Shelter From the Storm

The truth is, I'm going to be just fine during the Trump Administration. I 'm holding a straight flush: white, male, able-bodied, middle-class, and middle-aged. I have a business of my own and my wife has a solid, well-paying job with a Fortune 10 company. We own our home and have other assets, including investment and retirement accounts. Our son has already been to war and is in no danger of having to go again. Our daughter can rely on us for economic and emotional support. Frankly, there is l … [Read more...]

Passing the Test (for Cynthia)

[An old friend in pain recently emailed me to share some anguish and doubt. (S)he wrote that despite years of intense but unanswered prayer, (s)he had finally failed the test of faithfulness. Most disturbing of all, (s)he commended me on having passed that test, no doubt truly believing that in fact I have. This was my reply. I offer it today for my new friend Cynthia.]Thank you, my friend, for reaching out to share these thoughts with me, for trusting me with emotions so raw and doubts so p … [Read more...]

Novena for Peace: August 29 – September 6, For an End to the Injustice of Exploitation

Join us at Novena For Peace!General Intentions: For an end to the injustice of exploitation. For the redemption of structures that enable the powerful to abuse the Earth, bind women and children in sexual slavery, promote pornography, and deprive workers of just wages. For the spread of an integral ecology that protects nature, promotes the dignity of the human person, and seeks the common good.Particular Intentions: For those people known to us who suffer from exploitation, and in re … [Read more...]

Forget Shea. This Guy Has Anger and Tone Issues

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore, whatever they tell you observe and do, but do not do their works. For they speak, but do nothing. They fasten heavy loads that are hard to carry and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with their finger.They do all their works to be seen by men. They make their Scripture boxes broad and lengthen the tassels on their prayer shawls. They love the places of honor at feasts, and the prominent seats in th … [Read more...]

The Novena for Peace Begins Today

Eighty-one days of prayer for justice, peace, and racial reconciliation in the United States. We begin today and end on November 8, Election Day, which also happens to be the birthday of our patron, the Servant of God Dorothy Day.Please consider joining us at any point along the way. This isn't magic. We're not "multiplying words as the heathen do" (Matthew 6:7). We are Christians lifting our hearts and minds to God in lamentation, supplication, praise, and thanksgiving on behalf of our … [Read more...]

Turning America Around

In 1976, the evangelical church of my youth celebrated the bicentennial of American independence. Since my dad was the pastor and my mother the music director, my brothers and I were often pressed into service as singers. For our big Independence Day service, I was given the following song, titled “Statue of Liberty,” to sing, which I did with conviction:In New York Harbor stands a lady, With a torch raised to the sky; And all who see her know she stands for Liberty for you and me.I’m … [Read more...]

Junger’s Hunger, And Ours

A couple of years ago, I took some members of a large Rwandan refugee family to a St. Vincent de Paul store nearby. I was accompanied by a Rwandan friend and translator, Jeanette Akimiyimana, herself a refugee who has been in the United States for ten years. As we pulled away from the triple decker where the family had been placed, Jeanette began to chat with one of the teenaged girls in Kinyarwanda, the principal language of Rwanda. Before long they were laughing and the pace of conversation had … [Read more...]

Preparing for President Trump

What I’m about write is not an exercise in partisan advocacy. I belong to neither of the dominant political parties in the United States, which I consider to be two dead ends in the same blind alley. Nor do I belong to any other party. Nor do I consider myself a member of the Right or the Left. Nor do I appropriate for myself meaningless labels like liberal and conservative.No, this is not a partisan statement. But it is deeply political. The notion that any thinking, believing, and p … [Read more...]

Book Review: “Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People”

I write today for the purpose of recommending “Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People,” the latest book from Plough Publishing. Edited and introduced by Charles Moore, with a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas, “Called to Community” is an essential collection of 82 essays and perspectives on the broad themes of a call to community, forming community, life in community, and engaging the world through community.Plough Publishing is an arm of the Bruderhof (“place of brothers”), an A … [Read more...]

The Fire This Time (Revisited)

This essay is adapted from the original which appeared at Vox Nova on August 23, 2011.Driving through Watch Hill, a wealthy neighborhood perched atop a promontory that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean from the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, one might be forgiven for thinking that all is well in the Republic. Here, handsome families stroll the covered walkways of the village, past high-end realtors’ offices, upscale gift shops, and charming restaurants. Expensive sail and motor boats bob on t … [Read more...]