Saturday, April 30, 2011

 

The Music Man

This afternoon, I went to see the Edina Schools' production of the Music Man. It was (I think) the first musical I have seen other than Spamalot.

Those kids did a fabulous job, and I had no idea there was quite so much wonderful music from that particular show-- but maybe the name should have tipped me off, huh?

 

My favorite songs....

I'm finding that many of the songs I love, and have assumed to be popular hits by famous bands, really are just great songs that not many people know about. For example, I thought that the Soft Pack was a huge act until I saw them in a bar here with about 70 people. Same with the Rosebuds and this song:


 

Pot-bashing legislator busted for... pot.


Check out Doug Berman's concise, fascinating, and funny description here of the Rhode Island Republican who got nabbed in Connecticut with his stash out.

Dude!

Friday, April 29, 2011

 

Haiku Friday: Baseball

Before we get to the haiku, I would like to remind everyone that this Sunday at 10 am at St. Stephens Church in Edina Susan Stabile and I will be discussing creeds (she's for 'em, and I'm ag'in 'em). It is part of Neil Alan Willard's Rector's Smackdown, in which people of different faiths are put in a mesh cage and forced to do theological battle. I guess he thinks this will boost attendance. You can hear the podcast of our last talk on creeds here.





Yesterday, I went to see the Twins get absolutely slaughtered by the Devil Rays. It was a great day, though-- I love Target Field, and the fans here.

It is the first month of baseball season, when everyone has hope (except the Cubs), the season before "disappointed" (can I call what fans are in April, then, "appointed?"). So, let's haiku about baseball this week. It doesn't have to be about anything in particular. In fact, if you want, you can haiku about creeds, or the royal wedding. Here are some possible topics (I feel like I am coming up with "Celebrity Jeopardy" categories here):

1) Going to a baseball game as a kid
2) Basebally analogies
3) My team hates me
4) Willie Hernandez
5) IPLawGuy would be way happier if he supported a team other than the Nationals
F) Best ballpark food
7) Kate Middlebury's special dress
8) The Nicene Creed
9) Creeds as part of the royal wedding
10) The Kansas City Royals-- what did they wear to the wedding?

Here is mine:

At Comisky Park
Polish ladies in the stands
The brats of heaven.

Now it is your turn-- five syllables in the first line, then seven in the second, and five in the third. Go!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

 

President Obama: Where, oh, where, was he born?

Yesterday morning I did an interview with a talk-radio station in Ohio. The guy who interviewed me (Mike Romigh) was great and very fair and interested in what I had to say, giving me 15 minutes to discuss the death penalty. I was worried, though-- when I had tuned to the station on-line (at a different time) the previous day, there was a lot of ranting about President Obama being born outside the United States, invalidating his presidency.

It's not just talk radio obsessing with this at the moment, either. A recent poll showed that 45% of Republicans think that Obama was not born in Hawaii as documents have shown, and Donald Trump has been virtually running for president on this "issue."

Yesterday, President Obama released his "long-form" birth certificate in an attempt to calm the waters a bit.

Why is this coming up now? Is it a genuine issue?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

 

It's here! Video of the trial...

The Minnesota version of the trial of Christ is now available on video here. I hope to link to video from Virginia soon.


 

Dads: The original hipsters

...and, apparently, not just MY Dad. A long bow to TJ Turner for leading me in this fine direction.

 

Neko Case

Has anyone seen Neko Case live? Was it a good show?


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

 

More snark, please!

So, our trial was described in the "Morning Docket" at Above the Law yesterday. Between that and Perez Hilton, we have the snarky media covered (which I kind of like).

I'm hoping to have video very soon.

Monday, April 25, 2011

 

Minnesota Monday


It is Spring in Minnesota. I love the way people ran out their doors once the snow had melted and started running and walking and sitting on stoops and kayaking in surging, roiling Minnehaha Creek. There are buds on the trees, but no leaves yet; they are a promise of what is to be in just a few weeks.

On Saturday night, I went to the Easter Vigil at St. Stephens, and Neil Alan Willard and his crew did some liturgical magic-- bringing that spirit in through the big wooden doors, sifting it into light and calm, and turning it towards the rebirth of man and the promise of forgiveness.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

 

Sunday Reflection: The Deepest Easter of My Life


As many of you know, I have never been comfortable with the cross as the symbol of Christianity. It is about cruelty, failure, and death; It is about Good Friday. I would prefer a symbol of the victory of Easter. As I wrote at HuffPo earlier this week, a torn cloth might be good. Even better, perhaps, would be a stone-- symbolizing the stone rolled away to reveal Jesus's empty tomb.

