Acts of God

Not too long ago Pat Robertson claimed that the increase in tornadoes in the country was due to the fact that people weren’t praying enough. He thought the Haitians deserved their suffering following the recent earthquake too because of a deal he feels they made with the devil when they wickedly decided to overthrow their own slaveowners in the early 1800s. Ken Hamm, the director of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, similarly argues that all suffering is caused by human moral depravity. We always … [Read more...]

The Intersection of Poverty and the Environment

Last Saturday I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion about the intersection of poverty and the environment sponsored by the Episcopal Church. Before our panel discussion, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Dr. Katherine Jefferts Schori, gave a stirring sermon on the need for us to give our attention to those who are the most vulnerable to the effects of global environmental degradation. This topic was motivated by one of the five “Marks of Mission” in … [Read more...]

On the Theologies and Ideologies of the Earth

Giving an interview always leaves unfinished business. In my interview with KCPW on Wednesday, a caller (later identified as Scott Howell, Democratic candidate for US Senate in Utah) asked my opinion of HB 148, a piece of legislation recently passed by the Utah State Legislature and signed by Governor Gary Herbert. I said that while in theory taking back federal lands into state control could result in better stewardship of those lands, I didn’t have confidence that this piece of legislation was … [Read more...]

Radio Interview

Listen in to an interview with me on KCPW on April 18, 2012 about stewardship and ecospirituality. … [Read more...]

The Grace of Nothingness

“Pray as if everything depends on the Lord. Act as if everything depends on you.” Mormons recognize this as Brigham Young. Catholics as St. Augustine. In either case, I have never heard commentary on the strange duality of mind this “as-if” theology requires, as if true faith requires remaining open to both possibilities simultaneously. To act as if everything depends on us is to assume ultimate responsibility for the world, to accept the fact that we live in a universe of comprehensive account … [Read more...]

On Politics, Ambivalence, and Left and Right Wings

I have always been profoundly ambivalent about politics, but not because I don’t have political convictions. And while I am no expert on political matters, my ambivalence is certainly not a function of being uninformed about things generally. I am serious about my citizenship. I read the news religiously. I vote in all elections, local and national, and I volunteer in my local party. What I find difficult is the way in which politics tends to divide and conquer knowledge, the way it makes me f … [Read more...]

On Music

Every night I hear piano practicing in the house—my son, Sam, and my daughter, Camilla, working tirelessly. Sometimes Chopin, sometimes popular songs my daughter likes to learn and quietly sing to. And over the last few months, almost nightly I hear the sound of the small plying voice of my boy, exploring old Beatles classics on his not always perfectly tuned guitar. Just last week I was in Nashville for a conference and a friend and I made it into one of the night clubs to hear live blues m … [Read more...]