Blog

Karma is, well, you know

In 1975, James Clavell published “Shōgun,” a blockbuster novel about an English sailor caught up in 17th-century Japan’s feudal, xenophobic power struggles. The novel, which became a hit 1980 miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain, was frank about sex and even franker about violence. But the underlying theme was that of karma and the idea that “karma was always karma.”

We think of karma as fate or destiny. But that is only one aspect of the Eastern principle of cause and effect. What karma says is that what you sow, you shall reap, but not in the eye-for-an-eye way of ancient Judaism. Rather, karma is like physics. I send a pendulum away from me, it comes back with a force equal to that with which I sent it away. …

Read more

Read More

On uncivil civil discourse

In Luke 7: 36-50, the writer paints a portrait of limitless love and the limits of the unloving. Jesus dines at the house of Simon the Pharisee, where a woman known to have led a sinful life washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and anointed them with perfume, an expensive commodity. It was a profound display of contrition, humility and love, though the Pharisees saw it as an extravagant outrage, given her reputation.

After offering a parable, Jesus “turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? …

Read more

Read More

A half-baked Supreme Court decision

In a 7-2 ruling, the United States Supreme Court has decided that Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ civil rights were violated when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission apparently “ridiculed” his religious beliefs for refusing to bake a gay couple’s wedding cake. It may seem that Phillips’ religious objections to gay marriage trumped David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s civil rights as a gay couple. But had the commission not gotten “hostile,” it might’ve gone the other way.

Here, however, is what the “offending” commissioner actually said …

Read more

Read More

Viva, Uribe

Recently, I had the pleasure of writing an essay for a new monograph on the contemporary Colombian artist Federico Uribe – whose haunting mixed-media paintings and sculptures draw on a difficult childhood, his complex relationship with Roman Catholicism and the violence of his homeland to explore issues of sex/gender, passion and the body, among others. Now the book is set to be released. ...

Read more

 

Read More