Category: Blog 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 […]

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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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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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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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The Spiritual and Ethical Limits of National Sovereignty When the Planet is Burning

A few months ago, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro took refuge in a concept that may prove to be a dinosaur sooner rather than later: national sovereignty. When the leaders of world’s nations expressed alarm about the statistically abnormal rate the Amazon rain forest is burning this year, and offered financial assistance to battle the blazes, […]

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Fred Rogers, Best of the Protestant Mainline

Fred Rogers, known to generations of children and their parents, as Mister Rogers, was a Presbyterian minister. His show, begun in 1968, embodied much of old mainline Protestantism at its best. Without naming the Name, he walked the walk, in public spaces, and taught more what the way of Jesus by living it than most […]

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The ethic of “first, do no harm” would require major changes

There are laws, and there are ethics. Corporations in the U.S. have been granted legal “personhood” when it comes to matters such as political speech and campaign contributions. Some “closely held” corporations, such as Hobby Lobby, are allowed to extend their founders’ religious convictions to take precedence over laws that otherwise would apply. But what […]

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Why religion and politics are inseparable

[In the following essay, by “politics” I mean the value propositions that feed public policy, rather than electoral politics or public policy per se. I mean the “stuff” that in-forms public policy and how we vote.] Religion and politics—a pairing related to but different from church and state—are inseparable. While sometimes they taste sour together, […]

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Committing Faith in Public–The Rev. Shannon Fleck

Welcome to the first podcast of Committing Faith in Public! This is the podcast for people who want to be inspired by individuals and communities of faith doing good work in public. Our guests tell stories of their work to weave a more just, kind, and diversity-inclusive society. Our first guest is the Rev. Shannon […]

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Why E Pluribus Unum Is a Better Motto for Today than “In God We Trust”

On July 30, 1956, President Eisenhower signed the bill that made “In God We Trust” the national motto. This was the first official national motto and replaced the unofficial one, which goes back to the Franklin-Jefferson-Adams era, “E Pluribus Unum”: “Out of many, one.” I wish the nation would revert to “Out of many, one.” […]

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