I have been a docent at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California since 1991. I conduct walking tours for fourth graders studying Californian history and adults who want to see this well-preserved historic landmark, which was built in 1776. I also give special tours explaining the mission’s collection of religious art.… Read more >
I met Sister Helen Prejean at Irvine United Congregational Church in 2010. She was a petite woman with a giant message about the death penalty. I bought a copy of her book, Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate, which was written in 1994 and made into a movie.… Read more >
The word hijacked is often used as a synonym for steal or seize control. In this blog post, I’m using it in reference to specific groups commandeering ideas.
For the past few months, I tried very hard not to disparage people of the fundamentalist persuasion who call themselves Christians. However, I recently read a letter to the editor in the Los Angeles Times entitled “God’s man in the White House.”… Read more >
My family had a summer home in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, that was one block from the beach. I spent vacations there from the age of six (1938) until I left to join the Marine Corps in 1954. Some of my favorite memories were made at that wonderful resort.
Stone Harbor had a building called a comfort station close to the center of town.… Read more >
I think every human being is racist to some degree. Racism consumes some people. Others don’t realize they are racist and deny it to the bitter end.
I believe racism stems from many factors (upbringing, family, judgments, religion, peer pressure, and negative experiences), but the primary cause is ignorance. For instance, I notice the ways that people are different from me and quickly form judgments, often built on stereotypes.… Read more >
“May our sins be washed away” is an expression I have heard but never used, so I was surprised when Progressive Christianity, a theologically liberal organization, used it in a recent newsletter title.
I just know he does. How? I talk all the time, along with many other progressives, about the idea that the church must change or die (Thanks, Bishop Spong, for that motto). The Los Angeles Times reported on December 21, 2019, that Pope Francis “warned . . . that ‘rigidity’ in living out the Christian faith is creating a ‘minefield’ of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasingly irrelevant.”… Read more >
I suspect some of you are saying, “Does Jesus’s skin color matter? What a ridiculous question!”
To me, this topic is not ridiculous but important. Here’s why:
- I believe in the historical Jesus, not the mystical, magical, mythical one who reputedly lives with his father above a flat earth. He and his dad have many mansions (John 14:2) with large pearly gates manned by St.
I like to say, “I’m the only normal person in the world.” Why? Because I believe that normal does not exist. My normal might be your crazy.
This blog post was inspired by my favorite column in the Sunday newspaper magazine Parade—“Ask Marilyn” by Marilyn vos Savant. (I doubt that’s her real name, but she is very smart.)… Read more >
Near the end of the book, Jim was shared a story about meeting with a group of Jesus Seminar scholars (progressive theologians from the Westar Institute). They were discussing resurrection stories, and the Westar scholars suggested that these tales are metaphors.… Read more >