John Jeremiah Sullivan Drills Down on Soft White Liberal Upper-middle-class College Types

I have no desire to be that person, who lets politics affect him so deeply he forgets the higher truths. We’re all confused and error-prone. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t need politics. We have to fight fiercely to respect one another. – John Jeremiah Sullivan Throughout this election I’ve been saying that it seemed like much of the country wanted to give Washington D.C. a punch in the face. Donald Trump was the fist. Hillary Clinton was the face. In… Read more

Here’s What I Told My Church After the Election

Wednesday evening after the election our church gathered for one of our 6 yearly congregational meetings. We planned it for the night after the election on purpose, wondering if there might be a healing moment for us there. I’m guessing our church is half and half on red or blue politics. But our neighborhood is mostly Hispanic, predominantly poor, and definitely living on the margins. This is what I said that night. There are about 16 kids from the neighborhood… Read more

An Election Day Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is discord, harmony; Where there is error, truth; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to… Read more

Rich Mullins Would Be 61 Today – He Was the Master of the One-Liner

Rich Mullins had such a low tolerance for B.S. I’m convinced that, had he lived longer into the digital age, Rich would still never have become a blogger. He wouldn’t be on snapchat or instagram, and there’s no way he would’ve been on Facebook. But twitter? I could see that. Rich was a master of the one-liner. Good songwriters work with an incredible economy of words. Rich knew how to craft great one-liners and how to set them up. He was also not short on opinions. Every… Read more

Religion & Politics: How Being a Christian Makes for a Better Conservative, Better Liberal

For the Christian there is an inherent danger to involving ourselves in any kind of political discussion. We are supposed to love both our political neighbor and our political enemy. Politics and love… how can those things go together? I have a few ideas. First, Christians must check our citizenship. We are first and foremost citizens of the kingdom of God, then of our particular country, and those two can never become the same thing. Second, Christians must ask whether our primary identification is with… Read more

Treasure the Doing, More than the Getting It Done

The source of nearly all human misery can be traced back to an often unconscious disconnection between the ends and the means. When humans treat other people, or the planet, or our own bodies as if they are nothing more than a means to an end, then we invite suffering into our lives. If we are ever to have an impact for the better on the plight of this world, surely this will involve the ability to treasure the doing, more than… Read more

Rich Mullins Died 19 Years Ago Today & I Still Miss Him

In the closing credits of a long-form video release (I think it was called Pursuit of a Legacy), Rich Mullins and his band of brothers credited someone named Owen Meany as “best boy.” In the film world, best boy refers to a kind of foreman position among lighting and rigging technicians. The name rang a bell, but it took me awhile to remember. Owen Meany, you may know, was not a real person, but the main character in a book by John… Read more

A Less Lonely Way to Lose Your Faith: Isaac Anderson at The Atlantic

My friend Isaac Anderson has an article in The Atlantic called “A Less Lonely Way to Lose Your Faith,” and it’s well worth your time to read. Isaac profiles a community of un-faith in the Kansas City area called Oasis. They gather on Sunday mornings, sing songs, listen to talks, hold children’s programs, and to find friendship and belonging. Sounds like a church, right? That’s the idea. This is a fascinating phenomenon to me: religious-like weekly gatherings for people who don’t (or… Read more

Why is Kaepernick Being Slammed? Because Sport is the Liturgy of Empire

You can always tell what the sacred cow is… Colin Kaepernick is getting crushed for his (rather tame) symbolic act of civil disobedience. The timing is interesting for me because an article I’ve written for The Other Journal, in which I write about my own experience of the national anthem at a football game, went live this morning. It’s called “We’re Number One: Sport as the Liturgy of Empire.” In it I talk about the way sport habituates us into the myth… Read more

Ten Great Quotes About Grace From Some of My Favorite Writers

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out… Read more

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