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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Cary McMullen's picture
"By training and inclination, I am drawn to questions of faith, and many of my columns will address religious beliefs, especially Christian beliefs, and how they are expressed in the public sphere. I’m a follower of politics, with sympathies toward the center and skepticism toward all sides. I’m keenly interested in education and an amateur critic of the fine arts. My goal is for readers to apply the label 'thought-provoking' to whatever I write."
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Cary McMullen

It’s hard to explain to high school kids today, but there was a time when teenagers were conscripted -- against their wills -- into military service and sent halfway around the world into live-fire combat zones that make Afghanistan look like a training exercise.

I faced that prospect. Reports of full-on battles in jungle terrain against trained, regimental-strength troops have a way of focusing...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012 — Cary McMullen

In his excellent new book, “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,” Ross Douthat describes how the heresy of nationalism – idolizing the nation – has rendered American religious groups captive to partisan politics.

“If you don’t want to vote for George W. Bush because of the Iraq War then you’re playing into the hands of Christianity’s left-wing enemies. If you can’t vote for Barack...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 — Cary McMullen

Forgiveness is an increasingly rare quality these days. We live in an age that seems to have lost the capacity to forgive. The demand instead is for justice in as harsh terms as possible, for the redressing of wrongs.

So when someone, especially a public figure, asks for forgiveness, often the response is a resounding “No! Let ’em get what they deserve.” And that brings us to the curious case of Todd Akin.


Wednesday, August 08, 2012 — Cary McMullen

During the annual meeting of the Florida United Methodist Conference in June, a wickedly satirical video was shown poking good-natured fun at retiring Bishop Timothy Whitaker, a mild-mannered intellectual who reads books on fifth-century Trinitarian theology for fun.

The “farewell address” portrayed an unbridled Whitaker daydreaming about a...

Friday, July 27, 2012 — Cary McMullen

It’s interesting to contrast reactions to two judgments handed down this week for nearly identical crimes. The reactions speak volumes about our priorities.

On Monday, the NCAA announced Penn State would be fined $60 million, lose football scholarships and be banned from bowl games for four years for the institution’s failure to report child sex abuse that officials – including head football coach Joe...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 — Cary McMullen

If you are Episcopalian, liturgy is a big deal. Some in the church are still mad that the Book of Common Prayer, first composed by Henry VIII’s archbishop in the 16th century, was modified about 30 years ago.

Last week the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Indianapolis, approved a liturgy to bless the unions of same-sex couples. The approval had several caveats attached. It is...

Thursday, July 05, 2012 — Cary McMullen

It’s a measure of how confused our society is these days that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on unlikely grounds by an unlikely majority. Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, not Justice Anthony Kennedy, a centrist, sided with the liberal justices. And the law was valid not by virtue of the Constitution’s commerce clause, Roberts said in his opinion, but because penalties for not having insurance are really a tax, which falls within Congress’ powers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 — Cary McMullen

The ferocity of Cuban exiles leaves one amazed at times. They have not mellowed with age. Any hint of collaboration with the brothers Castro will earn their wrath, no matter who the offender is or how difficult his situation may be.

A recent article from the Associated Press described how Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the leader of the Catholic Church in Cuba, is being criticized for being too chummy with the...

Monday, May 28, 2012 — Cary McMullen

From the beginning, the Trayvon Martin case exposed fault lines about race in America. One of those lines runs through the largest Protestant denomination in the country, and it has put one of its most visible leaders on the spot.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, made some ill-considered remarks about the case on his weekly radio...

Thursday, May 03, 2012 — Cary McMullen

The United Methodist Church is one of those phenomena – like baseball or public education – that until recently grew best in American soil but now seems to be fading here and flourishing elsewhere. It is the second-largest Protestant Church behind the Southern Baptists. Its broad representation is illustrated by the saying that if you want to know who the next president will be, just poll a sample of United Methodists.


by Dr. Radut.