What is a White Supremacist?

Let’s keep this fast: You don’t have to be an Arian Nation airhead wrapped in a confederate flag to be a white supremacist. You don’t need to hate people of color and love being pink. You don’t need to believe in segregation. You don’t need to be bad person. While the overt manifestations of white [Read More…]

Its Not a Muslim Ban – Its Worse

  Atlanta airport, T-Gates. A radio talk show features a debate on President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from several dominantly Muslim countries. A legal expert is trying to patiently explain that the courts will not interpret this as a ban on Muslims. An increasingly irate activist accuses him of supporting a ban on Muslim. [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…]

What Makes a Sacred Space Real?

On Facebook I’ve been posting pictures of visits to various sites in Israel and the Palestinian Territory. A friend said: “One of the reasons I have never been truly interested in seeing some of the sites linked to early Christianity is a skepticism that the locations claimed to be “the place” are grounded in verified data. [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…]

When God’s Story Becomes Boring

Among the many pills my doctor advises me to take each day one is a “multi-vitiman.” There are lots of brands. What they have in common is that in one small pill are all the vitamins and minerals my body needs each day. In theory I could take my multi-vitiman and eat nothing but boiled [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…]

A Little Discomfort in Public Places

I have lived in many different cultural contexts around the world. And because I frankly like adventure and new things I’ve voluntarily been places and done things that were, well, a little different. But you don’t grow unless you are uncomfortable. I’ll be 61 in a few days and I’d like for something to keep growing besides [Read More…]