September 16, 2014
Son of God: Comparative Religion in Film

The 2014 film, Son of God, follows a familiar trajectory well-known to viewers who had seen films such as George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). Watching the Passion story yet again, I could not help but take note of the repetitiveness from sheer likeness. Yet one scene sticks out among the usual denouement—that scene in which Jesus in the wilderness, the high priest in the Temple, and the Roman Pontius Pilate with his wife in their chambers pray in their own ways and with differing assumptions about divine intent toward a petitioner. The interplay of petitions plays like a tutorial for the ears and eyes on comparative religion, found here even within a religion.

September 16, 2014
Son of God: Comparative Religion in Film

The 2014 film, Son of God, follows a familiar trajectory well-known to viewers who had seen films such as George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). Watching the Passion story yet again, I could not help but take note of the repetitiveness from sheer likeness. Yet one scene sticks out among the usual denouement—that scene in which Jesus in the wilderness, the high priest in the Temple, and the Roman Pontius Pilate with his wife in their chambers pray in their own ways and with differing assumptions about divine intent toward a petitioner. The interplay of petitions plays like a tutorial for the ears and eyes on comparative religion, found here even within a religion.

September 15, 2014
The Scottish Referendum: A Political Analyss

Any political analysis of the Scottish referendum on secession from Britain should include not only the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Westminster, but also other large E.U. states and even the E.U. powers at the federal level. Such an analysis may leave the cynic wondering whether the question could even conceivably be decided by the Scots themselves—so much being on the line for state and federal officials and their respective institutions.

September 14, 2014
A Hometown Mentality Infused in a Walgreens Store: Standard Procedure as an End in Itself

Sometimes what we consumers accept as required and thus as obligatory on our part is actually part of a store employee’s desire to dominate other people; in other instances, the motive may be sheer laziness. That even more possible motivations can be found suggests that office and retail functionaries who deal with the public have more discretion than we think. Such discretion can easily be filled by the dominant mentality in a locality’s dysfunctional culture. I found this to be the case at a Walgreens store in my hometown.

September 13, 2014
Beyond Breaking California Up into Six States: A Federalist Alternative

Tim Draper, the venture-capitalist Californian who was behind the failed Six-State ballot-petitions, suggested in a talk at The Commonwealth Club that the counties could alternatively be given more of California’s retained and even residual sovereignty (the federal government’s being limited, or enumerated). The counties could then build support for eventual regional states from the ground up. Counties in Northern California would doubtless legalize marijuana in a split second and Napa would pass legislation enacting a grape-studded flag, while L.A. county would legalize drunk celebrities in public places and San Diego county would ok bad weather on a probationary trial-basis as if it were akin to stem-cell research.

September 12, 2014
Ebola in Liberia: The Government’s Fault?

The spread of Ebola in Africa is doubtless being facilitated by tradition and ignorance—such as in the custom of touching the dead body during a funeral. Perhaps over-population is too simplistic an explanation for a large-scale epidemic. The presumption that seems to reside in the human brain itself may be a seed to our species’ own destruction.

September 11, 2014
Serving the Lazy: A Local Prejudice Pervades a Hometown's Food Pantries

It is one thing to study Christian ethics and quite another to see them in action. Likewise, writing on corporate social responsibility can fail to capture the reality “on the ground.” So I ventured out of the stuffy ivory tower, somewhat as the Buddha left his parents’ estate and found a world of suffering. In going to food pantries in my hometown, I observed a common thread, not a golden thread, but, rather, a tainted one well ensconced in the local culture. From this rather sordid case, I could only look back on the ideas as ideals situated as if white puffy clouds on a summer day, far above the earth-scorched dirt below. 

September 10, 2014
Letter to the Scots: Read between the Lines

The answer may be staring you in the face. Such might be the best feedback the rest of the world could give the Scots as they discern whether their region should break off from the state of Britain. How do the English feel about the Scots? The answer is presumably relevant, as who wants to remain where they are not liked? On this matter, the Scots could do worse than read between the lines of a poll done roughly a month before the referendum on what the English think should be Scotland’s relation to Britain if the region leaves and if it stays.[1]

The entire essay is at “Letter to the Scots



[1] YouGov conducted the survey of 3,695 adults living in England via the internet on April 11-12, 2014

September 9, 2014
Oceans Arising on Edifices of Arrogance

Our species has vaunted to the top of the food chain and leveraged a brain capable of engineering technological advances that would have seemed magical even just in the nineteenth century, and yet we seem hard-wired to accelerate our course to a self-destructive extinction. This lack of balance is reflected in the increasing extremes in the global climate.

September 8, 2014
Toward a Definition for Ethical Leadership: Disabusing the Pessimists

Does ethical leadership have to be so messy and up to whoever wants to define it?