To all people of good will fighting for social, economic, and environmental justice, defending the poor & the marginalized, ministering to the world’s sick and wounded, or working for peace and reconciliation among both men and nations- rejoice!  You do not labor to build the Beloved Community in vain, but are instead the harbingers of a Kingdom that is, even now, triumphantly breaking into our world. To all people in darkness- the poor, the oppressed and abused, the migrants, the forgotten- rejoice!… Read more

[A review of Nothing to Vote For: The Futility of the American Electoral Process, by Daniel Schwindt] One of the more misguided, even destructive projects of our hyper-merchandized culture is the labeling of entire generations into Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, etc. As though our society needed yet another mechanism for dividing ourselves from each other, especially via stereotypes based on shopping. As an example of the crudity of these generational labels, I offer the example of my friend Daniel Schwindt, a… Read more

Dispossessed of jobs and their dignity for a generation now or more, the Trump voters are glowing as they await what they were promised: nothing less than the reversal of a great tidal wave of economic history, the one popularly referred to as globalization or offshoring or free trade. As their unlikely tribune of the plebs, they have elevated a man with businesses in 18 countries, including Trump-branded hotels in India (2), Istanbul, Uruguay, the Phillippines, South Korea, Panama, Rio… Read more

“Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization.”- Masha Gessen “The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.”- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn As I write this, reports are circulating that Donald Trump, our President-elect, intends to follow through on some of his most divisive campaign promises and actually create some sort of registry… Read more

I knew my involvement in civic matters in northwest Indiana would eventually take me to Gary, about 25 miles from my town of Valparaiso. As I’ve driven along Interstate 90 heading to and from Chicago, I’ve often peered down from the expressway into the city’s empty streets and dilapidated neighborhoods. For many long-time residents of the area, the town’s very name is an epithet for a landscape of failure and fear where it’s thought that no one stays who can… Read more

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… Read more

For several years now, I’ve attended daily Mass at St. Clare Church, where the average parishioner could be described as white, old, and well-off. For the first couple of years, I routinely joined other communicants for the Wednesday “Coffee and …” in the parish center. Eventually, though, I had to stop attending. When someone asked me why I wasn’t coming around anymore, my response was “Because I want to think the best of you all.” You see, I heard things on Wednesday… Read more

  In politics, as in war, there is often only one favorable moment- an opportunity when tantalizing possibilities open up and the very course of history can be diverted in new directions. But these moments, which depend on the convergence of circumstances largely due to mere chance, are fleeting, and must be seized immediately and exploited because they may never occur again. As a result, in the political arena, radical reform is always a project for the bold and the enterprising. Perhaps… Read more

In temporary relief from the ongoing telenovella of our impending national election, we habitues of the Front Porch Republic met up last weekend at the architecture building on the campus of the University of Notre Dame for a daylong celebration of “place, limits, liberty.” These annual shmoozefests are always a delight, given the wonderful mix of temperaments and the high degree of literacy displayed everywhere. Amidst a certain Spenglerian gloom, hilarity is always breaking out, I dunno quite how. Anyway, here’s my Yelp-like… Read more

[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… Read more

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