August 11, 2016
By Michael Gerson One of the most unintentionally revealing moments of Hillary Clinton's campaign so far came during last week's unconvincing explanation of the email affair: "I may have short-circuited it and for that I, ah, you know, will try to clarify. " Most of the resulting ridicule has focused on the "short-circuited" portion of the statement, which seems a particularly gentle euphemism for prevarication. But it is the latter portion of her quote - made in Washington at the combined meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists - that exposes a serious political disability: an ingrained, almost automatic recourse to guile.
June 27, 2016
How did a veteran congressman come to think it was a good idea to appropriate half a million federal dollars to a fake charity devoted to cleaning up after water-skiers? Or take a down payment on a vacation home from a would-be ambassador whose bona fides he pitched to the president himself? Or repay an illegal loan to his campaign with laundered public money? The answer can be discerned in the collective shrug of Chaka Fattah's fellow Philadelphia Democrats last week when a jury found him to be the taxpayer-employed capo of a criminal organization.
May 13, 2016 |
SAM BRADFORD'S two weeks of temporary insanity ended Monday. He returned to the team and retracted his demand to be traded after signing, just weeks before, a two-year, $35 million contract. When he resumed voluntary workouts, he was by all accounts welcomed back by teammates without animosity. His quiet return in advance of this weekend's rookie minicamp nonetheless prompted a storm of speculation and recrimination: Sam's teammates resent his absence. Sam needs to apologize to his teammates.
May 11, 2016 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: What if the person you need to forgive is yourself? I bullied my younger sister as a kid/teen, and as a grown thirty-something, I feel incredible shame and guilt. I have apologized to her as an adult, which she seemed to have accepted, and I know much of it stemmed from being bullied and abused throughout those years myself. However, I can't seem to get past how I contributed to a lousy childhood for my sister - someone for whom I would now do anything and who will barely speak to me and the rest of our family.
April 14, 2016 |
THERE THEY were on Tuesday morning, at opposite sides of Courtroom 1105 in the Criminal Justice Center: Two young women, each a mom to three children, face to face on the eve of the first anniversary of the worst year of their lives. Dominique Lockwood, 30, shook as she read a victim-impact statement describing how her life has changed since her angel-faced 4-year-old, Abdul Latif Wilson (his family calls him Latif), was killed by a hit-and-run driver on April 13, 2015, in Southwest Philly.
March 12, 2016 |
Kyle Crosby said he never planned to kill his wife, Erica Crippen, on New Year's Eve in 2014, and acted out of fear afterward. "I was scared," said Crosby, who disposed of Crippen's body in Maryland farmland in the weeks after choking her in their Mount Laurel home. Crosby was sentenced to 31 years in prison for the crime Thursday in Superior Court in Burlington County, where he apologized to Crippen's family. "I miss Erica, my wife, terribly," Crosby said, adding to her family, "Hopefully one day you will find it in your hearts to forgive me. " Crosby pleaded guilty in December to aggravated manslaughter and hindering apprehension.
September 25, 2015 |
As Pope Francis addresses political leaders Thursday at the Capitol before making his way to Philadelphia, another event is playing out that for decades has prompted a public examination of faith in America: the Republican presidential campaign. During the 2012 campaign, GOP nominee Mitt Romney's Mormon faith drew attention, while runner-up Rick Santorum, a Catholic, surged as a social-issues crusader. In 2008, Mike Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist pastor, carried the Iowa caucuses after stirring fervor with evangelical Christians.
September 9, 2015
FOR THE rest of America, this has been the Summer of Donald Trump. For Greater Philadelphia, it has been the Summer of Pope Francis, transformed from global religious leader to ringmaster of a festival. We have witnessed the expanding semifiasco of Philadelphia laying out, pulling back and then re-folding the welcome mat. Hotel rooms that were said to be as scarce as water holes in the Sahara are now available. That seemed impossible just a few weeks ago. It also seemed impossible selfie sticks would be banned.
September 4, 2015 |
In expanding the Catholic clergy's ability to forgive women who have had an abortion, Pope Francis this week earned praise from both sides of one of the United States' most polarizing social issues. In a letter Tuesday, the pope said rank-and-file clergy can grant absolution to those who repent with "contrite" hearts during the Holy Year of Mercy, also known as a Jubilee year. Previously, such forgiveness required the approval of a diocese. Bishops in Philadelphia, Camden, New York, and elsewhere have long allowed their priests to grant absolution for abortions, but many other dioceses did not. Pro-choice and antiabortion leaders from across the Philadelphia area praised the pope's stance as opening up a more understanding dialogue.
September 4, 2015 |
IN HIS LETTER Tuesday about the upcoming Holy Year that starts in December, Pope Francis expanded on the general idea that all people who seek forgiveness will be forgiven as an experience of God's mercy. He added that during this special year, also known as a Holy Year of Mercy, all priests will have authority to forgive women who have had abortions. In many parts of the world, only bishops have had the authority to forgive abortion. Francis' letter doesn't represent a change in the church's doctrines.