Don’t Thank God that Nebraska Ended the Death Penalty

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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...]

Going to Bed Angry

Photo By Quinn Dombrowski (Creative Commons Copyright, Flickr)

Going to Bed Angry Last night I slept into an angry pillow. In the morning I woke with it on the floor. Which makes me wonder If our dreams make love While we sleep, and seethe. Or if forgiveness extends From touching toes. [Read more...]

Dear Graduate: Do Not Follow Your Dreams

Flickr Creative Commons Copyright: Jason Bache (photo cropped)

Dear Graduate, If memory serves, this month, as you are nearing graduation, you will be getting a lot of advice from a lot of well-meaning friends, family, and advisers. Unfortunately, it’s often a fair amount of bad advice. For example, they will tell you  to follow your dreams. And you will be tempted to do just that, [Read More...]

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

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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...]

Vinyl Church: 5 Things Christians Can Learn from Vinyl Records

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Vinyl. It’s not just for hipsters any more. And Christians ought to listen up, because the future of the church might just be reflected in the resurgence of vinyl records. In many ways, the music industry reminds me of the modern church. Like the church, its leaders fret about its future in the midst of dramatic cultural [Read More...]

Vanishing Jesus and the Christ of the Deserted Place (A Lectionary Reflection for Mark 1:29-39)

Epiphany 5B — Mark 1:29-39 When the people most sought him, Jesus ran away. When the people finally got an inkling, a glimpse of who he was, Jesus disappeared. When people at last realized that there was something different about this teacher and healer, Jesus vanished, eager almost in his need to be absent and alone. Unwilling to be [Read More...]

We Had This Treasure in an Earthen Vessel: Marcus Borg, a modern-day divine

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Like many, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Marcus Borg, a scholar of the New Testament, a brilliant writer, and a gentle, courageous Christian. Like many, I never knew him personally, but his work nevertheless had deep and formational effect on me as a Christian. As I remembered him in my prayers this [Read More...]

Making Room at Christ’s Table: The Gift of Progressive Christianity

Flickr Creative Commons Copyright by timlewisnm

You might underestimate how large the Christian umbrella is. This simple sentence appeared in red ink in the margins of a reflection essay I had written for an interreligious dialogue course in graduate school. It changed my life. The professor, a kindly and soft-spoken Jesuit, had written it as the gentlest of rebukes to my [Read More...]

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown, Who Do You Say that I Am?

Image by Shirin Barghi. Follow her on Twitter: @shebe86

Year A — August 24 — Matthew 16:13-20 — Proper 16 Who do you say that I am? A looter. A criminal. The falsely accused. Who do you say that I am? A rule breaker.  A deranged man. A demon. Who do you say that I am? A son. A beloved. A man. Who do [Read More...]

The Evil at Our Borders: Migrants, Refugees, and the Spiritual Crisis of Immigration

Creative Commons Copyright: Peter Haden

It is evil. Period. Treating child refugees like criminals is evil. Since October, some 52,000 children from Central America have been taken into custody as they crossed into the United States, overwhelming the U.S. system meant to handle only a few thousand. For more than a week, politicians, pundits, and pastors have debated how to handle [Read More...]


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