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…]

Pro-Life Feminism in the Spotlight

Infanticide is on the increase to an extent inconceivable…. a recent Medical Convention [in rural Maine] unfolded a fearful condition of society in relation to this subject.  Dr. Oaks made the remark that, according to the best estimate he could make, there were four hundred murders annually produced by abortion in that county alone.  The [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…]

Motherhood and Hard Cases

This Sunday (Mothers’ Day, coincidentally or not), a shocking juxtaposition appeared in my facebook feed, of the kind that somehow compels some response, even as I wonder how I can have the audacity to say anything at all.  I suppose it’s because violence always deeply disturbs me, despite, or maybe because of, being so often [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…]

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…]

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…]

Vowing Nonviolence: What Does It Mean?

This weekend, I stood with my local Pax Christi chapter, as well as a sizeable number of parishioners at the church where we meet, to take Pax Christi USA’s Vow of Nonviolence.  The text of the vow is available through the above link, but I will also reproduce it in full here. Recognizing the violence [Read More…]

Saint Martin of Tours and the Mythos of Militarism

Attending daily Mass this morning, I was reminded of two observances taking place today, in an ironic intersection of liturgical and national calendars.  For the Catholic Church, it is the feast of St. Martin of Tours, a 4th-century convert who experienced an irreconcilable tension between his Christian faith and his career as a soldier.  Meanwhile, [Read More…]