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Violence and Politesse

Of all the places I’ve worked and played in my life, the politest one, the one where people were the most courteous and quiet, was a boxing gym in Decatur, Georgia. I hung out there for two years when I was in my early fifties, the boxing workouts being just right for an older guy. If you take it . . . . Continue Reading »

Back to Work

In 1974, the year I turned nineteen, I took my first real job in the goods store of a railway station in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland. I was pleased to be off my parents’ hands, but uneasy in my position. The tiny goods office was an anthill of activity, with a constant flow of locomotive . . . . Continue Reading »

Rescuing Warriors from Muscular Christianity

Mathew, I don’t think we can reduce the role of the warrior in the Bible as low as you place it. Believe me, I share your desire to bear witness against the degraded, culturally captive self-parody that “muscular Christianity” has always been. But it seems to me that warfare as a purpose of human life is, unfortunately, much more central than you allow. Continue Reading »

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