Benediction for the Wind (on the occasion of a killer tornado)

What better way to get people praying than to remind us of random chance? What better way than the cold logic of air rising, falling, killing here, not there; this one, not that. Where I come from we name them by a year: 2011, 1957, 1925, and remember deaths, 695, 255, 12. What better way [Read More...]

Acts of God

People are dead, including children. Whole neighborhoods are utterly destroyed, brought down to foundations and rubble. People are injured, traumatized, bereft. And there is no one to blame. No bomber, no shooter, no mad man or terrorist. Simply an “act of God.” How I hate that phrase, act of God. As if God would come [Read More...]

Compassion and Connection

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has graced New Orleans with his presence this weekend. Prayer flags are fluttering from balconies more accustomed to Mardi Gras beads and brass bands are sharing the scene with throat singing… HH Dalai Lama arrived under the auspices of a conference called “Resilience: Strength Through Compassion and Connection.” Those familiar [Read More...]

A Bad Day for Theocracy (14 May 2013, marriage equality Minnesota)

A bad day for creeds; a bad day for stares; a bad day for blind obedience to blundering oracles, as Henry put it long ago. A bad day for obedience. A bad day for “act like us.” Why not, Ralph asked, long ago, why not behold god and nature face to face with our own [Read More...]

Consent

My friend recently shared an article that complained about dog lovers foisting their animals on the non-dog-loving public. Although I am a ridiculously passionate dog lover, I have to say I agree. People who don’t want to deal with dogs shouldn’t have to be approached by them. Also people shouldn’t have to worry about their [Read More...]

Creating Life

Standing in the doorway between the ticket table and the concert last night, the music from the incredible jazz trio on the chancel washing over me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. This is my life! Somewhere between scheduling the termite treatments and the ceiling repairs from a leaky roof, between taxes and budgets, between making [Read More...]

Who Decides What Is “Value-Added?”

For whatever reasons having to do with time but also interest, I am the one in our family who sits down and pays the bills. I like doing it. I get a feeling of satisfaction from being able to pay the bills, a sense of security and peace of mind, however ephemeral, that we were [Read More...]

A Former Member Asks the Minister for a Favor

She says her family shuns her. She says it has something to do with God. She says the cancer has gone way too far. She says when her brother died the family pastor said he went straight to hell and “Let that be a lesson.” She says, “Will you do my funeral?” A light rain [Read More...]

For Mother’s Day

What will you be doing for Mother’s Day? I confess it’s never been a big deal in my family, either with my mom or as a mom. Somehow, we just never got on the breakfast in bed, flowers, greeting card bandwagon. I don’t know why. It’s not that I don’t think mothers deserve to be [Read More...]


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