Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CRAMER: Religious intolerance is on the rise

My May 22, 2013, article for the Grand Haven Tribune, Religious intolerance is on the rise,
Most small children learn that many of the first colonists to the United States were pilgrims seeking the freedom to practice their religious views.

The Church of England — the mother church of my own denomination, The Episcopal Church — was not only established as the state church, it also explicitly sought to suppress nonconformist and Roman Catholic groups within the country (this is a part of Anglicanism’s history over which we repent, and from which we have turned).

But, still, we teach our children at a young age that some of the first colonists came here because they wanted to practice their religion freely. There is an important nuance to be made here. The Puritans, along with other religious groups arriving in 17th-century America, wanted to practice their religion freely — they did not want freedom of religion.
Read more at the Tribune's website here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Unsettled by the Evils of Segregation

My May 8, 2013, column in the Grand Haven Tribune, Unsettled by the Evils of Segregation,
Over the three years I have been serving as a pastor in the Tri-Cities area, an area in which I spent much of my upbringing, I’ve become increasingly unsettled by a difficult reality: We are a segregated community. 
Growing up in Grand Haven, I never thought of us as segregated. We just didn’t happen to have many people of other races in our area, or so I thought. However, after 10 years living in various areas of the U.S., I returned to our community with a different set of lenses.        
Read more at the Tribune's website.