about life in general: the hardship of work, the unfaithfulness of a man who goes after another woman, the lack of charity of the foreman who dresses up nice on Sunday and brings out the bullwhip on Monday. Blues crystallized into the form A A B, you know, “I hate to see that evening sun go down, oh I hate to see that evening sun go down, for my man has done left this town.” It’s not at all unlike biblical Hebrew poetry, which is parallelism. . . . Ecclesiastes is a blues book because it doesn’t have a happy end. Job never found out exactly why he suffered. I hope this doesn’t sound irreverent, because I think it’s really beautiful: the most poignant blues singer and the most poignant blues ever sung was Jesus in the garden. “If this cup can be taken away from Me”—that’s blues. He knew it couldn’t, but He was wailing to God. A J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Reviews > Music
Industry standards Differing greatly in quality, two new CDs from Eminem and Jack Johnson spur hopes of rebounding sales By arsenio orteza
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But they won’t make Eminem’s fans any wiser. And every one of the 17 songs uses the f-word. Granted, none of them use it 37 times. “Cold Wind Blows” comes the closest with 21, “Won’t Back Down” a distant second with 10. And thanks to “W.T.P.” and “You’re Never Over,” which use it only (only!) once apiece, the average number of f-words per track comes in just under seven. The total, however, is 114. And that doesn’t include the s-words, the b-words, and the c-words (of which there are many) or the numerous sexual, scatological, and violent images—images that, were Recovery a film, might get it an NC-17 rating and that are somehow made even harsher by Eminem’s stridently hectoring delivery. Ironically, only by desensitizing themselves to Recovery’s language with repeated exposure can listeners begin to hear what’s good about the album. And by that time they’ll probably feel that the payoff wasn’t worth the effort. Another album that musicindustry pulse-takers have hoped will pump life into flatlining sales is Jack Johnson’s To the Sea (Brushfire/Universal). And by selling nearly 250,000 copies in its first week—i.e.,
getting halfway to gold-record status—it appears to be meeting expectations. It might even exceed them. While not so loud or upbeat as to provoke mutiny among Johnson’s core audience, it definitely comes on more loudly and upbeat than any of his previous forays, which were often somniferous enough to function as Baby Mozart for underachievers. To the Sea might not only keep listeners awake but make them productive as well. Johnson certainly sounds alert. From the opening track, “You and Your Heart,” he comes out of the gate so loose-limbed-funky one can only conclude that his looselimbed-funky friend G. Love has (finally) begun to rub off on him. At other times his newly discovered energy and naturalmystic singing evokes fond memories of young Steve Miller. Indeed, nearly every one of To the Sea’s 13 official songs (the iTunes version adds one more, the Japanese version another) sounds like the work of a man with something to prove. And if his way with words isn’t anything special, at least what he’s singing about has gotten interesting: There have, after all, been far shallower Luddite musings than “Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology.” And the Gordian knots of “Pictures of People Taking Pictures” are worth trying to untangle. A Email: email@example.com
johnson: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images • eminem: Kevin Mazur/EM/WireImage/Getty Images
In a 1994 interview, the Christian-rock pioneer Dana Key said about grunge bands that he didn’t know “why groups find it necessary to put eight great tunes on an album and then two [tunes] that use the f-word 37 times." Key passed away in June, but it would be interesting to know what he would’ve said about Recovery (Interscope), the latest album by the rapper and one-man reality show Eminem. Recovery went gold in its first week and has topped charts all over the world, inspiring hope that the music industry’s steady—and precipitous— decline in album sales may be over. It also has a surprising number of strong points: lyrics that deal with serious issues (the death of close friends, divorce and its aftereffects, the struggle of drug addicts to get and stay clean), hooks and beats that creatively incorporate samples and guest vocalists (Rihanna, Pink), good-taste jokes that are actually funny (“I’m the bees knees, his legs and his arms,” “They’ll never ketchup to all this energy that I’ve mustered”), and bad-taste jokes (about Michael J. Fox, Ben Roethlisberger, David Carradine, and Elton John) that can at least be said to have the capacity to tweak the politically correct going for them.
NOTABLE CDs Five new releases > reviewed by arsenio orteza
I Am What I Am Merle Haggard
That Merle Haggard made an album this laid back and good natured without sounding slack is almost as amazing as his having made it while battling lung cancer. He sounds neither unhealthy nor bitter as he waltzes (literally on the hilarious “Mexican Bands”) through practically every variation of the country-jazz he’s now spent over 40 years doing better than anyone else. Most amazing of all, he wrote almost every song, including the title cut, which goes, “I believe Jesus is God and a pig is just ham.”
Bingo! The Steve Miller Band It’s somehow fitting that the original Space Cowboy should’ve recorded this album at George Lucas’ Skywalker Studios. But the cosmic connection ends there: These 10 songs, all 32 minutes of them, comprise the most terrestrial-sounding album of Miller’s career. If the glossy cool of his undiminished singing and guitar tone gives these (mostly) classic blues an ethereal patina, the fat-bottomed groove of his rhythm section pounds their stakes deep. And on half the songs the guest singing of the ex-Checkmate Sonny Charles strips the patina right off.
Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Country Music Willie Nelson If this album’s humorously generic title proves that the 77-year-old Willie Nelson hasn’t lost his sense of humor, its contents prove that he’s been working on his sense of gravitas. It may have been producer T-Bone Burnett’s idea to include “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down,” “Satisfied Mind,” “I Am a Pilgrim,” “House of Gold,” and “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” but it’s Nelson who steps to the mic and delivers their lyrics with as straight a face as he delivers those of “Drinking Champagne” and “Pistol Packin’ Mama.” Time Flies . . . 1994-2009 Oasis Despite three top-10 albums and five top-40 singles, the Gallagher brothers and their various supporting casts weren’t nearly as big stateside as they were in their native England, where they were only the biggest band since the Beatles. Curious Yanks should bypass this overview’s slimmer editions and pony up for the box—less for its bound lyric booklet than for its July 2009 live disc (rated PG-13 for intermittent, betweensong language), in which a fanatical festival crowd inspires the Gallaghers to go out with a bang. See all our reviews at worldmag.com/music
SPOTLIGHT We Walk This Road (Warner Bros.), the new album by Robert Randolph and the Family Band, begins with a gospel field recording and ends with a song called “Salvation.” That it sometimes seems less than the sum of its parts is due mainly to its parts’ being pretty great on their own. Sampled Blind Willie Johnson “Segues” link songs by Peter Case (“I Still Belong to Jesus”), Bob Dylan (“Shot of Love”), and spirituals updated by Randolph, producer T-Bone Burnett, and Tonio K. (“Traveling Shoes,” “If I Had My Way”). What ultimately makes the album seem greater than the sum of its parts anyway is the inclusion of lesser-known songs by Prince (“Walk Don’t Walk”) and John Lennon (“I Don’t Want to Be a Soldier Mama”) and the way Randolph and family (and guests Leon Russell and Ben Harper) find within them more chiliastic blues, funk, and soul than anyone else— the composers probably included— had ever suspected was there.
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A desperate hour
Iraqi Christians need their own emancipation proclamation
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worshippers there from the time DWINDLING: Iraqi Christians he took office, and the family worship in Basra. pew remains just as it was in the 1860s (signified by a small plaque bearing Lincoln’s engraved signature). The president attended not only Sunday worship services but also mid-week prayer meetings. Asked about the sermons of then-pastor Phineas D. Gurley, Lincoln replied, “I like Gurley—when I go to church, I like to hear the Gospel.” Lincoln came to the church often during the summer of 1862—and also in desperation. Eleven states had seceded, and Lee’s armies repeatedly rebuffed Union troops south of the capital. Lincoln was so dismayed by his own commanders he had relieved them; for four months, until mid-July, he would himself serve as general-inchief. He wanted to end slavery, but the odds were stacked against him: Slavery was written into the U.S. Constitution, and by the beginning of the war it had become a $3 billion enterprise— twice the federal budget. As historian Edna Greene Medford notes in a special exhibition currently at the Smithsonian, “Slavery was as American as the nation’s democratic institutions. . . . Every white man and woman throughout the nation benefited from it.” Lincoln in July 1862 began drafting what would become the Emancipation Proclamation. He sought Gurley’s advice, and an early draft today resides in the first-floor parlor of the church. In those months he resolved to use presidential war powers granted under Article 2 of the Constitution to declare slaves in seceded states “thenceforward forever free.” It was a bold stroke of public courage. And against all odds, it turned the course of American history. On their behalf Iraqi Christians need such a bold stroke of public courage now. A Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images
n a warm and bright summer afternoon, while much of the planet gathered around screens to watch the World Cup final, worshippers in downtown Washington’s New York Avenue Presbyterian Church gathered to pray for the church in Iraq. “Almighty God, Father of our Transfigured Lord, bestow heavenly peace on the ancient and biblical land of the Tigris and Euphrates,” read a clergyman from Baghdad’s new Council of Christian Churches. “Grant [your people in Iraq] the spirit of the good fight of faith and perseverance in that endeavor; give the political leaders of our time the courage to work for the sake of the weak,” he continued, pausing to allow the 100 or so attendees seated in wooden pews also to pray silently. Churchgoers in Baghdad that day also meditated on the same prayer. Propping the church in the Middle East appears a losing battle. If centuries of decline under Islamic hegemony haven’t been enough, a few years of sectarian fighting and terrorism in Iraq are proving near fatal. The Christian population there has dropped from 1.5 million in 1990 to perhaps as low as 400,000—and many of them are internally displaced. Extremists target Christians in what amounts to ethnic cleansing in major cities, where vibrant Christian communities have dwindled to remnants. In Basra handfuls of believers meet to worship in house churches now. This month pastors from Iraq traveled to Washington first to pray and then to plead before lawmakers and State Department officials for protection of their flocks. Theirs was a message of desperation: One pastor described a church reduced to two members by threats from Islamic militants; because the rest of their families have fled, the two live inside the church with a priest. Let’s be clear: The threat to Christians is directed by Islamic militants. But it is made possible by a lack of security and legal protection that the United States and its allies have permitted—starting notably in 2005 when the Bush administration pushed for elections at a time when many Iraqis warned they would lead to sectarian fighting. Those of us who supported the war (like me) and did so fully believing that its aftermath would include a better life for Christians (also like me) need to insist that our political and military leaders stand with these Iraqis in the very uncertain months ahead. It’s good to remember that New York Avenue Presbyterian Church has seen losing battles before. Abraham Lincoln and his family were regular
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Justıce undone The resignation of a civil-rights attorney at the Justice Department sheds light on the administration’s refusal to enforce election laws fully. Are some voters more equal than others? by Emily Belz in Washington
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ow many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” This was one of the “qualifying” questions posed to blacks attempting to register to vote up until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed such discriminatory practices. Some states would require blacks who tried to register to vote to recite the entire Constitution by heart as a “literacy” test. In Alabama, more than 181,000 blacks were registered to vote before the state changed its constitution in 1901 to throw up a maze of barriers to voting, like a poll tax and requirements that voters be “intelligent and virtuous.” After the changes, only 3,000 African-Americans registered. Civil-rights victories shattered these egregious and widespread violations of equality under the law. But sin—including racial sin—didn’t go to sleep. And the Justice Department now, according to an attorney who recently resigned from the agency, is refusing to enforce equally parts of the Voting Rights Act and to enforce at all an anti-fraud section of the “motor voter” law. As the nation gears up for midterm elections in the fall—and with contested elections in 2000 not yet a distant memory—the Department’s stance raises questions about its commitment to ballot integrity. The current controversy over voting-rights enforcement stems from 2008. A race-based incident marred the historic Election Day in which Americans chose Barack Obama to be the first African-American president. Two members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside a Philadelphia polling station, dressed in fatigues and black berets. One, King Samir Shabazz, had a nightstick. One reportedly proclaimed, “You’re about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.” The incident was caught on videotape. It was a simple case of voter intimidation, and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division (then under President Bush) filed charges against the New Black Panther Party and
the members involved. The Obama administration continued the case and won a default judgment against the men in April 2009 when they didn’t appear in court. However, the next month, before a final judgment could be issued, the Justice Department withdrew the charges and told Shabazz, the New Black Panther member who carried the nightstick, not to display a weapon near polling places until 2012. Bartle Bull, a civil-rights lawyer in the 1960s and one-time manager of Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign, witnessed the New Black Panther incident and submitted an affidavit for the case against the men. He was incensed when Justice dropped the case, and told The Wall Street Journal: “This kind of double standard is not what Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy fought for.” One of the lawyers on the case from the voting section of the Civil Rights Division, J. Christian Adams, quit in protest in May, alleging his office leadership had instructed attorneys not to pursue cases against minorities. “It’s about the importance of the rule of law. Are we a nation that places the highest importance on following the law in an equal and just fashion?” he said to me. “I concluded at least where I was that the answer was no.” A battle over other policies in the division for over a year also led to Adams’ resignation. He recounted that on Nov. 30, 2009, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes called a meeting for NOT WHAT kennedy the voting section and told the lawAND king FOUGHT FOR: yers that they would not be enforcShabazz and Jerry Jackson (below) stand ing section 8 of the National Voter outside a polling station Registration Act, or the “motor in 2008; Adams (right) voter” law, which has to do with quit in protest over the states clearing out voter rolls of double standard.
