The Smithsonian has a collection of photographs that are believed to be the first ever taken of the city of Jerusalem. The photos were taken in 1844 by French photographer, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey.
"Speak Truth To Power" is a collection of moving and powerful photographs by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams. The exhibit is sponsored by the Robert F. Kennedy Center.
The images document courage by featuring human rights defenders around the globe. The exhibition examines human rights by highlighting issues such as nuclear disarmament, children in war, environmental activism, and religious self-determination.
The RFK Center’s "Speak Truth To Power" exhibition, currently at Baltimore/Washington's Thurgood Marshall Airport, has traveled to more than 20 cities around the world since its initial launch at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. See photos here.
The New Mexico state motto is "Land of Enchantment." It fits. From the New Mexio Rockies, through mesa country, into the southern desert, the land has an ethereal, almost mystical, quality. Granted, in 15 hours it can get somewhat monotonous, but then so can the topography pretty much any place.
To go from Denver to Tucson, you make one turn. You drive 10 hours south on I-25, turn right and drive 5 hours west on I-10. For the first three hours, you move along the front range of the Colorado Rockies, then drop out of Raton Pass into northern New Mexico.
The first real town of any size is Las Vegas, NM. If it's lunch-time, go downtown to the old Plaza Hotel. Last time I was there was for Sunday brunch, and it was accompanied by a fine performance by a local folk-singer.
From Las Vegas to Santa Fe is about an hour. Along the way is Glorieta, which was the site of the western-most battle of the Civil War, a Union victory. About 3000 Confederates got it in their head to attack west. Their ultimate goal was said to be capturing San Francisco and turning California Confederate. This was quite an ambitious strategy, which, in any case, was foiled by Union soldiers at Glorieta.
Santa Fe--the "City Different"--is its own unique experience. Until about 20 years ago, Santa Fe was roughly a third Anglo, a third Native American, and a third Hispanic. Unfortunately, having been discovered by the plutocrat crowd, Santa Fe has now become a majority-Anglo city. Definitely visit the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, the Palace of the Governors, and the Indian Museum of Arts and Culture.
Santa Fe has several notable churches. The Cathedral of St. Francis is right at Plaza Square in the heart of the city. (Plaza Square is the end-point of the Santa Fe Trail.) The Loretto Chapel is interesting because of the weird legend about a mysterious stranger who built the winding staircase. The architecture is gothic, however, which seems out-of-place in a city of abode.
Christo Rey, however, is a classic example of southwest mission architecture. Personally, my favorite is the Sanctuario de Guadalupe (photo). The archdioceses' collection of New Mexican santos (holy pictures) is here as well as a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe painted by renowned artist, Jose de Alzibar.
North out of Santa Fe is Taos, one-time home of Kit Carson and, in the 1930's, some of the southwest artists, such as Walter Ufer and Bert Geer Phillips.
Also north is the small town of Chimayo. Visit the Sanctuario Chimayo, one of the early Catholic missions of the southwest. The sanctuary itself is a great example of hispanic folk art.
Off to the side of the sanctuary is a room the walls of which are festooned with walkers and crutches from the people who were healed by the "healing dirt" of Sanctuario Chimayo. You can take some for yourself from a hole in the floor.
Also worth a visit is Bandolier National Monument, a cliff-dwelling site once occupied by the mysterious Anasazi. The rock walls were formed from lava and contain a number of "bubbles." The people lived in these "bubbles." It is unlike any other Anasazi site in the southwest.
If you're up for an adventure, take the highway northwest out of Albuquerque and head for Chaco Canyon. Northwest New Mexico can be pretty bleak. Look for the turn-off to Chaco, which, last time I was there, was a dirt road that extended for thirty miles. It's worth it, though. Eventually, you drop off into a canyon, turn a corner, and there stands the oldest ruins of North America, occupied by the Anasazi around AD 900, about a century before it's believed Mesa Verde was founded.
For the longest sustained beautiful drive in America, try the seven-hour jaunt from Santa Fe through Abiquiu (one time home of Georgia O'Keefe), to Chama, NM, then north to Ouray and Montrose in Colorado. Try the Chama Toltec scenic railroad in Chama, or drive north to Durango and take the Durango-Silverton line. For an end-of-the-trail meal, try the restaurant at the St. Elmo in Ouray or the Glenn Eyrie in Montrose.
Even though Timothy Dalrymple says "the point here is not really about sex," he nevertheless titled his article, "The Young Christian's Guide to Sex at Seminary." The seminary in question is Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Dalrymple, an evangelical, expresses shock at finding out that some of his Princeton Seminary classmates had sex and drank beer. This is the first half of the article. The second half is that these seminarians' moral laxity is an outward symptom of mainline protestantism's vacuous moral center.
While saying, on the one hand, that Princeton seminary is a "fine institution" and that his fellow seminarians were "good people" whom he loves and respects, he managed, on the other hand, to accuse them of disobeying God and not loving Jesus very much either. With such "friends," who needs enemies?
I'm a graduate of Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. My seminary, at least in regard to sex, was nothing like the Princeton that Dalrymple describes. It's been awhile since my seminary years, but I don't remember being aware of any pre-marital sexual activity, for example, and certainly not any extra-marital activity.
