The abortion debate in Texas—and throughout the country—has dead-ended: pro-life v. pro-choice, saving the unborn child v. protecting the rights of the mother, responsibility v. freedom. Every encounter leaves each side more dug in.read more
As we celebrate today our American Declaration of Independence (signed in 1776), we also affirm our fundamental Interdependence with fellow citizens of our community, our country and the planet. The firstDeclaration of Interdependence was written by Will Durant in 1944, and since then there have been many versions offered by different people and organizations.read more
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These grand words are etched in the American consciousness, and serve as a preamble of sorts to the Constitution’s subsequent ideal goal of “a more perfect union.” With the recent split Supreme Court decisions over voting rights and marriage equality, along with and passage of an immigration reform bill in the Senate that naysayers declare is DOA in the House of Representatives, it would appear that while progress has been made, we clearly remain a work in progress, as well.
As we prepare to celebrate our Independence Day holiday this year the fireworks have been set off a little early with the debate over the intelligence surveillance practices of the so-called Patriot Act by a government that was established of, by and for the people. Call them heroes or traitors, whistleblowers or hack-tivists, there are also a growing number of anti-authoritarian tech geeks who claim to be motivated less by notoriety than a certain principled conscience to which they claim to have pledged a higher allegiance.
So, what is the nature of “natural” or “divinely-bestowed” rights? What of human conscience, earthly authority, and more? And – for those of us who might consider ourselves both a red-blooded American and Christian of one sort or other — what might constitute a “Christian” conscience, based on a Jesus life-ethic?
You can find the latest commentary Here.read more
Published on Jun 30, 2013 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described the Supreme Court’s 5-4 majority decision to remove vital Voting Rights Act provisions as moving against Martin Luther King Jr’s famous claim that the arc of time is …read more
One of my favorite books from the 1970’s is To Have or To Be, by Eric Fromm in which he describes a significant change in how we use language. He explains, for example that people once would …read more
Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called The Recycled Orchestra.read more
Senator Wendy Davis led a 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to defeat SB5, a sweeping anti-choice bill that would have forced the closure of most of the abortion clinics in the state. When the president of …read more
Once upon a time, political conservatives in America were stereotyped as hard-headed realists, and liberals were described as ungrounded dreamers. How times have changed!read more
“Voting is irrational.” This jarring statement comes from Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, in his wise book, REVERENCE: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. Paul came to USC a few months ago, hosted by my office, to give a series of talks. He’s a person who emanates the virtue that he teaches, speaking with a calm, reflective demeanor. Woodruff posits that unless we understand voting as a ritual, we’ll miss the point of it, and continue to see a decline in voter participation.read more
A typical interpretation when reading the Book of Revelation is John’s attempt to answer the interminable question: How exactly will God, once and for all, set things right? When will the “sorrow and weeping be no more,” and the “tear wiped from every eye?” After reinterpreting over and over again the imminent end that has been repeatedly put on indefinite hold, it merely begs the question, why the postponement?
When Revelation is instead understood to be political commentary spun in the form of a fantastic allegorical tale that can be reinterpreted and applied again and again, the question in each succeeding era has more to do with asking the question: Who is the Whore of Babylon, and all she represents? How can we be so easily seduced? And have the words and life of the Galilean sage been lost, even from the time John had his nightmarish vision to our own succumbing today? Read more.read more
The media does not question the deaths of the poor when profit is the motive behind their deaths but cannot tell us enough about Mosques in Boston and Islam in Russia. But who owned the plant in West, Texas? Where did the owners go to church? How were they so radicalized in their lust for money that they would place an entire town at risk? And why do we accept the deaths of the poor in indifference and silence?read more
America maims, oppresses, deeply hurts, and expects no repercussions? I’m saddened that you seem to have forgotten that. Oppressed, beleaguered people react. The Boston experience was just such a reaction – two boys carrying the resentment of many.read more