When I began living as a woman, my children’s world split open. As the truth of my gender collided with the truth of their pain at losing the man they loved, it seemed there was no world we could inhabit together — until love taught us that no matter what gender I expressed, I would always be their father.

The Coming of Grace

Literature and literary criticism, by bringing to light lost, silenced voices, makes their existence known, thus enabling that ethical caring attention be paid to them. In recent years I have focused on retrieving the silenced existence of nonhuman animals as beings worthy of such attention.

A Letter To Future Healers

Many political pundits dismiss the possibility of world peace. Throughout the history of man, there has always been war and a struggle for power. Yet I suggest that peace is necessary and essential for the survival of the human race in the twenty-first century.

Prophetic Voices Should Be Bold

I think it is wrong for the voices of moderation to be constrained by an idealistic sense of duty to absolute accuracy, balance, and openness to opposing views. Hmm, ouch, that was hard to write; are we not the people who “eat brown rice and are always nice”?

Making a Difference

Too many progressives and radicals offer compelling critiques but no solutions. I am better, myself, at critiques than solutions. But I have tried hard to offer at least glimpses of systemic solutions to our greatest social problems.

Five Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

In the last years of his life, which I call his mountaintop period, King expanded his prophetic vision, articulating the connections between racism, war, and poverty. At great cost to himself and his organization, he bridged the concerns of the Civil Rights Movement and the peace movement, and excoriated the madness and brutality of the Vietnam War.

The Madness We Need

To be a tikkun-builder you have to be open and willing to search for, analyze, and “go with” those hidden and unintended meanings — grappling with their possible connotations and yet realizing you’re never going to fully comprehend them.

Tikkun Olam Without Coercion: Living into the World We Want to Create

History shows that those who gain power tend to recreate structures that work for some and not for others. If, by some miracle, those who resonate with the Tikkun worldview gain sufficient power to have influence on a large scale, I want us to be able to address the pressing issues we are decrying without forcing others, including those who are now in positions of power, to accept our solutions.

When Love Trumps Right Belief

Each of us has directives we live by. The directive to love is at the very heart of most faith traditions, along with being the first and foremost standard to live by for many who do not profess a specific religious belief.

Tikkun and Red-Letter Christians

We Catholics, on the other hand, get steeped in the Gospels and then eventually get around to studying Paul’s writings. Not that there are contradictions between them, but you’ll have to admit that there’s a different ‘feel’ if you understand Jesus with Pauline theology rather than coming to Paul’s writings steeped in the lifestyle and values prescribed by Jesus.” When I asked the consequences of these differing emphases, he answered, “You Evangelicals turn out television evangelists, whereas we turn out Mother Teresa.”

How the Light Gets In

In truth, we all have a deep longing for holiness, even those whose actions seem to belie this need — those for whom words like community and justice have become distorted and degraded. It is only bitter disappointment in the absence of the holy that makes human longing turn to movements like the Tea Party, a movement clearly fueled by anger and divisiveness.