Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Haiku: Stillness

trees stand shadow-less
cold overcast winter day
the earth finds stillness


Image: " Chicago, Trees in Snow," 1950, The Art Institute of Chicago
Artist: Harry Callahan, American, 1912-1999
Medium: Photography - gelatin silver print


Friday, December 15, 2017

A New Day in Alabama

Sunrise on Orange Beach, Alabama (National Wildlife Federation photo by Pam Smith)

It was a closely watched election throughout the country last Tuesday. In Alabama, some of us were beginning to wonder if we could ever elect a Democrat again. When I first heard that Doug Jones was entering the race for senate, I was thrilled that such a decent, honorable and capable man was putting himself forward for a statewide office.

We have many citizens who proclaim that they are "a bright blue dot in a deeply red state," but the fact has remained that we are indeed a deeply red state. Last Tuesday's political upset that will send a Democrat to Washington has been an occasion of rejoicing for those bright blue dots scattered about the state.  

While I am glad that the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, won the Alabama special election for senate, the graph below is a sobering look at where we are in this state. 72% of white men voted for Moore, 63% of white women voted for Moore! In a statistic elsewhere, a majority of college educated white voters voted for Moore. Evangelicals disregarded their own moral standards to back Roy Moore as well.

(source: )

The Evangelical Factor

Elsewhere, an editorial in the premier evangelical publication, Christianity Today,  rightly took evangelical voters to task for their support of Roy Moore:

“No matter the outcome of today’s special election in Alabama for a coveted US Senate seat, there is already one loser: Christian faith. When it comes to either matters of life and death or personal commitments of the human heart, no one will believe a word we say, perhaps for a generation,” the editorial explained. “Christianity’s integrity is severely tarnished.”

I stated a similar sentiment in November of 2008 when in a blog post I lamented the corruption of both the evangelical Christian witness and the Republican Party. It was then that I wrote: “I have seen better examples of faith and better examples of political action than has been exhibited by the Religious Right and the Republican Party over the past few years.”  In that blog essay, I was appalled at the level of hate and fear coming from some of my fellow Christians. 

Moving Forward

Doug Jones, in a news conference on Wednesday, stated that “No matter whether you’re a United States senator, whether you’re a member of Congress, whether you’re a City Councilman, all the way down, all too often, we forget those people that did not vote for you, to put you in office. Those people can’t be forgotten.”

He seems to be a man of integrity who will take the high road and who will indeed represent everyone in Alabama. An article in the Religious News Service outlines some key factors in his life of faith and public service. Most notably, he has been an effective prosecutor for justice as a U.S. Attorney in the case of bringing the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombers to trial. Moreover, as a Methodist layman who attends church regularly, he believes in living his faith by caring for everyone, even “the least of these,” and treating people fairly.  Doug Jones can be a leader for all the people of our state, and a light in Washington, D.C. 

We will rejoice this day, but know that there is much work to be done, and it will be an uphill terrain from here onward. Let this day be our marker, and let us go forward, not backward in our efforts to pull our state out of ignorance and bigotry.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holiday Greetings (Merry Christmas, or Not)

This one has been making the rounds on Facebook this year. I like what this fellow says about the Christmas season, and I like what he says about living in a pluralistic society.

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