One Last Look, Before You Leap

I can’t tell you what my friend Tom Prasada-Rao meant when he wrote his song, “Maria.” I’ve probably heard him play it a couple of dozen times, and listened the recording a ton more than that. But I can tell you what the chorus means to me, and what I’ve known it would mean to […]

Read More

These Rooms

We take Maria to college tomorrow. All week, I’ve been posting links to songs that speak to me in this moment of transition and change for all of us. Here’s another, very personal one. Many years ago, I wrote a song for Maria. It was recorded and released years ago. But I put down a […]

Read More

“Moral Licensing” (You Need to Know About It)

“Why wasn’t there a whole new generation of Barack Obamas?” It’s a question Audie Cornish asked Gwen Ifill during an NPR interview last week. A year after President Obama’s first election in 2008, Ifill wrote a compelling book: “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” The thesis of the book was that […]

Read More

Windows and Doors

At the last of the five San Antonio missions. Espada is definitely my favorite. Such a sense of the holy here. The last of the five on the mission trail. On my bike today, so it’s a kind of pilgrimage to get here. The last time I was here, perhaps because it had been a […]

Read More

Faithful, Patriotic And Progressive

Perhaps a decade ago now, I got a call from a reporter with The Dallas Morning News who was working on a story, and wanted to interview me. The story was on the so-called rise of “Progressive Christian Churches.” We talked on the phone for about an hour. She sent a photographer to the church […]

Read More

Keep Hope Alive

As I watched Bernie Sanders’ speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, I was taken back to 1988, and the night Jesse Jackson spoke. I had voted for Jesse Jackson in the primaries, and was a big supporter of his that year. This followed two straight previous elections where I had voted for Ronald […]

Read More

Sermon In Response to the Dallas Shootings

This is different, isn’t it? We’ve been here before. We’ve been in church, the Sunday after some mass shooting…somewhere…and we’ve viscerally felt the horror and the shock. You’ve heard me preach on those Sundays. But this is so different. This is our home. Our city. Violence toward our police. In our downtown, where some of […]

Read More

“A great time to be alive…” (My Eulogy for Jack Evans)

Jack Evans was truly a larger than life human being who, along with his husband George, got too live through momentous and positive changes for LGBTQ people. I have said many times, say it again now, Jack and George have taught my wife and me a lot about what it takes to make a relationship […]

Read More

Signs That Are More Than Ink On Paper

When I was a kid, there was a program called “Helping Hands” that was supposed to help kids feel safe. The idea was that families would put a paper sign inside the front windows of their house. The sign was a very simple hand print. The theory was that if a kid was ever walking […]

Read More

The Greater Tragedy

“The greater tragedy is that these deaths are being politicized by those who have an agenda…” During the past two days, I’ve heard this statement on social media, from writers right, left, and center. This kind of empty rhetoric gets tossed out at a time like this. And sometimes it gets embraced as a moderate, […]

Read More