j. christian adams
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dead people and those ineligible to vote. She said the provision wouldn’t help with “increasing turnout,” according to Adams. The problem of inaccurate voter rolls is potentially large. In the 2008 election, some Missouri counties had more registered voters than people over the age of 18, the rolls congested with those who had died, moved, or were ineligible. The Bush administration Justice Department had sued to force the state to clean up its voter rolls, which is a requirement under section 8 of the motor voter law. The government won the case before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2008, with the circuit remanding the issue to a lower court to decide the details of voter roll responsibilities between state and local officials. But in March 2009 the Obama administration’s Justice Department dismissed the case, saying that the evidence was too dated. Whatever the motives, the timing looks political: One month earlier, in February, the Democratic defendant in
the case, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, announced she was running for the U.S. Senate. Americans already have a fragile faith in the integrity of their elections. Almost a quarter of the population believes, according to a 2008 Rasmussen poll, that a large number of ineligible people are allowed to vote. And 17 percent of Americans believe that a large number of legitimate voters are prevented from voting. “To quote Sen. Chris Dodd, ‘We need to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat.’ We can do both,” John Fund wrote me in an email. Fund has written extensively about voter fraud for The Wall Street Journal and in his book, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy. The question about enforcement of the Voting Rights Act comes at a particularly important time, as midterms approach and as the government conducts the once-a-decade census. Once the census is completed, voting section lawyers will have to review thousands of redistricting proposals. J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e “The stonewalling is rotten, the cover-up is rotten, the refusal to submit to subpoenas shows guilt.”
—Todd Gaziano, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Justice for many years), was so angry with Rosenbaum that he he Justice Department in the Bush administration threw the memos at him. In January, Coates was transferred to had its own reputation for being highly partisan, the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina and hasn’t been with the agency’s inspector general finding that allowed to testify. ideology had been a factor in hiring decisions. “The stonewalling is rotten, the cover-up is rotten, the But Hans Von Spakovsky, who worked in the refusal to submit to subpoenas shows guilt,” said Todd division under Bush and who now is at the Gaziano, the commissioner who is leading the investigation. Heritage Foundation, said the current scandals are a result of He worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice the new dynamic of the Obama administration: Now “there is Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. almost no political or ideological difference between the majorBush, and Bill Clinton. ity of career lawyers and the political appointees.” Adams The Justice Department responded to the allegations in a concurred, and said among both the lawyers and the appointees statement, saying the “facts and law” didn’t support pursuing there is a certain shared “worldview,” which he describes as the New Black Panther case—and that a federal judge deemed “the notion that racism or evil can only be harbored in the the department’s request that the nightstick-carrying defenhearts of certain people but not others—I mean racist evil. dant be simply banned from carrying weapons at polling Anyone who knows the nature of man knows that to be false.” places “appropriate.” On the larger charges that the Civil Adams sees a more worrisome legal culture that has develRights Division is not enforcing voting oped over the last 30 years or so. “For laws, the department said in a a long time law was about right and statement: “The department makes wrong. Certain principles that are enforcement decisions based on the universal,” he told me. In the current merits, not the race, gender or legal atmosphere, “There really aren’t ethnicity of any party involved.” any objective standards. All that matCoates, the lawyer who has been ters is who has power, and they get blocked from testifying and transto write the rules.” He said objective ferred to work for the agency in rules didn’t apply in the New Black South Carolina, delivered a goingPanther case—instead Justice used away speech to the entire voting its power to make a decision based section when he left in January. “I on who the wrongdoers were. have never assumed that I was Adams testified under oath about entitled to ignore that clear language his allegations to the U.S. Commission in federal law and therefore ignore on Civil Rights, an independent incidents where evidence showed government watchdog over the white voters were discriminated division, which has investigated this against or where the wrongdoers case for over a year despite internal were themselves members of a divisions on the matter. (Republicanminority group,” he said, according appointed commissioner Abigail to National Review, which received Thernstrom called the case “small USING HIS POWER: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. records of the speech from those potatoes” and a waste of “our staff’s present. “I believe that one of the most detrimental ways to time.”) The commission has subpoenaed other lawyers politicize the enforcement process in the voting section is to involved in the case to testify, but Justice so far has refused to enforce the provisions of the Voting Rights Act only for the comply with the subpoenas—and it doesn’t have to, by law. protection of certain racial or ethnic minorities.” According to Adams, deputy voting section chief Steve “We have this enormous obligation to the people who gave Rosenbaum hadn’t read the legal memos that laid out the New their lives for these protections, to keep the ballots sanctified,” Black Panther case before he and the acting voting section Adams told me. “We can’t have evil armed men at polling head Loretta King ordered the case dismissed. Adams said one places in this country. That’s what makes us different than of the attorneys on the case, Christopher Coates (a former other places around the world.” A American Civil Liberties Union attorney who has worked at
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Feeling crabby Beyond Tea Partiers, Maryland overnor’s race g shows lifelong Democrats increasingly turned off by incumbents by Edward Lee Pitts in Grasonville, Md.
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Ehrlich: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images • opposite page: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
ob Ehrlich strode into the second-floor banquet room of the Harris Crab House on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and apologized to the gathering of fishermen, crabbers, and oystermen. Rolling up his sleeves to fit in, the Republican candidate for governor felt uneasy wearing his blue business shirt and red-striped tie among the sun-beaten collection of workers who simply call themselves Maryland Watermen. But the locals who make their living off the Chesapeake Bay didn’t mind. They seemed eager to do something not attributed to the stereotypical fishermen: talk. “It is not mother nature that is hurting us. It’s government,” explained Jack Brooks, co-owner of a crabmeat processing plant in Cambridge, Md., speaking of the watermen's fear that the seafood industry is in jeopardy in a room surrounded by paintings depicting the region's legacy of crabbing and oyster shucking. The watermen said their state had a two-year head start over the rest of the nation when it comes to the repercussions of big-government. Since current Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley took office in 2007, he has increased the state’s oyster sanctuary network from 9 percent to 25 percent of the viable oyster habitat. To highlight the crippling effect such restrictions have had on the industry, Jason Ruth showed me his nearby oyster distribution plant. There the powerful lingering smell of oysters offered the only proof of work in an otherwise empty and darkened shucking room. The regulations—combined with fallout from the BP oil spill—means Ruth’s work force has dropped from 67 employees to 12. “All people want to do is work,” he told me. Ehrlich has heard similar emotional stories from small business owners of all types since he began traveling the state after announcing his candidacy 14 weeks ago. A former governor who lost his 2006 reelection bid to O’Malley, Ehrlich began noticing this voter dissatisfaction last year. Contemplating a rematch, Ehrlich began attending Republican meetings around the state. “It wasn’t the usual 100 people. It was three to four hundred people, and I didn’t know a lot of them.” Seeing the new faces encouraged Ehrlich to challenge O’Malley. So far the decision is paying off: Ehrlich recently claimed a 3-percentage-point lead over the incumbent O’Malley. “There is no such thing as a cocky Maryland Republican,” said Ehrlich of his early edge in a state where both senators are Democrats as well as seven of eight House members, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. But if the Republican Party is going to turn this favorable political climate into a wave election that wipes out Democratic control of Congress and numerous statehouses, they will need candidates like Ehrlich to win in solid blue states like Maryland. Two years ago the idea was far-fetched, but not today. In the House, the Cook Political Report labels as competitive 64 Democrat-held seats. Just seven Republican seats are listed as competitive. Email: email@example.com
Michael Franc with the Heritage Foundation told me that several Senate races not expected to be competitive are suddenly tight, including those in Democratic strongholds such as California, Wisconsin, and Washington. “It is almost a scarlet letter to be an incumbent,” he said. “People want to light torches and march to the Capitol.” These are states, like Maryland, where the Tea Party presence has yet to have the impact on the scale seen in Western and Southern states. The Republican base, not only Tea Partiers, is fired up: In primary races so far Republican voters have outnumbered Democratic voters by nearly 1 million. That is a switch from recent midterm elections—in 2002 and 2006— when Democrats bested Republicans by almost 3 million primary votes both years. This energy seemed clear at a recent Republican fundraising dinner in Maryland’s Baltimore County. There the introductions of Republicans running for office stretched longer than anyone could remember, and this in a county where six of the seven seats on the council belong to Democrats. “We are waking up,” exclaimed Chris Luciano, a 38-yearold businessman at the dinner. The reason for hope kept coming back to one person. “Barack Obama is the best thing to happen to the Republican Party,” said Tony Campbell, an adjunct professor of political science at Maryland’s Towson University. Campbell, who used to belong to Republicans for Obama, said Obama has expended an unprecedented amount of political capital since taking office—topped off by his 13-month push
to overhaul healthcare. Independents in articular feel betrayed after Obama camp paigned in 2008 on promises they say now bear little resemblance to the leftward push of his legislative agenda. A recent Gallup poll shows that the key voting bloc of independent voters now prefer Republicans over Democrats 46 percent to 32 percent—the 14 percent difference being the highest of the year. But for Ehrlich to win in Maryland, he will need more than Republicans and Independents. “Democrats have to elect him because Republicans can’t,” Larry Simns told me at the end of the Harris Crab House meeting. Not only is Simns a fishing boat captain and the president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, he describes himself as a lifelong Democrat who will support Ehrlich. “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” he said. “The Democratic Party left my viewpoint.” Ehrlich and other candidates in left-leaning states hope there are others out there like Captain Simns. A
Ehrlich: “There is no such thing as a cocky Maryland Republican.”
