The Rainbow that Is America

This was our view last night -- only from the other side.

I’m in Washington, D.C., with the family for a week of vacation (and some work) (and a great big and ravenous dog is watching our house!). Last night, after hours a Smithsonian museums, we sat with tens of thousands of Americans and watched Tom Bergeron host “A Capitol Fourth,” culminating with an amazing fireworks show over the Washington Monument.

Here’s what both Courtney and I remarked on during the show: The large number of immigrant families around us on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, dancing and singing and waving American flags.

With all of the (largely white) Tea Party fervor in recent years about getting back to the “real America” and the “true America,” it was refreshing to see that some of the most passionate Americans on Capitol steps have different skin color than I, and speak English with a thick accent.

Many of us post-evangelicals have an ambivalent feeling about our country — coming from the history of genocide of Native peoples to the current drone strikes that hit innocent civilians — yet seeing a recent immigrant dance with his three-year-old daughter last night, both of them waving flags and singing the National Anthem, was enough to renew my faith in America.

Is a Devastating Wildfire Like Premarital Sex?

Doesn't this look like premarital sex to you?

The as-usual hamfisted Focus on the Family seems to think so. In a blog post that was subsequently scrubbed from their website after backlash (seriously, who could have seen that coming?), Chad Hills wrote:

Questions begin to fester in our heads: So many fires have started in such close, uncanny sequence in Colorado, with Waldo Canyon being more recent … Would any sane person intentionally start a series of fires (arson) that would destroy other people’s lives? Could someone be so reckless or careless as to start a campfire, disregarding the extremely dry conditions, risks and a state-wide fire ban that is in effect? Or could it be nature, such as lightning, absent of rain?

Wouldn’t we all agree that it’s better to prevent a forest fire, if and when possible, than treat the immense damage in its aftermath?

These questions are similar to what the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is asking Congress and state legislatures about our nation’s approach toward pre-marital sex … Certain questions arise: Why aren’t our schools, our states and our nation placing a clear and unquestionable priority on sexual risk avoidance (SRA)?

Really, you can read the whole thing and see a screenshot of the post at Mother Jones: How Wildfires Are Just Like Premarital Sex | Mother Jones.

David Lose See the Light: Denominations Are Passé

David Lose thinks your denomination is a waste of time and money.

David Lose, professor at Luther Seminary, author of Making Sense of Scripture: Big Questions About the Book of Faith, and the brains behind list five reasons that denominations are a big fat waste of time and money. Here’s #3. Click through below to see the rest.

3) Inordinate amounts of funding are spent on maintaining denominational structures and bureaucracies, money that could be spent on mission. Even though every denomination I know has in recent years cut way back on spending, eliminated various divisions or boards, or extended the times between major assemblies or conventions, denominations are still expending vast sums of money to prop up dated denominational bureaucracies. Would it not make sense to conserve resources by efficiently combining structures? Are seven or eight struggling denominational publishing houses better than one robust one? Where there are three beleaguered denominational seminaries in a single region, might not one healthy pan-denominational school suffice? (And we haven’t even started on congregations!) Think of what might happen if the savings were channeled to funding creative media campaigns that didn’t extol the virtues of one denomination but taught the Christian faith.

via Five Reasons Denominations are Passé | …In the Meantime.

Overzealous Tambourine Player Tazed at Church

Luckily, the NewsChannel 4 Reporter shakes a tambourine in the story, just in case you forgot what it sounds like: