All posts filed under: Current Affairs

President Obama’s words to all of us today

Current Affairs

President Obama, giving the eulogy at Congressman John Lewis’s funeral today, said (in part) the following: [T]his country is a constant work in progress. We were born with instructions: to form a more perfect union. Explicit in those words is the idea that we are imperfect; that what gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further than anyone might have thought possible. John Lewis […]

Can God still use a people such as us?

Current Affairs

John Meacham writes in his 2006 book “American Gospel”: ”A tolerant, pluralistic democracy in which religious and secular forces continually contend against one another may not be ideal, but it has proven to be the most practical and enduring arrangement of human affairs — and we must guard that arrangement well.” As we celebrate a difficult anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this weekend, fully aware of the flaws in our foundation and the shortcomings […]

Something is shifting in this country’s understanding of race

Current Affairs

It feels like this moment in America’s racial divide is different than the moments that have gone before. There have been racially motivated shootings and violence in the last decade or so here in America, but after a few weeks of protest, most of us move on to the next issue. Yet this year, the data indicates that there’s a real and measurable shift in the way white American’s view discrimination. The data is presented […]

Remarks for the Vigil for Racial Justice, Peace and Reconciliation

Current Affairs / Reconciliation

This evening the Center for Reconciliation held an online candlelight vigil. As board chair I made the opening remarks: On behalf of the staff and the board of the CfR, I welcome all of you who have joined us for this time of prayer and silent vigil, on this the Eve of Juneteenth, the anniversary of Emancipation and the “effective” end of slavery in the United States, and in the week when we mark the […]

The Prophets vs the Cognitive Distorters

Current Affairs

Anne Applebaum, writing in The Atlantic traces how institutions turn aside from one set of values and take up another. It has to do with small changes to the way we perceive what is acceptable behavior, a willingness to go along with a group rather than rocking the boat. Applebaum describes how this worked in East Germany during the Soviet Occupation: Why Do Republican Leaders Continue to Enable Trump? – The Atlantic: In the 1950s, […]

Statement from the Center for Reconciliation

Current Affairs / Reconciliation

The Center for Reconciliation celebrates the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in all their fullness, beauty,  and complexity, along with all those murdered by white supremacy. We deeply grieve their loss, and we deeply grieve the insidious  persistence of racism and racial violence throughout the fabric of American law, culture, and society. We cannot bring them back from the dead and restore them to their families and friends, but we can raise our […]

Bad theology has turned deadly

Current Affairs / Reconciliation

There are consequences when Christian people try to make accommodation with political power that coerces compliance. In our country right now those consequences are killing black people. In a difficult to read, but profoundly prophetic piece, William Lamar explains what is happening and lays the blame at the feet of the white evangelical Christians. William H. Lamar IV: It’s not just the coronavirus — bad theology is killing us | Faith and Leadership: Political systems […]

Rhode Island Faith Leaders on Reopening

Current Affairs / Religion

We recognize that congregational worship has high risk of spreading COVID-19 and could jeopardize the safety and well being of our congregants and our clergy members.  All of our traditions prioritize the care of the most vulnerable as a cornerstone of our values.  We are ever grateful for the right to freely worship and know that with it comes the responsibility to safeguard the greater good.  We yearn to be worshiping together in our traditional […]

Trust Me, This Summer Is Going to Be Tough – The Atlantic

Current Affairs

Thanks to Rob Anderson for sharing his experience with the dilemma of picking our collective way through the challenges of this summer in pandemic season. Trust Me, This Summer Is Going to Be Tough – The Atlantic: I run a restaurant in a seaside town. I’m not an epidemiologist or a fortune-teller. But as I’m forced to make what could be life-and-death decisions—with little official support or guidance—I’m left no choice but to pretend I […]

Acres of the Dead: Memorial Day 2010

Current Affairs / Travel

I wrote this back in 2010 – and thought today was a good day to repost it. In 2003 my brothers, father and I began a series of tromps around western Europe. The excuse was that my brothers were both living in Europe at the time. My middle brother was planting a church in Poitiers in France and my little brother’s MASH unit was attached to the 3rd Infantry Division stationed at the time in […]