I am not at all spiritual, but I remain somewhat religious. It seems to me that my ‘spiritual’ experiences are open to complete rational explanation, but I find that religion is an an essential link to understanding history and culture. My understanding of scripture and religious development is approached with intellectual honesty and systematic analysis. My studies in astronomy, physics, and biology are not informed by mystical feelings, with the exception of what Kant called “ever-increasing wonder and awe.” To an extent, this “wonder and awe” satisfies the spiritual depth that once was so much a part of my life.
What has not changed for me is a commitment to social justice. This began in college with an opposition to nuclear weapons, and expanded gradually through the spectrum from civil rights through women’s issues and on to GLBT issues. I have made speeches to crowds on campuses and public squares, I have marched and picketed, and I know the pungent odor of tear gas. I have studied these issues carefully in conferences and seminars, and even became part of a long term seminar at Ohio State studying the use and control of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Today I am most active on environmental issues, particularly in regard to protecting wildlife habitat.
My career has included being a pastor, broadcaster, writer, editor, social worker, professor and ecumenical executive. Most important to me is my loving relationship with Carol, my wife of 54 years. We have four children and nine grandchildren, and the relationships vary from close to peripheral. We have lived in Columbus, Ohio, in the same house for 40 years, with a close relationship to the community and to The Ohio State University. Our health is good for our age. We attend a large downtown church with an intelligent pastor.
After all these years I look back on Ohio Wesleyan University and Yale University with gratitude; not so much for the things I was taught as for the inculcation of an intellectual approach to and appreciation of life, in all it vast variety.
My life has been as fulfilled and as happy as a reasonable man can expect life to be. I greet my old friends and classmates.