On a rainy Georgia night near the end of the Civil War, a soldier named Arly, who is more interested in survival than piety, addresses God about his young companion Will, who “thinks an army at war is a reasonable thing. . . . He thinks we live in a sane life and time, which you know as well as I is not what you designed for us sinners.”

Take and read

When it emerged in the 1980s, the Irish rock group U2, with its lead singer Bono, displayed a spiritual passion that countered the big-haired, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” synthesizer pop of that era. The band was sincere and idealistic, and its lyrics sidestepped the standard topics of sex, parties and relationships.

Healing the political psyche

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive Jewish magazine Tikkun, understands that a bipolar personality disorder has afflicted our nation. We see everyone and everything in terms of conservative versus liberal, or religious right versus secular left.