What's Tony Thinking

Finding Hope in Expected Places

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June 18, 2018 — The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas is now over. It was a significant meeting in a host of ways, including a generational shift in the leadership of America’s largest Protestant denomination. Here’s Religious News Service reporter Jonathan Merritt’s rather vivid description of the different feel (and smell) of this gathering: “It... Read More

How ‘Bout Those Mariners?

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June 16, 2018 — Isn’t it wonderful to have such a happy diversion as the M’s and the astonishing season they are having? Another one run victory last night against the smug Red Sox. Remember writer David James Duncan’s (The Brothers K) thesis that the job of baseball players is to keep the peace? Here’s Duncan: “I cherish a... Read More

Churches for Sale

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June 14, 2018 — Two once prominent Seattle churches have voted in recent weeks to sell their buildings. One of those is Trinity United Methodist Church. Trinity is located at 65th and 22nd in Ballard. It is quite a large building for a neighborhood church. And there is additional property across the street that serves as a parking lot.... Read More

One Way to Read the Council Turn Around on Jobs Tax

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June 12, 2018 — There are a lot of possible ways to read today’s Seattle City Council decision to repeal the jobs tax enacted just last month. Council members Sawant, Gonzalez, O’Brien and supporters will declare that this is a victory for evil corporations. Business leaders will declare victory for economic good sense. Some will see it is a... Read More

Tara Westover’s Astonishing Memoir

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June 10, 2018 — One of you readers suggested this book to me. It is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Perhaps a number of you have read as it was the NPR Newshour “book of the month” in May, and has been on the New York Times bestseller list. I found it to be in the “hard-to-put-down” category. Absorbing. Compelling.... Read More

Pronouns and Politics

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June 8, 2018 — Pronouns are what is happening. Who knew? Pronouns were called to my attention a year ago when the City of Seattle asked me — electronically — what my “preferred pronoun” was. This in my capacity as a Seattle Urban Naturalist and Parks Department volunteer. I was mystified by this request, until it was pointed out... Read More

Thank You!

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June 6, 2018 — I converted this site to the current format and blog last December. I want to thank all you readers who have joined me. How many of there are you? I get a monthly report from Google Analytics. For May there were 1,300+ separate visitors and 2,700+ sessions. That may not be the highest month, but... Read More

On Loving Jesus (continued)

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June 4, 2018 — In the previous post I spoke of my history with “loving Jesus,” as well as the impact of Francis Spufford’s book, Unapologetic: Why Despite Everything, Christianity can still make Surprising Emotional Sense.  I want to recommend (again) Spufford’s book. I think it especially helpful and pertinent for UCC and liberal/ progressive Protestant type folks. Over the... Read More

On Loving Jesus

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June 2, 2018 — Here’s a bit of a confession: I have never been quite sure if I loved Jesus. Or maybe I was never sure what it meant to say that. Partly, it’s my background. H. Richard Niebuhr once observed that churches tend to be churches of one person of the Trinity or another. There’s a lot to that.... Read More

Troubled by Trump, But Worried by Dems

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May 30, 2018 — Thomas Friedman sounded a “Code Red” for the upcoming 2018 elections in an excellent column recently. The great imperative is elect Democrats to control of one or both houses of Congress — not because the Democrats have everything right, but because the Republicans in Congress have shown themselves incapable of putting any check on Trump.... Read More