American Apocalypse

I heard for the first time in the early 80’s that American foreign policy was being influenced by the joint ideologies of religious fundamentalism and Evangelicalism.  It seemed far-fetched at the time, but the idea stayed around in my mind in the ensuing decades.

Whatever doubts might have been present were dispatched by Matthew Avery Sutton’s fine history of these movements in America in his newest book, American Apocalypse.

Sutton traces the rise of these movements in America beginning in the mid-1800’s and continuing to the present.  In articulate, dispassionate prose, Sutton lays the case for the powerful and concerted influence of the Religious Right as embodied by Fundamentalism and its partner Evangelicalism.   Continue reading →

EVERYthing happens for a reason.

“It was meant to be.”

“The Universe wanted me to….”

“I was supposed to learn something from that.”

“There are no coincidences.”

“There’s a reason for everything.”

These statements are nearly universal, and there is no pattern to them. Atheists, believers, liberals and conservatives, and people characterized as either spiritual or not use some version of these statements.  Many (I would say most) believe in some form of fate, destiny, providence, or another form of external manipulative power. Continue reading →

Car Repair

Coming down the hill from Yosemite required downshifting in order to spare the brakes.  Third gear worked the best, but it was not meant for the flat straight-aways.

But getting the shifter back into Drive required determined strength, inspiring a moment of concern about the remainder of the trip home.  This was not pleasant to be discovering this at 60 miles an hour. Continue reading →

We have the Temple of the Lord!

Ancient Israel was politically and religiously pragmatic.  The earliest description of this can be seen in the nation’s clamor for a Golden Calf to quell their fears at Mount Sinai.

Fearing that God had abandoned them, they called for Aaron to cast an idol they could see and worship. They did this In spite of the fact that the Calf was of their own making and had no existence prior to the time when they turned their jewelry into a statue. Continue reading →

No Joke

no-jokeNo Joke

by Jim Henderson and Cara Highsmith

At a small group meeting recently I told a group of people from our church about the imam, rabbi, and pastor from Peoria.  “Sounds like a joke,” said one of our group members.  It does sound like a joke!

But it’s not.  These three men from Peoria are real, honest-to-goodness friends.  And Jim Henderson is helping them take their wonderful story public.  It’s a story we all need to hear because of the rancor, fear, and division we’ve all experienced in the past year. Continue reading →