American democracy is not well. And the Trump presidency is as much a symptom as a cause of the disease.
Many Americans, especially young ones, distrust organized anything: religions, governments, and corporations. Relentless media exposure of scandalous behavior by public figures has discredited the organizations these leaders represent. People question whether any institution can be counted upon to serve the common good. Levels of voter participation, particularly in down-ballot races, is abysmally low. Fewer Americans identify with the political parties. Theread more
Nearly 150 United Methodist LGBTQI Clergy and Candidates Release Letter Week Before Key Judicial Council Decisions April 17, 2017—This morning, 147 LGBTQI clergy and clergy candidates in The United Methodist Church (UMC) released an Easter …read more
Our pluralistic world invites multifaith and multispiritual perspectives. But, for me in this moment, in my own week of observations of Good Friday to Easter, I plan on resisting. I will not bear this cross of a carbon economy willingly. I will resist the crosses that ravage the beauty of the earth until my dying breath.read more
So, what to do instead of hate?
Take your anger, feel it. But, then find love and put it into action.
Let me conclude with words from Dr. Martin Luther King – who is celebrated today in the United States,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
O God, who grace feels abundant in our sunshine, but far removed in our shadows: We have come today to bear witness to Jesus’ suffering and death upon a cross. We are appalled at the injustice and inhumanity — not only of his last day, but of days in our lives when we hear about greed, corruption, discrimination, hatred, violence, and death.read more
In the wake of a week that saw sarin gas released once again on the people of Sryria, followed by the firing of U.S. tomahawk missiles, parading around waving Palm Branches seems as foolish as it …read more
Gathering Pecans is the perfect book to share with your more fundamental friends who don’t always understand your thinking. The otherworldly Bagby family has a more inclusive and less dogmatic view of Christianity that will leave you pondering long after you’ve turned the last page.read more
To me, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem – humbly riding into town, bouncing around on the back of a previously unridden ass as people gathered to greet him singing and shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” signals that Easter is going to be a story about confronting The Powers That Be.read more
Due to a drought, Jacob’s family fled to Egypt. They got the permission of the Pharaoh to do this. That’s wonderful. However, what would Jacob’s family have done if the Pharaoh did not grant this permission and give the equivalent of a “green card”? They would be faced with a tough choice—either watch their family and flocks die in the drought or escape into Egypt without permission. Every responsible father would do the right thing and break a law instead of watch his family die. You would do it. I would do it. And we would be called heroes, not criminals. This more accurately captures the situation of undocumented immigrants in the USA today. If the Pharaoh (i.e. US government) does not grant permission, the one who commits the sin is NOT the undocumented immigrant trying to feed his family—the one who commits the sin is the one who denies permission.read more
Remember, back in the olden days of late January 2017, when Sean Spicer and a host of other administration cronies promised that Trump was a steadfast ally of LGBT Americans, and that there were no anti-LGBT …read more
This is an especially difficult concept for us in the United States. Many of the people who helped form this country tried to solve their problems by simply moving away from people they had difficulties with. This method of dealing with problems is deeply embedded in the American psyche. When people get on your nerves, you can simply “go west” to get a little peace and quiet, a little piece of your own ground, and live with minimal interactions with neighbors. You don’t have to learn to live with difficult people, rather you can just pick the people you want to be with. People first left the problems of Europe behind. When life here got too tense, many continued pioneering westward to get away from everyone. Part of the American Dream is the illusion that you can create and control the bubble you live in. Perhaps this method worked for a couple hundred years until the empty spaces ran out and we were stuck staring eyeball to eyeball with our neighbors, again. Still, the fantasy remains that the individual acting alone is the most advanced and enlightened form of human activity. Yet Christianity has always held that life is about “we” not about “me.”read more
A recent University of Michigan study looked into the curious fact that most people do not change their prejudices when confronted with contrary facts but rather double down on their mistaken beliefs. It seems that John uses blindness as a metaphor for choosing not to see in the account of the man born blind. Both then and now courageous faith asks us to love truth enough to reject prejudice, propaganda, and political lies.read more
Instead, we should be providing sanctuary for these refugees and immigrants who are fleeing persecution. Whether in our nation, churches, or our homes, we are to show loving-kindness, respect, and care for the well-being of all of our siblings. Isn’t this what we would want others to do for us if the circumstances were reversed? Honestly, isn’t this what Jesus would have us do?read more
Feminism is liberation, and for that reason we must liberate ourselves from the oppression of capital. “Another feminism” isn’t a slogan, it’s a daily act, simple but strong. It’s transformation, it’s community. It’s freedom.read more
As we seek to move beyond the tired binaries of Left and Right, let’s find ourselves in the fusion coalition that invites us to reconsider our prejudices and find common cause with our neighbors as we move forward together in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.read more