SNAP Among the Baptists

This colum was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on February 26, 2007.
Last Monday, the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a Chicago-based organization that has been working to hold the Roman Catholic church to some kind of account for its mishandling—and often cover up—of sexual abuse by priests, delivered a letter to the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, asking the leaders of America’s largest Protestant body to take responsibility for sexual abuse committed by Southern Baptist pastors.

It turns out that the Southern Baptists, like the Roman Catholics, have a bad habit of covering up for abusive clergy, often sending pastoral perpetrators of abuse to new congregations rather than to jail where they belong. Continue reading

Oppressed to Kill

This column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Fourm on February 19, 2007.

I’m worried that the contemporary religious fixation with oppression may be starting to affect the Protestant tradition that is my spiritual home.

On a recent trip to Geneva I took time to contemplate my Calvinist spiritual roots by spending a few hours in prayer at the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, where Calvin preached, I visited the “Reformation Wall,” a monument to all things reformed, and I perused the International Reformation Museum, all in the happily-realized hope that a journey into the heart of Reformed Christianity would invigorate my spiritual life. Continue reading

The American Abroad

This column was published on February 12 on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum.

Last month, in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, Senator John Kerry royally ticked off a lot of Americans, particularly those who are a little more red around the state, when he criticized US foreign policy.

The story caught my attention because by the time this column is published, I’ll be in Switzerland myself, and while nothing I say in Switzerland will make the news, still the response to Kerry’s comments raises an important question for the American abroad: to what extent should a person refrain from criticizing his or her country while traveling? Continue reading

C. G. Jung on G. W. Bush

In 1932, in an essay entitled “The Modern Spiritual Problem,” Carl Jung wrote:

We like to think that, on the basis of widespread knowledge of the unconscious and its ways, no one could be deceived by a statesman who was unaware of his own bad motives; they very newspapers would pull him up: “Please have yourself analysed; you are suffering from a father-complex.”

Prescient.