The Monday Morning Teaser

I’m still in the West — Santa Fe this week — so things might run a little later than usual again.

Trump’s 100th day is Saturday, so I was tempted to write a 100-days post. But after I read about six such articles, I realized that there will be hundreds of them, so mine may not be strictly necessary. Still, though, I wrote an article last November “The Trump Administration: what I’m watching for“, so it seems like basic accountability to go back and check whether any of the things I was worried about have been happening. That didn’t take nearly so many words, though, so I tucked it into the weekly summary.

The idea for this week’s featured post ended up coming from David Brooks, of all people. I usually grind my teeth through Brooks’ columns in the NYT, and, well, I did through Friday’s “The Crisis of Western Civ” as well. But it raised an issue that I thought deserved better than Brooks was giving it: whether the collapse of the story the West used to tell about itself has something to do with the difficulty the West is having defending itself against the rise of fundamentalist religious movements on the one hand and neo-fascist nationalist movements on the other.

Once I started doing my own version of that column, it linked in with another article: Peter Beinart’s “Breaking Faith” in The Atlantic, where he noted that the Christians most vulnerable to Trump’s tribalist us-against-them message are the ones who don’t go to church any more. They retain Christianity as a tribal identity, but not as an active faith whose practice pulls them into the community. Once again, the breakdown of an old message was leading not to progress, but regress.

Naturally, my post, “What’s Our Story?”, isn’t going to solve either problem. But I hope it will get you thinking about it in a different way. That should be out sometime in the next hour.

As it has for around 100 days or so, the weekly summary suffers from an excess of news: Trump’s 100 days, the Georgia congressional election, the March for Science, Bill O’Reilly’s firing, the French election, and a few other things. I’m not sure when that will be out.

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