Russell E. Saltzman is a former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church.

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Taking Pride in Humility

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It all started when a guy told me in a Facebook post that if someone tells him he is humble, it is a certain sign he isn’t. Though I told him he should just be humble enough to take my word for it, nonetheless, I decided to consult the New Testament, if only to straighten out a few things. The short of it is, I’m pretty sure humility is overrated, at least as preachers tell it. Continue Reading »

An Ever Evolving Queen

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don’t go all gooey over royalty, especially British royalty, but that didn’t stop my daughter, when in middle school, from becoming an anglophile. She attended British-American high teas in Kansas City several times and, in company with a woman actually from London, sang God Save the Queen. Once, when we visited New York, she overhead English accents and made me go over and ask them to join our table. The couple did and we had a pleasant time, though they didn’t drink tea as she thought they should have. Now twenty-two, I think she’s mostly over it. Continue Reading »

The Nativity of Our Lord

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He was born into the silence of this world. Because there was no room for him in a proper house the night he was born, the Gospel of Luke reports, he was born of his mother with Joseph nearby out there in the stable with the animals. Probably there was no one interested. That was the silence of that night. Who would care, anyway? Just one more peasant child, and who celebrates or notices or marks the birth of yet another peasant arriving in this world? Have you ever heard a prayer of thanks for the children born in a United Nations refugee camp? The children of peasants are always born into silence. Continue Reading »

Bessie’s House

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Five years ago, Mike Low started Bessie’s House in Kansas City’s Northeast neighborhood, where unemployment is at 16 percent and median household income is $25,000. An average resident has a one-in-twelve chance of being the victim of a violent crime. Any way you measure it, the place is stuck in poverty. But Low sees something different. Continue Reading »

Body vs. Brain

From Web Exclusives

Facebook users have run across a quiz purporting to measure one’s mental age against one’s actual physical age. I can’t see the point of it but, so what, I took it anyway. Twice, actually—I was dissatisfied with the first result. Mental age is subjective and my subjectivity suggested something different than Facebook’s. Continue Reading »