Episcopal debate: church should embrace differences

“The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” This sign is a heartwarming reminder throughout the nation of a denomination called to Gospel mission. It well represents a church that embraces people of different backgrounds and theological approaches who worship and pray together. Since we “see through a glass darkly” as humans, I hope we can continue to […]

Tolkien, humanity and war

Each year at this time I recall with joy the Christmas releases of the films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Though Tolkien “cordially disliked allegory,” there are many different ways of understanding LotR. Some see it through the filter of their desire for a black and white universe, and ignore equally prominent […]

Does history owe the innkeeper an apology?

It is a most well known story: Joseph and Mary having to travel to Bethlehem for a Roman census, and this when Mary is in the last stages of her pregnancy. They arrive in the little town, only to find that there is no room for them in the inn, and so they are quickly […]

Enough is enough: let children be children

Education is the key to success. This is the mantra of business leaders, politicians and parents. More education means more opportunities for higher paying jobs. Higher income means more than simply having more things. It translates into improved quality of life through better health and nutrition. The evidence seems conclusive. College graduates earn more than […]

Cons of school dress code: helping students dress for success

The last days of summer saw students and parents shopping for school supplies and clothes from the list given out by their schools. Parents spent precious dollars, being told that this investment would pay dividends in increased student learning. According to Yolanda Valdez, principal of Dinuba High School, “The dress code sets the tone for […]

Pros of school dress code: helping students dress for safety

Each year more and more schools adopt some form of dress code. While some challenges have been made concerning their constitutionality, in general court rulings have supported codes that are instituted properly and can be shown to be rationally related to a legitimate pedagogical purpose. The safety of the children in the schools appears to […]

Proof of global warming as good as science can get—its time for action

When Al Gore was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental activism against global warming, the most immediate consequence was an increase in the temperature of the debate over climate change. Columnists and pundits denounced the decision as a politically motivated. Thousands of university faculty and professional scientists around the country have received petitions […]

Armenia, Turkey, genocide and…Freud

It’s no coincidence that I’ve been thinking of Sigmund Freud during the debate over whether our nation should recognize Turkey’s murder of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I as “genocide.” Like Freud’s theories, Turkey’s denials have remarkable staying power, despite overwhelming evidence against them. Freud’s longevity, however, stems from his desire to reveal rather […]

The haunting of the Central Valley

Ghosts. Psychic phenomena. Mysterious rites conducted by the light of a full moon. Is the Central Valley the epicenter of ectoplasmic activity? Could our hometown, like Sunnydale, be situated on its own “Hellmouth”? Or are these claims a symptom of a more general malaise? It’s been nearly a decade since the finale of The X-Files, […]

Let’s make Children’s Day meaningful

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated November 20 by the United Nations and is intended to promote the welfare of the world’s children. As this day nears, I find myself thinking more about the condition of life for children in the U.S. With all sides of the political and social spectrum debating whether the family is […]