What's Tony Thinking

Generation Gap Opens in Evangelical Support for Trump

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October 2, 2020 — Before we get into the topic at hand, a brief comment on Trump coming down with COVID. When I heard that he had gone in quarantine, and before the diagnosis was confirmed, the headline that kept running in my mind was, “Trump Goes Into Quarantine: The Nation Rejoices.” I don’t wish serious illness, nor certainly... Read More

No Darkness Last Forever

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October 1, 2020 — Rich Christensen, a retired UCC seminary professor, shared with me the following short but powerful reflection. I share it with you, with his permission. Thank you, Rich. Fifteen years ago, I heard one of the leaders of the Protestant Church in Germany make this striking statement: The core of what Christ gives us is: 1)... Read More

A Few Thoughts on Tonight’s “Debate”

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September 29, 2020 — The temptation will be to play “both-siderism.” To declare that both former Vice-President Biden and President Trump were equally at fault for this depressing spectacle. It is a comfortable out. It allows those who take it to appear to occupy the high ground. “They’re both at fault.” “They both did it.” But they didn’t. It... Read More

My Advice for Joe

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September 28, 2020 — Tomorrow night is the first debate. I’m sure a lot of folks have advice for Joe Biden. Here’s mine! Suggestion Number One. Express absolute confidence in America’s capacity to pull off a Presidential election in a year of pandemic. Say, “We’ve faced big challenges before and met them. We can do it now.” Say, “I... Read More

What’s Wrong With Amy Coney Barrett?

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September 27, 2020 — What’s wrong with Amy Coney Barrett? Not that she’s a charismatic Christian. Not that she’s a member of the faith community, “People of Praise.” And not that Antonin Scalia was her mentor. What’s wrong with Amy Coney Barrett is the man who has nominated her to the Supreme Court and the circumstances under which he... Read More

RBG and Our Spiritual Struggle

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September 23, 2020 — Could the yin and yang be more stark? On the one hand, the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It is evoking an enormous response, even from people who may not have agreed with her on issues, but who admired her as a tough and kind, smart and courageous person. On the other, the... Read More

Show the Hell Up Right Now

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September 21, 2020 — The Lutheran pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber, posted a prayer on Sunday morning which I thought was pretty great. Maybe it will speak to you too. Here it is, in part: “A lot of us are grieving. Actually, all of us are grieving: lost friends, lost kin, lost homes, lost income, lost connection to others, lost health.... Read More

The Phases of Disaster

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September 18, 2020 — I heard from a friend the other day who wrote, “I am ready for this pandemic to be over!” My no-doubt helpful pastoral response, “Who isn’t?” A week ago Sunday, September 13, marked 6 months since the U.S. officially declared the COVID pandemic a national emergency. Alas, there’s no end in sight. Two folks at... Read More

Our Trump Addiction

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September 17, 2020 — Lately I’ve found myself thinking about Marianne Williamson. Remember her? She was among the 20 odd candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2019. But she was different. Not only because she wasn’t a politician. But because she saw our current situation as something more than a political problem. She saw it as a spiritual... Read More

Clergy Well-Being

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September 15, 2020 — Next week I’m doing a two-day, on-line seminar with a dozen pastors of the United Church of Canada. All are located in British Columbia. It’s a self-organized group. Besides their denominational pedigree, they also have in common that all are under 40 years of age. They initiated the idea and invited me to give leadership.... Read More