September 10, 2023

  Public schools are such a hot-button issue these days. Entire organizations have sprung up to fight against the so-called wokeness of public schools. We see it on social media posts and at school board meetings, in evangelical churches and in state government halls – people insisting that we must put God back in public schools. For some, this means hanging the Ten Commandments or having coaches or teachers leading school prayer. It means including Bible classes taught by evangelicals... Read more

August 12, 2023

  I am a public school teacher. And I promise – I am not indoctrinating your children.  To indoctrinate means that you’re trying to get a group of people to accept some beliefs uncritically – without any critical thinking.  As an English teacher, my goal is the exact opposite of that. I want your child to think critically. I spend the entire school year trying to get students to think critically about everything we read. And I hope that every... Read more

August 3, 2023

  Back when my oldest child was in middle school, she wanted to read “The Hunger Games.” The movie was about to be released, and it was all the buzz in pop culture. My daughter wanted to read the book, then see the movie. As an English teacher, I appreciated that she wanted to read the book first. However, neither her dad nor I had read the book, and we weren’t sure whether the book’s premise was appropriate for a... Read more

July 28, 2023

  We’re coming up on International Friendship Day. How does our faith impact our friendships? How do we share our faith with our friends? How do we proclaim and live out the gospel within friendships?  After spending my teenage years and so much of the first half of my adult life in evangelical churches, it’s taken me a long time to settle into some ideas about sharing the gospel with my friends.  For a time, back when I was in... Read more

July 23, 2023

I’m not so great at being still. Don’t get me wrong – I’m pretty great at sitting on my couch and watching “Indian Matchmaking” or “Ted Lasso.” But I’m not great at slowing down my mind and being still.  It seems counterintuitive to me – dangerous even. When so much of the world is hurtling to destruction. When horrible people seem to have a gross amount of power. When vulnerable people become more oppressed and marginalized. Being still feels selfish... Read more

July 21, 2023

  Why would a movie about the horrors of child trafficking be controversial? Obviously, nobody is getting on the Internet to endorse child trafficking. Ending human trafficking is not a contentious subject. So why is the movie “Sound of Freedom” so controversial? False perceptions about human trafficking hurt the efforts to end trafficking According to actual experts in human trafficking who have spoken out against ‘Sound of Freedom,’ the film may genuinely hurt anti-trafficking work. Sensationalized embellishments depicted in the... Read more

July 15, 2023

Followers of Jesus are supposed to be marked with a righteous hope, a faith that all things will work for good. At the same time, we’re supposed to have a righteous indignation, an anger at the things that offend God. How do we hold both of those things at the same time?  By now, we all know how awful toxic positivity is. I am not going to argue with that. False reassurances are not healthy. Dismissing someone else’s pain with... Read more

July 6, 2023

Where is the line between religious freedom and discrimination? Does someone’s right to practice their religion include the right to discriminate against those outside their religious beliefs?  These debates continue to rise because the lines are fuzzy. Some judges see things differently than another collection of justices on the Supreme Court. Similarly, you and I may not agree on where the line is between one person’s religious freedom and another person’s freedom from discrimination.  So what is the solution? Where... Read more

June 29, 2023

    We’re wrapping up Pride month in a year that’s been loaded with anti-queer political power plays and social battles. Now in 2023, just as much as ever, we need Pride month to affirm and celebrate the lives of people who must constantly justify their existence. Especially as Christians, we should celebrate Pride.  Preaching about other people’s sins For years, I was enmeshed in conservative, evangelical communities. I was loving, but non-affirming towards the LGBTQ+ community. I’d been taught... Read more

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