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Columns

  • CHARLTON: Is atheism truly what we think it is?

    Who gets to decide when another person is or isn’t an atheist?

    Oprah Winfrey has ignited a bit of controversy over this question in a recent interview with long distance swimmer Diana Nyad. Winfrey interviewed Nyad on Oct. 13 as a part of her Super Soul Sunday. During the interview Nyad remarked that she is an atheist, which sparked an interesting exchange, the highlights of which are as follows:

    Winfrey (in response to Nyad’s statement of being an atheist: “But you’re in awe [of nature].”

  • SOUDER: The folly of campaign promises – and those who believe them

    I ran across the following fictional account some time ago, and though the point it makes can be applied at any time, it seemed especially appropriate now. Here is the story:

    While walking down the street one day, a corrupt senator (sorry for the near redundancy) is tragically hit by a car and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

  • CHARLTON: An example that the wrong people get most attention

    Sometimes, it’s what doesn’t make the news that is most newsworthy, and conversely, what makes the news that is the most inconsequential.

    Take, for instance, the amount of attention given to Miley Cyrus. Not that I seek to offer her any more notoriety, but are her exploits really deserving of so much attention? I think not, mostly because that is the intended purpose – to draw attention and keep her in the eye of the media.

  • SOUDER: A trip to the farm and the ‘good old days’

    On an early October day a few years ago, my wife and I loaded the kids up in the old front- wheel-drive sleigh and headed to the country for what we hoped might be the start of a long-standing, old-fashioned family tradition – picking apples.

  • CHARLTON: There’s lots to like about Pope Francis

    I have found, like many others, much to admire in Pope Francis. I believe that Francis can set an agenda that will affect change not only within the Christian world but in the larger world as well, where there are certainly many changes that need to be made.

    One of the most important agenda items for Francis is his emphasis on caring for the poor. From the first moments of his papacy, Francis made a point to eschew many of the regal trappings of the papacy and, in doing so, made a powerful statement about his very real concern for the poor of the world.

  • SOUDER: Enemies…or possible future teammates?

    Sometimes our enemies are chosen for us. For example, growing up in Indiana as a huge Indiana University college basketball fan, it was just accepted that our primary “enemies” were Purdue and Kentucky. In fact, it was not unusual to see people wearing t-shirts that said, “My two favorite teams are Indiana and whoever is playing Kentucky” or a similar one with “Purdue” substituted for “Kentucky.”

  • CHARLTON: Jesus’ message of love in face of war

    For several years I taught a class on St. Augustine’s classic book, the City of God. It is a weighty and sometimes impenetrable tome, and one I continue to struggle to understand. Though not widely read today, it remains one of the most enduring classics in the history of Western society and has, often unbeknownst to us, shaped our thinking in powerful ways.

  • SOUDER: God’s ‘Dream Team’ is an Unlikely Bunch

    Mention the words, “Dream Team,” and different people may think of different things. My first thought takes me back to my college days when three of my best friends and I referred to ourselves by that description. Though we shared many exploits and experiences together that in our minds merited the “Dream Team” designation, our fame was on a pretty localized level, and we didn’t gain much national exposure.

  • Difficult Syria decision will always be about religion

    Should we or should we not intervene? While it looks inevitable that the United States will take some kind of military action against Syria, and may have done so by the time this column is published, the question remains – is military intervention the correct course of action?

  • SOUDER: In sports or life, it’s always good to know the score

    Anyone that knows me very well knows two things about me: I love to play games, and I love to win. I grew up playing all kinds of sports – baseball, football, tennis – but my favorite was always basketball.

    My family also played lots of board games like Monopoly and Life, word games like Scrabble and Boggle and card games like Euchre and Rook. But it didn’t matter what sport or game I was playing, because of my extremely competitive nature, I always did my very best to win.