A Call to Empathy: Thoughts From Chaplain Rachel Kessler

This article was written by Priest-in-charge of Harcourt Parish Rachel Kessler ’04 in response to the 2016 election

Like so many on this campus, I have a potentially unhealthy obsession with Hamilton. My favorite line in the whole show comes at the end of “It’s Quiet Uptown” when Angelica sings of the reconciliation between Alexander and Eliza: There are moments that the words don’t reach. / There’s a grace too powerful to name … Forgiveness, can you imagine?

Grace and forgiveness often are unimaginable concepts to us. I love that moment for the way it reflects healing love that defies all reason. But it only happens because Alexander spends most of the song naming his own culpability for his wife’s pain and begging for such forgiveness.

In the week since the election, there has been much talk about the need to come together as a country. As a Christian leader, I share in that call to empathy and mutual understanding as the only path forward. We must find a way to see the realities inhabited by other in our community – realities which may bear little resemblance to our own.

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Kenyon Kritters: The Battle of the Birds- Bald Eagle vs. Turkey

Warning: The following is semi-educational, and contains fowl language. not recommended for anyone who can’t handle mad skillz or patriotic puns.

turkey-vs-bald-eagle1

My fellow Americans,

The political season is officially upon us, and with only 5 days remaining before we decide the future of our country (seriously though, no pressure,) I want to draw your attention to another heavily contested battle in our nation’s history. Now, we’re all familiar with the E Pluribus Unum and the Bald Eagle holding the laurels in one foot and the arrows in the other, but did you know that designing this seal left the house of our Founding Fathers divided until 1782? Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both agreed that the bald eagle was the fierce, powerful bird America needed to maintain its facade of invincibility coming out of the Revolutionary War, but good old Benjamin Franklin wasn’t so sure, claiming the wild turkey was an apter representation of the infant nation’s spirit. Two local birds, locked in intense competition for the crowning position of America’s symbol. We all know how the debate ended, but I’d like to revisit the discussion. Inspired by the great Alexander Hamilton, I present a rap battle for the history books: Bald Eagle v. Wild Turkey.

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(Best read with a sick beat behind it.)

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