DHD: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Karen Swallow Prior, Paul George, Anthony Kennedy, Churchgoers, Tom Love
Another week, another DHD! Here’s my thoughts on six timely topics!
- Sarah and the Red Hen
Last Friday, June 22, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, was planning to have dinner with friends and family at the Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Va. The staff of the 26-seat eatery became alarmed when Sanders arrived after most her party were being served “cheese boards.”
The owner of the Red Hen arrived, discussed the situation with the restaurant staff and then decided to have a private talk with Sanders. According to the Washington Post, the owner asked Sanders to leave.
“That’s fine. I’ll go,” Sanders responded.
The Post reported everyone else in Sanders’ dining party was welcome to stay, but they chose to leave with Sanders and offered to pay for the cheese boards and drinks. The owner said it was on the house.
“For all the angst that evening, Wilkinson said, everything had taken place with decorum. She had been polite; Sanders had been polite; the press secretary’s family had been polite as they followed her out the door,” the Post reported.
Of course, there is more to the story, but it all comes in the aftermath of what I shared. Social media comments made this incident a major national news spectacle. Restaurant employees talked about it on Facebook and Twitter. Sanders herself tweeted about the incident after “more than a dozen reporters” contacted her about it, the Post reported.
President Trump blasted the Red Hen the following Monday. Others chimed in, saying either it was “disgraceful” what happened or they applauded the restaurant.
So here’s my take. I don’t defend what the owner did, but I do think, according to what was reported, how Sanders and her party responded Friday night was exactly the right thing to do. Be polite, respectful and leave without making a commotion. I don’t know all the details, but they could eat somewhere else.
I blame social media. I don’t know if Sanders should have tweeted what she did, but she said she did so as a response to media inquiries. I’ll let that pass. However, Trump trashing the restaurant was way too much.
And if the Red Hen was so upset about a member of Trump’s cabinet eating at their place, why fuel the fire by letting the world know about it?
Yes, our nation is divided, and social media is a major catalyst for the division. Agree, disagree with whoever involved in this restaurant incident, but the awkward moment could have been a minor “blip” in the whole realm of life. Everybody involved appeared to be professional through it all. Social media caused this brief incident to become a cultural calamity.
- Prior’s perspective on Christian Hospitality
I have heard numerous and unique reports this month about Karen Swallow Prior, who teaches English at my alma mater, Liberty University. She also is affiliated with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. ERLC President Russell Moore was asked about her at the recent SBC Annual Meeting in Dallas.
So when I noticed an article posted on The Gospel Coalition website, written by Prior, I had to check it out. The article is titled “Christian Hospitality in an Age of ‘They’re Not Welcome Anymore, Anywhere.’”
After all of these interesting aspects of Prior, and especially after reading her article, I don’t know if there is anybody I could compare to Prior. Maybe the Unsinkable Molly Brown?
I appreciate Prior’s passion for the unborn. I want to know more about her involvement in connecting with LGBT people and those who struggle with same-sex attractions. If Russell Moore is willing to adamantly stand up for her and her Christian faith, then that’s enough verification for me.
Her examples of Christian hospitality are pretty bold, as is her message:
“In a free society,” Prior wrote in her Christian hospitality article, “we are called both to live peaceably with one another and to hold one another accountable for violating principles that we believe undermine a free society. As citizens, sometimes we should offer hospitality to our enemies. Other times, we must rebuke them. It takes wisdom to know which situations call for which response.”
She mentioned the Sarah Huckabee Sanders incident, but I get a feeling we observe it from different views. She didn’t seem to have the same admiration I did for Sanders politely leaving the restaurant.
I welcome feedback from others who read her article, especially about her incident with the abortion doctor in the checkout line. Personally, that’s a bit too bold.
- Curious about George
Paul George is a hot topic these days. Will he play again with the Thunder? Will he go to the Lakers?
The NBA offseason has much more appeal than the NBA Finals – which ended with ho-hum predictability. After LeBron James, George is the most popular free agent in this offseason market.
It’s almost anybody’s guess. Other teams have been mentioned as running candidates, but it seems too obvious it will come down to either OKC or L.A.
Like many Thunder fans, I remain hesitant to predict. We’ve been through this stressful waiting game before. The difference, I think, is the majority of the fan base will not be surprised if George decides to join another team. There will be sadness, disappointment but no shock.
If George does leave, I just hope he doesn’t make his announcement on July 4.
- Justice Kennedy to step down
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced this week he is going to retire. After being the “swing vote” in many controversial case rulings, Kennedy’s departure appears to be a major game-changer.
Kennedy seemed to always rule in favor of the underdog in any case he was presented. I joked with a friend of mine this week that how I think Kennedy viewed the arguments is who was “nicer” in their presentations. That could apply to recent rulings involving the Colorado baker and the California pro-life pregnancy centers. The government institutions in each case seemed to be mean is how I jokingly describe Kennedy’s conclusions.
Two of my favorite commentaries about Kennedy’s retirement announcement came from Albert Mohler in his Thursday’s edition of The Briefing and from David French in his article “Anthony Kennedy’s Retirement: Legal & Political Implications.”
- Theology means more than music
I was encouraged to read most churchgoers hold Christian beliefs more strongly than music preferences.
Baptist Press reported 54 percent of churchgoers would leave if their church changed doctrines with only five percent leaving if music style changed. The BP article has other interesting results from the churchgoers’ survey.
- Love’s gets love from ‘American Trucker’
I conclude with sharing an article about an Oklahoma businessman and a nationwide icon.
The magazine American Trucker shared Tom Love’s story about how he started his business of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. I enjoyed reading about the 81-year-old multi-billionaire and how his business remains family-focused with his wife Judy, as they celebrated 55 years of marriage.
I see Tom and Judy often at Thunder games. They sit just courtside to the right end of the scorer’s table and faithfully cheer on the Thunder.