The Looming Schism in Methodism

This week, the United Methodist Church held a special conference to address the issue of what to do about same-sex marriage and gay clergy. And, after not dealing with these issues, exactly as they’ve done at the past several (quadrennial?) General Conferences, the UMC has decided, once again, to do nothing. Same-sex couples cannot beContinue reading “The Looming Schism in Methodism”

A Paucity of Words and the Important Things in Life

I don’t have anything to say on the events in Nice, France last night. Words fail me. The world needs your kindness today. Go out and be a friend. #NiceAttack pic.twitter.com/MJbDLnuoHg — Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) July 15, 2016 pic.twitter.com/9yt9Cd1IvS — York County Dems (@YorkCountyDems) July 8, 2016 Mister Rogers' Message on the One-Year Anniversary ofContinue reading “A Paucity of Words and the Important Things in Life”

Brexit and the Scottish Independence Question

This morning at work I listened to BBC Radio 4’s The World at One program. It’s a news program I’ve never listened to — usually, I listen to the BBC World Service’s Newshour — but I wanted to get a feel for what was happening on the ground in the wake of the Brexit voteContinue reading “Brexit and the Scottish Independence Question”

Taking Action and the Limitations of Prayer

When I was young, I never prayed. I never understood what prayer was for. If god were omniscient, he should have already known what I was thinking and doing. Plus, he should already have known whether I was repentant or not. There was nothing I could have expressed through prayer that god wouldn’t already haveContinue reading “Taking Action and the Limitations of Prayer”

Syrian Refugees, Meme Wars, and Ethical Imperatives

I tried to steer clear of the Meme Wars over Syrian refugees on Facebook last week. I saw things on both sides that irritated me; from friends on the right I saw things that were occasionally racist, and from friends on the left I saw things that mocked both religion and culture. I learned aContinue reading “Syrian Refugees, Meme Wars, and Ethical Imperatives”

Embracing Refugees and Our Common Humanity

In the summer, I saw a link to a news article about the civil war happening right now in Yemen. I had known for a few months about the fighting there; the BBC World Service covered it on Newshour when it really kicked into gear in February. I was aware of it, I could tellContinue reading “Embracing Refugees and Our Common Humanity”

War with Jihadists and the Republican Outrage

Friday night, shortly after I got home from work, my mom called me. She wanted to know what was happening in Paris. My sister had called her, and since she was out and away from any news source, she thought I would know. I gave her a quick rundown of what I knew at theContinue reading “War with Jihadists and the Republican Outrage”

A Little Girl in Yemen — And What Matters In Life

Sometimes I wonder if humanity is worth saving, that maybe the time has come to pull the plug and turn out the lights. My morning began with a review of my Twitter timeline, and this was near the top. The 100-plus-day bombardment of Yemen included the use of cluster bombs made in Massachusetts. http://t.co/vYStX627YH pic.twitter.com/5k7JkeM9tXContinue reading “A Little Girl in Yemen — And What Matters In Life”

Charleston and Empathy

I feel that I need to say something about the act of domestic terrorism that happened in Charleston, South Carolina yesterday evening. I use the term “domestic terrorism” deliberately. A man went into a church, sat with twelve people for an hour, and murdered nine of them, reloading his weapon, according to a surviving witness,Continue reading “Charleston and Empathy”