Germany Day 1.0


I am sitting in my inlaws’ living room, waiting for my old iPad to restart, typing a blog post on my phone. I leave for Germany soon. My mom is picking me up in a couple of hours. We are going to drive with her coach to Chicago, and from there fly to Germany with a stop over in Ireland. We are going to stay a couple days in Berlin and then head up to Stralsund for the competition.

I am not sure of the competition schedule after that. I tend not to plan my itinerary when I travel. My mom has Berlin all planned out. I will be watching my mom compete, and apart from that I have no idea what I am doing. The adventure for me is in not having a plan, but when I arrive, looking for something non-touristy to do. Like last time I was in New York, I walked, looking for a diner, and wound up at the one that inspired Seinfeld and the song, “Tom’s Diner.” I enjoyed eavesdropping on the conversation between the guys behind the counter and a regular they called, “Professor.” I think he was from Columbia, doing something with political science, but the guys behind the counter seemed to think he was a meteorologist because they asked him if they were supposed to get a lot of snow this winter. It was charming.

So that is some of what I expect will happen, but I am really not sure. I have no plan. I do have my passport and will be updating my blog as I travel. Stay tuned.

The NRA is a Terrorist Organization

I am sitting in the Nashville airport, about to head out to a conference, and trying to bring myself to take some time to educate myself about the details of these latest domestic terror attacks. I seem unable to do it. I know I want to. I know I should. But all I can think about right now is Sandy Hook. 

The images in my mind of children terrified and dying as yet another deranged gunman tore through the lives of the innocent haunt me every time another one of these shootings happen. I thought then, “Well maybe this time we will finally do it. We will pass laws that we know work. That we know save lives.” 

And we didn’t. 

That is what I find so hard about these latest rounds of mass shootings. We know we can stop them. At least in theory. But in practice, our democracy is almost totally dead. How else could a powerful lobbying organization sponsor of domestic terror overwhelm the will of the majority of Americans?

I don’t have something profound to say. I just have a hard time when I feel helpless. Maybe I can think of some kind of response — something to say — that amounts to more than, “Can we pass laws this time?” If we couldn’t do it with Sandy Hook, we just cannot do it. Maybe instead of focusing on the laws we need to pass, we need to turn our outrage against the NRA that keeps them from passing. Its ideology is no less radical, no less inflexible, and no less dangerous than ISIS/Daesh.

A Mass Shooting Again

I find myself remarkably un-worked-up about the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon. It is not that I do not care. It is not that I do not grieve. I do care, and I do grieve! I am just not sure how to turn my grief into outrage. Outrage about this sort of thing used to come naturally for me. Now I hear a news report, see the pictures of grieving students and families, sigh, and curse. I just have no idea what to do or if anything can be done, really.

Continue reading “A Mass Shooting Again”

My Careless Comment about Closeted Trolls OR The Lumbergay

So I want to address something that I said the other day. In a kvetchy post about my ongoing struggle to balance blogging, book-writing, my family, and the job that actually supports all three, I made the following perfunctory remark: Continue reading “My Careless Comment about Closeted Trolls OR The Lumbergay”

If You Think People are Poor Mostly Because They are Lazy, You are Probably a Little Bit Racist

This may end up being the shortest blog post I have ever written. It started as a thing I said on Facebook that turned out to be way more controversial than I had expected. So I sat down and tried to explain my reasoning. I searched for facts and statistics to back up my point. I tried several different ways of organizing my argument…but I give up. Everything I tried felt stupid, like I was trying to prove that Copernicus was right or that gravity is a thing. So let me just spell it out for you. Why do I think you are probably a little bit racist is you think laziness is the main reason people are poor? Here. Have a syllogism:

1. People are poor mostly because they are lazy.
2. People of color are generally poorer than white people.
3. Therefore, people of color are generally lazier than white people.

There. That is the logic behind your belief. Go repent now.

Also, the earth revolves around the sun.

Do you disagree? Please. Enlighten me. Seriously!

This Post Has Nothing to Do With Anything

My blog mostly deals with political theology. Sometimes I venture into education issues. I’ll try to post updates about my book or occasionally a summary of something I just read.

Today I’m just tired. So I am going to talk about how tired I am, because it feels good just to talk “out there” right now.

Did I say I am tired?
Continue reading “This Post Has Nothing to Do With Anything”

I Love Too Many Things

Where have I been? I promise that these hands have not been idle. The short answer is that I have been writing. I have been chipping away at long delayed projects, which means that this blog, which I love a lot, has taken a back seat to other things that I love a lot.

The truth is that I am over-committed. But unlike a lot of people, my problem is not that I can’t say “No.” It’s that I say, “YES!!!” Enthusiastically! Joyfully! If I don’t want to do something, I will politely bow out. There is just not a lot that I do not want to do. What’s worse, when I do anything, I believe that I have to give it 110%. I have never been good at half-assing anything.

But lately I have realized that if I want to do anything well, then I cannot do everything. I have been doing too much, and I need to sort my life out a bit. Really. I’m not trying to be dramatic or anything. I just feel like I owe you an explanation. I’ve been quiet because I need to think, and I appreciate your patience as I stay quiet just a little bit longer.