One of the routine, and often daily, events in American corporate life is yet another hack or attempted hack of a company’s computer systems. A significant source of the hacks is the People’s Republic of China. The targets tend to be companies involved with cutting-edge technology. This is news to no one; it’s occasionally reported. But the Chinese government has another focus of activity – neutralizing perceived internal threats. More than a million members of ethnic minorities, most of them Muslim, are in internment camps, required to do forced labor. Some of that labor has been found to make sports clothes for the U.S. market.
And it isn’t only Muslims who are being arrested and imprisoned. Christians are being rounded up as well. A minister who disappeared last week had given a statement to friends to publish in the event he suddenly was gone, and he explains why he had to engage in faithful disobedience. I read that story about forced labor, and the statement by the pastor, and I have to think what it means every time I buy something “made in China.” And how difficult it becomes to buy something not “made in China.”
Christmas Roundup: It’s that time of the year, and I’ve found a veritable explosion of articles, posts, and poems about Christmas. Here are a few of best:
“Silent Night” turns 200 this year; Edward Schmidt at America Magazine asks if it’s the great Christmas song ever. Lynn Mosher asks where’s the joy of Christmas, and then poses a test to see how well you think you know the Christmas story. Eleanor Parker looks at an Anglo-Saxon poem inspired by the texts sung at Vespers at Advent. Jerry Barrett at Gerald the Writer has two Christmas poems: December Crawl and Singing Silently. Kingdom Poets posted a beautiful poem by Rochard Wilbur, A Christmas Hymn. And Joseph Mussomeli at The Imaginative Conservative has a great take on a popular song, The Twelve Ways to Christmas.
Everything is politicized these days, and if something’s politicized, it means there must always be a political solution (it’s a power thing). Take friendship. Lester Berg (a pseudonym) is a literary writer living in Brooklyn; he’s got all the appropriate bonafides, except he voted for you know whom. You can guess what happened. And Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition is spitting into the media narrative wind by factually assessing the claim that “81 percent of evangelicals” voted for you know whom.
More Good Reads
How Caring for the Poor Led to the Beginnings of Capitalism – Dr. Glenn Sunshine at the Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics.
The Number 1 Reason for the Decline in Church Attendance,,,and Five Ways to Address It – Thom Rainer at Lifeway Facts & Trends.
Rest for the Weary – Eileen Knowles at The Scenic Route.
Writing and Literature
A Literary Pursuit of Beauty, Grace, and Truth – Michele Morin at Living Our Days.
Why do you do this? – Janet Reid, Literary Agent.
Reign of Love: The Fiction of Wendell Berry – Eric Miller at Commonweal.
Time to Schedule Your Writing Life Tune-up – Ann Kroeker.
Fredericksburg: The Way They Saw It – Sarah Kay Bierle at Emerging Civil War.
Life and Culture
Humiliation Over Honor: The Long Term Impact Of Our Cultural Losses – Scott Savage at Thin Difference.
What Happens When an Evangelical Pundit, Armed Only with 58K Twitter Followers and a Reference to the Bebbington Quadrilateral, Takes on a Historian – John Fea at The Way to Improvement Leads Home.
How to Change the World in 2019: Reduce Anger – Zak Schmoll at Entering the Public Square.
Somewhere Else Entirely – Ruth Fainlight at The Hudson Review.
Leeks – Richard Spilman at Image Journal.
Art and Photography
Elise Ritter - Maureen Doallas at Escape into Life.
Building an Image: The first glazing layers of “Thomas Touching the Side of Christ” – Jack Baumgartner at The School for the Transfer of Energy.
Water World – Tim Good at Pixels.
Hanukah 2017 – Tom Darin via Facebook.
Where Are You Christmas? – The Piano Guys with Sarah Schmidt
Painting: Wife Helen Reading, oil on canvas by Frederick Serger (1889-1965).
Always a gift to be on your list!
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