Serbia and Kosovo: What Do I know?

On March 3, 2008, this column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum under the title: “A Californian Preacher Mixed Up in the Balkans.”

“OK, now here’s something you don’t see every day,” I said to myself getting off the city bus, unable and unwilling to curb my curiosity at the sight of thousands of people gathered in front of the United Nation’s complex in Geneva, Switzerland, waving Serbian flags, carrying placards covered with Cyrillic writing, chanting and singing. One guy was walking around with a photo of Vladimir Putin peeking out of his half-zipped jacket. “What a hoot,” I thought. Continue reading

Seeing Through Fear at The X-Ray Project

This column was the featured commentary on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality website on November 5, 2007.

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

On a recent visit to San Jose State University I picked up a brochure for what promises to be a complicated and disturbing art installation set to open in San Jose this week. The X-RAY Project is a collection of x-ray and MRI images gathered from hospitals in Jerusalem and arranged for display by an artist named Dianne Covert. The diagnostic images are of the injuries sustained by victims of terrorism, and they show with clinical sterility what pain and suffering is endured when terrorists strike.

According to The X-RAY Project’s website, the traveling exhibit’s aim is to “explore the most important social issue of our time: the effects of terrorism on a civilian population.” The project was born of the artist’s desire to push back against those who might condone terrorism.

I’m conflicted. Continue reading