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

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Preaching Backward

From First Thoughts

Fr. John Jay Hughes’ very fine piece at today’s First Things web site, “Proclaiming The Good News,” has many good things to say to preachers. Being one myself, I found much to appreciate in his remarks. What especially struck me though was what I take to be a yet distinctive . . . . Continue Reading »

The Obama Moment

From First Thoughts

One of the most remarkable things about President Obama’s race is the difference it made both before and after the election. It made some difference before the election. It has made little difference since. I take this as a sign. A mere 143 years from the abolition of slavery, an African . . . . Continue Reading »

Leaving Kansas City

From First Thoughts

There were three things I wanted to get done before I left Kansas City for twelve weeks in New York for work at First Things . I wanted my sixteen-year-old daughter, Joanie, to get her driver’s license. That would be a help to her mother in my absence and insure getting the younger girl . . . . Continue Reading »

Reel Aliens

From Web Exclusives

The Day the Earth Stood Still , a remake of the 1951 black and white movie classic of the same title, will be released December 12. I can’t wait to see it. A emissary from the galactic federation is coming to warn Earth about its bad environmental habits. We’re trashing up the . . . . Continue Reading »

Orwellian Monitors

From Web Exclusives

A pastoral colleague finds it “Orwellian.” He is describing the proposal before the church council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to appoint “racial justice monitors” for its meetings, according to an ELCA press release . “Racial justice . . . . Continue Reading »

The Brownback Announcement

From Web Exclusives

Last weekend I did something I have avoided doing for years. I went to a political rally. I am no longer a political junkie, but there was a time in my life when I was. From high school, through college, and for many years beyond I had no greater ambition than to be a, uh, politician. I started out . . . . Continue Reading »

A Fear of Abandonment

From the February 1998 Print Edition

I still enjoy telling the story of my adoption. I was a “gray market” baby in 1947, a private arrangement made between birth mother, doctor, lawyer, and adoptive parents. The attending physician had arranged to telephone the good news to the waiting couple, my parents”something . . . . Continue Reading »