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The Sun Interview

Study War No More

An Interview With Colman McCarthy

Pacifists believe in force: the force of justice, the force of ideas, of love, of organized resistance to Caesar and the Pharaohs. Others solve their problems through the force of fists, guns, armies, and nukes. There’s no third way. Any problem you have, whether at home with your family or among governments, is going to be solved through the use of force: nonviolent force or violent force.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Celebrating A Massacre

For future parades, let a float be rolled out, between tanks and Tomahawks, carrying the rubble of an Iraqi power plant, with the corpses of children around it.

Confessions Of A Catholic Girl

Sister said we could picture our souls like triangles with a little black smudge on each one. Then Sister passed out triangles of art board and we gave each a dutiful smudge with our black crayons.

A Slightly Burning Bush

A personal visit from God could turn my life around. . . . They’d point at me on the playground. That’s Ashley. God came to see her. Yeah. She told us all about it at show and tell.

Of The Brave

I was driving home from a visit with a friend one night last February. I was thinking about getting some ice cream, and I fought the usual battle in my head — about using sweets to comfort myself, and whether to be weighed down by feelings or by fat. I was thinking about my friend, and the stubborn pain in each of us, the legacy of our pasts. I was thinking about the war with Iraq. A ground war was imminent, the radio said.


In My Father’s Arms

They knew best, of course: what human form would triumph and who would serve under them. Their certainty was in the love of their father and the supremacy of their archetypes. Their music soared over the babble of the masses. They were all tall and sleek, muscular and agile. Their skin was smooth, fresh; their hair like the sun. Their eyes were blue and vivid, the deep promise of the ocean. They were my brothers; they were right.

A Kind Of Power

The first one I remember came to visit my mother after our father left. It wasn’t that she said or did anything different than the other female Home Helpers. She told my mother to trust in the Father, to keep saying her prayers, to keep raising all of us (we were six boys and three girls, me the youngest son) just the way she’d been taught. She gave my mother a slip of paper to use at the central storehouse for beans and lard and flour and powdered milk. When my mother cried, our Home Helper held her close and stroked her hair as though she were the mother and my mother, the child.


Photographs By John Bunting

It excites me to see how people’s perceptions change as they become familiar with those who have been labeled disabled. What initially seem to be huge barriers to communication start to fade. It is easy to define someone in terms of a disability because it is a distinct feature. It’s more rewarding, however, and infinitely more fun, to emphasize shared abilities and common interests. I’ve had the good fortune to grow up alongside some of these people, and we’ve watched each other develop and change over the years.

July 1991
Readers Write

The God Of My Childhood

Since my mother is Jewish, lots of people worry about me growing up the wrong religion. Our maid Picollo is one. She is a black slouch of a woman who walks half a mile from the bus stop when her husband can’t bring her on his way to work. She putters around like an army without shoes, and she doesn’t follow directions, because she figures, “If the lady don’t like it, she can clean her own house.”

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


It is not your obligation to complete your work, but you are not at liberty to quit.

The Talmud

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