How to Write That Apology Letter to Your Grandchildren

Lately my kids have been into the "silly sentences" activities in their National Geographic Kids magazine. It's pretty much a take on Mad Libs, for all of us GenX kids who are parents now. Which got me to thinking... Lots of folks these days might need help justifying their support for a certain sitting president. They may or may not start thinking about what kind of message they'd like to leave for their grandchildren. I'm here to help. Just fill in the blanks.Dear (Name of Progeny),By … [Read more...]

Violence Is Not a Progressive Value: Kathy Griffin Is Not Our Problem

Can we talk about Kathy Griffin for a sec?I mean, I don't want to. I'm over her. But it seems that's what everyone feels like we MUST be talking about, so here goes.First of all, I just want to be real clear that her beheading schtick was foul, and in poor taste, and way over many lines. She apologized, as well she should have. She was fired from a gig, as well she should be.But I keep hearing conservative outrage that "LIBERALS NEED TO BE DENOUNCING THIS!" and "DEMOCRATS NEED TO BE … [Read more...]

Christian Privilege Is a Real Thing: and a Dangerous Thing

Last week I was invited to speak at an interfaith panel discussion. I rarely say no to these things. For starters, you never know who you might meet. Community events are the best evangelism going, and a lot cheaper than digital signs or radio ads. Besides, I love a good chat. In this case, I didn't know much about the event before I got there. It was a continuing ed thing for a professional group I wasn't familiar with, on a campus I'd never heard of. But, sure. I'm in.Turns out, the … [Read more...]

Last Day of School Blues: Making Space for Sad

My boy is 6. He hasn't gotten the memo that the last day of school is exciting and fun and awesome.Both of my kids have always loved school, from Pre-K onward. Never a tearful "don't leave me moment," never an "I don't want to wake up" day, and (so far, knock on wood) no mean kid drama. And all around, nothing but wonderful teachers.But there was something especially magical about this year of Kindergarten. A class that just clicked from day 1, a teacher who makes Mary Poppins look like … [Read more...]

Montana Politician’s Meltdown Says Everything About Where We Are Right Now

It's election day in Montana, and GOP candidate Greg Gianforte--who was supposed to be a sure-thing in this special election-- has been charged with assault. For laying a reporter flat on the ground and breaking his glasses. Actually, the official report of the incident involves the words "body slam." According to witnesses, that's exactly what Gianforte did to Ben Jacobs, a reporter from the Guardian who was questioning the candidate about the Republican healthcare plan.This is where we a … [Read more...]

Threats Foreign and Domestic: a Manchester Bombing and a Maryland Murder

This is a post about terrorism. It has no artful nuance. No snarky edge, no hilarious sarcasm to offset a painful truth, and probably not even a little bit of poetic syntax to make it go down easier. I'm just going to say some things that are true.Last night, kids were killed in a terrorist bombing. Kids at a concert. This was a callous act of violence, perpetrated by extremists who have no regard for the sanctity of human life. They are blinded by their hatred and find some sick form of … [Read more...]

Mourning the Terrible Legacy of Roger Ailes

As a person of faith, I do not celebrate death.Death can be peaceful; death can be a necessary end to an imminent threat; it can sometimes even be a welcome end to suffering. But in any case, it is a weighty thing--mysterious, and as sacred as life itself. As the Psalmist says "such knowledge is too wonderful for me." There are certain things that our mortal imaginations can't grasp, around which our human ways of processing the world should tread lightly.Which is to say, I will not be … [Read more...]

11 Reasons President Pence Would Not Be “Just As Bad”

I know. I know. Practically every week since Trump announced his candidacy, there's been a "surely this will be the end of him" headline, and none of them ultimately amount to anything. And even now, there remains a carefully crafted narrative that his base will uphold no matter what.And yet. This one might be different.Things are starting to hit the fan. Even his biggest supporters in the House and Senate are starting to skulk away, with midterms on their minds. It is getting harder to m … [Read more...]

Duke Drama: A Lesson In Mission Focus

A guest post from my friend (and Duke Divinity School alum) Chris Furr. When I attended orientation as an incoming student at Duke Divinity School in January of 2003, Dr. Willie Jennings, then Dean of Academic Affairs in the Divinity School, entered the room holding a sculpture. The sculpture was of a woman, seated, holding her hands in her lap. She was holding them as if they were in pain, and her knuckles and hands were swollen. She wore an exhausted expression on her face. Dr. Jennings … [Read more...]