May 6, 2017

Religious liberty is threatened. Many seeking to protect it are harming it. President Donald Trump is making faith into pop-religion meriting a reality show. He is secularizing the sacred. Sadly, spiritual leaders are helping him to do it. On Thursday, the president signed an executive order to weaken the Johnson Amendment. Passed in 1954, the amendment prohibited churches and other non-profits from engaging in partisan or political activity. Embed from Getty Images The president’s effort is a misguided attempt to... Read more

March 14, 2017

Lent is social action and spiritual growth. Hence, rethink how you experience the season. Social Climate Southern Poverty Law Center reported since November’s election hate crimes increased dramatically. Jews, women, Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals are facing threats. American-Jews are especially under attack. In March, every US Senator signed a letter to the Trump Administration. Senators asked the Administration to do more against hate being directed against Jews. Recent anti-Semitism includes vandalism of cemeteries and bomb threats to schools, synagogues,... Read more

February 28, 2017

It’s better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic, according to Pope Francis. It shouldn’t apply to just Catholics, but to all Christians. Living a Christian life is a challenge. I wonder how many Christians are praying for Milo Yiannopoulos rather than take satisfaction in his downfall. Sometimes I can be curt with a homeless person.  Other days I harbor anger with someone’s mistreatment of me.  My solace can be a bakery instead of prayer.  I too am a... Read more

February 21, 2017

Increasingly, I believe free choice is limited. The extent to which free choice impacts one’s life may stem from whether an individual reacts to events, challenges, and opportunities or responds in a measured, thoughtful manner. The goal should always be to respond. Often, I fall short. Events or occurrences, like an encounter that develops into a lifelong romance or good friendship, may be destined or chance happening. I remain unsure. People come into our lives at different times. Some stay.... Read more

February 16, 2017

Big Bowl, Fish Bowl, Crystal Bowl, I rarely pay attention to sports. Many years ago when the Red Sox played in the World Series, I was going down the hall listening to an opera on my Walkman. A law school professor stopped me wearing a Red Sox cap to ask about the score, thinking I had the radio on.  “Carmen,” I told him. He looked puzzled. My ears did perk up a few years ago about a major sporting even... Read more

February 8, 2017

A grand shakeup hasn’t come to America.  Chaos seems to be the new norm in Washington.  Fortunately, there’s something to draw from to sustain me over the next several years. “I do not occupy myself with great matters,” the Psalm teaches, “or with things that are too hard for me.  But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother’s breast; my soul is quieted within me” (131:2-3). In December, I spent three nights during... Read more

February 4, 2017

Donald Trump may have done more to nail Jesus to the cross than any president in America’s history. At February’s National Prayer Breakfast he quipped prayers were needed to boost the modest television ratings of his replacement on “The Apprentice.” He also pledged to destroy the Johnson Amendment, passed in 1954, that prohibits clergy from politicking from the pulpit. It’s difficult to know whether the president was attempting humor when he asked those assembled to “pray for Arnold” Schwarzenegger, the... Read more

December 22, 2016

Hope is something outgoing President Barack Obama championed on his way to the White House and throughout his eight years in office. His successor, President-elect Donald Trump has talked about making the nation great again. This year’s presidential election has caused historic polarization.  Fear, angst, and a genuine, sustained spiritual despair have gripped many citizens and those hungering to be one. I’ve seen it firsthand. At a performance of Aida at the Metropolitan Opera in November folks in front, in... Read more

October 24, 2016

    Evangelical support for the GOP presidential nominee may do more to trivialize faith and secularize America than any liberal or card carrying ACLU member. As of October 14, two-thirds of Evangelicals still supported Donald Trump for the nation’s highest office. Although Trump has pledged to better protect religious freedom by, among other things, appointing socially conservative US Supreme Court justices leading to the repeal of marriage equality, there’s a much larger issue. By actively lowering the wall of church... Read more

December 19, 2015

America throws away people, especially young offenders who often project or act out because of untreated behavioral health issues or from abuse experienced physically, spiritually, and emotionally growing up in dysfunctional homes. They later become guests of the state. This is not to excuse or rationalize the pain people cause one another. It’s an effort to understand. In another life, I participated in a volunteer program to meet with residents of a county jail in Maine. Each resident had to request a weekly visitor with... Read more

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