Nazi Apologists and Klan Support: The New Normal for this GOP

So, this is where we are:This week, Rep. Steve King issued a confounding Tweet in which he shared a comic--from a European source widely recognized as racist-- and said that we "can't restore our civilization with someone else's babies!" (Meaning, stop letting all these immigrants and Muslims into our country). For this sentiment, he was congratulated by David Duke, the same former KKK leader who publicly endorsed Donald Trump in the campaign (and whose support, for the record, Trump never r … [Read more...]

Good Samaritans, Good Immigrants, and Bystander Problems: Sermon for Lent 1

Maybe they were feeling a little disgruntled… After all, the Samaritans in the neighboring village had just been terribly inhospitable to them. Maybe that’s why the Samaritan, transformed by the narrative powers of Jesus, becomes the unlikely hero of this story. But “unlikely” is the operative word here. Even though "Good Samaritan” has become a blanket term for generic do-gooder in our modern day, secular culture, we cannot understate the inherent ‘bad guy’ implication that the term Samaritan c … [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...]

When Inclusion Becomes a “Divisive Political Issue”

One of the school districts in the Kansas City area has banned teachers from wearing safety pins.Two weeks ago, responses to that headline might have been... Are they worried kids will use them as weapons? Did someone poke their eye out? What if there's a wardrobe malfunction? Is everything dangerous now??But now we can add safety pins to the list of inanimate objects that have become loaded with social implications. Along with Starbucks holiday cups and Target bathrooms.The safety pi … [Read more...]

The Country Needs Us, And We Need You: A Call to Action

Guest Post: by C. Shawn McGuffeySince the election I have been saddened. Luckily, I am fortunate enough to have a loving partner, family, friends, and students that reach out at precisely the right times to keep me intact. My good choices keep reaping benefits.And as you can see from the picture, I’ve also been acting, organizing, and participating. I am so proud of the many community members that are still doing the work to make this world better.Many of us, however, still have n … [Read more...]

How Trump is Making Misogyny Great Again

Last week, women's health experts and other commentators detailed the “abusive behaviors” exhibited in Trump’s debate performance. And all the lights came on. So THIS is why he’s so hard to watch, I thought. This is why our stomachs turn when he talks; when he belittles opponents and unleashes verbal tirades and refuses to stay on topic. He’s not just unpleasant. He is a predator. And any woman who’s ever been in an abusive relationship--physical or otherwise--can see it a mile away.So when … [Read more...]

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...]

While You Were Watching Melania: Rep. Steve King’s Telling Racist Remarks

While everyone was busy watching the absurd 60-Minutes interview; while we laughed at the disastrous rolling out of his VP pick, and the subsequent rolling back of the dumbfounding logo (the memes tho...totally worth it); while we shook our heads at the Melania plagiarism fiasco and wondering Michelle should take it as a weird sort of compliment(?); something else was happening:Iowa Congressman Steve King made an overtly racist statement in a public forum; and exactly nothing hap … [Read more...]

Who is My Neighbor? Police Shootings and Those We Leave For Dead

I am writing a book about family values--not the James Dobson kind, that are dependent on your family being a man+woman+2.5 kids+terrier. I'm writing about the kinds of values that do not rely on compliance with rigid gender roles, or a particular expression of "right belief." They are values that each unique family and faith community can discuss, apply, and live with intention, to find meaning and greater connection.The value that I'm struggling to articulate today is: justice. We say it's … [Read more...]