Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses a crowd. August 4, 1965. Washington Post staff photo by Ellsworth Davis.

THE DREAM LIVES ON

On this day marking the life, leadership and martyrdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, we should pause to give thanks that indeed black lives matter!  I am grateful that the life of Dr. King, a man of color, mattered so profoundly, though cut so tragically short.  It would do us all good to read again his now famous speech about the dream that he had.  (If you are reading this you can find it!) The basic cause for which he stood and was killed is indisputably consistent with the tenets of Jesus’ teaching and way of life.  That all persons belong by rights—creation rights—to the One God who Self-reveals in the person of Jesus; and that God claims them all in love, …

WHEN ISIS KILLS

Last evening we were moved to read of the plight of followers of Jesus who suffer and die at the hands of ISIS.  This particular report came from a church official in country who plead for Christians everywhere to help them.  As we have often read over the last year, people who bear the name of Jesus are singled out and simply killed.  The bear the Arabic “Nun,” like English “N,” for Nazarene.  For no other reason than that, their heads are cut off.  What should we do when ISIS kills?  Here are a few things to consider. We protest in all the places we know.  We make the case that such treatment–whether of Christians or Muslims or Atheists–of any …

Anti-Islamic Film is Wrong!

Over the last week, U.S. embassies and facilities around the world have become targets for demonstrations and violence.  First in Libya and now in multiple places, outraged crowds of people protest what they understand to be profoundly offensive and blasphemous portrayals of their religion and its founding prophet.  Reportedly, an Egyptian born Coptic Christian man stands behind the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts Muhammad variously as a womanizer, a homosexual, and a child abuser.  In response, a wave of protest has rolled across the Middle East focusing on U.S. embassies because the man behind the film lives in the U.S.  For much of the Muslim world the film feels like an assault with the endorsement of Christians living in …

WHAT IF JESUS CLEANED HOUSE AGAIN?

What would happen if Jesus, son of God, did it again with respect to the Temple?  What if he overturned the platforms on which purveyors of religious amusement or liturgical diversion plied their trades?  What if he put a strict quarantine on what should be, what in fact has been dedicated as, holy precincts, at least for a time no longer allowing anyone to pass through as they’d become accustomed?  What if Jesus did it in protest of the many ways those who name and claim him as Lord and Savior refuse to follow him all the way home, to the place he has planned, organized, suffered and died for, in order that it might become a gathering space for …