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Weekly Digest: Welcoming Tony Dungy to the Negative World
Welcome to my weekly digest for January 20, 2023.
For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by visiting your account page.
It was bound to happen at some point - after six years I finally sent out a newsletter with the wrong issue number. This week’s was #72 not #71.
The Tony Dungy Pile On
It’s hard to think of anybody who seems like a nicer guy than former NFL coach Tony Dungy. A writer in the left wing magazine The Nation just wrote a screed against him in conjunction with Dungy’s participation in the March for Life.
Note the title of this piece: Tony Dungy Is a Right-Wing Zealot and the NFL and NBC Don’t Care. The author is clearly trying to kickstart an outrage mob designed to get Dungy fired from his TV gig. The hope is that social media will stir things up, then actually respected media outlets like the New York Times will pick up the story - possibly simply purporting to cover the controversy - such that advertiser trouble causes the networks to dump him. It’s an all too common playbook - and sadly too often works. A USA Today columnist is hitting similar themes. I could have linked to several others, but the direct mention of the NFL and NBC in the Nation piece make it a good one to highlight.
In the negative world there is no room in the public square for any Christian, no matter how stand up a guy, to dissent from secular ideologies without risk of significant blowback.
Best of the Web
In follow-up to my tweet and recent post about leading Protestant intellectuals, you might want to read this excellent 2016 Harper’s piece on the subject from Alan Jacobs. He defines a Christian intellectual somewhat differently from me, and is not writing about Protestants (or even Christians) specifically, but that’s quite alright!
Discipleship and Dominion: Nine concrete tips on leadership
Rob Henderson: Nobody is a prisoner of their IQ
NBER: Where Are the Workers? From Great Resignation to Quiet Quitting - “The decline in hours among workers was larger for men than women. Among men, the decline was larger for those with a bachelor's degree than those with less education, for prime-age workers than older workers, and also for those who already worked long hours and had high earnings.”
Richard Hanania interviews Joseph Henrich, Harvard professor and author of The WEIRDest People in the World to about how to understand Western exceptionalism.
For those of you who have not checked it out, my Knowledge Base has a categorized archive of all the best internet links I’ve shared in my newsletters and posts over the last several years. Think of it as “the best of the best of the web.” It’s exclusively for paid subscribers - thank you - and you can click over for instructions on how to access it.
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New Content and Media Mentions
My recent podcast observation that there is something odd about the way evangelicals talk about common grace has triggered some interesting discussion I did not expect. Surprisingly, people seem to agree with me. Joel Carini devoted a newsletter to the subject this week.
My three worlds model was mentioned in the Babylon Bee.
I was also quoted in Crain’s Chicago Business approving of a member of a long time civically engaged business family in Chicago taking the lead on an anti-crime task force.
New this week:
My latest column in Governing magazine is on what Singapore tells us about the future of manufacturing in America.
In case you missed it, newsletter #72 was about why you shouldn’t play the heel.
I asked who are America’s leading Protestant intellectuals? I got a large number of responses, so check out the replies to my tweet and the comments on my article.
I put together a short writeup about Oklahoma City as another case study in moderate Republican governance that actually delivered results (paid subscribers only).