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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...

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    Snow Blowers Are Of The Devil (Blue Jeans Too)

    Snow Blowers Are Of The Devil (Blue Jeans Too)

    We live in a time of raging technology. Everything is changing as the microprocessors are taking everything over. A couple of centuries ago a group called the Luddites simply rejected technology beyond what they knew back when the microprocessor was called the steam engine. Luddites smashed machines to retain control. It didn’t work. Technology won. Everything changed.

    In a similar way, I think technology has become a public crisis once again. Not since the advent of The Machines has our culture convulsed as it is now with the advent of the pervasive robot. I know this personally because I…

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    Yule Is Not About the Virgin Birth

    Yule Is Not About the Virgin Birth

    ‘Tis the season of Yule: a season that has become, for many, filled with nihilistic self-debauchery set to the fraudulent timing of Jesus’s birth.

    Yay.

    It’s bad enough that we feel powerless amid a cascade of moral, political and cultural ambiguity of the last few years, but this time of year there is a delirious “Party On” wave as well. Whether a Wiccan Yule or a Hipster SantaCon, the Solstice Season doubles these days as a kick-off for our latent human cynicism amid Christmas. Maybe part of all the ennui is the simple truth that Christmas is not really a birthday, it’s…

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    THE Game

    THE Game

    Football is in High Season right now. It’s become enmeshed in headlines: kneeling, concussions, NFL attendance are all loudly flamed. But it’s also the time of championships, pro playoff debates and season-ending “rivalry games.”

    I find an odd connection with the sport of football and faith in religion. Quite personally, for me, there is an intimate connection to the sport. I played, coached, and one son played all the way through college. The scale and hype of Big Time Football leaves me cold. But similarly, for this Cradle Episcopalian “Churchman,” church and churchiness leaves me cold, too.

    However, the love I feel…

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    Holidaze and the Prime Directive

    Holidaze and the Prime Directive

    ‘Tis the season. The crush to sell-sell-sell for Thanksgiving starts the swirl of marketing that’s a buzz kill for many, if not most of us.

    I look at the Starbucks cup on Nov. 1 and I cringe.

    The essence of our humanity is distorted when it’s objectified in order to market product. The new Starbucks cup is simply lame. It only gets worse for many of us. It’s a boring cliche to moan about the WalMartization commodifying the Holidays, but assumptive pandering to our base instincts to sell this year’s Pet Rock is depressing.

    Perhaps it’s because our tender parts are grotesqued by…

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    When Death Happens To The Unknown Next Of Kin

    When Death Happens To The Unknown Next Of Kin

    My 67 year-old brother-turned-sister had retreated into work over the last 15 years. She was a bus dispatcher, but was, by all accounts, totally dedicated to being “at work”. No friends outside of the office, no hobbies.

    So when she told her co-workers that she was going home after a morning shift to return for the night shift to “Do some things at home” it was unusual.

    She never returned. They found her body, in bed, on Monday morning.

    I wish it was a surprise. I wish I could say I now will miss her. But we had not spoken since I was…

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    Jesus Has Left the Building: Architecture and Artificial Intelligence

    Jesus Has Left the Building: Architecture and Artificial Intelligence

    “God is in the details” is reputed to have been uttered by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe back when Mid-Century modern architecture made the idea of “expressive” details sexy to the world of architecture. Now the mention of God in architecture is a little “off” for most of my fellow architects. Like most in the over-educated 21st century “elite” demographic, my people are pretty secular, often beyond agnostic (yes, I am an architect).

    The increasingly common public perception is that religious architecture can be appreciated as God-blind aesthetics, not manifesting soul-grabbing faith. In Spain the Sagrada Familia church is seen…

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    Revenge of the Puritans

    Revenge of the Puritans

    Whether God is in your life or not, you know you are going to die here on Earth. Mortality is as common and constant as sunrise and sunset. But we, the folks who gave you Stonehenge, rage against the fading light. Duh.

    There are options. You can choose to live for you. You can be grateful for the things you have been given, especially life itself, and be “mindful”. Or you think there is a much Greater Truth, that you are part of it, and that there is a transaction it offers—more than just a gift. For some…

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    The Lord’s Football

    The Lord’s Football

    It’s the end of summer. It’s the beginning of the fall academic sports season. But it is yet hot, humid, and athletic bodies are in full assault. No matter the sport, it’s preseason. It’s a time of shock, sweat, blood, swelling, and stiffness. It is a time no old athlete forgets, and most wince at the memory. Those engaged are without perspective—they are all coping amid the pain.

    Panicked reports abound of summer practice deaths, concussions, fatal lightning strikes and the bemoaning of the depletion of teams by one-sport athletes are common to the point of cliché. Not so…

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    Football At Last: A Preseason Preview

    Football At Last: A Preseason Preview

    NFL preseason games start next week….

    The airwaves are crackling hype at the advent of NFL team summer camps. Every year, about a million young men and a hundred or more young women play tackle football at every level. They’re all starting the season about now. 

    Fewer than 2,000 of those players are in the National Football League. The NFL is a forced marriage of sports and show biz, but it’s our only national platform for those of us who are hopelessly devoted to a sport that changed our early lives. Having played, coached, and been a part of a son’s…

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    Flight or Fight? Grace in the Face of the Freak Show

    Flight or Fight? Grace in the Face of the Freak Show

    In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed. We are in a strange season: Russia, Healthcare, Special Investigating, Trump Mania are in a screaming Opera of Hatred. Cable TV, the Internet, dinner parties (dinner parties!) are amped up to the point where you can just shut down. Coping with work, kids, spouse—whatever else there is, your mission is often now in overload mode. This may be the Era of Being Overwhelmed—especially in politics. The response to all this overload is to feel threatened by it, and so anger is our default mode.

    We can fight the sense of…

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    Suburbia at the Mid-Century: Church

    Suburbia at the Mid-Century: Church

    Two thousand years of Jesus in our lives had a crest when The American Dream was real.

    It was Mid-Century: after America rose from the fugue state of The Great Depression to wrest control of the globe from evil. The extreme, violent and costly effort changed the world – but especially America. Millions had died, were physically wounded and everyone was deeply affected. Those warriors who survived were wounded: some physically, but all were changed by a life or death struggle.

    1945 saw those millions come home to create a new place – a sanitarium of peace in a new juggernaut: the…

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    Giddy Godless Weddings

    Giddy Godless Weddings

    ’Tis the season.

    More than any other time of the year people are celebrating their connection in marriage. Having aged into “friends of Mom and Dad” status, my wife and I have been to many weddings in the last few years. We’ve noticed that this ceremony, which was languishing in our culture, has been enlivened in recent years by my generation’s children getting married.

    These days the act of marriage is at best deferred, but definitely its inevitability has been diminished. Weddings happen, but fewer, later — and these long-planned, very expensive, highly produced gatherings are pretty programmed affairs.

    But the real story is…

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