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Commentary: The good in mankind

Life isn’t, or shouldn’t be, about transactions

Subscriber onlyOne of my favorite writers is conservative columnist David Brooks. Last Friday he opened his column in the New York Times this way: Continue reading...

Commentary: Seek to understand

Complex issues call for calm evaluatoin, listening

Subscriber onlyLast Sunday we read the story in Luke's Gospel of Jesus' encounter with a madman. Continue reading...

Commentary: Love thy transgender neighbor

Discrimination puts people on ‘wrong side of history’

Subscriber onlyRestrooms again! Continue reading...

Commentary: Will grace triumph?

Trump’s lies unlike message of Jesus

Subscriber onlyJust over a week ago, conservative columnist David Brooks wrote that "this is a Joe McCarthy moment. People will be judged by where they stood at this time. Those who walked with [Donald] Trump will be tainted forever after for the degradation of standards and the general election slaughter." Continue reading...

Commentary: Opening their eyes

Arkansans need two senators to see the light

Subscriber onlyI serve a church named for one of our great Christian apostles, Paul of Tarsus. But Paul began as a violent anti-Christian religious extremist. From the perspective of the small Christian community at that time, Paul was a religious terrorist. He took part in the mob murder of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Sometime afterward he was commissioned to travel to Damascus to seize people from the Jesus movement and to bring them back to face religious persecution. Paul was certain that what he was doing was divinely sanctioned. He is not unlike many violent religious extremists of our own day. Continue reading...

Commentary: The 'bad news' nine

Despite popularity of specifics, Private Option’s future threatened

Subscriber onlyI've got good news and I've got bad news. Continue reading...

Commentary: In the beginning

Troubled adults’ behaviors influenced by what they’ve witnessed

Subscriber onlyIt has been an enlightening experience for me to become engaged in our church's prison ministry and to hear the stories of many of the people there. I've learned so much about what happens to the human brain and body when we experience early childhood trauma. Continue reading...

Commentary: Freedom for all

Founders reject an assurance of a Christian government

Subscriber onlyI was troubled by a recent poll indicating that many Americans do not support the protection of religious liberties for all. Asked if religious liberty protections are important for Christians, 82 percent responded affirmatively. But when asked about religious protections for Muslims, only 61% said "yes." Preserving religious freedom for Jews was important only to about 70 percent, for Mormons 67 percent, and for people of no religion, the importance of their freedoms were judged no better than Muslims'. Continue reading...

Commentary: Finding more happiness

Practices sharpen perception of joy, feeling of gratitude

Subscriber onlyI didn't win the recent Powerball jackpot; neither did you. I didn't have much of a chance since I didn't buy a ticket. But I had almost as good a chance as anyone who did buy a ticket. Lotteries are bad math. Continue reading...

Commentary: Mysterious sources of hope

From politics to faith, the future will surprise

Subscriber onlyOn the evening of Nov. 5, 1963, I cried myself to sleep. I was 11 years old. Continue reading...

Commentary: Lies that will not die

Deniers of climate change refuse to see evidence

Subscriber onlyIn 1998, after publishing a paper in the British medical journal The Lancet, Dr. Andrew Wakefield launched a public campaign claiming that autism is caused by the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine. Starting in 2004 the Sunday Times revealed Wakefield had manipulated evidence and broken ethical codes, including being paid by lawyers seeking evidence to use against vaccine manufacturers. The Lancet partially retracted Wakefield's paper in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010, saying the journal had been deceived, calling Wakefield's paper "utterly false." Another journal called Wakefield's article "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years." Continue reading...

Commentary: Their path to victory

Terrorists will win if they change who we are

Subscriber onlyIn the aftermath of the Paris attacks, a friend commented sadly, "Everything has changed!" Continue reading...

Commentary: Reach kids early

Benefits of pre-K education are stunning

Subscriber onlyEvery once in a while you run across something so self-evident and compelling it is hard to imagine anyone finding grounds to disagree. In a time of great polarization, wouldn't it be nice to find something everyone can agree upon. The evidence documenting the educational, social and economic benefits of quality pre-kindergarten school programs is abundantly convincing. This seems like an issue Republicans and Democrats can embrace together. I find that encouraging. Continue reading...

Commentary: Seeking loft

Seeking interior silence, finding the infinite

Subscriber onlyIt can be maddening and depressing to invest energy and attention in the current congressional and presidential battles for power. In the presence of sheer banality, the soul cries for more. Continue reading...

Commentary: A broken system

Five decades later, case for death is unconvincing

Subscriber onlyIn tenth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Keyes, determined to teach our class how to debate. The assignment: Prepare for both sides of the argument. You won't know which side you will defend until the day of the debate. Your topic--Capital punishment and the death penalty. Continue reading...

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