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As Iran moves toward gaining nuclear weapons, Israel and the United States try to apply brakes b y
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Iran has always claimed its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes. Clandestine nuclear enrichment plants and blocked inspections of some nuclear facilities are good reasons to question those claims. Add to those an Iranian leadership with apocalyptic language and terrorist sponsorship in an already volatile region and the results could be catastrophic. That is why the UN Security Council passed its fourth round of sanctions against Iran on June 9, with the United States three weeks later passing its toughest sanctions yet against the rogue state. Will Iran now halt its uranium enrichment program and open all facilities to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? Many analysts are doubtful and “Plan C” is being discussed, debated, and undoubtedly prepared for should the United States decide it’s necessary. And in the aftermath of the Obama administration’s failed diplomacy attempts with Iran in 2009 and 2010 and sanctions that are garnering little optimism, some say Israel has a plan of its own.
3 Iran’s nuclear strides Developments over the past 10 months in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program have increased concerns even among those previously undaunted by the flagrant actions of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cronies. On Sept. 25, 2009, President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown revealed the discovery of a clandestine underground nuclear facility near the Iranian city of Qom. And on Feb. 25, 2010, Iran announced that its nuclear plant in Natanz had begun enriching small amounts of uranium to 20 percent—levels Iran claims will be used to fuel a reactor that makes medical isotopes but others say puts the country on the fast track to acquiring a nuclear bomb. ON THE FAST TRACK: Revolutionary Guards launch a short-range missile in a 2009 test near the nuclear facility in Qom. ali shaigan/fars news agency/ap
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An IAEA report released just days prior to Iran’s jolting admission claims that the country’s secret programs were operational beyond 2004—several years longer than previously believed— and that they were actively seeking a nuclear weapon. No one knows how long it could take Iranian scientists to sprint to the finish line. The IAEA’s May 31 report claims that Iran now has enough nuclear fuel to make two bombs if they start enriching to 90 percent purity, the level necessary for a nuclear weapon. Iran’s recent jump from enriching to 4 percent purity (enough to run nuclear power reactors) to 20 percent purity is cause for concern but not yet proof that Iran is in the final stages. And although the Natanz plant just added a second set of centrifuges (cylinders that operate like the drum of a washing machine to enrich the uranium), the enriched fuel must then be turned into reactor fuel rods, a complex process some doubt Tehran could master. Some experts say that if they can, Iran could have a nuclear bomb in three to five years. On June 27, CIA Director Leon Panetta said it would only take about two years.
3 Will Israel strike?
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iranian president’s office/ap
The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran has haunted Israelis for decades, and talk of an Israeli attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities has been circulating for several years. Israel put a stop to Iraq’s nuclear ambitions when it bombed the Osirak reactor near Baghdad in 1981, completely destroying it in less than two minutes. A clandestine attack on a North Korean–backed nuclear site in Syria several years ago is also credited to an Israeli military campaign and has raised the
question of similar tactics being deployed against Iran. President Obama was asked during an Israeli television interview in early July if he thought Israel was planning a surprise attack against Iran. “I think the relationship between the United States and Israel is sufficiently strong that neither of us try to surprise each other,” the president responded. But reports that Obama has withheld weapons contracts to Israel and redirected a shipment of arms on its way to Tel Aviv in March have drawn criticism among some members of Congress and speculation that the Obama administration is trying to prevent Israel from attacking Iran. Meyrav Wurmser, director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Middle East Policy, said Israel was ready and able to attack Iran but chose not to primarily because it “was afraid of the American reaction.” She says Israel is “hoping to draw the U.S. closer to agreeing with an Israeli attack.” An Israeli air attack would likely involve flying over U.S.controlled airspace and a 600-mile trek, but military analysts say Israel could decide to launch intermediate-range ballistic missiles instead. In May, Israel deployed three Dolphin-class submarines armed with nuclear cruise missiles to the Persian Gulf. Iran has more than a dozen known nuclear facilities, and any attack on these sites will only push their nuclear endeavors back one to three years, the majority of analysts say, but that could be just enough time to avert a nuclear crisis. UNDAUNTED: Iranian President Ahmadinejad tours the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility.
3 Obama’s shifting tactics President Obama’s warm welcome to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in early July came as a surprise to those who had been following the growing rift between the two leaders in recent months. Netanyahu was shunned during his March visit to the White House during which press pictures were banned and Obama cut short his time with the leader to dine with his family. The U.S. president has been unhappy with Netanyahu’s unwillingness to halt settlement building in the West Bank, a concession Obama deemed necessary to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. This time the leaders affirmed the “unshakable” bond between the United States and Israel—an about-face some attribute to preNovember campaign tactics. should not be a plane that can fly, During this same week, three U.S. senators a ship that can float, and their met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and Revolutionary Guard should be one of the three, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, greatly diminished.” I-Conn., claimed that “the relationship The risks of a military strike are between the U.S. and Israel is back on track.” many: subverting a potential Joint concern over how to deal with Iran regime change from within, a may also being pulling the two allies back to radioactive cloud in the aftermath common ground as both nations realize that of an attack on nuclear facilities, cooperation is essential to neutralizing Iran’s and the potential for high civilian agenda. “It is unacceptable for Iran to possess casualties. But if sanctions fail to nuclear weapons, and we are going to do deliver, the options will greatly everything we can to prevent that from —President Obama, above with Netanyahu diminish. And while evidence happening,” Obama said during the Israeli suggests that many Arab states television interview. would tacitly approve of an attack The three senators emphasized the imporagainst Iran, most wouldn’t have the strength or stability to tance of giving sanctions against Tehran a chance to sink in but resist the influence of an Iranian regime catapulted to superacknowledged that military options should remain on the power status by the acquisition of a nuclear bomb. And that is table. And if military action is deemed necessary, the regime the fallout without Iran hitting the launch button. should be dealt a solid blow, according to Sen. Lindsey World leaders will undoubtedly face tough decisions in the Graham, R-S.C.: “I think it would be in the world’s interest to months to come. A make sure this regime’s ability to strike back is neutered. There
“It is unacceptable for Iran to possess nuclear weapons, and we are going to do everything we can to prevent that from happening.”
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Con v e n t iona l a pproac h A nine-page article in the United States Army’s official magazine, Military Review, suggests a less promulgated course of action against Tehran: an attack on Iran’s non-nuclear military assets. George Washington University professor Amitai Etzioni argues that Iran has learned from prior Israeli attacks on nuclear sites to build its facilities in mountainous caves or encased in massive walls of cement. Some are built in highly populated areas and others are in secret locations. He claims an attack on non-nuclear sites would be more effective and would result in significantly fewer civilian deaths
than targeting nuclear facilities, and he proposes that civilians be warned in advance. Etzioni suggests the secret police complex in the middle of Tehran as one possible target: “If that building can be taken out and some of the secret police can be killed—they’re the kind of people who torture and rape their dissenters—I don’t think many people will cry about it.” Other potential targets include the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guard, naval vessels, and air defense installations. Critics of Etzioni’s proposal say such an attack is the equivalent of launching a
full-scale war against Iran. Etzioni told me that the notion of having a “nice little limited war” by hitting Iran’s nuclear sites and going home is “unimaginable.” Etzioni believes halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions is essential: “So if we’re not going to stand up to Iran, we may as well go home and forget about in any way being an international player. If Iran is going to go nuclear, I don’t see what is going to keep Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Libya from going the same way. We are at a turning point here.” He says we can still save the “nuclear abstinence club.” —J.N.
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Scout’s despite legal challenges and controversy, boy scouts turns 100
by Warren Cole Smith
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clockwise from top left: KEITH MYERS/MCT/Landov • Frederic Lewis/Getty Images • Carolyn Kaster/ap • Warren Corr/ap • Andrew H. Brown/National Geographic/Getty Images • facing page: superstock
n northern New Mexico, the Boy Scouts of America owns the largest youth camp in the world. Philmont Scout Ranch covers 137,000 acres in the Sangre de Cristo—the “blood of Christ”—Mountains. Every day this summer, approximately 300 Scouts, Explorers, and their leaders will arrive at Philmont. A total of more than 18,000 will complete a 12-day Philmont trek this summer, hiking at least 50 miles over mountains that reach up to 12,000 feet. And there are that many more on a waiting list. It has been that way for 10 years. “We’ve never been stronger,” said Philmont’s Director of Program Mark Anderson. Many organizations that celebrate “duty to God and country”—words from the Scout oath—have either fallen on hard times or have abandoned such values. The Girl Scouts, for example, no longer requires members to believe in God, and it allows openly gay leaders. The Boy Scouts, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, is holding firm. Atheists have sued the Scouts so they can be members without having to pledge duty to God, but the Scouts have defended themselves vigorously— and successfully—in the courts. In the 1990s, James Dale, an openly gay man, wanted to be a Scout leader and sued for the privilege. The case went to the Supreme Court in 2000. The Boy Scouts won—but barely, in a 5-4 decision. Though the Scouts have won virtually every case brought against them by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others, these battles have
not been without costs, which over several decades have amounted to tens of millions of dollars in legal fees. Robert Knight is an Eagle Scout, a senior writer with Coral Ridge Ministries, and a senior fellow with the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), a group that considers itself the conservative counterweight to the ACLU. The ACRU filed amicus briefs in several cases the ACLU has brought against the Scouts. Knight said, “The ACLU is trying to peck the Scouts to death, and even when they don’t win, they generate controversy and they intimidate.” Knight said that in some parts of the country the United Way no longer funds the Boy Scouts because of the controversy generated by lawsuits. But the controversies have earned the Boy Scouts the admiration of social conservatives and many others because, Knight said, “The Boy Scouts make it clear where moral authority comes from. From God. That’s controversial today, but most Americans still believe it’s true.” That said, Scouting is pluralistic in the way that America is pluralistic. Tenderfoot Scouts must know the Scout Oath, which begins, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country.” So every Scout must believe in God—or at least say he does. But Scouting is not particular about which god. Indeed, the strongest religious influence in the Scouting Movement today comes from the Mormons—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Mormons have used Scouting as one of their official programs for youth since 1913, and almost 25 percent of all Boy Scouts are Mormon. (Only about 2 percent of the U.S. population is Mormon.) Other youth organizations—and even many churches—say they must abandon traditional ways in order to remain relevant. However, the Scouts’ adherence to traditional values—and traditional activities such as camping, hiking, and canoeing—seems to be serving them well. Indeed, the Scouts tried seeking “relevance” in the ’70s, with near-disastrous results. A ’70s-era version of the Scout Handbook focused on urban survival skills, such as how to read a bus schedule. As it turns out, most youth already know that. They want to know how to pitch a tent. That doesn’t mean the Scouts are not adjusting. Recently added merit badges include “Geo-caching” and “Invention,” which teaches innovation and entrepreneurship. Larry Pritchard, the director of this
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BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA Membership 2.9 million (including adult leaders) Founded 1910 by newspaper publisher William Boyce, who visited England, got lost in the dense London fog, and was helped by a young boy. The boy refused a reward, saying that helping others was his duty as a Boy Scout. Boyce linked up with Lord Robert BadenPowell, the founder of the British Boy Scouts, to bring the organization to America. Boy Scout Jamboree Held every four years, this month it takes place at Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia. In 2013 it will have a permanent home at The Summit, a new Scout reservation in West Virginia. Boys’ Life The magazine of the Boy Scouts of America and one of the nation’s oldest currently published magazines. Its first issue came out in 1911. An illustrated Bible story appears in every issue.
