George Washington was a traitor

“George Washington was a traitor.”  The whole class was stunned.  How could a teacher of American history say such a thing?  After a long pause, he followed with, “He was considered a traitor by the British.” That moment did not occur during an era of political correctness, nor did it happen in some liberal northern […]

Balancing freedom and responsibility

Big sodas live on in New York City.  Mayor Blumberg’s attempt to ban large sugary drinks in the city was overturned by a state court.  For now.  The Mayor promises to appeal.  The interesting thing about all this has been the range of reactions.  Some shrug and say, “Makes sense.”  Others are infuriated. Big sugary […]

A loss like no other

As I sat in the memorial service for my friend, Hal, my attention kept drifting to Hal’s only brother, Dale.  Dale was sitting a few rows in front of me and to my left, on the aisle of the second row of the section reserved for the family.  Thinning hair, in his late seventies, and […]

Same-sex marriage: The lag time between knowing what’s right and doing it

When my son was a teenager, he stayed out one night about 3 hours past his curfew.  This was unusual, because even though he was pretty headstrong in most things, he was also dutiful and rarely violated his curfew.  For some intuitive reason, though, I did not worry about him that night.  But I did […]

Encore to a resurrection

As the story goes, the man selected to play the part of Jesus in the small town’s Easter pageant created a stir.  The oil field worker had a reputation for a quick temper and a foul mouth.  But he was grateful for the part and practiced diligently.  Among those selected to be among the angry […]

Born again. What is that?

The term “born again” used been often during this presidential campaign season.  The term has been tossed about by the media to describe a particular demographic, usually socially conservative evangelical Christians.  Many of the candidates, while trying to garner support from a conservative Christian group, identified themselves as “born again,” using the term with the […]

Giving thanks for the leftovers

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but some thoughts about gratitude remain along with the leftovers.  I find it easy to give thanks for a steaming, savory turkey surrounded by dressing, sweet potatoes covered with pineapple and tiny marshmallows, hot buttered rolls, and pumpkin pies.  I have more difficulty with the turkey sandwiches, sweet potato remnants, […]

Changing hearts and minds

“Poisonous language doesn’t soften anybody’s heart, it doesn’t change anybody’s mind.” This was Mitt Romney’s response to the verbal attack on his faith.  So what does soften someone’s heart or change someone’s mind? I was one of four people being interviewed on a radio program a few years ago.  The topic was homosexuality and the […]

Hide and Seek

“17…18…19…20.  Ready or not, here I come!”  With those words, a new round of “Hide and Seek” began.  Children scrunch into their hiding places, giggly with excitement.  They become as small as possible behind a stump, up in a tree, under a bush.  The one who is “it” stalks carefully around the yard, watchful for […]

Father as a sparring partner

I’m writing this on Father’s Day.  I just spent a week with my two young adult children, ages 29 and 22, who live in Illinois. I am now visiting my 85 year-old father. I am experiencing multigenerational paternal whiplash. I think my father was able to semi-retire from fatherhood within a few months of his […]