How Ought our Discourse Approach the Capitol Attack?

Attack on the United States Capitol | January 6, 2021

For many of us, the events that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 will never leave us. As a political consultant and former congressional aide, words failed me as I watched in horror a seemingly made-for-television scene play out in real time. As an educator embarking upon a new semester, several colleagues — both in politics and in education — have put to me this simple question: how do we approach the capitol attack in our classrooms?

The goal in education is not the dissemination of information, but educating for understanding and for wisdom. Though…


How Should the Church Engage a Politically Divisive Culture?

The question of how Christians ought to engage a politically divisive culture is a microcosm of the age-old debate over the roles that church and state play in society and in the other’s realm. While the debate rages, what both the church (for our purposes, Christianity) and the state (for our purposes, American liberal democracy) have in common is both a shared constituency and, yet, the fundamental understanding that each is its own, separate, and distinct entity. …


WATCHING AND JUDGING POLITICAL DEBATES

The stage for the first of three presidential debates.

Shortly following the 2016 election, I was speaking on a college campus where I emphasized the role that debates play in both politics and education. Following the lecture, a student astutely inquired regarding the value of such debate, pointing to degradation of discourse we had just witnessed on the presidential debate stage. My response was simple, “Political debate is more akin to theatre than to debate.” Amid the political theatre of each election, then, how can we voters parse through the rhetoric and make these debates helpful as we weigh the candidates and our votes?

Don’t Judge Winners and Losers…


Supreme Court of the United States | Washington, D.C.

In February 2017, the news was filled with heated debates involving terms like filibuster, nuclear option, Merrick Garland, and hypocrisy, while the hashtags #WeNeedNine and #ConfirmGorsuch filled our social media feeds.

Mere minutes after Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was nominated by President Trump to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the Democratic National Committee released a statement attacking him as unfit for the nation’s highest court. They likely had a similar statement prepared for Judge Thomas Hardiman, Trump’s other “finalist.” …


POLARIZED LENSES:
9/11, Charlottesville, and How Right & Left Replaced Right & Wrong

Last year, on the fifteenth anniversary of the tragic attacks on September 11th, a newly-installed president of a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania decided to end the campus’s fifteen year tradition of remembrance. …


In the Gospel accounts of Christ’s trial and crucifixion, it is worth noting that it was Pontius Pilate, an official of the Roman Empire, who continually insisted upon Christ’s innocence while the religious leaders angrily demanded his crucifixion. Likewise, it was Pilate who referred to Christ as a king and the religious leaders who replied with “we have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15)

Let that sink in. It was the government — the Roman Empire, no less — who tried to free Jesus and it was the faith leaders who demanded his death. …

Samuel Chen

Principal Director, The Liddell Group

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