One thing we can count on is a revamped effort at censorship, Big Brother surveillance, and thought control. This may sound like hyperbole, but it isn't; President Hu Jintao has, in fact, been very blunt on these points.
Last cold Christmas morning I took a traditional dogwalk through S.F.'s fabled Haight-Ashbury. It was pretty much empty of people on the streets. But left behind were a fair number of unfortunate souls lying in doorways.
The Tebow story goes much deeper than what has been happening on the gridiron. He has become a hugely polarizing figure in American society -- not for his lack of passing ability but for his outspoken Christian beliefs.
I know what you're thinking. It's January, you've New Year's resolutions to break, and you're nervously waiting for your credit card bill to arrive. Why on Earth is someone writing an article about Santa Claus? The short answer is: I've had a revelation.
I began to starve myself to death, and with an experience of sickness that infiltrated into every fiber of my physical, mental and spiritual being. 'What is sin' and 'what does it mean to be a sinner' became intensely personal questions for me.
Like every liberal activist and preacher's son, I have arch-conservative family members who don't agree with my philosophies, whom I see every year on the holidays. This year, Occupiers have nothing to worry about.
As a new year looms, we might consider abandoning the quest for superficial perfection -- and embrace the pursuit of humbler, but deeper good. The particular advantage of good over perfect is... We could actually get there from here.
The Christmas story sounds imaginary. Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Unbelievable. If it wasn't for Jesus. With Jesus the unbelievable becomes believable. The impossible becomes possible. God does what no one else can do.
It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in God or which faith you follow if you do. Here's a question worth asking this holiday season: Would Jesus be an Occupy demonstrator? The Bible suggests that He would.
I spend a fair amount of my time with young people who go to church and who don't go to church. My experience tells me that they don't choose to engage with unresponsive and inflexible institutions with outdated rules that make no sense.