Archive for the ‘World Affairs Council’ Tag

What’s A Father to Do?

My one and only daughter, whose wedding last year was the social highlight of the universe (see pictures at, earned bachelor and master degrees in theater but has found a wonderful place to work at the World Affairs Council of Louisville and Southern Indiana. So when somebody on their staff called me weeks ago to ask me to help I said “yes”—what’s a father to do?

What I said “yes” to was the responsibility to host in Lexington six legal officials from six countries: Armenia, Greece, India, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Judge, prosecutor, professor, solicitor, investigator, and administrator: they cover much of the vocational ground that lawyers do anywhere in the world.

They are here with a larger group—others are in Ohio and Indiana—as guests of the United States State Department. They are here to study the American legal system. Before coming to Lexington, they spent several days learning about the federal justice system in Washington, D. C. When they leave my care (on Sunday) they will travel to Arizona to learn about tribal justice and eventually end up in Miami being schooled in immigration law.

But for three days they are here: two professional days and one cultural day—on Saturday when we will visit the Kentucky Horse Park and Keeneland Race Track (where we will visit with Governor Brashear).

“How fortunate you are,” I said to them upon arrival, “to be in the United States during this historic presidential election.” They all concurred and stayed up late to watch the third presidential debate. Then this morning we spent one hour talking about it.

“How much interest is there,” I asked, “among your people in our political contests?” Quite a bit, they all said—except the human rights lawyer from Zimbabwe. “All television in our country is controlled by the government. We do not have CNN. We get little real information.”

We spent an hour with recently retired Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court (a 1970 graduate of Georgetown College) and ate lunch with seven members of the International Law Society at the UK School of Law. I learned UK has no professor of international law and has not offered a class on the topic in three years. When I lamented this, Christos from Greece said, “This is very common in American law schools.”

Friday we take our seats in a Circuit Court session, talk with the Internal Affairs Director of the Lexington Police Department (and this should interest Joseph from Tanzania who is a federal prosecutor in the anti-corruption division of his justice department), and then meet with a regional manager of our public defenders office.

All of this is a rare treat for a man who gives most of his time to sermon preparation, hospital visitation, and church administration—and it is a welcome distraction from the unseen forces shuffling the economic cards around the world. Most of all it is a pleasant reminder of how interesting it is to talk with people from other parts the world, how similar are the problems we face, and how interconnected is this fascinating network of people we call the human family.

And I don’t have space to tell you what I have learned about administrative law, how the conversation about the death penalty evolved, and what was said when they learned their host is a Baptist preacher!!