MLK: Great man, Great speech, and now… Spirituality-”lite.”

[Note: This blog was written on April 3, 2011, the anniversary of the night before MLK's assassination.]On this night in 1968, MLK delivered his last speech.  He was shot and killed the next day.These are words that haunt, inspire, challenge, and motivate me. I see signs of this kind of radical Christianity, this kind of critical patriotism, and this kind of unabashed spiritual boldness in various places around the world, but not so much in the country I call home. What … [Read more...]

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday. A time for gathering with friends and family. Wholesome fun for young and old alike.Make some snacks, settle in your couches, and enjoy the game – and the terrific ads! Budweiser’s horses playing football are my favorites.  And then…. there’s the ads featuringthe bloody aborted fetuses.What the what?!?Yep. In 40 targeted market cities around the country, presidential candidate Terry Randall will be running ads that feature horridly graphic photos of the remains … [Read more...]

2012 is The End! It’s the Beginning! … Or it’s just another year.

The clocks are ticking and 2011 is about to end and it’s about to be 2012. For some, this is a big deal.A lot of people, from various walks of life, think that something big is about to happen. In the past year, a fundamentalist Christian radio personality name Harold Camping got not one, but two, 15 minutes of fame for casting predictions that the world would end in 2011 – and a lot of his followers maxed out their credit cards, sold their life’s possessions, and one woman slit her children’s … [Read more...]

“There but by the Grace of God, go We?” Nope. Calling out the Methodists

Progressive people know not to put money into the red Salvation Army kettles around Christmas. Even though that organization (Church) does a lot of good and helps a lot of people, they're perceived as homophobic bigots who won't allow homosexuals the right to join their ranks or participate in their reindeer games.A recent article on Elephant Journal spells this out in detail:...From the Salvation Army website, they list their positional stances on many topics, including … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Mom was a Punk

A punk rock band should do a song based on Mary’s “Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55).Knocked-up, teen-aged Mary was the first punk singer and the first rock & roller.  When she learned that she would bear the Christ-child, she sang a song.  It was a song of praise.  And it was a song of protest.  She celebrates that God is about to do something new in the world.She was celebrating that God was about to turn the world upside-down, knock the wealthy oppressors off their pedestals, lift up … [Read more...]

Why I’m a Gay-Friendly Pastor: World AIDS Day

I’m a man of the cloth. I wear a robe.As an ordained United Methodist pastor, I sometimes wear a robe when I preach and lead worship. Okay, I don’t wear it all that often any more now that I’m doing campus ministry (mostly wear jeans and one of those hip short sleeve shirts tucked out), but I do still wear it several times a year when I perform weddings or guest preach at area churches. But it’s not just any robe. It used to be Ron’s.I grew up in St. Paul, MN and attended Hamline UMC (Unite … [Read more...]