Flip turns have a mystique about them. Walk up to any pool and watch folks swimming laps. Your eyes will immediately go to the swimmers who do flip turns at the walls. It doesn’t matter if they are faster than the other swimmers, they will look fiercer because of the flip turn. Conversely, if, instead of doing flip turns, you saw Katie Ledecky or Michael Phelps sticking their heads up at the walls, gulping air, turning awkwardly half out of the water, then plunging back in for the next lap, they would seem significantly less fierce.
Fun fact: when Paul tells his readers in Colossae to "put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry)," it's an example of a common ancient rhetorical device called a "vice list." (This is not actually fun, but bear with me.)
“Make America Safe Again,” said the signs and speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention. The desire to feel and be safe crosses political boundaries; it informs a litany of human actions. Yet the very concept seems unexamined. What makes for safety? Is it the same as feeling safe? Is it the same as comfort?
The realization came to me while watching the “Mothers of the Movement” speaking at the Democratic National Convention. These mothers of children who had died too young and too violently, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and more, had come to Philadelphia to speak. Sandra Bland’s mom was leading them off with words of faith and grace.
And that’s when I thought about Donald Trump’s speech at his own convention last week, and about the overarching message of fear, intolerance, and negativity that has come to define his campaign.