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Speech

I received a notification on my iPad as I was getting ready to face the day last Wednesday – A gunman had attacked a group of Republican congressional representatives. Soon after, a friend with whom I have often commiserated over the state of our culture sent me a message, “And now we’ve devolved into shooting […] Read More

The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18), but there seems to be plenty of which to be afraid these days. Taking appropriate steps to be safe is common sense. Letting fear rule our behavior to the point of seeing all strangers as potential sources of peril, or barricading ourselves, physically, emotionally […] Read More

Peter Gomes, the former minister of Memorial Church, said in a 2004 convocation address to the Harvard Divinity School, “Silence is death, and we with our skills and talents have never been more needed than now.” His words were never more appropriate than now for those of us who strive for a more civil national […] Read More

Do I really need to talk to people I disagree with? I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how easy it is for you and me to stop talking to one another when we don’t agree, especially now in times like these. And, I’m wondering how many times in the past couple of months have […] Read More

Aesop wrote a fable about a donkey who discovered a lion’s skin. He tried it on, strutted around and scared many animals. Soon a fox came along and the donkey tried to frighten him too. But when the fox heard the donkey’s voice, the fox said, “If you want to terrify me, you’ll have to […] Read More

The U.S. is in a bit of a truth crisis right now. Getting at the truth has always been a challenge, even when everyone is playing by the rules and honestly seeking truth. But that isn’t always the case. A lot of people out there are writing blogs, publishing papers, writing on social media, broadcasting […] Read More

Losing the art of listening has corrupted public discourse. “God’s voice is of the heart. / I do not therefore say / all voices of the heart are God’s, / and to discern his voice amidst the voices, / is that hard task to which we each are born.” I learned these words by heart […] Read More

I stopped posting on social media about the presidential campaign a few weeks ago because I didn’t trust myself. I had not taken sides, but I was beginning to get angry and wanting to say mean things, to use unkind labels, to disrespect. It’s been hard not to comment, but I’m glad I refrained. My […] Read More

Name-calling and “cussin'” were bad things my grandparents, parents and teachers told me not to do. My grandmother, Ada, once took a chunk of Ivory Soap (“99 44/100 pure”!) in her hand, held it less than a half-inch from my lips and threatened to wash my mouth out with it if I said one more […] Read More

September 1983. Franklin, Tennessee. One of our best soccer players runs toward me, tears streaming down his 7-year-old face. Because he’d just accidently kicked the ball into our net and scored for the other team, I thought I knew why he was upset. Not so. “They’re calling me big, fat Jabba the Hutt,” he sobbed, […] Read More