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For some interfaith families, the holidays are a juggling act | Minnesota Public Radio News

MPR reporter Eliz. Dunbar gave me a call a couple of weeks back, and asked me to contribute to her story on inter-faith families and the holidays. Glad to help!

For some interfaith families, the holidays are a juggling act | Minnesota Public Radio News

Advent Early On

Every year after Thanksgiving I'm surprised when the church calendar says it's a new year. Advent marks the beginning of the church's annual liturgical review of the great stories of the faith.

Traditionally it starts with the prophets, who warn that God is among us and will show her/his self even more clearly in the days to come. Get ready! they shout. I'm always puzzled at this exhortation. How can a human being get ready for God?

It's this great human gift and problem of looking into the future. As far as we know, other mammals aren't able to imagine the future in the same way we do. They live their lives much more in the "now" than in the "then." But humans are so in love with the future, we think anything is possible there. The allure of a future we can imagine makes us all less attached to the present, I fear. We put off anything we can. The present? Well, we're just passing through.

The answer for me is the spiritual skill of wai…

Depression Support Coalition - Speaker Series

I'm speaking in Burnsville on Thursday, December 1st at 7pm on better managing our minds, bodies and relationships during the holiday season.
Please join us!

Depression Support Coalition - Speaker Series

No More Comments

I spend some time every day on the internet, social media and news sites included. I have come to the belated conclusion that comments on stories should go the way of dinosaurs.

In my lifetime, I have had to face, listen to and read more than my fair share of ignorant, hateful and biased responses to things I have said, written or decided. Now that I am no longer a public leader (thanks be to God), I don't have to subject myself to that kind of human detritus any more. So why do I do it online?

I'm convinced the ability to post whatever comes to mind is one of the worst things about technology in our generation. People can wound, judge, belittle and hurt others without the normal consequences of face to face communication.

So here's to trying to ignore anonymous rantings on public stories. I'm going to try to hold on to my tenuous belief that the more educated, thoughtful and socially responsible people in the world don't write comments because they are too busy be…

Jesus Was Not a Marxist

This fall’s public demonstrations begun as “Occupy Wall Street” follow in the time-honored political traditions of modern cultures. Concord, Massachusetts; Selma, Alabama; Tiananmen Square, China; Cairo, Egypt: people have risen up in massive numbers across the world to seek change. Whether you have joined them, or even disagree with their perspectives, as a democracy we all value the power of citizens to peacefully organize to seek justice and change.             The energy of Occupy Wall Street-like gatherings is born in the increasing gap in our country between the rich and the poor, and a shared impatience with the lingering effects of our last recession. Wall Street in New York City, the geographic center of the United State’s Stock Exchange, is also home to many of the world’s largest financial institutions, many of which were involved in complex tinkering with mortgage lending that sparked our long economic slide. Too big to fail, our own tax dollars have been spent…

Reading Made More Difficult

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I'm astonished to report that after decades of putting reading before everything else, I have been made a (somewhat) more reluctant reader. I blame it on my internet wanderings on a shiny, sleek laptop, my interest in social media, the constant buzz of Facebook, and the flutter of Twitter. The allure of my Blackberry texts. The shift in my free time from reading fiction to psychology. All of it. And it is disturbing.