Stones have been the truest symbol of my Lent thus far. I stood as prosecutor against Christ, like a member of the mob in John 8, holding a stone in my hand to kill someone. At Holy Comforter, the front of the church was lined with stones, which symbolized the troubles of the year. Finally, as you will see, that stone by the empty tomb got new and more vibrant meaning for me this year.

This has been the most meaningful, deep, troubling, and joyful Lent of my life.

I did not see that coming. I thought that the trial of Jesus would be... workmanlike. That's how prosecution so often is: You stack up facts until you have enough to prove up your case. I was wrong. My work was dark and troubling. When I am ready, I will write about that time. I'm not ready yet.

That was only one strand in the rope, though. While I was going from light to darkness, Jeanne Bishop passed me going the other way.

While the project brought my inner prosecutor into conflict with my faith, it did the reverse for her-- it brought her faith more into synch with her work. It is a story better told by her, and I hope that she will; a story of surprising grace, Baptist preachers, the embrace of the Holy Spirit, and people named Durwood and Renny and Neil and Sara and Craig and Lori. In short though, there was this: That Jesus said when you visit those in prison you visit me, and the Christ she defended began to meld with the men in jail she defends in Chicago. She was no longer going to the Cook County Jail to visit Silvio and LaTonya and Donell. She was going to see Christ.The mothers who spoke to her in the hallway became Mary. It was... different. Work became vocation. When we got to the trial and the church had cast a young black man as Jesus, there was a way in which that fit, as many of her clients look much like him. She visits them in jail.

More remarkably, though, Jeanne Bishop tried the case on the anniversary of her sister's death, an event that not only was incredibly tragic, but led to further tragedies, as well. That death, that burial place, was for many years just a grave. But now, as Jeanne describes in a front-page story in today's Chicago Tribune, the stone has been rolled away from that grave. And when it rolled, out of that grave came an incredible force for good.

We all have much to be thankful for, but there are few things more powerful, real, and lasting than that stone by the empty tomb.


video

Saturday, April 23, 2011

 

Eek! I'm on Perez Hilton!

Check it out here. While he did file it under "Wacky, tacky, and true," he also said our trial was "interesting!" and refrained from drawing anything over a picture of me.

So, in summary:

Jeanne Bishop is all over the front page of the Chicago Tribune.
Mark Osler is on a celebrity gossip website.

I can deal with that.

 

Well, that went well...


CNN actually had a story about the reaction to their story about our trial in Richmond. You can see that here. I heard about the on-air discussion, but did not see it. The story about the story got 400+ comments, on top of the 1300+ on the original piece.

I hope that some people read all this and go to see what's going on at Holy Comforter in Richmond, or go to hear Jeanne Bishop speak about her sister, or begin to think differently about the death penalty.

One great thing about my life is that I have no need to commercialize any of this-- I do the work pro bono, as social mission, and my job is to teach and write (and I do plenty of that, and love it). What I can hope for is that it matters. I realize what a luxury that is, and it is one thing I am grateful for this day before Easter.

Tonight I will go to the evening vigil at St. Stephens. I will hear Neil Alan Willard preach, I'll hear Tom Berg sing, and walk out afterwards over the stone bridge spanning Minnehaha Creek, which rushes and tumbles over itself, full to bursting with Spring and life and nothing less than the power of God in our midst, rushing to meet the Mississippi, rushing to New Orleans, rushing to be part of an ocean, as are we all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

 

Just up at the Huffington Post...

a little reflection on last week's trial-- at the top of the religion page, too (just above Al Sharpton). Please, if you can, go over there and offer a comment that... well, you know, doesn't say I'm going to hell or worse.

 

Yay!



A story about our trial in Richmond is now being featured at the top of CNN's main page. It already has over 2,500 comments/recommendations... and apparently some of the comments are from people who followed me over from the Huffington Post comment section.

Interesting people linking to it: Jim Bakker & Wayne Brown. Oh, and Forbes, which at least recognized the Caiaphus bit with the shirt.

