As we reel from the horrific news out of Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine people were killed and others wounded after a gunman opened fire during Bible study at Emanuel AME Church, the details we’re gathering in the aftermath all suggest that this was a hate crime.
Some of us clergy couples struggle with jealousy. Some of us don’t. And sometimes we’re split on the matter. It took my partner seven and a half years before she felt the envy. Then (finally!) the other month the Rev. Jamie looked me in the eye and said (for the first time), “I am so jealous of you. If one more person says they’re going to give you a stole, I’m going to scream.”
On a recent Saturday I worked beyond the point of exhaustion. Not to. Beyond. Never mind exactly on what. I like to think it was for a good cause, though that is debatable and not the point here. The point is: I so believed outcome xneeded to happen that I was willing to do violence to myself to make it happen.
Last week the Nebraska legislature abolished the state’s death penalty, overcoming the governor’s veto to do it. First Things editor Matthew Schmitz, writing in National Review, adds a salutary note of caution to the celebration that followed: viewing abolition as moral progress allows us to “overlook the countless cruelties of our criminal-justice system as we congratulate ourselves on the elimination of a relatively rare punishment.”
Ranting about the assumptions people make about only children has been a part of my life since before I knew what the word assumption meant. After reading yet another comment that was likely intended to be lighthearted—but that implied that we only children are spoiled and always get our way—I thought it was time to turn this rant into a reflection.
Two years ago I was in El Salvador and asked a fellow Jesuit priest if he thought that Archbishop Oscar Romero—famously slain while celebrating Mass in 1980—would ever be beatified. The Salvadoran Jesuit’s answer: only when all of the people who loved Romero and all of the people who hated him were dead.
I often think I hear colleagues asking, “How could we attract nuns to our church?” Actually they’re talking about “the nones,” of course. One of the clearest findings of the Pew Forum’s new religious landscape study is that fewer and fewer people have any religious affiliation at all. Catholics and mainline Protestants show the biggest drop.