“How do we affirm and extend the ethic that welcoming religiously diverse people, nurturing positive relations among them, and facilitating their contributions to the nation is part of the definition of America?” When it comes to the religious practices of our fellow citizens, the answer to that question begins with a commitment to empathy and charity rather than bigotry or ignorance.
To say that Bill Danforth was a great man nearly goes without saying and seems a platitude without much meaning. What does it mean to be great, after all? In taking Bill’s measure, I think about Freedom and Fate, the poles around which all human lives orbit. Most of us keep them in a poor balance, misusing, abusing and wasting our freedom, cursing and railing against our fate. Bill kept such an equipoise of these Lords of our Life, an easy meshing of the exuberance of freedom and the acceptance of Fate.
I suspect that some people decided to delay watching Michaela Coel’s HBO/BBC One series I May Destroy You for fear that it would, well, destroy them. I did. Many of us choose to forego media that represents sexual violence.
If Justice Ginsburg, who had the most secular voting record of any justice since 1953, is replaced with a religious conservative like Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch or Thomas, the court’s jurisprudence will veer even farther from the values she brought to the law.
Do I worry about the worsening mental health of my patients and friends, as well as its effect on me? Yes. Has the timeline to prepare myself to better cope with that sped up? Yes. But I want them to know I will remain here, in their corner, ready to support them if and when they need me.