How to talk about religion on Facebook

Guest Post by Sarah Stewart Holland At least once a week, I get the same message on Facebook. It is some variation on “I don’t know how you do it!” Usually, these messages come from my more progressive friends who express astonishment at my ability to share my thoughts on very controversial topics without losing my cool.  My response is almost always the same. I share my honest belief that if we cannot even TALK about important subjects such as religion and politics with respect then that there … [Read more...]

Wade in the Water: Pools, Fountains, and the Stain of Segregation

water fountain

If the image of a 200+pound white man with a gun, pinning an unarmed, 90 pound black girl to the ground with his knees—while he is fully clothed and she is wearing a bikini—has not been keeping you up nights, then you must be missing something. Like maybe you missed the white male bystanders aiding the officer. Or maybe you missed the police shouting and cursing, while the kids just asked what in the world they'd done? Or maybe you missed the deadly weapon drawn and aimed at unarmed children as t … [Read more...]

What About the Girls? The Duggar Scandal and the Cost of Fundamentalism

Photo, CBN news files

This is what comes of fundamentalism.This week in the news, the Duggar family--made popular by their reality show, "19 Kids and Counting"--have been in the spotlight for a sexual abuse scandal. Though I seriously doubt they are calling it that, amongst themselves. No, where they come from, this is a youthful indiscretion; a series of inappropriate behaviors; evidence that we are "not a perfect family"... Etc.But the news that the oldest son, Josh (now 27) repeatedly molested and sexually … [Read more...]

A Voice in the Desert


Sometimes, I wish I were still in Phoenix.Like in January. That’s a given. Or like when I need to clear my head and want to just step out my back door and go for a hike in the beautiful desert mountains. Or when I try to catch a glimpse of the sunset, here in the midwest, but my view is blocked by treetops and all my neighbors’ houses.And right now, I’m wishing I was back there in the desert... because a group of “Biblically based” churches (in the most affluent part of town) is joining t … [Read more...]

You’re In the Jungle, Baby: Sexual Harassment at School (and elsewhere)


I saw a statistic yesterday that said 83% of girls are sexually harassed in high school. My first thought was: is that all?I tell you what--100% of girls are sexually harassed in high school. Whether they know it or not, whether they talk about it or not. I’m pretty sure they teach a class on lewd behavior for freshmen boys. It is not a required elective, but there's a lot of peer pressure to take it.It might seem extreme to say that 'all' girls are harassed in high school, but by har … [Read more...]

Waiting for a Punchline: Llama-Crossing, Viral Dress-Watching, and Kansas Being Kansas

Why did the llamas cross the road? a) To get farther away from Kansas; b) they saw Arpaio coming and they didn’t have their papers; c) they wanted to know what color the dress was REALLY… Listen, Kansas. I know it takes some doing, a real concerted group effort, to be the most backward, most ignorant, most intentionally obtuse state in the union right now, but I’m telling you—IT’S NOT A CONTEST. At least, it’s not one we want to win. Yesterday’s newsfeed was filled with llamas, dresses, and unf … [Read more...]

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Don’t worry. I will not attempt to talk sports.I’m just here for the commercials.I love them/hate them/love to hate them. Ministry is 70% marketing work anyway, but IF IT WEREN’T, I would say I missed my calling. In another life, I would be Don Draper. (Or Peggy. Or Megan! But I’m pretty sure they’re going to kill her off, so…)Speaking of killing people off… WTF, Nationwide?? I thought you were on my side? That commercial was not just in poor taste, it was appalling. I get that they w … [Read more...]

Family Value(s) Meal


I triple dog dare somebody to go and try the new ‘vegetarian slider’ at White Castle.I’m not saying it will definitely kill you… Just that you might want to hug your loved ones extra tight before setting out on your culinary adventure. I’m thinking ‘plant-like substance’ is probably a more apt description for this new sandwich. Just as ‘meat-like substance’ would probably be a better moniker for the original.Sometimes, a thing just is what it is. You can try to call it something else, or … [Read more...]

Writing, Rushdie, and My 12 Year-old Self: Thoughts on the Charlie Hebdo Shootings


Guest Post by Brandon GilvinWhen I woke up this morning, I expected to write about writing. I’d just completed a three month experiment with my own blog—committing to write a story (fiction, memoir, poem, or something) every day over that time period. I expected to reflect a little bit about the discipline of writing daily, the power of storytelling in our lives, and how creating (a story, a painting, a meal) is a spiritual practice.But then I checked the news.And this had happened. A … [Read more...]