Another Shooting in Colorado Springs

Maybe you heard about the shootings in Colorado Springs today. Four dead, including the shooter. They happened not too far from my hotel this morning. I didn’t hear about them till later this afternoon, after the Benedict Option event. The man who told me about them had been at my talk. His name is David Works. He went on to say that he appreciated what I had to say in my talk about how the church in America has no real idea how to deal with suffering, or how to talk about it, and how we need to do a much better job of it.

“You talked about the martyrs,” he said. “My two teenage daughters were martyrs.”

“What?” I said.

David Works is the man in this story from 2007:

Even though the Colorado shooter may have killed their two daughters, devout Christians David and Marie Works said Thursday morning their faith has helped them to forgive the gunman and find peace in knowing that Stephanie and Rachel Works are in heaven.

Appearing in an exclusive interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” David Works said the family was leaving New Life Church in Colorado Springs for burgers and shakes when he heard a “pop” and saw the gunman, Matthew Murray, making his way to the parking lot armed with an assault rifle.

“I screamed at everybody to get down, that there’s a shooter out there,” recalled the teenage sisters’ father.

Upon seeing his 16-year-old daughter Rachel fall to the pavement, Works said he tried to rush to her side but was stopped short by the gunman.

“I saw him again point the gun and, uh felt my belly rip, and fell to the pavement, not having gotten to Rachel all the way,” described Works in recounting the horror of their Dec. 14 encounter.

His wife, Marie, meanwhile, was trying to help the couple’s 18-year-old daughter Stephanie.

“I saw lots of blood coming out of her nose,” said Marie. “And I thought, she’s been hit in the head, that – and then I started to look for a pulse and I couldn’t find a pulse. And I was fairly sure that she was gone.”

He showed me a scar on his abdomen from where he took a bullet that day. The gunman, Matthew Murray, hated Christians:

“You christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray writes in his 452-word harangue. “I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill.

“Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

After hearing his story, I asked David Works how on earth he found the strength to endure such suffering. He shrugged and said with a gentle smile, “I figure if a man can rise from the dead, anything is possible.”

David and Marie Works appeared …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Universities Help SJWs Ruin Halloween

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The hathos never quits:

Universities are nipping politically incorrect costumes in the bud this Halloween. Some have put up sensitivity flowcharts and flyers with the phone numbers of consultants students can call to make sure their costume doesn’t offend anyone.

“Unsure if your costume is offensive? Don’t be scared to ask questions,” a State University of New York at Geneseo poster reads, with the contact information of no less than five campus officials listed below.

If that wasn’t enough, Geneseo also provided a flowchart to show them the way of inclusive Halloween partying.

Look:

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Ben Op in Colorado Springs

Greetings from Colorado Springs. I had a great time last night talking about Dante to a big group of folks at an event sponsored by the Anselm Society, a very cool organization based in Holy Trinity Anglican Church and dedicated to the Christian imagination. Throughout the day on Friday, I met and talked with people connected to the Anselm Society, and involved in local churches. I was surprised and gratified to discover that people here have already been talking about the Benedict Option, and want to know more about it. (There’s a Saturday afternoon Ben Op meeting set for downtown COS; I think it’s sold out, but in case not, more info is here).

Everybody I’ve talked to so far in COS is Evangelical. Interestingly, I’ve had far more interest in the Benedict Option from Evangelicals than from Catholics. Anyway, what I’m hearing is serious concern from these Evangelicals that their churches are failing the younger generation by

not grounding them seriously enough in the Bible
making worship all about entertainment, thereby cultivating in them the idea that church is all about avoiding boredom
failing at discipleship

At a group discussion around a long table in a pub earlier last evening, I confessed to the others (all Evangelicals) that I don’t know the Evangelical world well, but I had always admired Evangelicals from a distance for doing a good job teaching the Bible. At that, lots of heads around the table shook, saying, No. Several people said that young Evangelicals today know very little about the Bible. An academic theologian at the table visiting from out of town said that at the Evangelical seminary where she teaches, they’re starting to see students show up for M.Divs who have no religious faith at all. They are searching for God, and hoping to find him in graduate school.

