Blog

Our job is not to end war

A collection of texts on war

by Ken Sehested

        Our job, as Christians, is not to bring an end to war. Any more than it’s President Bush’s job to “rid the world of evil.” There is a dangerous arrogance in both sentiments.

        Our calling is to speak the truth, to expose propaganda to public scrutiny, to call into question the self-serving justifications, to betray the lie of military necessity.

        To those who say this is how it’s always been—and how it always will be, we say No: another future is possible. Read more ›

Reversal of fortunes

What if schools enjoyed pork-barrel largesse and the military depended on corporate charity?

by Ken Sehested

     One recent slow morning, in late August, the grocery stores’ circulars in the newspaper caught my attention. I began to wonder how things might be different if certain fortunes were reversed. Instead of “back-to-school” it’s “back-to-basic-training” discount offers.

     Imagine, if you will:

      •At Ingles, earn $1,000 for mops for the Navy, boots for the Army, when you use your Advantage™ Card. And keep your eyes out for our “Box Tops for Top Guns” special deals to ensure cockpit decal maintenance. Read more ›

Molly Ivins quotes

A brief collection of personal favorites

My collection of favorite quotes from political commentator and satirist Molly Ivins (blessed be her memory). —Ken Sehested

•So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. ’Cause you don’t always win. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.

•It's hard to argue against cynics—they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side

•I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag. Read more ›

Meditations on Labor and Leisure

Several reflections on Sabbath keeping

by Ken Sehested

#1: Sabbath House mission

Written as a steering committee member shaping the mission statement
of a new retreat center, with particular reference to serving
the needs of perenially over-extended clergy
Read more ›

Centennial of the lynching of Leo Frank

. . . and the struggle over the meaning of freedom

by Ken Sehested

            In August 1913 the body of 14-year-old laborer Mary Phagan was found in the basement of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta. The company’s Jewish-American superintendent, Leo Frank, was eventually convicted of the crime and sentenced to death by hanging. Two years later a last-minute commutation of the sentence to life imprisonment sent Frank to a prison farm. On the night of 16 August 1915 a group of men from Marietta, Georgia (Phagan’s hometown) abducted Frank and drove him to Marietta for a public lynching. Though identities of the lynch mob were well-known—including a former governor, a mayor, and several current and former sheriffs—none were charged. Half of the state’s Jewish population fled following the lynching.

            Three things endure.

            First, the memory of this trauma has been long forgotten, except within the Jewish community. Read more ›