08 November 2004


I haven't blogged anything in five days, though I've got a couple of half-finished posts waiting in the wings (philosophical and theological topics, of course). I just haven't have had the presence of mind to compose anything particularly coherent in the past few days.

Maybe it's post-election blues (and, face it, for a lot of people any outcome in this election was less than ideal), though more likely it's just autumnal allergies, the effects of medication, and mid-semester overwork.

The election will have been a week ago tomorrow--although, judging from the sheer quantity of Kerry/Edwards signs still placarding lawns, houses, and cars around here, you'd think the election was yet to come. I guess, however, I should allow my neighbors a decent period of mourning before they take down the signage, especially in a city where the Democratic candidates received over 80% of the vote.

David Brooks, an editor for the Weekly Standard, had an interesting op-ed piece in the New York Times on Saturday, entitled "The Values-Vote Myth," in which he questioned the over-hasty conclusion that the "evangelical vote" somehow was the primary determinant of this election, a conclusion that functions as scapegoating for the left and as victorious living for the Christian Right. Even if Brooks's analysis itself might be open to some criticism, it should at least dampen the triumphalistic head trips of some folks on the Christian Right.

I did attend a very thoughtful (though, given the topic, somewhat distressing) panel discussion last week on the Rwandan genocide a decade ago and lessons that might be gleaned from it concerning the current situation in Sudan. The speakers were Carl Wilkens, an Adventist pastor who was the only American to stay in Rwanda during the violence, Stanislas Kamanzi, the current Rwandan Ambassador to the United Nations, and Jemera Rone, a Sudanese professor at NYU and member of Human Rights Watch.

While there are both analogies and disanalogies between Sudan today and Rwanda ten years ago, the conversation among the panelists and audience members helped students understand better the potential for violence that can exist in human cultures, even among those who have lived as neighbors. It also raised important questions about what the wider African and international communities might do to prevent further violence in Sudan.

Much more could be said I'm sure, but I've got an Arts and Sciences technology committee report due today.