I asked her if she had seen the NYT story about secular people entering divinity school. She had, and said it was on target. Here’s an excerpt from that piece:

Two factors are driving this surge. First, the proportion of nones in the United States has grown to about a third of all millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center. Second, divinity school offers even atheists and spiritual seekers a language of moral discourse and training in congregational leadership. The traits appeal to nones who aspire to careers in activism, social work, chaplaincy or community organizing rather than taking to a pulpit.

“Nones are not entirely opposed to religious traditions, though they don’t attach to a specific one,” said Eboo Patel, the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, who has seen the trend while visiting campuses. “No small part of them are attracted to the search for social justice and for spiritual meaning. And they recognize those things as the fruits of religious tradition. So it makes sense to go to a place where you can study religious tradition.”

Within higher education, divinity programs often …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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SJWs Ruin NYU Fall Ball

At New York University, some insane SJW law students sent this “open letter” to the deans out to the entire student body via the campus listserv. (Yes, this blog has readers at NYU):

Dear Dean Jason Belk and Dean Trevor Morrison,

The Mental Health Law and Justice Association writes this open letter in order to express grave concern and outrage at the triggering, disrespectful, and harmful suicide imagery displayed at Fall Ball.

During last night’s Fall Ball, which was organized by NYU Law’s Office of Student Affairs, there were video projections on the windows inside of Greenberg Lounge of silhouetted people engaging in what we can only imagine were intended to be “spooky” activities. One of the images projected displayed a man dying by suicide. Because MHLJA follows the recommendations of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to not discuss suicide methods and firmly believes in publishing content that is safe for all members of our community, we will not provide any more details about the projection. However, members of our organization do have photographs of the images, should your administration need corroboration.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses. Worldwide, someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds. For members of our community who have lost someone to suicide or who have had personal experiences, this topic is not a Halloween gimmick.

In addition to the suicide imagery, MHLJA condemns other projections displayed, which showed violence against women and interpersonal violence.

Our campus should be a safe space for all members of our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Violence and the difficult mental health challenges people face are not a joke, a gimmick, or a spectacle.

In addition to publicly expressing our concern, the Mental Health Law and Justice Association makes itself available to all members of our community who would like to find a safe and welcoming space to reflect on these issues. We encourage all who are interested to reach out to us by emailing vbl216@nyu.edu or skg356@nyu.edu. We also encourage all students who may have been triggered yesterday to visit NYU Counseling and Wellness, located at 726 Broadway, 4th Floor, Suite 402. Walk-in hours are available today from 10am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 3pm, and Monday – Thursday 10am-8:30pm. At the end of this letter, you can also find a list of off-campus resources.

To all members of our community: If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please seek help. You are important to us and we want you to stay.

Because we believe that this unfortunate situation is the result of the stigma surrounding mental health and widespread misunderstanding of suicide, the Mental Health Law and Justice Association will be hosting an event on suicide prevention at the law school. Anyone who would like to be involved in helping us plan this event can contact vbl216@nyu.edu or skg356@nyu.edu.

Dean Belk and Dean Morrison, we urge you …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Halloween and the Loss of Fear

What is Halloween really about? The Atlantic‘s Megan Garber notes that, while it “used to revolve around, and revel in, familiarized fear—as the night before All Souls’ Day, it was historically celebrated as a time of communion between the living and the dead,” the holiday has increasingly changed as it’s become secularized (and commercialized):

[Halloween is] primarily about fun. Spectacle long ago replaced scariness as the core driver of Halloween festivities among both kids and adults, aided by the Costume Industrial Complex and the assorted quirks of the “one night stand” and the “Freudian slip” and the “cereal killer,” and also of the “9 Clever Costumes for Punny Procrastinators” and the “21 Insanely Clever Costume Ideas for You and Your Friends” and the “29 Halloween Costumes That Will Make You Nostalgic” and the “67 Awesome Halloween Costume Ideas.”

