Photo by chichacha / CC BY

Below is an imaginary conversation between two people: one who represents my beliefs about abortion in America today, and one who represents beliefs I held fifteen years ago. At that time I was in the middle of a political transition from right to left, but my anti-abortion convictions kept me from voting for Democrats.

We are facing a crucial election this November. I think a lot of folks are considering voting for a Democrat for the first time. Many of them may be experiencing the same hesitation I did. …


Photo by Gage Skidmore / CC BY

I spent fourteen of my fifteen voting-eligible years as a registered Republican. I have probably voted for less than a dozen Democrats in my life. But the 2016 election cycle has driven me from the party. Like Ronald Reagan, Ben Bernanke, and George Will, I feel I didn’t leave the party — the party left me. I consider myself a moderate; I respect conservatism and its place in the American experiment. And that’s why I want to explain my absolute conviction that no American, especially not conservatives, should vote for Donald Trump.

Not only is Donald Trump unqualified to be…


Rethinking scripture’s violent portrayals of God

Note: My views on religion and philosophy have changed since I wrote this essay. Rather than rewrite or remove it, I am going to leave it up in case someone who is dealing with these questions finds it helpful.

If you join me for a church service on July twelfth of this year, you will hear an Old Testament story about the Ark of the Covenant. Liturgical churches like the one my wife and I attend follow the Revised Common Lectionary: a book which specifies scripture passages to be read each Sunday. The reading for July 12, 2015 is II…


Photo by Mark Fischer / CC BY

In August of 2009 I wrote a blog post about my belief that same-sex marriage would be legalized throughout the U.S. in my lifetime. At the time, the practice was legal in only 5 states. Today it is legal in 37, and I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule this June that all barriers to same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Our children and our children’s children will read about this summer in history class. For folks my age, it is unlikely there will be a more historic Supreme Court case in our lifetimes.

As a hobbyist Supreme Court junkie…


A voyage from faith to science and back again

Photo: Mohamed Malik / CC BY

Note: My views on religion and philosophy have changed since I wrote this essay. Rather than rewrite or remove it, I am going to leave it up in case someone who is dealing with these questions finds it helpful.

This is very interesting. It’s a very soft surface, but here and there where I plug with the contingency sample collector, I run into a very hard surface, but it appears to be very cohesive material of the same sort. I’ll try to get a rock in here. Just a couple.

That looks beautiful from here, Neil.

It has a stark…


Photo: Don Carlson / CC BY

I had just finished playing the postlude for my church’s morning service when Katie approached me and stared at the piano. I am not sure how old Katie is. She is somewhere between talking and the first grade. I hope that helps.

Trying to be as helpful as possible, I sat her up on the bench and told her the piano was ready. I played a few notes to demonstrate.

She did not play.

I played some more. I told her she could play. I took her hands and placed them on the keys. I tried to be as kind…


Photo: Beth / CC BY

The local blogosphere I read has recently included some insightful and beautiful essays on the triumph and tragedy of a simple act that is too often overlooked: the haircut.

Interestingly, these essays were written by women. Women seem to connect with the re-birthing experience that is a new haircut more than men. Why this is so is a mystery. Certainly women connect with beauty in different ways than men, and this could be the answer. But I am here to offer another viewpoint.

Men don’t connect with haircuts because they get their hair cut at stupid places.

I have long…

Justin Scott

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