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

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

charlie-fuqua

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-roxy-morris

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

obama-romney-praying

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

kathy-lee-gifford-drops-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...]

Dinner — and the gospel

StLydiasDinner_m

My church is the subject of a fantastic article, “Dinner — and the gospel — is served, at St. Lydia’s” by Ansley Roan in Duke Divinity’s publication Faith & Leadership. Volunteer cooks arrive at the Brooklyn Zen Center around 6 p.m. on Sunday nights. A chalkboard sign, the kind that might advertise a restaurant’s nightly [Read More...]

The Gossip Test — How to tell if your interest is justified

idle-talk

Last week I talked about the harm done by gossip — especially the harm we do to ourselves by creating separation between ourselves and an “other” and so creating separation from God’s love. OK, you’re saying, sure rumormongering and slander are bad, but I don’t see the harm in a little talking about people’s business when they’re not around — not in a hateful way, just being a little nosy. I’m trying to be helpful. And it’s fun. [Read more...]


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