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Author: John Pavlovitz

Walking Wounded: When each day feels like a funeral for the living with memorials to all that has been lost

Each day is a day of mourning for millions of Americans. You can see the bereaved everywhere you look. hey may not be dressed in black or sitting in a church pew or tearfully standing graveside or in the back of slow-moving cars with headlights flashing, but they are deeply grieving nonetheless. They are people who have lost someone they dearly love, though not to death but to something else, something much less expected, something much more unnatural. They have lost them to the knowledge of how unlike they now are; to a moral disconnect that has rendered their...

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Dangerous Books: Perhaps Bible-believing Conservative Christians should consider banning the Bible

A Tennessee school board recently voted to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust from their eight grade curriculum. This has become a familiar tactic of Republican parents, politicians, and pastors, working through local school boards to edit out vital creative works and voices from school curriculums, in the name of protecting children. In reality, it is continuing the time-honored Right-wing tradition of raising them to be historically unaware and racially intolerant by redacting the story they are told about the world. The incessant outrage over Critical Race Theory is the most current and brazen assault...

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The rejection of empathy: Why MAGA Republicans would have canceled Jesus for His ministry of love

MAGAs like to tell us there is a “War on Christmas.” They are right. The truth is, Jesus would not have stood a chance in MAGA America. They would have cancelled him immediately. When he told them to love their neighbor as themselves, they would have screamed at him to go back where he came from and spit anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic epithets from behind anonymous message board Nazi avatars, raising defiant middle fingers in his face. When Jesus pleaded with them to welcome the stranger and embrace the outcast and receive the refugee, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity...

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Year In Review 2021: The Biblical irony of Christians who denounce the message of Christ

2021 began a second year with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and the near collapse of American Democracy. Even with a vaccination for COVID-19, much of the turbulence from 2020 continued because of weaponized politics. That social trauma aggravated the public health crisis, and the economy’s struggle to recover. While the year did not present the same risks of physical injury for journalism as the previous, the editorial staff of Milwaukee Independent experienced many difficult challenges in the process of reporting the news and preserving those conditions with images. The Year In Review (YIR) series has evolved from a simple...

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A Love of Guns: When pro-life Christians find joy in uplifting high-powered weapons designed to end life

Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie tweeted out this photo of his family all holding weapons and wearing beaming smiles, with the caption: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo” Putting aside what the Conservative reaction would be to any Democrat lawmaker’s Christmas tweet that mentioned Santa and not Jesus. The pearl-clutching “War On Christmas” cries would still be echoing through the canyons of GOP social media and partisan television. We should also table imagining the Republican Christian response, if a Muslim family shared a photo of themselves wielding an arsenal on one of their high holy days. The allegations...

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When Conservative Christians come to the sobering reality that they are antithetical to Jesus

The steady stream of vitriol I receive from professed Christians who identify as MAGA or QAnon or Republican is completely understandable. As they fire-off threatening texts, furiously tap out expletive-laden emails, and break into violent, performative histrionics on social media, I genuinely feel for them. They are often getting some really bad second-hand news from me that blows up the narrative they have spent a long time telling themselves and depend on to validate and to justify them. They are coming face to face with the sobering reality that they are antithetical to Jesus. Worse than that, they are...

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