The Truth About Flags

There has always been a lot of misunderstanding about what a flag is. A flag is a symbol of something, quite often a country, though it could be a symbol of a movement or a governmental body smaller than a nation. In America, States have flags, sports teams have flags, cities and municipalities may have…

What Did the Ratzinger Boys Know?

In an excellent article on Religion Dispatches that can be found here, Patricia Miller asks about the forty years of abuse of boys in a Bavarian boys choir in a school lead by the now deceased Johann Meier. Both Ratzinger brothers had ecclesiastical supervision of the diocese containing the school, with the elder Ratzinger later heading…

Moving Beyond Division

It seems we create endless division between ourselves. From national boundaries, which are of course artificial, to religious differences, to national and ethnic differences, right on down to the divisions we create within families when we have disagreements, it seems we love to exaggerate differences and minimize similarities. In doing so we ramp up what…

Bill Cosby and the Discrimination Card

Bill Cosby is a douchebag. When the allegations against Cosby first surfaced, and again lately, I have seen people trying to say that the prosecution and (in their twisted minds) persecution are all because he is black. The wife of a former friend identified me as “part of the problem” when I posted a version…

Breaks, Recesses, and Other Vacations

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much since just before the holidays. I haven’t been on vacation (dammit), had writers block, been in jail, been recruited by the CIA (there’s a need for decrepit middle aged men, I hear), or any other exotic sort of adventure. I am afraid to Google how…

No Room for Hatred

Among the group that usually prefers to portray America as “A Christian Nation,” there is a lot of hate filled and xenophobic rhetoric these days. Let’s be clear: hatred and the practice of any legitimate religion are incompatible. You cannot simultaneously hate and love. There are many things that have brought us to this day.…

certainty

Acceptance

A popular saying from the 8th century Buddhist sage Shantideva advises us that if we are confronting an unsatisfactory situation that we can change, there is no need to worry – we should change it. On the other hand, if we are encountering an unsatisfactory situation that we cannot change, there still isn’t a need…