I’ve named this section of my website, “Passions,” because these values are both the defining convictions of my work as well as the concerns I live for. In fact, as I describe them here and as they interact with one another in real life, they actually are the themes recurring in all that I teach, preach, and lead retreats about. Accompanying each passion’s description is a list of resources for you use in learning more and going deeper.
Love and Fear
The opposite of love is not hate but fear. In any given moment we are animated by the energy of one or the other. The interplay of these two energies form the center of all our lives as well as all of my work.
The oneness and interconnectedness of all creation has been an organizing passion in my work and life since I began reading Thomas Merton and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Learning about the one-tree forest, Pando, has given me a living icon for this passion..
Contemplation and Action; Religion and Politics
A tailor-made daily practice of mindfulness, prayer, or contemplation literally changes our brains and guides our choices. The passion of Contemplation on this website not only describes my own contemplative practice but also informs the political actions I engage. My contemplative practice also teaches me that you cannot divorce religion and politics.
Dismantling Modern “Isms”
The poison which feeds destructive and oppressive policies is bigotry – the belief that the lives of those who are not privileged are inferior. The obvious poison in American life is racial bigotry. Here you can learn about not only racism but other “-isms” needing our interruption and dismantling.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu famously said, “God is not a Christian.” Dr. Maher Hatout taught that God does not belong to any religion. Rather all religions belong to God.
My adult years have been spent deconstructing a fear-based religious narrative having to do with an angry white male God out there and up there. At the same time I have been reconstructing a love-based religious narrative having to do with the Divine within each one of us and in all of Creation.