America is a great country. But the US Capitol Insurrection is part of a long, dark, racial history in the United States.

January 6th, 2021 — Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. USA: Trump Supporters Siege Capitol Building: Front lines of Trump Supporters and Police outside Capitol Building. Photo 206955517© Julian Leshay

“This isn’t who we are.”

President-elect Joe Biden said these words in the aftermath of Wednesday’s assault on the US Capitol. Politicians like to say this during events like this. I believe that President-elect Biden and others who use that phrase mean nothing but good. They want to say that as Americans we aspire to higher goals and that what happened is something that is uncharacteristic of who we are as Americans.

This phrase comes from a good place. It’s also incredibly wrong. This is who we are. This is who we are as a nation.

African Americans, Native Americans…

How to start a new party with an old name.

It’s My Party Too.

That was the title of a book written in 2005 by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman about the direction of the Republican Party and her stand against the far right. It won a lot of praise from many quarters and it led to the creation of a political action committee of the same name which then merged with the dormant Republican Leadership Council. Other GOP luminaries like former Senator John Danforth, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and others. There were hopes it would become an organization that would elect more moderate Republicans to leadership.

JD Vance went from smart NeverTrumper to a MAGA clone. Why?

J.D. Vance. Photo credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images

“Stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime.” — Mineko Iwasaki

In 2016, I started hearing about this young man that had written an autobiography of his life that was a peek into the lives of the white working class. He talked about growing up with a mother dealing with drug addiction and being raised primarily by his grandmother. Using his experience he offered some insight about this group and the public was fascinated. That book, Hilbilly Elegy, became a best seller. That young man, J.D. Vance became famous. It was the…

Why is it so hard to write these days?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I love to tell stories.

Since I was eleven or so, I’ve written fiction, opinion, poems, and the like. I won’t say I am the world’s greatest writer, but I do love to write. I am able to share how I feel about certain issues by writing them down. I tell the world stories from other people, especially those stories that are usually not heard. I write my sermons allowing me to share why faith matters and hopefully introducing them to my Christian faith. Writing is in my bones and it is in blood. I am a writer.

So, why…

Churches do not exist to cater to your needs.

I recently purchased a new car. Now, I love car shopping and when you go car shopping, you have a list of items that you want in your car. Does it have heated seats? What about lane keep assist? Front-wheel or all-wheel drive? Once you’ve decided what you want in your car, then you have to decide on the price and once that’s decided, you drive off into the sunset with your brand new car.

Buying a car works… when you're buying a car. A consumer wants to make sure they are getting something for a good value. That doesn’t…

Afro-Latinos have always been invisible. It’s time for us to make ourselves known.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in the lead role of Hamilton. Photo by Steve Jurvetson.

One of the earliest memories that I have growing up is “orange rice.”

My Abuela or grandmother used to make Arroz con Pollo, chicken with rice. The sauce would make the color of the rice orange. She would sometimes add lentils to the mix. It smelled good and the taste was wonderful.

Sometimes she would make pasteles which were made up of mashed plantain and filled with pork, olives, and raisins. She would then put this mixture into plantain leaves. Eating pasteles (or two or three) was a mini holiday for me.

My grandmother moved from her native Puerto Rico…

When it comes to race, the Southern Baptist Convention continues to wrestle with its past.

President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter at the 1978 Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, GA.

In the spring and summer of 1994, I had the chance to do some freelancing for Baptist Press, the news agency for the Southern Baptist Convention.

It was an odd match.

Here I was, someone who was to the left of most people in the SBC and was coming to terms with being gay, was writing stories for a denomination that was the opposite of me. That said, the SBC wasn’t a mystery to me. I had been a member of a Baptist congregation in Michigan that was part of the predominantly African American Nation Baptist Convention and the Southern…

Mainline Protestantism needs to make church matter again.

Image by hugolein from Pixabay

Sunday is always hard for me as a pastor.

Maybe that’s unbelievable to some of you. Shouldn’t a pastor love going to church? Isn’t that your job?

It’s hard because I’ve had to learn how to manage my expectations which is incredibly hard, especially as we start to open things back up after a year of not meeting in person.

I’ve been pastor at my congregation now for about 8 years and it feels at times that we have not grown. People come to visit but never stay. It could be the building which is in bad shape. It could…

Changing in a world that dislikes change.

Several years ago, someone I followed on the internet did something to bother me. They had expressed a very strong opinion on a political issue and then out of nowhere, they changed their position. That in itself is nothing new. What was bothersome to me is that the person never admitted they changed their mind. In fact, they went as far as saying they never had the prior opinion. It drove me crazy because they never wanted to say that he was wrong or that he changed his mind. …

What if the Soviets got to the moon first?

My first memory of the US Space program took place in August of 1977. On that late summer morning, seven-year-old me stood in front of the television watching history being made. On TV, a Boeing 747 flew over the California desert with a special passenger: the Space Shuttle Enterprise. In a few minutes’ time, the test shuttle was going to separate from the jumbo jet for its first flight test.

Enterprise sat on top of the 747 waiting for the moment when it would be released and glide through the air. Enterprise didn’t have any engines, so when it separated…

Dennis Sanders

A middle-aged pastor living in Minneapolis. I write about politics, religion, sexuality, and autism.

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