“Russian Orthodox Church Blocks Funeral for Last of Romanov Remains” – The New York Times

This is really bizarre! “Despite mountains of evidence, the church says it doesn’t believe the remains are those of the last czar and his family.”  No one knows for sure why the Church would deny the scientific evidence for the identity of the Romanov remains. Not that denying scientific evidence isn’t unusual for the Church, but in most cases we know why (it contradicts theirs religious dogma). In this case, there are no religious principles on the line. So, what’s going on?

The most compelling explanation seems to indicate political motivations. “Rejecting the bones will anger some Orthodox adherents, particularly those outside Russia. Accepting them will incense a conservative domestic faction that believes the Soviet government somehow faked the burial.” But without actual evidence, this is only speculation.

Read the entire article here: Russian Orthodox Church Blocks Funeral for Last of Romanov Remains – The New York Times

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“Russian Orthodox Church Blocks Funeral for Last of Romanov Remains” – The New York Times

This is really bizarre! “Despite mountains of evidence, the church says it doesn’t believe the remains are those of the last czar and his family.”  No one knows for sure why the Church would deny the scientific evidence for the identity of the Romanov remains. Not that denying scientific evidence isn’t unusual for the Church, but in most cases we know why (it contradicts theirs religious dogma). In this case, there are no religious principles on the line. So, what’s going on?

The most compelling explanation seems to indicate political motivations. “Rejecting the bones will anger some Orthodox adherents, particularly those outside Russia. Accepting them will incense a conservative domestic faction that believes the Soviet government somehow faked the burial.” But without actual evidence, this is only speculation.

Read the entire article here: Russian Orthodox Church Blocks Funeral for Last of Romanov Remains – The New York Times

History News Network | On President’s Day Let’s Remember Lincoln for This

James Tuten writes: “Candidate Ben Carson pointed out in a debate that the comments section for online articles revel in mean-spiritedness. I agree with him. They inevitably disappoint me, make me cringe, even anger me. It is clear that many people do not begin to read pieces in a fair or open way. They have an opinion of the writer, the publisher, the topic or at least boxes to put them in and toward which they direct disdain, rage or worse, genuine hatred. Abraham Lincoln had the temperament to make it a practice to behave differently. Not always, but frequently he practiced mercy.”

I can’t think of a better way to honor Lincoln, and to hopefully inspire the rest of us to be more charitably toward others, particularly online!  It would make us better as individuals and the world a better place for all of us.

 

Source: History News Network | On President’s Day Let’s Remember Lincoln for This

“The Surprising Reaction I Got When I Assigned Barbara Tuchman’s Popular History of World War 1 to College Students” | History News Network

I share B. C. Knowlton’s concerns about teaching college students to really read and understand works of history.  He first taught a group of students who needed remedial help in reading and writing. For them, the popular The Guns of August was too difficult. With some help they were able to get through the material but in the end he could not get them to a level of critically thinking about the subject and its significance. The other group of good students were able to read and write well, but they also seemed unmotivated to engage with works of history (or any other readings of substance) on any sustained level beyond their required courses.

His experience with these students led him to wonder whether or not “those who take required History courses as college freshmen become and remain literate and critical students of History? Once there are no more papers to write, will they see any reason to read? How, as they head into the future, will they engage with the past? When historic anniversaries approach, will they pay historical attention to them, or just watch the documentaries?”
Given the lack of interest in anything not related to their majors or future careers (at least in my experience), I’m guessing that they will “just watch the documentaries” (if even that!). But I always hope that as they mature they will change their minds.

 

Source: History News Network | The Surprising Reaction I Got When I Assigned Barbara Tuchman’s Popular History of World War 1 to College Students

“Harvard Business School’s Case-Study Method Is Inspiring History Education Reform” – The Atlantic

“One professor is borrowing a method from Harvard Business School to teach students about America’s past and inspire better judgment for the future.”

Using the case method to teach history, as David Moss is doing at Harvard, is a creative way to engage students. But it’s not as revolutionary as this article makes it out to be. History teachers have used similar methods to engage students for a long time.

Good history teachers are always engaged in the delicate balancing act between content and skills. Unfortunately, the current testing craze has forced many k-12 educators to focus almost exclusively on content, which means teaching by rote memorization. This is unfortunate because what we really need are students who can think critically and who are passionate about learning.

Source: Harvard Business School’s Case-Study Method Is Inspiring History Education Reform – The Atlantic

David Barton: “Still Misleading America About Thomas Jefferson” | History News Network

The historian John Fea argues that “[b]y defending Thomas Jefferson, David Barton has dishonored their [the founders of the American Bible Society’s] memory.”

“Ironically, the same Thomas Jefferson that admired the Enlightenment views of Voltaire, Hume, Gibbon, and Paine, and served as the primary target for the men who built the American Bible Society, is now celebrated by David Barton, the nation’s most influential Christian nationalist. Barton is a GOP political activist who uses the past to advance his conservative agenda in the present.”

Source: History News Network | Still Misleading America About Thomas Jefferson

“Ammon Bundy’s Wrongheaded History of Militias Is Getting People Killed” | History News Network

Thomas A. Reinstein reviews the history of militias starting with their roots in Medieval England through the American tradition to the present. In conclusion, he explains:”Ammon Bundy and his men wish to claim their place as heirs to the militia tradition. They see themselves as defending a free society against an oppressive federal government. What they fail to understand is that in American legal tradition, militias are placed under government control. Even the most ardent Anti-Federalist would have had little problem with the notion of state authorities placing strict regulations on their respective militias. Their principal objection was against the idea of the federal government creating a standing army more powerful than state militias. Viewed through this lens, Bundy’s “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom,” along with their 1990s forebears, are merely paramilitary bands. Referring to them as anything else is a gross misinterpretation of history.”

Source: History News Network | Ammon Bundy’s Wrongheaded History of Militias Is Getting People Killed