Fear, Faith and Freedom: What You and I Know about Anti-Muslim Rallies

All Hands Magazine

*Ritzheimer. I mean… it just SOUNDS like a Nazi caricature. A cartoon bad guy with a swastika and a little Hitler mustache, a tiny cartoon devil at his shoulder. But the real guy’s not a cartoon. He’s alive and real in Phoenix, and he’s drumming up an anti-Muslim following. Last week, he rallied a couple hundred of his white supremacist buddies for a “demonstration” on the steps of a local mosque. Wearing t-shirts with a message so obscene, the media has had to blur most of the words out in pict … [Read more...]

The New Art of Poor-Shaming

debit card

Now trending: America discovers cruel and creative ways to further strip away the dignity of its impoverished people.  It’s a sport. It is art. It’s entertainment. It’s a political tactic.The following stories have come across my radar in the past week or so. Through different sources, from different outlets, at different times. Seemingly unrelated, but all pointing to the same disturbing truth: It is entertaining, profitable, AND politically advantageous to exploit and/or publicly shame … [Read more...]

Which Body Are We Talking About? Gay Marriage, Christian Unity, and Mainline Decline

walls and halls

Last week, Adam Hamilton shared this post about gay marriage in the United Methodist Church. Hamilton is a public figure, an authoritative voice not just within his own denomination, but within all of mainline Protestantism. He’s a popular author and speaker, and having grown his church to ‘mega’ status—mostly unheard of outside of fundamentalist circles—his voice carries.His take on LGBT inclusion is that local congregations and area conferences should be empowered to determine their own pol … [Read more...]

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

From the 12th Street Riot, Detroit, 1967. #notalwaysthisovert

I cringe when an article begins “Dear White People…” It lacks nuance, among other things. So I am resisting my urge to start there, even though it’s exactly how this note goes, in my head. How about this:To all y’all who, like me, are not people of color, and/or, all who identify as ‘Caucasian’ when we check the little box on a survey or job application:   We have no idea. And maybe we should stop talking.  From a distance, the rioting in Baltimore looks like senseless, barbaric d … [Read more...]

10 Signs of Life: Your Church Might Just Make It

flower in cracks

I once took a group of church leaders on a planning/visioning retreat. We read and discussed a great article, something to the effect of “10 Traits of a Healthy Church.” Or a growing church... Thriving church? Something like that. And it wasn’t the usual variation on a theme, this particular piece was insightful and inspired. And it was exactly the right mix of challenge and affirmation for where that congregation was at the time.In preparation for a similar gathering this week, I tried to fi … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Jungle, II: A Man’s Take on School Harassment

swings

In my post yesterday, I cited a statistic that 83% of girls report being sexually harassed in high school. That same article also reveals that 78% of boys report the same. Feeling that I am only qualified to speak from my own experience, I asked my friend Chris Furr to write a follow-up piece about what harassment might look like, from the male perspective. I know that his (and mine) are only two snapshots of a broad and complex social issue. I’d welcome other responses from other vantage p … [Read more...]

Holy Week Survival Guide: 10 Life Hacks for Clergy

rabbit

Deep breath. Inward Ommmmmmmmmmmm. It is Holy Week! Lace up your sprinting shoes, get ready to stress eat and drink way too much coffee, and tell your family that you will see them next Monday. No wait—Monday, you hibernate. Tuesday, for sure!  You will be down for breakfast on Tuesday. Or at least lunch… Something about that pattern seems not-so-holy, though. Sure, it’s going to be busy. You will need caffeine and adrenaline and the Holy Spirit to power through. And yet… we clergy types often w … [Read more...]

Those Who Do Not Learn From History…

AT headshot

I'm tired of writing about Kansas politics... So let's talk about Oklahoma instead! I was going to write about the recent ban of Advanced Placement history courses, but thought it would be better to hear from someone who actually lives there and has a connection to that school system. Here's what my friend Aaron Todd has to say from Midwest City. My hands are shaking as I write.  A tangible expression of the mixture of emotions that have been stirred up inside my head and my heart.  I am fill … [Read more...]

Around the (Messy) Table: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

disciples_of_christ_chalice_t

I wrote this last week as a guest post for Ed Cyzewski, who is running a "Denomination Derby" on his site. He's inviting people from different backgrounds to share what makes their denomination unique, and what makes it 'home' to the people who stake their faith there. This is my shot at articulating/branding the Disciples of Christ. No, we're not a cult. Yes, we know our name is ridiculously long (with parentheses even). We are not teetotalers, despite what our logo may look like to outsiders. … [Read more...]


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