Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tragedy at Virginia Tech

Words are inconsequential when something like the Virginia Tech shootings happens, so I won't address that. Those young people and professors will never, ever get past it. We should not either. Thank goodness for Nikki Giovanni, who said as much yesterday at the memorial service. I'm so sick of people saying, "Get on with your life" after unspeakable tragedies. That does nothing but make more guilt and serve our emotional attention deficit disorder.

What I do want to address is the oddity of a date. During the week of April 19-20, the following have happened.
Hitler's birthday April 20.
Holocaust Remembrance Day April 15
Ruby Ridge April 19
Columbine April 19
Waco Burning April 19
Oklahoma City Bombing April 19
Virginia Tech April 16

Why? At least some of these were related to, perhaps even committed because of, the first two. I will not speculate; it almost seems like some center of gravity for evil exists at this time. But that's too mystical; I only want to point out the oddness of the coincidence.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I have atttempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to observe the passion week and will celebrate the Resurrection tomorrow. I've been sick and overbusy, but have tried to see the passion anew. We become far too familiar with it. Jesus died for (because of, in place of the punishment for) our sins. Maybe we should also say, Jesus died as our sins. "He became sin for us who knew no sin." There are several New Testament references to this facet of the cross. As I heard a Christian radio host say this morning, we should face holy week in silence, and if we really want to understand the emotion of the cross, we should read the Old Testament, especially Isaiah 53 and some of the psalms.

As our sins, Jesus bore all our shame. It hit me this morning that Christ was naked on the cross. Truly naked. The Romans didn't care, and some of the Jews would have perhaps taken an evil pleasure in how violated this made their enemy. And how hard this would have been for his followers to see this. He was put to an open shame. And somehow that made me finally get it, the depth of all the sacrifice. I got the suffering part, but not the shame part, not the "total identification with our sin" part.

And tomorrow, we face the day that marks history. The day that makes us who we are. Christos Anesthe, Alethes anesthe. (pardon the poor Greek)

Text of my presentation at Southern States Communication Conference on Open Educational Resources

On April 8 I spoke at SSCA on the subject of Open Educational Resources.  Here is the text of my remarks. The University System of Geo...