RPLI Posts

Christmas Is Over, Herod (Thinks He) Won

Editor’s Note: The following is a fictional narrative, relating Matthew chapter 2 from Herod’s point of view. Did those Persian astrologer no-good liars think they got away with something? Those guys were clowns. What a mess they caused, and they made me do something awful. But, hey, that’s how the game works. Cause and effect. […]

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Committing Faith in Public Podcast with State Senator George Young, Sr.

The Rev. Dr. George Young, Sr., is well known to Phillips’ audiences as a double alumnus (master’s and doctoral degrees), adjunct instructor, and former trustee. In addition, we know him as a long-time pastor who cultivated links between the congregations he served and the civic community. When Dr. Young retired from pastoral work, he took […]

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Public Religion in the News Digest, January 10, 2020

Religion New Service lists the top 10 religious news stories of the past decade: From the article: Benedict XVI resignation; Islamophobia; clergy sex abuse; #ChurchToo; the “nones”; mass shootings at houses of worship; gay ordination/gay marriage; evangelicals and power; anti-Semitic attacks; religious freedom (trumping all other rights). Washington Post interviews Sojourners’ Jim Wallis regarding the […]

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Lessons from the Christianity Today Dust-Up

The current danger, for religious people, is that we baptize political and partisan stances with “God’s” holy waters. However, those stances are not thereby cleansed; to the contrary, holy waters used for partisan purposes lose their sacramental power, and God becomes god or simply irrelevant.

If individuals and community of faith cannot do, say, or imagine differently from the options represented by today’s political positions, then we are dangerous if taken seriously, for the sword of the spirit and the sword of the state are wielded again as one.

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Committing Faith in Public Podcast with Aliye Shimi

  Aliye Shimi is the executive director of Tulsa’s oldest ecumenical/interfaith organization, Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry. In that role, and in the MANY volunteer hours Aliye gives, Aliye is among the fiercest and kindest advocates for justice, dignity, compassion, and basic human decency in Tulsa and everywhere. She lives her Muslim faith, in public, for the […]

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Public Religion in the News Digest, December 20, 2019

Religion cases coming to the Supreme Court: who does a “ministerial exemption” include? (for another article on this matter, see this one from the Washington Post). From the article: “The Establishment Clause prevents the Government from appointing ministers,” Chief Justice John Roberts explained for his Court, “and the Free Exercise Clause prevents it from interfering […]

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Musing about Impeachment in Advent

Rather than essaying a sustained opinion-piece today, I’m going to muse about impeachment in the “light” of Advent—or, maybe, the darkness of Advent. I’m not going to weigh in directly on the matter, at least not in the way that some Christians on the Right have done; they have declared that the President is God’s […]

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Public Religion in the News Digest, December 13, 2019

Fuller Seminary, LGBTQ inclusion, and the non-discrimination requirements that come with federal student loan programs. I don’t know if this is another issue that may simply be resolved at a local level (see the following article by David Gushee; this case is not unique). But the case illustrates the conflict between public morality which differs […]

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Committing Faith in Public Podcast with the Rev. Clark Frailey, public education advocate

There are not many organizations these days that are able to create coalitions that cross partisan divides. But the Rev. Clark Frailey, pastor of Coffee Creek Church (Southern Baptist) in Edmond, OK, has found a way to do that on the issue of public education in Oklahoma. The Rev. Frailey is one of the founders of Pastors for Oklahoma Kids, which has done excellent work in a short time to keep faith leaders informed about legislative matters that affect ALL our public school children and families in Oklahoma, and to advocate with legislators for public education. Pastors for OK Kids participants run the theological gamut. Gary Peluso-Verdend interviewed Frailey.

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Which Democracy, Which Spirituality?

Not long ago, I thought “democracy” carried a near-sacred aura in American public life. No longer. There is a book I’ve not read yet, but the title is so spot-on the book is on my “must read” list. Astra Taylor wrote Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Confidence in democracy […]

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