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Daily Archives: January 15th, 2021


Carey Wallace- TIME-Thu, January 14, 2021, 10:03 AM

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump pray outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 06 in Washington D.C.
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump pray outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 06 in Washington D.C.

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump pray outside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 06 in Washington D.C. Credit – Win McNamee—Getty Images

In the past few days, I’ve seen all kinds of statements from Christian leaders trying to distance themselves from the violent mob at the Capitol. Christian writers known for their thoughtfulness lament that “somehow” white supremacy has crept into our churches, and the faculty of a major evangelical institution put out a manifesto saying that the events at the Capitol “bear absolutely no resemblance to” the Christianity they teach. That mob, they’re telling us, is a fringe element. They’ve radically misunderstood the real message of American Christianity.

This could not be further from the truth.

I believe the mob at the Capitol has radically misunderstood the teachings and life of Jesus. But it is an absolutely logical conclusion of white American Christianity.

Hundreds of years ago, the Church laid the foundation for the theft of the Americas, enslavement of Africans and Native Americans, and centuries of brutal colonization worldwide, with the doctrine that it was O.K. to take land and liberty from people who were not Christian.

Within their first decade on this continent, the holiness movement of the Puritans, who told themselves they’d come to the “new world” to spread the gospel, had virtually exterminated the Pequot people, and enslaved many survivors. And Roger Williams, the Massachusetts minister who became the first advocate for religious freedom and the separation of church and state, was banished from his colony by his fellow Christians for objecting to government attempts to enforce the first four of the Ten Commandments, refusing to swear an oath of loyalty to the government of Massachusetts and saying grace over his meals at the wrong time. Alone and sick, he fled into the New England winter, which almost killed him. Though his fellow Puritans gave lip service to the idea that they had come to the continent to share the light of Christ, he was the only one who bothered to learn local customs or languages. Saved that winter by the Narragansett people, he was without a church home when he died years later.

Williams’ doctrine of the separation of church and state was eventually inscribed in the American Constitution. And Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence reflects the strong influence of Christianity in the American colonies, by rooting the rights it demands in our status as creatures of God. But the Declaration of Independence also describes Native Americans as “merciless Indian savages,” and the Constitution defined African-Americans as only three-fifths of a person. Despite America’s early public piety, this country is explicitly founded on the idea that the people who built its farms, roads, cities and wealth, without freedom or payment, are not quite human. And despite Jefferson’s rousing insistence on the equality of “men” in the eyes of God, his own wealth came mainly from a factory he staffed with enslaved children.

Sentimental depictions of Christian faith among enslaved people are popular with American Christians, and the rich tradition of gospel music, perhaps America’s greatest contribution to world culture or the church, was unquestionably created by people living in American slavery. But people in slavery in America did not start becoming Christian in large numbers until around 1800, because American slave-holders avoided sharing Christian teaching with the people they enslaved, so that they wouldn’t find themselves in the position of holding fellow Christians in slavery, which might force them to give up their “property.”

For early voices that spoke out against slavery within the American church, the price was high. Benjamin Lay, who shamed the Quakers into becoming abolitionists with stunts like standing outside meetinghouses on Sunday morning barefoot in the snow to remind the good Christians of the condition of the people they held in slavery at home, died unwelcome as a member in any Quaker church.

For the vast majority of American history, Christian ministers have spoken with passion and vigor in favor of slaverysegregation, and white supremacy. Not even all Christian abolitionists were convinced of the full humanity of the people they fought to free. The Ku Klux Klan is a movement deeply rooted in the church, in both the North and the South.

When Black Christian clergy organized the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech, Christianity Todayfounded not even a decade earlier by Billy Graham, and edited at the time by one of evangelicalism’s most prominent theologians, Carl F.H. Henry, called it “a mob spectacle.”

Today, American neighborhoods are more segregated than they were in the years immediately following the Civil War. But churches are even more segregated than the rest of society. Sunday morning, when people stream into services, is one of the most segregated hours in America.

These are not minor aberrations, sidenotes to our history, either as a country or a church. White supremacy, racism and segregation are a cancer running through our major organs. And our apathy toward them, or our comfort with them, compromise and threaten to kill all the other good we hope to do.

We cannot get rid of them by pretending they’re not central to our history, and central to the way we live today. And in our hearts, we know they are. That’s why so many Christian institutions and leaders have failed to speak out directly against racism and white supremacy, instead taking refuge in recent days in vague calls for prayer and healing. We know if we confront these foundational American sins directly, their supporters will cause convulsions that may tear our institutions apart – and knock us from our coveted positions.

But there can be no healing without this direct confrontation. You cannot cure cancer by pretending it is not there.The white American church can’t pretend that the mob at the Capitol is not part of us.

