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… 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… 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… 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 are. Emboldened by… 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… 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… 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… 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… Read more

Prayer for Uncertain Times: Embracing Mystery as an Act of Resistance

Most of our human existential crises can be traced to a single source: our deep desire to KNOW. We may expect our friends to keep a lid on what happened in last night’s episode of whatever, until we can get home and catch up on the DVR. But in real life? Forget it. Give us the spoiler alerts. We want to KNOW. We want to know when we’ll find love, and if love will last; we want to know when we’ll land that… Read more

Trumped Up Religious Freedom: What It Does, What It Doesn’t

In honor of National Day of Prayer, President Trump–pretending to know what prayer is–made good on a campaign promise to protect religious freedom. Sort of. Maybe you’ve missed this in the newsfeed, what with the horror show that is the GOP health plan. So let’s recap: since before he was elected, DJT has promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which restricts the political activity of non-profit organizations. Including churches. Vowing to “protect” Christians from being “bullied” and “silenced,” today he signed… Read more

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