• Engage

    What Meryl Streep (and we) can learn from Alabama v Clemson football and the “Fixer Upper” Gaines

    Last Sunday Meryl Streep disappointed millions when she used her professional platform at the Golden Globes award show to hammer Donald Trump and drive a deeper wedge between deeply divided Americans. Full disclosure: I have been a solid Meryl Streep fan for years. Any actor who can play “the devil” wearing Prada and a no-talent, deluded socialite in Florence Foster Jenkins displays a tremendous range. (I reviewed her “formidable talent” in Florence here.) The thing is, I get her critical remarks about President-elect Donald Trump. Although I think she chose the wrong example. Trump’s attack on a disabled reporter is in deep dispute. However there are plenty of other examples that aren’t. I’ve posted about how his philosophy of hitting…

  • Engage

    Manners Matter

    For the past four days, I've walked the streets of Washington, D.C., with a group of eighty-nine 8th graders and twenty other chaperones. We averaged 9 miles—walking—daily, from monument to museum to house of government and back again. Beautiful June weather also meant we encountered other tourists, which added to the crowds and waiting time. Most 13- and 14-year-olds I know aren't the most observant, patient, and thoughtful people. But that's what chaperones are for, right? To guide their behavior, to watch out for them in unfamiliar territory, to help them see the significance of their surroundings. To warn them not to hog the sidewalk so people can pass by in…

  • Engage

    The Commencement Address I’ll Never Get to Give

    Graduations mean commencement addresses. Most of which are eminently forgettable, containing feel-good charges to go do great stuff and change the world. But in my experience, they’re always given by men, who are some kind of celebrity. I am neither. But I have a few thoughts on practical life lessons that newly-minted graduates might use. “Hey graduates, congratulations. You made it to the cap-and-gown stage. Not without a lot of help and prodding and prayers and frustration from your parents though, right? Thank them. There’s not a single thing you are or do or have that they didn’t have a part in. Thank them again. “Speaking of thanking, one of…

  • Engage

    Is Peter Insulting Women? Part 2

    Go here for part I.  In the apostle Peter’s first epistle he writes some words that can trip up the twenty-first-century reader. Both his instruction to wives and to husbands can make us say, “Whoa! What?” After telling wives to have gentle, quiet spirits, Peter adds an example: “Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear (1 Pet. 3:1–6). He goes on to tell the husbands to live with their wives “according to knowledge” because—and here’s the kicker—she is the “weaker vessel” (v. 7). Are today’s wives to call their husbands “master”? Are women…