I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out." So complained 18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot. It is true that much that passes for theology fails to illumine the path, and it does not help to claim that nontheological reasoning is often equally opaque. Thankfully, a few lights shine brightly.
Along with questions about fairness to
advertisers and competitors, Google's current approach to web searching raises
another issue: the tailoring of information for consumers. You and I can type
the same keywords into Google and get vastly different results.
There was a lot to celebrate at the recent
Pride parades. But while I support gay rights, I'm
oddly unenthusiastic about the prospect of my own denomination considering a resolution to become open and affirming.
If federal policy met its goal of “zero tolerance” for people who
cross the border illegally, the caseload in the Tucson federal
courthouse would go from 200 a day to 1,000. Prisoners would need to be “processed” in groups of 40 instead of eight.
The national parks are rightly considered some of America’s great treasures, but their history is not as serene as their landscapes. A year after the Battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln deeded Yosemite Valley to the state of California, to be maintained for public use for all time. Lincoln hoped these “magnificent lands . . . might offer a unifying peace for a divided nation.” But before Yosemite could be turned into a park for public use, the Ahwahneechee, its native inhabitants, had to be driven out. Similar wars of removal were conducted at the end of the 19th century at the sites of Glacier and Yellowstone parks (Times Literary Supplement, September 2).