When Japanese-Americans’ allegiance was questioned

“Allegiance” will soon be coming to your neck of the woods, because it’s a tour de force. And, it’s another shameful time in American history.

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What Jesus Really Did

Christian fundamentalists believe that the most important event in the New Testament is that Jesus died for your sins. Those to whom this makes no sense believe that what matters most is the teaching of Jesus, epitomized, I suppose, in the Golden Rule- “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I would like to argue that neither the “sacrificial death” nor the “teaching” is what Jesus was really about.

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Professor’s explanation about Evangelical support for Trump the best analysis to date

Sometimes one runs across an article that makes you just want to say, ‘Bingo,’ that’s it. I ran across one of those articles today and I want to share it with you, of course with a Politics Done Right angle. You see if we understand the pathology of the White Evangelical, we can, like a viral bomb, work on mitigating their destruction or even changing their minds. It is important that we share these types of programs and articles with those who believe that simply calling themselves Evangelicals, make them moral. In fact, their actions say otherwise.

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Getting Used to Reality

With lots of love and a little optimism that when we learn to accept reality as it is – that this is just how it is – that our world becomes less anxious.

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Bound Consciences

While visiting Jerusalem in November 2017, I attended an interfaith book launch for a book written by a Palestinian Arab Christian. At the reception, I spoke with an Evangelical Lutheran pastor about her church in Jerusalem and asked how Jews, Christians and Muslims treated the LGBTQUI community in the Holy Lands. She told me that many of the people in her congregation had “bound consciences.” She then explained that those two words meant the church members were working out how to accept the gay community in both their personal and their church lives. Huh?

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Remembering Wangari Maathai, First African Woman to Win Nobel Prize

Wangari Muta Maathai was an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate.

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What’s really important in life?

Because we are here – God’s DNA is in all of us, and he gave us a mind and a conscious and a passion for life to live it to the fullest. Keep your heart and mind open to all that surrounds you and figure out for yourself what is important in life. Be glad that you were able to witness this wonderful world the short time you will be here.

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None the Matter Where it Goes

Maybe it is that I am casting old eyes aside
cautiously lingering after my two old friends that served
Maybe this is the time of slow wandering to ponder lost moments
Careful to seek a place where stern voices cannot find me
Willing to go anywhere at this unfamiliar pace to open new eyes

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Stigmatizing Hunger – A SNAP Decision

  Order this and other biblically-based social justice posters from LA artist John August Swanson Many millions of hungry people got fed, effectively and cost-efficiently, choosing the food they needed in supermarkets like anyone else.  Farmers and …

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Why is progressive Christianity so white?

Here’s my question: why is progressive Christianity so white? And who are the main non-white voices within the movement? Thank you so much.

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I Am Wolf

This is something I can not understand about humans. I see in humans the same fierceness as we have, but it comes from Fear. Don’t you know Fear will be the slow death of you? Truly there is nothing to fear. Death is natural, cycles are natural, sickness is natural. These things keep the balance. Like Sun and Moon, we are interconnected in a rhythmic way. You can take from us, yes. But when you take too many of us, you are only hurting all of us, including you.

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What If…

What if Jesus is our mirror, so we are like him, eternally and unconditionally beloved sons and daughters of God. What if we cannot be separated from God, because we are already embraced and enfolded in God, and God is already in us? What if that’s what baptism is really about? Not a sectarian, conditional, invisible bar code for access to the love of God, but the outward visible reminder that we are all, already, One with God and each other? All: all races, all colors, all genders, all creeds/none, all religions/spiritualities/none.

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Should Bloggers Smell like the Sheep, too?

Pope Francis is famous for saying that priests (and presumably other church leaders and ministers) should “be shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.” This statement is often repeated and resonates like a mantra. And rightly so—it reflects a powerful vision of accompaniment, solidarity and servant leadership.

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Integral Church: A Handbook for New Spiritual Communities

This handbook is perfect for clergy, healers, therapists, interfaith ministers, as well as those interested in developing their own spiritual practice or starting their own home church, study group or community using integral frameworks.

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What Would Samuel Say Today?

American democracy is in serious trouble today.  Our president is steadily, insidiously attacking its foundations.  We’re so lost among the trees of his lies, so boggled by the scandals and investigations and hearings, that we have lost sight of the forest.  We’re barraged by news of outrageous incidents, but meanwhile we are losing the view of the much bigger picture.  Trump and the Republicans are denigrating the institutions and public trust that make our Constitution meaningful.  Tyranny seldom comes overnight: it comes after democracy has died by a thousand cuts.

