In his State of the Union speech, President Bush set a goal of achieving high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. “We must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy,” he said, so that people can “choose their own doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need.”
When war or national crisis sets our hearts churning, people normally accustomed to taking their cues from the daily news suddenly discover that Pentagon briefings, op-ed pieces and Oval Office updates provide little consolation for their deep spiritual distress. They turn to the one source they believe might have a spiritually significant word to utter—the church. And well they should.
The seething energies of spirituality are evident everywhere. That is good. What is not so good is that spirituality is also prone to lack of clarity, making it difficult to carry on a conversation about it.
On the flight from Johannesburg to Luanda, Angola, the airplane is packed. Half the passengers are oil workers returning for another four- or five-week stint on the wells off the coast. The other half are relief workers, coming to feed, house and cure more than a million Angolans who are starving in the wake of the country’s recently concluded civil war.
On the five Saturday nights before the 2003 Academy Awards show on March 23, a young adult group at a large church in Pasadena, California, has been discussing the five Oscar nominees for best picture.