Crumbs: Jesus and the Ethnic Slur (Lectionary Reflection, Mark 7:24-37)

Year B — Proper 18  — Mark 7:24-37 Jesus uttered an ethnic slur. To dismiss a desperate woman with a seriously sick child. In this week’s gospel text, in the Black Lives Matter era, I think we have to start with that disturbing and disorienting fact. Our immediate response likely is, “Of course not! Jesus couldn’t possibly have [Read More…]

If All Lives Really Matter: The False Racial Unity of Glenn Beck’s Massive March on Birmingham

Contrary to what conservative pundits would have you believe, Black Lives Matter is not a call to division. It’s actually a call for unity.  Because the truth is, we aren’t united and haven’t been.  Not since slavery.  Not since lynchings. Not since Emmett Till. Not since Jim Crow. Not since the Drug War.  Not since [Read More…]

Questioning Prayer: Why Should I Keep Praying After Yet Another Shooting?

I have asked and I have asked. I have begged, and I have pleaded. And yet my requests have gone unanswered. I have offered constant intercession to you — a plea to stop the violence, a plea for some kind of intervention to end the killing, the tragedy, and the senseless deaths. But the resounding silence in response is [Read More…]

Witnessing Murder: Spirituality and Emotional Trauma in the Age of Viral Violence

With unprecedented intimacy and frequency, Americans are becoming witnesses to murder. With the videos of beheadings and the footage of Black people being murdered by police, we’ve begun watching real people die violently in real-time, often from the palm of our hands or from the screens in our laps. Most recently, we streamed the disturbing body [Read More…]

“Because Cotillions!” & Other Episcopal #AutoCorrect Fails

Like most folks, I do a lot of things while I’m doing a lot of other things. As primarily a stay-at-home dad right now, it often means that I make notes while I’m doing dishes, cleaning rooms, folding clothes, or ferrying kids to and from summer activities or camps. Typically, Apple’s speech-to-text software is pretty [Read More…]

This is REAL Christian Persecution: Augusta Church Hit with anti-LGBT Hate Crime

Christian persecution in the United States is real. It’s just not what you think. Christian persecution isn’t about having to offer birth control to women. It’s not about having to serve wedding cakes to gay and lesbian couples. Christian persecution isn’t even having people call you out when you spout homophobic, sexist, or racist opinions, veiled blasphemously as biblical. Real [Read More…]

Peace is Not Tranquility (A #WGFest2015 Lectionary Reflection)

  Lectionary Year B — Proper 11 — Mark 6:30-34; 53-56 On Saturday, my youngest son and I spent an afternoon carefully stacking a half-dozen rocks that had been worn smooth and elliptical by the French Broad River that eddied around our knees.  The swift river and its small pockets of whitewater drowned out the world around us [Read More…]

God Bless America. Are you sure about that?

You might want to think twice this Fourth of July weekend before singing “God Bless America.” Since 9/11, this sentimental bit of civil religion has become a national anthem of its own and almost every politician loves to end their speeches with this benediction. But it has always struck me as an odd thing to [Read More…]

Is Patriotism a Christian Value?

  Many churches this Sunday will be transformed into sanctuaries for nationalism and worship of a nation. There will be patriotic hymns sung. There will be sermons about the greatness of the country. But there will also be churches where flags will be conspicuously absent, where the faithful will be called upon to worship something [Read More…]

The 1 Thing White People Can Do to End Racism

A lot of white people recently have asked me how they can put an end to racism in the United States. They see the problem. They want to help. They want to fix what is broken. And, after some reflection, I think I have an answer — the one thing white people can do to end racism [Read More…]


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