Dixie: The Confederate Flag

I was born and reared in Dixie. But I’m not a Confederate sympathizer. In 1862, three of my ancestors left Knoxville to join the Union army in Kentucky. They were later captured and sent to the Confederate prisons Belle Isle (Virginia) and Andersonville (Georgia), where two died. The third was paroled, hospitalized, and sent home.…

Duggar Justice

A fourteen-year-old boy sexually molests his sisters and other teen girls. Then he tells his parents. The dad obstructs justice by waiting one year to reveal his son’s felony crimes to the police. But the police don’t arrest either one. A state trooper just gives the son a stern talk. Three years later, the police conduct…

Duggar Hypocrisy

Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and a married father of three, resigned from his position at the Family Research Council yesterday after In Touch Magazine revealed sexual molestation allegations from 2006. Then TLC cancelled the Duggar family’s seven-year television program 19 Kids and Counting. In 2002, at the age…

The ISIS Crisis

In The ISIS Crisis: What You Really Need to Know (2015), Charles Dyer and Mark Tobey try to unravel the current geo-political situation in the Middle East. This short Moody paperback gives a historical overview of Middle Eastern religion and politics, then discusses biblical prophecy and a godly response to ISIS. I enjoyed reading this…

A “Civil” War: Andersonville

In the winter of 1861-1862, three of my ancestors enlisted in Company K in Sevierville, Tennessee, as privates (National). This company was one of ten in the 2nd East Tennessee Infantry regiment, which became Mounted Infantry in June 1863 (“2nd”). Considered traitors on their home soil, my ancestors were Union men in a state that…

Crescendo: Choosing Life

I recently reviewed Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s The Trial of Phillis Wheatley (2003). In one part, I discussed Thomas Jefferson’s racist rejection of Phillis Wheatley as an African-American poet. Gates’ book is an excellent analysis on Wheatley’s mission and legacy, but it misses the point. The root of Jefferson’s “blind spots” was not racism but…

Wheatley and Race: Blind Spots

In The Trials of Phillis Wheatley (2003), Henry Louis Gates Jr. discusses the various cultural trials that Phillis Wheatley (c.1754-1784) endured as a slave poet in order to “audition for the humanity of the entire African people” (27).[1] The first trial took place in 1772, before an eighteen-member panel of Boston’s civic and moral leaders.…