A Scream and a Theory: Natural Selection and the Higher Moral Order

Scientific theories do not occur in a vacuum. Like poems or paintings, theories reflect the times and characters or their authors. Darwin’s theory of natural selection, far from being a stark and cold scientific theory, was—and continues to be—an impassioned cry for equality and justice. A cry far more grounded and stirring than anything available [Read More...]

Take Good Care

I was taught in seminary to do ministry with sacred texts in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Our theological and ethical musings are of no consequence if they cannot be applied to what is happening outside the walls of our congregations, if they do not speak to people’s lives. As the Affordable [Read More...]

Flying Over the Squares (for small farmers)

The little towns in their squares light up, as do the scattered lights of farmyards in the tilting, fuzzy squares they’re locked in.   I balance a Chilian red on a bumpy flight out to one of those squares.   The West is red too, after we bump to a cruising altitude through clouds threatening [Read More...]

Epiphany (Continues)

[More king cakes than you can imagine and only two weeks into Epiphany, I am still tugging on the promise of this season, even as I find myself tugging on clothes that seem strangely tighter...] Kathleen Norris notes the irony that King Herod “appears in the Christian liturgical year when the gospel is read on [Read More...]

A Gift, A Letter, and a Drowning Man: The Legacy of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

There’s an old Zen story that does like this:   Once there was a great warrior. He had never been defeated, and he continued to win every confrontation into old age. He was known far and wide as the only warrior who had never suffered a defeat. This of course was a challenge to younger [Read More...]

What A Miracle Is

  Once I crossed the Sierra Madres with a bus driver named Arturo who had one arm and a stick-shift bus.   Sometimes between the the shift and wheel Arturo’s good right arm would pause to make the sign of the cross toward a portrait of the Virgin that banged the windshield from a string. [Read More...]

Unconditional Love: An Epiphany

Over winter solstice, I watched my father tending to KG, his first grandchild, with unconditional love. We had just celebrated her one year birthday and she was beginning to cruise around with increased confidence.  As she found herself standing in front of my mother’s highly breakable ceramic nativity scene, KG began to methodically hand each [Read More...]

Sometimes It Takes A Lie

Sometimes it takes a lie to keep a religion. “It’s merely a game,” they told the priests–”how we fast for days, then cut a tall pole to climb. How we costume and dance. It means nothing, how we chant in circles and bleed chickens. How we climb and fly round and around in air. Come, [Read More...]

Being Responsible- A Story of Two Men

The daily paper on Christmas Eve carried this story: “Richard F. Morrow, 69, died when he was struck by a car in the village of Canton at 10:49 p.m. Mr. Morrow was pronounced dead at the scene. … Daniel W. Lester, 28, was driving northbound when he allegedly struck Mr. Morrow and fled, according to [Read More...]

Empty Suitcase

The cat snuggles down into my empty suitcase, out to fill for a trip. She   knows something’s up. It’s a bed, she insists. A warm place, even an   instrument of stasis. I let her nestle there, passing on to other   bustling that needs doing, done. That I’ve lived out of a suitcase [Read More...]


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