Bulgaria is a small country with a long history. Like other Balkan countries, it has gone through turmoil, slavery, exaltation and defeat. Though Bulgaria is the quietest and most obscure nation on the troubled Balkan peninsula, its people have to wrestle with the usual social evils that plague former communist-bloc countries: slow reforms, economic difficulties and moral confusion.
The furor over George W. Bush’s campaign speech at Bob Jones University is full of ironies. Candidates have visited the campus in search of Republican votes ever since 1980 with no discernible repercussions—until now.
Prayer. We read, write, talk and agonize about it, resolve to do it, wish we’d done it more than we actually do it. In this it resembles other pursuits of which people overestimate the intensity, frequency and duration—such as reading, writing and sex.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,” our priest droned for the tenth time. His pedagogy was nothing if not dogged. He would have said it again, but I jumped in: “How can I love someone I can’t see?” The other kids sat up. Would he ignore me or call my parents? I always tried to rattle him, but for once I wasn’t showing off.
Three years ago, on the very first broadcast of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, the PBS program I host, we did a feature on a stretch of road outside Washington, D.C., that has been nicknamed the “Highway of Heaven.” Side by side, block after block, is an amazing variety of new places of worship for Vietnamese Catholics, Korean Presbyterians, Cambodian Buddhists, Ukrainian Ortho