Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Can I use the Bible to convince my friends to vote a certain way?

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Religion has a very unifying effect on its followers.  Is it even possible to separate religion and politics (that govern our everyday lives)?  The Bible is used to justify every conceivable political position. But let’s assume one can separate the two. What is the mental process to do that? If I can [Read More…]

When I was a young, naive Christian, I thought . . .

When I was a young, naive Christian . . . I thought that Christian people fought for integrity and truth. And then I discovered US politics and that money given to “Christian” organizations buys silence and complicity with evil and immorality. I thought that God truly loved all the world. And then I discovered that [Read More…]

When an “anyone but Donald” is married to an “anyone but Hilary,” part two

Part one of the saga of two people with radically different political views can be found here. We are not talking much about politics these days. I look at the stuff slanted my way; he looks at the stuff slanted his way. But we’ve both got problems. Personally, I am horrified by what I have seen [Read More…]

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"Trumpian" or Christian?

It has been announced: The Donald isn’t going to show up for the January 28 Republican debate because he doesn’t like Megyn Kelly and her, “I’m going to keep you accountable for your sexist remarks” questions. Trump’s got money and the power that goes with it. He has no need to be questioned about his [Read More…]

In Heaven As It Is On Earth

I wish I could get it across that what Jesus lived and taught has almost no relationship with the “hate-ianity” that masquerades as Christianity across the press, airways and religious institutions today. What should be a grace-infused, fully-life-giving, all-welcomed, heavenly-spaces-opened, mystery-explored, forgiveness and reconnection-enjoyed experience has turned into a “gotta hate gays, gotta vote republican, [Read More…]

Memories and the Hope of Healing

As this brutal and oppressive summer finally winds down, I head outside to assess the shrubs, flowers and grass. Much of it is damaged.  Much is beyond repair. It will be a big job to change it, but it will look differently after I replant.  More heat hardy plants, those needing less water and attention. I [Read More…]

Religion and Immigration

It’s time to talk politics. As a pastor, and as one who fully respects the separation of church and state, I will not endorse a particular political candidate. I will say, however, that one’s convictions must enter the political arena and guide decisions. The idea that we should leave religion for the private sphere only [Read More…]

Change and LIkeability

I’ve been watching the political campaigns with a great deal of interest. I know our political system is cumbersome, expensive, tedious, complex and not overly fair. Nonetheless, it is free and open and everyone can express their opinions. I find this liberating and hopeful for us as a nation. Two words keep coming to mind [Read More…]