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Can We Really Listen to Donald Trump?

Let me clarify that for the purposes of this post, Donald Trump is an example of our most troubling political leaders and commentators. He is not a scapegoat, however; he is simply the most prominent among many disturbing figures in this country and the world. He’s a bipartisan choice because he has riled conservatives, liberals, and moderates alike, Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and Independents.

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Environmental Justice: How Can We Do the Right Thing?

When God made the world, he made it beautifully, stocked with a variety of four legged beasts, aquatic mammals, incredible landscapes, and unfathomable wonder. He also made humans, and while He gave us the gift of curiosity and the intelligence to create spectacular technology, but we have left a lot of destruction because of it.

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“In Memorium”

THERE’S AN OLD ED MCCURDY, PET SEEGER SONG THAT GOES; …“LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM I NEVER HAD BEFORE …I DREAMED THAT ALL THE WORLD AGREED TO PUT AN END TO WAR. …AND WHEN THE PAPERS ALL WERE SIGNED AND A MILLION COPIES MADE …THEY ALL JOINED HANDS AND BOWED THEIR HEADS …AND TO THEIR GOD THEY PRAYED. THE PEOPLE IN THE STREETS BELOW WERE DANCING ROUND AND ROUND AND GUNS AND SWORDS AND UNIFORMS WERE SCATTERED ON ..THE GROUND.”

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The Source of Early Stories

I have a lot of respect for the non-literal interpretation of the New and Old Testament, but there are certain parts that I cannot see any metaphorical value in.
 My stumbling blocks are these:


1. What is the metaphorical message given by the genealogy found in genesis and in the gospels? It is the former that precisely gives young earth creationists their earth age.


2. What is the metaphorical value of the various horrific laws laid down in Deuteronomy or Leviticus? I can’t see a non-literal interpretation of telling us to destroy people who have sex if a woman is on her period.

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“in all things God works for the good.”

“in all things God works for the good.”

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The Future of Progressive Christianity

While traditional Christian congregations continue their gradual decline, I’m often asked, “Well, how is Progressive Christianity doing?”

Other than your comment, “It is growing” I have no credible answer to that. If indeed, PC is growing, I am happy to hear that, but to what extent is it growing? I’ve been attending the Jesus Seminars on the road for many years, and have noticed a definite decline in attendance, particularly among the youth. The millennials do not seem interested.

What does that say about the possible future of the PC movement?

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The evolution of prayer.

As someone who considers “God” to be primordial Being, through whom and in whom I have my own being, I find it impossible to understand prayer. Do you have any suggestion as to how prayer should be embraced? I come from a Roman Catholic background, but am no longer an adherent. I have pursued the theology of Bultmann, Tillich and the wonderful Scottish Theologian, John MacQuarrie, whose existentialist/ontological approach to the mystery of Being has led me to, what I believe to be, a more wholesome and logical interpretation of God. 
My difficulty now, however, is understanding where/how prayer fits. Any advice you can give would be deeply appreciated.


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Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography

“Jesus is a magisterial distillation of Crossan’s lifelong work on the gospels and Jesus. It deserves careful and extended consideration by everyone seriously interested in the enigmatic sage from Galilee. With his work on Jesus, Crossan joins the ranks of the truly great biblical scholars of the twentieth century. His ‘revolutionary biography’ is the biography of a revolutionary: the book and its subject are rebels in the cause of truth.”– Robert W. Funk, editor of “The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus” and cofounder of the Jesus Seminar”Crossan paints his Jesus with great warmth and power. He achieves a portrait that both takes in the contemporary background yet accounts for Jesus’ distinctiveness…This Jesus is a Jewish peasant, with a direct sense of God’s immediacy, who shatters all social restraints.” — “New York Times Book Review””This is an extremely interesting, erudite, informative, must-read for anyone interested in the New Testament…Read it.” — “National Catholic Reporter”

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Musing of a Progressive Christian Layman: Was Isaac the Son of Pharaoh?

