Prebylutheranism 2nd Anniversary Spectacular! (My Top 10 Posts Ever)

Just because.

Just because.

The other day was the second anniversary of my foray into blogging, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. I haven’t proven to be the most consistent blogger on the Web, or the one with the biggest following, or the smartest, or the funniest, or the most talented, or the best-loved, but I’m certainly…one of them?

I guess?

But one thing I am sure of is that starting this blog was a good call. Some of the things that have happened since I began it:

  • I’ve been published by Cracked a couple of times;
  • My work has appeared in Reader’s Digest;
  • I’ve scored a book deal;
  • I’ve been made a weekly columnist at Christ and Pop Culture;
  • I’ve almost finished a novel (which is more of a distraction from blogging than anything, but whatever).

I thought that for this august occasion (which, ironically, is a June occasion), it might be fun to run down my blog’s top 10 posts, along with some of my commentary on them. Unless it’s not fun, in which case, I’m sorry. Continue reading

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A Brief and Somewhat Unfocused Rant About the Hobby Lobby Case

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Reportedly, Hobby Lobby CEO Dave Green saw this sign outside the courthouse and said, “Oh wait, Hobby Lobby ISN’T a church? My mistake.” Then he retracted his lawsuit and went home.

Okay, so.

Several people have asked me to blog my thoughts about the high-profile case that’s before the Supreme Court right now. I’m honestly not sure why, since my political views tend to be pretty bland and wishy-washy, but maybe that’s what the blogosphere needs. Maybe I can be the anti-Matt Walsh: angry with no one, and reasonable towards everyone.

I can at least give it my best shot.

So, here are my primary thoughts. Continue reading

Flesh Like Grass: Flappy Bird, Fame, and the Fall From Grace

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Illustration by Seth T. Hahne

Just a quick PSA that my long-form essay Flappy Bird, Fame, and the Fall From Grace is available for your reading pleasure in the latest issue of Christ and Pop Culture Magazine, which you can buy from the iOS newsstand here. It’s a reflective piece on what fame means, why so many yearn for it, and why so many, having experienced it, run from it. The issue has a lot of other good stuff (okay, I admit: better stuff), too, like D.L. Mayfield’s experiences with some of the Somalis who starred in Captain Phillips, and her thoughts on the Twitter flamewar between noted comedian/talking rat Patton Oswalt and RUF campus minister Sammy Rhodes. It’s three bucks, and it’s more than worth it. I promise.

Also, that three bucks goes to pay the writers. Like me. So there’s that.

Educated White Guy Problems, to the Tune of a Pounding Keyboard

I was lying in a study room in Neihardt Residential Hall.

As with all the study rooms in the building, the furniture was expertly matched. Burnt orange and sage green, in plaids and solids. Both on the chairs, which sat empty, and the plush carpet, on which I lay, gazing at the perfect-blue Nebraska sky dotted with wisps of clouds.

It was the last semester of my undergraduate career. Continue reading

I’m Probably at Least as Smart as George W. Bush, so Here are Some Modest Proposals for “Fixing” Our Education System

Every couple of years, we have some sort of crisis of education in this country. Our schools are failing. Our children isn’t learning. China and India are going to give us swirlies and take our lunch money. And then these sky-is-falling proclamations are inevitably used as excuses for top-down reforms that make everyone miserable and rarely result in education improving appreciably.

I, of course, have been teaching for two or three years now, so I’m pretty much an expert at everything. I don’t agree with the Chicken Littles of the education world, but I certainly agree that there is always room for improvement in our schools, and will share my infinite wisdom with you now. You won’t find the sort of scorched-earth approach you usually get from the right here; nor will you see the sort of tone-deaf teacher-hugging that the left is known for. These are just a handful of small changes we could implement now. And because they’re easy and common-sense, you’ll never see them implemented. Continue reading