…Costumes, by their nature, are about thwarting social norms (the word stems from the Latin consuetudinem, or “custom, habit, usage”); when they collide with the current culture’s emphasis on creativity, however, they transform Halloween from a holiday into an excuse. For experimentation, for crossing lines, for dabbling with otherness. Our forebears may have spent All Hallows’ Eve fighting against goblins and ghosts; we, for our part, battle our Ids.

This reminded me of the consideration of identity Wesley Morris wrote for the New York Times a few weeks ago—he writes of a world obsessed with image, and with the flexibility/translatability of that image in a modern era. He writes of a people who, detached from spirituality and tradition, are able to build their own definitions of the self and the good life. Could it be that Halloween, too, has become less about “the other” and more about our selves and how we want to define them—be it as a “sexy librarian” or a Superman?

Mark Tapson writes for Acculturated that people have traditionally liked Halloween—and the accompanying horror stories, haunted mazes, and creepy houses that come with it—because they like to be scared: because they like to consider the fact that there might still be something “else” out there, something besides our selves:

We are drawn to tales of ghosts and vampires and other creepy mysteries that point beyond human nature because we crave a direct experience of the supernatural, especially in a world in which the ascendance of atheism and the hostility of some prominent scientists to the supernatural has diminished that experience. … On one level, movies like The Sixth Sense and The Others are just Hollywood entertainment, but they affect us at least in part because on a deeper level they are also a chilling reminder of the ineffable veil that separates the living from the dead, the tangible from the intangible, the known from the unknown. We don’t know for certain what lies beyond that veil, but deep down we know it is there and the thought of breaking through that …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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SJWs Ruin Halloween

What is it going to take to stop these idiots? A trip to Mardi Gras? Help, help, they’re being microaggressed by costumes!:

Pocahontas, Caitlyn Jenner and Pancho Villa are no-nos. Also off-limits are geisha girls and samurai warriors — even, some say, if the wearer is Japanese. Among acceptable options, innocuous ones lead the pack: a Crayola crayon, a cup of Starbucks coffee, or the striped-cap-wearing protagonist of the “Where’s Waldo?” books.

As colleges debate the lines between cultural sensitivity and free speech, they are issuing recommendations for Halloween costumes on campus, aimed at fending off even a hint of offense in students’ choice of attire. Using the fairly new yardstick of cultural appropriation — which means pretending for fun or profit to be a member of an ethnic, racial or gender group to which you do not belong — schools, student groups and fraternity associations are sending a message that can be summed up in five words: It is dangerous to pretend.

“If there’s a gray line, it’s always best to stay away from it,” said Mitchell Chen, 21, a microbiology major and director of diversity efforts at the Associated Students of the University of Washington. The university emailed to all students this week a six-minute video of what not to do for Halloween.

“If there’s a gray line, it’s always best to stay away from it.” That could be the motto for an entire generation.

Watch the video. If you go to this SJW-infested university, you should basically stay home on Halloween. Somebody, somewhere, is bound to be butthurt by anything you do.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Racist, Sexist, the Usual

JStone / Shutterstock.com

JStone / Shutterstock.com

The only thing wrong with this post by Villanova theologian Katie Grimes is that it’s not longer:

Here’s my take on why Rod Dreher and his ilk are so obsessed with me: first, I am a woman who dares to do theology that does not flatter the male ego, and second, I am a WHITE female who praises, loves, and calls a “theologian” a black man like Tupac. Perhaps it is this last offense that enrages him the most. Tupac has earned a title that he has fallen short of.

More, please. I beg you.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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The Week’s Most Interesting Reads

The real winner in Yemen could be Al Qaeda. Stephen Snyder reports on the gains made by AQAP as a result of the Saudi-led intervention.

Al Qaeda gains in Yemen. Ayisha Amr reports on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s control of the city of Mukalla in eastern Yemen.

Acknowledging Saudi abuses and crimes. Nicholas Kristof calls for more criticism of the Saudis’ abuses at home and in Yemen.

Out of Eritrea. Goitom Gebreluel explains why so many Eritreans are fleeing their country.

Saturn’s amazing snowball moon. Alan Taylor presents a series of photos of the moon Enceladus taken by the Cassini orbiter.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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