Thursday, January 28, 2016


   Over the past year or so, 6000 children in Flint, Michigan have been poisoned by lead in the city's water.  

   Now if ISIS had put the poison in the water, Americans everywhere would be demanding that we bomb them into oblivion.  But no foreign enemy committed this atrocity; our fellow Americans did it.  And the guilty ones are scrambling to avoid responsibility.  So goes American politics today.

   And so goes American morality today.  And so goes American spirituality today.

   Morality may be simply described as following the moral laws of our faith--which includes caring for people we are sworn to serve.  In order to save money, the political leaders in Michigan changed the water delivery system for Flint, which resulted in poisoned water flowing into Flint's homes. Certainly there is moral responsibility for professional incompetence and for lack of action when the incompetence is made know.  And even more certainly, their is moral responsibility for showing that saving money is more important than caring for the people they swore to serve.  

    But there is more wrong here.  Something deeper is wrong--something that made the immorality possible.  There is something spiritually wrong.  Spirituality is our deep, loving experience of God. It is our creative, healing and world transforming life with God, from which we draw the energy, power and love to be ever more sensitive, luminous human beings.  What happened in Flint was not just immoral, it was inhuman.  This atrocity is the work of people who suffered from a deficiency of their very humanity.  And so they treated the people of Flint as less than human. 

   We can see the absence of spirituality, and therefore the absence of humanity, not only in the leaders' saving money above serving the people but also in the leaders' claiming that the system didn't work.  They are not responsible, the system is responsible.  To the spiritually alive Christian, "systems" do not exist in themselves.  Systems are programs of action that are created by humans and run by humans.  Systems don't go wrong, the human planning for the systems goes wrong, the human running of the system goes wrong.  Human responsibility for the system must always be present.   

   The absence of spirituality results in self-inflicted blindness.  Last evening, a TV reporter asked the Governor of Michigan how many of Flint's children showed the presence of lead in their blood.  He answered blankly, "About 100 or 125.  There could be more."  

   On another TV show, Michael Moore, movie producer and activist, emotionally responded to what the Governor had said.  Moore pointed out that the lead content in the children's blood only registers for a short time.  But the damage caused by the lead in forever.  The Governor was citing figures from the latest test taken on some of Flint's children.  The true answer is that there are 6000 children in Flint, who now have lead in their systems, although it no longer shows in their blood.  Holding back tears, Moore said that the Governor had lied to the reporter.
   Moore acted as a contemporary prophet.  He didn't use the name of Jesus Christ.  He didn't say he was a prophet, or even that he is a Catholic.  He simply and powerfully proclaimed the truth.  Jesus is the truth.  So he proclaimed Jesus. 

   We are all called to proclaim the truth in our area of life.  At times, doing so can be costly.  But we must always be ready to stand up for the truth, because we must always be ready to stand up for Jesus Christ.  Without such prophetic proclamations today, our politics, economics, education, and culture in general will remain the sub-human and even at times, anti-human enterprises that they so often show themselves to be.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


  Today, I want to send a special "Hello" to the large group of readers from Russia who log on all together every ten days or so. 

  Back in 1989, when my wife and I were living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, among the peace loving Amish people, a group of Russians from the Soviet Peace Committee visited the area to meet the Amish "people of peace."  They came to our home and we brought them to visit our Amish neighbors.  They had a wonderful visit with the Amish family and then we all enjoyed lunch at our house.  At the time, I learned the Russian word for peace.

  And now I offer MIR to my Russian readers and to all my readers and to the world.  I pray that this blog helps to bring peace in its own way.

  To all my readers, I would like to know how I can serve you better. I would appreciate your sending questions and comments.  At the bottom of this post there is a link for you to send comments.  You can also email me privately at