Politics

Climate Change Manifesto

If there was an evangelical movement to deal with the reality of climate change, this could be its manifesto. Its author, Dorothy Sayers, was friends with C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Charles Williams. “When the laws regulating human society are so formed as to come into collision with the [laws of nature]…they will end by producing […]

Budgets, Family and Federal

Here’s an idea for one of those year-long experiment books. What if, for one year, Kate and I modeled our family budget after the federal government’s? Let’s say we have a household income of $70,000. But we’d have to live beyond our means. Six percent of all our spending (or about $4,410) would go to make […]

Usufruct

A rare, longish, overtly political blog post from me. Something that’s been on my mind the last couple days: In 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to James Madison in which he makes the case that a federal bond should be paid within one generation of incurring the debt, because “the earth belongs in usufruct […]

Lincoln and the Mighty Currents of History

This morning I finished listening to an audiobook about the complex relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Douglass — I have his autobiography coming from the library — but he seems to have been a prophet, the conscience of the nation even and especially when white […]

Our Countrymen Are All Mankind

“Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind. We love the land of our nativity only as we love all other lands. The interests, rights, liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race. Hence, we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge […]

Idolatry and the NRA

The idolatry of the NRA leadership is how it equates security with gun ownership. There are 300 million guns in this country — so why aren’t we more secure? Why do we feel more at risk than ever before? [Some] say that the NRA’s gun rhetoric is a stand-in for “freedom.” Well, I think “freedom” […]

Lincoln

I’m still thinking about the movie “Lincoln,” and all the books I’ve read on Lincoln, and the book I’m reading a little each night before bed, which is about Lincoln’s use of words. The Civil War doesn’t present any real challenge to my Quaker commitment to nonviolence, though of course hindsight is twenty-twenty. No, the […]