Handling the Haters: Tips for those who write blogs & those who read them.

You’ve just read a terrific blog or news-story from one of your favorite writers – perhaps it’s even one that you wrote. You’re basking in the glow of someone’s creativity. You’ve been blessed by their wit and humor. And you’ve allowed your mind to walk a mile in another person’s moccasins to see the world as they see it. You’re relishing in an insightful, fresh perspective. And you’re sporting a knowing grin of satisfaction and delight having experienced a slice… Read more

Forgiveness that’s hard to Fathom.

Holy, holy, holy. Beauty and blessing beyond my ability to comprehend. As a progressive Christian, embracing doubt is an essential part of my faith. It’s integral to avoiding religion at its worst, at its most over-stated, and at its most dysfunctional. But there are bits of reality that come crashing into my healthy skepticism that leave me thinking … “I guess there really is a God.” This week marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of 100 days of bloody… Read more

Great man, Great Speech, …and now – Spirituality Lite?

[This blog was originally written on April 3, 2011, the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s last speech – given the night before he was assassinated. Moving beyond confronting racism, King had expanded his work to speak out against the war in Vietnam and to address issues of economic injustice. In a crowded church in Memphis, TN, he spoke about his intention to march in solidarity with that city’s sanitation workers (black & white) who were on strike to… Read more

A “Sacred Fire” that Presents a Sacred Challenge — and Blessing.

I was really excited about the opportunity to read and review Ronald Rolheiser’s new book Sacred Fire: A Vision of a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity. I was… that is, until I started to read it. At a certain point I wasn’t so sure if I truly wanted to keep going. You see while the title appealed to me, and while I fancied myself as someone who is a “deep human” and who is a relatively “mature Christian” – reading… Read more

Cookies of Love: a Progressive Pastor’s Encounter with Fred Phelps

Brother Fred – is dead. When someone passes it is right and well to remember them. The following is a recounting of an encounter I had with the late, spreader of homophobic hate – Fred Phelps — at his worst, and perhaps at his best. During my last semester of grad school I was involved in monitoring the proceedings at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (effectively, the “Congress” of the denomination that meets every four years to… Read more

Happy Slave Patrick’s Day!

            While we’re digging through our wardrobes trying to find that one item of green clothing that we own, and while the bars are stocking up to prepare for happy throngs tonight, and while certain folks challenge ecosystems by dumping green dye into rivers,             we might do well to ponder a part of the St. Patrick’s Day story that often gets forgotten — Patrick was a slave.    … Read more

A Progressive Christian view of Sin & Sinners

  With the advent of human beings from the long processes of evolution and natural selection, a species was created that: is aware that it exists; has high critical thinking and tool-making skills; is capable of humor and self-reflection; can work as co-creators with God; can choose to worship God and be awed by, respect, and care for God’s creation; and who can choose paths of great self-harm and destruction.   We are potentially moral beings. We can decide to… Read more

Mardi Gras, Sodomy, & Us: the sodomites among us – tend to be us.

I see sodomite people. Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday. The day before Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent. A time for living with passion, vim and vigor, and for zealously sucking the marrow out of life. It’s also a time when some folks feel a need to wag their fingers. I’m feeling moved to wag a finger of my own – at those who tend to do the finger wagging. The following article is one of my favorites… Read more

Our Sin of Hating Fabulous & The Death Throes of Homophobia

We hate people who are fabulous. We always have.  Cain killed Abel because Cain had sin in his heart – and because he was jealous of his brother offering a fabulous offering to God. Joseph’s brothers hated him, threw him in a pit, and sold him into slavery because they had sin in their hearts  — and because they were jealous of their brother’s fabulous dreams and his fabulous, colorful (rainbow?) coat. Emmet Till was beaten to death because his… Read more

Have a Just Valentine’s Day

It’s the time of the year when lover-dovers show their love and affection for their snookums by buying sweets and gifts of beauty. Chocolate and flowers are the top sellers (if anyone is crushing on me, I prefer dark chocolate and Gerbera daisies – just sayin’). As a Christian blogger, you might expect me to take this time to remind us that it’s actually called St. Valentine’s Day, and that it’s an official feast day in the Roman Catholic Church,… Read more

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