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…

If the Republican Party can’t go back to pre-2015, then where can the Trump-critical Republicans find a home?

Photo by AJ Wallace on Unsplash

As the Republican Party tries to make up its mind between wishing away the events of Jan. 6 or celebrating them, one thing should be clear to conservatives estranged from the party: We can’t go home again.

Imagine for a moment that you bought a house in a suburban neighborhood. You have a fairly good-sized house with many rooms, a comfy den and a big kitchen for you and your family.

One day, someone enters your house through a window. You don’t know this person at all. They just came in through the window. You wonder how they got in…

How the common ground of faith became swallowed up by hyperpartisanship.

In the early 90s, I attended a large Baptist church in Washington, DC. The church, as it was constituted back then, was an odd mix, or at least it would be odd today. Evangelicals and liberals somehow worshipped together, alongside a healthy dose of members from Latin America and Asia.

The church decided to call a pastor to join the multi-pastor staff. The person chosen was a woman with great pastoral care skills and an all-around good candidate. But there was a catch. …

The day started like any other. Nothing has ever been the same since.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

I was on a bus heading towards downtown Minneapolis for work while listening to the news on my radio. As the bus neared the University of Minnesota, there was breaking news about a small plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. My mind went back to something I remembered from history; when a B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945. By the time I was near work, the second plane hit. Now I knew something was up. The rest of the day was filled with trying to work and listening to National Public Radio about…

Walking Away from the world comes with a cost.

Photo by Raychel Sanner on Unsplash

“THE MULTITUDES remained plunged in ignorance… and their leaders, seeking their votes, did not dare to undeceive them.”

Those are the words of Winston Churchill from his book “The Gathering Storm,” which talks about the growing threat of Nazi Germany. Historian Niall Ferguson shares this quote from the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom because it parallels with America following the Afghan pullout. Ferguson notes that Britain between the wars was tired. It fought in World War One, a financial crisis and the 1918–19 flu pandemic. On top of this the collective security created after World War I started…

What It Means to be a Pastor post-pandemic.

I arrive at church sometime after 9 am on Sunday morning. The service starts at 10 am. That gives me enough time to set up the sanctuary for this morning’s service. As I’m getting ready, I start to wonder if anyone will actually make it to worship. I am reminded of the song, “Elenor Rigby” by the Beatles. The second verse talks about Father McKenzie writing a sermon that “no one will hear.” I usually have my sermon written up, but I wonder: who will hear my sermon? Will I be preaching to an empty sanctuary? Will anyone be watching…

This is the transcript of Part One of What Really Happened to Sears.

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I’ve had a strange obsession over the last decade or so and that following the story of the downfall of Sears and Kmart.

What’s that, you say? You already know the story? Let me guess, you think Amazon ate Sears’ lunch because it failed to keep up with the times, right?

Now you wouldn’t be totally wrong in believing that is the reason that Sears is nearly defunct. But that’s the public story-the one people hear from the media. …

We might be done with Forever Wars. But are Forever Wars done with us?

I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert on Afghanistan. Unlike my friend, Andrew Donaldson, I’m not a veteran. I don’t have a military or foreign policy background. I’m just someone that has an interest in the news of the world. So what I’m about to say I hope is presented with some humility, because I don’t know everything.

As I follow what’s been going on as the US ends its mission in Afghanistan, the thought that comes to mind is this: a just war is better than an unjust peace. There are times that it makes sense to…

You might think you know the story of the downfall of Sears, but you really don’t.

A former Sears store in Maplewood, MN. Photo by Dennis Sanders.

For over a century, Sears was one of this nation’s leading retailers. In the 1920s, you could literally buy a house from Sears. The postwar years saw Sears moving into malls across the land. KMart started in 1962, the same year two other discount retailers, Target and Walmart opened their doors. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, KMart was the go-to place for finding things at a good price. Shoppers were on the lookout for their famous blue light specials. In 2005 Sears and Kmart merged to create Sears Holdings.

But then something happened. Over the last decade, hundreds of stores…

Do We See Our Pets in the Afterlife?

No coaxing rubs, no plaintive cry
Will say it’s time for feeding
I’ve put away your bowl,
And all the things you won’t be needing.

-from the poem, “Four Feet in Heaven” by Alice E. Chase

I’ve had this article in my brain for nearly a week, but I wasn’t able to write a week ago because the pain was still too raw.

It was a week ago that my husband Daniel and I had to say goodbye to our cat Henning. His death was a shock to us both. We took him to a pet emergency for an issue…

Dennis Sanders

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

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