All posts filed under: Current Affairs

Love is the way to a more perfect union

Current Affairs / Sermons and audio

Is there something for the Church to say to the Nation in this moment? The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry preached a stem-winder of a sermon that does a pretty great job of answering that question. In the second part of the sermon he says: We don’t think of it this way very often but love for each other is a value on which our democracy depends.  On the […]

The Atlantic: Cognitive Dissonance in the Pandemic

Current Affairs

Two social scientists describe how their work on Cognitive Dissonance explains the irresponsible public health behaviors that many humans are exhibiting in this pandemic. After a description of research into the behavior, and a frank admission that this is the way our brains work, they go on to explain how they understand what’s happening. (I’ll add that they do not mention, but that I suspect, that there are people who know this human mechanism and […]

FAQ: How to protect yourself from COVID-19 aerosol transmission

Current Affairs

In the absence of clear guidance from US government agencies right now, public minded researchers have created a document that summarizes, in one place, the best information we have. For people like congregational leaders trying to make decisions about worshiping indoors this coming winter, finding good information has been hard. This is worth bookmarking. From the beginning of the document: The goal of these FAQs is to provide information to the general public in an […]

Good nutrition can contribute to keeping COVID-19 and other diseases away

Current Affairs

There are many reasons why there are racial disparities are observed in COVID-19 morbidity. I’ve not heard people talk about the implications of living in a “food desert” as one of them. Grayson Jaggers, USC Asst. Professor has laid out a case of why the worst expression of the western diet is directly causing deaths among people who can’t get health food: Good nutrition can contribute to keeping COVID-19 and other diseases away: Scientists know […]

Political rage is no way to run a democracy

Current Affairs

There likely a whole bunch of reasons we’re all about explode with rage at any provocation, but Steven Webster, a Political Science faculty member at Indiana State University says the way we run political campaigns is a big part of the problem: Angry Americans: How political rage helps campaigns but hurts democracy: Anger-filled political rhetoric is nothing new. From Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon to Newt Gingrich, politicians have long known that angry voters are […]

Holy Cross Day 2020

Climate Change / Current Affairs

Lord Jesus hear us; the earth is crying in torment, the west is in flames, storms threaten the southern coasts and our communities are separated by pandemic. Our leaders seem absent and uncaring while our communities are turned against each other. By the power of your Holy Cross, overcome our woundedness and bring us hope and a new dawn. Protect those in danger and turn the hearts of those intent on harm. Let us find […]

Fannie Sellins, the labor union martyr | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Current Affairs

The first parish I led as a priest was in Brackenridge PA. The community it served included Natrona Heights and Tarentum, the neighboring towns. Labor Day there was remembered differently than it has been anywhere else I’ve lived, in part because there were still people who remember the “Hunky Strike” of 1919.  People told stories of the Pinkertons and other para-military, para-police groups that were brought in to stop the strike, and people still remembered […]

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 […]