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Showing posts from September, 2008

9/11 plus seven

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This year we observe the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As with all anniversaries, there is an opportunity to reflect upon what this means for us as individuals and in our communities.

In New York City, a number of things are different this year. Construction has begun in earnest on the World Trade Center site. The Pit is growing unrecognizable as such, and this is the last year that public memorial events will take place on the spot where the towers stood. Mayor Bloomburg is seeking to take over control of development, seeking completion of construction by the tenth anniversary of the attack (Bloomberg Urges New York City Take Control of Trade Center Site).

A number of 9/11-related projects are "sunsetting," a genteel term for "no more funding." Some people see this as another example of "get over it already," a thought which has never been absent from public discourse. The needs have not sunsetted, only the money. It is also true that many peop…

Babies, guns, and Jesus

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This is my first partisan post. It is so important to get this one right...

Rush Limbaugh and I agree on something. This election is about three things. We are simply focused on three different things.

Rush Limbaugh watched the Republican Convention and declared that this election is now focused on Sarah Palin and is an attempt to renew the culture wars, about "babies, guns, Jesus. Hot damn!" Sarah Palin: Babies, Guns, Jesus - August 28, 2008. Is this really the vision you have for America?


One of these things does not belong with the others...

I suggest that this election is about another three things.

1. Can Democrats fight? ¡Si se puede! Yes we can! I love my country. I have fought for my country and my values. Barack Obama and Joe Biden must hold this ground. Americans respect, trust, love, and will follow someone who will stand up for what they believe in. This election, and our country are worth fighting for - even if we must say some hard things. John McCain is a hero who …

Who do you think you are?

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Sermon for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

As I listened to the lessons for today, it seemed to me that identity issues are prominent. Jesus asks his disciples "who do you say that I am?" Have they been paying attention? Are they aware of what’s going on?

The apostle Paul is also concerned with a couple of identity issues: using the different gifts given to each member, and also finding or forging a new identity, as members of the body of Christ.

One reason these "identity issues" stood out for me is that I have been reading a book about the management style of the Jesuits, an organization within the Roman Catholic church. The author, trained as a Jesuit before leaving for a career as an investment banker, makes the case that the thing which has allowed the Jesuits to be a successful 450 year old company, is their focus first of all not on what they do, but on who they are.

Their core strength as an organization originates not in their …