Category: News & Politics

What if your feet aren’t ready for their Toms close-up?

Last week marked the ninth birthday for Toms shoes. Since 2006, Blake Mycoskie’s “One for One” company has, for every first-world purchase of its shoes, given a pair to someone overseas in need. Now the company sells coffee for clean water, sunglasses for eye-care, tote bags for maternity kits. Given how much they talk about gift-giving, it’s no surprise Toms also has a One Day Without Shoes…  [more]

Nail salons and the moral price of beauty

What’s the moral price you are willing to pay for beauty? Does being a Christian have economic implications? Does God care about the practices surrounding manicures and pedicures? These are some of the questions that came to my mind after reading “The Price of Nails,” a recent series by Sarah Maslin Nir in the New York Times. In the first part of the series we are introduced to the consistently…  [more]

Free speech, hate speech, love speech: responding to AFDI

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer Anyone who has kept up with the news this past…  [more]

How marriage can still “work”

Even as Supreme Court justices hear the case for gay marriage, others question whether the institution of marriage in any form is doomed, warning of the coming “marriage apocalypse” and noting that marriage “doesn’t work anymore.” What’s interesting to me, as a Christian, is to think about what shifts in economics, culture and psychology have brought us to the point where marriage…  [more]

Baltimore and the prevailing of peace

Freddie Gray died the other day. He was not a victim of gang violence. He was not a victim of cancer. He was not a victim of a car accident. Freddie Gray died because of injuries he suffered in police custody. And when his family went to memorialize him on April 27, their funeral candles lit a forest fire. Riots and violence terrorized Baltimore afterward - “the language of the unheard” as Martin Luther…  [more]

Podcasting’s still, small voice

I sing the praise of Ira Glass, Sara Koenig and Jad Abumrad. I tout the triumph of closely produced programming: This American Life, Serial, Radiolab. I hail the voice of the podcast. At Slate, Jonah Weiner extends this paean by suggesting that the podcasting voice can increase the range of what we care for. He refers to the “empathic encounter” of audio fare that “knocks us outside of a blinkered…  [more]

Can spirituality save our achievement-driven kids?

The capacity to subscribe wholesale to the American dream is often thought to be exclusive to adults. We rarely stop to consider the effects of a performance-driven worldview on youth. Yet the insidious tendency to compare ourselves with others, self-identify with our careers and make self-worth contingent upon productivity is as threatening to children as it is to adults. Lisa Miller, director of clinical…  [more]

Questions I have after the Bruce Jenner interview

In an ABC interview last night with Diane Sawyer, former Olympian and step-patriarch of the Kardashian family Bruce Jenner confirmed his transgender identity and said that he* is in the process of transitioning from male to female. For many Christians - and, for that matter, non-Christians - the topic of transgender identity is a complete unknown. What questions can we ask that can help us formulate a grace-filled,…  [more]

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the death penalty

As a family member of a murder victim and long-time opponent of the death penalty, I'm watching with great interest the sentencing phase of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial, which will determine whether he receives the death penalty. One could argue that Tsarnaev's case is not like others. There is no question that he committed the crime, a horrible act of terrorism. The toll of the dead and…  [more]

The new technology of social justice

In his seminal book The Prophets, Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel suggested that the Old Testament prophets saw justice as the supreme manifestation of God's presence. Heschel, a rabbi whose work carved out a place in both Jewish and Christian thought, was the sole survivor of a family who was killed by Nazis during World War II. "God's concern for justice grows out of His compassion for man,”…  [more]

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