“Great Men” and the Tide of History

“Hindsight is 20/20” goes the cliche. And in my experience a lot of people want to say “I told you so.” I have to say I’m a terrible pundit—over and over in the last US presidential election cycle I predicted the meltdown of Donald Trump. I was wrong every time. I got it completely wrong … [Read more…]

America’s deadly theological crisis

My special holiday guest blogger is Rev. Jim Foti, assistant minister at the congregation I serve. He delivered a version of this reflection over the Martin Luther King weekend. The first clear thought I had back in the wee hours of November 9th was that a lot of people are going to die. Unchecked climate … [Read more…]

#Humanism, Specism, and the Baggage of Words

In a recent op ed article in The New York Times, Natasha Lennard and Cary Wolfe asked the question “is humanism really humane?” (see link below) While the authors rightly point out that the term “humanism” has many meanings, Natasha Lennard falls into the fallacy of equating humanism with specism. But before we look at … [Read more…]

Ay Caramba! Decolonizing the Mind

The darkness drops again but now I know     That twenty centuries of stony sleep     Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,     And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,     Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats   We all walk around with … [Read more…]

#Resolutions and Diseases of the Soul 

It’s that time of year again—time for resolutions. List makers will list them; the sloppy among us will make mental notes; the cynical will say, “Never again!” Yes, resolutions for the new year are a cliche, but determining to do things differently—taking ourselves off autopilot and living more consciously—is anything but a tired cliche. This year, … [Read more…]

Happy Holidays From the Cruel Optimisms

Isn’t it just a tad too ironic that one of the US national icons is called Mt. “Rush-more”? Sure, I know—it’s named after a rich white guy, but Mt. Rushmore? I’m thinking Americans need a Mt. Rush-less or a Mt. Chill Out. Sure, it’s pure happenstance that Mt. Rushmore is the name of the place … [Read more…]

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

I suspect that I am far from the only one having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit these days. It’s hard to feel all ho-ho-ho when the news is full of the wholesale slaughter of civilians in Aleppo and a string of outrageous and appalling appointments from a president elect who was voted … [Read more…]

Communities of Resilience and Resistance

As a young theology student, James Luther Adams watched the Nazi rise to power. For the rest of his life he insisted that voluntary associations are the key to resisting oppression—voluntary associations such as congregations. When facing the breakdown of the rule of law, voluntary associations provide a place of both resilience and resistance—resilience for … [Read more…]

Better Living Through #Cynicism

Good. Better. Best. Choice. In consumerist cultures we learn to make choices but are discouraged  from thinking through to the ultimate value of things. For example, last weekend, the center-left Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a resounding defeat at the polls. The victors were populist parties such as the Five Star Movement, led by former … [Read more…]