Tag Archives: Clergy

Can we ever run away from politics?

June 16, 2016


I scoff at myself after each presidential election cycle and vow to be a good little clergyman next time: I will embrace sentiment behind the first line of a March interview with my favorite Catholic priest, Father James Martin, S.J.: “I try to stay as far away from political commentary as possible.” I’ll do it. It’ll […]

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Why pastors look like twisted pretzels

August 2, 2014

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It’s a verified fact: Anyone signing up for the professional ministry is nuts. Don’t waste time on those psychological tests. If they apply, they’re cracked. That would be me. I’ve been throwing myself into the kind of work that lands people on the operating table for 25 years. It’s American Anxiety Employment on steroids. I’m loopy.

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“Occupy” and the power of fear

October 25, 2011


Perhaps a quivering child crawls in the psyche of our slam-your-fist-on-the-table society. Perhaps greed is a symptom more than a disease. It’s the splayed claws of the wounded tiger, the adrenaline of the cornered fugitive, the panic-stricken roar of the captured lion. We’re more fearful than we’re greedy.

Fear stopped me Monday from savoring the dream-come-true of any humble narcissist: A smiling television reporter lifted the microphone and asked me an innocuous question, “Why are you here?” I could now wax eloquent on my reason for joining thirty-five clerics about to march the half mile from Asylum Hill Congregational Church to the “Occupy Hartford” encampment at the junction of Farmington and Asylum avenues. This was my moment, my opportunity, my fifteen seconds of fame … And my overbearing prayer was, “Please God, don’t let the people of my church see this!”

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