WTF?

Really, WTF? Has people shooting at strangers become a sort of national pastime? Are we supposed to get used to this? Worse yet, have we gotten used to it? Really, what am I supposed to say? Once again we are in that place of knowing that people have been killed and injured for no apparent [Read More…]

Who’s In and Who’s Out of Institutions (and the immigrants between)

  The British social anthropologist Mary Douglas had this to say about institutions: Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other. That about sums it [Read More…]

A Better Choice

It was a few days after the 9/11 tragedy. We had done our best to shelter our not-quite-three-year-old daughter from the constant onslaught of images on the news, but there was no way to censor things entirely, particularly our conversations as the tragedy unfolded. How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? How [Read More…]

Reflections on Global Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide Prevention Day. Note: If you feel even vaguely suicidal right now, please don’t read this. Instead, please call and talk to someone who can help you! 1-800-273-8255. When I was a sophomore in high school, undone by the relentless teasing of an older relative, unsure that I would ever leave the barren wasteland of [Read More…]

Season of Forgiveness

Reflecting on his experience as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, the International Military Tribunal established at the end of WWII, Bernard Meltzer wrote, “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” The spiritual practice of atonement, asking and offering forgiveness, is a practice that [Read More…]

And Now, Introducing…Food

This post could also be titled “What Will Our Daughter Learn From Us About Eating, Part 1/xx?” Already, we are in constant negotiations about eating. The current challenge is sitting down. We’d like her to “sit down, please” while she eats so she doesn’t teeter and fall painfully out of her high chair. But about [Read More…]

Bombing Again? But It’ll Work This Time!

There’s really no need to refer to specifics. When you’ve been a citizen of the United States as long as I have, you’ve heard it all before: national security; stopping this or that madman; ending drugs or terror or Communism; honor. Whatever. The point is always the same: now, in this situation, violence will actually [Read More…]

None of the Above

As I write, the President and Congress are discussing how to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Not surprisingly, the blogosphere is full of strong opinions: that we must respond to the wanton abuse of citizens with chemical weapons, that bombing Syria would be a huge mistake, that force is the only [Read More…]

A Month of Weddings

Yesterday closed out August, the first month of marriage equality in Minnesota. Fittingly, I saw it out just as I entered it in: officiating at a lesbian wedding. As I have stood before dozens of couples this month, and as I have sat in the chairs weeping for friends, I have a couple of thoughts [Read More…]


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