year’s National Scout Jamboree, which takes place every four years, said this year’s event will feature a Wi-Fi cloud over the entire jamboree location, and 40 exhibitors— including NASA and the National Geographic Society—related to science and technology. These adjustments are necessary, said Alvin Townley, if Scouting is to have a second century as great as its first. Townley has written two influential books in praise of Scouting. Townley said, “If we want a great next 100 years, we’ll have to overcome some significant challenges. That doesn’t mean abandoning our bedrock values, but it does mean getting smarter about how we communicate them to youth. Conservation, stewardship, adventure, entrepreneurship, leadership. Young people resonate with these ideas, and these ideas have always been what Scouting is all about. But we’ve got to sharpen our brand so that people understand that.” The Scouts also recently acquired a 10,000-acre tract of land in West Virginia, a high adventure base called The Summit. It is expected to relieve pressure on Philmont and will provide a location for the National Scout Jamboree. Since 1981—and again this year for the 100th anniversary—the jamboree will take place at Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia. But protests from the ACLU that the Scouts shouldn’t be allowed to use the military base was a factor in the decision to find another permanent home. With all this talk of change, though, many still believe that Scouting as it has always been is relevant and will remain relevant into the distant future. Sammy L. Davis, for example, is sometimes known as the “real Forrest Gump.” In 1967, Private First Class Davis used an air mattress to ferry three of his wounded comrades across a river to safety while his unit was under heavy enemy mortar fire. He won the Medal of Honor for his actions. Footage of Davis receiving the medal from President Lyndon Johnson was used in the movie Forrest Gump—with Tom Hanks’ face digitally inserted. On July 4, the 63-year-old Davis celebrated Independence Day and the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts with hundreds of admiring Boy Scouts gathered around him to hear “what he learned in the Boy Scouts” that allowed him to do what he did in Vietnam and in the rest of his life. It’s a scene Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement, would have relished. A Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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power kick Spain may have won the World Cup, and host nation South Africa received an image boost, but the unaccountable FIFA was the event’s biggest winner
by Dan i el O l a sk y
With tears streaming down his face, 29-year-old Iker Casillas lifted the World Cup trophy above his head. Confetti rained down on the Spanish goalkeeper and team captain, and millions of Spaniards from Galicia to the Canary Islands cheered for their team, basking in the glory of their nation’s first ever World Cup win. But while Spain celebrated its sporting victory, the real winner was the man who handed Casillas the trophy: FIFA president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter. FIFA (the Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is a powerful organization. It has more members than the United Nations, and Blatter is taking over $2 billion dollars back to FIFA’s Zurich headquarters. That kind of CUP HOLDERS: Casillas (in green) and money brings teammates celebrate Spain’s World Cup power, and FIFA victory over the Netherlands. Joining uses it to make them are Blatter (with scarf) and South more money. In African President Jacob Zuma. J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
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mike hewitt/fifa/getty images
South Africa, FIFA insisted on “tax-free bubbles,” paying no tax on sales at stadiums or outdoor “fan-zones.” The South African government also granted FIFA unprecedented powers to prosecute sponsorship violators: Uniformed South African police arrested 36 Dutch women for the crime of wearing orange dresses emblazoned with the name of a beer company that wasn’t Budweiser. Blatter is the perfect face of the organization. He comes across as a jovial soul, with a fringe of gray hair, a double chin, and smiling eyes. But looks can be deceiving: Blatter and FIFA have long been associated with corruption. The latest scandal: FIFA awarded a valuable ticketing and accommodation concession to a company owned by Blatter’s nephew, Phillipe. That company booked thousands of hotel rooms across South Africa, added a hefty surcharge, then resold hotel and ticket packages to travel agents, making vast profits for themselves in the process. There’s only one problem: Their fees and surcharges priced out many tourists, one of the reasons foreign attendance at the World Cup was lower than expected. This in turn led to empty seats at some early games, a blemish on the world’s premier global sporting event. FIFA appears accountable to no one and it shows not just in the group’s backroom deals but in FIFA’s management of the game as well. A string of high-profile refereeing errors (two of them involving the United States) raised the issue of using instant replay to aid referees. FIFA’s response: Not only would FIFA not discuss the use of instant replay, it refused to apologize or even explain the missed calls, made no mention of the mistakes in official match reports on its website, and banned discussion of the calls on its official message boards. Blatter was joined at the trophy ceremony by South African President Jacob Zuma. While Blatter is counting record revenues, Zuma is facing the realities of life after the World Cup. As a public-relations campaign for South Africa, the 2010 World
Cup was a roaring success. Foreign tabloids had predicted halffinished stadiums, nonexistent transportation links, and armies of gun-wielding gangsters robbing and murdering football fans in their sleep, but South Africa proved the doomand-gloomers wrong. The stadiums were finished and universally praised, transportation was effective (with a few minor hiccups), and crime actually fell during the month-long tournament, with a large visible ERRORS? WHAT ERRORS? Blatter talks to referees police presence making sure that during a portrait session in soccer fans left the country as Pretoria, South Africa. alive as they entered. The foreign press responded gratefully, gushing over their hosts at every turn. The world celebrated an emerging nation and marveled at the progress made in the last 16 years. South Africa may not have had success on the field, but the entire nation received a confidence boost. But that kind of press costs money. South Africa spent over $5 billion on the tournament and has recouped less than half of that from tourism and ticket sales. Benefits of new infrastructure will be offset by the cost of the shiny new stadiums, which, in places like rural Rustenburg, will now sit empty while taxpayers pay off the mortgage. Police had to break up a riot in Durban after stadium stewards protested their low pay, and local vendors, promised the chance to hawk their wares to fans near the stadium, were forced out by FIFA. In a country with crushing poverty, still simmering race relations, and an AIDS epidemic, good feelings only go so far. South Africa is looking warily at Greece, a nation collapsing with debt and still struggling to pay for the 2004 Summer Olympics. Yet the allure remains, and the country’s Olympic Committee has already proposed a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. In a month, Casillas will put his World Cup glory behind him. A new season will begin, and Spain will face its next challenge: qualifying for the European Championships in 2012. South Africa must do the same, and focus its energy on internal progress: education, healthcare, and housing. As for Blatter, the next World Cup is only four years away, and there are deals to make, accounts to open, hands to shake, and palms to grease. Onward to Brazil 2014! A
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Connecting capital with opportunity in the developing world takes Job-like patience and ingenuity by Alisa Harris in New York
hief Yusuf Ole Petenya says out in the sweeping plains of Kenya, cows are like ATMs: Put food in, get daily sustenance back. So when drought choked Kenya and killed 90 percent of the livestock in 2009, it devastated the chief (also known as Shani) and his people, the Maasai. Speaking to a group in New York City, Shani showed the audience pictures of a farmer using branches to prop up his last cow and a zebra lying dead because the Maasai are eating trees instead of cows. The Maasai usually cross the border to their kin in Tanzania if they need help. “When they have a drought they come to us. When we have a drought we go to them,” said Shani. “But last year, we didn’t have a place to run to.” Everyone was suffering. It was time to find another cash machine. After an elder told him the droughts were more aggressive and frequent now than they were years ago, Shani decided he and his people had to find a new way of living to survive. He pointed out the intricately beaded necklaces looped around his neck over his purple robe, the loops of beaded earrings in his ears, and the beaded staff in his hand. He said his goal was to help the 10,000 Maasai women begin a sustainable business creating beaded clothing and accessories and selling them to tourists. Shani’s visit to New York coincided with the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development, where leaders came together to figure out how to help developing countries. In one side panel, investment managers and officials from USAID spoke of investing in private enterprises like Shani’s—combining Wall Street investment techniques and government dollars with entrepreneurial drive to create a “double bottom line”—a venture that creates both a social good and a financial return. “Philanthrophy’s a wonderful thing but at the end of the day there’s just not enough capital on the ground,” said one investment manager. You have to bring investment techniques to business to create capital. Shani completely agrees. He said, “No donor is going to give you money forever. At some point they will get tired and say, ‘Hey, go somewhere else. I’m sorry. My coffers are running out of money.’” His people have to have businesses that sustain themselves instead of waiting for others to give them aid.
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shani: handout • MAASAI: THOMAS MUKOYA/REUTERS/LANDOV
FINDING A WAY TO SURVIVE: Shani (below); a Maasai woman makes traditional beaded bracelets in Nairobi (right).
convincing farmers the technology would work: Left to right: Dr. Sono Khangarani of Micro Drip (black shirt) talks with farmers; installing irrigation; farmland showing the results of drip irrigation. Below: Joel Montgomery with Pakistani children.
But there are obstacles to good entrepreneurial ventures. Bad business plans can accompany the best of intentions, just as well-meaning nonprofits can keep people in a state of dependence. If the developed world is going to recover some of the billions it has spent on foreign aid, investment managers will have to ask probing questions. Both Yale graduates and creative Pakistani farmers have to learn from each other to surmount the barriers to a successful enterprise. When I told Burt van der Vaart about Shani’s bead-selling enterprise, van der Vaart said he would ask a few probing questions. Van der Vaart is co-founder and CEO of the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF). Unlike more famous enterprise investment funds that are newer to the game, SEAF has been quietly investing in entrepreneurs worldwide since 1992 and has done about 335 investment deals. Van der Vaart said he would first ask if the labor force is already skilled or if it needs training. The women are doing a handicraft that has spanned generations but as one audience member pointed out when Shani spoke, the women may have to adjust their designs to make something wearable in a Western world—instead of a souvenir that a tourist won’t wear outside of Africa. Van der Vaart asked if the tourists will pay in cash and if so, how will Shani prevent stealing? What is the competition? African vendors sometimes import cheap tribal trinkets that are actually made in China, which has a huge labor pool and an extensive labor infrastructure. Will the Maasai’s high-quality handiwork be able to compete? Shani is counting on a global market, but van der Vaart said it’s easier if the market is regional or local so Shani won’t have to worry about transporting his products across bad roads and through tolls to the ocean. Western countries tax imports steeply, which adds to the cost. And will the tourists come? Shani looks at Kenya’s stark safari plains and exotic animals, and sees tourism as its main hope of income. But he also knows the global financial crisis is decimating the tourist industry. The talent is there. The desire is there. The Maasai want to make money for themselves, he says. They don’t want to beg.
