With Patience and Courage

I had a good idea recently. Stop hyperventilating about Donald Trump and focus instead on American history; really focus. It is helping me and I highly recommend it. There is, of course, so much to hyperventilate and worry about, something new every day: Russian interference in the election and the President’s obvious unconcern, his rejection […]

This Amazing Experiment

Some days I think I am witnessing the beginning of the end of the project that began in the late 18th century and resulted in the establishment of an independent democratic republic, the United States of America. From the very beginning the new republic understood that it had a role in history and a role […]

Like a Mustard Seed

I was in a pew with in the Kensington Community Church, United Church of Christ, with our San Diego family last Sunday. The preacher, the Rev. Darryl Kistler, reminded us that Jesus talked a lot about the Kingdom of God and that whenever he was asked about the Kingdom, when it was coming and what […]

Who We Are and Whose We Are

The man simply can’t stop talking about himself. In the lobby of the Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters building in Langley, Virginia, there is a large marble wall. In the wall are engraved 117 stars. Each star represents a C.I.A. agent who lost his or her life in the service of our country. There are no […]

All, Finally, Shall Be Well.

I wrote these words for my adult children, Diane, Susan, John, Andy and Brian, and with their permission share them with you. I stayed up watching until 2:15am to hear Trump’s speech – which was surprisingly mild and included words of gratitude for Hillary Clinton’s years of hard work and service to our country. I […]

If the Answer is “Yes.”

I have resisted the temptation to weigh in more than I already have on the Donald Trump phenomenon because we are saturated. Television news and the newspapers can’t keep their eyes off of him and I confess that I watch the 7:00 a.m. news because I don’t want to miss the latest outlandish thing he […]

Beach Reading: 2016 Edition

There is something about being at the beach, in addition to virtually commanding one to slow down, sit, look, listen and ponder the magnificence of creation, that has always invited me to read. It has always been that way, even with five children and assorted friends to feed, supervise and entertain, when whatever reading I […]

Dangerous Words

One of the most vexing and sobering historical questions is how, in the 1920’s and 30’s, a nation and culture that produced sublime poetry and music (Goethe and Bach), important philosophers (Hegel and Nietzsche), and elegant theology (Luther and Bultmann), evolved into a murderous, racist, militaristic dictatorship. Much has been written about the anomaly of […]

Building Walls instead of Bridges

I simply do not know what to say about Donald Trump. I grew up in a home where what was going on in the world and in the nation was talked about regularly at the dinner table. Politics was often a spirited discussion between my father, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and conservative in almost all his […]

Love Has Good Manners

Among the voices I rely on to be honest, intellectually stimulating and morally grounded is David Brooks’. In addition to reading his New York Times editorials, I try not to miss the “Shields and Brooks” segment of the PBS News Hour on Friday evenings. Brooks is a thoughtful conservative who regularly drops references to the great […]