Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Ethics, Religion, and Father Greg Boyle, SJ

April 15, 2013

SolidarityBusiness ethics students often ask me what’s the connection between ethics and religion, and I stumble to answer, something like all religions share the Golden Rule, which is the heart of ethics. As Hillel said in the 1st century, “All else is commentary.”

And at the heart of the Golden Rule is the ability to see others as like you, not as “other.” Father Greg Boyle, SJ, must be the world champion at seeing others this way. And he does this in the unlikeliest of environments: the Latino gangland of South Los Angeles, where he ministers to/saves/employs/buries—and most of all, loves—gang members and ex-gang members, most of them covered in tattoos and recently released from incarceration. He created Homeboy Industries, which has given thousands on gang members a path to employment and responsibility.

I first heard Greg Boyle (“G-dog” to his “homies”) being interviewed by Krista Tippett on her “On Being” radio show. He’s such a compelling person that I immediately ordered and read his memoir, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. He’s (obviously) religious and I am not, but his steadfast belief that we are all the same before God is an attitude all of us, believers and not, could strive for. He calls his God “not the ‘one false move’ God but the ‘no matter what’ God.”

The book is heartwarming, funny, heartbreaking, and page-turning. Father Boyle is a man of unbelievable courage, love, compassion, and faith. And a heckuva storyteller.


Marco Rubio courageously and compassionately supports DREAM Act II

April 21, 2012

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a darling of the Republican right, so much so that many pundits have tagged him as a front runner for the #2 spot on the Republican ticket with Mitt Romney. If Romney were to choose Rubio, goes the reasoning, it would solidify his position with the party base that has always mistrusted him. And as a bonus, Cuban-American Rubio might help Romney with the growing numbers of Latino voters who have been turned off by his unbending anti-immigrant position.

Immigration is the one issue on which Romney and the right are together: seal the borders and hunt down and deport everybody who isn’t here legally, all 12,000,000 of them.

Rubio showed he’s not one who goes along to get along, in all likelihood forsaking any chance at the VP spot on the Romney ticket. He just announced his sponsorship of a modified version of the DREAM Act, which would allow children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal status in the United States.

Some on the Left have rejected Rubio’s proposal as a betrayal of American values, but chalk that up to hyper-partisanship. Rubio clearly wants to help young people, brought here illegally when they were small children, to stay in America legally and to get an education and a job.

Rubio’s is a story of courage and compassion, and of a too-rare politician who rejects ideology in favor of solving a serious national problem. Hooray.

 


 

Syrian uprising claims the lives of two intrepid American reporters

February 22, 2012

 

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Jefferson would have especially valued Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London and Anthony Shadid of the New York Times, both of whom died this week in Syria.

Colvin was killed in a savage artillery bombardment of a residential neighborhood in Homs, Syria’s third city. In her last report, filed hours before she was killed, she explained to CNN’s Anderson Cooper why it was important to show video of a two-year old boy dying of shrapnel wounds to the chest.

“I feel very strongly that it should be shown. That’s the reality: there are 28,000 defenseless civilians being shelled. That baby will probably move more people to think ‘What is going on and why is no one stopping these murders that are going on every day?’

“The Syrian Army is shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.”

Shadid died of an asthma attack as he was walking out of Syria to file his latest report. He knew of the danger he faced, and (more…)

Three cheers for Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York of Fox News, and for Rachel Maddow of MSNBC

August 13, 2011

Who would have thought that Fox News and MSNBC could raise us out of our funk over the hyper-partisan media and their destructive influence on political discourse in America?

First, Fox:  As hosts of the Republican Presidential debate Thursday Fox might have been expected to throw fat pitches to the favored candidates. But reporters Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York* would have made the legendary Martha Rountree—creator of Meet the Press and no gentle tosser of fat pitches—proud.

Chris Wallace asked Gingrich about his entire campaign staff resigning, then asked Herman Cain about his claim that “communities have the right to ban Muslims from building mosques.” Byron York asked Bachmann to explain her statement that she was following biblical guidance to “Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

And Baier may have settled the 2012 Presidential contest when he asked the candidates to raise their hands if they would walk away from a deal to balance the budget with a ten-to-one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. I haven’t seen hands shoot up so fast since I asked in a staff meeting who could use my tickets to Sunday’s Redskins game. Every single candidate claimed absolute dedication to not raise ANY taxes, not even on the super rich, not even on Big Oil, not even on tax-exempt GE. And we know it because of Brett Baier.

And MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow turned away from hyper-partisanship to recognize the courage of four prominent Republicans who defied (more…)

Profile in Courage: Joe Biden in Israel

March 9, 2010

It’s never good politics in America to criticize Israel. It’s especially not good politics to criticize Israeli plans for East Jerusalem, which lies at the epicenter of the Israeli/Palestinian dispute.

Doubtlessly the Israeli government was counting on this when they announced a plan to build 16oo new homes in East Jerusalem. Biden’s trip was supposed to demonstrate American support; indeed Biden’s planeside remarks pledged a total U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and declaring that the bonds between the United States and Israel were “unbreakable.”

The Israeli Interior Ministry picked today to announce their expansion plans, in full defiance of the Obama administration’s plea to suspend building to give peace talks a chance. They must have figured that Biden would be too polite a guest and too much in awe of America’s pro-Israel sentiments to complain.

Not our Joe! Here’s how the leading Israeli daily, Haaretz, described Biden’s reaction:

“I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units (more…)


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