(RNS) God isn't causing Ebola to spread through western Africa as some sort of punishment for the people there, or to come to these shores as some punishment of us. Diseases happen.
(RNS) It isn't Mexican immigrants who caused sea changes in the American workplace. It wasn't Hondurans or Guatemalans who sucked the life out of American communities. Gun-toting "patriots" shouting hatred at refugee children are spewing venom at the wrong target.
(RNS) I don't know any adult who would willingly repeat adolescence, yet here we are treating our faith as an endless adolescence centered around sex.
(RNS) Nothing rallies the troops better than self-righteous fury. Tell those who are indeed being victimized that they are under assault by a vulnerable minority, turn attention away from those actually gunning for their money and freedom, and create a scapegoat.
SAN MATEO, Calif. (RNS) Having tried hard in several churches to raise funds for legacy expenses, I know it's a tough sell, and getting tougher. And it should be a tough sell. Churches had no business building facilities they could barely afford to construct.
(RNS) Class war isn't a resentment of success. It is a reaction against stealing, unearned privilege and arrogance.
(RNS) We are living, for now at least, in a "Wild West" of gerrymandered voting districts, unfairly enforced laws, corrupt arbiters, and the rich getting richer by buying and tilting basic systems like courts of law and media coverage.
NEW YORK (RNS) During a two-hour apologia, Chris Christie talked mostly about himself and how his feelings were hurt by this story of political vengeance. This is what our national epidemic of narcissism looks like.
(RNS) Church-as-Sunday-morning isn’t working; it probably never worked as much as we wanted. It certainly isn’t what Jesus envisioned. Christians were to share a common life and pray “unceasingly,” not gather occasionally for worship in a large, walled-off space.
(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.
(RNS) Old ideas just need to be abandoned and something fresh and responsive allowed to emerge. Old ideas always benefit someone, and those someones tend to push back to protect their benefits. But that self-protective push-back isn’t a viable strategy.
SAN MATEO, Calif. (RNS) The politicians in Washington who are maneuvering for a federal shutdown should come to Central Park on El Camino Real where real people live, love and value each other instead of trying to tear down the government.
POLAND, Ohio (RNS) Destructive elements in Congress might yet succeed in shutting down the government. But they won't cripple an emerging fervor among the faithful to bind up the nation's wounds.
NEW YORK (RNS) I walk past Best Buy on Fifth Avenue and feel no urge to go inside. Same with the Apple store. I'm just not wowed anymore, and it's the same lesson that churches are painfully learning.
(RNS) We should be acknowledging the fundamental reality that we are "all in this together," that everything we do has impact on someone else. Instead, we deny the impacts of our behavior.