The Formation of Paramilitary Forces within the United States

Much has been written about the recent rise of authoritarian power here in the “free world,” but when we live it day-in and day-out, it’s also easy to dismiss these claims as alarmist. That’s fair on some level; we live in a world where every “memetic” moment is driven by some degree of hyperbole, and […]

Thinking through ‘The Cross and the Lynching Tree’

“The cross has been transformed into a harmless, non-offensive ornament that Christians wear around their necks. Rather than reminding us of the ‘cost of discipleship,’ it has become a form of ‘cheap grace,’ an easy way to salvation that doesn’t force us to confront the power of Christ’s message and mission. Until we can see […]

The Republican Promise of a Negligent Homicide against America

America believes, perhaps because of our history, that freedom is our most cherished quality. Maybe because of violent beginnings, our independence has long been interpreted to mean “freedom from tyranny,” as opposed to “freedom from want.” That is, when we obsess over the need to be free, we assume ourselves victims of some fast-approaching enemy […]

On the Road to Racial [and other types of] Reconciliation

On my ride aboard the Long Island Rail Road returning from a trip to New Jersey this weekend, I thought a lot about a course I took at Vanderbilt Divinity where we were discussing racial reconciliation, and on the table was a really tough question about whether black congregations and white congregations should be worshiping […]

When Surface-Level Religion Meets a Psychology of Depth, or Why Camp (or Something Like It) Could Replace Church

Tomorrow morning, thousands of families will pack into their cars – some wearing their Sunday best, others in jeans and a t-shirt – and head once again to a church service like the one they went to last week. For some, there’ll be a choir decked in robes, lighting of the advent candle, a scripture, […]