Tyranny Prevention

Yale University’s Levin Professor of History Timothy Snyder has written a manifesto for democracy titled On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2017). This little volume (128 pages, 6” x 4.5”) packs a wallop. Although he never names anyone as his focal tyrant wannabe, the reader knows that this... Continue Reading →

Loving is Living

The sleepy Davidson College campus awoke with a start. It was graduation day in the Spring of 1960. I, a lowly freshman, sat quietly with fellow singers in the Male Chorus. We awaited our next turn to entertain with song. With the audience of faculty, parents, and fellow graduating seniors expecting him to dribble on... Continue Reading →

How Do Religion and Politics Mix?

An Imam, a Rabbi, and a Ronin were sitting on the bimah. Their host asked each to comment on this question: What is the line between religion and politics? In a country that officially embraces the separation of church and state, the audience of mostly Jews and Christians at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North... Continue Reading →

A Modest Proposal

In 1729, Jonathan Swift brought attention to the plight of Ireland’s starving poor by ironically suggesting the children be fattened and served up to the rich. My modest proposal today employs no irony. Rather, I address a serious issue by suggesting a small, effortless, non-resource-consuming, incremental change. The serious issue: Carbon emissions. The suggestion: Cut... Continue Reading →

Taking Care of the Goose

This morning my nephew, Bob McGahey, emailed to alert me of two blogposts he thought I’d take an interest in. They concerned the role of religion and the state of the planet. Bob is a devout Quaker and an eco-educator. In responding to his posts, I found my topic for this week’s blog of my... Continue Reading →

Standing on Others’ Shoulders

“Don’t grab all the recognition for yourself—give credit where due!” The first expression of this sentiment was by Bernard of Chartres, who admonished his 12th century peers to show some humility when building on (or borrowing) the ideas of early thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle. Sometimes we strut our stuff as though the entire... Continue Reading →

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