Today, there was a meeting at Salem State University. The meeting was called, because students wanted to talk about the problem of racism. On the other hand, the Art Department wanted to discuss the issue of the First Amendment and censorship. At stake was an art piece in an exhibit entitled “The State of the … More KKK Art, Salem State, the Problem with America in Microcosm
The country vs. city, white vs. black, millennials vs. the rest of the voting population, those who believed we were better off vs. those who felt things have gotten worse, struggling middle class vs. the rest…these are a few of the battle lines drawn between the two parties in the system vying for our attention. … More Why the Nation is Divided 50/50: National Identities and Political Factions
In full disclosure, I am white Christian, and therefore would appear to be part of the power structure of conservatism, but I did not vote for Trump, and my own history shows me to be somewhat of a rebel to the system. If you don’t understand how Evangelical Christianity fell into what appears to be … More How Could the White Christians Do This to Us?
For me, one of the largest lessons of this election has to do with the ears of America. In a general sense, they are closed. This is not something I did not know, but I have been mildly surprised by the severity of this self-imposed deafness. Before the election of Donald Trump, the left spent … More A President Born from the Sewage of Reality TV: no one was listening
I am catching up on things I did not have time to do this October, even as I close up the last little loose ends of a busy, busy month. The things that happen in October embody some of the dreams I have for the rest of the world. A growing group of my friends and … More A Jew and a Gentile walk into a Cigar Shop…
Four days until the world ends. There is no hope. We are left with the options of a trigger happy, power hungry woman who wants to fill our nation with murderous emigrants, or an orange-haired baboon attempting to mimic The Joker with his finger on the nuke button. Make up your sandwich boards now, and … More Politics has Become an Apocalyptic Cult: The End is Nigh!
I gave a primer on ministering in festival settings, more specifically in Salem, MA in October with a touch of information on the changing face of Neo-Paganism as it is expressed currently. Lauren Hallee recorded it onto Facebook Live. Thanks Lauren! And so I thought I’d share it with the wider world of Phillowers (those are Phil … More Lessons on Ministering in Salem, MA in October – video
I am coming to the 10th anniversary of being splattered onto the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The article was entitled, “Befriending Witches Still a Problem in Salem, Mass.” Those were difficult days, and the next four years would be filled with even greater difficulty, but looking back, I can say, I would not … More Befriending Witches Still a Problem: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Today, Wikileaks tweeted that Julian Assange’s internet link was severed by the “state party”. Rumors of Assange’s death circled around, and with it the rumor that the 64 character string of code was a dead man’s code that released all the documents in Wikileaks hands. The debate over Wikileaks and it’s benefit and/or harm to democracy continues, … More Wikileaks and Democracy: Good or Bad? I Say Good.
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Growing up and becoming serious about life may be the step just before death. Certainly, it is the death of much of life’s vibrancy. Watching children play, watching them express wonder in … More Our Clown Fears: Wildness, Weirdness, and Wrongness are NOT the Same Thing
I have been in Salem, MA pastoring The Gathering since June 1999. Over the years, we have been at the center of creating events, and helping Christian ministers to act like regular people when they come to the city of Salem in October, and now the monthlong outreach has expanded to over a dozen events, … More Announcing the Big Transition: from Salem to the World
This recent article in the Religion News Service outlines the recent findings by a study from the Public Religion Research Institute. The study suggests that most of those who have been leaving churches in recent years have done so because they simply stopped believing. My experience is an inversion on these statistics. I go to … More I know – I go where those who “stopped believing” go
A week away. We put up the stage. We get ready for the first weekend of October in Salem, Massachusetts. It’s not anything you’ve ever seen before, if you’ve not been here. Costume witches, real witches. bullhorn street preachers, live music on the streets, crowds of tourists, barking vendors, and families here for the Halloween … More Deep Fun: where the Gospel meets festival culture
Thomas Hobbes seemed to believe that “mainspring of all laughter” was the “sudden glory at the sight of an inferior.”* On one hand that seems to be a pretty solid definition for much of today’s laughter. On the other hand, if Hobbes is correct, this is an obscene observation about the nature of humanity. I … More Sudden Glory at the Sight of an Inferior?
Before I moved to Salem, MA, I was working on a theory: That Witches are just regular people with an alternative spirituality. So, I took a class in Folk-Religion at Fuller Seminary, and did some anthropological work on American Neo-Pagans. Guess what I discovered?! Yup, that’s right. I discovered the rather non-sensational fact that Witches … More Witches Are Real People Too!