Donald Trump and Ted Lasso Walk into a Bar

Donald Trump and Ted Lasso Walk into a Bar . . .   How would you finish that sentence?  What would be the outcome of a meeting between someone like Donald Trump and someone like Ted Lasso?   If we think of masculinity on a spectrum, then there could hardly be two more different versions of what…

Read More

Who Can Predict the Future?

Who can predict the future?  That’s kind of a trick question, because anyone can predict the future.  The real question is “Who can predict the future accurately?”   We might think that predicting the future accurately is the task of religious mystics or seers.  But there are others who are accurately predicting the future, and those…

Read More

Vladimir Putin is Smiling

Vladimir Putin is smiling, and that isn’t good news.  What Putin is smiling about is a recent development in our country during this election season.  As he has hoped, both political parties—Democrat and Republican—have factions within them that question the level of support for Ukraine.   One of the lessons we learned from the pandemic is…

Read More

A Leaf Falls 

When we moved to central Indiana forty-four years ago, one of my wife’s cousins, a graduate of Indiana University, told us that we’d love the long fall season in our new home.  My wife’s cousin was certainly right.  Just when it seems that autumn colors are at their peak, the colors become even more vibrant. …

Read More

Glaciers

One of the most familiar Zen koans, or puzzles, is the question “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”    In an unexpected way, science has discovered an answer to the question.  And the scientific answer to the ancient koan is “yes, a…

Read More

Homecomings

Coming home.  Homecoming.  This is a tradition centuries old and even older for species such as birds who migrate thousands of miles to return to nesting sites.  I was thinking about the attraction of human homecomings last weekend when I attended Franklin College’s annual fall celebration by the same name–Homecoming.  A past student of mine…

Read More

The Beauty of a Slow Read

There are some books that can be read quickly.  There are other books that should come with a note stamped on the cover: “Best read slowly.”   One of the books that deserve a slow read is When the Music Stopped: Willy Rosen’s Holocaust, a work by a friend and colleague, Dr. Casey Hayes.  Is the…

Read More

Seeing the Whole Picture

History has always fascinated me.  Some of my school friends hated memorizing dates, battles, and presidents, but I loved all of that.  But I also found history to sometimes be confusing.   From my Sunday school experience, I knew that the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt was the most important…

Read More

What is a Saint?

One of my favorite spiritual writers, Thomas Merton, offered an important insight about saints.  He wisely observed that saints are not perfectionists.  That is, we shouldn’t expect a saint to be someone who has lived a perfect life or has even aspired to live such a life.  Saints are human beings; people who have struggled,…

Read More

Honoring a Great Baseball Player and City

St. Louis is a special baseball city.  I remember the sportscaster Bob Costas saying that Cardinal fans were the most knowledgeable baseball fans in America.  Tony La Russa, manager of the Cardinals for sixteen seasons, once remarked that people in St. Louis would stop him on the street to suggest different batting lineups.   Although I…

Read More