Then again, it wasn't a topic that was of very much interest. Unlike Dalrymple, most of us Lutheran seminarians were not raised to regard premarital sex as "grave sin" against which we "were most gravely and constantly warned." Sexuality is just like everything else. It can be, and often is, tainted with sin. We didn't see anything particularly special about it.
We did drink beer, however. Wartburg is a Lutheran seminary, after all, and we Lutherans have never been particularly abstemious about alcohol. Lutheranism began in Germany, and trying to get the Germans to stop drinking beer is not the path to peace and prosperity. (Katie Luther herself made the brew in the Luther household.)
In fact, Wartburg had a tradition of "spiritual formation" on Thursday evenings which amounted to making the trek across the Mighty Mississip to East Dubuque to Mulgrew's bar. The former seminary president, the late and beloved Bill Weiblen, is the one who initiated me into this hallowed practice. In my world, beer and theology have been partners for at least 500 years.
Dalrymple's more interesting point is that the faith and ministry that were modeled at Princeton (PTS) were mostly about "the aesthetics, the atmospherics, the experience, the rites and rhythms of church life, and not enough about plunging ever-more deeply into (to use the dreaded evangelical language) a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by which I mean the day-to-day and moment-to-moment yielding-to and being-with Jesus."
I take exception to the language with which he expresses it--more later--but his basic point seems to be that mainline seminary life can be hazardous to your spiritual health. I think he is wrong on the point, but it is certainly true that seminary life can be a challenge to your faith.
You find out that most of your brilliant theological insights were condemned as heresies in the fourth century--and for good reason too! You find out that pious fluff might have impressed your relatives, but it won't get you out of Systematics 101. This is upsetting!
It's also good for you. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if your faith isn't re-examined, re-wrestled, re-worked, and re-integrated through your seminary experience, then you missed the most important part of seminary education.
Basically, Dalrymple faults Princeton for not being evangelical. His mistake is to assume that not using evangelical language, or not viewing the world through an evangelical lens, means that a person, or a seminary, is not sufficiently Christian.
Faithful people can see things differently. Dalrymple may not care for the "aesthetics" and "atmospherics," but, at my seminary, the "aesthetics" and the "atmospherics" were--and are--critical elements of our spiritual life and spiritual formation. When evangelicals need encouragement in the faith, they talk about their personal faith in Jesus. When Lutherans need encouragement in the faith, we do a liturgy.
It is on precisely this point, in fact, that mainliners, and especially Lutherans, find evangelicalism lacking. Evangelicals have gone out of their way to strip the faith of "aesthetics" and "atmospherics." The early evangelicals threw out stained glass and statues. Today, evangelical churches look like shopping malls.
Without "aesthetics" and "atmospherics"--or, as we see it, without the richness and texture of the "catholic substance" of the faith--the Christian message is truncated. Where is the beauty? Where is that which engages not only head but heart? Without art, Christianity is reduced to mere dogma.
It is not fair, of course, to hold Dalrymple to a Lutheran standard, any more than it is fair of him to hold mainliners to an evangelical one. He writes, "I have always drawn closest to God when I have been obedient to him." My guess is that such sentiments are common at an evangelical seminary, but might be unusual at a Lutheran one.
"Lutheran irony" informs us that it is precisely when we are most spiritually cocksure of ourselves that spiritual danger is closest at hand. As soon as you start patting yourself on the back for how righteous you are, the devil has you in his hip pocket.
As Reinhold Niebuhr once put it, “Human pride and arrogance rise to new heights precisely at the point where the claims of sanctity are made without due qualification.” Or, as my seminary advisor also put it, "Piety can be the deepest form of idolatry."
In taking mainliners to task, Dalrymple makes no reference to any particular Biblical teaching. It appears he believes that his evangelical childhood was, without question, Biblical. He seems to assume that the mores and customs he was taught growing up in an evangelical household pretty much are the Christian faith.
That being the case, it's not surprising that he thinks evangelicals understand the Bible better without seminary training than mainliners do with it:
For instance, students (like myself) who had attended Bible churches or belonged to evangelical fellowships knew the Bible on the first day of the year-long survey course as well as the rest of the students knew the Bible on the final day of that course.
Even allowing for rhetorical license, I doubt that very much.
The word most often associated with Steve Jobs appears to be "visionary." Almost every article about the man includes the word in the first paragraph. It's not just hyperbole in Jobs' case. He holds 317 patents--and most of them are for cool products.
What I most appreciate about the man is the sense of style and taste he brought to technology. I'm a Mac convert, not so much because the product is stable, although it is, and not so much because it does more than a PC, which it does not.
I like my MacBook Pro because it feels good in my hands when I carry it. Its' one-piece aluminum construction is strong and sleek, its' design simple and elegant. Steve Jobs did that. Says the New York Times:
He put much stock in the notion of “taste,” a word he used frequently. It was a sensibility that shone in products that looked like works of art and delighted users. Great products, he said, were a triumph of taste, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then trying to bring those things into what you are doing.”
That quality may very well be irreplaceable. Apple's released its new iPhone two days ago, mostly to yawns from the technology press. It's too soon to say, of course, but Apple has some huge shoes to fill if it's to continue at its current level of excellence, which includes not only performance but appearance.
Visionary, creative genius, inventor and innovator, redefiner and titan of his industry--the Berkeley hippie did well! Said Bill Gates, "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come."