1. Tackling poverty with photography
The Guardian has a really cool photo essay from former war photographer Nancy McGirr who has helped kids living in Guatemala City’s slums to photograph their experiences in an effort to break the cycle of poverty.
2. Arcade Fire’s Sermon on the Mount
Michael Gilmour, an English and biblical literature professor from Canada writing for the Huffington Post, has an interesting take on Arcade Fire’s “imaginative blend of social commentary with an informed and creative reading of biblical literature,” focusing on their fantastic latest record:
The most explicit reference to the Bible in The Suburbs is the warning not to “trust a millionaire quoting the Sermon on the Mount” (“City With No Children”). On one level, the phrase simply indicates things are not what they appear, but I suggest there is more going on with this conspicuous naming of a biblical text. It seems to me that ideas in the Sermon on the Mount lurk in the background of many of the album’s songs, not just the one referring to it by name. If we read that ancient homily (Matthew 5-7, with parallels in Luke) while listening to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, we find it informs their lyrical narratives in subtle ways. This is an example of lyricists using biblical intertexts for artistic, not confessional purposes.
3. MLK’s impact on conservatives
Martin Luther King Jr. has never particularly been a poster boy for conservative Christianity, but Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice try to make the case for it on the Washington Post’s “Religious Right Now” blog:
With Dr. King, and his life back in the news, it’s important to realize that for many Christian conservatives, he has served as a powerful role model in the fight to protect the rights of the individual. And, that challenge is as equally important today as it was 50 years ago during Dr. King’s days.
4. Back to the Start
This is a really original animated short from Chipotle, featuring Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist”. Here’s the blurb:
Coldplay’s haunting classic ‘The Scientist’ is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled, “Back to the Start.” The film, by film-maker Johnny Kelly, depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future. Both the film and the soundtrack were commissioned by Chipotle to emphasize the importance of developing a sustainable food system.