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    Resurrection as a Historical Event

    Easter is the day that 2.3 billion Christians (32 percent of human population) will declare that two centuries ago, a Galilean rose from the dead three days after he was crucified by Pontius Pilate. Resurrection is the founding faith statement of Christianity. Christmas did not birth Christianity, a naive understanding of that religion, but Easter. Without Easter there is no Christianity. In fact, Christians celebrated Easter from the start on a weekly basis. They went to synagogues on Saturday — first Christians were Jews — then broke bread on Sunday mornings because it was on the dawn of the first day of the week that the first witnesses found the…

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    Pride before the Fall

    On the last night of the Republican convention, my father called and told me to vote for Trump. I was shocked then, so I wasn’t so shocked when I saw Trump win. My father still doles out unsolicited advice. Sometimes his advice irks me — how I should wear my hair — but this political advice was a shocker: “Vote for Trump. He is going to make America great again.” My father is a Korean-American immigrant. We flew in as illegals through JFK airport in 1980. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty for all immigrants who came before 1982. The timing was evidence of providence, my father says. Knowing…

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    Theology in American Politics

    Theology, a way of seeing the world with God as an agent, has always been fundamental to American politics. This is exhibited by in “God we trust” minted on our bills, “under God” in our pledge, and “God bless America,” the benediction ending every presidential speech, the priestly president blessing citizen-congregants. Yes, the jingles are of recent origin (“under God” was added in 1954), but they are surfacing of an undercurrent going back to the words that birthed this republic, “Endowed by their Creator.” Thomas Jefferson was no Christian — a fundamental deist who made sure his scions didn’t hold foolish notion of Jesus’ divinity by cutting out miracles from the gospels — but this was…

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    Courage to Compromise

    “Hamilton” is a juggernaut musical currently fetching at least $700 for prime seats. It’s a civic class in hip hop, George Washington’s cabinet argument as rap battle for the future of the fledgling American economy: Jefferson’s rural and agricultural against Hamilton’s urban and commercial. Reason in rhyme with best diss wins, which is not too far from the truth. Jefferson and Hamilton are at the opposite ends and no one wins. So they strike a compromise, both losing to win. A piece in the musical titled “The Room Where it Happens” is a retelling of that compromise over a dinner. Hamilton gets the federal government to assume state debt and…

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    Stories in Midst of Tragedy

    The violent tragedies of the deaths of two black men and the five police officers shattered my heart, as it did many Americans. The tragedy called for words but also made words feel useless. A column can’t dispense any advice worth holding, but I have two tiny stories that have framed the tragedies for me. Perhaps they can be chairs for people to sit and converse. No healing happens without sharing, and no useful action is birthed without conversation. I was watching the Facebook stream of Philando Castile, his white shirt soaking red, body slipping down the passenger chair, his neck arched, ridges of his Adam’s apple pushing through the…