It is us.

To have any hope of healing, we must acknowledge that fact. We must admit our own ignorance. Our own apathy. Our own discomfort with people who are different from us. Our own desire to believe that we’re better than everyone else. Our own willingness to take things that are not ours, and keep things we did not earn. Our profound bent to lie about ourselves. Our willingness to do violence to get what we want. Our willingness to turn away when violence is done to others, because it benefits us.

As Christians, we must forcefully, publicly name and repudiate these things. We must be honest about how long a history they have and how deep they go. And about how much work it will take to eradicate them.

And we must do that work.

Claiming that mob isn’t us might help American Christians beat back the sickening waves of shame and fear we feel at the revelation of the ugly truth of what we’ve been part of all this time.

But it won’t save the life of the American church.

And it will never set us free to be anything better than what we are now.

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Ben Klayman and Stephen Nellis January 14, 2021, 11:12 PM

(Reuters) – Automakers around the world are shutting assembly lines because of a global shortage of semiconductors that in some cases has been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s actions against key Chinese chip factories, industry officials said.

The shortage, which caught much of the industry off-guard and could continue for many months, is now causing Ford Motor Co, Subaru Corp and Toyota Motor Corp to curtail production in the United States.

Automakers affected in other markets include Volkswagen, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The problems stem from a confluence of factors as auto manufacturers compete against the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip supplies. Consumers have stocked up on laptops, gaming consoles and other electronic products during the pandemic, creating tight chip supplies throughout 2020.

They have also bought more cars than industry officials expected last spring, further straining supplies.

In at least one case, the shortage ties back to President Donald Trump’s policies aimed at curtailing technology transfers to China.

One automaker moved chip production from China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International, or SMIC, which was hit with U.S. government restrictions in December, to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co in Taiwan, which in turn was overbooked, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

An auto supplier confirmed TSMC has been unable to keep up with demand.

“The systemic aspect of the crisis is giving us a headache,” said a supplier executive, who asked not to be identified. “In some cases, we find substitution parts that could make us independent from TSMC, only to discover that the alternative wafer manufacturer has no capacity available.”

TSMC and SMIC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On an earnings call with investors Thursday, TSMC Chief Executive C.C. Wei said there was a shortage of automotive chips made with “mature technology” and that it is working with customers “to mitigate the shortage impact.”

It only takes the tiniest of chips to throw off production: a Ford plant in Kentucky that makes the Escape sport utility vehicle idled because of a shortage of a chip in the vehicle’s brake system, a union official in the plant said.

Ford also will idle its Focus plant in Saarlouis, Germany, for a month starting next week because of chip shortages.

The situation is unlikely to improve quickly, since all chips, whether bound for a laptop or a Lexus, start life as a silicon wafer that takes about 90 days to process into a chip.

The chipmaking industry has always strained to keep up with sudden demand spikes. The factories that produce wafers cost tens of billions of dollars to build, and expanding their capacity can take up to a year for testing and qualifying complex tools.

“The long and short of it is, demand is up about 50%. And there’s no asset-intensive industry like ours that has 50% capacity lying around,” said Mike Hogan, senior vice president at chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries and head of its automotive unit.

HUAWEI EFFECT

Tight capacity and soaring demand has made it difficult for chip producers to absorb two shocks from the Trump administration.

First, the White House in September banned Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the Chinese telecommunications giant and a major smartphone maker, from buying chips made with American technology. Huawei stockpiled chips ahead of the ban in order to keep building what products it could after it took effect. And Huawei’s rivals, eyeing a chance to grab market share, started snapping up chips, analysts said.

Second, the U.S. government enacted rules that bar SMIC from using some U.S. tools to make chips, a move that has prompted at least some of SMIC’s customers to look for a different chip factory because of concerns that production could be disrupted.

“There’s a fear of using a Chinese chip factory if the United States is going to put them on an entity list,” said Daniel Goehl, chief business officer of UltraSense Systems, referring to possible further restrictions.

A Commerce Department spokesman declined to comment on the implications of the SMIC and Huawei blacklistings for the auto sector but said that the top priority was “to ensure the Export Administration Regulation protects U.S. national security, economic security, and foreign policy interests.”

Analysts said the automotive chip shortage is likely to persist for as long as six months. An AutoForecast Solutions report estimated the global auto industry had already experienced lost volume of 202,000 vehicles as of Jan. 13.

Executives at automakers and suppliers said they are adapting production schedules to protect chips used in higher-profit vehicles. And companies are weighing sourcing chips from more suppliers and increasing inventory levels in the future.

“It’s four-dimensional chess all day long,” said one auto official, who asked not to be identified.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Alexandra Alper in Washington. Editing by Jonathan Weber & Simon Cameron-

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