We Want Our Dignity Back

A recent World Council of Churches delegation to Iraq reported on the complex feelings and wrenching dilemmas of Christians there.  They quoted one woman named Lubna Yusef, who I will let speak for herself here because her voice, unsettling as it is, deserves to be heard. “What did we do to deserve this? I hate traveling [Read More…]

The Conversion of Muslim Refugees

This is something of a companion piece to my post this morning about Pope Francis and welcoming refugees.  An article appeared a couple days ago on Crux about Muslim refugees converting to Christianity.   I post this since I first saw it on a Facebook feed from one of my friends.  The people commenting on the [Read More…]

On Not Having Answers: an Exercise in Paralysis

I am troubled by all violence. I said this once to an Iraqi priest I had come to know and admire, and it provoked a look – almost with a start – of something resonating to the core.  I mention this not to suggest in any way that I can presume to speak for him [Read More…]

Witness to the Nazarene: A Lamentation

Heartbreaking. The word floated up in my mind as I read of the systematic destruction of the ancient religious and cultural heritage of the city of Mosul by Iraq’s “Islamic State” militants who, having driven out the city’s centuries-old Christian population, have been turning even to iconic and treasured Muslim sites. The same word came to mind [Read More…]

The Tired Logic of the Cycle of Violence

I’m not usually a big fan of Nicholas Kristof, but he has written a perceptive New York Times column on the symmetry of the rhetoric on either side of the Israel-Palestine conflict and its latest flare-up.  Perceptive, that is, in a way akin to pointing out the emperor’s nakedness: stating the obvious, which is less obvious than [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…]

A Day of Fasting and Prayer

The pope’s Sunday Angelus message this week contained an important announcement: the proclamation of Saturday, September 7 as “a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world.” Here is his message in full, courtesy of Vatican Radio: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Hello! Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish [Read More…]

Enough Killing of Innocents: A Consitent Life Quote for LifeMatters

This weekend, the consistent life publication Life Matters Journal is hosting a “blogfest” in response to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s “AbortionMatters blog carnival”.  While clearly responding to a polemical position, this is not about perpetuating divides but attempting to bridge them: demonstrating that it is not only possible but indeed more consistent to be both pro-woman [Read More…]

Al-Qaeda and the Christian Moral Imagination

The following is intended primarily as a thought experiment.  As such, I think it reasonable to request from the outset that it be given some thought.  Since I am addressing a highly charged subject that may evoke a variety of passionate responses, I invite those wishing to comment (and yes, this goes equally for those [Read More…]