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Author: John Pavlovitz

What it means to be called a Christian and who doesn’t qualify

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” — Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride. The first Christians didn’t call themselves “Christians.” It wasn’t some congratulatory self-identifier as it is today; a way of loudly trumpeting one’s own supposed goodness, quickly slapped on Twitter bios and bumper stickers and t-shirts without forethought or personal cost or empirical evidence. It wasn’t about a place you visited for an hour on Sunday before Cracker Barrel, either. The term Christian was originally a designation of the community of people following Jesus, by those outside of...

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Red Hats are the new White Hoods

Bigotry has always done more damage in the shadows, below the surface, and beneath a disguise. It actually helps you when it shows itself, when it brazenly parades uncovered through your streets, when it announces itself in unapologetic social media rants—when it crowns itself in crimson and joyfully spews forth venom. Our nation’s hatred used to hide behind white hoods, peering through tiny scissor-cut eye holes—and that made it difficult to identify and a challenge to confront. It stayed below the radar, cleverly concealing itself in decorum and civility and pretending. You always knew it was in the neighborhood,...

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Supporting the economy at the cost of morality is modern Christianity’s Antebellum sin

A similar thing happens about a hundred or so times a day lately, as I engage professed Christians who still support this President: they unknowingly reveal their true religion. In the disorienting bombast of heated debate, they inadvertently expose themselves and their hearts. When faced with the mounting evidence and growing laundry list of moral atrocities proffered by this President and his administration (affairs, lies, clandestine porn star payoffs, Russian election interference, unprecedented abuses of power, intentional healthcare sabotage, and separation of families at our border) — in a careless panic, they invariably drop a familiar closing salvo: “But...

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The freedom that faith brings is a threat to a misery salesmen and his unhappy clients

Miserable. Every time I see them, this is the word that prevails. Whenever I encounter a supporter of this President on social media now, or scan the crowds at his propaganda rallies, or see his surrogates bloviating on talk shows or pounding upon pulpits, I am left with the same conclusion: they are a people bereft of joy. There is no happiness, no benevolence, nothing life-giving left there. The emotional deficit is continually on display. In their contorted, sneering countenance; in their so readily brandished middle finger; in their steady spit shower of verbal filth. With each angry gesture...

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If Americans say they love this president and their country, one of those things is not true

That whole MAGA nonsense has about reached its expiration date. Take off the big red hat and retire it, my friend. All your flag-waving histrionics and your hand-wringing anthem outrage have proven to be nothing but fake news. All that America First chest-bumping and God Bless America showy piety you’ve spent the past two years peddling, looks largely ridiculous at this point. The Helsinki Summit has fully exposed you. When a sitting President stands alongside a murderous dictator and declares to trust that man more than American Intelligence, more than our public servants across the aisle, more than our...

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A mental health crisis created by an unhinged presidency

“I feel like I’m losing my mind.” These words are a continual presence these days. I hear them a couple hundred times a day, in one form or another. I read them in desperate social media outbursts. I find them in my inbox from friends and from strangers. I hear them in my own head. They are the symptoms of a shared sickness we now find ourselves afflicted with; a sprawling homegrown mental health crisis, the genesis of which can be traced to a single Wednesday morning in November. They are part of a growing national neurosis brought on...

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