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n Karachi, Pakistan, another enterprising man bounds into the room with his shirt off and pumps the hand of a befuddled salesman. Then he asks, “Were you able to pay attention to what I was saying?” He stands at the front of the room and delivers today’s lesson: first impressions count. The scene comes from The New Recruits, a documentary that shows three business leaders (fellows with the Acumen Fund, an investment fund much like SEAF) fanning out across the world with their stellar resumés and good intentions. Their task is to help launch social enterprises, enterprises with that “double bottom line” mentioned earlier: They provide the poor with a needed service and also sustain themselves by making a profit. Joel Montgomery, the shirtless fellow teaching
about first impressions, went to help Pakistani salesmen sell Micro Drip irrigation systems to poor farmers. Montgomery—a Christian from Tuscaloosa, Ala., and a graduate of Yale and Thunderbird School of Management— went into the project with missionary zeal. One scene shows his skeptical Alabama family gathered around the dinner table, trying to dissuade him before he leaves. Montgomery’s mom chides them, “Joel feels like he’s on a mission, that the Lord’s sendin’ him to Pakistan.” His dad replies gruffly, “The Lord sent Jesus on a mission and He ended up dyin’.” Montgomery’s mission wasn’t easy either. The documentary shows farmers dozing during one of Micro Drip’s presentations and shows Montgomery out in the fields, struggling to guide his salesmen as they explain to the farmers how Micro Drip can save them money. Montgomery tells his dad on a video chat that he used to believe the market could solve all problems, but now he sees its limitations: “You can’t come into a developing country with a perfect plan and expect it to work perfectly.” Montgomery told me his sales people had master's degrees but couldn’t take a calculator and find 90 percent of 100. And while locals formed the sales team, Montgomery couldn’t expect them to completely understand the Pakistani consumer like he thought they could. It would be like grabbing someone off the street and saying, “Tell me about American consumers!” Montgomery said. Montgomery told me for the first half of his nine months in Pakistan, he wondered, “Why in the world am I here? It doesn’t feel like we’re really making a dent in what we’re trying to do here.” But Montgomery says he took comfort from the book of Job, when God steps in and chides Job for his arrogance. When Montgomery read that, it lifted him out of discouragement. Micro Drip came in where corruption and exclusively profit-based capitalism left gaping holes. Montgomery said the Pakistani government earmarked $2 billion to develop drip irrigation in the country. But thanks to corruption and a faulty program structure, poor farmers had no access to the subsidies. Nineteen of the 20 companies marketing drip irrigation decided to follow the major profits and focus on the richer farmers with large plots. Micro Drip was the only one that focused on the poor farmers—the ones who needed it most. Montgomery and Micro Drip began with a focus on oneacre irrigation systems—at $300, which is one-fifth the cost of a normal drip irrigation system and still far too expensive for poor Pakistani farmers. Since the farmers were skeptical about Email: email@example.com
irrigations’ ability to improve their crop yield, Micro Drip had to adjust its approach to convince the farmers the technology would work. Montgomery’s team focused on selling family nutritional kits—a mini drip irrigation system that could water a small garden. The farmers could pay for this $11 system in just six months with their increased crop yield. During Montgomery’s time at Micro Drip, the company finally started to see progress in selling the mini-systems. Acumen Fund chose to invest in Micro Drip since the technology saw success in India and a community of Pakistani business leaders committed to make it happen. Rajan Kundra, director of the Acumen Fund’s portfolio, said its investors don’t mind if the salesmen sell large or small irrigation systems. The key is building a company that can sustain itself—a process that can take two to five years. Is Micro Drip there yet? “They’re getting there. They’re getting there,” he said. Sometimes Acumen Fund will decide to give a company more capital to bring it to the point of sustainability. He added, “We’ve also decided that certain ideas aren’t going to work.” In early stage investing, you’re successful if half your investments pay off, he said. Montgomery found that developing an enterprise in a foreign culture takes, above all, humility. He said too often both entrepreneurs and missionaries come into a country with the attitude, “We have the top technology. We have the top thoughts. We’re going to help.” But a successful entrepreneur has to be teachable. The developing world has resources the rest of the world could use, he noted. For instance, a poor farmer in Kenya can go to a small market and pay for tomatoes using his cell phone—an innovation that Americans would probably appreciate also. And in Pakistan, farmers recognize that the price of onions can fluctuate wildly. So every year the farmers plant one acre of onions, and every couple of years the prices soar and farmers make a killing off of one acre. “They’re not stupid,” Montgomery said. The key is spreading the wealth—both for the Maasai whose cows are dying and for the investment manager looking at his portfolio. During his time in New York, Shani spoke to a philanthropist and said, “We need that connection between us and you. Because you guys have the money and have no idea what to do with the money. But we . . . know where we want to go, from Point A to B, but lack the means.” He told the philanthropists they could pool their financial and entrepreneurial capital: “Package complete.” The philanthropist said, “I like that.” A J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Where are they now More than a decade after we profiled them in WORLD, these compassionate people and groups are going strong by M a rv i n O l as ky
hrough online voting at worldmag.com/compassion, WORLD readers are now choosing the winner of the 2010 Hope Award for Effective Compassion. One admirable trait shared by our four finalists is the perseverance of their leaders: Year after year, without much money or attention, they work to change lives. What about compassionate Christians we’ve covered in the past? Recently I decided to find out whether those we profiled about a decade ago are still at it. Here are brief updates on 10 of them.
(WORLD, March 11, 2000), the widowed mother of five grown children, is celebrating this year the 25th anniversary of Children of Mine, an after-school program in a rundown community center in the poor Anacostia section of Washington, D.C. Devastated by the murder of her husband, she had made a “covenant with God. . . . If He would allow me to get up out of my bed, I would serve those that were less fortunate.” She told me in 2000 that she wouldn’t think of taking government money: “Couldn’t have prayer. And when they finish with you, it’s not your program, it’s theirs.” She did once agree to take governmentsupplied meals, but was not impressed: “The milk was warm, the tacos were cold, and the watermelon was sour. Some of the children didn’t want milk, so I didn’t give it to them, and then the government people said you didn’t give the children complete meals. I said I wanted to teach the children not to waste, but the government people told me, ‘Give it to them anyway. Give them a complete meal, and let them throw it in the trash.’” Hawkins’ biggest challenge, she says, is a lack of funding, with donations not coming as they once were. Nearby centers have closed but Children of Mine continues to provide the same services to about 75 children weekly. Hawkins’ volunteers also p rovide haircuts, run a clothing bank, and serve meals to homeless men and children, seniors, and needy families. Church groups come in to teach Bible studies and to cook and feed the needy.
hawkins: EVAN VUCCI/ap • broden & cousinard: handout
(WORLD, Sept. 4, 1999) of the Fair Park Friendship Center in Dallas still runs an after-school program for latchkey kids otherwise left alone. FPFC provides tutoring plus arts and crafts, with snacks thrown in, from 3 to 6 p.m. A summer program for 15-20 boys takes them out to local camping sites where they work on developing personal responsibility and the understanding of teamwork. A program for 10 girls emphasizes healthy lifestyles and Bible study. Broden says his inner-city community needs greater understanding of the value and worth of human life from a divine and biblical perspective. He also faces economic challenges—blue-collar workers in the neighborhood need to improve their skill sets. Federal government programs, he has found, provide services that eliminate incentives for self-determination and produce a dependency mentality. FPFC moved into a new 10,000- square-foot facility in 2001 that is paid for and debt free: It houses a food pantry, clothing store, and the after-school program. FPFC remains privately funded by businesses and individuals: Finances are always a challenge, but Broden has found people willing to give as long as they see their investment is making a difference in the local community.
(WORLD, Aug. 14, 1999) started Masterworks in Minneapolis to provide basic employment to people who had proven unable to keep a job. He set up a series of incentives to push people to stay on the job for at least a year and was often frustrated when people dropped out after, say, a fight with a girlfriend. But he has kept at it, and Masterworks now operates a packaging business and a thrift store and manages several apartment buildings. John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church has continued to support Masterworks, and some employees have broken out of their self-destructive cycles. Some with prison records, though, have found it hard to transition to better jobs: Employers often cannot get insurance to cover exinmates. The continuing recession has stung small businesses that are the biggest job providers.
(WORLD, Feb. 20, 1999) ran Inner City Youth, a refuge in Houston’s rough Third Ward for kids abandoned by drug-dealing dads. Now he and his wife, Sheila, have expanded his small neighborhood sports ministry into a program with 14 staff members, The Forge for Families, that offers activities for both kids and adults. Their children’s programs include seasonal team sports, summer youth camps, daily after-school programs, and a character development program for girls. Their adult programs include a seven-week life skills development curriculum, friendship circles for mentoring, personal counseling, and a recovery program. The Cousinards remain in the Third Ward, remain committed to Christ, and attract 400 volunteers each year. J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
(WORLD, Aug. 5, 2000) ran the Front Porch Alliance, which helped Indianapolis church and community groups to cut through governmental red tape. Now he is the president and CEO of Indiana Youth Institute, a secular organization that supports grassroots youth organizations and the 7,000 youth-serving professionals within them. IYI publishes statistics on child well-being, has a statewide radio show and a newspaper column, provides online career planning services, and runs the Indiana Mentoring Program, which provides mentors for any student in Indiana who wants one, as a stepping stone toward academic achievement. Some 20 percent of the organizations IYI supports are faith-based. IYI has received local and federal support and also manages state contracts to help at-risk youth and encourage responsible fatherhood.
(WORLD, Dec. 18, 1999) opened JIREH Sports in 1998 with an emphasis on gymnastics, classical wresting (not the WWF variety), and character development. The plan is still the same: Use non- conventional sports to challenge stereotypes in black communities, and help parents who see their children largely as future Michael Jordans to come to grips with their own expectations. Since then, JIREH has added taekwondo, boxing, jump rope, and dance to the program, which serves 175 children each week, and still has the classic wrestling segment, which a dozen Christian coaches and former wrestlers run on a volunteer basis. JIREH Sports now has two buildings and 24 acres of land that Street plans to develop, but the organization itself in 2008 merged with Jay Height’s Shepherd Community. Streett is now assistant director at Shepherd, and he hopes through that ministry to provide more services to children’s families. Streett and others run “Shepherd U,” which has 6-week courses called Poverty 101 and City 101 that are designed to help volunteers and staffers understand the nature of urban poverty.
(WORLD, Aug. 5, 2000) still heads up the Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis: After merging with four other ministries Shepherd has a staff of 60, a budget of almost $4 million, and a reputation for trying to meet physical needs for food and clothing, while emphasizing spiritual and educational needs. Shepherd annually serves 5,000 people with childcare, after-school programs for elementary and middle-school students, college prep programs for high-school students, summer camps, job skills training, and family counseling. Height says that heightened drug use and higher unemployment are creating overwhelming needs. The privately funded group hit some rough financial spots in 2008 and 2009 but has lately seen improvement.
