• Fred's Blog

    Fixing the World

    The earliest foundations in America were established by men who had made fortunes by recognizing and capitalizing on social demographic industrial and financial changes in our country. Most were self-made and still young when accomplishing their discoveries or leveraging the new technology into enormous wealth and economic power. They were convinced they could use the same disciplines and mindsets to dispense what they had accumulated. Calling it “scientific philanthropy,” they focused their energies on solutions,  systems and large-scale issues. In “Charity Philanthropy and Civility in American History,” Judith Sealander writes, “They studied society closely, understood the dangers posed by the industrial revolution that had created their fortunes and worried publicly about the dangers. They and…

  • Fred's Blog

    A Consecrated Fool

    Growing up in church as a scrawny kid I was captured by stories of David slaying Goliath, Gideon defeating the Midianites, and especially Samson taking out 1,000 Philistines practically bare handed. While I loved the daring of those figures, I was also taught to be careful about the temptations of great champions: David’s moral failure and desperate attempts to cover it up, Gideon’s late-in-life slip into creating an idol and snare for his family, and the far more dramatic and colorful life of Samson and his sensational self-destruction. All of these stories served as lessons to us that great strength demands responsibility, and there is danger of misusing those gifts. The…

  • Fred's Blog

    Walking Around Money

    Walking Around Money Speaking to a group of hundreds of conservative Christian faith leaders who met with him last June, Trump made his opposition to the Johnson Amendment a key point of his well-received speech: “I think maybe that will be my greatest contribution to Christianity — and other religions — is to allow you, when you talk religious liberty, to go and speak openly, and if you like somebody or want somebody to represent you, you should have the right to do it,” he said. “You don’t have any religious freedom, if you think about it.” By now, most of you know a little about the history of the Johnson Amendment. It was proposed…

  • Fred's Blog

    Leaving on a Jet Plane

    As we left church on Sunday we sang the chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!   Walking out I started thinking about several articles I read this week on the growing interest in survivalism and an apocalyptic mood permeating so much of our country. Probably the most interesting is in a recent The New Yorker article, “Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich” by Evan Osnos. For what might have been quirky and even humorous a few years ago, Osnos makes a chilling case that many of the Silicon Valley elite are preparing for…