Permission to be sad

Let the preacher say, you have permission to be sad! In a book, When the Bartender Dims the Lights, Ron Evans writes: “There’s a line I came upon in the musings of a preacher: On a Sunday morning many of the people sitting before you are the walking wounded, and you need to give them…

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Immigration – then and now

In the summer of 1854, US President Franklin Pierce sent Isaac Stevens to be governor of Washington Territory, a tract of land controlled by the federal government. Governor Stevens called for a meeting of Native chiefs to discuss the tension between the US government and the Natives. One of the tribes, the Yakima, was stubbornly…

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The nuance in putting God first

In Walker Percy’s 1971 novel, Love Among the Ruins, his central character is a psychiatrist named Tom More. Dr More is a Catholic who is no longer practicing his faith, albeit he still believes. This is how he describes his situation: “I believe in God and the whole business but I love women best, music…

Catharsis doesn’t bring about closure

Twenty years ago this week, struggling to digest the events of September 11th, I wrote this column. Two decades later, my reaction is the same. Here’s the column. Iris Murdoch once said that the whole world can change in 15 seconds. She was talking about falling-in-love. Hatred can do the same thing: On September 11…

Under a bridge in Texas

Recently at a workshop, a woman shared her anxiety about the death of her brother. Her older brother had died from the Covid virus before there were vaccines for it, and had died because he had dangerously exposed himself to catching the virus. However, he had exposed himself to that danger for a worthy reason.…

The Fading of forgiveness…

In a recent issue of Comment magazine, Timothy Keller, theologian and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, wrote an insightful essay entitled, ‘The Fading of Forgiveness’, within which he highlights how, more and more, forgiveness is being seen as a weakness and a naivete. Hence, our culture sees forgiveness more negatively than…