Culture and Politics
This section is focused on the many issues of culture and politics. This includes a variety of cultural issues such as marriage and family as well as educational topics. The overriding theme is that freedom, rooted in unselfish ethics and the classical virtues, is the core attribute of human success. It is also the dividing line between the left and the right in politics.
I do my best to not be divisive, because I truly believe that all humans are equal and incarnational children of the same parental God. At the same time, I feel that it's very important to stand up for the sacred freedoms that all humans are given by God. Thus, I think it's unavoidable that freedom-loving people should push back against political and cultural totalitarianism. Ultimately, one hopes that those individuals who support or pursue totalitarianism will change their hearts and minds and stand up for freedom as well.
An examination of graphic violence in television and film.
Now, in 2007, the graphic violence that is often a part of horror films and slasher movies seems to have taken root in mainstream television programs. Many movies that are not billed as horror movies have adopted extreme standards in their depictions of graphic violence. more
On May 7, 2007, I went with three of our children and acted with them as extras at the "John Adams" mini-series shoot (Part 2), in Goochland, Virginia. I played a "Boston Towns Person". (Our fourth child, Tymon, was an extra in Part 1.) This page shows the absolutely horrible tongue in cheek trauma that I suffered, as I was *forced*!!! to shave my beard (after six years!) — since Boston Towns Persons didn't have beards. Drat them! Oh, the Tyranny of Fashion! Here, for your potential amusement, is the pictorial history of my dreadful loss. Who knows — perhaps one day I'll be an actor. more
My mother once said to me, “It’s much harder to create beauty than it is to create ugliness.” She said this to me during the depths of my antisocial hippie dippie years, when I was seventeen and remarkably ignorant. I don’t remember what I had drawn, or written, but it must have been just south of putrid, for I offended her artistic sensibilities. For some reason, perhaps because she was an art teacher and my mother, I listened to her, and abandoned the project. I also have never forgotten what she said. more
The first time we saw the desolation caused by their handiwork, we were driving down a road that we had traveled many times, when suddenly we turned a corner and saw a vast expanse of broken tree stumps and piles of dirt, mixed with wood chips and underbrush. It had been a beautiful stretch of woods, inhabited, I’m sure, by a variety of now displaced creatures. more
~ Fostering peace by teaching the ethics of peace
I believe that the majority of human beings around the world agree that all nations should live at peace. I also believe that most people reject the extreme and violent methods that totalitarians use to create “world peace.” Instead of the “peace of the grave” or the “peace of slavery,” I think that many people might be able to at least conceptually agree with the following premise: " Nations will live in peace when the overriding desire of each nation is to serve the citizens of all nations as true brothers and sisters, bound together by a common heart of love. " more
Imagine a city where there are no roads. Imagine a city where paradise has not been paved, and turned into a parking lot. Imagine a city where asphalt and concrete are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the areas between buildings and houses are filled with grassy lawns, gardens and parks. That image alone should make the prospect of a world without ground-based vehicles immensely attractive. more
Many doctors seem to think that they are doing their patients a favor by treating them, rather than serving customers who are doing the doctors a favor by paying their fees. more
On the 14th of October, in the Year of Our Lord 2006, my family and I attended the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis. We feasted, we drank lemonade, we attended a merry joust where the brave warriors deigned not to fall off their horses because of insurance clauses. We had a grand old time for nigh on three and a half hours browsing rows of hideously expensive shops, and watching revelers eat gigantic turkey legs. And I was jealous. more
This is the text of an extemporaneous speech delivered at the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace Conference on Ambassadors of Peace at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC on October 13, 2001, one month after the 9/11 attack. The speech has been slightly edited for print distribution.
We have to teach them that the most important thing that they can do - the best thing that they can do -- when they grow up, is to bring joy to others by loving them and by caring for them. more