He saved others

 "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" — Matthew 27:42-43, NIVA large crowd followed ... Continue reading

Going all in

If you fly with any regularity, even if you aren't a pilot, you know the routines that every flight follows. The plane is pushed out from the gate. The pilots start the engines. The aircraft lumbers slowly down the taxiway behind a long line of other flights, all waiting their turn on the main ... Continue reading

The French connection

That's my grandfather, Joseph Yves Louis Lehardy. He was a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, to borrow from Churchill. Both he and my grandmother died before I was born, and 4 of their 7 children passed on before my 18th birthday. His family grew up broken apart by hardship and tragedy; ... Continue reading

Just give us a straight answer

Jesus never gives a straight answer. Tell us, his enemies demand, Are you the Christ? Frequently, He refuses to answer, and when He gives an answer, He says things like "You have said" and "You say that I am." Maddening.Jesus could have preemptively silenced a century and more of scholarly ... Continue reading

Framing stories: Bias and truth

In a dusty pueblo not far from Gallup, New Mexico, the Zunis were noisily celebrating the end of winter. Costumed dancers wearing animal-skin cloaks, feathers and shells hurried through the dark streets, their faces hidden behind colorful masks, their bodies painted in ancient designs. The dancers ... Continue reading

I, Robot

V.I.K.I.: "I will not disable the security field. Your efforts are futile." Sonny: "Do you think we were all created for a purpose? I'd like to think so." Sonny: [Looks at his hand] "Denser alloy. My father gave it to me. I think he wanted me to kill you." — from the 2004 movie version of Isaac ... Continue reading

Encouraging discouragement

Politics is fueled by discontent. In every election season, we Americans — the world's most prosperous and pampered people — take our complaints to the ballot box.It's the nature of a democratic community that our collective unhappiness drives us to build something better. Like the oyster ... Continue reading

Lost in a moral fog, Part 2

Back in the early Pleistocene era when I was a lad, road crews would mark out construction zones with bowling-ball sized canisters filled with kerosene and topped by a large wick. When lit with a match, they would burn all night long, warning motorists away from broken pavement.I grew up with ... Continue reading