Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. Photo courtesy Tom Ehrich

COMMENTARY: Decency on the rise

(RNS) Did everything come up roses? Sadly, no. It was a rotten year in some respects. Think NSA, Chase Bank, John Boehner, Koch Brothers, scammers preying on soldiers and the elderly, payday lenders and other bottom-feeders. Even so, I end the year feeling positive.

Would we know Malala Yousafzai if she was one of the hundreds of children killed by American drones?

2013: The top 14 Muslim news stories of the past year

2013 was a bloody, difficult, unraveling year for many Muslims around the world. May 2014 be a year that sees the discomforted comforted, the orphans cared for, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the homeless provided with shelter. May there be a widening of the circle of compassion, may there be a real peace rooted in justice, and above all else, may all of us be participants in making it so.

The flag of the National Security Agency, the seal used was created in September 1966. The flag itself has been in use since at least February 2001.

COMMENTARY: Drunk with power with nobody to stop them

(RNS) Self-centeredness is nothing new, of course. But for a time, ideals of community and shared sacrifice seemed to hold self-centeredness in check. Many of us think our nation is still playing by ethical rules that restrained an essential selfishness. Not so.