Filmmaking has historically been the territory of glamorous and highly secularized Hollywood. But like CCM, Christian filmmaking has been growing steadily, largely outside of Los Angeles. And like CCM, many Christian filmmakers are hoping to break past the niche audience of faithful church goers to reach those who might not otherwise hear the Christian message.
The measles outbreak that began in Disneyland last December has infected over 100 people in 14 states, most recently victimizing five infants at a Chicago area daycare. Last year, there were 644 cases of measles reported, by far the largest number in a decade and a half. The resurgence of a contagious and potentially deadly disease has reignited the nationwide debate over mandatory childhood vaccinations.
Two weeks ago I drafted an open letter to President Obama based on a meeting that T.D. Jakes, James Robison, and I convened in Dallas, Texas to help advance racial healing in our nation. As we met we attempted to avoid blaming whites for our current problems with the police in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY. We also avoided stating that changing our urban policing conditions was virtually hopeless in this generation. Instead we entered into a solutions based discussion. I wrote the following letter to the President, which you can read in its entirety at www.healtheracialdivide.com.
Eighteen months after the start of the Iranian uprising, millions of Egyptian protestorsâ€”many of whom communicated with one another through Facebook and other social media platformsâ€”flooded Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. After 18 days of protests, Mubarak abdicated, Egyptâ€™s constitution was suspended and its parliament disbanded.
The recent national crisis and racial tension have underscored that America seems more divided than ever. On the one hand, President Obama believes that our differences are just being exposed.Â On the other hand a few of us feel that the President and Attorney General Holder exacerbated the race problem.Â In some ways, both views are right. How could that be?Â America has come a long way since the lynchings of the 50s and days of Selma.Â However, we have a ways to go in terms of race, poverty, and class.
While few Americans fear enemy action from Cuba as we did during the 1960s, Cuba may not be as harmless as some suppose. In March of this year, the UN confirmed that Cuba was caught supplying North Korea with various weapons, including two MiG-21 aircraft. But if anything should give us pause before welcoming Cuba into our circle of international friends, it is the treatment of American Alan Gross. Gross, who came to Cuba as a subcontractor for the US government, has been unjustly imprisoned since 2009. Working to bring internet access to small communities in Cuba, he was sentenced to a 15 years in prison for espionage.
The conventional wisdom regarding what the GOP must do to repair its imageâ€”and eventually win on the national level againâ€”has included two basic pieces of advice. The first is to reach out to younger voters, women and ethnic minorities, mainly blacks and Latinos. The second is to downplay the issues of marriage and the sanctity of life, and itâ€™s no secret that the socially liberal Republican leaders would like to get rid of those issues altogether. These two ideas are typically cast as the GOPâ€™s only realistic path forward.
It is hard to imagine now, but Detroit was once known to some as the Paris of the West. At its peak, it was one of Americaâ€™s largest cities, boasting a population of 2 million, spectacular architecture, a host of mansion-dwelling industrialists and a world-class art collection currently valued at over 4.6 billion dollars. Yet after decades of decline, the city that gave birth to Motown Records and Henry Fordâ€™s Model T filed for bankruptcy last July; it was the largest municipal bankruptcy case in American history.
Weeks have now passed since black teen Michael Brown was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in the small town of Ferguson, Missouri. That night, a candlelight vigil to honor Brown became violent, with looting and vandalizing of local businesses resulting in several arrests. Over the next days, numerous outsiders, from national media organizations to groups such as the New Black Panther Party and the Ku Klux Klan, descended on Ferguson. Chaos escalated, and Governor Nixon ordered the National Guard to help restore calm. The Justice Department is conducting an ongoing investigation into the Ferguson police force for possible misconduct and discrimination in Brownâ€™s death.
My question may sound socialistic to some of my fellow conservatives; nonetheless it is a question that must be addressed.Â Â American high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, but the education gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Noble and expensive attempts to close this gapâ€”including subsidized preschool and the controversial implementation of the Common Core State Standardsâ€”have largely failed. In the case of Common Core, where wealthy and middle class parents are hiring tutors to compensate for its weaknesses, the â€śreformâ€ť aimed at equalizing the playing field may actually be making the problem worse.