Peter Bolland

Peter Bolland is the philosophy and humanities department chair at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California where he teaches world religions, Asian philosophy, world mythology, and ethics. Bolland is also a columnist for both Unity Magazine and the San Diego Troubadour. An award winning singer-songwriter and poet, Bolland draws on the world’s wisdom traditions as a frequent lecturer and performer throughout the San Diego region.

January 10th, 2018

Peter Bolland

The Case for Oprah

On Sunday morning, “Oprah for President” was the punchline of a joke. By Sunday night, it was a remote possibility. By Monday, it felt weirdly plausible. Things move fast in American politics. Everyone knows Oprah. So when she took the stage at the Golden Globe Awards to accept the Cecil B. de Mille Award she …

December 28th, 2017

Peter Bolland

Year One in the Age of Trump

Well, we’re not dead yet. The world has not been consumed by a nuclear conflagration. The White House has not been struck by lightning. I guess we made it through the first year. This is not a detailed, analytical assessment of the costs and benefits of the Trump presidency – I’ll leave that heavy lifting …

December 22nd, 2017

Peter Bolland

The Politics of The Last Jedi

In “The Last Jedi,” the latest installment of the Star Wars series,  something powerful hidden in plain sight is revealed. It’s all there in the opening battle sequence, and the theme never lets up until the closing credits. In this heartening vision of the future, inclusive, multi-racial pluralism is unabashedly championed over white male-centric mono-culture. …

December 14th, 2017

Peter Bolland

Sandy Hook and the Right to Life

Five years ago I was standing at the altar of a church. I was the Sunday morning guest speaker. The minister had the day off. I had my sermon prepared of course. It was about Christmas, and the beautiful metaphor of seeing God in the form of a tiny child. But a few days earlier, …

December 13th, 2017

Peter Bolland

A Victory For Old Fashioned Democratic Party Politics

As the smoke clears from last night’s bellwether election in Alabama, one thing is clear — this is a victory for old fashioned mainstream Democratic Party politics. From Tom Perez and the DNC all the way down to the newest kid walking precincts and working the phones, Doug Jones’s thin margin of victory was hard-won …

December 9th, 2017

Peter Bolland

When Gods Collide

Our more adamant Christian friends defensively remind us that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Then they load their kids up in the SUV and take them to the mall to see Santa. “It’s tradition,” they say. It certainly is. In religious studies there’s a word for this. It’s called henotheism. You’ve heard of …

December 8th, 2017

Peter Bolland

What’s Wrong With Democrats is Also What’s Right With Democrats

There’s an old saying in politics – Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. And it’s never been truer. All of my left-leaning friends, people who normally agree about everything, are deeply divided over the Al Franken resignation. Facebook and other social media platforms were a veritable blood bath yesterday as Democrats passionately argued …

December 7th, 2017

Peter Bolland

Al Franken, Bill Clinton, and the End of Silent Complicity

Al Franken left all of us Democrats in an untenable and unseemly position — to have to again and again attempt to make distinctions between the relative severity of various forms of sexual misconduct. “Well yeah, that was bad, but this other thing’s worse…” I for one am sick of differentiating between forced kissing, unwelcome …

December 6th, 2017

Peter Bolland

What’s at Stake in the Gay Cake Case

Today the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments pro and con about a Colorado baker’s alleged right to refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. LGBT advocates and allies argue that no American can legally be discriminated against for their innate, inherent qualities, like race, gender, height, or sexual orientation. You can …

December 2nd, 2017

Peter Bolland

Whataboutism and the Death of Political Discourse

If you’re a politics-watcher like me, you need to know about whataboutism. It’s spreading like a cancer and threatening the most vibrant and crucial component of our democracy — dispassionate, accurate, and rational discourse. Invented by the Nazis and perfected by the propaganda arm of the Soviet-era KGB, whataboutism is a rhetorical tactic more traditionally …

November 22nd, 2017

Peter Bolland

What the End of Net Neutrality Means

They wanted a pro-business President they said. Well they sure got one, and boy are they gonna pay for it. As Trump’s FCC prepares to end net neutrality, at the request of the big ISPs (internet service providers), or “telecoms,” prepare for sweeping changes across all of your internet usage and all of your devices, …

November 6th, 2017

Peter Bolland

What “Don’t Politicize It” Really Means

It happens every time. Within minutes after news breaks of yet another American mass shooting; when people start raising legitimate questions about the gaping holes in American gun regulations, gun proponents solemnly chastise the inquiry with the scold “Don’t politicize it.” People who say that think that they’re taking the high road, that they’re respecting …

November 6th, 2017

Peter Bolland

“Gun Laws Don’t Work”

Gun laws don’t work because criminals ignore them. Rape laws don’t work because rapists ignore them. Murder laws don’t work because murderers ignore them. Anti-fraud laws don’t work because con men ignore them. Speed limits don’t work because speeders ignore them. Laws protecting private property from theft don’t work because criminals ignore them. The concept …

October 16th, 2017

Peter Bolland

Zeus, Harvey Weinstein, and Me

Maybe you’ve seen it. All over social media, ever since the Harvey Weinstein story broke, victims of sexual assault have been posting the phrase “Me too.” It’s a chilling reminder that sexual assault, abuse, and harassment is far more common than we are comfortably willing to admit. Yeah, well, fuck comfort. I’ll take truth over …

October 4th, 2017

Peter Bolland

Our Best Allies in the Gun Battle Ahead

When the first bullets ripped into the crowd in Las Vegas last Sunday night, country music superstar Jason Aldean and his band were wowing their fans with their stalwart brand of down and dirty country pop rock. When the initial confusion and disbelief gave way to abject terror Jason and his band-mates fled the stage. …

October 2nd, 2017

Peter Bolland

It’s Time to Rewrite the 2nd Amendment

On the morning after the Las Vegas Massacre, by all counts the deadliest mass-shooting in modern American history, social media is abuzz with death counts, shock, grief, thoughts, prayers, and the bone-wearying gun debate. Those in favor of even the most moderate gun law reforms timidly make their case, and are blown back by enemy …

September 23rd, 2017

Peter Bolland

The Right to Take a Knee

Controversy continues to swirl around a handful of NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem, a peaceful, silent, and non-violent protest initiated last year by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In interviews, Kaepernick and others say that the aim of these very visible demonstrations of non-compliance is to draw attention to racial inequities throughout …

September 8th, 2017

Peter Bolland

The High Cost of Press Neutrality

A free and vigorous press is an essential feature of any vibrant democracy. Everybody knows that. But with liberty comes responsibility. In an attempt to navigate the maelstrom of conflicting perspectives that constitute the modern media landscape, many traditional media outlets stick to the tired trope of “fair and balanced.” But is neutrality even a …

September 4th, 2017

Peter Bolland

D-Day for DACA

DACA, (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), is on the chopping block. All indications are that Trump will bow to anti-immigrant pressure and suspend DACA tomorrow even though 80% of Republicans favor DACA, including 75% of Trump’s base. It’s time for a little review. Just what is DACA anyway? DACA was an executive order signed by …

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