I have recently read speculation that Isaac was the son of Pharaoh Thutmose (or Tuthmosis) III. If he wasn’t Abraham’s son, that might explain why Abraham was willing to sacrifice him. That’s always bother me. I know we’re supposed to obey God, but not if he tells me to kill my son. How could Abraham even consider something so hideous? No father should obey a voice, even if it was supposedly God, telling him to offer his son as a sacrifice. A father or stepfather would have to be suffering from dementia to consider an order that goes against every human instinct.

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The Darth Vaderization of America through Guns

There is a cost to living like Darth Vader. Every piece of armor replaces your own flesh and blood. Every wall between you and someone else means another wall between a part of your own self. You could drape armor over yourself, never leave home without packing firepower and be always on the lookout for danger. Somewhere along the line, perhaps in shades of gray, you lose your humanity and become a hunted beast— always on the lookout, always afraid, always griping this metal extension of your body tightly. No one can shoot you, no one can beat you . . . but is there any “you” left?

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I am not a big theist, but …. Enough!

We need to stop our striving and building and creating and making because we are making a mess. We know that we are.

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It’s about LOVE not creeds!

A sermon for Easter 5B – 1 John 4:7-21

This sermon was preached in 2015 upon my return from Belfast. I went off script for this one. So, the manuscript does not adequately reflect what was actually preached. I went off on a tangent using Robin Meyers’ observation that our historical creeds reduce Jesus life to a comma!

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Theses Toward a Theory of Generative Death Anxiety: Thesis #3 (Part B)

  In the last column, we began our discussion of Thesis #3. Just as a reminder, Thesis #3 states: Thesis #3: Human beings have the intelligence to think abstractly, and to use symbols (esp. complex language, which …

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Theology after Jung

This article discusses the impact of Jung’s theories on teaching students depth psychology and theology in a nondenominational graduate school of religion and a theological seminary.
Contrasting the theological and psychological enterprises, with their concomitant dangers and benefits, the major impact of Jung’s work is the shock, wonder, fear, joy in encountering the psyche as objective, there within and among us, but a reality we do not invent. The implications for teaching and for what happens in the classroom are explored.

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The Earth is Flat

My main point in this blog post is to talk about how some folks continue to believe what they believe, despite all the facts and evidence in front of them. Let me use as an example the great majority of all Christians who, day in, day out, week in, week out, continue to address their prayers, their sermons, their creeds, and their slogans to a god (whom I call NoOneUpThere) who lives in a house (mansion?) above a three-tiered flat world. They continually address their deity with a lot of beseeching, pleading, and, usually, a laundry list of what NoOneUpThere is to do during the coming week. Does this sort of theology come anywhere close to how the real world works? To me, it resembles flat-Earth thinking.

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The Spring – The charity: water story

Ten years ago, former nightclub promoter Scott Harrison set out to solve the water crisis in his lifetime.

Today, more than one million people have made it their mission too. This is all of our story.

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Soberly Spiritual – How a Substanceless Life Can Play Into Faith

pirituality through history has never been completely free of substances, and that includes Christianity. Despite the Moral Majority’s efforts to demonize all drug use outside of prescription medication, and some religions’ desire to prohibit different kinds of medical care, it’s hard to get away from the use of alcohol in the Bible. Those of us raised in modern-day churches most likely know the story of Christ turning water into wine, as well as his benediction at the last supper in which he used wine as a metaphor. The Apostle Paul even tells his student Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach, using it as medicine.

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A proposal: Fearless Sunday – A Day for Theological “Outing” (Second Sunday in September – 9/9/2018)

  So, Reverend: how many more Sundays, how many more years, how many more decades do your folks have to wait before you tell them the truth about what you really do and don’t believe?  If you …

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On Those Who Attempt to Justify Their Political Non-Involvement as Spiritual Enlightenment and a Manifestation of Grace

Grace is less to be identified with being unaffected by all that is going on around us, and more with being moved by the Spirit to work for peace and justice for all out of loving others as we love ourselves.

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A New Lord’ Prayer For A New Time With The Same Lord

  Beloved Spirit, holy, wise, and merciful: We live in You. We offer ourselves, that You may live in us. We move and think, touch and reach out to all Creation by Your given life within us. …

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Truth Beyond Courtesy

Though Bill Cosby was convicted on several charges of sexual assault, he did not show remorse or apologize to his victims. Consider in contrast, the heart-felt apology offered by Joy Reid when old homophobic blog posts of hers recently surfaced. She asked a panel of LGBTQ professionals to publicly take her to task on her own show, a painful but honest moment in journalism.

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