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September 12, 2011

A week after that beautiful, crisp, blue, and terrible September Tuesday morning, I was finally back at home for a day of rest. For the previous seven days I had been running on pure adrenaline -- with half of my time spent at the Pentagon crash site where I listened to firemen, FBI agents,...

September 7, 2011

I've told the story many times: how, like most New Yorkers, I felt shocked, powerless, and uncomprehending in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, which shook my very faith in human nature. A chance visit to my sister's home in Brooklyn led to a meeting with a New York fire captain who...

August 30, 2011

Last weekend, we were all about Hurricane Irene. Before that, it was the earthquake. Now starts the run-up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Is there a theme here? Well, yes -- three themes.

Fear is one theme, or rather the determination of New Yorkers not to live in fear. Not that...

August 15, 2011

In the 2004 remake of the movie "Flight of the Phoenix," passengers survive a plane crash in the remote Gobi Desert, with minimal provisions. They argue about whether to walk for help or stay put awaiting a rescue. When a scuffle breaks out, they inadvertently break a container of water. The...

August 9, 2011

On a visit to southern Spain, I came across a centuries-old Roman Catholic church that had a large stone post with iron rings placed beside the church door.

It was the whipping post, where targets of the Spanish Inquisition were tortured in public and their blood stains left to frighten...

August 4, 2011

One of my favorite songs begins with the words, "I'm an expert in nothing…" That little phrase enters my mind when I'm asked about my new memoir, "Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter." Because I've written a book about adoption, sometimes people assume I'm an expert on...

July 29, 2011

Editor's note: On May 22 a deadly tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 150 people and destroying large swaths of the city.

How do we express our emotions each time we drive through the tornado's path? There is a sadness that fills your entire being until it seems you can't...

July 26, 2011

I thought the recent New York Times front page piece about the dissimilar views of six New York Episcopal bishops on gay marriage was startlingly positive. Thank God for such rich dialogue and disagreement in the place of a Vatican-like manifesto issued from on high.

But the reality is...

July 11, 2011

Casey Anthony is not guilty. A jury of her peers has decided she is not to be held responsible and accountable for the death of her daughter. I do not know if this is a just verdict. I have not followed the case closely, in part because of my distrust that the media can report on this or most...

July 8, 2011

I was 27 when I first taught at Yale, barely five years older than the 70-plus students who stood out in the cold to enroll in my seminar on Christian theology and Harry Potter.

I'd been following Harry's adventures with interest since Christians discovered the characters used magic and...

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