The Pastoral is Political: A Letter to My Children

I’m positive our second child was conceived the week before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. By the time the results came in a week later I had two thoughts: How could I bring another child into the world when I have such fear for the future? How could I not bring another child into the… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: 10 Ways to Defeat a Bully

10. Walk away. Do not give the bully attention. Completely unfollow on social media, if applicable. The person in question has nothing that you want. 9. Information embargo. Engage in ZERO information seeking. Consider what power you have personally and how you can use it to stop streams of revenue, attention, or power to the… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Independence Day

Independence Day was a protest. Radical white men held protests, and boycotts, and dumped a bunch of tea into the sea because they felt they were being treated unfairly. To avoid paying money into a system that didn’t see them, didn’t recognize them, and refused to hear their voices, they set up their own committees… Read More

Bending the Arc of the Moral Universe (Like Beckham)

In my circles, whenever defeats are dealt, it is common to hear the disappointed person quote Martin Luther King, Jr to say, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” It seems my friends are needing to say that quote more and more often. When discriminatory bills are passed by… Read More

Pastoral is Political:I’ll make the tea then…

Next week Scotland goes to the polls. We have an election…again. Currently we have a SNP led government in Scotland. The SNP did very well in that last UK elections, sending 56 MPs to Westminster. This was a huge shift from the 6 that were there before. It is anticipated that the SNP will regain… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: I Choose Love

I stood on the corner, silently, with a smile and a sign that read, “We choose LOVE.” A man yelled at me, “Tell THAT to ISIS!” A woman got in my face and told me I didn’t know the Bible.That I needed to learn about the wrath of God. A man questioned my ordination. He… Read More

Pastoral is Political: Strange Times

Today the political climate is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. The GOP is a three-ring circus and I’m pretty lukewarm about the other side too… Being in an election year drives me crazy, some people love it, they feed off the argument, the power, the ego. It makes me want to crawl in a… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Church Membership and Politics

I’m a Presbyterian Church (USA) Teaching Elder. For those outside the PC(USA) universe, we’ve been pretty enthralled lately, thanks to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has been saying things lately. Strange things. Inflammatory things. Things about immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and the disabled, just to name a few. But, for PC(USA)-ers, among the strangest… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor?

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! from The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus Emma Lazarus wrote her sonnet as her personal response to the Russian pogroms of… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Handguns and Cell Phones

Two weeks ago, I was in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana movie theater, sitting near someone who was in the midst a psychiatric mood episode. The young man became unable to focus on the movie and was visibly agitated. He used his cell phone during the movie, silently doing things on it — tweeting, texting, playing games — to keep his hands and… Read More