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Claiming my Heresy

A United Methodist pastor is writing a series on the most common heresies. Since I fit a number of them, I thought I’d offer my own reflections on the topic. Since he suggests to “just to admit you’re a heretic” I thought I would and given that he suggests I ought to “repent” I thought […]

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What They Need’s a Damn Good Whacking

After reading the news of drastic increases in the price of Epipens and Insulin over the last couple of years (as well as the unreasonably and unnecessarily high prices on many other life saving drugs), I want to dedicate this Hymns of Social Justice post featuring a live performance of George Harrison’s song “Piggies” (Originally […]

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Trump Regret

I just finished teaching a night class at a local university. The five week course covers United States and Nevada political and constitutional history. During our first meeting in July, we covered the Constitutional Convention and some basic aspects of the American founding. This time, we discussed the electoral college a bit more than usual. […]

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Some Brief Thoughts on Voting Third-Party

Like Bernie Sanders, I am voting for Hillary Clinton in November. However, many of my friends and others in my social media circles are thinking about voting for one of the third-party candidates for President. Keep calm. In a two-party system, we are trained to be skeptical of third-parties. That is fine, but it might […]

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Politics

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2016 Hungry for Power Games

“Named for a money lender, so you know it is ruthless.” My favorite part: “Look, I know I am not supposed to be up here, but let’s be honest, neither is Donald Trump.”

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Progressive Christian Political Book List: Recommendations Requested

I came across an article from a Southern Baptist leader that caught my attention on how to engage the political landscape with one’s faith intact. Good piece. But then he ended with a list of evangelical book recommendations. And it started me thinking, what are the books would you recommend with a progressive Christian view […]

“The Greatest Song Ever Written About America”

I honestly don’t know how many versions of “This Land is Your Land” are on my computer.  I have about a dozen versions on my tablet that I listen to in heavy rotation.  If I had my way it would be the USA National Anthem.  I love Springsteen’s statement in this video and agree 100% […]

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Rebuilding the EU

I first ran into a left critique of the EU when I got to know folks from the Dutch Socialist Party. Like many new or reformed euro communist parties in western Europe they had noticed how since Maastricht and the development of a common currency, standard tools governments have had to help their economy and middle class […]

Chris’s Corner

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Anti-Mormon Mudslinging in Nevada Politics

Nevada State Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman is running for the Nevada State Senate against Assemblyman Erv Nelson. Seaman recently sent the above mailer to voters. The exact details of what Nelson is being accused of on the postcard is not totally coherent. Thursday night, Seaman used her personal Facebook account (not her campaign page) to defend […]

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Bernie Bro Hymn

Matt Bruenig addressed the myth of the Bernie Bro here in Jacobin. But whether there is a phenomenon called the Bernie Bro or not, Bro Hymn by Pennywise would be a great anthem for the Bernie Bro movement. Just saying.

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Confessions: I Don’t Belong

  I have felt this way for a long time about many things. I don’t belong. I am a Mormon liberal who more and more finds myself still unorthodox…but very much at odds with most other Mormon liberals. I don’t belong. I am a white teacher at an urban school. I don’t belong. I am […]

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Thoughts on Bundy Extremism and Responses To It

I have re-posted my 2014 post on the connection between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and extreme conservative elements within Mormonism. I also want to summarize a bit the other posts I have written about Cliven Bundy in the past. I am mostly responding to those who seem to think that I do not understand who […]

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New Beginnings and Red Shoes

The last time I bought red Converse All-Stars, I had just left Casper College. It was a time of deep pain and frustration. When we recently did a little back-to-school shopping, I decided to get another pair of red All-Stars. It was partially because their was a BOGO sale at Famous Footwear and Shem needed […]

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How Jesus Saves the World from Us: A Book Review

I’m new to the realm of book reviews. But given that books remain one of the most powerful means to express ideas, I’d like to try my hand at more reviews. I’m starting with How Jesus Saves the World From Us by Morgan Guyton, a Methodist campus minister at the NOLA Wesley Center. While I am […]

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Book Review: The “Joseph Smith Papers – Documents Volume 4: April 1834 to September 1835”

Editors: Matthew C. Godfrey, Brenden W. Rensink, Alex D. Smith, Max H Parkin, and Alexander L. Baugh Publisher: The Church Historians Press Number of Pages: 668 Binding: Cloth ISBN: 13:978-1-62972-174-3 Price: $54.95 I was on my LDS mission on Oklahoma City when I first began taking a very serious interest in trying to learn as […]

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Reading Wiesel’s Night with My Mother

