Ezra Klein Interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates on Race, Justice & the Tragic Imagination

Ezra Klein interviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates recently and the audio is up on the Ezra Klein Show podcast. Here are a few quotes & a comment about it. Klein credits Coates for having what he calls a tragic imagination—a sense that things don’t always turn out well in the end. Sometimes things go tragically wrong and [Read More…]

When I Talk About Race I Feel Like a Phony: The Problem of Being White & Talking About Racism

Many black leaders have been bitterly disappointed that President Obama has not shown more leadership in the arena of race. They might have a point. It’s not as though he hasn’t had the opportunity. From Travon Martin, to Ferguson, to Charleston, the opportunity for a President to actually do something with regard to the issue of [Read More…]

Wise Words from an Ex-Cop: The Police Guardian v. The Police Warrior

“Officers… must realize that the public—even a group of non-compliant teenagers—are not an enemy to be vanquished, but civilians to be protected.” – Seth Stoughton   I just read a phenomenal article from TPM & Seth Stoughton, a former cop who now teaches at the University of South Carolina Law School, commenting on the latest video evidence [Read More…]

Immigration and the Health of a Nation

I was reading some Eugene Peterson this week, and ran upon a section in which he talked about how we assess the health of a nation. He said, “We measure the health of our nation and the success of our lives in terms of per capita income and gross national product.” (Working the Angles) The book was written [Read More…]

Religion that Professes Concern with the Souls of Men, but Not the Slums that Damn Them…

“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them, is a spiritually moribund [at the point of death] religion.” – Martin Luther King Jr.   In a letter written [Read More…]

On Civil Disobedience

This essay was originally a sermon written for Redemption Church on November 09, 2014. If you are a pastor, feel free to copy and steal. __________________________________ “Even powers that seem invincible are vulnerable to love, which is why God’s love has so often taken the form of the civil disobedience of God’s people.” __________________________________ Somewhere [Read More…]

Claiming the Body: The Funeral Task as Keeper of the Sacred Words

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Remembering the Dead: Ancestors, Rituals, Relics. Read other perspectives here. A few years ago my friend Chris Jehle asked me to begin making a trek to the hood in KCMO to help him with a peculiar task. Chris had spent the previous fifteen [Read More…]

Poverty, Inequality are Symptoms of a Fundamental Problem: We Want to Live Without Limits

Do a Google Image search for the phrase “No Limits” and see how many of the hits are from churches promoting a sermon series by that title. That’ll tell you how far off the church is on one of the most important problems plaguing our contemporary culture. It seems as though we’ve reached a tipping [Read More…]

Daycare Costs More than College in 31 States.

Data journalist Christopher Ingraham has an interesting piece up at the Washington Post right now. We all know college is expensive, but when compared to day care costs we have a new reality: “A report last fall by Child Care Aware America, a national organization of child-care resource and referral agencies, found that the annual cost [Read More…]

Negligent Parents, Lawbreaking Kids: Stunning Article on Parental Accountability

LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN, and this week’s entry was stunning. Granderson laments the lack of accountability for the parents of children who commit horrible, unspeakable crimes. He begins, “A detail in the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse by a New York Police Department officer earlier this month has been stopping [Read More…]