Finding Churchill’s Faith

God & Churchill“King and country, in that order, that’s about the only religion Winston has.”

So wrote Lord Moran, Sir Winston Churchill’s friend and physician. Most historians would agree. After all, did not Churchill himself quip that he was “not a pillar of the church, but a flying buttress”?

Yet if Churchill had no religion beyond king and country, how do we account for the references to “God” and “Providence” that appear so prominently again and again in his speeches? Were they no more than a politician’s cynical nod to the religious sensibilities of his countrymen? Continue reading Finding Churchill’s Faith

Kissing the Lepers?

Pope Francis How much significance is the world to attach to Pope Francis’ extraordinary statement on Monday that it was not for him “to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” And then, “You can’t marginalize these people.”

The pope was responding to a reporters’ questions on gays in the ranks of Catholic clergy. Traditionalists and critics alike were quick to point out that at the same time, the pope reaffirmed church teaching by calling homosexual acts a sin. But the fact remains that this is the first time in history that a pope has spoken out in defense of gay priests. To me, it is an event so dramatic as—well—as to recall St. Francis of Assisi kissing lepers. Continue reading Kissing the Lepers?

Revealing Heaven

sky_thumb “If a man die, shall he live again?”– Job 14:14

How seriously should we take so-called “near-death” experiences?

Very seriously indeed, says Fr. John Price, an Episcopal priest who has talked to more than 200 “returnees” over the past forty years, and has researched the stories of many more. Fr. Price, whom I am privileged to know personally, has distilled his findings into a startling new book called, Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near-Death Experiences. Continue reading Revealing Heaven

Lincoln’s Last Words

Lincoln Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded as this country’s greatest president. It follows, then, that his last words, if we but knew what they were, would be of compelling interest—not merely to historians, but to all Americans.

As it happens, we do know what Lincoln’s last words were. In an interview in 1882, Mary Lincoln, the president’s widow, confided that in the box at Ford’s Theatre, scant seconds before John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal Derringer ball into her husband’s brain, Lincoln had turned to her and whispered: “We will visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior.” And then: “There is no place I so much desire to see as Jerusalem.” Continue reading Lincoln’s Last Words