Please, Thank you, You’re Welcome, Shall We? The Holiday Quartet

I recently viewed the ScreenPrism video that argues for the strange, but convincing idea that the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas makes for the perfect Thanksgiving movie.

Thanksgiving, of course, is directly between Halloween and Christmas. But the movie itself does seem to have some core themes and motifs of Thanksgiving. ScreenPrism makes a good case: Continue reading

Responding to Violence In Churches

The past few weeks I have been hurt to see the news of church shooting incidents. Times like these may rock our faith. Sometimes this means feeling intimidated, insecure. Sometimes this means questioning our commitment to peace. Sometimes this means fearing that some sort of change is coming we can’t handle. Continue reading

A Simple Way to Comprehend Kneeling at National Anthems

As of this month, over 27 NFL players have chosen to sit, kneel, or raise a fist of solidarity during the procedural playing of the US national anthem.

This has strangely been met with some very angry reactions. People who don’t know what’s going on see rich football players refusing to comply with the pledge and imagine it’s just a bunch of spoiled brats who haven’t seen combat and therefore don’t respect what soldiers are dying for.

Some people in America seem to hate Colin Kaepernick more than they hate racism. That is part of why he initiated this wave of lamentation and solidarity. Continue reading

#Charlottesville

I visited the campus of UVA one when I was a kid. It was a peaceful day, and I recall it as a mostly boring tour of a pretty campus and some pretty buildings. It was a history field trip, because something about Thomas Jefferson starting the college.

I remember those awkward history lessons about how when the college was founded people owned other people as slaves and treated them like animals. We knew this was wrong. When I was a kid, I knew racism was wrong, and if you asked me, I would tell you it’s wrong to drive a car through people for no reason.
Continue reading

Why The Civil War Happened

The Civil War was a tragic confrontation of a once unified people deeply divided by polarized values. There were heroes on both sides who fought hard for what they believed in, strongly convinced that their cause was the righteous one. Lives were lost, and great damage was done before the healing could begin again. But what exactly was the cause of this bitter strife that wrecked the nation? Honestly, the answer is complex and it depends on who you ask. I did the research, and after looking diligently into the matter, I’ve offered a summary of the various theories.2000px-us_map_1864_civil_war_divisions-svg Continue reading