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Michael's blog

Politics, fear, and discernment

On election night after the surprising victory of Donald Trump, President Obama said, ‘no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning.’ He sought to soothe the fears and antagonisms that have split apart the American community in recent months.

It would be reassuring if the promise of the sun rising were sufficient to achieve that. Sadly, it isn’t. Yesterday, I saw a Latino woman with a little baby interviewed, and she spoke of her deep concern for her child, living in a country recently polarised by race and threats of walls.

Good news from an atheist!

Good news from an atheist? Strangely, yes.

Anyone familiar with the works of a Richard Dawkins or a Christopher Hitchens will find this a surprise. The writings of these well-known atheists are combative, even vitriolic. They are scathing about organised religion.

Alain de Botton is different. I recently read his ‘Religion for Atheists’ and the tone is surprisingly respectful, thoughtful and inquisitive. He appreciates what religions offer.

Jesus, Muhammad, and confession

Several weeks ago, I wrote in this blog about ultimate loyalties.

On Tuesday, I had reason to revisit this topic; I was told a provocative story, a parable:

Question - ‘What would happen if Mohammed and Jesus came back to earth today?’

Answer - ‘They would first embrace one other and then spit on their followers!’

Behind this arresting parable is a recognition that Jesus and Mohammed followed similar paths and that their teachings aligned on many important issues.

Life, Animated

Recently, I went to see the remarkable movie, ‘Life, Animated.’

It recounts the story of Owen Suskind. At age 3, he stopped talking. His father, Ron, said, ‘He was kidnapped and disappeared from us.’ He was diagnosed with autism.

The movie relates how Owen, supported by his family, found his way back into the world.

He did so via Disney movies.


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