(WORLD, Jan. 30, 1999, and Nov. 11, 2000) still runs Youth-Reach, a program with beds for 18 troubled kids in Houston and now 18 more in Alabama. The emphasis is still the same: inner transformation through a relationship with Christ buttressed by discipline and accountability. The program is still financially challenged but it’s becoming more ecologically selfsufficient: Youth-Reach just received a grant to build a greenhouse. Williams himself now has seven children, ages 3 to 16. The philosophy announced in a newsletter a decade ago remains the same: “We are unapologetically a Christ-based program. . . . For a child to have new clothes and keep an old heart is an example of misdirected energies.”
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(WORLD, Aug. 14, 1999) was 73 in 2003, the year he retired from the organization he had started two decades before, Rebuild Resources. Rebuild, located in St. Paul, Minn., is still going strong as a w orkplace and home for people recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Myers’ retirement did not last long. He is now president of Sober Corps, a volunteer organization incorporated in 2007 to serve individuals unable to get jobs due to felonies or incarceration on their records. Through one-to-one mentoring Sober Corps aims to help those who have repeatedly relapsed. Mentors operate out of a downtown church and agree to serve at least eight months. Myers remains convinced that people seeking sobriety need a strong support system based on individualized counseling. —with reporting by Tiffany Owens
Summer Sunshine Jim and Carol Clarkson are still the directors of Sunshine Ministries in St. Louis (WORLD, Feb. 9, 2002). Sunshine’s primary work a decade ago, in a run-down area, was with homeless men and women. That’s still an important focus—but the Clarksons saw the need to start earlier. They now have new teen and youth/family buildings, and a major activity this summer is a camp at Eagle Lodge, located an hour from the inner city. The camp has three 3-week sessions, each for 20 campers from poor families who ride a bus there every morning and enter the lodge sniffing for the sweet smells they’ve come to expect: Carol Clarkson bakes before the kids arrive so that the smell of cinnamon rolls or something similar will greet them. She also takes lots of photos and prints out the pictures every day so that campers can put together scrapbooks that in hard times will remind them of their Eagle Lodge experiences. Each camper has a big buddy, a student at least 16 years old. One 7-year-old late in June, asked what she had learned in camp, said that she had jumped into the pool worried that her big buddy wouldn’t catch her–but big buddy Erika did. Many of the kids don’t have much experience with trust. Nor are some of them familiar with sitting down to a well-prepared lunch (one day: hot dogs, baked beans, watermelon, grapes) or praying before they eat. “We really have good meals,” Clarkson says: “I make my own macaroni and cheese from scratch. . . . We always have fruit or salad. . . . They eat like you wouldn’t believe. . . . My specialty is brownies. . . . I always serve them hot out of the oven so they’re real gooey.” Clarkson said that many of the campers come from “this environment where there is crime and there are horrible things going on around them and they are supposed to accept those things . . . and go on with your life. So, they don’t even learn some emotions as kids.” Big buddies tell the campers Bible stories: One girl in her fifth year at camp talked about her favorite Bible story–how Adam and
Eve “got made by God.” And big buddies play with their campers in the swimming pool, a new experience for many who, as Clarkson explains, had never before been in a pool: “It’s a really good one-on-one time with their big buddies because they play together and they do silly things out there. It’s just a moment in their lives when they can totally block out anything else and just have innocent fun.” The camp at Eagle Lodge originated in a loss of innocence and life—the rape and murder of a mom and daughter. The daughter had been a participant in the after-school program, and the “so what else is new?” lack of emotion in the teens, when they heard the sad news, was something that Clarkson couldn’t forget. Two weeks later she read in the book of Isaiah the prophet’s proclamation that even youths will grow tired and weary—but hope comes from waiting on the Lord and then, as chapter 40 of Isaiah relates, soaring on wings like eagles. The Clarksons began looking for property outside the city on which they could locate a camp that could fight such weariness of soul. When they checked out one house, they saw eagle figurines above a sink, pictures of eagles in the rod iron on the backs of benches, an eagle weather vane on the top of the barn, eagle etchings here and there. That property is now Eagle Lodge. Carol Clarkson lives there from Monday through Friday during the summer. (Husband Jim, who runs the program for the homeless, comes on Wednesday and returns to inner-city St. Louis on Thursday morning.) It all requires planning. She quickly learned that she could not depend on parents to send kids with their swimsuits every day, so she emphasizes having parents send the kids with their suits the first day: Clarkson keeps them at the end of each day, dries them, folds them, and puts them back in their rooms every night. On Friday night she washes everything before she goes home. She says she cleans the bathrooms quickly, puts the first load in the dryer, and then goes to her room, puts her feet up, and enjoys an ice cream bar. Vanilla with dark chocolate: “That’s my drug of choice.”
“It’s just a moment in their lives when they can totally block out anything else and just have innocent fun.”
—M.O., with reporting by Brittany McComb J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
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Notebook LIFESTYLE TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE HOUSES OF GOD SPORTS MONEY
On God’s provision LIFESTYLE: Brooklyn pastor Jamison Galt plants a church while planting a family by susan olasky
BOWEN RODKEY FOR WORLD
It’s your first day as a church planter. What do you do? On July 1 Jamison Galt, with a year of neighborhood potlucks and prayer meetings behind him, sat at a table in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill Park and drew a triangle. Borrowing from theologian John Frame, he labeled the angles “Normative” (things church planters and pastors must do), “Personal” (the unique gifts he brings to the table), and “Contextual” (the needs and opportunities of the neighborhood). This embryonic chart will help him sort out what’s expected of him and how to proceed. He expects to spend the rest of the summer thinking, praying, meeting with pastors, extending friendships and social networking—and raising money. He thought he might have to start the church as a bi-vocational pastor, but the Park Slope congregation of Brooklyn Presbyterian Church (PCA), where he has been on staff, is supporting him until the end of this year. “We always exist on God’s provision,” Galt says, but it isn’t always so obvious. He feels the urgency to raise funds, in part because only last month he and his wife Laura returned from Ethiopia with two newly adopted children—daughter Tihun, age 3½, and son Solomon, age 10 months. The Galt family, which also includes 6-year-old twins Adaline and Arthur,
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Notebook > Lifestyle moved from Park Slope to Clinton Hill a year ago so the twins could start kindergarten in a nearby public school, PS 20. Clinton Hill— home to 50,000 people who live in a 1.3-square-mile area—is poorer, less gentrified, and more demographically diverse than Park Slope. It boasts expensive brownstones near Fort Greene Park—designed, like Central Park, by Frederick Law Olmstead—and big housing projects and co-ops. Clinton Hill has architecture from every decade of the past 150 years, which makes it visually interesting. According to the last census, the neighborhood is about two-thirds AfricanAmerican, with a strong cultural heritage. Richard Wright wrote Native Son there. Spike Lee’s film studio is there. Rappers Mos Def and Notorious B.I.G. hail from nearby. It’s also home to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, three universities (including Pratt Institute) and 14,000 students. Galt says the neighborhood’s “A” distinctives—AfricanAmerican, Artistic, Academic—both excite and intimidate him. Home for the Galts is a two-story, 1,100-squarefoot, shot-gun duplex, with
living areas on one floor and two bedrooms and “the sleeping quarters” on the other. The sleeping quarters are just big enough for two IKEA bunkbeds and room to walk between them. It leaves the kids’ bedroom for toys. The apartment is two blocks from Pratt, which makes it convenient as the Galts interact with students and faculty at the prestigious art school. Over the next 20 years, the Brooklyn churches hope to reach college and then high-school students, with an aim of developing church leadership from the community. Last year Laura Galt volunteered 20 hours per week at PS 20. She helped establish an art program by bringing in art educators from Pratt. She made contacts throughout the neighborhood that will help them as they move forward, as will their interest in food. Brooklyn is the epicenter of a burgeoning food movement that expresses itself in farmers markets and traditionally crafted beers, cheeses, chocolates, pickles, and other foodstuffs. Jamison lectures and writes about a theology of food. He hopes to marry this interest with his concern for urban poverty— backyard/rooftop gardening is one way to do that. We hope to report next year on how the Galts have done. A
Fatter and sicker As a nation we are getting fatter, sicker, and less active. A new report on obesity shows we’ve fattened up since 1991, when no state had an adult obesity rate above 20 percent. Now only Colorado can make that boast. The key measurement in this discussion is BMI, body/ mass index, calculated by dividing weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meters). Below 25 is normal, 25 to almost 30 is overweight, 30 and over is obese. Thirty-eight states have an adult obesity rate above 25 percent. Eight of those states—Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia—have obesity rates above 30 percent, with Mississippi the highest: 33.8 percent. Nine of the states with the highest obesity rates are in the South. The 10th is Michigan. Diabetes and hypertension rates track with obesity rates. So do rates of inactivity. Poor people, minorities, and folks with less education have higher obesity rates. More than one-third of children ages 10–17 are obese (16.4 percent) or overweight (18.2 percent). States have reacted to obesity by passing all kinds of laws: i 33 states have a tax on soda. i 28 states plus D.C. have laws regulating the nutrition content of “competitive foods” sold in schools and at bake sales. i 24 states have laws limiting individuals from suing restaurants and food manufacturers for making them fat. i 20 states have laws mandating BMI measuring or other weight monitoring tests in schools. i 5 states have statewide menu labeling laws. —S.O.
Disability stats President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. According to the Census Bureau:
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i 11 million Americans age 6 or older need help with everyday activities. i 3.3 million (age 15+) use a wheelchair. Another 10 million use crutches or a cane. i 1.8 million (age 15+) can’t read the printed word. i 1 million (age 15+) can’t hear a conversation. —S.O.
Notebook > Technology
Microsoft rolls out a response to challenges from OpenOffice and Google Docs By alissa wilkinson
illlustration: krieg barrie • balloon: jeff warren • traffic: Matthew S. Rambo/istock
Microsoft’s Office suite of software products—such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel—has dominated the market since it was introduced for Mac in 1989 and Windows in 1990. Yet its grip has recently been slipping. OpenOffice, a suite of similar tools that is available for free download, is popular among cash-strapped college students. Google Docs, also available for free, takes most of the same functionality and makes it available through a website, so users’ documents, spreadsheets, and presentations are available to them from any computer with an internet connection. Microsoft’s been watching this shift. As part of the recent Office 2010 release, the company created Office Web Apps, a free, web-based version of Office software with slimmed-down capabilities. The company is also replacing Microsoft Works—a set of productivity tools previously shipped for free with many Windows computers—with Office Starter, a basic edition of the software that contains a limited version of Word and Excel. Microsoft leaders argue that these free products will make consumers eager to purchase the full version of Office and gain access to programs such as PowerPoint and OneNote. But they aren’t taking any chances—Microsoft is spending $80 million on a new Office ad campaign.
Seeing the spill As the Gulf oil spill continues to wreak havoc on the shoreline, it’s becoming harder to see the extent of the spill. Jeffrey Yoo Warren, a fellow at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, has been using kites, cameras, and balloons to make inexpensive kits that can take photos of the oil spill. Donors are funding the project— called Grassroots Mapping— through the fundraising site Kickstarter, with photos viewable at grassrootsmapping.org. Warren is also working with an aerial imaging service to stitch the images together into a map. —A.W.
