World Trade Center

Reflections on September 11 … Seventeen Years Later

Reflections on September 11 … Seventeen Years Later

"Life" Issues, 9-11, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Change, Christianity, conservatism, culture, Enlightenment, faith, Four Quartets, God, Holy Mystery, Islam, Kingdom of God, memories, monotheism, Numinous, postmodernism, Religion, sadness, Shanksville, Spirituality, terrorism, The Divine, Uncategorized, United 93, violence, war, World Trade Center
As of today, it has been 17 years since two Boeing colleagues, whom I will call Roger and Ted, and I traveled on Boeing business to Salt Lake City to spend a few days working at the small Boeing engineering office there.  We had flown in the previous day, 10 September, and spent that day walking around the city, four-wheeling around the rough terrain surrounding the Lake, taking a hair-raising drive up into the front range of the Wasatch Mountains, visiting the Mormon Tabernacle, and strolling around Park City, before going to dinner at a local steak house. Next morning, 11 September, I turned on the TV in my room to watch the news as I got dressed. I was mildly surprised at being greeted by what appeared to be a picture of the World Trade Center towers burning. I say only “mildly surp
Fair-Weather Originalists:  Be Careful What You Wish For

Fair-Weather Originalists: Be Careful What You Wish For

14th Amendment, 9-11, activism, autonomy, awareness, bigotry, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, conservatism, Consitution, critical judgment, culture, Equality, Executive Order, faithfulness, Fascism, First Amendment, Ideology, injustice, law, Muslims, peace and justice, political rhetoric, Politics, Presidency, racism, Rationality, Religion, Religious War, Secularity, social justice, Supreme Court, terrorism, Tolerance, Trump, Uncategorized, World Trade Center
Sometimes I think history has a wicked sense of humor.  The latest example of history-as-harlequin may be seen by observing the rhetorical, jurisprudential, and logical contortions of people attempting to defend President Trump’s executive orders (EOs) on immigration before, in this latest case, the 4th Circuit.  Most of the people defending Trump’s EOs – EO 13769 and its siblings – are employing the language, tactics, and presuppositions of original meaning, a common approach of conservative / “strict constructionist” jurists and constitutional scholars. To them:  the key question of how to interpret any given text of the Constitution or statutory law is to adhere to the original meaning of the law’s authors as expressed in the original language of the law itself.  In order for the la
In Memoriam — Elie Wiesel and Passing Judgment on God

In Memoriam — Elie Wiesel and Passing Judgment on God

C. S. Lewis, Christianity, community, Compassion, courage, covenant, culture, Elie Wiesel, Ethics, faith, faithfulness, God, in memory of, Judaism, monotheism, Pain and Suffering, paradox, Religion, Skeptic, The long and difficult road, Theodicy, Theology, Tolerance, Uncategorized, World Trade Center
Of all the things that impressed me about the late Elie Wiesel – how strange the prefix “the late” now sounds before his name! -- what always impressed me the most was his utter, unflinching, and uncompromising honesty.  There was apparently no question– about God or about human beings, about good or about evil, about war or about peace – which he considered unaskable.  Likewise, and for essentially the same reason, there was seemingly no chain of reasoning, no argument, no concatenation of inference that he shied away from following to its uttermost conclusion.  This moral and intellectual stamina even included such fraught issues as those impinging on the Problem of Evil, understandably a subject of more than more than merely academic importance to Elie Wiesel, given his status as a