Power of God, Power of State

(my original writing, copied from the NCC website)

The highly anticipated (and dreaded) anniversary of the August 12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, the murder of Heather Heyer, and the violence that exposed sympathy to white supremacy in the highest places in government, passed mostly without incident.  Having joined the brave clergy counter-protesters last year, who held the line in front of Emancipation Park and ministered to the injured, I am relieved the violence did not return this year.

The crowds that gathered this weekend both in Charlottesville and in Washington, DC, show that those who would dismantle white supremacy are more vocal than those who value it.  I’m encouraged by this and hope that last year’s violence spurred the kind of social change and reflection that Selma did years ago. But before we pat ourselves on the back and sit back in our easy chairs, thinking the forces of good won the day… Continue reading “Power of God, Power of State”

Torture and Motorcycles

As I sit at my desk, watching the Senate confirmation hearing of Gina Haspel as the new director of the CIA, I thought I’d write a blog about some of my early gleanings about motorcycle riding and adventuring, interspersed with reflections on the post-9/11 policies that allowed the US to become a practicer of torture, and how that’s being examined at this hearing today.

It’s only been a couple of months since I earned my motorcycle license, so my knowledge is not very deep.  It’s interesting to me that there’s so much to learn.  It’s like a bicycle, right?  Two wheels, out there on the road.  Or, it’s like a car, whizzing down the road.  It’s just another way of getting from point A to point B, right?

Not so fast. Continue reading “Torture and Motorcycles”

My Post-April-4th Post

Hi friends.  It’s been a while.  Let me catch you up.

I’ve been a little busy.  You see, back in November, the NCC’s governing board decided that we would launch a grand new initiative to attack, even END racism, beginning with a mass rally on the National Mall on the day of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A small team of us had to spin up a large operation in a short amount of time.  It was an impossible task, one that by God’s grace was made possible.

Now you know why I have not written in this blog for a while.  It’s been a busy time. The rally was the most intense professional experience of my life.

Continue reading “My Post-April-4th Post”

Post-Divorce Holidays

As long as I was a parish pastor, I knew one rule during the holidays: be aware that the holidays are difficult for a lot of people.  While the rest of the world is reveling in the joys of the holiday season, many people in the congregation are lonely, grieving, or suffering in other ways.

I seriously wonder if the world is reveling in the joys of the holiday season.  But that’s another matter.

Here’s MY particular problem: I’m divorced.  The basic nature of my family has fundamentally changed.  My former spouse and I co-parent wonderfully; there’s never been a problem there.  But the sense of family we once had has changed forever.  So the symptom I suffer from, as the world revels, is grief.

Continue reading “Post-Divorce Holidays”

A tiny rant

I’m confused.

If someone leads an army that fights against the US, that person is the very definition of a traitor, right?  Maybe he should be called a revolutionary leader, or perhaps an insurrectionist, right?  But “traitor” seems to be the overarching category.  Am I missing something?

Continue reading “A tiny rant”

The family I never knew

Isn’t it interesting that when you complete a stage of your life and think that your best, or perhaps most engaging, days are behind you?  I think many of us find it hard to believe that when we graduate from college, for example, that life could be nearly as much fun as the previous years had been.  When the years of child-rearing are almost over, one looks ahead to the empty nest and wonders how it could possibly be as wonderful as the previous years have been.

And then you get a big surprise.  Or two.  Or three.

Continue reading “The family I never knew”

Almost three years without….

It’s been a dream of mine since the family spent the summer in Berlin in 2007. We lived in an apartment in what used to be East Berlin for about seven weeks.  During that time we lived, shopped, and toured many of the great cities of Europe.  Six of us.

We flew into Cologne and rented a van to get to Berlin.  Once we dropped it off when we arrived in Berlin, we went the rest of the summer without a car.

Seven weeks.  A family of six.  No car, no driving.

Continue reading “Almost three years without….”