Since that disturbing Oval Office pronouncement there have been thousands of opinions written across the political spectrum, endless hours dedicated to punditocracy in the marketplace, countless words of pulpiteering offered by the Church.
And I’ve been afraid to speak.
Is there a better word? New clothes… new car… new house… new job… new day… Don’t those three little letters, N-E-W, sum up all human hopes?
The poor want a new way, a new hope. The affluent want a new challenge, a new adventure. The living want a new opportunity. The dying want a new reality.
It never ends. When we’re born, everything is new, and we die still seeking newness. Every age, every stage brings newness. Could we live without it?
As this refugee crisis continues to speak to your heads, maybe God will speak to your heart, and you’ll help us respond as a church? Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13.2).
I was away last week, taking some study leave to complete a couple writing projects. I’m holed up in a little farm house on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. My colleagues and I awoke the first morning to three inches of fresh snow. This fertile land was silenced in white, a gray steam rising off the Choptank River, which crawled underneath the lifeless cold a hundred feet away.
After a few people asked why I was going to participate in the Women’s March on Charlotte, and why was it called a "March for Women" as opposed to a "March for All", I decided that I needed to respond. So I have taken portions of emails I wrote in response to those questions and turned them into this blog post. I am very well aware that everyone that marched will answer the question differently. I can only tell my story. -Amy
Because he believed Hated Hillary was actually running a child sex ring, that somehow had not been detected, despite her being under unrelenting, continual surveillance, he took a loaded, automatic rifle to a public restaurant, and started shooting.
This unbelievable episode is now cause for a frantic discussion of “fake news” and potential cures for this new, dangerous social ill. Media and sociology and psychology experts from around the country are offering their erudite opinions on what we can do about this new, dangerous trend.
Hi there. This is weird, I know, but this is a letter from your 38-year-old self, written twenty years in the future.
I have timed this letter to arrive to you on August 14, 1996, which is a Wednesday during your first full week of classes at the University of Tennessee. You have a roommate you’re still not sure you can trust, and suite mates you knew from high school that you’re glad to have. Flip your expectations, buddy. Let this be the first of many lessons not to judge before you have experience.
Every Sunday, Hope Chapel provide coffee, warmth and shelter, a song and a preached word. The congregants don’t dress like we do at Park Road, and their eyes tell a completely different story.
I see despair and desperation in some of those eyes, abuse and neglect in others. Those eyes have seen things I’d rather not think about, and there is a haze of bone-weariness in many: weary of working and not making it, weary of not making it work. Weary of being looked down on, given up on, cast aside, left behind.
As I try to weigh my own emotions, I find that I am awash, swinging from bewilderment to anger to anxiety… but the strongest sentiment I feel is just a soul-deep sadness. There is a mean spirit in the air. Social media allows us to be meaner. The Church and nation are suffering from our meanness.
The most common error in reading the Bible, and the cause of most of the world’s problems with religion, is getting stuck on the words – when something much more important is being spoken.
Why should we ever need to raise charitable funds to educate our children? To buy supplies and provide technology? Even to provide weekend snacks, if lack of nutrition is keeping a child from learning? We ought to want to educate our children, all of them.
It is the common good – even if we have to pay more in taxes to do it.
In a world of such maddening events, I am proud, honored and humbled that seven Buddhists from the other side of the world, and at least 150 neighbors, from across my own community, were comfortable to come to a Baptist church, sit for an hour, search the silence of their own souls and the strains of ancient, chanting rhythms, in search of peace.
Foolish idolatry! Can you imagine, wrapping up some little stone statues to keep them warm, while a child lies shivering in the very same night air? We good Americans, schooled in the virtues of Christian orthodoxy, have been gratefully enlightened beyond such silly, abusive hypocrisy. We would never do such a thing.
Or would we?
In his research on “happiness economics,” John Helliwell writes: “if 10 percent more people thought they had someone to count on in life, it would have a greater effect on national life satisfaction than giving everyone a 50% raise.” “Someone to count on” – not economic factors that can be measured - that’s the solution to our problems.
A recent study has shown that between 2002 and 2013, 141,796 Americans have died in gun violence in this country. 141,796 mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, children, friends. In that same time period only 263 Americans died in attacks by “terrorists.” If you are offended by those quotation marks, please ask yourself … Of what, and of whom, should we really be afraid?
So today, governments are afraid of preachers, because the Gospel has always been a political narrative. You only have to read the critiques by U.S. politicians and pundits of Pope Francis's comments on climate change and income inequality to understand the truth of this assertion.