Posts By This Author
'We Are All Wisconsin'
Wisconsin was just the first salvo of an all-out war on working people.
Too many media outlets have decided that the political divide in America pits the red against the blue. In true Final Four fashion, one wins and the other loses. Such coverage allows a narrow victory to become a mandate, a close vote to grow into
A Roadmap to Livable Cities
What's the sound of a policy wonk clapping? I don't know.
Check This Out…If You Dare!
Abbie Hoffman was having a bit of fun with the publishing industry's deepest fears when he titled his 1970 work Steal This Book. But maybe Hoffman was on to something. We might be heading toward a time when stealing books is the only way to avoid having your personal reading material fall under the scrutiny of the federal government.
In October 2001 Congress passed the USA Patriot Act as a nearly unanimous response to the vulnerability felt by many Americans after the tragedy of Sept. 11. The Patriot Act is a 132-page patchwork of new proposals and amendments to already existing laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and ostensibly gives law enforcement additional tools and authority to track suspected terrorists.
One little-known aspect of this act may, and perhaps should, affect your reading enjoyment this summer. If you are sitting on the beach reading this, you might want to make a mental list of what you bought (or checked out) to take on vacation. The bad news is, under this act, Attorney General John Ashcroft may already have such a list for you.
The USA Patriot Act has given new authority to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to track down just what you have been reading—or at least buying and checking out. Under the FISA provisions, the FBI can bring a court order gained in secret proceedings (ex parte) requiring a bookstore or library to turn over "business records." And the library or bookstore is forbidden from seeking legal counsel or contacting the individual whose material is being requested.
A Year of Living Dangerously
Definitional books come around about once a decade.
An Allegiance to Profit
Celebrating All Saints
An inordinate number of family members, friends, and friends’ family members have died in the last month.
Where Have All the Songwriters Gone?
Music has many functions, worship included. But one of its primary roles is its ability to move people.
A Progressive Future
During every presidential election since George McGovern's failed bid in 1972, I have argued that progressives could build a successful coalition and reassert authority.
Season of Conscience
Since its founding in 1994, the People of Faith Network has organized targeted campaigns to educate religious people about the conditions under which the clothes they buy are made.
Once a Millennium
Within the Christian tradition, rarely is a concept more misunderstood than prophecy. Unfortunately, this misinterpretation wreaks havoc on our society in the form of doomsday soothsayers, apocalyptic dreamers, and militant revolutionaries.
The crux of the misunderstanding is this: Prophecy is not the result of seeing into the future. Instead, prophecy is the faithful declaration of the implications of current actions on the future, with the hope of having an impact on both.
For instance, one need not be a rocket scientist to figure out that increasing economic inequities lead to social dissolution and fragmentation. So someone with the courage to say that wealth accumulation leads to the destruction of community, and that the result will be a future awash in violence, isn’t looking into a crystal ball. They’re simply sensitive to inevitabilities.
For many within the Christian tradition, the Bible has been starved into a mere blueprint of unavoidable dystopia. Interestingly, many advocates of this interpretation allow common cultural mythology to syncretize with this biblical view, creating a very simple yet dangerous theology. Several new books offer a tour of the Christian Identity and millennial movement landscape.
Baker Books has made available an interesting, though not exhaustive, contribution to its evangelical audience with Gregory S. Camp’s Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-times Paranoia (1997). A professor of history at Minot State University in North Dakota, Camp provides an introductory primer on the religious dimension of the conspiracy tendencies so popular in the American perspective.
From Generation to Generation
Evil: The Tie That Binds
In 1977, the Church of England set out to modernize the Lords Prayer.
How Shall We Govern
In Kevin Costner's new dystopic fantasy, The Postman, the future is bleak save for the responsible individualism of the director-star.
The Twelve Months of Christmas
Did you survive the holidays?
Checking out the fall TV line-up, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia when I saw that the Walt Disney Co.
Will They Know Us By Our Love?
Liturgical seasons bring my life order: In them, as well as the growing seasons of Minnesota, I re-enact the drama of life and death.
Paying the Blues Dues
When I close my eyes and think of Michael Jackson (who, by the way, is my age), I prefer to remember the 6-year-old of the Jackson 5, singing "ABC" or "I Want You Back."
Conspiracies to Kill
The Content of Our Characters
Two March events consistently wreak havoc on my Lenten disciplines: the March Madness of NCAA mens basketball and the annual Academy Awards ceremonies.