With Kim Davis being jailed and released for contempt of court, my social media feed has been filled with affirmations of support.

"Persecution" in America, exhibit A.

“Persecution” in America, exhibit A.

#PrayforKimDavis, they say.

#StandWithKim, they urge.

Kim is being persecuted, they say, trampled on by the government, having her First Amendment rights taken away.

Of course, she is the Kentucky court clerk who has been refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Bloggers and presidential hopefuls have chimed in, urging Christians to stand behind Kim. Mike Huckabee has said that “God intervened,” to get Kim released from jail. But I don’t believe I will be standing with Kim.

Kim Davis won’t be in my prayers tonight.

Because Kim Davis is not being persecuted.

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Would a girl like Scout fit in on the school playground, even today?

As my son turns eight months old, I’m learning a lot about him.

Over the summer, he and I spent many days together. We took field trips to parks or museums. He would ride in the carrier, strapped to my chest, while I pointed to things for him to look at. He learned to ride in the shopping cart at the grocery store, and to turn on the charm when strangers look at him or speak to him.

I’m learning a lot about my son.

I’ve learned that he loves to laugh. He loves to look out the window at passing cars. He jumps up and down on the couch whenever a car passes by our house. He loves to be swayed back and forth, to pretend “rough house,” to chase his mother and I around on the floor.

I’ve learned a lot of things about my son.

But I still don’t really know what kind of boy he is going to turn out to be.

And in our culture that is asking more and more questions about what it means to be “male” or “female,” I want my son to know that there are many kinds of boys, and whatever kind he turns out to be, I’ll be proud of him.

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In life, there are winners and losers.

However, over the course of a generation, we parents have tried to erase the “winning” and “losing” vocabulary from childhood. Our children sign up for little league ball, and everyone gets a trophy at the end of the season. Everyone goes home happy.

Participation ribbons, awards for just showing up, these are derided by many parents as the “wussification” of our society. They demand that we show our children that not everyone in the world wins. You can’t just win by showing up.

I believe that is true.

Some kids were not born to win. Some are losers.

What we parents often do not see is just how much more competitive we have become with our children over the past few generations. Sure, we may tolerate participation awards. But our goals as parents, as a culture, have shifted.

We used to strive to raise good citizens.

Now, we raise our children to win. We need our children to be competitive, against all the other children. So they can get into a good college, and launch a good career, and have a good salary and “win” at life.

It’s our kids versus everyone else’s kids.

The problem is that we used to see all the kids in our communities as our kids. It wasn’t our kids versus those other kids.

I’ve been reading Robert Putnam’s book, appropriately titled Our Kids, and he makes this very point.

Why as a culture, are our kids failing, falling behind the rest of the world?

Because we have raised them in an us versus them society.

So yeah, I want my son to know that there are losers in life. Some kids are losers. They lost the cosmic lottery and wound up without enough to eat. They lost and have to attend a poor school. They lost and have to deal with crime and broken neighborhoods. I am afraid that on both sides of the coin, there is something missing. One side says that all kids are winners, and the other side is super competitive, and I’m not sure either one teaches our children to see the real injustice that is in the world. One trains them to think that everyone is the same as them. The other teaches that it’s everyone for himself.

How do all of our kids become winners?


All our kids become winners when we adults start treating all children like our children. Children start winning when we stop pitting them against each other.

I want my son to know that there are winners and losers in life.

And I hope he has the compassion to do something about it.

Can it even be true?abort3

You and I and everyone else has surely been watching the news, the videos, the protests surrounding Planned Parenthood. Some of us may have suspected that more atrocities were happening than the public was aware of. Others deny that anything is happening at all, that the videos have been doctored to look particularly damning.

Here’s what I know.

I know I have never been inside a Planned Parenthood.

Therefore, I can’t say for certain what goes on.

But this I do know this…

Evil is everywhere. And if the allegations are true, it would not surprise me. It would not surprise me at all if there were doctors who were harvesting babies for profit.

It would not surprise me at all, because one time, several years ago, I had a brush with a doctor who did just this very thing. He ran an illegal, black-market, fetal organ harvesting operation…

…And he was a part of my church.

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Dealing with high schoolers every day, I find that they often have something in common…

It is a drive, a yearning…

A hope to find themselves.

It’s hard to truly find yourself in high school. Your world is still confined to a small group of other teenagers, and a handful of teachers.

After leaving high school, most teenagers will eagerly head off to college, to continue their quest for self. They will no longer be chained by parents or a dusty old hometown.

I remember that quest. I remember how many of my peers changed their outward appearance over a summer, or moved to a new town, or did something else in an effort to define themselves.

The thing is, the problems we had back home often find us in a new town.

And changing our outward appearance doesn’t make us feel much differently.

The key to finding ourselves, I have found, is as Socrates told us…

To find ourselves, we have to think for ourselves.

Think about any great quest we read in a novel or watch in a movie. The character may face outward hazards. He may have nearly insurmountable odds. But oftentimes, the greatest triumph is actually in himself.

There is a lot of pressure to never find ourselves, because there are forces in our world to persuade us not to think for ourselves.

We tell our kids about peer pressure. We want them to be independent. But then, we adults do the same thing.

We collectively foam at the mouth for a politician’s promises. We willingly let ourselves be duped by advertisements. We follow gurus and guides for every decision we have to make. We buy into a version of “The American Dream” that doesn’t really work because it never makes us happy.

find yourself

Adults, if we are going to set an example for our children, we have to think for ourselves. We have to be willing to go against the grain.

We have to be willing to step out of the boat.

Or even live out of step with our culture.

We don’t have to move to a new city. We don’t even have to get a tattoo or dye our hair.

We just have to start by thinking, and the rest will follow.

What’s in a name?

Last week, while walking with my family around the neighborhood, we passed by the elementary school, with a yard sign out front. A church was renting the space on Sunday.

“Oasis of Love Family Church.”IMG_0384

I kind of cringed at the name while I snapped a picture. For one, “Oasis of Love” sounds kind of funny. If I moved to Nevada and opened a brothel, I might call it “Oasis of Love.”

But even more so, I cringed at the second part of the name, “Family Church.”

There were lots of things this church could’ve done. They could have used just the word “church.” They might have paired it with the word “community.” They may have called their church a “worship center.”

But of all the choices they had, they used those specific words. And in so doing, they illustrated what many of our churches are guilty of, a guilt that I thought about while I walked home with my new little family…

…Our churches have made an idol out of family.

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