“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote Robert Frost. This something is someone now: Pope Francis.
In a strong, apparently unscripted move on his recent visit to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, on Sunday the pontiff suddenly waved to the driver of his Popemobile, asking to get out. Surrounded by guards and by children waving Palestinian flags, he got out, walked over to the wall that separates Israel from its Palestinian neighbors, and he did something remarkably simple but with astonishing power: He prayed.
This symbolic gesture occurred at a well-known portion of the wall, a segment covered with graffiti.… Seguir leyendo »
The recent and ghastly botched execution of a man in Oklahoma has rekindled my thoughts on capital punishment — a practice outlawed in most civilized countries. Indeed, most of the industrialized world looks with horror on the United States, in this regard, as a primitive and backward country.
Just in passing fact, capital punishment was banned in the Netherlands in 1870, in Costa Rica in 1877, in Colombia in 1910. In allowing the death penalty, the United States stands with Libya, Uganda, Cuba, Egypt and Equatorial Guinea, among our other peers.
It’s a sad commentary on justice in this country that, in a nation so plagued by capital murder, we should make it a state practice as well.… Seguir leyendo »
As Easter comes into view, the thoughts of billions of Christians turn to Jerusalem, to a sacred weekend that includes the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Of course, people regard these events with various degrees of literalness. But Easter retains its power.
It is, in fact, the essential Christian celebration, as the Gospels focus hugely on this part of the Jesus story. They describe in slow motion his entry into Jerusalem and the final week leading up to the crucifixion on Good Friday, the uncertain stillness of Holy Saturday, when the world seems to have slipped into total darkness, then the joy of the Resurrection itself, with a sense that boundaries have been broken — most aggressively, the membrane between life and death.… Seguir leyendo »