All Saints’ Day and the Stewardship of the Past

Almighty God, you have knit your people together in one communion in the mystical body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant us grace to follow your blessed saints in lives of faith and commitment, and to know the inexpressible joys you have prepared for those who love you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and … More All Saints’ Day and the Stewardship of the Past

Patriotism, Love, and Grace: An Independence Day Meditation

This 4th of July weekend I’m feeling more patriotic than I have in years, thanks to two speeches by Pres. Obama. First, his speech this past March at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Obama remembered the civil right activists who fifty years earlier had been brutally attacked during their peaceful march to Montgomery: As … More Patriotism, Love, and Grace: An Independence Day Meditation

Happy Fathers’ Day

For many, it seemed like a bit of trickery, a joke, a send-up for Will Rogers or Groucho Marx. So says religious studies scholar Leigh Eric Schmidt of Father’s Day, adding that while such an event “seemed all but inevitable” when Mother’s Day quickly became a sensation, “many people found it laughable.” A 1914 letter to the New York … More Happy Fathers’ Day

Revising Memorial Day

Where did Memorial Day start? What does it mean? If pressed, most of us could probably guess that it emerged from the wake of the Civil War and perhaps explain that it differs from, say, Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day in specifically remembering those who have died in military service to this country. Writing in the midst of the Vietnam War, … More Revising Memorial Day

Happy Mothers’ Day

Normally, I’m pretty bad about recognizing Hallmark holidays, but today is no ordinary Mothers’ Day: it was 100 years ago this year that Pres. Woodrow Wilson first declared it a honorary holiday. (Annoying historian intrusion: Just days later, the U.S. Senate failed again to approve a constitutional amendment giving mothers and other women the right to … More Happy Mothers’ Day

Happy Loyalty Day

Earlier today I walked into my office and found a lovely little gift basket of chocolates, courtesy of our department’s wonderful undergraduate teaching assistants. “Happy May Day!” read the card. Of course, given the way that May Day is celebrated in most of the world, this should prompt me not only to endorphin- and Toblerone-fueled good … More Happy Loyalty Day