Owning in Common

Can will be plural? Does it make any sense to speak of our will?

When ornate letters on aged yellow paper state “We the people…do ordain and establish this constitution,” shall the heirs of that document consider it to be (1) an expression of common will or (2) an astute contract among individuals? And is there any difference between the two? Continue reading “Owning in Common”

Treasure of the Heart

What do you own? And what sort of stuff do you possess?

Ordinarily we think that people own material things like land, houses, automobiles, and jewelry. People also own pledges or contracts – in the form of money, bank accounts, stock funds, insurance etc. – that support basic needs and interests beyond basic needs.

However, a few voices at either end of a spectrum, the most radical on one side and the most religious on the other, have asserted that we do not own those things and those pledges. Continue reading “Treasure of the Heart”

From Will to Responsibility

A person’s will gains force and visibility through responsibility assumed by that person for his or her actions. Force of will amplifies when responsibility extends past boundaries of self, family, ethnicity, social class, and culture. Continue reading “From Will to Responsibility”

Social-mindedness in World War II

Newly married in a time of war, Ruth gave attention to formidable questions of individuality and togetherness, trying to develop a workable Christian interpretation. Her husband Arthur joined the Navy. They moved to Maryland, where he entered a secret laboratory program at Fort Detrick. Continue reading “Social-mindedness in World War II”

A China Connection

During his first year in Boston at Harvard Med, Arthur Guyton met Ruth Weigle. He and a fellow student had ridden bicycles 15 miles as far as Wellesley College to take advantage of a pleasant day. Ruth was walking with a friend whom the young men had met at a party. They talked a while. Nothing came of it, but she impressed him enough that she stuck somehow in his memory. Continue reading “A China Connection”

To Fight Hate with Love

The great Catholic bishop and saint of the late Roman era, Augustine, thought intensely about the conditions under which war may be initiated justly, which he termed jus ad bellum, and the conditions under which war can be waged justly, or jus in bello. Continue reading “To Fight Hate with Love”

Sensitive, Purposeful, Expendable

If a young woman were to blog in response to the challenges of her generation in the United States in September 1942, what might she say? Perhaps she would ask her audience to try to become more sensitive, more purposeful, and more…expendable???

Expendable? Doesn’t that word imply a lack of self-worth? If you are expendable, then you don’t really matter. You might as well be tossed away. But that is exactly the word Ruth Weigle chose. Continue reading “Sensitive, Purposeful, Expendable”