The Great and Holy Council of the Eastern Orthodox churches concluded Sunday (June 26). There was no shortage of controversy leading up to the council. The churches of Bulgaria, Russia and Georgia didn’t attend. The Ukrainian Church asked for independence from the Russian Church. Many wondered if the council’s decisions would be valid. In the end, cooler and more charitable heads prevailed.
The Century invites readers to submit first-person narratives (under 1,000 words) on the topics surprise and character.
As our country asks how to protect itself from the terror of more mass shootings, elected leaders who call themselves Christian might look to the LGBTQ community for inspiration. Queer people have a weapon in our arsenal that no gun will ever defeat.
We were away at a family funeral when the news broke about the shooting at Pulse in Orlando. We went through the motions of our last day in Maine—visiting the beach, eating dinner with loved ones—but we carried with us the rising number of deaths we saw in news alerts on our phones. When we got home the next day, I started doing laundry.
When I parked the minivan in the church lot, it still sounded like the type of horror we have had no choice but to become stoic about: 20 dead in a bar, as many more wounded, a dead shooter and a thicket of questions. By the time I returned it had become something different.
The satisfaction theory of the atonement centers on debt, humanity’s debt to God. It’s often criticized for its gruesome picture of God. But it also paints a weird picture of Jesus: Christ the Debt Buyer.
Plato, it is said, confronted Diogenes as the great Cynic philosopher washed his greens for dinner. “If you had humored Dionysius”—the tyrant of Syracuse who had called Plato as an adviser—”you wouldn’t be rinsing greens now.” Diogenes answered him, “And if you rinsed greens, you wouldn’t have been a slave to Dionysius.”
“Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed.” I hear these words on a bright, cloudless morning on my way to work. They begin the speech that President Obama gave several hours earlier at Hiroshima.
Here in Connecticut, we have learned about remembering those who have lost their lives because of senseless gun violence. An image, a phrase, a chance meeting, or a date on the calendar so easily brings back the profound tragedy of December 14, 2012, when Adam Lanza shot and killed first his mother, and then 20 school children, six adults, and finally himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
There’s the Pope Francis buzz. And then there’s reality. Last week news outlets reported that Pope Francis would form a commission to study the issue of female deacons in the Catholic Church. The predictable reverberations began immediately.
Joking with vegetarians about how good meat tastes is old hat. We vegetarians have heard them all.
The Century invites readers to submit first-person narratives (under 1,000 words) on the topic enemy.
President George W. Bush let innumerable attacks on his decisions, intelligence and character roll off his back while he was in office. But facing the families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan took a heavy emotional toll on his presidency.
I don’t want to do this, but I will. I have a gun. I’m sorry I took those things. I lost my job. Give me a break. I’m strung out on heroin. These are the prayers of the people.