 

Haiku Good Friday: Light in the Darkness


The profoundly dark experience of prosecuting Christ this past week has transformed the way I see Good Friday. There is a rhythm to trial, and there is one to this, too

This is a day (the day of Jesus's crucifixion) that marks the worst in us, our darkest moment, but there is hope in it, too. Without Good Friday, there is no Easter. I am struck, for the first time, with a sense of thankfulness for Good Friday, which is a part of the cycle God directed, part of the cycle we all live within and through, and there is always the hope for an Easter. In my prosecution of Christ, that cycle was run in full recently, from the moment I entered the dank tunnel of cynicism through to the day I was "HoCo'd"-- that is, when I felt the intense, pure and true love of the people of the Church of the Holy Comforter (HoCo) in Richmond this past Sunday.

Last night, I went to a Seder at the home of my colleague Joel Nichols and his wife Jennifer, and they did a wonderful job with it. There was a lot to celebrate-- Joel won a big St. Thomas award recently for his scholarship (his book is about to be published by Cambridge University Press), and Susan Stabile was there having recently heard that her next book will be published by the Oxford University Press. I'm the slacker in this crowd, obviously.

We ate the bitter herbs, heard the questions and the answers, drank the four cups, and mixed hardship with joy, the cycle of life ancient and undenied.

In the end, of course, I come away with thankfulness. I want to haiku about that tonight. You can be thankful about anything you would like... just have the first line be "For this I give thanks," followed by (about) seven syllables, and a third line of five (give or take) syllables.

Here is mine:

For this I give thanks:
Bitter roots, longing, and love
Unleavened hope.

Now it is your turn...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

 

Political Mayhem Thursday: The Razor Doctrine


Yesterday, I sat in on Prof. Joel Nichols' class on International Human Rights and totally lost my head and talked too much. It was just so fascinating, though... I couldn't help myself.

One topic (which, actually, I might have brought up myself out of nowhere) was the ability of superpowers to prevent human rights abuses through direct military action. This was part of our justification, after all, for invading and taking out the governments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At one point, I wondered why we don't just narrowly target Ghaddafi in Libya, invade for the single purpose of removing him from the country and prosecuting him, and then leave. Oddly (to me), the students balked at this, even though many of them seemed comfortable with the full invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the bombings in Libya. Why would a narrow approach be any worse? It certainly would be shorter, cheaper, and less dear in lives. Of course, it might be difficult-- but so has been the task in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Personally, I don't think we should invade any other countries that haven't attacked us. However, if we ARE going to invade other countries (and historically we have a penchant for that, be it Iraq and Afghanistan or Grenada and Panama) we should articulate the basis on which will do so before any crisis and resulting invasion occurs. Let's call that the Razor Doctrine: Either resist the urge to invade other countries who have not attacked us, or articulate the reasons we would do so before a particular situation arises.

What say you, Razorites?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

 

A trip to the butcher



One of the great joys of living in Edina is that I have gone from a world dominated by big-box retailers (Waco) to one of small merchants. Sure, I can still get to Costco easily, but there are also places like my favorite butcher shop-- Clancy's, just over the line in Minneapolis.

Clancy's seems to be always jammed with people. We all line up along the butcher case and ogle what they have-- prosciutto and lamb shank and fresh meatballs in bowls behind glass. It's ok to get to the front and ask the butcher "what should we have for dinner?"-- they will not only tell you what to buy, but how to cook it.

A few weekends ago, I went in there and there was a saxophone player behind the counter. Why? I'm not sure. Who cares? It was beautiful.

The world needs more space for goofy and beautiful, even in the realm of commerce.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

 

Pictures from the trial in Richmond...

At 7:30, the jury was sworn in:



And then the trial began:











Monday, April 18, 2011

 

The best statue ever!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

 

Sunday Reflection: The darkness of lent


As everyone knows by now, my week has been largely consumed by two trials of Christ, at St. Thomas on Thursday and at Holy Comforter in Richmond last night. The two trials were strikingly different. In Minneapolis, we had a jam-packed courtroom and great performances by several of our students (Phil Steger will now always be Peter in my mind, and Jon Scheib and Sara Sommervold were great advocates). Last night, the trial was broader and allowed for deliberation by the audience, which added an important dimension.

If you are interested, for the Minneapolis trial the audio will be on NPR this week, and the video will be available on the St. Thomas site (I'll pass along details when I get them). For the Richmond trial, the video will be on Youtube, and the CNN story will be available on CNN.com on Good Friday.

Something unexpected happened, of course.

When I cooked up this scheme, I imagined that building a prosecution case would be fairly straightforward and analytical, but this was short-sighted. Because we were doing the penalty phase only, the question essentially was not guilt, but whether the defendant should be executed. That's a different type of argument, one which leads to a darker and more troubling place.

