News & Politics

Reparations, privilege and communal sin

Like many, I was impressed, troubled and moved by the most recent Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a complicated essay on a difficult topic, since it is so entwined with history, identity, shame and guilt. What I found most helpful was the way Coates…  [more]

Bridging America’s civilian-military divide

Since leaving the Army and returning home to Illinois in 2009, I have discovered that revealing that I have served in uniform is usually a conversation stopper. Generally, a very awkward silence follows the inevitable response of "Thanks for your service." My sense is that the silence flows from a…  [more]

When genocide takes a back seat to a giraffe

Earlier this year the Copenhagen Zoo made headlines around the world when workers killed and dismembered a giraffe named Marius in front of a crowd of onlookers, including schoolchildren. (The meat was then fed to the zoo’s lions.) Although officials defended their decision by explaining that Marius’ genes didn't add…  [more]

Botched executions and the blood of Christ

The botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett is forcing state and federal officials to reconsider the practice of the death penalty. On this grisly occasion, Christians should do so as well. The lethal injection administered to Lockett April 29 did not go as planned. Lockett suffered a ruptured vein…  [more]

Meeting my neighbors in NPR’s Borderland

I once traveled south of Texas to a small border town in Mexico called Reynosa. Along with a handful of other high school students, I spent the week building a small, makeshift shelter for a family and playing soccer with the children of the village in yards of dust and…  [more]

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