Driver’s aide Want a warning about gridlock before you’re sitting in a traffic jam? IBM is about to release a system that tracks the changing density of mobile phones along various roadways and sends messages to drivers to warn them of the impending trouble spot. To avoid simply shifting the lockup from one road to another, messages will be sent only to some drivers, with the goal of diverting some traffic to another road. In pilot tests in Singapore and Finland and on the New Jersey Turnpike, the system accurately predicted jams 85 percent to 95 percent of the time. A version of the system that would predict bus arrival times for riders is also undergoing a Singapore test. The analytics used in the system may be useful for predicting sewer flooding or even the most effective treatment for a cancer patient. —A.W.
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Notebook > Science
Cell division While San Francisco passes cell phone ordinance, studies on links to cancer are inconclusive By daniel james devine
Reacting to worries that the electromagnetic waves broadcast by cellular phones could cause brain cancer, the city of San Francisco on June 22 passed the “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance by a 10 to 1 vote. The law requires stores to display the radiation emission levels of every cell phone offered, thus advertising to customers the option of a phone with lower and presumably safer levels. But the cell phone industry says the ordinance will only confuse customers. The FCC already regulates cell phone radiation and doesn’t allow phones to be sold in the United States that exceed its established safety threshold. Furthermore, the link between cell phones and cancer is suffering from an acute lack of evidence. If you’re one of the world’s 4.6 billion cellular talkers, here’s good news: A recent study of 7,000 British children found no increased risk for cancer among those born or raised near cell phone towers. According to the American Cancer Society, of about 30 studies that have searched for a phone-tumor link, most found absolutely no correlation. In the largest project, researchers spent $24 million surveying 13,000 cell phone users in 13 countries over the course of 10 years. When the results were published in May, they were inconclusive—neither confirming nor denying a brain cancer connection. The uncomfortable problem in cases like this is that there are always a few studies reaching opposite conclusions. For instance, some research suggests that radio frequency radiation can indeed have a harmful effect on cells and DNA, and some Swedish studies claim to have found the ghostly tumor link. (Indian scientists even say cell phones cause honeybee colonies to decline when placed directly in the hive.) The alleged danger remains too doubtful to justify holding my Motorola at arm’s length and answering via speakerphone. I’ll hold out for more research. A study begun in April—the most massive yet—aims to track the health and cell phone habits of a quarter of a million Europeans for the next 30 years. That’s a long wait, but maybe it will settle the question for good.
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illustrations: krieg barrie
High-school chemistry refresher: Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of an atom and are surrounded by negatively charged electrons. Since at least the 1950s, the theory of quantum electrodynamics has successfully explained how protons and electrons interact. It’s also given a precise measurement for the radius of the proton: 0.8768 femtometers, which is under one-quadrillionth of a meter. But if a new particle accelerator experiment is correct—and dozens of scientists internationally believe that it is—protons may be 4 percent smaller than thought (a mere 0.84184 femtometers). In the context of quantum calculations, the 4 percent difference is “a very serious discrepancy,” in the words of one physicist. The experiment may force a second look at the commonly accepted model of quantum physics—or could indicate the existence of a previously unknown particle type. —D.J.D.
Notebook > Houses of God
The Modrý kostolík (“Blue Church”) or Church of St. Elisabeth is located in Bratislava, Slovakia. It was built between 1909 and 1913 under the architect Edmund Lechner from Budapest in the Art Nouveau style, and the Hungarian Secessionist Catholic structure is characterized by its blue-glazed plaster and roof tiles. J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
Notebook > Sports
Abdicating the crown
LeBron James is no longer captain, nor king By mark bergin
The Decision, as the hype machine at ESPN dubbed it, might better have been named The Disappointment. LeBron James’ hour-long special to announce the winner of his free-agent sweepstakes began as a balloon of hot air and ended with the distinct sucking sound of deflation when the former Cleveland Cavaliers star named the Miami Heat as his team of choice. NBA basketball fans in Cleveland reacted with anger and sadness, many feeling betrayed, used, and deceived. James claims he only decided on Miami in the days leading up to his announcement. But the similarity in the structure of his previous contract to that of fellow Miami-bound free agents Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade suggests a much older plan, one possibly dating back to 2006 when the three players each inked short-term deals.
Clevelanders were far from alone in their bitter sentiment. NBA fans in New York and Chicago took the news like a shot to the gut, too. Losing the LeBron sweepstakes to his hometown or the Big Apple or the Windy City would have been hard enough. But South Beach, to a Heat team already occupied by a do-everything superstar in Wade? It raises the question what exactly James is thinking, a question the media shills participating in The Decision never explored. Perhaps James was simply exhausted from seven years of being the man, seven years of taking final shots, seven years of single-handedly carrying the weight of pressure and expectation to win a title. Now, he is free from all of it. The Heat belong to Wade, a player who has never shirked from pressure-packed moments and never wilted in critical games of a playoff series as James did against the
Paul Goydos, an unassuming 46-year-old journeyman pro golfer with two career wins on the PGA Tour, has entered some of golf’s most rarified air. He shot 59 in the opening round of the John Deere Classic this month, an iconic single-round score that has eluded many of the game’s greats. In fact, the list of golfers to accomplish the feat is so short that it excludes the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, and Bobby Jones. Goydos joins just three other players who have broken 60 in PGA events. Amazingly, Steve Stricker nearly joined that exclusive club mere hours later when he fired a first-round 60. The historic achievement has happened only once on the LPGA Tour. —M.B.
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History of sub-60 rounds in the PGA and LPGA: SCORE YEAR
Bob Hope Classic
John Deere Classic
Memphis Classic (PGA tour)
Invitational (PGA tour)
Ping (LPGA Tour)
James: Mark Duncan/AP • James: J.Pat Carter/AP • Goydos: Charlie Neibergall/AP
Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals this year. James will make less money in Miami than he might have elsewhere, something he says is worth it for the chance to win a championship. But that appearance of propriety cannot mask the plain reality that this decision amounts to James shirking the responsibility that his talent demands of him. He has the skills to lead a team like Kobe Bryant and the presence to win titles like Michael Jordan. But he lacks the guts to realize that potential. Instead, he’ll play sidekick. He’ll follow Wade’s lead. That should disappoint NBA fans everywhere. In a league made by superstars, James has chosen to drop the super from his moniker. He is king no more, only a subject in the kingdom of Wade.
Workmen remove a LeBron James mural from a building in Cleveland.
Notebook > Money
Unsustainable Investor confidence in servicing U.S. debt could end “abruptly” By joseph slife
The Congressional Budget Office released its mid-year report on the federal government’s longterm budget outlook, once again warning that “an aging population and rapidly rising health care costs will boost outlays for Social Security benefits and sharply increase federal
“An aging population and rapidly rising health care costs will boost outlays for Social Security benefits and sharply increase federal spending for health care programs.”
spending for health care programs.” The budgetary arm of Congress noted that “unless revenues increase at a similar pace, such spending will cause federal debt to grow to unsustainable levels.” Another option: “Decrease spending significantly.” The CBO report cautioned that excessive U.S. government debt “could raise the probability of a fiscal crisis in which investors would lose confidence in the government’s willingness to fully honor its obligations,” thus forcing Washington “to pay much more for debt financing.” Such a loss of investor confidence “could occur abruptly,” the report warned.
Elder Care: shutterstock • credit cards: istock • sam’s club: handout • stamp: istock
Sam’s Club launched a pilot program offering loans of up to $25,000 to its small-business members. “As we surveyed small businesses, we found that many of them were not able to finance their operations,” company spokeswoman Kristy Reed said. The loan business, conducted mostly online, will be handled by Small Business Administration lender Superior Financial Group and will focus on “micro-entrepreneurs,” with an emphasis on businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans. —J.S.
Joseph Slife is the assistant editor of SoundMindInvesting.com
Although private-sector employment ticked upward in June—an increase of 83,000 jobs—the loss of more than 200,000 temporary census positions resulted in a net decrease of 125,000 “non-farm payroll jobs.” The Labor Department said the number of people classified as long-term unemployed—jobless for 27 weeks or more—remained unchanged at 6.8 million. Consumer bankruptcy filings hit 770,117 for the first six months of the year—a 14 percent increase over January to June 2009—with the highest filing rates in the Southwest and Southeast. “We expect that there will be more than 1.6 million . . . filings by year end,” said Sam Gerdano of the American Bankruptcy Institute. That would be one bankruptcy for every 70 households in the United States. —J.S.
Business down? Raise prices Facing a “dramatic, rapid and unprecedented decline in mail volume,” the U.S. Postal Service proposed making customers pay more to send mail—hoping to halve an expected $7 billion deficit by raising the price of first-class stamps to 46 cents (a 2-cent increase) and hiking the cost of sending packages and periodicals. “Unlike private sector businesses,” postal officials said in a filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission, “the Postal Service operates under constraints that inhibit its ability to respond quickly to exceptional market changes.” —J.S. J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
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REFORMATION WORSHIP CONFERENCE
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This program is made possible through a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.
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MAILBAG “How Mark Souder fell” (June 19) Mark Souder has been a good representative for our district since he was elected in 1994, so it was with regret and sadness that I learned of his fall. At the May primaries, as I marked my ballot, I wondered if the Washington political world had polluted his good intentions yet. How ironic. I pray for a time of restoration and healing. Terri Ellis, Howe, Ind.
Thank you for Emily Belz’s sensitive and informative article. We may train counselors, we may teach abstinence, we may try to treat sexual addiction, and we may hand out jewelry labeled “True Love Waits.” But until we deal with the relentless pornographic tone that colors our culture, we are kidding ourselves about making progress.
“Life over death” (June 19) Thank you for “Life over death” by Cody Holt. As a neonatal ICU nurse I come across many families who have chosen against abortion after learning that their child has a malformation or syndrome. Many times I have witnessed a diagnosis from a prenatal ultrasound that was inaccurate or altogether
wrong. Thank you to those who are trusting the Lord for peace and strength to care for their child regardless of the hardships. Emily Asay
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
I was moved to tears. My parents were told I would have “developmental problems” and that I had abnormal body proportions. Obviously, my parents did not take the doctors’ advice. I am now 17. I cannot describe how grateful I am to my parents for going God’s way, and for your article of hope. Monica Larcom Vail, Ariz.
Twenty-one years ago this month my wife decided to carry our son to term despite her doctor’s warning. At eight and a half months her body literally rejected the baby. She almost died, and our baby did die. She still has to be on blood thinners and has her blood checked weekly, has spent weeks in the hospital with blood clots, and struggles with poor eyesight due to the pregnancy. Yet to this day she repeatedly says she
Souder was “baffled” that he still “loved” his wife while engaged in an affair. Surely he means he still had feelings for his wife, but that is not love. When a man is engaged in adultery, he is not loving his wife; he is treating her with utter cruelty.
Village of Torotosy, Madagascar / submitted by jack franck around the world
Jonathan Philbrick Johnson City, N.Y.