As I built up my argument, I found that the cynicism inherent in my prosecutor-self was at war with my faith. Specifically, like a cancer attacking my flesh, that cynicism ate into the weakest parts of me: The easy assumptions, the haphazard harmonizations, the places where I assume that Jesus must approve what I do, because it is practical. What that cynicism tore apart was any sense that I should be comfortable with my faith and work. Christ came to trouble and challenge us, and he did just that.

For example, part of my argument that Christ should be executed was that he threatens our intellectual life. On the stand, Simon Peter said that perhaps one of the apostles was literate, and that he (the rock on which the church was to be built) was not able to read or write. In fact, he was a fisherman, plucked from a boat by Jesus. At the same time that the apostles were a group of illiterates, Jesus pushed away and rejected those who were learned, time and again. I plead to the jury that this was a threat to our heritage and history-- how could either survive when we embrace the teachings of fishermen over those who have access to our past?

This was only the fourth of my four arguments, but it still struck to my core. I come to Jesus as a scholar too often; he was clear that I am to come as a child.

Of course we don't want to live in a world where Christ's teachings are taken literally, where we give up what we have, where we offer up our other cheek to be struck, and where our intellectual life is devalued.

But can we be Christian without that?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

 

Meanwhile, back in Waco...


Well, at least they waited until I left to open this. Read Henry's report here. I'm getting out of town this week, but not to Waco...

Friday, April 15, 2011

 

Haiku Friday: Possibly Bad Ideas

Prosecuted Christ
Gave it my best shot, I think;
But hope I don't win.

Now, you throw one out there, on a possibly bad idea...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

 

Political Mayhem Thursday: Who is the bad guy?

Larry Reynolds, the fabulously talented music minister at St. Stephens here, posted this recently on his facebook page:

Remember when teachers, public employees, and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither.

The underlying point is intriguing. We have gone through periods where corporations and investors are demonized, but that does not seem to be the case now, even though we are coming through an economic crisis in which there was a lot to dislike about some corporations and investors.

What gives?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

 

Printemps



I am running in the spring in Edina and thinking about this trial. Around me, there is life everywhere, everywhere.

In a front yard there is a three year old boy. He holds a sippy cup in one hand and his face is smeared with chocolate. He stands benignly off to the side as his parents talk to the neighbor. I look at him, in the eyes, smile and put up my hand. His face lights up, and his hand comes up and flattens out hopefully against the evening sky.

Because I do listen to music when I run, it moves with me, changes. When I turned to the north, here is what came on next:



I'm into town now, dodging through the people, weaving through sundresses. I run past the Edina Grill, and the tables outside are full with families, laughter and the rattle of plates; the big wooden windows at Barrio are swung open to the world again, and people look out like doomed flowers opening. I push past them, faster now. I think: "Simon Peter, the traitor fisherman. 'Get behind me Satan....' Christ said that to you."

And then I turn back towards home, and the music changes again.



There is a creek, Minnehaha, which winds every which way around my house, like a string on the ground wrapped around the church and the stores and the tall pine trees. It was bursting full, rushing full force like a bobsled through my town. I ran over the stone bridge and looked down and saw the white water, could hear the pulse of its life even over the music in my ears. It isn't cute or pretty-- it is beautiful and powerful and destructive, pushing before it all manner of broken things which it will carry to the Mississippi to be reassigned to other forms. That's what happens, isn't it? The primal forces within break things apart and carry them away, break them down so they can be made anew into something else.

I can feel my heart beating, the questions coming, the rhythm of what I do. I am the river.

There is petrol
Pooled at your feet
And your eyes are ablaze
Do I have a match?
No. I am.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

 

The Trial of my Life


In my days as a federal prosecutor in Detroit, I played a role in cases against Hezbollah, Chinese snakeheads, crack dealers, and brilliant counterfeiters, but this may be the toughest one of all.

The judge is a former attorney general.

My opposing counsel is a trial skills professor, author, career public defender, world-famous advocate for victims' rights and against the death penalty, and a Northwestern homecoming princess. She recently completed a lecture tour of Japan, and also spoke in France... in French.

The defendant is the son of God.

Anyways, I've been looking for the right psyche-up music.

So far, here is what is in the rotation:

Al Green
Pantera
The Isley Bros.
John Lee Hooker
The Clash
Django Reinhardt

It's not working so well. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 11, 2011

 

The Intern... on TV!


