A Traveling Musician’s America

Happy to share this great guest post with you today...by my little brother!As a touring musician, I’m abundantly fortunate to get the opportunity to see so much of this wonderful country. Red states, blue states, liberal bastions, “flyover” country - every bit of it. For 18 years, I was a staunch progressive raised in a small Kentucky town, and now I’ve ended up in the liberal enclave of Nashville, Tennessee - a progressive island in an extremely red state.Division, marked by geographic b … [Read more...]

Nazi Apologists and Klan Support: The New Normal for this GOP

So, this is where we are:This week, Rep. Steve King issued a confounding Tweet in which he shared a comic--from a European source widely recognized as racist-- and said that we "can't restore our civilization with someone else's babies!" (Meaning, stop letting all these immigrants and Muslims into our country). For this sentiment, he was congratulated by David Duke, the same former KKK leader who publicly endorsed Donald Trump in the campaign (and whose support, for the record, Trump never r … [Read more...]

My Hope is Built

Happy Friday, y'all. I am having THE best day. It's my day off, so I went to the gym, volunteered at my kids' school for a couple hours; having a green smoothie and getting ready to give myself a facial and a manicure. FURTHERMORE, it is beautiful outside (even if it's cold, the sunshine does a body good), I have zero church things to do tomorrow, and--get this--I'm not even preaching Sunday! I may even skip early service and just roll up for Sunday School and second service like a normal … [Read more...]

Close to Home: The Human Cost of Racist Rhetoric

Early spring in the Midwest means that my neighborhood has been a picturesque snapshot of American virtue lately. Kids riding bikes and playing basketball; families walking and running together on the trail; birdsong and jump ropes and sidewalk chalk; those first brave buds emerging, hoping not to get hammered by a mid-March blizzard.This is the kind of place where kids walk to school, people run out for an errand and leave their doors unlocked, and if you see a police car in front of a … [Read more...]

#ShePersisted: Warren Silenced for Calling a Racist a Racist

While we were screaming into the void about the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, the Senate began confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions, the pick for Attorney General.Sessions' past record on civil rights has provoked widespread protest over his nomination. But this is not a new conversation. In 1986, similar concerns kept Sessions from the federal bench.Among the voices opposing his appointment 3 decades ago--civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. She … [Read more...]

Reading As An Act of Resistance: How the Nerds Inherit the Earth

I read Animal Farm in high school. I learned that power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.I read Lord of the Flies. I learned about scapegoating, and scarcity. And mob mentality.I read Heart of Darkness.  I hate that damn book, and I had to read it 3 times. THREE. Twice in high school for two different teachers (who I felt could have done some better collaborative work in planning their curriculum, but whatever) and then again in college for a Victorian lit class. I learne … [Read more...]

When to Go Rogue: What Jesus Says About Saving Life and Breaking Rules

One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them.  But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to … [Read more...]

Creative Resistance: 7 (Other) Ways to Spend Inauguration Day

Despite the American flag shaped fireworks lighting up the sky, it is a dark day. There's no denying it.But it's important to remember that the incoming President, whatever hatred, aggression and ugliness he represents, is only one person. And he is a symptom of the larger disease, not the disease itself. America's larger chronic illness is rooted in systemic racism, subjugation of women, greed, and fear of the other. These are the conditions that got this man elected President, and these … [Read more...]

Back to Work For Affordable Healthcare

It's kind of a fog, but from what I recall, we had a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. 2 kids in diapers. 2 kids who needed naps at different times of the day, and who needed to eat every 2 hours or so. 2 car seats with complicated buckles to fumble in the triple-digit heat. The older one was a chronic thumb-sucker, and in part-time day care. So we were all sick, all the time. We'd pass it around, and by the time the last one of us was better, a new and exciting germ funk would be making the rounds. T … [Read more...]