Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What is Restorative Justice? A helpful, short summary


I'm not familiar with this summer camp, but I found their short video to be very helpful in explaining Restorative Justice in a non-sensationalist way and without getting bogged down into the many RJ practices that you may associate with RJ.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Teaching the EO



Relevant to the legal challenge to the EO....
14th Amendment
U.S. Code 1182 (Federal statute passed by Congress)

So that you can be informed as you debate this EO, read it!
Text of the Executive Order

The ACLU's argument regarding the "establishment clause," which relies heavily on intent
We'll See You in Court

How controlling is intent?
Turley debates Katyal
"the justice Department attorneys are in a fetal position every time anyone like this talks about the purpose of a law"

Some sharp and helpful commentary...
How to Read and How Not to Read Today's 9th Circuit Opinion, Lawfare
"...the grounds on which this order was fought are not the grounds on which the merits fight will happen. Eventually, the court has to confront the clash between a broad delegation of power to the President—a delegation which gives him a lot of authority to do a lot of not-nice stuff to refugees and visa holders—in a context in which judges normally defer to the president, and the incompetent malevolence with which this order was promulgated."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Expressive Individualism and a Christian Counterfeit

The following is excerpted from this article by Trevin Wax for the Gospel Coalition.

Expressive Individualism

The foundational issue, as Jen Pollock Michel points out, is the “gospel of self-fulfillment,” which is also described as “expressive individualism.” That’s a term given to us by Robert Bellah and explored by other philosophers such as Charles Taylor.
According to this way of thinking, the goal of life is to discover and express your unique sense of self, no matter what others may say or do to challenge your freedom of personality. The narrative arc of your life is finding your personal route to happiness by following your heart, expressing your true self, and then fighting whoever would oppose you—your society, your family, your past, or your church.
This is one of the dominant narratives of our time. It shows up in movies and music, and increasingly, on the platforms of popular preachers and teachers—both male and female.

Christian Counterfeit 

The religious form of expressive individualism imagines the believer wrestling against the bondage of their past, or the expectations of their parents, or the legalistic regulations of their church. God’s rescue frees us from all these chains, and sets us on a journey to discover our true essence, which we then offer up as a gift to God and the world. Our goal is to become all that God has created us to be. Anything that gets in the way of this journey must be an evil barrier, overcome only through personal faith and reliance on Jesus.
Now, there are certainly some elements of Christian truth here. Like any good counterfeit gospel, it mimics the truth at key points.
Yes, God wants to free us from the sin and shame of our past, to rescue us from paralyzing guilt, to overcome the barriers that keep us from pursuing radical obedience to his command as we come to know him and his Word with increasing fervor. And yes, God wants us to lean into becoming all that he has created to be—conformed to the image of his Son. And yes, God wants us to be happynot just joyful or blessed or holy. (See Randy Alcorn’s exhaustive work on Happiness in case you need biblical evidence or voices from church history.)
But note how this gospel of freedom redefines Christian teaching at key points.
  • Sin is failing to reach your potential.
  • Shame is a subjective feeling you bring upon yourself and must set aside, not a state that results from objective sin against a holy God.
  • Guilt is what happens when you fail to accept yourself, to love yourself, or to sense your own worthiness of happiness.
  • The barriers that stand in your way of pursuing your dreams must all come down, no matter where they are.
This is not Christianity. It’s a Christianized form of expressive individualism that you can find in just about any self-help book—an inspirational, feel-good message that makes perfect sense in Western cultures, but leaves traditional societies, many of them Eastern, aghast at its sanction of selfishness.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Power of Stories



"In 2016 and beyond, those who wish to create a better world
 will have to make storytelling the center of their efforts, not an
 afterthought. It’s clear that economic and military might will
always be the key levers of statecraft. But more than ever before,
 swift and dramatic change is being driven by powerful
narratives that crisscross the world at the speed of a click or a
swipe."

Read the full essay here...

Monday, June 13, 2016

The hero Gotham needs...



...Not the one it deserves.

"Jeremiah's refusal to accept any of the available roles and his eccentric insistence on living out the identity of his name [God exalts\hurls] put him in conspicuous contrast to the eroded smoothness of those who were shaped by the expectations of the popular opinion and gathered content for their message not by asking 'What is there to eat?' but 'What will Jones swallow?' His angular integrity exposed the shallow complacencies in which they lived."

-Eugene Peterson, Run With the Horses (emphasis mine)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"The Wrong Side of the Only History That Finally Matters"

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."
The rest of the essay is worthwhile reading (read it here), and the final two paragraphs are spot on. 
"God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.”
The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history. This October, let’s pray the rosary so that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen the bishops and others at the synod as they deliberate about the challenges to preaching and living the Gospel at this moment in human history."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Visual Literacy: Part 3

A final set (for now) of doodle notes or visual notes from my students. These are 8th grade History students and I would say that overall, they've greatly improved. I've been encouraged and continue to feel like visual literacy is a skill that can be learned.

If you're interested in learning more, check out http://sunnibrown.com/doodlerevolution/
I also found several videos that have been helpful to students:






And this poster is fantastic to help students who don't know how to get started:




            
    

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Storm Window Reuse: Cold Frame

Check out this beautiful cold frame built by my brother Simeon using an old wooden storm window from my 1912 Arts and Crafts/Prairie style house. The design is simple, and pretty self explanatory.  Recently I've also used a large storm window over our strawberry box to help the new plants through the cold snap at the beginning of the month (April 2016).



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