vol. 10, num. 18 :: 2011.10.14 — 2011.10.27
At some point in our development, we become aware that there are insiders and outsiders when it comes to various social contexts -- politics to playgrounds, workplaces to Sunday school. How we respond to this awareness varies greatly from one person to another. Where do you stand?
On the characters who teach us how to accept life around the edges of a big story.
From St. Francis to Shakespeare, an endorsement for radical hospitality.
Moving from transplanted strangers to homemaking exiles.
On a mother’s decision to keep a family secret...for now.
On the secrets we all keep.
Is it possible to truly belong in a new culture?
Remembering the challenges and triumphs of the teen years.
A mother remembers the longings and cruelties of junior high girls.
Learning to cope with unemployment.
First hand experience with Alabama’s new immigration law.
Life is a complicated game of Would You Rather? for a those who find pieces of home in two very different worlds.
Remembering Simone Weil and a middle school band of misfits.
Greg Bottoms on the making of a Santeros artist as an old man.
On the first day, any first day, we're expected to live by the rules and customs of the culture we're entering, but we don't know those rules and customs just yet.
If only holiness were measured by the volume of our incessant chatter, we would be universally praised as the most holy nation on earth. But in our fretful, theatrical piety, we have come to mistake noisiness for holiness, and we have presumed to know, with a clarity and certitude that not even the angels dared claim, the divine will for the world. We have organized our needs with the confidence that God is on our side, now and always, whether we feed the poor or corral them into ghettos. To a nation filled with intense religious fervor, the Hebrew prophet Amos said: You are not the holy people you imagine yourselves to be. Though the land is filled with festivals and assemblies, with songs and melodies, and with so much pious talk, these are not sounds and sights that are pleasing to the Lord. “Take away from me the noise of your congregations,” Amos says, “you who have turned justice into poison.”
"God and Country" in The Boston Globe (July 8, 2007)
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