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Malcolm Boyd

Entries by Malcolm Boyd

Is Living With Torture a Part of Fate?

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 9:17 AM

Torture is becoming more prevalent in world news. Will it become a staple, an aspect of life that -- yes -- we live with?

Late news focuses on a 47-year-old man, a former taxi driver from Britain, who was held captive after traveling to a war-torn region...

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Two Good Places to Pray: The Subway and the Kitchen

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 12:19 PM

I cannot recall exactly when the idea of prayer began to change radically in my own life. Prayer, for me, used to stand as something separate from other parts of my life. But I have come to learn that real prayer is not so much talking to God as just...

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A Brother's Ashes Quietly Honored on World AIDS Day

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 8:40 AM

Kirk Thompson died of AIDS in 1996. His brother, Mark, is my partner of more than thirty years. I remember a summer day when five of us rode horseback to scatter Kirk's ashes in the Upper Carmel Valley of northern California. We moved over ridge tops until we reached a...

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Racism: Who Is Guilty? Who Is Not Guilty?

(6) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 6:13 AM

The war of words is raging. Evidently there is plenty of guilt to tarnish virtually everybody. What are the facts? It seems easy to find statements and views that bolster one's own opinion.

Much of it is shrouded in huge blocks of history. Slavery existed in the...

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Journey Into the Interior: A Masterpiece of Exploration

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 5:45 PM

In August 2010 the world stopped breathing when a group of men employed as Chilean miners was trapped inside the San Jose Mine, nearly as deep as the tallest building on earth.

I, too, longed for my daily infusion of news about their battle to survive. Now it has emerged...

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A Letter That Shook Me and Changed My Life

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 10:03 AM

I got involved in civil rights gradually. At the outset I simply cared deeply but didn't know very much about it. It became clear that it was one thing to be legitimately in favor of racial justice, yet quite another to take a controversial public stand on the issue. Race...

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At 30, 50 or 70, Who Do You Want to Be?

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 6:10 PM

A huge newspaper headline is unmistakable:


What is startling is the life ended at 57. The age of 90 makes complete sense for such an obituary. So does 78 or 87, maybe even 68. But not 57. Isn't that too young?

I wonder: Do powerful...

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Women as Change Agents in the Ongoing Life of the Church

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 9:45 AM

A former Roman Catholic nun, a friend of mine, is now an Episcopal priest in Los Angeles. Anne Tumilty is rector of St. James' Church, South Pasadena. Years ago we interacted without quite realizing it. My book of prayers, "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?" had come out and created...

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What Happened When I Wrote a Best-seller

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 5:36 PM

The year was 1965. The book was Are You Running With Me, Jesus? It was a collection of contemporary prayers that wasn't supposed to be a best-seller at all. There was little or no advance publicity. Also it became apparent reviews would be scarce. There didn't appear to be another...

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How Can We Adjust to New Hard Times?

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 12:03 PM

The surge in middle-aged people moving in with their parents reflects the grim reality that has taken hold in the aftermath of the Great Recession, according to an April 21 report in the Los Angeles Times. The survey underscores that older people are quietly moving in with their...

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Start Feeling Your Age?

(3) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 10:12 AM

Growing older possesses many deep, often mysterious meanings. I wonder: is there a particular moment of truth? For me, such a moment occurred when I found myself at a casual, informal party where everyone was at least 30 years younger than me. We may glimpse the emergent truth of our...

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Aging Is the Biggest Story of All

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 6:41 PM

It seemed quite natural the other day when sports superstar Kobe Bryant, 35, ruminated about growing older in the context of referring to a fashion legend. Bryant's remark is in a New Yorker interview with Ben McGrath. He said: "Giorgio Armani didn't start Armani until he was 40....

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People Are Asking: Give Us a Hero

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 5:11 PM

When I look in a dictionary for a definition of "hero," it doesn't help me. One says, "Any person, esp. a man, admired for courage, nobility, etc." A second definition doesn't help either: "The central male character in a novel, play, etc."

When I look at a hero, I'm...

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President Obama's Honorary Kitchen Cabinet

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 4:22 PM

I sent a couple of contributions -- quite modest, actually -- to President Obama in response to his outreach for financial support. Then, to my dismay and genuine surprise, I received a card in the mail -- addressed personally to me -- that said, "Member of President Obama's Honorary Kitchen...

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Good Oscars and Bad Oscars

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 12:02 PM

Once again it's the Oscars' time to be in the world spotlight. In my youth I worked in Hollywood's motion picture industry and was a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We worked hard but it was also great fun. Glamour was the word. I...

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From the NFL to Africa to Next Door: Civil Rights for Gays?

(1) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 7:46 AM

These are heady days for gay rights in many quarters. Headlines have been dominated by Michael Sam's introduction to the world as a National Football League prospect who is gay. There is widespread support for gays and lesbians in key areas of the United States and Europe. Yet this is...

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Vice President in Charge of Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 8:47 AM

Is it time for a Vice President in charge of Revolution? Make any sense to you?

Sometimes a book (or play or film) comes along that introduces new ways of perception or making sense. One of these (a classic, not a new title) is "Vice President in Charge of...

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World Welcomes Pope Francis' New Voice and Style

(1) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 7:03 AM

A new voice can be exciting and challenging. A new attitude can be more significant than just new utterances. New leadership can mean fresh hope instead of old reruns. So Pope Francis is more than the leader of one billion Roman Catholics. He is a key person in a global...

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What Happened to Humility?

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 8:15 AM

I'll call her Daphne Rouge. Her name has just been called out. She has won a new coveted international award. The crowd filling the immense hall is already on its feet, cheering her name. People are watching this event in Stockholm and Rio, Tokyo and Hong Kong, Seattle and New...

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A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 5:24 PM

I do quite a lot of what's called "spiritual direction." What is it? Basically trying to find out what is really going on in an utterly complex game of life. Of course, this includes one's own life.

Here are some relevant questions:

  1. Who am I?

  2. What do I...

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