‘Fight Church’ raises some questions

first_imgCan you love your neighbor as you punch him in the face? That’s one question posed by “Fight Church,” a documentary that will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Monday during an event hosted by the Science, Religion, and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School (HDS).The film, directed by Academy Award-winner Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel, is about the confluence of Christianity and mixed martial arts. It follows several pastors in a quest to reconcile their faith with a sport that some consider barbaric. HDS reached out to Storkel, who will participate in a Q&A session after the screening, with some questions about the movie and the rise of martial arts ministries.HDS: The documentary says there are more than 700 fight churches now in the country. When you started working on the project, were you surprised by the number of churches and pastors who participated in MMA fighting? What reasons have you seen for it having caught on?STORKEL: We found out about it through one pastor, and when we first heard of it, we thought that it was an anomaly and that it didn’t happen anywhere else. However, it turned out that there were a lot more of these pastors. We found a handful of them, but more so we found churches involved in martial arts ministry — from coaching fighters to holding fights at their churches. It was fairly surprising.I think a lot of people have a problem with the image of the church today, and several folks who feel this way are featured in the film. They believe the church has been “feminized” to a certain extent, and there are not enough manly activities, and that’s why fewer guys go to church. I didn’t see any numbers, but it definitely seems like the fight ministries attract men. There were several women who were participating, but it has brought in more men to the church that wouldn’t have come without this.HDS: Do you believe the movie speaks to larger issues as well? For example, what do you say to the person who is trying to reconcile faith and war?STORKEL: The film doesn’t speak directly to war, but it does speak to the mentality of one of the main characters who, in one scene, is shooting guns with his 5-year-old child. He says Christians need to have more of a warrior ethos, and he even goes as far to say that the Crusades were a good thing.My conclusion was that I don’t think there’s a moral issue with pastors that want to fight. I determined that it is two consenting adults fighting for sport. I still don’t like it, and I don’t want to watch it, but my opinion changed over the course of the film. The positives that come out of it, like training and discipline, are really beneficial. The question I still have is whether the good outweighs the bad.HDS: You’ve also directed a movie called “Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians.” What interested you about the effort to reconcile faith and what some believe to be sin?STORKEL: I grew up in a fairly conservative Christian home. There are a lot of aspects of traditional Christianity that I strongly dislike, so I think when I see somebody living outside the box and doing things in a nontraditional way, it’s fascinating to me. Whether I agree with it or not is one thing, but I like to explore those topics and follow people who are going against the grain and not just believing in what they were taught.For more information, see the HDS website.last_img read more

