Religious Freedom on Our National Day of Prayer

Religious-FreedomOur President in today’s Executive Order is trying to make it easier for churches and pastors to publicly support one candidate over another and push their congregants to do so, without fear of losing their tax-exempt status. This is probably a bad idea. It makes coercion and turning religion into merely a subset of political parties too easy, and it’s pretty easy already. Many say Evangelical Christianity has already sold its soul and become a mere subset of the GOP. I find it hard to argue otherwise.

I speak as somebody who talks relatively freely about politics and whose congregants usually know where he stands, for better and sometimes for worse. But we won’t be having any voter pamphlets at Genesis anytime soon. Continue reading

Ex Machina…quality humanitarian storytelling

ex_machina_ver4Deus ex machina (“God from a machine”) usually refers to careless story writing utilizing a plot twist coming out of nowhere. Rather than providing back story or rationale something extraordinary happens that changes the entire narrative, typically pulling a happier ending out of the hat. We are surprised by such seemingly divine intervention, but there is no way we couldn’t be. There is a sense of betrayal that comes to the viewer with such heavy handed outside influence.

Life can indeed be like that, but carefully crafted narratives have more to say than “fluke happens.” Continue reading