We Have Some Healing To Do

Differences over ideology, sexuality and race were there 30 years ago, but there seems to have been more opportunities to come together and meet the other. Our modern self-selected society allows us to basically pick our friends instead of trying to build bridges with those who might be different. Continue reading We Have Some Healing To Do

Diversity in Name Only

A friend on Facebook linked to an article in First Things by Mark Regnerus.  Regnerus is an interesting fellow.  He is a sociologist at the University of Texas and  has been at the center of some controversy in recent years over a study he released on gay parenting that did not put same sex families in a positive light.  Knowing that, I was a little hesitant to share this article because so many will dismiss this article at first read because of who wrote it. I disagree with Regnerus, but his article on diversity in mainline churches did hit at … Continue reading Diversity in Name Only

We Call Ourselves Disciples

My wife Jan and I have been members of First Christian Church of St. Paul for nearly 20 years.  We love the congregational focus.  We particularly embrace the dedication to the principles of wholeness and inclusiveness of the Disciples of Christ, that welcome everyone to the Communion Table with no exceptions.  We have recently rededicated ourselves to mission based activities.  Our work with food banks, homeless shelters, and job programs is very important to us.  If we are making sandwiches for the homeless, staffing a homeless shelter, packing food for the hungry, or just raising money for local support organizations, … Continue reading We Call Ourselves Disciples

Why Being Nice to The Gays Won’t Save Your Church*

This past week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) meeting in Detroit, approved pastors being able to marry same sex partners in states where same sex marriage is legal.  According to Presbyterian polity, it still has to get the approval of the majority of presbyteries (there are 172) before it becomes the law. Judging Facebook and Twitter there were a lot of comments about how good this is and I agree with them.  But will this action, coupled with the approval of non celibate gays to become ordained a few years ago save the Presbyterian Church?  Will it save any church? I … Continue reading Why Being Nice to The Gays Won’t Save Your Church*

By the Time I Get to Arizona

About a week ago, I wrote a post on same-sex marriage and how those of us who support it should act towards those that oppose it.  Can we be good winners to the losers? Some of the response to that post got me thinking (and agonizing) over this issue.  In two states, Kansas and Arizona, bills have made their way through the state legislature that would give people the right to refuse service to gays.  I think both bills are unconstitutional on their face and bring to mind the dreadful memories of Jim Crow. That said, these laws are the … Continue reading By the Time I Get to Arizona

Social Media and the Rise of Fake Outrage

It seems to follow a predictable pattern:  there is some example of diversity that takes place; a commercial with an interracial family, another one features to the rich multiculturalism of America, an Indian American woman wins Miss America, a young boy of Mexican heritage sings the national anthem at an NBA game.  Shortly thereafter someone says something rather ignorant and racist about the event.  This then bring a counterattack on the trolls which is usually far louder than the original tweet. This seems to be happening a lot lately.  It has me bugged.  But I’m not bugged about the bigots.  … Continue reading Social Media and the Rise of Fake Outrage

“The Right Side of History” and Other Fundamentalisms

Over and over again, I heard one phrase being used on my side of the same-sex marriage debate: “the right side of history.”  Yes, most of us who believe in marriage equality do think this is the right thing to do.  We liken this current debate in the backdrop of the civil rights movement and interracial marriages where equality was seen as the march of progress and those who disagreed were out of touch and archaic. The steady march of progress on marriage equality can make one think that those of us on the pro-same sex marriage fight are truly … Continue reading “The Right Side of History” and Other Fundamentalisms

Repost: We Can’t Be Friends

First off, welcome to all the new visitors who saw my post on Freshly Pressed. Below is a post from last year.  It was about 20 years ago, that I attended a large Baptist church in Washington, DC. The church was an odd mix, or at least it would be odd today. Evangelicals and liberals were somehow able to worship together, along side a healthy dose of members from Latin America and Asia. The church decided at some point to hire a pastor to the join the good-sized multi-pastor staff. The person chosen was a woman with great pastoral care … Continue reading Repost: We Can’t Be Friends

On Holy Friendships

My thoughts these days are drifting towards relationships, or the lack thereof in churches. I’ve been thinking about this in light of a recent blog post on CivilPolitics.org on the dearth of cross-party friendships.  The post linked to a longer article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the issue.  The author, Neil Gross notes that such friendships have benefits for the whole of society: President Obama last month took a group of Republican senators to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel, in Washington, to discuss the sequestration crisis and a wide range of other policy matters. The next day he … Continue reading On Holy Friendships

Birth Control And The Sham of Theological Diversity

One of the things that Progressive Christians like to say about themselves is how welcoming and tolerant they are.  Compared to their more conservative cousins, progressives can pride themselves in being able to think for themselves and to have a place where all ideas and beliefs can be shared without fear. Why, your progressive church even welcomes Republicans! But in reality, all of this talk of diversity is a complete shame.  We are no more tolerant of other viewpoints than our conservative relatives.  What we are good at is lying to ourselves about how good we are. Case in point … Continue reading Birth Control And The Sham of Theological Diversity