1. Just the opening paragraph is really nice here. But the whole thing is a nice take on how this whole incident has really tarnished Belmont’s reputation. But I still do think that part of this really has to do with just a cultural change in how people respond to the authority of religious leaders (which is kind of what the higher-ups at Belmont are). The days in which a leader could just make a decision and inflict it upon the less powerful without them questioning it are over. There’s been too much abuse (across denominations) that has been too easily hidden because congregations were told to just accept that the leaders knew what they were doing. I think it’s important to understand that dynamic, too, because that’s what’s biting so many in the Belmont administration in the butt.
They were completely unprepared for their decision to need any more reason behind it than “God said so.”
But come on! There are too many stories of too many people being hurt by religious leaders who used “Do this because I said God said so” for people to not be cautious, to put it mildly, when they encounter someone spouting that line.
2. I am not a hunter. Obviously. But I found this column about whether sandhill cranes should be hunted to be really interesting and thought-provoking. He ends up deciding, “Eh, it’s probably not worth it,” but I felt like, if he’d decided, “Eh, it probably is,” either way, I would have come away from the column feeling like I really understood better a position very foreign to me. That’s great writing, I think.