Why 9/11 Matters in Our Troubled World
Countering the Dangers of ‘Uncompromising Dogmatism’
THIS YEAR, the 19th anniversary of 9/11, the awe-inspiring Tribute in Light was almost extinguished to protect the health of the 40 professionals who work for a week to make it happen—until the state of New York announced in mid-August that special health-care resources would surround the event and ensure it could keep shining safely. That’s a potent sign of how much we all need to remember this milestone in world history—especially in this season when extremism seems to be running rampant again in many corners of the United States.
This week, we are honored to have this deeply personal Cover Story from award-winning journalist and author Bill Tammeus, based in Kansas City. Please read it and share it with others. We are intentionally publishing this column a week before the 9/11 anniversary so our readers can feel free to pass along Bill’s story to spark conversations well before the anniversary. (Note: We always publish under Creative Commons licensing, which means you are free to share and repost this important voice and other stories we share each week.)
The Values We Share Can Reunite Us
Larry Buxton and King David
OUR SHARED VALUES CAN REUNITE US. That’s what author, pastor, teacher and leadership coach Larry Buxton says on the front page of his new website: “Larry Buxton … can help you clarify your deep values and foundational principles. As you hold to them in challenging situations, you can grow to act
with courage, character and confidence.” He does that through his professional coaching—and he is sharing this wisdom with all of us through his new book: 30 Days with King David on Leadership.
Become Part of this New Call to Unity
- ORDER THE BOOK—Order now via Amazon and the book will ship on its release date in mid-September.
- INVITE LARRY TO SPEAK VIA ZOOM—Here’s the public invitation to zoom with Larry. And, here is his direct Contact page on his new website.
- SIGN UP FOR LARRY’S UPDATES—This autumn, Larry is starting a free weekly series inspiring and helpful reflections, which we will tell you about in next week’s ReadTheSpirit magazine. Right now, you can sign up to receive them, each week, via email by visiting Larry’s new website, then scrolling to the bottom—and selecting “Newsletter signup.” Free. You can cancel anytime.
- READ—and share with others—the Foreword to this book by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a prominent Democrat. And also the Preface to this book by Andrew Card, a prominent Republican. Together, these two opening letters to readers—included in the book—demonstrate why David can bring people together across the deep divisions that seem to be polarizing Americans right now.
And Speaking of Our Authors …
JOE GRIMM and MSU BIAS BUSTERS
MSU SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM’S JOE GRIMM is frequently in the midst of national conversations on cultural diversity, including race, religion, ethnicity and generational groups. Currently, Grimm is quoted as an expert in an Ozy.com column about Gen Xers’ anxieties about our nation’s problems. You can follow Joe’s newsy MSU Bias Busters columns at his MSU School of Journalism website. You can learn more about the wide-ranging book series these journalists have produced at their Amazon author page.
Martin Davis and the Prophetic Voices of Athletes
‘OUR STARS ARE SPEAKING TO US’—and we’re long overdue in heeding these prophetic voices, author and columnist Martin Davis writes this week in a powerful overview of the prophetic actions unfolding in professional sports. In fact, these voices have been raised for many years. Martin asks: Will we finally listen?
Artist Michelle Sider and Barbara Lewis
ARTIST MICHELLE SIDER‘s multi-faceted career includes helping to create the unique and inspiring book Never Long Enough, designed to help families reflect on the lives and legacies of their loved ones. Her latest project—which she describes as “painting with glass”—is profiled in the current issue of The Jewish News in a feature story by Barbara Lewis, who also is one of our authors (as a key collaborator in the book Friendship and Faith). AND … THERE’S MORE! In The Oakland Press, Stephanie Sokol reports on Michelle’s work with nature-inspired images.
Najah Bazzy and Zaman International
NAJAH BAZZY—like Joe and Michelle and Barbara, above—also is deeply engaged in the national effort to highlight the needs of millions of at-risk families, especially families with children that are headed by single parents. Through her Zaman International nonprofit, as well as teaching and public speaking, Najah not only has raised awareness, but also has provided direct help (food, furniture, training and much more) to families. We just learned that Michigan Women Forward has named six women to the HERstory Women’s Hall of Fame. The website currently shows the 2019 winners. These new winners will be honored at a ceremony on October 15. Najah also is a contributing writer in Friendship and Faith, has written a guide to The Beauty of Ramadan, and currently is working her memoir to be published in 2021.
Duncan Newcomer and Abraham Lincoln
Holidays & Festivals
HAVE YOU SEEN THE HEADLINES? Stephanie Fenton has been following the news about closings, cancellations—and some creative adaptations like a “drive in fireworks” show. Her best suggestion is that Americans use this once-in-a-lifetime Labor Day to look more deeply into the roots of this observance.
Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
FAITH & FILM
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:
- PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD—Ed writes, “Regarded as Charles Dickens’ most autobiographical novel, David Copperfield had been filmed 13 times before Armando Iannucci adapted it. Thoroughly enjoying his political satire, The Death of Stalin, I was looking forward to seeing this new version, noted for its color-blind casting and touch of surrealistic absurdity. I was not disappointed, the director and co-writer Simon Blackwell giving us a whimsical romp through the sprawling novel in just under two hours.”
- IRON JAWED ANGELS—Ed writes, “Although there are many good films dealing with the Civil Rights movement, there are relatively few about the struggle for women’s rights. Thus we should be glad that HBO saw fit to produce this film for Women’s History Month in March of 2004. … This is a film that should be seen by every American who treasures the progress that genuine democracy has made in this country.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- SUFFRAGETTE—”This film, set in England a few years before the First World War, could be considered a prequel to the 2004 movie Iron Jawed Angels. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns both gained experience in the women’s rights movement in England. This newer film mixes real characters with fictional ones.” (4.5 stars)
- FRANCESCO—”Italian director Michele Soavi serves up a very imaginative version of the life of Christendom’s most beloved saint, Francis of Assisi.” (4.5 Stars)
- A TIME FOR BURNING—”This documentary, shot in 1965, largely at the Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, is of interest to those concerned about the church and racism. Commissioned by a national office of the Lutheran Church in America and directed by Barbara Connell and Bill Jersey, the film focuses upon the Rev. William Youngdahl, Augustana’s pastor. It is a good example of the feebleness of the White church in dealing intelligently and forcibly with racism in America.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- JOHN LEWIS: GET IN THE WAY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Kathleen Dowdey does a fine job encapsulating John Lewis’s long life in its short running time of less than an hour.” (5 stars)
- CLEMENCY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Chinonye Chukwu has given us a prison film unlike most anything you have seen, in that her focus is not on a condemned prisoner, but on the person in charge of the execution of prisoners, the warden.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- HAMILTON—Ed gives 5 out of 5 stars to the film version of the award-winning Hamilton play.
- GREYHOUND—Ed gives 4.5 stars to Tom Hanks in Greyhound. Ed writes, “Hanks turns in an excellent performance as the rookie commander who feels the pressure of his baptism by fire.”
- THE RESISTANCE BANKER—“Dutch director Joram Lürsenfor shows us one more way in which an occupied people resisted Nazi tyranny. I love the way in which through the years such filmmakers manage to present a fresh view of WW 2 and of Nazi persecution.” (4.5 stars)