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Stories by Lowell Grisham

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Commentary: Healing Can Be Viewed As Good

Subscriber onlyThere's a story in John's gospel where Jesus and his disciples come across a man born blind. The disciples fall into a theological debate of blame. Whose fault is it that he is blind? His fault or his parents? Blaming the victim. It's not uncommon. Continue reading...

Commentary: Laws Backed By Religion Are UnAmerican

Subscriber onlyThe First Amendment enshrines our nation's cherished traditions protecting freedom of religious expression. The First Amendment also enshrines our rights to be protected from the civil enforcement of religious principles. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religious establishment. Continue reading...

Commentary: Resisting The False Security Of Certainties

Subscriber onlyHealthy religion always is open to mystery and paradox. Continue reading...

Private Option A Lifesaver For Some Arkansans

Subscriber onlyThe Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a lot like Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan. It is our society’s way of responding in compassion to our neighbor in need. Continue reading...

Acknowledging Complicity In Sin And Doing Something About It

Subscriber onlyDietrich Bonhoeff er was a Lutheran pastor and theologian who helped found the Confessing Church movement in 1930s Germany to resist Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Forgoing an invitation to teach safely in the U.S., Bonhoeffer worked in the German underground during the war, was arrested, imprisoned and eventually executed in a concentration camp two weeks before its liberation. Continue reading...

Scrooge Says ‘Bah, Humbug’ To Common Good

JESUS SAYS WHEN WE CARE FOR THE ‘LEAST OF THESE,’ WE HAVE ‘DONE IT UNTO HIM’

Subscriber onlyNorthwest Arkansas is so fortunate to have TheatreSquared (T2), our year-round resident, professional theater company, recognized last year as one of the nation’s 10 most promising emerging theatres. Continue reading...

Elmo’s Way Reflects Value Of Government Regulation

Subscriber onlyA couple of weeks ago I buried 95-year-old Elmo Samuel, who for more than three decades worked as an inspector at the Campbell’s Soup plant in Paris, Texas. He was a government employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was an inspector, overseeing the cleanliness of the Campbell’s plant to make sure it met government regulations and produced a safe product. Continue reading...

Celebrating The Commitment Of Michael Eric

INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF LIFE, LIBERTY, PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL

Subscriber onlyOne preacher asked the other. “Do you believe in infant baptism?” “Believe in it? Sir, I’ve seen it!” Maybe you’ve heard that old one before. But it’s got a new twist for me. “Do you believe in same-sex marriage?” I can now say, “Believe in it? I’ve seen it!” I had the joyful privilege to preside at the marriage of two of my parishioners in a legal wedding in Washington, D.C., last spring at the National Cathedral. The city was in bloom — redbuds and cherry trees and dogwoods — on a glorious, bright sunny day. It felt like the whole universe was smiling on a holy and happy occasion. Continue reading...

Extremists Ready To Damage US To Save It

TAX CODE HAS BEEN SHIFTING WEALTH AND INCOME TOWARD THE RICH AND POWERFUL FOR 30 YEARS

Subscriber onlyIn Genesis there is the story of Esau, who sold his birthright for a pottage of soup. He’s a symbol for giving up something precious, for nothing. Continue reading...

Employment Act Right Step To Kinder, More Just Society

Subscriber onlyThere are many signs we are becoming a kinder, more just society. We are now going through the 50-year anniversaries of the turbulent 1960s when black Americans sought equal rights. I remember my hometown where we had separate schools, separate drinking fountains and separate waiting rooms, restrooms and public entrances. Our neighborhoods were segregated and so were our churches. Black people were not allowed into restaurants or soda fountains, motels or the front seats of buses. Or in the voting booth. All of this was legal. Continue reading...

Perspectives From Africa: Looking At Home From A Distance

Subscriber onlyTravel is a wonderful way to gain perspective. Continue reading...

Attacking The Nation’s Poor People

REPRESENTATIVES WANT TO TAKE FOOD FROM THE HUNGRY

Subscriber onlyIn the recent debate about Food Stamps — also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher quoted the New Testament: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) It was a horrible misrepresentation. St. Paul was criticizing apocalyptic Christians who were so sure of Jesus’ imminent return they quit their jobs. Continue reading...

COMMENTARY: It’s Not OK To Allow The Poor To Be Hungry

FEDERAL PROGRAM MODEST, MEANINGFUL WAY TO ACT ON RESPONSIBILITY TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Subscriber onlyThe notion it is OK for some people to live in luxurious wealth while others struggle in poverty is not acceptable from a biblical or a Christian perspective. Continue reading...

Pope Francis’ Homily Strikes Right Chord

EVERYONE CAN DO GOOD; GOD’S GIFTS ARE FOR EVERYONE, WHETHER CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT, ATHEIST

Subscriber onlyIn a recent homily, Pope Francis acknowledged all people can do good and God’s blessing has a universal quality. He was commenting on a story in Mark’s Gospel when the disciples tried to stop a stranger from doing good in Jesus’ name. They objected because the stranger wasn’t “one of us” (Mark 9:38-40 ). Jesus scolded the disciples and added the inclusive statement, “whoever is not against us is for us.” The Pope said of the apostles they were “a little intolerant.” He reminded his listeners all people are created in the image and likeness of God and “the Lord has redeemed all of us … not just Catholics. Everyone!” “Even the atheists?” the Pope asked rhetorically. “Everyone!” he answered. Pope Francis imagined an atheist replying, “But I don’t believe, Father. I am an atheist!” The Pope’s answer: “But do good: We will meet one another there.” In the context of his homily, “there” seemed to mean heaven or eternal life. Continue reading...

Congrats, Legislators: You Did The Right Thing

BUT THERE WAS A SIMPLER, CHEAPER OPTION

Subscriber onlyThe Arkansas Legislature did the right and good thing. They passed a federally funded extension of health care insurance for hard-working Arkansans in low-paying jobs. Continue reading...

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