After the events that unfolded just a few days ago in Charlottesville, it is encouraging to hear people, especially faith leaders across our state and country, speak out in opposition to hate speech and the groups that advance such ideas. In my own church on Sunday, I heard these words preached from the pulpit, that we cannot claim the cross of Jesus while using it as a symbol of hate. As James 3: 9-12 put it, cursing people who are made in the image of God is a paradox, like a spring that puts forth fresh and salty water.

While President Trump played it safe in how he condemned Saturday’s violence at a Charlottesville rally of white supremacists protesting removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of rebel forces in the Civil War, Sen. Ted Cruz didn’t spare the rod. The Texas Republican blasted certain elements of the melee for what they are: a clear affront to American values.

In the Texas Legislature’s summertime march to crush local governance, state Sen. Brandon Creighton’s bill to block removal of Confederate statues appears belly-up as the special session now seems to have ended prematurely. Filed midway through the session, it obviously sought to play to far-right passions of those who champion what others see as a treasonous rebellion bent on keeping black people in chains for generations to come.

Given the Aug. 5 death of former Texas Gov. Mark White, the many eulogies praising his rare leadership and his final fight for accountability and transparency on the part of leadership at his alma mater, one can’t help noting the irony of Friday’s ruling by a federal judge involving White’s beloved Baylor University. The court ordered Baylor to furnish local attorney Jim Dunnam with notes, recordings and other relevant information from the controversial Pepper Hamilton investigation that reportedly uncovered administrative indifference regarding sexual assaults involving Baylor students.

As President Trump threatens nuclear war with North Korea and tries to figure out how he feels about neo-Nazis — Monday he finally condemned white supremacist groups by name — Republicans are facing an extraordinary period on Capitol Hill, one which will require work, skill, care and luck to navigate successfully. Even in the best of circumstances it would be an incredibly difficult challenge. But it will be made even harder by the fact the person who should be their greatest asset — the president — is their greatest impediment.

Flashback

What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.

Right about now, Miriam McCormick is probably feeling a little low. She’s the 17-year-old Midway High senior who in June convinced Midway Independent School District trustees to vote 6-1 to change the name of the Midway Pantherettes girls’ teams to the Midway Panthers on the idea the former mascot name was diminutive in tone and stature when contrasted with the boys’ sports teams. But she need not feel low about what she said and did then or what has transpired since.

It was widely observed that Brexit was driven by anti-immigrant sentiment. A new Ipsos poll confirms that about half of Brits have a negative view of immigration, while only 35 percent view it positively. Much concern has focused upon European Union citizens currently residing in the United Kingdom (they’ll certainly be grandfathered, as will UK citizens living in the EU), but the real question is what kind of long-term immigration policy the UK should adopt.