Category: Blog Posts

The Cost of Craving Power

A cautionary tale. Once upon a time, there was a group of Christians who found themselves in the wilderness. I will call them This Group. And in the wilderness, that place of deprivation and longing, The Tempter is extremely powerful. Prior to being in the wilderness, This Group lived in the villages, just like other […]

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What Kind of Spirituality Does a Healthy Democracy Need?

Every culture has a spirituality, a spirit, a soul. Spirituality used in the context of culture refers to the life energy, the desire, the aching toward something. A true and good spirituality should ground a people, deepen them, make them wiser, keep them focused. Spirituality is evident in answers to the question, “What kind of […]

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The Work of Public Health Requires a Public. Do We Have One?

Do we have a genuine “public” in the U.S. or has “the public” (or, the publics) been sold to private interests for the sake of private profits? While one can find counterexamples to those I offer below, the preponderance of evidence is that “the public” in the U.S. is more fiction than reality. And a […]

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Reckoning with History is Very Different from Erasing History

Throughout history, religious-political regimes have frequently tried to erase conquered rivals from history. Jumping from era to era, and citing just a few examples: Scholars have no idea when Jesus of Nazareth was born. But the early Roman church wanted to erase the festival of Saturnalia and picked December 25 in order to smudge out […]

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Which Civility do You Want?

In Western Europe, the 16th century Reformation and its long aftermath broke the Christian churches’ hope for concord in church and society, if by concord we mean peace based on unity grounded in religious belief and practice. While some leaders are hardheaded and have delusions of returning to a religious-based unity, Christian churches cannot claim, […]

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It’s the Economy, Not the Children

What has the pandemic revealed about whom or what we U.S. Americans most value? Whatever the answer, it can’t be “our children.” In a “values clarification” exercise from many years ago, I heard the speaker say something like this: “If someone stretched a tightrope between two buildings in your city, would you walk it? Most […]

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Faith Based (and all other) Nonprofit Recipients Should Disclose Why They Applied and What They Received in PPP Funds

How do you feel about Edmond-based LifeChurch.TV receiving in the category of $5-10 million in taxpayer funds? How about the $2-5 million for the Hobby Lobby owner-supported Museum of the Bible? Or the millions received collectively by conservative Christian colleges in Oklahoma? Or various Catholic entities (a national story last week said the Catholic Church, […]

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Negative Freedom is Killing the United States

In the first theology class I took in seminary, near the start of the course, the professor, lecturing on the Apostle Paul, said: “Christ sets us free. But there is freedom from and freedom for. Protestant Christian theology claims that, in some significant way, Christians are freed from the power of sin. But what are […]

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What if Christians Hid Our Symbols from Public Life?

Leaders in Tulsa’s Black community used what I thought was a brilliant strategy during the president’s campaign rally. They did not think it was fitting for visiting dignitaries to appropriate markers such as the Black Wall Street mural or memorial monument as photo ops. Greenwood’s leaders tarped the monument and papered over the mural. They […]

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Let’s Imagine a U.S. American Holy Week

What is the relationship between Juneteenth and the 4th of July? I’m going to address that question by referring to Christianity’s Holy Week. Church goers hear a combination of admonition and lament from pulpits as Holy Week approaches: “You can’t understand and experience the meaning of Easter unless you attend to the stories of betrayal, […]

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