Faith’s Fatal Turn


America cut me deeply, today. Liberty’s light seen dimming away. Pray and die while the bullet holes burn. How to believe with perfect faith When faith takes a fatal turn? How to believe America’s great When it’s its distrust we must learn? This is not the pain one feels When a wound is fresh and… Continue reading Faith’s Fatal Turn

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Of Torches and Candlelight Vigils


I am afraid and I am fearless. I am a humble wordsmith with ideas and a proud activist with a bullhorn. I am, and plan to always be, an American. I am also a pluralist, a social ecumenicist, if you will. This is my country. Believe what you will. Be whoever you want to be.… Continue reading Of Torches and Candlelight Vigils

Love, Tolerance and Redemption in South Carolina [video]


Of heroes and liars – from Atticus Finch to Rachel Dolezal


When Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960, the concept of the White, Southern country lawyer defending a Negro accused of touching a White woman was inspirational. It showed how commitment to a moral cause could overcome social norms and bring justice to a community hungry for it. It also showed something else… Continue reading Of heroes and liars – from Atticus Finch to Rachel Dolezal

Racism and Ferguson: a systemic problem requires a systemic solution


The systemic assault on the body of American society is evident these days in the continuing epidemic of cop-on-black intimidation, threat and murder brought to light most recently with the choke-hold killing of Eric Garner, in New York, and the shooting of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Our laws, and those who represent them, are supposed to be the anti-bodies to this type of viral infection. Human decency isn't regulated by law, but by a sense that we actually are all part of the same body. The anti-bodies are obviously corrupted when police officers refer to the protesters as "fucking animals," and a faulty judicial system puts its own money-driven survival ahead of the welfare of the citizens it is meant to protect.

If you’re post racial and you know it, keep your mouth shut


Here's the thing about being post racial. If you have to announce to the world that you are no longer a racist, then you almost certainly still are. It brings to mind the essential catch in Joseph Heller's amazing novel about the insanity of military discipline in a time of war, Catch 22 (New York:… Continue reading If you’re post racial and you know it, keep your mouth shut

No place for minorities on the Roberts Court


A majority of the Supreme Court of the United States thinks we are a post racial country, while at the same time, a traditionally prayerful one. In two decisions over the last three weeks, we have been told that religion and public prayer can be mutually exclusive, even as that prayer affirms a specific religious… Continue reading No place for minorities on the Roberts Court

SCOTUS arguments show ‘there is still work to do’ on voting rights


There are few words that cut through the perennial story of American pride in its exceptionality, like "racism." That one, ugly social system, propped up over our sordid history by institutional and ideological bulwarks of denial and ignorance, like Jim Crow, is part of the DNA of our country, away from which we are continually… Continue reading SCOTUS arguments show ‘there is still work to do’ on voting rights

Rounding up the Roma in Europe’s Arizona


So the French are uprooting thousands of individuals, putting them on buses and airplanes back to the discrimination they will face in Bulgaria and Romania in order to "improve the situation" for them.

When the moon says it’s Rosh Hashanah and Eid al-Fitr, and the sun says it’s 9/11


When this year's Ramadan began, and it became apparent that 9/11 could end up being the first day of Eid al-Fitr, Muslim leaders in America became nervous. It could, after all, appear that the faithful, with parties and carnivals worldwide, were celebrating 9/11, rather than commemorating the end of Ramadan festival in their traditional way.