Check it out! CTL, featured here as "The Intern" (a follower of the Aqua Buddha who is currently assisting Dee Dee in her attempt to corner the dark chocolate market, and who previously assisted Pickles in building a nuclear bomb on a strict budget) is now part of an important TV event starting tonight! It's on National Geographic, so it probably will be more serious than his work here.

You can see a recap of his work on the Razor here.

 

The Return of Hair Cut Guy!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

 

Sunday Reflection: I think they get me here...


One of the things that I loved about Waco was my church there, 7th and James Baptist. It was a place chock-full of smart, funny, and soulful people; there was not a single time I walked into that place that I did not learn something. Best of all, it was constantly humbling in the best way-- there was an overwhelming gentle spirit that was bigger than any one person, yet smaller than God.

Whatever I was able to accomplish during those ten years were largely because of that church, those people. They encouraged me constantly, took pride in what I did, and often my ideas grew out of discussions in Sunday school, in the halls, and during services. It was a rare combination of intellectual yet welcoming of the Holy Spirit, and I think what I did (at its best) reflected that.

Here, I have found that my school, St. Thomas, is that kind of place. My colleagues and the administration seem to embrace what I do, are curious about it, and support me in any way I might imagine. Earlier this week at a lunch in the atrium I received the 2011 Mission Award for Scholarly Engagement and Social Reform. It was kind of overwhelming to be recognized in that way as a newbie, and I'm not sure it was really deserved.

What I receive every day is an act of grace, and I know that. I am lucky to be here. I just hope they don't change their minds when I prosecute Jesus on Thursday...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

 

Thomas The Tank Engine's Friend, the Riot Control Scoop

One of the most troubling science fiction films ever was Soylent Green. In short, the plot of the movie is this: Through a series of ecological disasters and population growth, Earth can no longer sustain its human population. The government is performing "riot control" by gathering up people with "scoops," and then processing them into food-- Soylent Green. One of the most disturbing images in the film is the "scoops" gathering up doomed victims:



I hadn't thought about this pretty-bad movie in a long time. However, I recently watched a little boy play with Thomas the Tank Engine toys. I couldn't help but notice one special toy-- the riot control scoop!



If you look closely in the scoop, you can clearly see a human foot:


Friday, April 08, 2011

 

Haiku Friday: Favorite movie scenes



I always loved this scene from Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz," where the Fosse character's girlfriend and daughter create a dance for him. I love the unusual grouping of characters, the joy in it, and the movement and use of space. I saw the movie when it first came out (what were my parents thinking? I was 15!), and always remembered the elegance and love in that scene. He didn't deserve it, but that's the way love works-- it has to be part grace.

What movie scene touched you? It can be an old movie, a new one, or one that is just in your mind...

Here is mine:

Fosse's genius clear:
Beauty from imperfection,
Love is what matters.

Now it is your turn... the formula is 5 (ish) syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third.

Let's hear it!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

 

I'm just sayin...

Teaching, at least teaching well, can be exhausting. It doesn't work unless you put yourself into it, risk losing yourself a bit.

Today was pretty good, and I am exhausted.

 

Political Mayhem Thursday: A Government Shutdown

As you have probably heard, the federal government is on the verge of shutting down as Democrats and Republicans are in a standoff over the budget.

Should they hold their positions, even if there is a shutdown?

I actually was a federal employee during the last major shutdown, in 1995, and spent that time attending the Handsome Boy Modeling School:


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

 

Next week we make it happen... the Trial of Christ


I'm getting geared up for next week, which promises to be action-packed.

On Thursday at 3 pm in the Courtroom at St. Thomas we will be presenting the sentencing phase of the trial of Christ. I will serve as prosecutor, and Cook County (Illinois) public defender Jeanne Bishop will be... well, defending. Our second chairs will be St. Thomas students Sara Sommervold and Jon Scheib.

Then on Saturday night at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, we will be doing it all over again. The judge will be former VA Attorney General Bill Broaddus. You can see all the details here.

If you can, I would love it if people came to see this-- it is going to be something special. There was this amazing spirit that grew up around the first presentation in Virginia, and I think it will continue through this.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

 

What I'm up to, and want you to do...


I don't often ask much of my readers here on the Razor (other than demanding haikus on Friday, political commentary on Thursdays, and vulnerable discourses about their own faith on Sundays) but today I am going to make a request.

Back on March 24, I gave a presentation in Washington at a symposium on drug policy. I had an article on guideline reform nearly completed when, two weeks before the event, I suddenly changed course. I put aside what I had written, and started something else from scratch, simply because it seemed like the right time for that idea. I used the fast-rising yeast, but still worked the dough hard with my bare hands.

