The Inauguration and the Unjust Judge

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As we move toward the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump, I am aware that many in this country feel trepidation and fear.  People of color, women, sexual minorities, disabled persons, and immigrants all came under attack during Trump’s campaign, and in the construction of his cabinet, President-Elect Trump has done little to signal support for … read more

ADVENT MEDITATIONS – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24

Psalms 45, 46; Isaiah 35: 1-10; Luke 1: 67-80   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Advent Meditation   For many of us, Christmas Eve conjures feelings of warmth and security. We are surrounded by friends or family, perhaps warming ourselves by a fire, resting in the comforts of […]

Walls and Doors: The Politics of Immigration

Much has been said during the presidential campaign about the issue of immigration. We have heard about walls, deportation forces, open borders, paths to citizenship, and more. The question of immigration is finally a question about boundaries, identity, and control.  What does it mean to be a nation? What is the status of national boundaries? […]

What does a gun do to common space?

  Imagine the following sign at your church door: “please hand your gun to the greeter before entering” or imagine the following bulletin footnotes: “please leave your gun in your seat as you proceed to the altar” or “please leave your gun holstered during the passing of the peace.”  Of course, none of these notifications […]

Icons, Idols, and Campaign Porn

The metaphor of porn has become pervasive in our cultural conversation. In addition to food porn (which you can find all over Facebook and Instagram in the form of “check out my awesome meal” posts), there is wine porn (a cultured obsession with “trophy wines”), real estate porn (a consumer obsession with beautiful, unattainable properties), […]

Thursday, December 24

Thursday, December 24 Psalm 89:1-29; Isaiah 59:15b-21; Matthew 1:18-25   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: Dr. Scott Bader-Saye Advent Meditation If I’m being perfectly honest, as a child I found Christmas Eve more exciting than Christmas Day. Grandparents would arrive with a car full of presents, wrapped, hidden, bearing promise more […]

The End of Higher Education

Over the summer I took my oldest son on his first set of college visits.  All of my emotions about sending him off to school were mixed with the analytical interests of an educator.  I want to see him end up at a school that is able to nurture his gifts, skills, and interests and […]

Offering a conversation

While visiting my parents last week, I joined them at a local restaurant for their weekly “trivia night” of dinner, good company, and some mental gymnastics. Among the many questions we fielded – from “bands that played at Woodstock” to “how many columns surround the Lincoln memorial” – was a question about Bruce Jenner. It […]

Jonah and the Epidemic of Outrage

Slate Magazine dubbed 2014 “The Year of Outrage,”1 and I’m inclined to agree.

We were outraged when a London block installed anti-homeless spikes, and when Khloé Kardashian wore a Native American headdress.2 We were outraged when we read the Senate’s torture report outlining CIA practices of systematic prisoner abuse and we were outraged when we read about Lena Dunham’s childhood sexual experimentation.3 We were outraged by Bill Cosby; we were outraged by gentrification and income inequality; we were outraged by Ferguson; we were outraged by the Austin based “Strange Fruit PR” firm who foolishly chose a name that echoed a 1930’s Billie Holiday song about lynchings. We were outraged by Fox News and/or by Jon Stewart’s satire of Fox News. We were outraged by Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story, then we were outraged to find out that they got their facts wrong. We were outraged that iTunes gave away U2’s new album for free without asking us. And by “we” in all of these examples I mean something like “social media” or “the internet”—“the internet” construed as a kind of corporate consciousness and increasingly a corporate conscience.

A Call to Action: Black History Month at Seminary of the Southwest

Last week the African American Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States posted “An Open Letter to Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States” in the Huffington Post. In it they wrote,

We invite our colleagues—presidents, deans and leaders of all divinity and theological schools—to arise from the embers of silence and speak up and speak out as the prophet of old, ‘let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream’ (Amos 5:24). We encourage you to endorse this statement by responding in your own particular context to our theological call to action with curricular programs, public forums, teach-ins, calls to your congressional leaders, writing op-ed pieces, and more.

In the well-known biblical passage quoted above, Amos reminded the people of Israel, and reminds us, that there is no status that places one above the demands of justice. Amos challenged Israel’s belief that divine election allowed them an assurance of divine favor over against their sinful, pagan neighbors who were going to feel God’s wrath on the “day of the Lord.”