Ten Reasons Why This Election Should Be About Issues and Not Personalities

The presidential tickets in this election on both sides of the aisle have lots of "personality;" some of the candidates have even been referred to as "rock stars." John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis has said that "this election is not about issues, this election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." That has been widely interpreted as a prediction that the election will be about personalities more than about issues. That would be a tragedy. [...]

Changing the Backyard

My two boys have an alley for a backyard. Luke (9) and Jack (5) are thoroughly urban kids, but I watched them, these past two weeks, fall in love with a natural world far different from their own in a magical place called Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.

I came here a lot as a younger man. It was the home of lawyer-theologian William Stringfellow, one of my theological and political mentors, and it still has a little cottage on the back of the property that is used by [...]

D#@*$% Environmentalists!

A friend of mine recalls a dinner-table conversation one day when she was a schoolgirl. Her dad had come home unusually frustrated from his job as a city planner. "D#@*$% environmentalists!" he said over dinner. "Dad, I thought you were an environmentalist," she said. "Why are you so upset?"

"All day long," he answered, "environmentalists come to me with problems and complaints, and business people come to me with ideas and projects. Why can't the environmentalists be proactive [...]

Sacred Materialism

As a convert to Orthodox Christianity, I have come to appreciate the strong connection in our tradition between spirituality and creation. Many of our great feasts, minor celebrations, and daily prayers involve joining prayer, blessing, and the material world. Unlike Western Christians who remember the three kings on Jan. 6, 13 days after Christmas we celebrate Theophany, the feast of the baptism of Christ in the Jordan. Part of this feast includes blessing water in our churches or [...]

Carrying The Torch

In January, I was nominated to be one of the Torchbearers for the Olympic Torch Relay when it came to San Francisco. The theme for the relay in San Francisco was sustainability and caring for our Mother Earth. Part of the nomination process included writing an essay about how I have been involved in caring [...]