On the road to JFK

first_imgHis son disagreed. Growing up in the Great Depression and very aware of the threat of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan, “This is a young man who is thinking a lot about the challenges to democracy in ways that will continue throughout his life,” Logevall said.Logevall credits the Kennedy matriarch, Rose, for nurturing this approach. In part, he noted, Kennedy’s bouts of illness as a youth made him more of a reader than many in his family, and, “Rose encouraged the bookish side of her son.” In addition, Logevall pointed out that the influence of professors at both Choate and Harvard as well as the young Kennedy’s extensive travels helped broaden his perspective.“He spent several months in Europe, and this and other trips are of profound importance in terms of making him see a complete world, making him comfortable with a complex world in a way that his father never was,” said Logevall.“I do give Joe the credit for allowing the kids to chart their own path,” he added. “Even though he had this powerful persona, he never insisted that they follow his views.”Family connections did influence some of Kennedy’s other positions, however. Logevall explained the future president’s muted response to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s attacks on suspected Communists by pointing out that the Kennedy family had had a close relationship with the demagogic senator, and McCarthy even dated several of the Kennedy sisters.,In addition, the historian noted, McCarthy remained popular with Irish Catholic voters even through his congressional censure in 1954. Still, “Had [Kennedy] not been in the hospital in late ’54, he would have voted for censure, I have no doubt,” said Logevall. “But the fact is, he didn’t indicate his position. He was being very careful.”Kennedy also pulled back from other progressive views for political expediency, Logevall said. As a member of the House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953, Kennedy “had a solid, unexceptional voting record on housing and veterans’ affairs, anti-poverty legislation, and Civil Rights,” said Logevall. Once he was elected to the Senate in 1953, that changed. “In the Senate, he was really quite progressive.”Once the White House came into view, however, everything changed. Looking to win support from conservative Southern Democrats, “You see JFK moving to the right to get that VP nomination,” said Logevall.Looking ahead to the second volume of his biography, Logevall discussed how Kennedy would begin to shed that pragmatic conservativism once he won the presidency. That evolution was certainly encouraged by his brother Robert, Logevall said, a role he intends to address. “Robert needs to get his due.” Related Session recalls the president and his policies, and his understanding of global ties A portrait of JFK, in full New biography aims to chronicle a complex life amid a pivotal time for a nation Centennial exhibit includes earliest known recording of future president’s voice JFK speaks from his Harvard past How progressive Kennedy would have become remains a matter of speculation, both historians agreed. Logevall, however, pointed out that the president was moving in that direction. Previewing his second volume, he cited the commencement address then-President Kennedy gave at American University in June 1963. In that speech, he looked forward to a time when “peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete.”“It’s a very important speech,” said Logevall. “It made Civil Rights a moral issue.”While so much remains unknowable, Logevall concluded, “I hope that people take away from the book that this is a consequential life” — not only because Kennedy was our president, but because of the times that he helped shape.“He’s born in 1917 just as the U.S. is coming onto the world stage and dies in ’63 when the U.S. is this superpower of incomparable military and economic power,” said Logevall. “It is an extraordinary period in our nation’s history.” In his youth, John F. Kennedy took a more global — and, in some ways, a more progressive — approach than would be apparent until much later. That was only one of the revelations uncovered by historian Fredrik Logevall, whose recent book, “JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917‒1956,” covers the president’s early years.Our 35th president “was a more serious student of history and international affairs at an earlier point than I thought,” said Logevall, Kennedy School professor of history and international relations. “I’d thought from previous books and my earliest research that he was frankly a bit of a slacker.”In conversation Monday with fellow historian Jon Meacham in an online Institute of Politics Forum, Logevall discussed his findings and offered some hints as to what is to come in the second volume.Kennedy’s early interest in a global approach was in stark contrast to his father’s noted isolationist stance, said the historian. Although Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was a “towering figure” in his son’s life, the two differed early on. The elder Kennedy, who served as U.S. ambassador to the U.K. from 1938 through 1940, was “committed to appeasement,” said Logevall. “Right through Pearl Harbor, he thought we should make a deal with Hitler.” “I’d thought from previous books and my earliest research that [John F. Kennedy] was frankly a bit of a slacker.” — Fredrik Logevall, author of “JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917‒1956” Thoughts on JFK at 100 The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Georgia’s best

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaIt was steamy in the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta on March 20. It may have been the warm spring day outside or the heated competition raging inside.The first annual Flavor of Georgia food contest pitted Hot Tar, Inc.’s Heat Factor sauce against Smack Yo Mama LLC’s Georgia Gold Honey Mustard. Byrd Cookie Company’s Georgia Peach Cookies stared down Earth’s Treasures’ Edible Candy Dough.In the end, only eight could come out winners.The contest created by faculty in the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and Department of Food Science and Technology was just what these budding foodies needed.“It was a way to highlight new and innovative food products and businesses that use Georgia commodities,” said Sharon Kane, a food business development specialist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The contest also serves as a way to link these entrepreneurs with brokers, retailers and others involved in the food marketing distribution channels.”The contest had eight categories: natural or organic products; jams, jellies and sauces; barbecue and hot sauces; confections; wine; meat products; snack foods and other foods.“We had an exceptional response with over 150 products submitted from all over Georgia,” Kane said. “It was a difficult judging process given the high quality of products entered. The judges had very positive comments about everyone that was a semifinalist.”The original 150 entries were narrowed to 28 semifinalists, who prepared and served their dishes at the event which coincided with Georgia’s Ag Day. A panel of judges picked the eight category winners and one grand prize winner, Bradley Creek Seafood’s Low-country pastry. The winners were:Natural or organic products: Savannah Bee Co., tupelo honey.Jams, jellies and sauces: Byne Blueberry Farm, Waynesboro, Ga., Blueberry Salsa.Barbecue or hot sauce: R.P. Hill Exotic Sauce Co., Atlanta, Brandy Mandarin Orange BBQ sauce.Confections: The Byrd Cookie Co., Savannah, Georgia Peach Cookies.Wine: Persimmon Creek Vineyard, Clayton, Ga., Late Harvest Reisling.Meat product and Grand Prize Winner: Bradley Creek Seafood, Savannah, Low-country pastry.Snack food: Bodacious Food Co., Jasper, Ga., traditional cheese straws.Other: Vidalia Brands Inc., Reidsville, Ga., onion and spinach quiche.If you and your newest food creation missed this year’s contest, don’t give up. There’s always next year. “Anyone in Georgia who has a product they know will be a winner, should look for the call for entries for the 2008 contest sometime this fall,” Kane said.The Flavor of Georgia was sponsored by the UGA CAED, CAES Department of Food Science and Technology, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Commission and the Georgia Rural Development Council. For more information about the Flavor of Georgia contest, Food Science Extension Outreach Program website at www.efsonline.uga.edu/.last_img read more

