Make Your Mom Happy But Not Too Happy

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I’ve been thinking about my mother since my wife and I got a new refrigerator last week.  Seventeen years  ago we did an addition to our home and when mom saw the addition, which included a revamp of our kitchen, she commented, “Why didn’t you get rid of your ugly refrigerator?”

My parents never had an opinion they failed to share.  My mother in her 60s+ years said “For most of my life I’ve kept my opinions to myself but now I’m sharing them!”  Me and my two brothers consulted and we couldn’t remember a time when mom didn’t share her opinions.  In mom’s defense, she probably did withhold some of her opinions in her relationship with our father, but we sons can’t remember her doing that with us.

Do you encounter a lot of people who like to share all their opinions with you?  God help us.  And God help us not to share all our opinions.

As a liberal clergyperson I share a lot of opinions.  I feel it is important to do so on many critical matters that impact our society and impact people  who are marginalized.  There are many opinions of mine, however,  that just aren’t that important to share.

May God help us to know when to open our mouths and when to keep our mouths shut.

By the way, here’s our new refrigerator which replaced our ugly refrigerator that lasted 20 years.  Mom, hope you are looking down from heaven and liking our new frig (although it sticks out further than our cabinets).


It’s not easy being a mom.  Give your mom a break, even if she has, and shares, too many opinions.

I’ll close by offering an opinion:  keep your mom happy, but not too happy.


What I’m Reading/Skimming or Just Finished



Note:  Leigh Stein’s collection of Poems may just be my favorite collection of poems.  These poems may not appeal to everybody but they appeal to me, someone whose mind goes in a million directions.  I highly recommend Stein’s Dispatch from the Future.  It is a make you laugh out loud collection of poems.


The Image of Christ in Modern Art by Richard Harries

ReVisioning: Critical Methods of Seeing Christianity in the History of Art (Art for Faith’s Sake Book 10) by James Romaine (Editor), Linda Stratford

Economy of Grace by Kathryn Tanner

Without Apology: Sermons for Christ’s Church by Stanley Hauerwas

Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs

Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel by Kate Bowler

Dispatch from the Future: Poems by Leigh Stein

A Prayer Book for the 21st Century by John McQuiston II

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby

The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out by Brennan Manning

Failure: Why Science Is So Successful by Stuart Firestein

Ignorance: How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein

Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves

Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project by Dave Isay

Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay


What Gay People Really Don’t Like

chris and layla

Guilt Party #1 & Guilty Party #2


If you really want to know what gay people really don’t like listen to them.

In case you are one of those heterosexual homophobes who would not be caught dead listening to a gay person (knowingly listening to a gay person, that is) then I thought I’d do you a favor and LGBT people a favor with this blog entry on this important subject.

To start with the obvious, LGBT people really don’t like being treated like crap, whether is being treated like crap by parents, family, strangers, co-workers, Christians/churches or anybody who wants to crap on them.

Speaking of crap, leads me to a second thing gay people really don’t like. I was taking my grand dog, Layla, out for a walk in the neighborhood to take a crap and have a pee. We passed the yard of two gay men who moved into the neighborhood a few years ago and I just had to stop and tell one of them how great their immaculate, well-designed yard and renovated house looked. While I was bragging on his property, I noticed the gay man was not listening to me. What’s with these gay people? Aren’t they good listeners? As it turns out, while I was oohing and ahing about the man’s yard, my grand dog, which has a lot of Beagle in her, was digging a big hole right beside the man’s path to this front door.

Gay people who have perfect yards really don’t like heterosexuals not keeping an eye on their dog, which is destroying a patch of their every blade green and in the right place front yard.

I, of course, apologized for my mutt.

Gay people don’t mind buying a house and improving the neighborhood. Gay people don’t mind cleaning up bad house decorating decisions of decorating challenged heterosexuals. Gay people don’t mind being superior landscape artists, or superior human beings in general. Gay people, though, really don’t like being treated like crap by heterosexuals and really don’t like heterosexuals not keeping an eye on their dogs.

Got it?

Fear not gay equality, fear gay superiority.  And be glad when gay people raise your property values.

Scalia Was Wrong About The Constitution

chapman.0830 - 08/29/05 - A Supreme Court headed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has questions for Chapman University Law School professor John Eastman as he and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue the 1905 ''Lochner v. State of New York'' case during a re-enactment Monday afternoon at Chapman University. (Credit: Mark Avery/Orange County Register/ZUMA Press)

Justice Scalia was wrong about the constitution.  He was an originalist.  According to Scalia, “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means today not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”

Nobody knows,however, exactly what it meant when it was adopted.  There is no such thing as a dead document.  The constitution, like all written documents, has to be interpreted.  It does not “say” anything.  The constitution does not address everything that happened in the past or in the present.  Scalia’s solution was to pass legislation to fill in the blanks.  That, however, is not efficient, practical or possible.  It is a system for chaos, which I assume, none of the signers of the constitution would desire.

Believing the constitution is a dead document also is a formula for ignoring the rights and well-being of minorities.  The judicial branch should serve as a safeguard to the powers of the President and Congress when they do not protect all the citizens of our country.

Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to study the thought of some of our first leaders with respect to the tyranny of the powerful and the tyranny of the majority.  James Madison and the Federalist Papers would be a good place to start.

For the record, the Bible does not “say” anything either.  It has to be interpreted.  And, like all sources for theology, it is a problematic source.

God save us from all the originalists and their “dead” documents.