Leaving Westboro Baptist: How Megan Phelps-Roper Moved Beyond “Us Against Them”

I was a blue eyed, chubby cheeked five-year-old when I joined my family on the picket line for the first time … I’d stand on a street corner, in the heavy Kansas humidity, surrounded by a few relatives, with my tiny fists clutching a sign that I couldn’t read yet – “Gays Are Worthy of Death.” This was the beginning. -Megan Phelps-Roper We live in a polarized culture. Many of us are looking for ways to heal the divisions that threaten our politics.A recent statistic claims that 83 percent of … [Read more...]

Trump, Satan, and the Resistance

Christians throughout the world recently celebrated the first Sunday of Lent. We told the story of Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Satan tempted Jesus with food, glory, and political power.Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations, but we often succumb.Satan is usually known as the “Tempter.” But in Hebrew, the word literally means “Accuser.” Satan is best understood not as a fallen angel in a red suit with a pitch fork and horns. Christian tradition claims that evil doesn’t have a real … [Read more...]

The Sermon on the Mount: A Theology of Resistance

Now is the time for a robust theology of resistance.As the violence that has always surrounded us swirls and stings our eyes, kicked up by the rough boots of the new administration trampling over the American Empire, I, like many, find sanctuary in my faith. But we need more than spiritual refuge. We need guidance in the desert as harsh winds of distrust and fear erode shelters of compassion and kindness. As the fragile foundations of democracy crack under the strain of endless war, we need … [Read more...]

Wednesday Sermon: Salt, Power, and the Big Difference

Pastors have a frequent question when they begin to discover mimetic theory. “That’s great. But how does it preach?”Reverend Tom Truby shows that mimetic theory is a powerful tool that enables pastors to preach the Gospel in a way that is meaningful and refreshing to the modern world. Each Wednesday, Teaching Nonviolent Atonement will highlight his sermons as an example of preaching the Gospel through mimetic theory.In this sermon, Tom explains the "power" of Christ crucified. The ancien … [Read more...]

The Truth about Alternative Facts in the Trump Administration

What an amazing first couple of days for the Trump presidency! I’m not sure if “amazing” is the right word, but it’s a better word than surprising. No one should be surprised by how the Trump presidency is beginning.Just to recap the latest Trump scandal, Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, fought with the media of the size of the crowd. Why? Because Trump is all about size. He likes things big. He wants to be big. I mean BIG. Remember how big his hands are? We learned during the pr … [Read more...]

Epiphany – The All-Vulnerable God

Today is the start of a New Year, a fresh start. I don’t know about you, but after 2016, I could use a fresh start.But today is not just the beginning of the New Year. Christians throughout the world are celebrating Epiphany, the day when the Magi saw the star that led them to baby Jesus.Epiphany means “appearance” or “manifestation.” In the ancient world, an epiphany was the appearance of a deity made manifest on earth.People believed that the gods appeared in powerful rulers. The P … [Read more...]

Solid Advice from “Last Man Standing” On How Not To Be Stupid!

This has been a tough year for anyone who values courtesy in the public sphere. It appears that our nation is plagued by anger and arrogance, a fatal combination to decency, civility and maybe to democracy itself. (No, I’m not whining – geez, you’re judgmental!) There’s no way we are giving in to despair, though, because this is not a nation of quitters, am I right?That’s certainly what America’s cheerleader from the right would say. I’m talking about Outdoor Man Mike Baxter, played with pana … [Read more...]