Is Your Government Moral Per Se?

Recently, in defending the Administration’s immigration practices, Attorney General Sessions said:

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.”

It’s not the first time the Bible and, in particular, the Apostle Paul, has been used to justify governmental action and quell dissent. For a long time, slavery was the beneficiary of such moral reasoning.

Having been reared in the Christian faith, I find such reasoning ludicrous. After all, it was the state that executed the leader of this faith tradition and it was the state that executed Paul. The suggestion that Jesus thought one should always obey the government or any human authority for that matter is ridiculous on its face. Continue reading

Should You Delete Your Social Media?

Jaron Lanier, regarded by some as the father of virtual reality, was interviewed about the hazards of social media. The interview is well worth your time, particularly if you’re a parent. It can be found here.

An interesting comment is Lanier’s contention that President Trump’s addiction to Twitter has not served him well. I can believe it.

As much as I enjoy following some experts and others on Twitter, I am not at all sure the positives outweigh the negatives. I’m off Facebook and LinkedIn and frequently consider pulling the plug on Twitter, too.

In any case, listen to what Lanier has to say. And if you really want to treat yourself, read Lanier’s book Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality. It’s a gem.

Cities and Travel

We returned last night from four days in New York City. The main purpose of this trip was to see the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But we were fortunate: dear friends from Chester County, Pennsylvania drove up to spend some time with us. On top of that, your grandmother and I saw some sights we’d never seen.

Our trip made me wonder why we don’t visit NYC more often. Continue reading

Broken by the World. Isn’t Everyone?

In A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway wrote, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.”

Young people often fail to understand Hemingway’s words. But age tends to reveal that which was previously hidden. With age comes a realization that Hemingway was right.

For most of my life, I didn’t feel broken. But that changed. I won’t get into all the ways it changed here. Or when. Suffice it to say the world broke me. Continue reading

You’re Just One in a Long Line

Last week I visited relatives in Pennsylvania. My mother was dispensing some old family photos and memorabilia. There is one photo with my grandfather sitting on my great grandfather’s team of mules that caught my eye. Later we tagged along with my wife’s sister and her husband to remove some flowers she had placed on family graves for Memorial Day. I’m not one to visit cemeteries on a regular basis, but it was good to be there. To return to the site where I officiated the interment of my incredible mother-in-law Kay (Vera Kay: that’s your great grandmother, whose name you carry). Walking about I also saw the gravestones of some of my distant relatives. The photos and cemeteries reminded me of my place in the world; they helped provide perspective.

Daily I read The Daily Stoic, a collection of 366 meditations by Ryan Holiday. Stoicism appeals to me, and I often gain something from reflecting on the words and ideas of ancient Stoics like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus. Holiday’s reflections often guide my thoughts in helpful ways, too.

Today I thought I’d share Holiday’s June 4 reflection on one of Seneca’s teachings: Continue reading