I should begin my review of Frank Schaeffer’s latest book, Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism)(Da Capo Press, $25.00, hardcover), with a disclaimer: I have an indirect financial interest in Mr. Schaeffer’s success as a writer. Frank Schaeffer wrote a beautifully-crafted, thoughtful, and gracious foreword for my forthcoming, yet-to-be-named book on American Christianity’s response to undocumented (or “illegal”) immigration. His name will appear next to mine on the cover of my book because my publisher, Westminster John Knox Press, hopes Frank Schaeffer’s fame will rub off on me in a way that is profitable for everyone involved.
I asked Frank Schaeffer to write the forward to my book because I admire his work. The wit displayed in Frank’s writing has made me laugh out loud in inconvenient places (I first read his novel Portofino in the close quarters of a transatlantic flight) and I have wept at the beauty of Frank’s non-fiction prose, in the silence that descends upon my house when everyone but me is asleep. Reading Patience With God confirmed what I suspected to be the truth: I asked the right guy to pen the foreword to my book. More than ever I want to be on Frank Schaeffer’s team. Continue reading
For those who seem so distraught over the fact that Barack Obama is now a Nobel Laureate I have an history lesson.
When, on December 10, 1964, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, he began his speech with the following words:
I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice. I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeking to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered. And only yesterday more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned because they offered a sanctuary to those who would not accept segregation. I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder.
Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.
I wasn’t around at the time, but I rather suspect Dr. King was addressing his American critics who must certainly have suggested that he really hadn’t yet achieved anything worthy of a Peace Prize. Continue reading
I’ve finished my book (which doesn’t yet have a title), and I’ll be back on my blog soon. Meanwhile, check out this clip from a recent Rachel Maddow Show on which my named is dropped (it’s about 5:45 into the clip):
Thanks to Jeff Sharlet for the name drop! By the way, his book is excellent. Go buy it.
And congratulations to President Obama for winning the Peace Prize. Regardless of political persuasion and regardless of how much we think he may or may not deserve the prize, now is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of a fellow American and to urge him on to greater acts of peacemaking.