Category Archives: Good people disagree

Drinking water, vaccines, and the tragedy of the commons

Home_pond-2

Note: This post was previously published at the Iowa blog Bleeding Heartland. Before a planned international trip for a humanitarian non-governmental organization a few years ago, I received cholera and typhoid vaccinations as part of a set of several jabs administered by Iowa’s Polk County Health Department. Despite some transient ill effects, I survived to tell the tale, one more… Read more »

When good Christians disagree – part 2

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Good Christians Disagree-2

In Part One of this post I posited that “good Christians disagree” about important things for reasons heavily correlated to two 2000-year-old variants in the faith that still foster both diversity and division. When you envision God primarily as Michelangelo’s bearded white male on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and think of a mighty Christ “sitting on God’s right… Read more »

When good Christians disagree

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The leading Republican Senate candidate in Ohio, Josh Mandel, has already laid down a key marker for the 2022 election, saying on Twitter, “Evangelical Christians, Jewish conservatives and devout Catholics are our army.” I know so many people whom I would consider “good Christians” and they are of all denominational and political stripes. I also have met some really nasty… Read more »

Worth a read: Life’s Edge by Carl Zimmer

An interesting tidbit from a recent DNA study documented by researchers in the Netherlands, translated for a general audience in Science News: Overall, as many as 12% of human pregnancies may start as multiple pregnancies, but under 2% carry to term, resulting in a vanishing twin. To think that a new science book can contribute positively to the hot-again issue… Read more »

Afghanistan and aggressive dependence

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The moral conversation

I first heard the term “aggressive dependence” from a friend who spent over forty years creating community self-help cooperatives in mostly-rural locations in a dozen developing countries. Haiti was the one country where, in recent years, he expressed resignation rather than his typical ebullient hope. In his expression, aggressive dependence characterizes a society that defeats all attempts at practical outside… Read more »

When your pain becomes our pain

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Empathy-Sympathy-Compassion

Odds are…you personally will not suffer any ill effects from the coronavirus. But over 600,000 U.S. families have watched loved ones die, often without the hugs of family who had to say goodbye via FaceTime. Odds are…you personally will not be killed in a grocery store by a domestic terrorist wielding an AR-style high-lethality weapon. But over 40,000 families lost… Read more »

Biden, the bishops, and a failure to communicate

Cool Hand Luke

American Catholic bishops have apparently backed off plans to deny the Holy Communion from practicing Catholic Democratic politicians like President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Comments from the Jesuit Pope Francis and public sentiment appear to have convinced the bishops that this stance would be politically unwise at this time. California Republican and gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner, who in a… Read more »

Talking in three languages about Covid vaccines

religion-science-politics

I had long thought that the phrase “to babble” had its origins in the Genesis story of the Tower of Babel. Instead, you can find linguists arguing for Western European or Latin roots with the meaning of “to prattle” or to imitate baby talk (“ba-ba-ba”). By any definition, there is a lot of mutually-incomprehensible babbling going around that is as… Read more »

Israel, Gaza, and ethical nuance

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A fragile peace fire holds this morning, but political support for Bibi Netanyahu’s actions against the Palestinian Hamas military actions and control over Gaza is one of the few issues these days that seems to cross party lines. At least there are multiple views within the Democratic Party, and there are clearly neo-Nazi elements among Trump supporters who hold Israel… Read more »

When ethics and dogma meet politics

Stephen Crane

“Think as I think,” said a man, “Or you are abominably wicked; You are a toad.” And after I had thought of it, I said: “I will, then, be a toad.” — Stephen Crane (1871–1900) It can be dangerous to bisect any part of the world around us into two paths, but I have come to view human expressions of… Read more »