To Resist or Rise Above?

I find myself in a disorienting dilemma. Everything about Donald Trump repels me – to the point that, quite frankly, I can’t even bring myself to legitimize his presidency by referring to him by the title, a feeling reinforced every time a bratty, self-absorbed tweet is reported as news.  During his improbable campaign, I vacillated [Read More…]

Forgiveness is Hell

The BBC World Service recently featured some striking coverage of responses to Wednesday’s shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, particularly from within the church community itself.  I was especially amazed by one attendee of a prayer vigil for the victims (speaking about 32 1/2 minutes into this radio program) who said of Dylann [Read More…]

Some words about Dr. King, Part 1

MONDAY WAS THE 86TH ANNIVERSARY of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so I thought I would share some thoughts about his life and legacy. My first encounter with Dr. King’s reputation as a public figure was as a student at my predominantly black elementary school in Richmond, California. I was 6 years [Read More…]

Choose This Day

A few days before Pope Francis’ heartfelt plea for peace in his Sunday Angelus message, President Obama took a break from gearing up for yet another Middle East conflict – audaciously being called a “humanitarian intervention” – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic March on Washington with these words in tribute to the unsung heroes of the [Read More…]

Politics and Church Unity

This week is about as full as a week can get here at my parish in DC. We celebrate Martin Luther King, as well as the presidential inauguration; the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place; and we will host Cardinal Sean O’Malley in our Mass for Life before the March for Life on [Read More…]

We Need to Talk about Violence.

President Obama got it right: we can’t tolerate this anymore. In his speech at Newtown’s interfaith prayer vigil on Sunday, while appropriately keeping the primary focus on voicing and responding to the nation’s grief, Obama showed a hint of political courage that hasn’t been seen on the problem of public shootings from either side of the aisle for [Read More…]

An MLK Day Quote

“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the [Read More…]

American Exceptionalism

Glenn Greenwald, concerning president Obama’s speech about Libya, and more generally about the idea of American Exceptionalism, yesterday; The fact remains that declaring yourself special, superior and/or exceptional — and believing that to be true, and, especially, acting on that belief — has serious consequences. It can (and usually does) mean that the same standards [Read More…]

A Pilgrimage

Who knows how long this will last? You know, we’ve come so far so fast. But, somewhere back there, in the dust, Is that same small town in each of us. –Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby The End of the Innocence I gave notice at my job a couple seeks ago, because I’ve been feeling [Read More…]