The Passin’ of Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Toward the end of Harper Lee’s classic novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ when the rape trial of Tom Robinson has concluded and Atticus Finch is walking toward the exit, Reverend Sykes instructs Scout, Atticus’ daughter, to rise.

“Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’,” he says.

Robinson, an innocent Black man, has just been convicted by an all-White jury, and Atticus, his White lawyer, has ostensibly failed. But they stand up, the Black citizens of Maycomb, Alabama, they stand up along with the Reverend and Scout, because moral courage of the sort Atticus exhibited, true moral courage, must be acknowledged. Continue reading

Pope Francis and his Prodigal Gay Sons

The Embrace of Pope Francis

The Embrace of Pope Francis

“Who am I to judge?”

These words, spoken by Pope Francis in reply to a question about gay priests, may represent a change of direction for the Catholic Church and signal a move away from the censure and moralizing that have come to characterize it.  This is something for which many Catholics have long been waiting. Continue reading