The key election issues my faith gives me

A prisoner in the film The House I Live In, an Abramorama release 2012. Photo courtesy of Derek Hallquist.

I answer this week’s #PatheosElection question: What are the key issues for people of your tradition to consider as they approach this election? Or as I put it, since the phrase “people of my tradition” raises its own set of questions: what issues my faith makes key for me. [Read more...]

Anne Lindley — The Good Samaritan and the Social Safety Net

The Good Samaritan, Rembrandt (1630)

As a Christian, I believe Jesus was not kidding when He said “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Jesus talks about offering meat and drink, providing clothes, helping the sick. How about us? What should we do for our sisters and brothers? What kind of a social safety net should we try to provide in our country? This election gives Christians the chance to show what we believe Jesus meant. [Read more...]

Jacob Slichter — What are the key issues in your tradition this election?

Photo credit: Steve Cohen

Musician and writer Jacob Slichter, the drummer for Semisonic, answers the question: What are the key issues for people of your tradition to consider as they approach this election? [Read more...]

Leading song without written lyrics


Music That Makes Community teaches congregational song leaders how to work without hymnals, printed music or projected lyrics. I know firsthand that you’re more able to be fully present, to look around you at the other congregants; singing becomes even more communal. The next workshop is this weekend in New York. [Read more...]

Candidate Charlie Fuqua says stoning disobedient children would make an example of them


For years my go-to Bible quote to show the absurdity of still living by tribal law has been Deuteronomy 21:18-21, which says that rebellious children should be stoned to death. Meet Republican candidate for the Arkansas legislature Charlie Fuqua, a full-blown Christian Reconstructionist who has caught national attention because his e-book “God’s Law”, published this Spring, says stoning children may not be such a bad idea. [Read more...]

The End of Dinesh D’Souza

Dinesh D'Souza (left); Denise Odie Joseph II (right)

I can’t say I’m sorry that anti-Obama propagandist and torture apologist D’Souza has been taken out of commission. The direct cause: he’s sleeping with a younger woman while separated but not yet divorced from his wife. While I find it frustrating that some conservative evangelical leaders were OK with his deceitful propaganda but are drawing the line at his having sex outside of wedlock, I say good riddance. [Read more...]

Christians look bad on Survivor… again


Survivor is obviously not reality. Of course the producers choose contestants who fit stereotypical character types. But it does come closer than most “reality shows” to showing real patterns in behavior. And once again, the worst of Christianity was on display. [Read more...]

Cultivating presence

Swedish river scene, Jan van Goyen, 1596-1656

I often hear people talking about living in the present moment as if it is a struggle, some cosmic game of attempting to grasp something that is fleeting, illusory. They say things like, “the moment I have it, it’s gone.” While this is true and can be frustrating, the last thing present moment awareness is about is grabbing serenity. Reducing worry and stress is just a happy side effect of cultivating presence, though; it’s not the point. The point of living in the moment is that the present moment is where reality is, where God is. When you remove the obstacles to being fully present, fully awake, you remove the obstacles to seeing the glorious reality of life, the presence of God’s love. [Read more...]

Voting on faith


As someone who was raised atheist and has gone through several religions during my spiritual journey, I don’t have a strong identification as something, and I have a deep respect for the common ground between most faiths. So when I consider the faith of a political candidate, it is not a question of denomination or even religion, but of where their beliefs point. [Read more...]

Kathie Lee Gifford drops a puppy on its head, then blames the puppy


This post is about a case of indecency — not of human cruelty but of human callousness and stupidity. It’s trivial in the midst of this political season, I admit, but it was so offensive to me that I want to go on the record. I’m talking, of course, about Kathie Lee Gifford dropping a puppy on its head on live TV, and then blaming the puppy. [Read more...]