Here is what I want you to do: read the short, easy-to-read article I wrote and give me some feedback in the comments section below. You can download the article at this link.

Monday, April 04, 2011

 

Faculty Profile: Rob Vischer


Rated "One of the 25 Law Professors to Take Before You Die," Professor Vischer's scholarship explores the intersection of law, religion, thinking, and public policy, with a particular focus on the religious and moral dimensions of human people and thinking. His new book, titled Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Persons When They Think About Stuff, defines and defends the relational dimension of people thinking about relationship stuff, like kissing and money. He also is able to control the weather with his mind. His scholarship has appeared in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Illinois Law Review, Notre Dame Snow Journal, and the Doom Mountain Reporter, among others. He also writes for the magazines Commonweal and the Old Farmer's Almanac, and blogs regularly at Mirror of Justice and WeatherChannel.com. In 2009, he accidentally caused massive flooding in Iowa and the Dakotas while battling a nasal infection. Professor Vischer teaches Professional Responsibility, Considerations of People and Thinking, Foundations of Justice, and The Religious Lawyer. In 2007, he received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and in 2008, he was voted Professor of the Year by the graduating class. In 2009, he won a Purple Heart award after an unfortunate attack by residents of Iowa and the Dakotas. In 2010, he was awarded the Lohan Grant by the TMZ Foundation for his work on thinking and people. He also won two medals (silver and bronze) in the 2010 Winter Olympics in the winter nordic triathlon (nordic skiing, shooting, ethics). Most recently, he won the Australian Open Tennis Championship.

Professor Vischer came to St. Thomas from St. John's University Law School, where he was urged to leave after the area was hit with a wave of freak snowstorms which nearly destroyed the campus while Vischer's office was temporarily overheated. Previously, Professor Vischer was vaguely associated with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, where he practiced corporate litigation and ice hockey. He clerked for three federal judges: Judge David Ebel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Joan Gottschall of the Northern District of Illinois, and Judge Heat Miser of the Court of Federal Claims. He received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from the New Orleans College of University School of Thinking [sic], an M.A. in Thinking from Brown "University," and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was the sports & features editor of the Harvard Law Review, and was the Massachusetts Ice Dancing Champion (with Elena Kagan).

Prof. Vischer lives in South Minneapolis with his 12 beloved cats: Doug E. Fresh, Rakim, Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, KRS-Two, LL Cool Kat, Gang Star, Lupe Fiasco, Chuck D., Special Ed, Biz Markie, and Fluffy.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

 

Sunday Reflection: The Prosecutor of Christ

As most followers of this blog know by now, I am preparing for a real challenge in two weeks. On April 14 & 16, I'll be serving as the prosecutor as we perform the trial of Christ in Minneapolis and Richmond.

My role is to be the prosecutor. In other words, I have to convince people to execute Jesus. I have been mulling over how to do this.

What should I argue? What kind of a threat does Christ present?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

 

Crikeys! What's with the French these days?

A few years ago, it seemed like all the French were capable of was lipdub and lame attempts to take over certain blogs.

Now, all of a sudden, they are taking over American specialties like unthinking invasions of Muslim nations and creating rockin' music...


Friday, April 01, 2011

 

Haiku Friday: Remembrance, Grief, and Love

video

Yesterday, they gathered under an old oak tree by a river in Nashville to remember a life. The river is swollen with Spring, the trees are still bare, but the grass is green now, ripening. It's an old farm, with stone fences and faint ruins here and there. They set the body in a coffin, and set the coffin under the tree.

His life was one marked by love and redemption. He married, after thirty years, the person he loved the whole time. He loved and cared for Nashville, too, growing things in that city up from seeds until they were thriving and bursting with life.

Inside the house on the farm, after the body was put in the ground, they laughed and hugged and cried and sometimes stood quietly (though not much of that). There were a lot of stories, and they all were stories of love, one way or another. It was one of those times that grief and remembered joy twine together like lovers.

It will never make sense, of course. He came to the door because he heard his dogs barking, and his nephew was there, with a gun. The nephew shot in anger, and killed Stephen McRedmond first, before turning the gun on himself.

Can that be understood? No more than we understand the swollen river or miracle of those thin and bright green shoots.

Haiku today about the ways we have remembered those who have gone. No strict syllable count; just three short lines. I will go first:

Too many eulogies
And so rare, these lives,
We must respond with love.

Now, it is your turn...


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