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

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Review of Life in Space

From the February 2010 Print Edition

Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone by Lucas John Mix Harvard, 344 pages, $29.95 Mix is an Episcopal priest with a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard, and the new chaplain at Arizona State University. His religious credentials are secure. Equally so is his scientific work. The origins of life touch . . . . Continue Reading »

Like A Mighty Wind

From First Thoughts

As the national convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted yesterday in Minneapolis to accept a social statement on human sexuality, tornado-like winds shook the downtown and ripped up the steeple at the ELCA’s Central Lutheran Church next door to the convention center. No . . . . Continue Reading »

An Ecumenical Moment for One

From Web Exclusives

During its August 17-23 national church convention in Minneapolis, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America seems poised to approve same-sex relations and the ordination of pastors in same-sex relationships. The history behind this move, which will be decided by a majority vote, is too tedious to repeat. Just call to mind the similar success of churnings within the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church and you’ll have an adequate understanding of it. Presbyterians and United Methodists have so far held off the radical assaults from the Christian left. But since ELCA Lutherans are now firmly part of the Christian left, few resources exist to turn back this latest attempt… . Continue Reading »

We All Have Fathers

From Web Exclusives

My youngest child is now twelve. I was fifty when she was born, a child of my second marriage. There are six preceding her ranging in age from forty-six down to the twelve-year-old. The forty-six year-old was one of the unaccompanied minors out of Vietnam in 1975; that puts me at twenty-eight with an eleven-year-old who didn’t speak any English other than “hello” and “no sweat.” The youngest still at home, as I best recall, was born talking in complete sentences, a vocabulary replete with “I want everything,” which, naturally, I have tried my best to accommodate. Were she your child, you’d do the same.

A child at fifty almost made me a geezer dad. That’s a guy who heads for the store for Pampers, becomes confused, and returns with Depends. Continue Reading »

The Patriotic Retirement Plan

From First Thoughts

This is one person’s suggestion for fixing the economy. It appeared in a Florida newspaper that had asked readers to send along their best economic ideas: Patriotic retirement: There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force . . . . Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early . . . . Continue Reading »

How Not to Write a Press Release

From First Thoughts

The Lutheran World Federation provides one of the sorriest examples of a press release I’ve seen in, oh, perhaps a week.  The lead sentence (rambling on for thirty-nine words) starts off: A group of theologians, ethicists, anthropologists and staff working on adaptation and mitigation . . . . Continue Reading »

A Halfway School for Losers?

From First Thoughts

This looks like it might be, as the phrase has it, a smart comedy: NBC’s   Community , coming for the 2009-2010 season. The show brings together an eclectic band of community college students, albeit thoroughly and more than likely unfairly stereotyped. From the NBC website: It’s . . . . Continue Reading »