My White Tribe: The Unmarked Group

I asked my Jackson School International Studies class called, "Cultural Interactions in an Interdependent World," to give their tribal descriptions and share them with each other. The results, from 200+ student versions, were breath-taking. I can't disclose those, but I do offer you my own below. I suppose, I would wonder in return, what is your tribe?I grew up unaware of my race or ethnicity, and with the privilege of being a white male in America, an objective observer, a strange, opaque bl … [Read more...]

We’re Winning Against ISIS: Religious Violence and Occupation

I’ve been thinking and writing about religious violence for some time now. Along with many people, I wonder: Is religion inherently violent? Is religion actually the problem in our modern world? And more particularly—is Islam intrinsically violent? (Quick answer: NO, at least no more than any of the major world religions).I’ve argued in the past that mixing religion and violence is not new. Every religion has done it and will continue to do it. This begs the question—for what reason? … [Read more...]

Hope Beyond Despair

I was reminded recently that Nikos Kazantzakis’ 1955 The Last Temptation of Christ has Jesus, the carpenter, building crosses for his Roman rulers. Jesus is despised by his own people and crushed by his conscience. The voices in his mind plague him, until finally, he wakes up and goes to the dessert to find his true calling.We have no idea whether this is historically accurate, though it’s not utterly foreign to what might have occurred. The Romans used the cross to discipline the Jewish peo … [Read more...]

Rob Bell is Here: A Review of How to be Here-with Addendum

Rob Bell is a friend. I wrote a book about him. We spent something on the order of two days together talking, with me mostly asking questions. And during the time he said, “Wow, this is like therapy.” And then, later, “You know I think we could be friends.” We visited him last spring in Los Angeles and we’ve stayed in touch.And even though I've read most everything he has written, when his new book came out, I ordered it right away. Now this is his first real “self-help” book and I’m not surp … [Read more...]

NFL Admits to the Link between Football and CTE

Wow, not long ago I wrote on Why I’m Not Watching the Super Bowl. Today, the NFL finally admitted the link between football and CTE: Read this and ask yourself whether you would knowingly let your son play football: Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University, said this about the relationship between football and CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy):"I unequivocally think there's a link between playing football and CTE. We've seen it in 90 out of 94 NFL players whose brains we'v … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not Watching the Super Bowl

The Seahawks Aren’t Playing. Okay, I like my Hawks, though even here, the reality of money, violence and the cynicism of the League are beginning to dim my loyalty to this team. Nonetheless, Pete Carroll’s sheer will to transform any negative into a positive is stunning.The Chris Borland Story. Read it and it will sober you too. Borland, a former Forty-Niner linebacker, is a physical and athletic specimen and watching him play was like watching Spiderman spring on people, breathtaking. But at … [Read more...]