Day’s End and Weekend Watch

As announced earlier, we’ll close down a bit early today in commemoration of Good Friday and the beginning of Passover. I’m sure most everybody falling outside those two faith communities deserves a good and restful weekend.

In the Lunch Buffet post, I noted one striking traditional Good Friday observance, “The Reproaches.” But there are many others. At an Episcopal Church I used to attend on Capitol Hill in Washington, the Good Friday service included a rite called the Adoration of the Holy Cross, in which worshipers made their way up the center aisle on their knees, pausing to prostrate themselves at intervals, and then kissing the feet of a crucifix held by a priest. I wondered at the time what Church of England founder Thomas Cranmer would think of the modern revival of this practice, colloquially known as “creeping to the cross,” which was one of the English Reformation’s first targets. But then a lot of things didn’t work out as Cranmer, who was dragging the Church of England towards Calvinism when the catastrophe of Edward VI’s death occurred, had planned.

Here are some remains of the day:

* Krugman calls for a multi-front “wage push” to raise minimum incomes.

* Paul Waldman suggests intra-GOP fights over details of “religious liberty” laws a precursor of what we may see on wide range of issues in 2016.

* At the Atlantic, Peter Beinart argues Iran could wind up better Islamic ally for U.S. than Saudi Arabia–which is one reason why Saudi’s fearful of nuke deal.

* At Ten Miles Square, Keith Humphreys tells tale of Dizzy Gillespie countering restaurant racism with humor.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer argues big lesson of Atlanta teachers scandal is to avoid having a system that rewards cheating.

And in non-political news:

* Total lunar eclipse will briefly appear in Western states Saturday morning.

That’s it for Friday. David Atkins and D.R. Tucker are at the controls for Weekend Blogging. Let’s close with the final chorus of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder (“We Sit Down in Tears”), as performed by the Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra. I remember seeing this performance on TV many years ago, and spending much of this final chorus in tears myself.


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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.