Is Jerusalem embassy part of God’s grand plan? Why some evangelicals love Israel

16 May

(RNS) — On Monday (May 14), the Trump administration unveiled its new Jerusalem embassy. Many American evangelicals cheered because they understood the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the “once and eternal” capital of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

Trump chose two evangelical ministers to offer prayers at the dedication of the embassy. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, delivered the invocation. John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, gave the benediction.

Both clergymen adhere to dispensationalism, a theology informed by a literal reading of biblical prophecy. Most Americans have never heard the term “dispensationalism,” but they might have been exposed to this view of history through the popular “Left Behind” novels published in the 1990s and 2000s by Christian authors Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

So begins my friend John Fea’s post at Religion News Service. You may read his entire piece here.

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Understanding nakba and the recent past for Palestinians: a history lesson

15 May

Hussein Ibish provides a concise historical account of Palestinian history in relation to nakba. You may read his entire post at The Atlantic here.

Papers of President Woodrow Wilson Now Online

15 May

The Library of Congress now has Woodrow Wilson’s Papers online. You may read the official post, with link, here.

One Hundred Years Ago, the Harlem Hellfighters Bravely Led the U.S. Into WWI

14 May

Members of the 369th [African American] Infantry

Private Henry Johnson of Albany, New York, held tight his French Lebel rifle and stared into the darkness of no-man’s-land, listening for German raiders. Beyond the parapet, he could make out shapes and shadows under the waning moon.

Johnson was a 25-year-old railroad baggage porter, the son of North Carolina tobacco farmers. Under French command, he manned the front line of the Great War about 115 miles east of Paris on the early morning of May 15, 1918.

He heard a sound and turned to his partner in their tiny observation post, Needham Roberts, who gestured toward the direction of the noise. They heard it again: the snip of barbed wire being cut.

So begins Erick Trickey’s concise story of the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. You may read the entire centennial post at Smithsonian.com here.

The Woman Who Transformed How We Teach Geography

14 May

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Baber2.jpg

On the morning of October 30, 1916, Zonia Baber stood in front of four hundred government officials and leaders in the arts and sciences and told them to go to hell.

As a representative of the University of Chicago, where she taught geography, Baber was testifying in court on behalf of the Sand Dunes of Indiana, which she argued were deserving of National Park status. She concluded by saying: “I can truthfully say that I should like to believe in the old orthodox Hades for the people who will not save the dunes now for the people who are to come.” Today, the sand dunes are part of the protected Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

So begins Leila McNeill’s concise account of Zonia Baber’s contributions to the field of geography. You may read the rest of her Smithsonian.com post here.

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On why barns are so often red.

9 May

<em>A stunningly red barn in Crook County, north of Moorcroft, Wyoming.</em> Photograph by Carol Highsmith, 2015-08-22. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.34177

At the Library of Congress site, Lara Szypszak discovers the origins of red for barns. You can read about it, and see some more photographs, here.

 

 

Siouxland Ozymandias

8 May

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Oddly enough, the empire began by way of a very sore bum. An Englishman named William Brooks Close, who, with his brothers, was in Philadelphia for a rowing match in 1876, so banged up his posterior in practice, that he could not sit without pillows. While the rest of the crew continued to work out, but he had to sit out.

So my friend Jim Schaap begins his latest regional story at KWIT–this time, about the Close brothers of England who purchased large quantities of Siouxland acres in the 1870s and 1880s. You may read his entire story here.

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