Respect the Choices of Others

This past week my family and I flew down to Texas to celebrate Thanksgiving with my whole extended family. It was really wonderful. One thing I noticed on both the flight to and from Texas was the announcement flight attendants gave before taking off that masks were optional and that passengers were asked to respect […]

Beyond the Headlines

This past week all of the headlines have focused on keeping score over who wins control of either the House or Senate in last week’s midterm elections. All of the constant media buzz has brought back memories of when I worked as an advocate on Capitol Hill on issues like immigration and mass incarceration. During […]

The Right to Vote

I recently read an important and incredibly well-researched book by Dr. Carol Anderson, One Person, No Vote. In it, Anderson records the history of disenfranchisement of people of color in the United States as well as the ongoing attempts to suppress their voting rights. The first chapter, which contains the history of disenfranchisement, is worth […]

Seek Good and Not Evil

After years of Republican candidates demonizing Nancy Pelosi in attack ads, and after Pelosi was literally hunted by the January 6 insurrectionists, her husband was violently attacked in the early morning on Friday by an assailant who wanted to wait for the Speaker to arrive with the hopes of killing her. And if that was […]

The True Measure

I am a sports fan so the first time I heard about what has been investigated in Mississippi since 2020 in regards to the stolen welfare funds was when it involved former NFL quarterback and Mississippi native, Brett Favre. A CNN article from a couple of days ago gives greater context to what is an […]

Healing Over Vengeance

This past week the January 6 Special Committee held their final public hearing in their investigation into the insurrection on January 6, 2021. I did not hold the highest hopes when they began the series of hearings as I felt that the public had moved on; that the nation no longer had interest. However, after […]

Indigenous Peoples Day

The staff of the Festival Center are off today though not to celebrate Christopher Columbus, but rather, to remember and center indigenous people. Though far too many on the far right would love to point to us as too easily influenced by “cancel culture,” I would like to point out that we are actually not […]

In God’s Image

Watching the horrendous impacts of Hurricane Ian reminds us all of the role the continuing warming of our climate can have in transforming hurricanes coming out of the Gulf of Mexico into supercharger hurricanes. The warm waters of the Gulf make notable hurricanes into super-destroyers, which is what Ian was to the western coast of […]

My Journey Out of Evangelicalism

In a couple of recent interviews with leading evangelicals, Philip Yancey and Jim Wallis both stated unequivocally that regardless of how negative or harmful the religious categorization of “evangelical” has become, they would not give up identifying themselves as such. Yancey and Wallis certainly have the right to identify themselves however they choose after years […]

The Call to Repair Democracy

Since early August we have held our first in-person class in several years. It ended just last week. The class was called, How We Got Here: Straight Talk on Democracy, and it was led by Dr. David Hilfiker, a long-time leader and teacher at the Servant Leadership School, the forerunner of the School for Liberation. […]