Read the Comments: Terence Crutcher and Our Sin of Silence

Again. AGAIN.Again this morning I am sitting in front of the screen with the struggle that is starting to feel all too familiar--to watch, or not to watch?I do not want to watch the video of Terence Crutcher being shot by police. It is no small thing to witness the end of a human life. I've been in the room when people die. More than once. In those cases, it is a sacred thing. But it is no small thing, that passage. It is a holiness that I hold lightly--but never take lightly. And … [Read more...]

Exit the Echo Chamber: Bipartisanship As An Act of Faith

Guest Post: by Sarah Stewart HollandTwice a week, I co-host a political podcast with a Republican. I’m a Democrat. This means that twice a week I sit down and engage in political debate with someone who feels very differently than I do on a great many issues.We start each show the same.“No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.”Willingly volunteering for political confrontation is most people’s worst nightmares. It’s certainly my mother’s worst nightmare but I do it willingly bec … [Read more...]

Let Love Be Overheard

I went to breakfast yesterday at a usual neighborhood place.There was a Muslim family there too-- an older woman and a two young women in full hijabs; plus a younger couple with two small boys, all of whom were dressed in a completely suburban way. They were talking and laughing and bustling around to get situated. As you do when you are a fairly large dining party and there are small children involved. They were seated at a big table right next to our booth.Enter, white lady who is s … [Read more...]

We Don’t Dance on Graves: To Those Celebrating the Death of Phyllis Schlafly

People. Get ahold of yourselves.I get it. She tried to single-handedly squelch the Equal Rights movement with her own cold, unfeeling hands.  She has been the unsmiling, judgy face of the Moral Majority. She made "feminism" a bad word in a whole lot of circles She was a hypocrite who enjoyed a wildly successful political career, even as she insisted that a woman's place was in the home. She used her privilege as a wealthy white woman to exact social change that would harm the poorest and mo … [Read more...]

10 Life Hacks To Try If You Favor “Outsiders” with “No Experience”

I kind of get it. Many people feel they have no voice in decisions that affect their lives; they've been left out of the economy, their values aren't reflected in the systems in which they must function, and much of the surrounding culture feels utterly foreign to their familiar context. I try to feel empathy for those who have endured a steep, uphill climb for years with nothing to show for it. And I can appreciate the idea that voting for a Presidential candidate who is "an outsider" with "no … [Read more...]

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The Gift of Hard Things: How to Use Yaconelli’s New Book

New life goal: write a book that gets the resounding endorsement of Anne Lamott.Of course, in my real life, this will probably never happen. But for Mark Yaconelli, it is happening. Because he's Mark Yaconelli. And when your new book has the resounding endorsement of Anne Lamott on the cover--in print, even--then you probably don't need a few paragraphs from a two bit blogger (me). But, "The Gift of Hard Things" is a Patheos Book Club choice this month, so a few paragraphs from me is what you … [Read more...]

A Privileged Seat at the Table

Guest Post: by Jordan Blevins BlesThe table is always expanding - making room for more people, and wider diversity. I like to think of it as revealing more of the table at which God sits. However, it is a long, slow reveal. Those of us who already have seats at the table tend to get in the way at times. We like to protect our table at the expense of joining God’s. I am a white, straight man. It is time to name the ways in which I, and my fellow straight, while men, are part of the problem. A … [Read more...]

Passing the Peace

Hi, folks. I took a week or so away from blogging to finish my book, and now I'm taking a week away to spend with my family. Enjoy this guest post from my friend Annie Kratzsch, and look for more guest posts in the coming days. I'll be back to writing around mid-August, and look forward to catching up with the world. A few weeks ago, I was proselytized twice in three days.On a Thursday night, before I could get all the way through the mall doors, I heard the universal opener for selling s … [Read more...]

Which Amendment Comes First? Guns, Muslims, and Fear that Trumps Freedom

After Senator Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster; and other lawmakers, led by Rep. John Lewis, staged a sit-in on the House floor; Congress finally allowed for a vote on measures that would, among other things, ban people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.Conservative lawmakers voted the measure down. Though its failure to pass was predictable, the reason they gave was a bit of a head-scratcher. (Not that reason has much play in the conversation around gun control...) Their c … [Read more...]