Current Issues/News

NFL coach John Harbaugh on COVID sports coping.  The coronavirus pandemic has brought global lifestyle changes, and athletes are not immune.  Personal identity, control, and security can all become scrambled in chaotic times.  Super-Bowl-winning coach John Harbaugh explains how he’s coped amid the loss of sport.  (Short op-ed)  Washington Examiner version

Changing Racist Hearts: Abolishing the slave trade.  Few examples of systemic racism are more glaring than the African slave trade.  British parliamentarian William Wilberforce led a grueling twenty-year struggle to outlaw it.  Inspired by a former slave trader, he became a model that current anti-racism activists could do well to emulate.  (Short op-ed)

Changing Racist Hearts: ‘Amazing Grace’ hymnwriter’s racist past.  You’ve likely heard the famous hymn, Amazing Grace.  Were you aware of its writer’s racist past?  I thought I knew his real story, but I didn’t.  It holds valuable lessons for today’s racial turmoil.  (Short op-ed)  Washington Examiner version

Changing Racist Hearts: My own.  Anti-racism has become a global obsession, and rightfully so.  Racism and racial oppression are repulsive.  And, BTW, I don’t have a racist bone in my body.  Or so I thought.  (Short op-ed)  Washington Examiner version

Changing Racist Hearts: Police brutality.  George Floyd’s hideous death under a white policeman’s knee ignited worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.  The ongoing conflict prompted me to reflect on South Africa’s once-state-enforced racial oppression.  That apartheid regime’s top cop participated in the racist brutality, including bombings and attempted murder.   Yet his contrition and reconciliation efforts have been remarkable.  Lessons for today’s turmoil?  (Short op-ed)

Changing Racist Hearts: Can it be done?  George Floyd’s horrifying death while pinned down by a white policeman has sparked global rage and anti-racism protests.  Racial disparity is widespread and ominous.  Can a racist’s heart be changed?  Consider these powerful examples.  (Short op-ed)  Washington Examiner version

God and coronavirus: Gonemissing?  How could a loving, just, powerful God allow a tragedy like the coronavirus pandemic?  Doesn’t he care that innocent people are suffering and dying?  It seems unjust.  If God exists, isn’t he strong enough to stop this madness?  (Short op-ed)

Cleveland Abduction: Courage, faith, riveting TV drama.  No one should have to suffer what Michelle Knight and her fellow captives did in Ariel Castro’s house of horrors.  With gripping realism and tender reflection, Lifetime’s movie tells this absorbing story from abduction to liberation and beyond.  (Short op-ed)

Does God’s Love Make You Want to Give?  Some current social scientific research suggests it might.  Intriguing survey results, and an inspiring story of Auntie Anne, the pretzel lady.  (Short op-ed)

Sexual Abuse Victor Offers Hope for Sandusky Victims, Others.  He knows how Jerry Sandusky’s victims must feel.  Their stories reawakened agonizing memories of childhood sexual abuse in Josh.  He’d hated his assailant, hated his father, and damned God.  He felt ashamed, and terribly alone.  Then a college student’s challenge started him on a quest that changed everything.  (Short op-ed by Rusty Wright and Meg Korpi)

Tiananmen Leader’s Divine Cause.  Chinese student Chai Ling helped lead the massive 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that drew the world’s praise and her government’s wrath.  Twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, today this Harvard MBA is a successful businesswoman who still risks persecution to bring reform toChina.  Her current activities might surprise you.  (Short op-ed)

October Baby movie:  Do you feel wanted?  For nineteen-year-old Hannah Lawson, that desire drives a quest to discover her real identity.  You see, she’s just learned that she was adopted, and the product of a failed abortion attempt.  (Short op-ed)

Coping with Job Loss.  I got an email recently from another laid-off colleague.  One more recession downsizing casualty.  I’ve been there, too.  How do you help a friend – or yourself – cope with losing their job?  (Short op-ed)

Forgiving Bernie Madoff?  Could you forgive the multibillion dollar swindler if you were one of his victims?  (Short op-ed)

Optimism Takes a Beating in Tough Times.  When the Optimist Club gets pessimistic, you know times are tough.  War, soaring food prices, a volatile housing market, economic uncertainty and more can create pervasive pessimism.  Is there any cause for hope out there?  (Short op-ed)

Home Foreclosure’s Emotional Toll.  Has someone you know lost their home to foreclosure or struggled near the brink?  Have you?  The psychological effects can be devastating.  How to cope?  (Short op-ed)

Got Money Woes?  Consider Zimbabwe.  Wall Street turmoil, bank failures, home foreclosures, a clogged financial system.  Economic gloom got you down?  Consider Zimbabwe’s 40 million percent inflation.  Some perspective, plus resources for troubling times.  (Short op-ed)

The Psychology of Prisoner Abuse.  Prisoner abuse scandals generate shock, shame, outrage and disgust.  Why do people abuse others in such degrading ways?  What goes on inside the minds of abusers?  Fascinating psychological experiments reveal clues to the roots of such behavior. The implications may disturb you. (Short op-ed)

The Psychology of Prisoner Abuse.  Prisoner abuse scandals generate shock, shame, outrage and disgust.  Why do people abuse others in such degrading ways?  What goes on inside the minds of abusers?  Fascinating psychological experiments reveal clues to the roots of such behavior. The implications may disturb you. (Probe radio series transcript.)

Shark-Victim Surfer Girl’s Simple Faith.  Teenager Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack in a Hawaiian surfing tragedy.  Could her simple faith and trust have something significant to say to a society filled with pain and risk?  (Short op-ed)

9/11 and You.  My sister had a 9:00 a.m. appointment at the World Trade Center.  On September 12.  How do you process your memories and feelings now, as reminders of the attacks come in anniversary commemorations and the media?  Nearly two-thirds of American Red Cross 9/11 adult counselees are still grieving.  Some personal reflections and practical lessons. (Short op-ed)

Your Money or Your Life! … or Your Wine?  An armed gunman at a Washington, DC, dinner threatened to start shooting unless guests gave him their money.  Ten minutes later, he had apologized and asked for a group hug.  What brought this dramatic change?  (Short op-ed)