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Author Gene Davenport

Gene Davenport (1936-2018) was Professor Emeritus of Religion at Lambuth University and a columnist for The Jackson Sun.

The US has made Martin Luther King Jr. a national icon by sanitizing his legacy and by erasing from its memory his importance as a prophetic voice. Elements of his legacy have been either conveniently or deliberately forgotten. […] Read More

The common Western image of Islam as one large religion that spreads itself through warfare is primarily the result of the actions of Muslim leaders who, across the centuries, used Islam to gain power and territory, but who would have used any religion into which they were born for that purpose. They simply equated submission […] Read More

I had not intended to write another column on Glenn Beck, but a recent episode of his TV show demands a response. The program was about an environment curriculum Beck fears will be taught in public schools with a counterpart in churches and synagogues. Not having seen the curriculum, I cannot comment on it, but […] Read More

Someone has said, “Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but not to his or her facts.” I thought of that saying recently while watching Glenn Beck, who hosts one of television’s most watched talk shows. Beck, who regularly recites his version of history, exemplified having one’s own facts when he asserted that […] Read More

Several writers have noted that Glenn Beck’s recent rally was a clear example of American civil religion. A little noted incident at the rally, however, was Beck’s remark that when revelation was being given in ancient Israel, it also was being given on this side of the globe. The remark was followed by a rabbi […] Read More

The United States has made Martin Luther King Jr. a national icon by sanitizing his legacy and by erasing from its memory his importance as a prophetic voice. Most commemorations of King’s birthday concentrate on his “I Have a Dream” speech. Some recall his Memphis speech, in which he spoke, the night before he was […] Read More

The question of the role of government versus individual rights is at least as old as the 17th century. The concept of individual rights arose from the view that because reason is the primary characteristic of human beings, all human beings have the right to select their own authorities and to make their own laws. […] Read More

Although I write this column from a biblical perspective, regular readers are aware that I usually attempt to present a view that I think might commend itself to a larger audience than simply Christians and Jews. Recent comments on some Christian talk shows about the upcoming trial or trials of persons involved in the events […] Read More

In some respects, President Obama is like the man who, in an old story, caught a tiger by the tail. There is danger in holding on and danger in turning loose. Though he inherited three major problems – the economy, health care and U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan – his handling of these will […] Read More

Editor’s note: Gene Davenport gave the following remarks at the Lambuth University Quadrangle in Jackson, Tenn., on May 7, 1970. He delivered them in response to students’ invitation to speak about violence at Kent State University that claimed four lives. As our nation mourns the tragedy at Fort Hood, we offer Davenport’s remarks not in […] Read More