News & Politics


The American Dream: A Post Independence Day Reflection

What does America mean to you? What does America stand for? Over Independence Day, I read the Declaration of Independence as a sacred practice. If there is one phrase in the Declaration of Independence that defines the American way it is that we are “endowed by (our) creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. What a remarkable intuition about what America is. As I think about where our country is today – our political and cultural polarization, the unprecedented inequality and economic hardship......

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Video: Murdered Israeli Students - Life Wins Out Over Death

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week the bodies of 3 Israeli teenagers who had been missing for several weeks were found in a field not far from where they were last seen. The murder of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar has ignited passions across the world and from different political camps. But this is not the time for politics and posturing. Instead it is a time to sit shiva and ensure that nobody is left alone in their moments of suffering and that somehow eventually life......

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Wisdom in the Face of Terror - For Naftali, Gilad and Eyal

What daily wisdom is there in the face of the brutal murder of three Israeli teenagers – the absolute nightmare of every parent? The ever- deepening, never ending disease of terrorism, hatred, and evil and the stark fear of what will happen next makes me want to scream out. I am a proud member of the Jewish tribe. When forced to pick a side, Jewish is my side. And so as I watch the funeral of Naftali Frankel, who was 16, Gilad Shaar, who was 16, and Eyal Yifrach who was 19,......

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Redskins and Apaches Are Not the Same, Or How to Stop Undermining Ourselves

When I wrote last week about the dust up over the Washington Redskins’ name, I really thought it was a “one and done” kind of deal. I wrote about why I hope the name is changed – it’s at least potentially hurtful, and may be genuinely ugly. I also wrote about why legally compelling the team to do so, might be a sub-optimal solution because of free speech issues. I really thought that was it, at least until I read “The U.S. military’s ongoing slur of Native Americans” in the Washington Post.......

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How Polarization Paralyzes Us

According to the largest political survey in its history, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently found that “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades… producing rising animosity bordering on a sense of alarm” toward the opposite party. Moreover, polarization goes beyond politics and is reflected in the personal lives and lifestyles of those on both the right and left. According to the Pew survey, about a......

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Video: What to Do about Iraq?

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: There’s a recent and alarming rise of violence in Iraq by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Watch my video commentary for discussion of the issues surrounding this… Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment. Visit Odyssey Networks at www.odysseynetworks.org. To view more of Brad’s Faith on the Record discussions, please click here....

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Goodbye, Redskins - What We Can Learn from the Decision

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board voted 2-1 to cancel all six proprietary trademarks held by the Washington Redskins professional football team. Whether you care about football or not, if you care about free speech, ethnic sensitivity, or have an opinion regarding a culture that is becoming too politically correct, or not politically correct enough, this story should interest you. Pressure has been brought for years to get the team’s owner to change the name from what some consider to be an ugly slur to….well, pretty much anything that isn’t. And given......

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Glenn Beck: Liberals Were Right

I don’t want to make more of this than it is especially given the serious polarization that does exist in this country (see recent Pew study which I will be writing about next week) and the very uncomfortable blowback I received from my last post on Glenn Beck. But speaking on his radio show on Tuesday, Glenn Beck said something that I imagine you would never expect him to say. He delivered a rare admission saying the violent unraveling of Iraq is proof that liberals who opposed the invasion of Iraq in......

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Another Day, Another School Shooting

Were it not quickly becoming a fact, this headline would be offensive in its seeming glibness regarding the murder of students on campuses across the nation. Tragically, there were two more episodes this week, the most recent being the attack on Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, 12 miles east of Portland. Jared Padgett, a student at the school, shot and killed another student, Emilio Hoffman, before taking his own life. For the families and friends of the two boys, the tragedy is obvious. What about for the rest of us? Is......

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Learning from the Bergdahl Controversy - What Should Have Happened

How many Americans knew the name of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl before last week? For that matter, how many of the members of our dysfunctional Congress, yet alone our polarizing pundits knew about this POW? Just about everything wrong in our culture’s politics has shown itself in the aftermath of the exchange of five senior Taliban detainees at Guantanamo for Bergdahl. Everybody played their role to a tee creating another contrived and unnecessary controversy, further tearing away at our social fabric and eroding any sense we are citizens in this together. Conservatives did......

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