Your story reminds me of the fact that there is no one on this planet, even a committed follower of Jesus, who isn’t capable of doing anything given the right circumstances. A wise individual has the guts to run away from temptation, and a fool thinks he has the will power to withstand it. Frank Nolton Woodbridge, Calif.
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A BETTER DEBATE
would still carry to full term, knowing that some day we will meet our son at heaven’s gate. Mark Miller Stockwell, Ind.
“The Father’s day” (June 19) This column was excellent. It is humbling to think how God the Father seeks us out because of His love for us. Joyce Moran St. Paul, Minn.
I was intrigued by “Unforgettable.” My only disappointment is that he wrote only of boys and their struggle with pornography. I, a girl, related to so much of what he wrote. I can still recall pictures once seen and memories that just don’t seem to fade away. Boys are not the only ones who remember. Jennifer Grimes, 17 Jacksonville, Texas
“Minimizing marriage” (June 19)
Most of us have heard the story of the prodigal son many times, but the colorful description that Andrée Seu gave us of the cultural values of that time period made the story much richer.
The June 19 issue was your best ever, going straight at some of the most thorny issues of our day. Marvin Olasky’s “Minimizing marriage” interview was spot on, as was “Unforgettable” on the effects of porn. Great work.
Don K. Jones
White Plains, N.Y.
“From Esther to evolution” (June 19)
Against All Gods What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism Phillip E. Johnson & John Mark Reynolds In this appreciative critique of the New Atheists, Phillip E. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds evaluate the strength of the arguments for atheism and naturalism. 978-0-8308-3738-0, $15.00 “Johnson and Reynolds are provocateurs in the best sense of that word. . . . This is not another apologetic response to the new atheists. It is a cultural analysis and critique of their claims.” —J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
How ironic that courageous scientists put their careers on the line to embrace the evidence for special creation while some theologians seem willing to turn away from any meaningful understanding of the trustworthiness of the Bible. Jim Nite
“Bargain bliss” (June 19) It was a good article and fine advice for today’s young couples. The greatest gift I opened on my wedding day 21 years ago was my wife’s heart. What counts isn’t so much what goes into the actual planning of the wedding but what one invests into the marriage. Todd W. Taylor
Amen to “From Esther to evolution.” As a filmmaker, I once led a six-week discussion at my local church in Chicago on the British film series “Origins,” which presented a solid and scientifically credible argument for creationism. My only hope was to show evidence that one could take Genesis literally and not be considered an intellectual pygmy. Several Christiancollege-educated adults complained to the pastor that my series was “shaking their faith” . . . in theistic evolution! John R. Hamilton Pasadena, Calif.
“Hillside hideaway” (June 19) Daniel Olasky’s article provided an inspirational look into caring for the needs of troubled children. However, we take issue with the assertion that the state foster-care system is “uncaring, unfeeling.” Thousands of Christian families, including ours, have opened their homes to foster and adoption services. We don’t agree with all aspects of the state system, but we are completely free to love, nurture, and protect the children within our home and church. Jim & Jo Ellen Haizlett
“Unforgettable” (June 19)
During testimonial time at summer camp in my freshman year of high school, several young men shared about their addiction to pornography. One told us that he had been addicted since the age of 12. Their testimonies were a real eye-opener, but these young men also told how they got help. There is hope out there. Olivia J. Correll Eugene, Ore.
“Thirty years war” (June 19) Your article was extremely meaningful to me as the older sister of several adopted siblings from China and Korea. My 3-year-old brother was abandoned in Shaanxi, China, as an infant because of a cleft lip and cleft palate, and we are in the process of adopting a 2-year-old boy from Wuhan. Because of birth
defects, many boys are abandoned in China, not just girls. I pray that children adopted from there might someday return to share the gospel.
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“The anti-evangelist” (June 19) Arsenio Orteza’s latest on David Bazan was great. Another Christian magazine published an extended interview with Bazan, but Orteza handled the whole sad story in a far more appropriate format. It is encouraging to read smart and smartly written takes on the voices that stroll across the world’s stage. Joe Martin Hampton, Va.
“Don’t head for the hills!” (June 5) It saddens me to see how many Christians forget that God’s kingdom is not of this world. If we were to truly believe in His sovereignty, how could we ever be pessimistic about the future? Thank you for not heading for the hills and, instead, pointing to the truth. Zach Scheller Mt. Vernon, Ind.
Stake-out I’m a homemaker with three children under age 4, so my hands are very full. I’ve found WORLD to be the best way to stay informed, and I find myself staking out the mailbox waiting for my next issue. Thanks for keeping me engaged! Mary Pantin
Grand Prairie, Texas
Corrections Novelist Bret Lott once worked for RC Cola (“Writers on writing,” July 3, p. 56). Lance Armstrong will compete for Team RadioShack at the 2010 Tour de France (Looking Ahead, July 3, p. 10).
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Moments in time
Small step by small step, we are all being transformed one way or another
got a photo in the mail. Taken a long time ago, it is a picture of five adult siblings, three brothers and two sisters, ages 33 to 43, posing informally for the camera on the front lawn of a ranchstyle house in Minnesota in the aftermath of a wedding in what seems to be late afternoon. There is nothing special about the photo. It was of interest to me only because one of the persons photographed is a friend of mine whom I didn’t know at the time. I was at first drawn in by a curiosity about what he looked like back then, and whatever else I might glean about him from this still-life celluloid record. I was seized by the odd realization that I possessed knowledge about all five of these individuals that they themselves did not know at the time some guest clicked a button and froze the moment forever. That is, I knew things about their future. After the slight interruption by that photographer, they would disperse and proceed along the paths that would inexorably lead them to where they are today—one divorced, one in prison, one with a child he gets to see on weekends, one brother estranged from another, a sister with regrets that she did not visit her brother in prison. The five had a posture of casual ease, on a day of clear blue skies when all’s right with the world and disaster is a remote possibility. I wanted to lunge into the picture and give warning: “Turn back! Please! You’re headed off a cliff!” Some of the suffering will be random and fortuitous, as men see randomness and fortuitousness. Some will be the organic outworking of their choices—the little choices they will make in the days, weeks, and years after the snapshot is taken; the choices they are each in the process of making, unknown to each other, on the day of the wedding. A counselor once told me that counselees often say to her they would never commit the horrendous acts you read about in the papers—adultery, Email: email@example.com
bribery, extortion, murder, or suicide. She responds, “Well, now you wouldn’t.” Then she explains to them that the person one is at the moment is not the person one will be next month. The you of today is horrified by the very idea of adultery. But every small choice you make in the course of a day—to tell a white lie, to disobey the Spirit in a trifling matter—changes the person you are in imperceptible ways. It works in both directions, of course. When Jesus said, “Be perfect,” He invited us to start on that road that leads, one shade of light to the next, to that transformation whose final destination is utter Christ-likeness: “And we, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). The problem is we are materialists. We figure that a little sloppiness is no big deal because we’re saved by grace and can get forgiveness for the small stuff any time we ask. When it is pointed out, by conscience or a neighbor, that we have transgressed in some matter, we sigh that we are sinners and let it go at that. On a parallel track, we warn ourselves against the heresy of works righteousness, and thus the gospel call to absolute discipleship is hamstrung at the gate. Every bit of food put in the mouth, every dab of paint put on the canvas, every building in a city razed and then replaced by another, changes the whole incrementally. Glorious or horrible destinations are reached one step at a time. “Strangers devour his strength, and he knows it not; gray hairs are sprinkled upon him, and he knows it not” (Hosea 7:9). I derive a salubrious soberness from the photograph in my hand. I will count no spoken word inconsequential. I will search my heart for stowaways of sin. I will ask the great Shepherd of the sheep to keep me from falling. This moment’s faith will position me for tomorrow’s. A J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0 W O R L D
A Christian at Carnegie Hall
Once driven and “difficult to love,” Leonardo Le San now loves to share his musical gifts
W O R L D J ul y 3 1 , 2 0 1 0
eligious Views: Christian.” An unusually bold declaration on Facebook from a musician playing Carnegie Hall in New York City, one of classical music’s sacred spots. It’s the end of June, and Leonardo Le San—a 32-yearold pianist and composer who immigrated from Colombia 18 years ago—is preparing for his Carnegie debut. As a teenager he had thought about playing Carnegie, but “I never thought I’d have the chance.” His path to Carnegie was winding, geographically and spiritually. No one owned a piano in the tiny, mountainous town in Colombia where he spent his first 14 years. He had training as a tenor and a guitar player, but not until he came to the United States did he learn English and study piano, eventually becoming a music major at the University of Delaware. What Le San had, he says, was “a terrible temper. Very aggressive. Driven. Insensitive to people. Running over whoever got in my way.” His family was Roman Catholic but Le San went his own way. Determination helped to make him a rising star: “I was the first person at the music school in the morning and the last to leave.” Determination also made him “difficult to love.” At the University of Delaware “I was getting to know college girls. They were far from their parents and had no restraint.” Then he met one who “was different, a Christian. I was impressed with her character and her ethics. She encouraged me to come to church.” He went and kept going for three months. Then Le San met Will Metzger, who has now been an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship college minister at the University of Delaware for 45 (count ’em) years. Metzger counseled and challenged him: Do not toy with God so as to win favor from a young woman. Le San went to a park for several hours, went over the Bible passages Metzger emphasized, prayed, repented. He changed. He joined Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Wilmington and is now a member of a PCA church in Philadelphia. He is now married
(although not to the young woman who originally brought him to church) and has a 1-year-old. Some musicians are haughty, but Le San has sacrificed for his family, until recently working as a courier to put bread on the table, and working for his brother’s moving company when he was short of workers. Some composers ignore those who helped them, but Le San calls and writes Metzger regularly. Some “high culture” artists look down at popular music, but Le San brings it into his compositions. Some proud musicians resent performing except in polished halls, but Le San performs two or three times each month in many kinds of venues, both for financial and ministry reasons: “I love to play for kids at schools. I love to play in retirement communities: They hug me and give me inspiration.” Nevertheless, Carnegie Hall is special: Just days before the concert, he told me, “I need to be in the best shape of my life.” And then, on the last Saturday in June, dressed in the pianist’s classic tailcoat, Le San strode onto a stage with a Steinway grand under a vaulted ceiling. He fluently opened with Beethoven and closed with Liszt. In between he played Chopin and Rachmaninoff, noting their emigrations: Chopin left Poland (Russian oppression was severe) and Rachmaninoff left Russia in 1917 when Communists seized power. Le San also played two of his own compositions. His Noctazia emphasizes the vibrating particles in a universe created like a musical composition—and the vibrations could be felt in the fifth row. His world premiere piece, The Voices of My Town, incorporated music from Colombian culture, tango tunes, and elements of jazz and blues (see the Bill Edgar interview on p. 28). The audience loved it. “I was happy,” Le San said later: “The audience was great.” The musician who was once driven and insensitive now wants to share his gift with all kinds of people. He has a humble con fidence that perhaps comes with the favorite quotation he lists on his Facebook page in reference to God: “If I am for you who can be against you?” A
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Published on Jul 31, 2010