NOTE: I originally posted this on May 12, 2013 for Mother’s Day. Today brought my thoughts to this post for two reasons. First, it is my mother’s birthday. Second, Elie Wiesel died today. I re-post this today, with minor revisions, in honor of both of them. My mother Carla Henrichsen is Dutch. She was born in The […]

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A Gay Christian Response

I came across a Christian open letter to LGBT Americans. While LGBT Americans span the religious spectrum the majority of LGBT Americans are Christian. Something never acknowledged in this piece. In fact, the opposite is presumed throughout. As a gay Christian pastor I thought I’d offer some thoughts on the issues raised in the letter. In […]

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Church Decline: Theirs and Ours

The Institute on Religion and Democracy has a new piece covering a struggling United Church of Christ congregation. A congregation that is on the precipice after giving up its building as well as facing years of church splits.The Boston Globe did a piece covering the painful transitions involved over a two year period. Before I […]

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Bernie Sanders Didn’t Lose

Bernie Sanders didn’t lose. In the Democratic Party primary process, though there were moments of electoral stress, and even some funny business, nobody has ultimately lost. The New York Times published an opinion piece early today under the headline Hillary Clinton Made History, but Bernie Sanders Stubbornly Ignored It, analyzing his conclusion speech, which hadn’t changed much compared […]

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“How can we not have a mother?” Louis C.K. on Heavenly Mother (From the Archives)

A variety of a great religious reflections from Louis C.K. during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. His comments of Heavenly Mother start at around 6:00. Check it out: I particularly like his theory about why God became known as a father figure. Heavenly Mother is a concept of much interest […]

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Rainbow Mormon Initiative: “All about love, saving lives”

I cannot say with enough conviction how important Rainbow Mormon Initiative is and how important it is for everyone to participate in it.

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Nominal vs. Convictional Christians

I’m not sure if these two categories came from the Barna group or from Christianity Today. Recent articles have started to use the nominal but Barna’s research into America’s religious landscape used the term notional. But now they are often used interchangeably. What do they mean? “Born again Christians” are defined as people who said […]

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Methodism and Me

I’ve never been a member of the United Methodist Church. I was confirmed in the Presbyterian Church USA and find myself in the Disciples of Christ serving a United Church of Christ congregation. That is, I’m not a Wesleyan, I’m a Calvinist of a kind. A liberal one at that. So I write this piece as […]

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You Have to Believe…

  In the piece I’m responding to it’s “You have to believe in the resurrection to be a Christian.” But as you can imagine there are any number of statements that take this form. You have to believe x or you are not a Christian. We see this in religion. But we also see this […]

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The Women of Easter

This sermon is titled “The Women of Easter”. And it is partially inspired by the idea from Rita Nakashima Brock when she considered the passion stories as inspired if not written by women. And it started to develop when I noticed how many women are found in the passion story including in today’s reading of Luke. […]

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Palm Sunday: The Great Role Reversal

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week for much of the Christian church. Palm Sunday also marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It begins the series of stories that will culminate at the cross and then the empty tomb. If you think of the Gospels as having a story arc this is the story that begins the […]

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My Time with the AHA

  So I had a chance to participate in a “Reproductive Justice Forum” that was held at the University of Oklahoma earlier this month. But I discovered immediately that it was not that at all. It was an abortion debate. And while the flyer did not mention the group behind it, it became apparent, once […]

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McDonald’s Theory: Why Sanders is Worth Supporting

Many Democrats wish Bernie Sanders would go away. There is a lot of rhetoric about Sanders’ naivete from Republicans and Democrats alike. Even though many of those people agree that the problems he names are real and vital to solve, they are also certain that his solutions cannot work. So if he begins mounting losses […]

(Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

GOP crack-up stems from nationwide crisis of faith

The Super Tuesday primary results made one thing clear: the Republican Party is split three ways. The establishment supports Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz leads the evangelicals. And then there’s Donald Trump, darling of first-time voters and independents. The Trump train looks likely to steam to a nomination unless one of his competitors throws himself on the tracks. […]

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Dark Side of the Trump

March First, 1973 Pink Floyd released one of the most successful albums of all time. In the 43 years since it was released “Dark Side of the Moon” has sold some 50 million copies.  Although it only held the number one spot on the Billboard top Album chart for one week, it stayed on the […]

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Is Trump a Christian?

There has been some debate generated by the response Pope Francis gave to a journalist over Trump’s platform. Here’s the quote: A “person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. Whether I would advise to vote or not to […]

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Clinton and the Electability Myth

The following poll results where released yesterday by Quinnipiac University: The report summarizes the findings as follows: American voters back Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont over Republican candidates by margins of 4 to 10 percentage points in head to head presidential matchups, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. The closest Republican contender […]

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