The Pastoral is Political: Animals of the Flood

I remember where I was 16 years ago today when I learned what began happening at 8:46 a.m. in the United States. And I remember where I was the next few days: watching the news coverage in disbelief, trying to make sense of the never-before experienced. Now, Hurricane Irma has been having the same effect… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: “Reclaiming My Time”

Count me as a very grateful beneficiary of the public service of U.S. Representative Maxine Waters. She is perceptive and persistent. If you haven’t seen this recent exchange between her and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, please take a moment to savor her awesomeness in this video.  Her office had sent him an official letter. His office… Read More

Pastoral is Political: Who Will Pay?

Without subsidies, they will not be able to afford to keep him at home. His daughter shrugged and said that it will end up costing the government more to put him in a nursing home, because he has no financial resources. “What’s the sense in that?” she asks me. “If we keep him at home, it will cost one-third to a half of the monthly cost of a facility.”

I have no answers. 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

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: Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a strong word.   It’s a strong word with psychological triggers for many people, including me.   Gaslighting involves the perpetrator trying to convince the target (the one being gaslighted) that what they perceive is not actual reality. By convincing the target to doubt herself, the gaslighter gains power through distortion, lies, and… 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: A God Who Takes Terrible Risks

The governors may not be able to actually deny settlement of refugees, but like schoolyard bullies they are setting an inhospitable tone for their flunkies and lackeys. Like Boss Hogg or Regina from Mean Girls, only with lethal, real life effects. Refugees need community. Communities are greatly enriched by refugees.Y’all are just short-sighted and unpleasant.… Read More