Private or Public Christianity: Does Your Faith Affect Your Politics?

I sat down next to a tall, bright, 17-year-old guy named Max on an airplane in December. When he asked what I do, I said, “I’m training to be a pastor.” Now, Max described himself as “secular, or atheist…agnostic…whatever.” He didn’t know quite what to call himself, but he grew up in the Catholic church and knew that religion wasn’t for him. Nevertheless, he was thoroughly interested to meet a real live Protestant Christian. Once he had sorted out just what religion I was seeking to work in, he started peppering me with questions.

Among those questions was this pointed (and no doubt loaded) query: “Does your religion affect your politics?” Read more of this post

Who Occupies Your Heart?

On Friday, as I walked onto UC Berkeley’s campus and toward the nocturnally abandoned remnants of the Occupy Berkeley cardboard protests, the seriousness of the movement struck me for the first time. Now, I am not saying that I agree with all the rhetoric, the hype, the tactics being used, or even the philosophy underlying Occupy Wall Street (if there is one such philosophy). What I am saying is that there is a reason it has become a movement: it resonates with something beautiful in the souls of human beings.

As I wade into the deep and turbulent waters of commenting on the Occupy movement, I am painfully aware of something: Like most contemporary issues in my beloved country, this one divides people. Read more of this post