Thursday, April 22


Saints, Sultans, And Submission:  The Tyranny Of Interpretation

Saints, Sultans, And Submission: The Tyranny Of Interpretation

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, activism, Anchorite, autonomy, awareness, body, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Cherry picking, Christian Church, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, community, Compassion, conflict, conservatism, contemplation, Creator, critical judgment, Crusades, culture, Discernment, entering into suffering, Ethics, faith, faithfulness, Fasting, God, Human Condition, Islam, Kingdom of God, Letting go, Military, monotheism, mosques, Pain and Suffering, peace and justice, Quran, reconciliation, Religious War, Spirituality, theocracy, Theology, Uncategorized
On Thursday, 1 February 2018, Jamie Dedes honored me by publishing my review of the new book by Paul Moses, The Saint and the Sultan:  The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace. I found the book engrossing. In fact, even its omissions were engrossing. And Moses' entire text was provocative, touching issues on history, ethics, religion, and the psychology thereof. In fact, Paul Moses' book was too good to keep. So -- with Jamie's permission -- I am taking the liberty of reprinting my review here. For a religious person who is “seeking God’s will,” the most reliable indicator that you are in serious trouble is the belief that you have found it. Paul Moses has, perhaps unintentionally, written a brief but fascinating account of a case in point:  The Saint and the Su...
Kneeling As A Seditious Act

Kneeling As A Seditious Act

"Life" Issues, activism, autonomy, awareness, bigotry, Challenge, Change, Character Building, Christianity, citizenship, civics, Civil War, community, conflict, conservatism, constitution, courage, critical judgment, Discernment, Ethics, faithfulness, Fascism, First Amendment, Freedom, Fundamentalism, history, Ideology, justice, law, Military, NFL, peace and justice, Philosophy, political rhetoric, Politics, Presidency, Pro sports, progressive politics, racism, Religion, Resistance, Scripture, Secularity, slavery, social justice, Trump, Uncategorized
Breitbart recently carried a story about three Miami Dolphins players (wide receiver Kenny Stills, receiver Albert Wilson, and defensive end Robert Quinn) who either took a knee or raised a fist in response to the playing of the National Anthem. Predictably enough, Breitbart excoriated the three players participating in the protest for their ostensible disrespect for the Flag, the Nation, the Armed Forces, … you know … the usual litany of synthetic outrage.  Which got me to thinking … it might be interesting to indulge in a purely speculative thought experiment about the way events might unfold, in this instance and in all other instances of NFL players kneeling in response to the Anthem in an alternate parallel Universe. Thought experiments – or gedanken experiments – have a long and ...
“To Beat The Morning Drum” — A Memorial Day Reflection

“To Beat The Morning Drum” — A Memorial Day Reflection

awareness, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, conflict, constitution, courage, critical judgment, D-Day, Discernment, election year, faithfulness, Fascism, Freedom, Gratitude, in memory of, Legacy, Memorial Day, Military, peace and justice, soldiers, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, World War 2
Monday of next week, 28 May, is Memorial Day. So the following is dedicated to those who fought in the Nation's wars, especially those who never returned home. In particular, and most personally, I dedicate this to the memory of my father, Cpl. Leonard Eugene Cowles, who served in Battery C of the 174th Field Artillery Battalion, and of whom I have written previously. The following poem by Walt Whitman was reprinted on the flyleaf of Dad's copy of We Did, the history of the 174th which was issued to every member of the Battalion as they left the Service at the end of World War II. (The title of the history was chosen so as to finish the Battalion motto:  Possumus Et Volumus -- "We Can And We Will".) How painfully nostalgic to reflect that the men who received that Battalion history wen...