Since this seems to be "bare your soul week" at DT, I'm going to take
the chance today to let you know that I prefer the beatitudes in Matthew
over those found in Luke's text for this All Saints' Day, and I'll tell
Most Americans have a desire for more forgiveness in their lives, but
they are more critical when choosing whom to forgive, according to a
Sixty-two percent of American adults said they need
more forgiveness in their personal lives, and 94 percent wanted to see
more forgiveness in the country, according to a study by the
Michigan-based Fetzer Institute.
If you had asked the pastor of the mainline
church I grew up in how his congregation was addressing public issues like
poverty, health or education, he would have pointed to a few church-sponsored
programs (like a child-care center and a Meals on Wheels program) but he would
also have named church members who were doctors, civil servants and public
Before his assassination Archbishop Romero of El Salvador had a practice
of reading at the Eucharist the names of members of his church who had
either ‘disappeared’—or died the previous week. As the prayers of the
community were spoken—the names were be lifted up one after another.
The highest incarceration rates in the United States are in red states, especially in the South, but some conservatives are having second thoughts about the war on crime launched by President Nixon. Among them is Chase Madar, former Virginia state senator and attorney general who was president of Prison Fellowship for ten years. Madar was persuaded that a new approach to crime is needed by visiting prisoners, seeing the conditions they live in, and discovering that virtually no rehabilitation of criminals is taking place. He now advocates the use of restorative justice, a plan that returns criminals to the communities where they committed their crimes to confess at public meetings and ask forgiveness (American Conservative, February 3).