Guest Post: Margot DeGreef  It’s a common sight: American church groups traveling in matching t-shirts, with a catchy phrase describing how they are going to help Haiti. Often their help consists of raising money for an orphanage, doing maintenance work at the buildings and playing with the children. After a week the group leaves, feeling transformed and happy to have helped.  How helpful is this though?  Is volunteering with orphanages a positive way to make a difference?  Orphanages supported by well-meaning congregations… Read more

Let’s just get this out of the way: Jesus is not going to fix our gun problem. And if you’re one of the people saying that “only Christ” can save us from this carnage, then you are not just being willfully ignorant: you are complicit in the murder of (how many are up to now?) countless American children who are dying–who just keep dying–in our schools. The shooting in Parkland, Florida yesterday was the 18th of the year. It is… Read more

It was a 3-hour train ride. We didn’t put the armrest down between us, and for most of the ride, we casually leaned on each other. “You know,” I said at some point… “I don’t have many friends I can be this cozy with.” She said, “Me neither, sister,” and we rode on. My friend Shanna and I had been in New York that weekend–for different reasons–and now we were taking the train down to D.C. together for a clergy… Read more

Toyota–good game. Although, would it have killed you to have a woman rabbi or something? J.T– Well-played with that whole Prince thing. Seriously, bravo. But it’s not lost on us that Janet still has a lifetime ban from the Super Bowl, even though you’re the one that ripped her top. So there’s that. Which is to say, the slightest awareness of privilege and pervasive inequality ruins everything; especially the Super Bowl and its commercials. Marketing shapes our culture in more… Read more

Career-obsessed banshees. She-devils who shriek from the tops of tall buildings. Mean-spirited radical feminists. Women with snake-filled heads… Present! Yes, we are all here, present and accounted for, and ready to troll this super manly bro’s bro–whose name is COURTLAND, whateverTF that means–until he runs home to all the women who, apparently, want nothing more in life than to have his dinner on the table at 6pm. Sharp. In case you are behind, Courtland Sykes is making a run for… Read more

Three weeks into the 2018 school year, there have been eleven school shootings in the U.S. Nobody is shocked by this. None of us bloggers or preachers have anything new to say. And, predictably, our elected officials have nothing to offer but politically-cautious platitudes. You may or may not have even seen these recent shootings on the news, because most of these horrors barely register these days. Depending on where you live, you might have seen coverage of one more… Read more

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that white people, as a rule, like for things to be pleasant. Admit it. We deeply value politeness in all things. We like for things to be orderly, mannerly, and–in a word–nice. This is what comes of privilege though. We live in a world built by us, and for us; a world in which systems and services always tilt in our favor. So we can afford to be polite. We don’t have to rock… Read more

“I’m not usually into award shows… but I watched every minute of the Golden Globes last night.” Variations of this sentiment spread widely across my newsfeed today, and I echo it. While I usually flip around or come and go during these things, last night was different. I was all in. I even (confession) sent my kids to be early, because they were distracting me from something that felt like a real-time revolution. From the opening monologue to the acceptance… Read more

As a rule, I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions. If you need to make a change in your life, just do it. You don’t need a calendar date to stop smoking, eat healthier, quit staging bank heists, etc. Whatever. You do you, but don’t wait for January to give you permission. That said… I will readily embrace the New Year as an invitation to simplify my life. Something about opening a brand new day planner that has not yet… Read more

Drive down a Missouri highway, and you will not be distracted by any scenic vistas. No dramatic mountain range, no lovely rolling hills, no lush forest or glistening coastline. It’s a good thing too, because if there was anything see in the way of landscape, your view would be utterly blocked by billboards. Miles and miles of billboards. If those billboards are to be believed, there are 5 things that the good citizens of Missouri care about. They are as… Read more

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