A Pastor’s Plea: Choose Hope

This column also ran on UPI’s religion and Spirituality Forum.

It’s ten minutes before worship on a Sunday morning. I’m fussing with my Geneva tabs, zipping my robe, double-, no, triple-checking to make sure my reading glasses are in my breast pocket, and the phone on my office desk rings. I know I shouldn’t—for years now my wife’s been trying to train me to ignore ringing phones—but I pick it up anyway.

Foothill Presbyterian Church,” says I.

“Daniel! Did you get this crazy mailer?” It’s my friend, John, the pastor over at the neighborhood Methodist church, who should be getting ready for worship himself.

He doesn’t have to describe the envelope in question. The same packet—testimony to the weirdness of this election’s waning days—arrived in the Saturday afternoon post and was waiting on my desk when I arrived at church.
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Proposition 8: Evidence of Change

This column also ran on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum.

Talk about change.

When Californians go to the polls in a little more than a week we’ll be voting on one bit of change that is more than just a presidential campaign’s hopeful rhetoric. If things go the way I hope they will (and some polls suggest they may), voters in the Golden State will reject a ballot measure—Proposition 8—which calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
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From the Archives: A Perspective on Proposition 22

In celebration of the California Supreme Court’s decision to strike down laws baring same-sex marriage, I have pulled the transcript of my first radio commentary from the archives. This commentary was broadcast in February of 2000. An extended version of this commentary ran on Beliefnet, opposite a piece by James Dobson, who–naturally–supported California’s Proposition 22, which provided for a strictly heterosexual definition of marriage in California


Soon Californians will be privileged to vote on a ballot initiative, dubbed Proposition 22, which, if passed, would enact a statute whose entire wording, written in ten point font, could fit inside a fortune cookie: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

And so it is that our own dear state which gave the nation the Free Speech Movement, the legalization of medical marijuana and Boogie Nights now stands poised, at the cusp of a new millennium, ready to position itself in the avant garde of the Reactionary Right. Continue reading

Wedding in Maine, Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote about attending the wedding of two women in Maine, and about how the union of my friends was not a threat to the honorable estate of marriage. It turns out that I had more to say about the wedding, another story to tell, so I went on KQED FM’s Perspectives series to say more. You can listen to my comments here:

Or, You can read a transcript of my comments below:

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The Stewardship of Marriage

This is the homily I preached at the wedding of Christine Letcher and Julia McDonald on August 19, 2006 on the brides’ farm in Leeds, Maine.

Christine and Julia, I must begin my remarks by thanking you for the honor you have given me by inviting me to be part of this ceremony. This is a beautiful place, you are beautiful people, and you are standing in the presence of a beautiful congregation. It makes me happy and somewhat humbled to be in the presence of such beauty.

The two of you were kind and good enough to ask me to talk a little bit about marriage, and I want to do that by using your Farm, this place, as a sacred text, because I believe that Farms are a good and helpful metaphor for marriage. Continue reading