Most Recent Archive

House of Harassment

()
December 8, 2017 Jerry L. Holsopple Media Matters

The question came a few minutes after I finished my presentation. “Should we watch the films of the actresses who revealed what Harvey Weinstein did to them?” That was a thoughtful question, since I had ended my talk by suggesting that we stop reading John Howard Yoder and spend the time seeing where his sexually abusive behavior influenced his theology. The convocation happened in conjunction with my exhibit Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power at Bethel College in Kansas. I will approach with skepticism and caution the denials made by those in power. We should expect a denial since […]

Five names

December 8, 2017 Celeste Kennel-Shank Living Simply

Deonta Turner, Lemont Davis, Alandis Allison, Maurice Purnell and Juan Bahena Jr. I felt these five people’s deaths most deeply amid more than 500 fatal shootings this year in Chicago. I trust . . . that what we do “may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.” Deonta Turner and Lemont Davis were killed next to the community garden I tend along with others from our Anabaptist congregations nearby. Juan Bahena Jr. was shot a block away from my house. Although I pass […]

Challenging false narratives about immigrants

December 8, 2017 Tammy Alexander Wider View

Challenging false narratives about immigrants Tammy Alexander, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office As the U.S. Congress decides whether to protect Dreamers—immigrants who were brought to the United States as undocumented children—policymakers are once again embroiled in a debate about the relative merits of different categories of immigrants. In September, the Trump administration announced the end of a program that protected Dreamers from deportation. Various bills have been introduced in Congress to restore these protections, including the Dream Act which would provide an eventual path to citizenship. The White House and some in Congress would like to pair the Dream […]

Lady Bird

()
December 1, 2017 Gordon Houser Media Matters

No, this film is not about Lady Bird Johnson. The title character, 17-year-old Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan in an outstanding performance), gives herself that moniker to try to establish a different identity. She wants to escape her hometown of Sacramento, which she calls “the Midwest of California” (as if the Midwest were a bad thing), and get into an East Coast college, preferably in New York City. What we pay attention to reveals what we love. Her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf, who is equally good), has other ideas. She harps on her daughter constantly that their family can’t afford to […]

Thor: Ragnorak

()
November 24, 2017 Matthew Kauffman Smith Media Matters

Cate Blanchett: winner of two Academy Awards and nominee for four others. Anthony Hopkins: winner of an Academy Award and nominee for three others. Mark Ruffalo: three-time Oscar nominee. Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba: Golden Globe winners. One would expect to see all these talented actors in a new production of Hamlet, or maybe a Jane Austen screen adaptation, or a rousing episode of Masterpiece Theater. Or perhaps Thor: Ragnorak. What? While comic book film adaptations will never be timeless works of art, Thor: Ragnorak proves that they can be clever and entertaining. Yes, a who’s who of British thespians […]

Moving backwards on nuclear disarmament

November 22, 2017 Jennifer Wiebe Wider View

Moving backwards on nuclear disarmament By Jennifer Wiebe, director of the Ottawa Office of MCC The Humanitarian Disarmament Forum, held October 14-15 in New York, was abuzz with a celebratory spirit. It’s not hard to imagine why. After all, the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN for short) had just won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. And the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons—the result of years of hard work by millions of global campaigners—had opened for signature at the UN merely a few weeks earlier. In the world of humanitarian disarmament, history had been made yet again. I had […]

Stranger Things 2

()
November 17, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair Media Matters

The second season of a hit show is always going to feel a bit like the kid sister of a standout student: it reaps the benefit of a good reputation, but is also unfairly expected to fit a certain mold. Don’t get me wrong—Stranger Things 2 ticks all the ’80s adventure monster movie boxes that made the original season so entertaining. But it’s also its own story and should be enjoyed without expectations that everything will be the same as it was. After all, the truly great movie sequels don’t simply try to recreate the recipe of the original—they expand on […]

“I will not forget you”

November 16, 2017 Charles Kwuelum Wider View

“I will not forget you” By Charles Kwuelum Amidst all of the headlines these days, little attention is being paid to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). In August 2016, violence broke out in the Kasai region when the Kamuina Nsapu, a local militia group, engaged in a clash with national security forces. The clash was partly due to the local appointment of a traditional chief, seen by many as a way to influence land rights and traditional values. The Kasai region is the birthplace of the Mennonite Church in DR Congo. The violence displaced […]