Tillman’s Sacrifice. Art. Architecture. Diversions.

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Pat Tillman demonstrates the power of the media. In 2002, haunted by 911, he gave up a multi-million dollar NFL contract to join the Army Rangers. He died in combat yesterday in Afghanistan. He shunned publicity and was tight-lipped about his decision, but fellow players remarked, “his conscience would not allow him to tackle opposition fullbacks where there is still a bigger enemy that needs to be stopped in its tracks.” Power of media? He was moved by images of firemen heading valiantly into the wounded WTC and by grainy film footage of Osama Bin Laden taunting and mocking Americans. Other soldiers die but Tillman gets coverage because he played in the NFL and gave up millions of dollars to serve his country even if it meant death. Thanks Pat for reminding us of the contrast of valor in uniform by distinguishing meaningful from lucrative but by comparison trivial pursuits.

Art has always reflected out pursuit of the transcendent. New Yorkers are treated to two exhibits that explore non-European traditions, one Native American and the other African. Beauty, aesthetic, the duality of flesh and spirit, and a yearning for God emanate from these pieces and form part of the continuum of human yearning for what we collectively know we have lost.

Church architecture has fallen on hard times and evangelical’s dismissive attitude of churches as inspirational spaces has contributed to the pathetic pre-fab, multi-use, “double wide+” crap that call a house of worship. And now many of the young are yearning for “other” and desirous of beauty in their spaces. So ironically they are moving into condo’s and lofts built-out in the grandeur of churches from a past time where place mattered.

Entertainment as pre-occupation is a bad thing, but occasional diversion is useful. 13 going on 30 goes down easy while provoking thought about life choices. It also establishes Jennifer Garner as a force.

The media will exploit the announcement that Randall Terry’s son is gay. Whatever you think of Terry put this in context: “Jamiel Terry is the son of a woman whom the elder Terry talked out of having an abortion. The Terrys took in Jamiel and his two sisters as foster children, and then adopted Jamiel and his younger sister in 1994. The children’s mother has died.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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  • ‚©CRS Communications 4/23/04

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