Category Archives: Dialogue and Current Events

If You Ever Wished You Could Quit the Human Race…

…join the crowd. I’d be happy to take a long hiatus from the current version of homo sapiens, because we’re a hot mess. The rage and hatred in the public square are becoming unbearable. As if that weren’t bad enough, I see this same spirit infecting other parts of our life together. Even in my […]

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Can Love Cast Out Fear?

Last week in this space, I suggested that most of us Americans—conservative and liberal, coastal and middle America, urban and rural—share a weird type of common ground: fear. We fear the white-hot public square, in which anything we do or say might incur wrath. We fear our leaders, our institutions, and our systems, often with […]

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The Weirdest Common Ground Ever

Many people are bemoaning America’s vicious public square. Few are discussing the weird common ground that most of us share—and what might be the best way to address it. Two recent conversations brought this into focus for me. The first—with a conservative Christian friend who reluctantly supported Donald Trump—fulfilled a longing I’ve had since the […]

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The Other Reason “Spotlight” Is Still Relevant Today

Every year my wife goes off on vacation, and I use the time to catch up on Oscar-winning movies from years past. This summer I saw maybe a half dozen, all of which were superbly made, one of which stood out: Spotlight. In case you haven’t seen it, Spotlight chronicles The Boston Globe’s investigation of […]

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What’s the State of YOUR Nation?

How are you feeling about the country you live in? Last week, in North America, we had two celebrations of nationhood in four days: Canada Day on July 1 and the U.S. Independence Day on July 4. That got me thinking about a custom followed by all U.S. presidents in one form or another: an […]

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Dialing Down the News Intake to Sane Levels

I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions. That’s because, well, they sort of made me, bubbling to the surface early in the morning of January 1. And they quickly coalesced into a catchy slogan: More zazen. Less input. Zazen is a form of Zen meditation in which you sit and focus on the breath. We can […]

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Can the Truth Set Us Free in the Trump Era?

This is the story of a weird Bible interpretation and the unexpected wisdom it holds for us today. Recently I came across the gospel account of Jesus and a Jewish sect called the Sadducees. As the story goes, some of these Sadducees came to Jesus with a theological question: if a woman is married seven […]

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Change Making for Introverts, or, Is There Only One Way to Address Injustice?

I have this friend who’s, well, colorful. He’s a simple fellow, tells you exactly what he thinks, makes me laugh like hell, cusses like an unrepentant sailor, and is as openhearted and generous to his friends as anyone I know. He’s also a racist. His attitudes toward people of color have always felt like a […]

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Why I’ve Hit the Pause Button on Dialogue

Not so long ago, most of my writing was devoted to dialogue. Dialogue and Donald Trump. Dialogue and the debate over guns. Dialogue and why my website isn’t called Dialogue Venture anymore. A whole book about dialogue. All of which makes my current approach to dialogue so curious—and maybe fruitful. For the past year or […]

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What Can Our Enemies Teach Us?

Please note: This is a delicate topic. If you’ve suffered major trauma at the hands of another person, feel free to skip the article, or at least read with care.   I don’t like using the word loathe. I don’t want to admit I can loathe. But three people in my past inspire something like […]

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