Randy Woodley 11-17-2015

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When we think about the meeting of the first pilgrims and the Native Americans, we usually connect vicariously to one side of that old Plymouth encounter, mysteriously linking our faith journey to the early pilgrims’ faith journey. But what about those long-ago Native Americans? Is there a reason to remember them as more than a foil for the pilgrims?

Year after year we think warmly of that first union of the pilgrims and the Native Americans — and then we continue on in the supposed faith tradition of one of those peoples without another thought to the fate of the others.

So what role do those old Native Americans play in our faith today, and how might we bring them to mind or honor them? Here are a few ways you can faithfully honor both sides of the Thanksgiving table this year.

Walter Wink 03-06-2014

The Myth of Redemptive Violence

Tara Samples 12-12-2013

Fourteenth-century icon of St. Nicholas Tlegend/Shutterstock

A few weeks ago a well-meaning adult asked my youngest child, “What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” She said, “Oh, I don’t believe in Santa.” I observed an uncomfortable silence, a nervous laugh, then came the question in that tone. “Why wouldn’t you teach your children about Santa? Don’t you like Santa?” Followed by: “Aren’t you concerned that they will ruin the fun for other children” and “Are you using some crazy psychological theory?” as well as “Your children must miss out on so much fun.”

Similarly a pastor friend encountered a strong reaction when he accidently revealed Santa to be a myth in a small group of Christian middle school students. A young girl became emotional and her parents were angry. Until that moment she had believed that Santa provided gifts for all children and her family had intentionally preserved that belief in service of imagination and wonder. I wonder if her parents were aware that had she grown up in a less financially comfortable situation, she would not have been a believer of Santa in middle school. That kind of “innocence” is available only to those with resources to isolate their children from the realities of the world.

Marty Troyer 11-05-2013

A pastor's experiment in unmasking white privilege.

Duane Shank 10-02-2013

Baseball as a Road to God. Gotham Books.

Steve Holt 06-05-2013

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strikes. Obama, technology, and the myth of redemptive violence.

Gareth Higgins 03-14-2013

A scene from the video game Call of Duty.

There is an overwhelming need for publicly compelling conversation about violence, guns, and the role of entertainment media.

RNS photo by Katherine Cresto via Flickr

Mitt Romney speaks to crowd in Nashua, NH. RNS photo by Katherine Cresto via Flickr


Mitt Romney has an evangelical problem. Or so we’ve been told by everyone from The New Yorker to The Huffington Post to The Daily Beast. The national media have perpetuated this narrative throughout the election season, and political pundits aplenty have assumed its reliability in their columns and commentary.

But there’s one glaring problem with the storyline: It’s not true.

“Evangelicals say they want a presidential candidate who shares their religious beliefs and they still hold that Romney’s religion is different from their own,” says Robert Jones, CEO of the Washington-based Public Religion Research Institute. “And yet as early as May 2012, shortly after it became clear that Romney was the presumptive nominee,Romney held a 45-point lead over Obama" among evangelicals.

We’ve been told that evangelicals were so skeptical of Romney’s Mormon faith they might not be able to pull the lever for him in the voting booth. But according to Jones’ research, as more white evangelical voters have realized that he is Mormon, his favorability among them has actually risen.

Mark Sandlin 07-10-2012

Good and gracious God,

Today, like the rest of the world, 
when I woke I wrapped myself in myths. 
They are comfortable and warming in what can seem like such a cold world. 
Yes, they are old and worn but they are familiar 
and even the most fashion forward find comfort in this thread-worn garb. 

They tell me that while it may not be fair
that 1,600 children die from hunger everyday,
I can do nothing about it.

They silence my own judgment of myself
when I put a quarter in the cup of a homeless man
as I walk on by the lack in his life
to live into the abundance of mine....

Tripp Hudgins 07-09-2012

"If you tell a lie, it will be all over the country in a day or two. But if you tell the truth, it will take ten years to get there." ~ Eddie "Son" House

And the truth is what Jesus offered the people of his hometown in this tale from Mark's Gospel. Jesus offered his prophetic witness of truth-telling. He held up a mirror and showed them who they were. He held up a mirror and said to them, "The Kingdom of God is with you."

They were enraged that one of their own would do such a thing.
He was utterly astonished that the people who had raised him were incapable of facing their own truth.

He also knew that if they could not face the realities of their own complicated lives they would not be able to embrace the healing and forgiveness that God offered.

Jesus had the blues. He had the hometown blues.

So, rejected, he fled his hometown.

Then he sent his apostles out into the world proclaiming peace, healing the sick and the lame, and prepared to face the same rejection. People don't like to be reminded of the complications of real life. None of us like the feeling of being judged when the mirror is held up before us.

Jim Wallis 12-08-2011


That is Rick Perry's latest campaign ad.

He needs to take it down. Now.

Danielle Tumminio 11-13-2011
Wedding cakes at a bridal "expo" in Seattle.

Wedding cakes at a bridal "expo" in Seattle. Image via Wiki Commons.

It’s tempting for us to scoff at Kris and Kim’s downfall, but the reality is that their marriage failed at least in part because of our society’s views of nuptial bliss. That makes us all implicitly responsible, and it encourages us all to do a better job of loving our neighbors well, not just on their wedding day but on all the days that follow. 

Jim Wallis 06-16-2011

We are looking for 1,000 pastors to debunk a myth based on the political assertion that government doesn't have any responsibility to poor people. The myth is that churches and charities alone could take care of the problems of poverty -- especially if we slashed people's taxes. Both this assertion and myth contradict the biblical imperative to hold societies and rulers responsible for how they treat the poor, and ignore the Christian tradition of holding governments accountable to those in need. Faith-based organizations and government have had effective and healthy partnerships, and ultimately, the assertion and myth have more to do with libertarian political ideology, than good theology.

Bryan Farrell 11-04-2010
As genetically modified organisms (GMOs) become more prevalent, so do protests against them.
Johnathan Smith 07-29-2010
I want to tell you a story. It's a tale about drugs, prison, race, and justice (or the lack thereof).
Jim Wallis 05-27-2010
The insurgent Tea Party and its Libertarian philosophy is a political phenomenon, not a religious one.
Julie Clawson 05-18-2010
Last week at her blog, Rachel Held Evans proposed the question "What is the Gospel?" She received some interesting responses, dem
Ian Danley 05-17-2010

My beloved city, Phoenix, is making a fantastic run at being the punch line in the larger immigration drama. I wish we were focused on a less volatile campaign, working toward getting the Olympics or something.

Ryan Beiler 04-09-2010

Several sources have recommended this commentary by M.J. Rosenberg at Media Matters as a helpful analysis of the new "Obama Peace Plan" for the Middle East.