Animal testing ‘requires tighter regulation’

first_img 15 Views   no discussions Tweet HealthLifestyle Animal testing ‘requires tighter regulation’ by: – July 22, 2011 Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Share By James GallagherHealth reporter, BBC NewsProfessor Christopher Shaw says there should be “clear barriers” to stop some experiments that may be possible in the futureBetter regulation is needed to govern rapidly expanding research in animals containing human tissue or genes, the Academy of Medical Sciences says.It said such studies were necessary for medical research, but that new ethical issues could emerge and called for a national body of experts.It said “category three” experiments on monkey brains, resulting in “human-like” behaviour, should be banned.The government said it would consider the recommendations.Dr Robin Lovell-Badge, from the National Institute for Medical Research, said: “Everyone laughs at talking meerkats and cats with opposable thumbs, but if we were actually doing that in the labs I don’t think people would be so happy.”Cancer drugsIntroducing human material into animals has furthered medical research.Putting human breast tumour cells into mice has allowed researchers to test cancer drugs on human tissue.Stroke damaged mice showed some recovery when their brains were injected with human neural stem cells, which has led to human clinical trials.Mice with Down’s syndrome have had a whole human chromosome added to their genome to help researchers learn more about the condition.Professor Christopher Shaw, from King’s College London and one of the report’s authors, said animals with human material were “hugely important. Is [the field] going to shrink and go away? No. I’m confident it will lead to new treatments.”The academy report said it was anticipating “a major increase in the use of these techniques”.However it raised concerns that some cases would fall through gaps in the regulation.The authors said that, for example, experiments on an embryo which contained predominantly human material would be controlled by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the embryo would not progress beyond 14 days. For embryos which are mostly animal, but contained some human material, they said there was “no regulation at all”.Animal research is regulated by the Home Office’s animal procedures committee.Professor Martin Bobrow, chair of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “Our report recommends that the Home Office puts in place a national expert body, within the existing stringent system of animal research regulation, to provide specific advice on sensitive types of ‘animals containing human material’ research.”The academy recommended three classifications for research on animals containing human material.Most would be “category one” and have no more restrictions than any other study on animals.‘Valuable study’Category two experiments could be allowed but “would require strong scientific justification”. The report suggested this would include adding genes to non-human primates and significant changes to an animal to make it “more human-like”.Category three experiments would not be allowed, such as letting any mixed embryo develop past 14 days or breeding animals with human influenced sperm or egg cells and modifying non-human primates to create human-like awareness or behaviour.Professor Bobrow was keen to stress that “nobody has done any of these things”, but the Academy of Medical Sciences said it wanted guidelines in place rather than waiting until the horse had bolted.Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “We welcome the valuable contribution of this study to the understanding of the complex ethical, scientific and animal welfare issues involved in this area of research.“We will consider the recommendations carefully.”last_img read more

Del Potro undergoes second operation on injured knee

first_imgFormer US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, out of action since June 2019, underwent surgery on his right knee in Miami on Monday.Advertisement Loading… Promoted Content7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?The Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldWhat Our Favorite Celebs Look Like With Their Natural Hair ColorIs This The Most Delicious Food In The World?This Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s HystericalBest Car Manufacturers In The World7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black Holes7 Worst Things To Do To Your Phone6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes It was a second operation after Del Potro fractured his right kneecap at Queens in June.The 31-year-old former world No.3 underwent his first operation later that month in Barcelona.Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has had surgery on his right kneeRead Also: Aussie Open: Injured Federer saves seven match points in stunning comebackHe planned to return to the ATP circuit in October but continued discomfort forced him to undergo another operation.The 1.98m “Tower of Tandil” won the US Open in 2009 and silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but his career has been interrupted repeatedly by wrist injuries which forced him to undergo surgery three times.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The Argentine posted a photo on social media showing him on crutches with his right leg in a brace and the caption in Spanish and English that said “time to go home to rest” and said thank you “for all the love and support you give me in these difficult times.”last_img read more