Overshared Childhood: Parenting and Privacy in the Social Media Age

Friday night situation: everybody's home after Dad's been traveling all week, nobody has anyplace to be, the house is clean, and there's Chinese takeout for dinner. I'll add to this perfect tableau that my kids have mostly graduated from watching cartoons full of grating, whiny voices and now like to watch kids cooking shows on the Food Network.  All in all, a lovely evening--and if you've got a busy family, you know that these kinds of peaceful home nights don't happen often. Or at least, they … [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...]

Refugees are Not Political

I'm sure I'm the only pastor in the world who's been accused of "being too political."Lol. I'm kidding. Every minister who addresses justice issues will inevitably be accused of being political.Sometimes it's true. Sometimes the church IS political, and sometimes that's ok. Read Benjamin Corey's post about how Jesus was political; and maybe we should be too.At other times, we aren't being political at all. Rather, the person who's accusing us of "wading into a political issue" is … [Read more...]

Showing Up for the Stranger: The Church Speaks Out Against the Travel Ban

Ever look around at the news/world/government these days and say "for the love of all that is holy, where is the Church??"Blatant marginalizing and silencing of women; racist rhetoric at every level of leadership; the destruction of the environment and the attempt to dismantle the EPA; the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the continued scapegoating of the most disadvantaged among us; escalating violence in our communities and the continued glorification of guns and violence as s … [Read more...]

7 Reasons to Keep the Johnson Act: Protecting our Binding Covenants of Church and State

When he wasn't picking fights with our allies; or Tweeting war threats in the middle of the night; or appointing a grotesquely unqualified Secretary of Education, or appointing a known white supremacist to the National Security Council; or de-funding the NEA; or dismantling the EPA... wait, I think I was going somewhere with this.Right. When he wasn't busy with all of these other equally appalling and shady dealings, the new President promised to roll back the Johnson Act--the thing that … [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...]

“This is Us,” and How Rape Culture Ruins Everything

Remember the good old days when people used to talk about TV shows they were watching? Fun times. How about a throw-back to the good old days...And speaking of good old days, I love This is Us. I love the flashbacks to the 80s, and the house that is full of things I had in my childhood home (I literally saw my parents' old bedspread on this week's episode.) I love the occasional twists and turns that make you sit up on the edge of the couch and go "WHAAAAA??? I did NOT see that coming!" I l … [Read more...]

In the Age of “Alternative Facts,” Truth Telling is an Act of Resistance

Our new President has been busy. His tiny hands must be tired from signing all those executive orders.First there was the action affecting women's reproductive rights on a global scale--which he signed, surrounded by a covey of white men, creating the most nauseating photo opp since that pic of the Trump family in the golden tower. (You know the one, with the giant lion thing? What even IS that??) In the same swipe of the pen, he rolled back regulations of the ACA and withdrew us from the Tr … [Read more...]