Our Moral Responsibility to Pay Attention

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Pay attention. I have been teaching for a long time, and I confess that while I am always hoping that my words find a home in astudent’s heart, I never know. As the rabbi Jesus said at the beginning of his teaching, “If you have ears to hear, then hear.” That is as deep a wisdom [Read More...]

When Peacemaking is Unpopular

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Commonwealth is an unusual word in the modern world. Still used in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts for the word “state,” it is a way of seeing life together, a political community founded for the common good. I thought of this a while back while listening to an Israeli, a Palestinian and a Jordanian, each one committed [Read More...]

The Way the World’s Supposed to Be

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The way the world’s supposed to be. Is there a world like that? Do we know? How would we? What does it mean? These are the greatest questions of life, and ones that we answer very differently, given our deepest commitments about the meaning of life, our beliefs about God, the human condition, and history. [Read More...]

Scrooge’s Question to Us

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the future….” Of all the scenes in A Christmas Carol, the visit of Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present with the Cratchit family, is perhaps the tenderest. It is, after all, where we hear Tiny Tim say, inimitably, “God bless us, everyone!” So very human, full of hopes and heartaches [Read More...]

Far as the Curse is Found

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All of us have antennae. We watch for things, hoping that what we see and hear is more truthful than not. And when we sense that something is being said that is not quite true, we cringe; we may even cry out in dismay or disgust. I am that way about Christmas. While I love [Read More...]

Thankful for Good Neighbors

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Neighbors by choice. There is nothing magic about it, though I am sure there are mysteries in it. Mostly it is about ordinary people who have ordinary lives who live in ordinary places, like many, many other before us. For most of life, Meg and I have lived this way, choosing our neighbors before we [Read More...]

Mad Men and Reality

Falling, falling, falling…. and finally, he fell. When the clock struck 9:30 pm or so, with our bowl of popcorn between us, we spent many evenings looking in on the strangely sad life of “Mad Men,” the storied series about Donald Draper and his fellows, men and women who populated the advertising world of Madison [Read More...]

M&M’s and Moral Capitalism

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Consumerism Gone Wild. Read other perspectives here. Can business ever be just about business? or politics just about politics? or the arts just about the arts? or education just about education? The wisest wisdom has always said no. Life is too complex, for [Read More...]


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