Our God is too Small

On Easter Sunday as I listen to the familiar hymns I’m contemplating one of the biggest reasons that it is difficult to believe in God. The Christian representation of God (and for that matter the common representations in other religions) simply isn’t up to being God of the universe as we know it today. In [Read More…]

Privilege and the Loss of Personhood

I recently read a book review that got me thinking about privilege. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2017/03/23/the-last-thing-on-privilege-youll-ever-need-to-read. As it happened I’d been identified as “cis-gendered male,” on Facebook. And so I started to reflect on just what privilege means in terms of identity When I was 12 my father died. The family moved to a new town. I had to start working (newspaper [Read More…]

At the Intersection of Exclusion

An editorial in the New York Times on Wednesday March 8th, a feminist who is also Jewish wondered if she could really join in the international women’s day movement. After all, the organizers were linked to groups promoting the “decolonization of Palestine,” which effectively means putting an end to the nation of Israel. (https:/www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/does-feminism-have-room-for-zionists.html) She wasn’t [Read More…]

America’s Forever Immigrants

It has often been said the the United States was founded on immigration. And that is true. Its also true that each wave of immigrants has been blamed for all sorts of social problems. But is it true that each is eventually assimilated into being American? No. Certain communities have never really been granted the status of [Read More…]

The Anti-Semitism in the Heart of Christianity

Anti-Judaism is as old as the United States of America. Indeed, it is really as old as Christianity and Western civilization. In the last two days Jewish community centers across the United States have been evacuated because of a bomb threat. The threat may not have been credible. But the perpetrators did intend to cause harm. And [Read More…]

No Exit?

In a few hours i’ll fly out of Tel Aviv to return to the US. This will be my 20th or 21st year of visiting Israel and the West Bank. In that 20 years I’ve never seen or heard less hope and more fear than I’ve heard on this trip. Not that there haven’t been [Read More…]

When Inter-religious Dialogue Isn’t Enough

I’ve been in Israel and the Palestinian territories nearly 20 times in the last 20 years, and have spent months here studying, teaching, and trying to listen. I’m there again, writing this in hotel lobbies from Jaffa to Tiberius to Bethlehem. Many things have changed over the last 20 years, but one of the most obvious [Read More…]

Death Comes to All Things

Live Large in the New Year! I usually try to understand fully the different forms of diversity in our society, and to encourage people to understand each other’s differences. In this blog I’m going to explain one reason I do this. More that 30 years ago I found a tumor in my left arm pit. [Read More…]

The Hollowness of Ethics Without Relationships

I’ve been thinking about why the carefully crafted statements from all sides analyzing the relationship between Israel, the US, and the Palestinian Authority tend to make me angry. I think it has to do with the  objectifying of the other. Rationally speaking President Obama has been a strong supporter of Israel, the recent failure to veto a [Read More…]

No Freedom Outside the Box

I have suggested that we need wide open public spaces if we are thrive as a nation. We need a “public square” where all kinds of experiences and attitudes are brought to bear on creating our social and political culture. At the same time I work with a lot of people who don’t find my [Read More…]