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A cultural and theological response to racism

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, Executive Director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, in a crowd, August 28, 1963 (Credit: Rowland Scherman via National Archives)Marcus Aurelius wrote, "The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts." The brilliant ruler of Rome provided this vivid observation that offered faint echoes of the biblical maxim, "as a man thinks, so he is" (Proverbs 23:7). For better or for worse, the introspective thoughts of a person have the capacity to make that individual and help clarify the reason they act as they do. Their thoughts clarify their confident actions, elucidate their insecure inactions, and shed light on their uninformed reactions.

Illustrative examples are littered throughout the American context.  For instance, it takes supremely confident thoughts to walk across the room and start a conversation with the most beautiful person in the room. Insecure thoughts abundantly explain the inaction to stay across the room, holding the wall up and becoming a type of wallflower. And what else can explain, besides wrong thinking and false encouragement from horrible friends, the reason certain contestants participate in American Idol.

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Millennials and tattoos

Tattoo artist working on a new project (Credit: LukaTDB via Fotolia)"Can I get a tattoo?"

If you are the parent of a child born between 1980 and 2000 and haven't been asked that question, then your day of reckoning is nigh.  Or perhaps it won't be phrased as a question.  Perhaps a statement, "I want a tattoo" or even better…"I got a tattoo."  I have had the conversation with our youngest son.  The final outcome may surprise you, but we will get there in a moment…

So take a deep breath for now and let's consider a few things.

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Seeing through the haze: a postmodern theology of marijuana

Rica Madrid poses for a photograph as she smokes pot in her home on the first day of legal possession of marijuana for recreational purposes in Washington, DC, February 26, 2015 (Credit: AP/Alex Brandon)Tom Petty sang about it, Afroman blamed his laziness on it, and Three 6 Mafia celebrated it. Marijuana is a substance that has more names than the book of Numbers. Ranking high on the priority list of issues to talk about during the 2016 campaign season, this once illegal and now polarizing substance is more prevalent than a selfie. So without further ado, "let's get to the point," and discuss the allure of "rolling another joint."

Organizations in Ohio claim that marijuana will add 35,000 jobs to the state if it is legalized this upcoming election. House Republicans advanced a budget plan Thursday that would prevent legal sales of marijuana in the District until at least 2017. This is a type of victory for the pro-weed side because the bill did not roll back Initiative 71. This initiative allows D.C. residents to possess, grow, and smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own homes.

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Millennials: What is the effect of social media?

Casual Diversity Social Media Communication Concept (Credit: Rawpixel via Fotolia)My father passed away from a brain tumor in 1981, my senior year in college. My mother had once beaten cancer in 1978 but it returned to take her life in 2006.  At my mother's death I became an orphan.

Assigned the unenviable task of cleaning out my mother's house after she passed away, I came upon a drawer filled with old cassette tapes.  Most were not labeled and the few that were labeled only mentioned random dates, including the one I held in my hand.  "Dec 1, 1972."  That was my mother's fortieth birthday.  

Curiosity got the best of me.

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Jerry Seinfeld says colleges are too politically correct

Jerry Seinfeld attends the Inaugural Los Angeles Baby Buggy Fatherhood Lunch at Palm Restaurant on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: AP/Invision/Richard Shotwell)Fairy tales are comprised of characters that are relatable, obstacles that seem impossible, and joys that seem improbable. These tales take place in mythical lands that hint of reality, but seem so far from actuality. The characters, both protagonist and antagonist, invite you to put yourself into the story, with W.H. Auden going so far as to say that the only way you read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in them. They have names, but they lack faces, which offer you the chance to project your own life and situations onto them.

Fighting arduously in order that you and your travailing band might be deemed the victors at the conclusion, you face conflict along the way that requires you to take courage. G.K. Chesterton, in his seminal work Orthodoxy, spoke of courage as "almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die."

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