Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death

We are publishing this article for Holocaust Remembrance Day. May their memories be for a blessing. Death camps represent, perhaps, the most important evidence for the planned extermination of the Jewish people. The death camp manufactured a single product: the speedy and efficient murder of world Jewry. Because of this, the Nazis blurred the lines between life and death. “Life” became an optimistic way to describe an animated dying process, while “death” was normalized into everyday expectation. Nazis sought to turn humans into animals, taking away all semblance of the dignity of human life. Meanwhile, the actual act of murder … Continue reading “Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death”

Simple Beauty, Simple Truth: A Hobbit’s View on Profit Motive

“I have found a place where some Shire folk of Middle-Earth must have emigrated. Surely some hobbit blood runs through these people’s veins.” Such were the thoughts in my head as I entered the Airbnb while vacationing in the region of my maternal ancestors. Zakopane, Poland is a tourist town nestled in the rolling foothills of the Tatra mountains with skiing in the winter and hiking, boating and other outdoor sports available in the summer. The wooden cabin we stayed in was one of two relatively newly constructed buildings behind the home and barn of our delightful host, Anna, in … Continue reading “Simple Beauty, Simple Truth: A Hobbit’s View on Profit Motive”

St. Ignatius and Opportunity Costs

For millennia the family craft would dictate one’s career. The son of a farmer is expected to be a farmer, the son of the fisherman will become a fisherman, and the son of the carpenter will become a carpenter. Within the past century a new model of choosing your own career became the norm. You could apprentice in a chosen field before you set down a lifelong career that would usually result in decades of work, at the same firm, and end with a comfortable retirement. Today the attitudes are changing once more, as switching between career paths is becoming … Continue reading “St. Ignatius and Opportunity Costs”

Becoming Like Little Children

As I think back on my childhood I remember a time that seemed more magical, simple, and eternal.  A restful Saturday would be a journey through imagination and play that would drag on and on until sleep inevitably won the day. A week felt like it would never end, and summer break was an eternity. I, like many I have talked to, remember childhood as a simpler, more innocent time surrounded with warmth and fondness.

Freedom From Yourself

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines freedom as “The state or fact of being free from servitude, constraint, inhibition, etc.; liberty.” Growing up and living in the US, I am constantly exposed to this definition of freedom, a definition in terms of license–a freedom to do whatever you want. By this understanding of freedom, one is free when there are no external forces hindering or restraining oneself. There is little inherent moral weight to this understanding of freedom. You can use your freedom to act for good or evil. So long as the government is not mandating us into action, we … Continue reading “Freedom From Yourself”

Commitment and Friendship

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In my limited experience in this life I have noticed that there is a tendency to push against true intimacy with other people. In the realm of relationships and marriage a higher divorce rate and increasing break-up related suicide are symptoms of a deeper problem concerning a lack of real intimacy. While fear of the unknown vulnerability needed for intimacy deeply impacts relationships, I want to talk about its impact on friendships as well. Today is a time of easy friendships. Our ability to be connected on social media has made it incredibly easy to begin and renew friendships again … Continue reading “Commitment and Friendship”

Taking Abortion Seriously

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There is no issue in American politics like abortion. There is no issue as divisive that affects as many as deeply as abortion. Every year, millions of lives will be impacted by abortion. Primarily, the impact falls on the mother and the ‘being’ in the womb. But also, the father, the grandparents, the siblings, the friends, the children born and children yet to be born one sibling short. In many political debates, the discussion relates to diverging means of reaching the same end: a prosperous America. But in abortion there cannot be the success of one side without the other … Continue reading “Taking Abortion Seriously”

Piece of Mind, Episode 01: Nintendo With Troy

Welcome to Piece of Mind! Accompany Jonathan as he waddles through mysterious conversations about life, living, and other stuff with friends, enemies, axes, and allies. Today, we have some conversation with Troy about Nintendo, video games, and childhood.

Simplicity and Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is soon approaching and there is so much good food to look forward to in the upcoming days. Thanksgiving, much like the Sabbath, is a day on which we rest and look back on all that we are grateful for. Yet despite the myriad of things that we can say we are truly glad to have in our lives, there are still things that nag at us underneath the surface. This nagging can take the form of planning out your shopping run for Black Friday, causing you to plan and stress when you should be enjoying the smoked ham … Continue reading “Simplicity and Thanksgiving”