At the end of March, a Gallup poll revealed that U.S. church membership has fallen below 50% for the first time since 1937. When Gallup began tracking church affiliation during the latter years of the Great Depression, which included those who attended synagogues and mosques, the percentages were in the low 70s and remained solid at this level ...Read more
During Easter weekend, U.S. Sen. Raphael G. Warnock, D-Ga., received some heavy criticism for a tweet from his account that stated: "The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves." The backlash was instant ...Read more
During Good Friday, many churches around the world have programs that commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus by featuring ministers who speak on His seven last words before He died on the cross. For my church's Good Friday observance, I am speaking on the fifth utterance of Christ, "I thirst," which is recorded in John 19:28. By this time, the ...Read more
"Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I'm human."
This was a tweet from a stunned and perplexed E.J. Liddell that went viral after Ohio State's upset 72-75 loss to Oral Roberts University in the first round of the NCAA tournament, famously referred to by college basketball fans as March Madness. Liddell, the star power forward for the ...Read more
Some films seem to be released at the perfect time to remind us that the earnest struggles of our past remain at the forefront of our future. Such is the case with the critically acclaimed "One Night in Miami," which has received Oscar nominations for best supporting actor, for Leslie Odom Jr.'s portrayal of the legendary singer-songwriter Sam ...Read more
A year has swiftly passed since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. At this time last March, CNN reported that there were 118,000 cases and that "the virus has found a foothold on every continent except for Antarctica." As of this writing, 529,267 Americans have died from the novel coronavirus, and just over ...Read more
Toward the end of February, I was invited to speak on white privilege at a Zoom session for the Lima, Ohio, public library. My invitation resulted from a 2019 column that I wrote titled "White Privilege: An Alternative Perspective." I began that article by discussing the book burning of Jennine Capo Crucet's novel "Make Your Home Among Strangers...Read more
"When we invest in each other, we determine our future."
This is a deeply reflective line near the conclusion of the Pure Flix film "Discarded Things," released last year. I have had on-and-off subscriptions to Pure Flix, but the trailer for this movie kept popping up on YouTube between my gospel mixes. (Yes, I patiently endure the YouTube ads,...Read more
"If it had not been, for the Lord on my side/
"Tell me where would I be?
"Where would I be?"
This was one of the choir anthems of the 1980s in many black Baptist churches in the South. I remember it well from growing up in Ebenezer Baptist Church West in Athens, Georgia. The adult choir, in their maroon and white robes, would march down the ...Read more
Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday this year, which I think is kind of special. Although this day is historically documented as giving honor to one or two early Christian martyrs bearing the name Valentine, not many people view it as a religious holiday in our modern times and culture. Valentine's Day has become heavily commercialized, and there ...Read more
I've been giving quite a bit of thought to an opinion piece that noted Chicago Tribune columnist Cal Thomas wrote last year regarding evangelical Christians' disappointment with the 2020 election results. Evangelicals were -- and many still are -- some of former President Donald Trump's most steadfast supporters. In his column, Thomas referenced...Read more
"No matter where I go, someone is bound to ask me if I think I will break Babe Ruth's record of 714 home runs.
"What I find so hard to believe is that Hank Aaron, a nobody from Mobile, Alabama, is really the first player in 40 years to challenge that home-run record."
These are the words that baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron penned for a 1973...Read more
I watched the Inauguration Day events in between my Zoom class sessions, fully taking in the history unfolding before the nation. Women and girls of color witnessed Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court justice, swear in Kamala Harris, the first black female and first person of South Asian ancestry to hold the office of vice president....Read more