What's Tony Thinking

At Long Last

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January 6, 2021 — “At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?” With these words the attorney Joseph Nye Welch famously confronted the demagogue, Senator Joe McCarthy, in the Army/ McCarthy hearings, and signaled the beginning of the end of McCarthy’s reign of lies and intimidation. It seems that we have come to the “at long last”... Read More

Charming and Chilling

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January 6, 2021 — It is a story that is at once charming and chilling. That would be the Epiphany story from Matthew 2, celebrated today, January 6th, this Day of Epiphany. Charming are the three (actually no number if mentioned, three because of the three gifts) kings or magi or magicians who, guided by a star, come to... Read More

Too Much Politics

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January 4, 2021 — The Georgia Senate run-off elections are today, January 5. During the pre-November 3 election cycle I contributed early and often, not only to the Biden/Harris campaign, but to various senate campaigns in other states. I gave money and time (writing letters, making calls). Since November 3 I have been blitzed with demands for donations from... Read More

Advent Redux

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January 3, 2021 — The Advent season officially ended on December 24. Today marks the Second Sunday after Christmas and tenth of the twelve days of Christmas; It still sort of feels like Advent, A season of waiting. Still waiting . . . Waiting for the infernal shenanigans and delusional claims of election fraud to be over. Waiting for... Read More

Strange Bedfellows

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January 2, 2021 — As I was reading Michael Sandel’s The Tyranny of Merit (which I hailed as 2020’s Book of the Year in an earlier post) I was also reading Gerhard Forde’s On Being a Theologian of the Cross. The latter is a study of Martin Luther’s 1518 “Heidelberg Disputation,” which resulted in Luther’s ex-communication from the Roman Catholic Church. What a... Read More

Looking Backward

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December 30, 2020 — Looking backward seems vaguely un-American, unless for the now timely “year in review” exercise. This, however, is not that. Rather, I want to share a couple of recent looking-back experiences. Each has been sweet and somehow reassuring. The first came a couple weeks before Christmas when the 1967-68 Willamette University men’s soccer team was inducted into... Read More

Book of the Year 2020

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December 29, 2020 — One of my favorite pieces of American music is Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” I recall listening to it in the early light on long family vacation drives. I played it softly as most of the rest of the family were still sleeping in our creaky VW bus. As vistas of the American... Read More

Top Posts of 2020

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December 26, 2020 — As 2020 winds down — and many seem eager to give this year a push out the door — here are the five most read posts published at this blog in the past twelve months. Far and away the most read, shared and responded to was my September 3, 2020 blog titled, “Turns Out the... Read More

Christmas Eve 2020

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December 24, 2020 — Remembering all the years of two and three services on Christmas Eve, I gotta say I am perfectly happy to be at home with Linda on this (Covid) Christmas Eve. I fixed a dinner of scallops with a side dish of millet and tomatoes. Pretty darn good! One of our neighbors does hand-made gourmet chocolates... Read More

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

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December 23, 2020 — Some of you will recognize “I Heard the Owl Call My Name,” as the title of Margaret Craven’s 1967 novel about a young Anglican vicar (that’s episcopalian for “low man on the totem pole”) who is sent to a First Nations Village in a remote part of British Columbia. What the young vicar doesn’t know,... Read More