Bonnie Willis's blog

Surviving ‘back to school’ week

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With my kids back in school, it seems we survived yet another year of back-to-school madness.

The “summer” went so fast. As soon as July ended, I knew the school year was upon us, but I just wasn’t ready. Within one week—as if I did not have the previous month—we had to buy clothes and school supplies. Read More»

It all begins with R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Arguably, some of the most inspiring words in a speech were when President Obama stated, “We are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America.”

Because of those words, many Americans believed he would bring about healing to our nation and help bridge our economic, racial, and socio-political divide. Six years later, however, just the opposite has happened. There are even greater numbers of poor and dependents, and the political and social discourse is even more divisive, caustic, and non-productive than it has ever been. Read More»

Hobby Lobby: Where the real war is

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I am thankful for last week’s 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision that rejected the federal government case against Hobby Lobby. At issue was Hobby Lobby’s ability to eliminate certain birth control options covered by their healthcare plan due to its religious beliefs.

Prior to the decision, and subsequent to the passage of the healthcare law (ACA or Obamacare), Hobby Lobby was faced with essentially four options.

The first was to simply comply with the federal government, avoid all penalties, fees, and legal costs, but betray their sincerely held religious beliefs. Read More»

Politics as usual, or act of treason

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By now everyone has heard of the trade of five Taliban leaders formerly detained in Guantanamo Bay, for one American soldier, who is suspected of being a deserter.

Upon hearing the news, I was angry and outraged, because, as I have written in previous columns, I was in New York City on 9/11. The war against al Qaeda and the Taliban — both radical Islamist groups — is very real for me. Read More»

Hijacking the civil rights movement

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This past weekend our family had the opportunity to attend a college graduation ceremony. It was a proud moment in one of our family member’s life, and we were happy to support her and share with our children something to which they can aspire.

Unfortunately, the keynote speaker, who was a civil rights activist, made contradictory statements I would not want my children to emulate. Read More»

Memorial Day and the Battle Hymn

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Like many families in the U.S., my family spent this past Memorial Day by inviting friends over, grilling, and enjoying the freedoms that our men and women in uniform secured for us.

My children posted a small flag in our garden to honor the brave souls who sacrificed their lives for this nation. When I see a service member, I marvel at how they make such a selfless decision, and often ask myself, how does one willingly leave their home and family to serve a nation?
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Endorsing candidates in primary season

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You may have noticed that I have been publicly “silent” during this primary season regarding my stance on the various candidates and elections.

That is not to say, however, that I have not given my support through donations and personal volunteer efforts, for, indeed, I have. And it is my personal conviction that one ought to be involved in, or at least be cognizant of the process in which their representatives are being chosen. There is simply too much at stake.

That being said, there are at least three reasons why I have chosen not to voice my opinion on the various primary races. Read More»

Thoughts on National Day of Prayer

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We live in an era in American history where the powers that be seem to be divorcing public life from our religious heritage. So, I am relieved that our nation, on Thursday, May 1st, once again, is recognizing the National Day of Prayer.

This event shows that as a nation we are not too proud, too educated, or (seemingly) too powerful to pray. Still, national surveys seem to indicate that many within our nation are becoming less religious, and with this non-religious perspective I implicitly hear the question, why is it necessary to pray publicly? Read More»

Who defines what is right?

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Sometimes there are seemingly insignificant moments in our lives that mark themselves in our memory because they raise questions that to some degree orient us in life.

Such a moment happened to me over 20 years ago during a moral reasoning lecture when I was a freshman at Harvard University. I distinctly recall the professor skillfully surveying the writings of Socrates in order to discuss how to build a moral state. Read More»

‘The Walking Dead’ and living in debt

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A colleague of mine shared that she and her husband are avid fans of the TV blockbuster, “The Walking Dead.” I have never seen the show, so she described to me how the most fascinating part was the drama of seeing how people connect and process living in a post-apocalyptic world.

It was not, as some might think-the battle between humans and zombies, or gory killings seen each week. She further explained that one “turns” into a zombie if they are bitten. Read More»