25 Years Later, Looking Back on Pictures of Our Wedding and Reflecting…

My wife and I in 2016 celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We feel it's an accomplishment. Certainly to those who were skeptical that we would make it, and to the doubts within ourselves that we would make it, it is a milestone to be celebrated. We have proved ourselves to be solid, steadfast and resourceful.... Continue Reading →

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Why I Support Legal Late-Term Abortions

Newsweek in 2009 published my piece. "Abortion wasn't an option for my parents, but raising my severely retarded brother nearly destroyed our family." It sparked a great deal of online debate, and was republished (with permission and compensation) in a textbook. Click to read. I wrote the piece not so much to advocate for late-term... Continue Reading →

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Jon’s Place

Written in 1986 by Ann Buie Loomis "Today I did something I hadn't done in 30 years," I told my husband when I got back from my annual vacation to Myrtle Beach last month. "I know! You made it down and back without getting lost," he responded sarcastically -- or maybe it was hopefully: he... Continue Reading →

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‘Old Sins Cast Long Shadows’

"The sins of the fathers (and mothers) will be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 20: 5; 34:7). Those old aphorisms are worthy of personal reflection. They came to mind in discussing both personal family histories, political history and racial history. In America we are less inclined to believe old... Continue Reading →

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Fix Our Eyes on the Unseen

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." —2 Corinthians 4:18, from Verse of the Day. A new program on National Public Radio, Invisibilia, which is Latin for "all the invisible things," focuses on the "unseen"... Continue Reading →

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Day After Death: the Power and the Glory

A little after one a.m., I felt the gentle hand of a nurse on my shoulder. She whispered, “I believe he has passed.” Indeed, the tortured breathing had stopped. At last, he was at peace. Duncan McKay, my father’s lifelong neighbor, town Samaritan and family friend, arrived shortly to drive me home. We gathered up my father’s things... Continue Reading →

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A Father’s Death

On a Thursday morning in late June of 1988, my mother called to say I’d better come home. My father was in so much pain, she said, he couldn’t possibly last much longer. I asked to speak to him. She said she didn’t think he could speak, but I could perhaps say a few words... Continue Reading →

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Glimpses of the Beyond?

At midnight after my mother's mid-afternoon burial, there was a huge thunderstorm that struck the pear tree in the backyard of the house she lived in for sixty years. My son Matthew was sleeping in the back room and was awakened by the windows rattling loudly. Lightning bolted into his room. The overhead light turned... Continue Reading →

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Letter to a Young Skeptic of Religion

Religion asks you to accept a lot of things "on faith" without thinking them through, the young skeptic of religion says, calling himself a disciple of logic, reason and science. In the Christian Church, for example, one is expected to recite the Apostles Creed, to swallow it hook, line and sinker, which he isn't prepared to... Continue Reading →

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A Christian Approach to Islam

Watch this on Youtube.com (Hat Tip, Andrew Sullivan). Since I live in a Muslim country (the UAE), I took a four-week introductory course, led by my Anglican minister, on Islam, the world's fastest-growing religion.  It seems to me that an essential way to understand the diverse cultures, histories and religions of the world is to first... Continue Reading →

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2017 Was Death Knell for ‘Pray Away the Gay’ Movement in US, But Worldwide Views Haven’t Changed Much

American religious groups, following public opinion, have evolved significantly in their views of homosexuality since the 1980s. "Over the past two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in public acceptance of homosexuality, as well as same-sex marriage," reported the Pew Research Center in October, 2017. In 1994, the country was almost evenly divided, 49% to 46%, on... Continue Reading →

First Fly Ball

Flashback, first published on my old blog in 2005: Tonight is a crisp autumn evening. Egg-shaped moon. At the baseball field, my eight-year-old catches his first fly ball, and exclaims: "That was amazing!" This painting by John Newby, now deceased from cancer, captures such memories of childhood: "The batter swings and hits a high fly... Continue Reading →

Does Episcopal Church Stereotype Still Apply?

A religious historian offered this interesting sociological observation: Back in the 1930s and '40s, until at least the 1960s, the Episcopal Church's identity in society was very clear: it was largely perceived as "the Republican Party at Prayer," representing the upper-crust of American society, highly educated, high income, Ivy League-rs and country clubbers. Nearly all who identified... Continue Reading →

What Travel Does To You

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta, 14th century Muslim traveler. Learn more about him. (Hat tip, Charlotte McPherson.)

Religions Are in Constant Cultural Change

It may be lost on some people who have only a shallow and surface knowledge of Christianity or other faiths that religions change all the time "to remain relevant amidst new intellectual developments and new social contexts," as Michael Farrell in National Catholic Reporter quoted Jerome Baggett, professor of sociology at Carroll College in Helena,... Continue Reading →

On Achieving Peace and Contentment

In these anxious times, it is easy to feel constantly wrought up. A friend writes that his maiden aunt who has died alone at the age of 92 had long ago found the secret of contentment, and quoted the Apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians, Chapter 4, verses 11-12 ""...for I have learned to be... Continue Reading →

Opposites

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.” -- Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize speech, 1986.

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