The Criminal Fallibility of the Death Penalty

Where do you stand on the death penalty? Many people have very strong opinions about it, and it can be a controversial topic of conversation. I am a long-time opponent of the death penalty, for theological reasons; and, while many people do still support the death penalty, in the United States, opposition is growing. I’m…… Continue reading The Criminal Fallibility of the Death Penalty

Lament, Caste, and Racism

The faculty at Wartburg Seminary is reading Caste: the Origins of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson. It is a very interesting book in which she uses the concept of caste, as well as several vivid metaphors, very creatively as a way to invite people into thinking about racism with new categories and fresh eyes. (The…… Continue reading Lament, Caste, and Racism

Reflections on “After Whiteness”

I want to share some reflections about a book I just read, After Whiteness: an Education in Belonging, by Willie James Jennings. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it turned out to be something even better than I thought—something really thought-provoking and important.  I read it with the other ELCA seminary leaders…… Continue reading Reflections on “After Whiteness”

What does Authority Look Like?

What does authority look like? Answer: it depends. If you are a white man, you don’t have to ask what authority looks like, you just have to look in the mirror; it looks like you. When someone says CEO, Fortune 500 business leader, Chief Operating Officer, President, more often than not, people assume a white…… Continue reading What does Authority Look Like?

“Stranger Fruit”

If you get National Geographic, you saw this compelling article, which came out in the October 2020 issue. It highlighted a new art installation called “Stranger Fruit,” in which “black mothers pose with the sons they fear losing to violence.” Here are the opening sentences of the article: “There is a demand put upon you…… Continue reading “Stranger Fruit”

Dig into Black History Month

You probably know that February is Black History Month; have you ever thought about why we do that—you know, declare a month to be about something? The reality is, of course, that every month should be Black History Month—if that means learning something about and caring about black history. But, the fact is that in…… Continue reading Dig into Black History Month