At the Intersection of Exclusion

An editorial in the New York Times on Wednesday March 8th, a feminist who is also Jewish wondered if she could really join in the international women’s day movement. After all, the organizers were linked to groups promoting the “decolonization of Palestine,” which effectively means putting an end to the nation of Israel. (https:/www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/does-feminism-have-room-for-zionists.html) She wasn’t [Read More…]

Fear and Loathing in the AG’s Office

Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office just sent a letter that demonstrates again how deeply Islamophobia has infected Texas state government. You can find an account and copy here: http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/education/paxtons-office-outlines-concerns-over-prayer-room-in-letter-to-frisco-isd/423487833. The letter is problematic for any number of reasons. First it opens with a falsehood, “Our initial inquiry left several questions unresolved.” The AG’s office contacted no [Read More…]

Restoring Civilization: Whose Babies?

“‘Culture and demographics are our destiny” according to Representative Steve King. Well depending on what you mean this is hardly arguable. Culture deeply shapes the way any society evolves. And everyone from marketers to evangelists to politicians to educators knows that shifting demographics across multiple dimensions will determine what products sell, who gets converted, who wins [Read More…]

The Dis-Uniting of Methodist Christianity – When Dialogue Fails

Christian Churches, from local congregations to Annual Conferences (or Diocese or Presbyteries or Synods) to national and international organizations are almost invariable run by people who started by studying theology. The Bible and Theology are their hammers, and that often makes everything a doctrinal nail. Its Not You I Hate, Its What You Believe Take the current [Read More…]

America’s Forever Immigrants

It has often been said the the United States was founded on immigration. And that is true. Its also true that each wave of immigrants has been blamed for all sorts of social problems. But is it true that each is eventually assimilated into being American? No. Certain communities have never really been granted the status of [Read More…]

What is a White Supremacist?

Let’s keep this fast: You don’t have to be an Arian Nation airhead wrapped in a confederate flag to be a white supremacist. You don’t need to hate people of color and love being pink. You don’t need to believe in segregation. You don’t need to be bad person. While the overt manifestations of white [Read More…]

Its Not a Muslim Ban – Its Worse

  Atlanta airport, T-Gates. A radio talk show features a debate on President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from several dominantly Muslim countries. A legal expert is trying to patiently explain that the courts will not interpret this as a ban on Muslims. An increasingly irate activist accuses him of supporting a ban on Muslim. [Read More…]

The Anti-Semitism in the Heart of Christianity

Anti-Judaism is as old as the United States of America. Indeed, it is really as old as Christianity and Western civilization. In the last two days Jewish community centers across the United States have been evacuated because of a bomb threat. The threat may not have been credible. But the perpetrators did intend to cause harm. And [Read More…]

No Exit?

In a few hours i’ll fly out of Tel Aviv to return to the US. This will be my 20th or 21st year of visiting Israel and the West Bank. In that 20 years I’ve never seen or heard less hope and more fear than I’ve heard on this trip. Not that there haven’t been [Read More…]

What Makes a Sacred Space Real?

On Facebook I’ve been posting pictures of visits to various sites in Israel and the Palestinian Territory. A friend said: “One of the reasons I have never been truly interested in seeing some of the sites linked to early Christianity is a skepticism that the locations claimed to be “the place” are grounded in verified data. [Read More…]