Author Archives: hessd

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. My wife, Bette, is the First Reader (FR) of the posts. I have arranged that partly because she helps me write better posts than I would otherwise and partly because I can hold her responsible for the mistakes that I would, otherwise, have to own up to myself.. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsey. I'm a dilettante.

Old and Active

If you get far enough away from these two notions, it is possible to imagine them as binary. You are old or not; you are active or not. When you get closer, it seems more reasonable to ask things like … Continue reading

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Cultural Backlash

Today’s reflection concerns the ‘backlash” that is a familiar part of every news medium.  If you could divide news sources cleanly into liberal and conservative (you can’t) you could say that conservative sources emphasize the “back” and liberal sources, the … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Political Psychology, Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pence shilling at Liberty University

“ As bleak as Pence’s remarks at Liberty University may sound, his words could very well strike a chord with these Christians who feel isolated.” That’s the concluding line of Catherine Kim’s report on Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech … Continue reading

Posted in A life of faith, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Warm, graceful, generous, funny

I want to share with you today some signs I have carried with me for awhile now.  I love these signs; I love the people who thought of them and the people who thought it was a good idea to … Continue reading

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All I ask…

“All I ask is that you let me feel my way.” Kaitlyn Tiffany, a writer for vox.com, is the reason I know about the new Burger King ad campaign. Take a look.    It opens with a black guy sitting … Continue reading

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Nicholas Kristof interview me

Not really, of course.  Why would he care how I answer his questions?  Still, he asks a lot of people these same questions, so I thought I might just take my turn.  And it is, after all, the day after Easter. … Continue reading

Posted in A life of faith, Theology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Jesus washes the feet of Judas

Each of the accounts of Holy Week gives a different account of the relationship between Jesus and his disciple, Judas Iscariot. I want to puzzle a little today, in the time between the Maundy Thursday service and the Good Friday … Continue reading

Posted in A life of faith, Biblical Studies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment