It went largely unnoticed by the public and the press, but last month Iowa's Senate and House of Representatives did something groundbreaking. With broad bipartisan support, that state became the first in the country to repeal and replace its existing HIV criminalization law.
It’s cliché to say something is more than just a game. Or in this case, more than just a series. But for the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, it is truly more than simply the sum of its parts.
For intellectuals and government officials in Egypt, American foreign policy is an enigma. From Syria to Afghanistan questions are posed about the stance of the Obama administration. To cite one example, an official asked, how do you explain the president’s argument for bombing Syria only to end up not bombing Syria?
This old Doubting-Thomas of a palaver-some pundit has been much troubled of late. The cause? Having heard a rising chorus of voices, belonging to public personae who, one expects, should know better, urging their faithful friends and fellow citizens to relinquish the precious possession that all those members of the military we’ve been sending into harm’s-way (ostensibly to preserve) have been dodging danger for--- and simply hand the franchise that makes our freedom meaningful over, to some unprincipled penny-pincher of a political proxy.
I recently had the real pleasure of spending some time at the WAMC studios with Garrison Keillor who is, of course, an immense star. He’s very tall and shows some wear and tear around the edges. He has tremendous intellect and he is sardonically funny. As you know he has the “Writer’s Almanac” every day and I love the show, it’s so interesting; a little bit of history, a little bit of poetry and he always provokes thought. Every once in a while he likes to push the envelope and if it involves something naughty it can present radio problems for us but so far we’re still breathing. You know those poets, always crossing boundaries.
For Americans, military matters are rarely considered. After all, without a draft, less than one-half of one percent of the nation has any direct involvement with military issues. The Congress is in a similar state largely unaware of military concerns as a Chinese wall has been erected between the military brass and the civilian leadership that makes decisions about its future.
Let me lead with a question – Is the threat of environmental catastrophe ringing from every pulpit and ethical organization in the country? If not, why not? The Bible records many prophets and the price of ignoring them. Surely making clear the moral and religious imperative of preventing catastrophe is a basic function, a duty of the clergy.
Those prejudiced political power brokers, now trying to hang a liturgical lock on this nation’s spiritual inception, as a Christian entity, had best beware of history’s recurrent habit of self-correction…much like proof that appears to be surfacing, now. For starters, let’s not forget the Native American tribes who were here, when the Holy-Roller "conversionists" first set out to "civilize" the “savages” who helped them survive the rigors of this untamed land, they’d come to conquer. The Amerinds’ own religion taught them to respect and preserve what nature had provided but their fortune-hunting Christian conquerors were determined to despoil. One hesitates to contradict historic errors that have (for some) become part wish-prejudiced and nationally accepted misstatements…but when facts surface, despite repetition to the contrary, truthful contradiction must intercede, like it or not.
We hosted a conference on Alzheimer's disease at the College last week, inviting a distinguished group of physicians, researchers, caregivers, advocates and policymakers to discuss the ethical and legal challenges of diagnosing and treating those with the disease.