What's Tony Thinking

The Sin of Smugness

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November 18, 2020 — After every election there are many attempts to ferret out what it all means. What were the voters saying? While buoyed by Biden’s win there is a lot of angst among Democrats about two things. First, the much higher than anticipated level of support Donald Trump did get, especially among women and people of color.... Read More

Thanksgiving Cancelled?

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November 16, 2020 — The current surge in the pandemic — it was predicted! we were warned! — is throwing a spanner in the works. The holiday works. If your family is like ours, hard conversations are underway about the plans made just a month ago, for the first of the really big “holidays,” Thanksgiving. “But we made reservations... Read More

The Problem with Carrying the World (or the team) On Your Shoulders

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November 15, 2020 — After starting the season by winning their first five games, the Seattle Seahawks have now lost three of their last four games. Fans knew this middle third of the season was going to be rugged, facing tough opponents one after another. What they hadn’t anticipated was that the skid would be marked by the always... Read More

At the Dentist

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November 13, 2020 — I am hanging out in the spacious lobby of a medical-dental building located in one of Seattle’s east-side suburbs. One of our progeny is having oral surgery serious enough that someone has to be nearby and available to drive the post-op patient home afterwards. This particular building is one of perhaps a dozen in this... Read More

The Zombie President

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November 11, 2020 — What many of us had fervently hoped is that when Donald Trump lost the election he would somehow go up in smoke, like the witch in the Wizard of Oz. Poof — gone! Just some smoldering shoes left behind. Many of the headlines and memes that appeared last weekend were along this line, including the... Read More

Joe Biden and the New Model Man

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November 10, 2020 — There was a stretch in my work life when I spent a lot of time on airplanes. It was there that I came to understand “man-splaining,” even before I knew the term. Here’s how it worked. There would be an attractive younger woman, perhaps in the captive middle seat. Next to her a guy who... Read More

Breaking the Cycle

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November 9, 2020 — I preached yesterday, on-line of course, for the worship service of Spirit of Peace UCC on Seattle’s eastside. My post-election sermon was pretty political. I worried that it was too political. Afterwords, I shared that apprehension with one of the congregation’s lay leaders. She offered this interesting, and helpful, response. “To be honest,” she wrote,... Read More

Let Your Rejoicing Rise

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November 7, 2020 — You’ll recognize my headline as coming from James Weldon Johnson’s great hymn, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” I recall being at a joint concert of the Morehouse and Spelman College Glee Clubs in Atlanta shortly after Trump’s election in November 2016. On “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the entire congregation rose in unison, singing their... Read More

A Nation Divided

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November 5, 2020 — I’m writing this late-ish on Thursday evening, November 5. My guess is that sometime tomorrow Joe Biden will surpass the needed 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency and be in position to declare victory in a credible way. “Credible,” in contrast to Trump’s many non-credible claims of victory in recent days. One sign that... Read More

Stay Calm and Carry On

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November 4, 2020 — It was a hard night and now a suitably grey morning here in Seattle. And if you’re scratching your head in wonder and consternation that Big Orange continues to command such wide support among so many voters and in so many states, you aren’t alone. I’m right there with you. But for right now I... Read More