Tony is a writer, teacher, speaker and ordained minister (United Church of Christ). He served as Senior Minister of Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church for fourteen years. His newest book is Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and not so young) Ministers. He divides his time between Seattle and a cabin in Wallowa County of northeastern Oregon. If you’d like to know more or receive his regular blogs in your email, go to his site listed above to sign-up.
There are lessons here for Seattle and Seattle politics. While some of the loudest may be calling for “defunding the police” and bringing Amazon to heel, my hunch is that most Seattle voters would just like to see a city that takes care of business and gets some things actually done, like making progress on homelessness and encampments, and fixing the streets and bridges.
Heralding a “rebirth” of mainline Protestantism would be premature. What does seem clear is that the Evangelical world is roiling. Chickens are coming home to roost, specifically, (mixed metaphor alert) the way that Evangelicals lashed themselves to the Trump mast.
Where does Packer see this all heading? He doesn’t see a hot civil war or secession, but quite possibly an on-going “cold” civil war. He thinks that if we are to make progress on our big challenges, patriotism cannot be neglected.
The pandemic and aging have led me to question those not very wise, largely unexamined, assumptions. Things change. Sometimes radically. Things end, including lives. Things don’t always get better in the future. If they do, it’s a bonus not a certainty.
During the last 40 years, as the rich have gotten richer, and the poor and middle-classes have lost ground or, at best, stayed even, there has also been an explosion of philanthropy and the creation of a boat-load of foundations.
We have a hammer problem with policing. As in, “when every problem is a nail, every solution is a hammer.” We have asked the police to do too much. Or to put it another way, we send police to deal with stuff that is better dealt with by other people using other methods.
“Private Property” was a concept that European immigrants to America brought with them, but which was alien to American Indians. Euro-Americans kept trying to get Indians to “settle down” and farm a particular plot of land. Though some did, it was alien to their culture, at least to the Nez Perce culture.