‘Nothing Human Is Alien’: Maya Angelou, Dave Chappell, Tupac Shakur and Gay Marriage. A Sermon

Scripture text: Colossians 1: 15-23: Hymn to Christ’s workWe spend most of our lives making distinctions, black/white, good/bad, high/low, clean/dirty, gay/straight, cool/uncool, day/night, fat/thin, orthodox/unorthodox, Christian/not Christian, Sunni/Shia, Buddhist/Muslim, Israeli/Palestinian, Canadian/American, white/ Hispanic,  Native American/white, dead/alive, old/ young, hip/unhip, Cougar/Husky … it goes on and on… fast/slow, dumb/smart, tall/short, Democrat/Republican, worthy/ … [Read more...]

Job, Grief and Being Sticky-A Sermon

June 15, 2014FIRST READING JOB 38:1-11; 42:1-6GOSPEL READING JOHN 1:29-34You know I have to say that God definitely has a sense of irony. Last Monday in preparing for this Sunday’s service, I realized that today is my 29th wedding anniversary, and I then checked the lectionary text for this Sunday and it was the Book of Job. God wasn’t kidding around.Sort of like, “Hey, Jim, deal with your loss, now is the time." And it’s been eight months since Annette passed, and so maybe that’s … [Read more...]

Anxiety and Incarnation: Advice to Graduates

Last week I was invited to be the community speaker for the local high school Baccalaureate. It was an honor but also challenging. How do you speak to high school students and to a community from such diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds? Bainbridge Island is a classic upper middle class, educated, privileged, white community. This sets off all the usual alarm bells, “Hm… they don’t have any real problems.” And, of course, these kinds of prejudice may have a grain of truth, but the facts o … [Read more...]

Fundamentalism Ruins Religion for Conservatives and Liberals

The Last Acceptable Prejudice hit a chord, not only with religiously conservative folks but with liberals who balk at the notion that we should give religious conservatives any hearing at all. Like so much in our culture we seek enemies and enjoy destroying them, and so we are at loggerheads on religion. The New Atheists, buoyed by a new sense of confidence and numbers, are feeling their oats and will not be silenced, and I say rightfully so. Liberals, whether religious or not, are fed up with … [Read more...]

Last Acceptable Prejudice on College Campuses

I don’t often go to campus talks at my university. I don’t go because if I attended all those that interest me I would never get my work done. But I made an exception for Dr. Eboo Patel. He was named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009. He is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Offi … [Read more...]

We Are Not All Bruce Lee, Part 2

Around the time that Bruce Lee reached the height of his Hong Kong cinematic career, a few Asian American writers put together an anthology called Aiiieeeee! (1973). I grant that readers who know what they’re talking about will gently protest that this collection has been contested by feminist and queer API writers for leaving out women’s and non-heteronormative Asian American experiences (for details, read David Eng’s Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America). I’m using the antho … [Read more...]