We have a bumper sticker on our car: “Keep Vermont Civil.” The sticker is a bit tattered, since it goes back to the controversy about “civil unions”—the Vermont law passed in 2000 establishing various legal equivalencies to marital rights for gay and lesbian couples.
Some exegetes and preachers have tried to persuade us that the Song of Songs is an elaborate allegory about the love of God for Israel or of Christ for the church. Yes, the book may have something to teach us about the divine-human relationship, but it is also, and without doubt, a song of erotic love. It is sensual, playful, beautiful and filled with longing.
When my wife, Darrah, and I met Andy in the Los Angeles airport, we thought we would never have a real conversation with him. This tall, muscular guy nonchalantly palmed a Bible as if he were pacing across the stage of a megachurch. But we soon realized that we would talk with him again, and soon.
I knew Baghdad was in bad shape, but I didn’t expect the vast expanse of urban slums that sprawl across the flatlands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. I was also surprised to see that the effects of the coalition bombing and open combat were limited.