The Temptation of the Transfiguration: On High Places, Presidential Politics, and the Glory of God (Lectionary Reflection)

  The Last Sunday After Epiphany — Year C — Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) Right now, we are in a season of seeking power and prestige. With the presidential election season officially in full swing, we see it in almost every news story on the front page or leading the 24-hour news cycle. It’s an all-out [Read More…]

A Letter from Birmingham: MLK, Bernie Sanders and the Black Church

Today I’m hosting my friend Cara McClure as a guest blogger. Cara is an activist, business owner, and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Magic City chapter. This does not represent an endorsement of a candidate for me. Our Dear Alabama Clergy: In 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote A Letter from a [Read More…]

6 Reasons Why Ben Carson’s Tax Plan is NOT Biblical (The Exploitative Politics of the Widow’s Mite)

Mark 12:18-34 — Proper 27 The widow’s mite is a symbol of economic exploitation, not of sacrificial giving. The widow is not an icon of generosity, but a victim of the wealthy. Long a favorite of religious professionals during stewardship season, the point of the story of the widow isn’t that she had faith enough to [Read More…]

Kim Davis Isn’t the Problem. These 3 Cultural Forces Are.

Kim Davis has become one of the cultural icons of the 2016 election cycle, not unlike Joe the Plumber. Like Joe, her actions have struck a nerve and hit the zeitgeist in that perfect storm of passion and polarization on both sides. Like Joe, she’s been a willing prop for politicians. But like Joe, I think she’s [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…]

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…]

Don’t Thank God that Nebraska Ended the Death Penalty

Don’t thank God that Nebraska just voted to end the death penalty. Thank an atheist instead. And one in particular, State Senator Ernie Chambers, who had introduced a bill to repeal the death penalty 37 times before. Considering he’s served as a senator for 38 years, that means each year Chambers introduced a bill to repeal [Read More…]

#KellyOnMyMind but Is Manuel On My Mind, Too? Problems of our Death Penalty Activism

A saint’s scheduled execution was widely protested and decried in Georgia. A sinner’s scheduled execution in Texas was largely ignored. And history repeats itself.  On Sept. 21, 2011, two men were killed by the state. One man, Troy Davis, was innocent. His execution sparked a massive outcry. The other, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was not at [Read More…]

From ‘I Do’ to Disfellowship: Why the Southern Baptists Kicked this Church Out Over a Same-Sex Wedding

Today, it is my honor to host the Rev. Dr. Ellin Jimmerson, the first Southern Baptist minister (and perhaps only) to perform a legal same-sex wedding. And in Alabama no less! Having grown up in the Huntsville metro area, I was thrilled to see her standing for justice and equality in my hometown. Unfortunately, the [Read More…]

The Christian Response to the Measles Outbreak: Love Your Neighbor, Check Your Privilege, and Vaccinate Your Children

Look, I get that nostalgia is big right now. We’ve got more 19th century beards, vinyl records, backyard gardens, and banjo music in the United States than at any other time in probably the past 50 years. It’s a throwback to those halcyon days of previous generations. But do you know what I’m not nostalgic for? Measles. Like [Read More…]


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