Vogan is one of the most dedicated church members I know. Every Sunday, 15
minutes before the prelude begins, he climbs up into our soaring, Gothic tower
with one goal: to set our 2,020-pound church bell into full swing. Then, for
ten whole minutes, the Old South bell calls all of Boston to pray.
"For God and country,” said the SEAL team commander. But if the God that Augustine had in mind were to shape how we think about war, there wouldn’t be much room to celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Imagine you are a young mother living paycheck to paycheck, with no
health insurance. Where would you go for a pregnancy test? For treatment
of a sexually transmitted disease? To obtain contraceptives? In each
case, the answer for millions of Americans is Planned Parenthood.
There’s no doubt that Osama bin Laden had been living on borrowed time ever since 9/11 rendered him America's public enemy number one. For those of us who were still in middle school at the time, our history has been color-coded with security threat levels.
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).