Beyond Wage Labor: The Politics of Disablement

The recent case of a blind Jewish camper, Solomon Krishef of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was told he could not be accommodated by Camp Ramah in Canada despite already being at the camp for some weeks, powerfully highlights how accommodation of disabled people continues to be regarded as a burdensome afterthought. In a similar vein, many workplaces and union offices frequently fail to have the ramps in place that would allow disabled people who require wheelchairs for mobility to flourish.

Love: A Letter To Ashley’s Father

Let me lay it down. I am furious with you—you who are known in the media only as the father of a disabled girl you call Ashley. You say she has the consciousness of a three-month-old. You chose a surgeon to lift her six-year-old uterus out of her body, another doctor to slice her breast buds away, and an endocrinologist to flood her with estrogen. Together they froze your daughter’s body in time, making her a perpetual child. The ethics committee at Seattle Children’s Hospital supported your decisions.

Deepening Disability Justice: Beyond the Level Playing Field

I was very lucky to be born disabled in 1966, just as the disability rights movement was gaining strength worldwide—I was born into an era of disability activists agitating for recognition that we are human beings like any other, and that we should be treated with respect and dignity. This is a political claim, but it’s also a theological one that has resonance with the fundamental precepts of most religions. As a Quaker, for example, I am taught to look for “that of God in every one,” in the words of George Fox, the founder of the Quaker movement. In most cultural contexts and for many centuries, disabled people have struggled for inclusion and survival. Throughout history, many disabled children have died or been left to die.

A Wrenching Look at Alzheimer’s

In her book, Slow Dancing with a Stranger, Comer details her excruciating journey through the maze of Alzheimer’s, an unforgiving disease. Through this book, she is changing the conversation from acceptance of what is to demanding what should be.

The Future of Progressive Action in America

To grow strong, the multifaceted Left in America—including those who call themselves “liberals” or “progressives” as well as others who simply draw upon the central teachings of the Torah to love our neighbors as ourselves—must come together around our shared basic value of interconnection.

Trusting the Water Again: Understanding the West Virginia Chemical Spill

On the morning of January 9, 2014, Charleston residents noticed that the air smelled like licorice and that the water tasted like it too. Inspectors soon traced the odor and taste to a chemical storage facility owned by a company called Freedom Industries. There, near the bank of the Elk River, inspectors discovered that a 48,000-gallon tank was leaking an industrial chemical called MCHM (methylcyclohexane methanol) used to cleanse coal.

Transformative Medicine as one Part of Emancipatory Spirituality

One of the foci of the interfaith and atheist or secular humanist welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives (you DO NOT have to be religious or believe in God to be a spiritual progressive) is to build consciousness changing groups in every profession. The goal: to help professionals envision what their profession could look like if the "bottom line" in their profession was not making more money and accumulating more power, but was instead at least equally seeking to maximize through the practice of their profession the fostering of human beings who gave priority to building a world based on love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical behavior and ecological sensitivity, and awe and wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of the universe. What might that look like? I developed some initial ideas on this in my book in 2000 called Spirit Matters. Below, I reprint my chapter on a Transformative Medicine to give you an idea of what kind of visioning we have in mind.

Environmental Alert: Join Us in Making Revolutionary Changes to Save Life on Earth

As the oceans rise to earth-destroying levels, the agricultural heartlands turn to desert, and the rate of skin cancer grows to match the rate of the common cold... now is the time to talk honestly with the American public about dramatically reducing consumption, combating the immense power of the 1 percent, and preparing ourselves to counter the mainstream media’s obfuscations of the urgency of the coming crisis.

A Psychoanalytic Guide to Kabbalah

Psychoanalysis and Kabbalah have a lot in common, not the least their ability to profoundly alter our mind-states and influence our actions. In his modern Guide for the Perplexed, renowned psychologist Michael Eigen breaks down the connections between psychoanalysis and Kabbalah, and how they might be used together for our benefit.

Hark! The Psychiatrists Sing, Hoping Glory for that Revised DSM Thing!

The DSM-5 is full of labels and misconceptions. Avoid it, if you can. If you can't, at least know how it manipulates medical information to turn various mind-states into "disorders" and "diseases" which must be "cured." The truth is, psychiatry can be a wonderful and holistic discipline, when not in the clutches of Pharma and the often useless drugs that industry peddles.

Sabbath Practice as Political Resistance: Building the Religious Counterculture

One thing Abraham Joshua Heschel and Karl Marx had in common, aside from having both been spectacularly bearded Eastern European Jews, is the shared insight that time is the ultimate form of human wealth on this earth. Without time, all other forms of wealth are meaningless. It is this insight about time—patently obvious but frequently forgotten—that makes keeping a Sabbath day both spiritually profound and politically radical.