Trinity Forum Reflections

Mon, Mar 18 2013
by: Cherie Harder
Nastiness, new research shows, corrodes not only relationships, but also reading comprehension. A recent study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and reported in the New York Times sought to study what was termed “the nasty effect” – the impact of insulting comments about an article on readers’ capacity to accurately understand the article’s content. In the study, researchers asked test subjects to read a blog post that explained the various advantages and risks of a new technology product, then read comments on that post (purportedly from other readers). Half of the study participants were given reader comments that included either epithets or profanity. The other half of the sample read comments to the original blog article that were similar in content, length, and intensity, but were civil in tone. Simply reading the nasty comments, the researchers found, could significantly distort what the test subjects thought the original article...
Tue, Feb 19 2013
by: Cherie Harder
Merry Christmas from the Trinity Forum! In this update, we offer a reflection on love, evil, and Newtown.
Thu, Feb 14 2013
by: Cherie Harder
Earlier this week marked the 11th anniversary of 9-11.
Wed, Feb 13 2013
by: Cherie Harder
Lent, Attention, and Invisible Gorillas New evidence confirms that it is really quite common to entirely miss the elephant (or gorilla) in the room. In attempting to better understand the nature of focus and attention, a group of researchers showed test subjects a video of a half dozen students, differentiated by shirt color (half wearing white shirts, the other half black shirts) passing basketballs back and forth while weaving in and out of a circle, and asked the test subjects to count the times a white-shirted player passed the ball. In the midst of all the ball-passing, a man in a gorilla suit saunters into the middle of the circle, mugs for the camera, beats his chest, and ambles off. Fully half of the test subjects are so focused on counting the number of passes that they do not even notice the gorilla. Earlier this week, NPR reported on a...
Fri, Jun 22 2012
by: Cherie Harder
“I don’t waste time reading make-believe.”
Fri, May 11 2012
by: Cherie Harder
This Sunday is the last that I and thousands of other parishioners will worship at the Sanctuary of The Falls Church in Virginia. Earlier this year, a judge ruled that despite the fact that The Falls Church is older than the Episcopal diocese, and that over 90 percent of the church parishioners voted to leave the Episcopal diocese, the Falls Church – and six other Anglican churches --would be required to turn over its buildings, facilities, and financial assets to the Episcopal Church.
Fri, Apr 6 2012
by: Cherie Harder
While Easter may commonly be celebrated with brunches, egg hunts, and candy trappings, properly understood, it should be the most profound and potentially divisive of holidays. Its claims are both extravagant and exclusivist; its assertions strange and supernatural: that God, who came to earth as mortal man, was himself killed to atone for the wrongdoing of others, triumphed over death, and made possible a new way of life for those who want to know Him and follow his example.
Mon, Mar 12 2012
by: Cherie Harder
James Q. Wilson’s death last weekend generated a flurry of rightfully laudatory tributes. Wilson was perhaps the most respected political scientist of his generation. His scholarship reshaped approaches to crime prevention and policing, and reaffirmed the importance of virtue for the public good, as well as personal flourishing.
Tue, Feb 14 2012
by: Cherie Harder
“I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems…. I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love. I’m talking about a strong, demanding love.” --Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thu, Jan 19 2012
by: Cherie Harder
Each election year typically brings renewed salvos in the ongoing culture wars, and there is little reason to think that 2012 will prove an exception. But in the midst of all the sound and fury that surrounds such battles, it can be easy to overlook less truculent, if no less effective, means of cultural engagement.

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