Results of the mid-term elections were barely a day old when finally I heard a resounding response to Tea Party rhetoric. No, it didn’t come from President Obama or Harry Reid or Jon Stewart. It certainly didn’t come from Franklin Graham or Glenn Beck. Instead, it was delivered with undeniable moral authority by a mother of six who is not yet old enough to be president of the United States.
The oracle is a Liberian woman named Leymah Gbowee, and her message is simple: I see your humanity, will you see mine?
Liberal religion lost one of its most ardent and articulate champions when Forrest Church died September 24, 2009. The Rev. Dr. Church, who ministered more than thirty years at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York, left a legacy that will be honored
During the run-up to the 2002 Congressional election, I was traveling in South Georgia. One ad, run repeatedly, caught my attention, because it featured candid shots of New York Congressman Charles Rangel whose wavy silver locks brushed the collar of his custom shirt in a style that was more New Orleans than Savannah.
Although race was never mentioned, the voiceover proclaimed that if Democrats won control of the House of Representatives, voters could look forward to the ascension of this obviously dark-skinned man to the Ways and Means Committee chair.
Paul Hemphill’s last book was about cancer, the disease that took his life last week, and about the allure of all those Camels he smoked along the way. I’m not sure he finished it, but I’m eager to read his observations. Because Paul always had something piercing to say about his experience with life’s tough issues.
Hemphill’s work is a chronicle of many themes of Southern life in the late twentieth century: country music, race relations, automobile racing, baseball, troubles with booze. He reveled in the pleasures of his surroundings, but he never sugar-coated what he saw. “He told it like it is for people who are just scraping by,” said his former colleague at the Atlanta Journal Roy Blount, Jr. Those of us who moved away from the South rather than engage the difficulties that its social issues pose owe him a debt. Because Paul engaged them with tenacity.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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