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Columns

  • OPINION: How to flirt safely (by a guy who is definitely not about to be fired for harassment)

    Listen, there are some behaviors we can all agree are courtship and not predation! You get it, gentlemen, right?

    We all know that there’s a dance that goes on between men and women, if you will, a kind of ancient ritual that dates back to time immemorial.

    [Pauses to mop brow.]

    Like, for instance, here are a few examples of fun flirting that might be just, you know, this flirty business of media, ha ha ha HA, that we all know and love.

    [Oh god, oh god, oh god.]

  • OPINION: Republicans are failing the Roy Moore test

    “ ‘All this will I give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ ” — Matthew 4:9

    The prospect of Sen. Roy Moore has been both horrifying and clarifying. It would be difficult to design a more controlled, precise test of the moral gag reflex in politics.

  • OPINION: McConnell enjoys tax bill victory, Bevin loses support

    In the space of a few hours last weekend, one of Kentucky’s top two political leaders scored a big victory he badly needed, and the other suffered an embarrassing and perhaps damaging defeat he didn’t need to risk.

  • OPINION: You can lay the groundwork for reforming Congress

    The first three words of the U.S. Constitution are, “We the People.” The Constitution itself, our institutions of government, the democratic process — all were established to give Americans a voice in their own governance. We are still striving to make that vision real for all, but we are closer than ever.

  • OPINION: Worth the wait

    The church sanctuary was packed. The audience was abuzz with chatter. The orchestra was tuning their instruments. Within minutes, I would step to the platform, greet the audience, pray, then sit back and enjoy the cantata, the performance of which was under the very capable hands of our minister of music, who that night, was the conductor for the big event.

    Then someone told me I’d better check on him.

    Having made my way to his office, I stuck my head in the door. “You OK?” I hesitatingly asked.

  • OPINION: What is ready to die and what is ready to be born?

    Cloaked in the darkness of night, on the eve of Advent, the Trump tax bill was passed in the U.S. Senate. Advent is the season that commemorates Mary’s descent into deeper silence to ponder the great mystery she was about to birth. Tonight, I am pondering the mystery of the Trump tax bill, with “Dark Side of the Moon” playing in the background.

  • TIME’s Person of the Year might be Colin Kaepernick

    TIME announced Colin Kaepernick, an embattled free-agent quarterback, as one of 10 contenders for their 2017 Person of the Year. Upon hearing this news, you might wince, shrug, or sing, “Darn tootin’!”

    Kaepernick has become a household name most known as that football player who kneeled during the national anthem last year. Before that he was most well-known as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

  • OPINION: The beauty of being politically correct

    My friend Pastor B.D. Christensen said something so good Sunday morning that I woke up and wrote it down: “[something something] ... about making peace with the mistakes of the past [blah blah blah] and learning from them. It’s slippery ground, in general, to judge past actions by present standards and with a benefit of hindsight that is, morally, highly questionable.”

  • OPINION: Don’t let Trump gut AIDS program

    I am not in the “ignore President Trump’s tweets because they are a distraction from important things” camp. His most recent micro-harangues — accusing (without evidence) a news executive of wrongdoing, hinting that a television host may have been involved in murder and embracing the debunked anti-Muslim rantings of Britain’s alt-right — indicate some type of degeneration. The president seems to be in a downward spiral of anger, compulsion, conspiracy thinking and prejudice that is alternately offensive and frightening.

  • OPINION: Famous people I have known

    Let me begin with an apology to Ed McClanahan for stealing the title of his book.

    McClanahan wrote “Famous People I Have Known,” which recalls his experiences with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and other 1960s luminaries.

    I’m embarrassed to say I never read the book, but I’m familiar with the story from having read Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” as a teenager.