April 9, 2020

Most of us are closing our church doors to the virus. Will we open our minds to a new politics? Don’t let the news stories about pastors refusing to cancel in-person services give you the wrong impression. While some are making this unconscionable choice, the overwhelming majority of us have closed our church doors to the virus, and we’re working to meet our congregations’ needs via FaceTime, Zoom and Facebook Live. Loving our neighbors as we love ourselves remains our... Read more

April 8, 2020

This week I’m going back to Mary Oliver’s poetry collection called Thirst. It is a great read for Holy Week. Today’s poem is “The Uses of Sorrow.”  Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand That this, too, was a gift. Today we have inherited a box full of darkness. It may take us years to understand it. While the pain is not in itself a good, perhaps the understanding that... Read more

March 28, 2020

We’re all frightened of the COVID-19 pandemic for very good reason right now. But, like you, I’m doing my best to love my neighbors. Washing our hands frequently, staying home except for absolute necessities, and communicating with our loved ones are essential steps. Keep it going.  Listening to public health professionals’ guidelines right now is critical, but President Trump has disregarded their expertise by calling for an end to social distancing by Easter – which could lead to horrific deaths.... Read more

February 14, 2020

After more than a year of campaigning, Democratic primary voters are finally winnowing the field for the 2020 presidential election. After just two contests, we have only five major candidates left. Compared to previous election cycles, Democratic contenders have connected their policies to religious values and reached out to communities of faith. In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders spoke profoundly about how his Jewish faith shapes his world view. In Iowa, Joe Biden spent time with Catholic nuns who serve undocumented... Read more

January 29, 2020

Defiant women change history. From the women putting their bodies on the line during the Suffragist movement to the Women’s Marches today, we’ve proven that our voices shake the world. And when women lead companies, governments and nonprofits, we all benefit. But according to a recent 2019 study of 329 organizations employing 13 million people, only one in five senior leaders is a woman, and just one in 25 is a woman of color. These numbers are shameful for our... Read more

January 27, 2020

As the 2020 election season begins, President Trump’s evangelical endorsers are touting his record on religious freedom to shore up his support among their base. Their strained reading of the issue — for example, citing the First Amendment to justify denying adoption services, health care and public accommodations to LGBTQ families — stands in stark contrast to the simple moral clarity of the gravest threat to religious freedom in the United States today: the Trump administration’s discrimination against Muslims on... Read more

January 15, 2020

In America, land of the free, no freedom is more fundamental to our identity than freedom of religion. It is one of the most hopeful building blocks we have to ensure that we remain a global symbol of what rich and inclusive diversity looks like and what it adds to everyday modern life. I’m a pastor – that is why I value this piece of my American heritage so deeply.  Of course, we haven’t always lived up to our full promise of religious... Read more

November 14, 2019

As a student at Princeton Theological Seminary in the 90s, my dorm room in Alexander Hall was so narrow that I could touch the walls on opposite sides of the room at the same time. The neighboring room was regal and spacious. This every-other-room pattern repeated throughout the building. Rumor had it that the closet-sized rooms were built to accommodate the slaves of Southern gentlemen who resided in the grander rooms.    The memory of those close walls rushed back... Read more

October 4, 2019

The Book of Proverbs is replete with warnings about the dangerous power of speech: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (18:21 NRSV) While a quick glance at the president’s twitter account shows that such warnings don’t sway him, I would hope they would shape the words of pastors in his orbit. Sadly, such is not always the case. Speaking on FOX News last weekend, Rev. Robert Jeffress... Read more

September 24, 2019

Yesterday, I spoke at a rally in front of the Capitol, as we joined with NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and others to deliver a letter from over six thousand people of faith to Congress, calling on them to act for immigration justice. Below is what I said.  We are gathered today to seek freedom, safety and dignified treatment of all God’s children, regardless of where they were born, or how they arrived at the US border. We are... Read more

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