Authoritarians must be opposed in full force by liberals and conservatives alike.

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Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

Christian Leaders Must Denounce Trumpism Now

I am an ordained pastor of a Michigan church called Blue Ocean Church Ann Arbor and co-author of a book called Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance. In my capacity as a pastor I have never endorsed a candidate for office, honoring the Hatch Act of 1939. While I do not hesitate to speak out about various ethical issues, I refrain from overtly telling people who they should or should not vote into office.

Trump has been the exception from day one of his first presidential bid.

Trump…


Anti-Semitism permeates the Right, aided by American Christianity.

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Photo by Hert Niks on Unsplash

I’m a pastor of a progressive Christian congregation in Ann Arbor, MI, called Blue Ocean Church. I have spoken and written repeatedly over the last few years about why Trump is dangerous here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here — and through an entire blog series called “A Christian Response to Fascism,” the first of which can be found here. Also, in a book titled Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance, written with Ken Wilson.

I want to specifically point out the anti-Semitism permeating the Trumpian Right, because the language…


When religion seeks power and tries to use Empire to further its gains, it becomes counter-Jesus.

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Photo by Dawid Małecki on Unsplash

I pastor a church in Ann Arbor, MI, called Blue Ocean Church. I am also the co-author of a theology book caled Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance, along with Ken Wilson. I and my staff repeatedly called out the white nationalism of Trump over these last 4–5 years. Below I lay out the theological reasons the white American church — especially evangelicals — have been playing with fire and need to denounce their allegiance to Trump.

The Answer Might Surprise You

Of whom do I write, when I…


Now is the moment to revisit this article, first published Oct. 2018.

Note from author: I first started this blog series in Oct. 2018 and have written a total of 13 of the planned 16. It is very much still in process as we watch the ramifications of a failed authoritarian coup play out in our nation.

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Wikimedia Commons

From Oct. 2018:

People who lived through (or escaped from) fascist regimes, whose families were exiled or killed by fascists, and those who study fascism, are trying to get our attention. They — Madeleine Albright, Timothy Snyder, Jason Stanley, Umair Haque, Adele Stan, Sarah Kendzior, Sarah Churchwell, Carl Boggs, among others — beg us to pay attention to…


To name a few: Al Mohler, Franklin Graham, Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Sean Feucht, Paula White, and others told their followers God chose Trump to lead our nation.

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photo by: The White House; photo includes Brian Houston (Hillsong); Brian & Jenn Johnson, Sean Feucht, Stephen James Hart, Allison & Antonio Martin, Kiley Goodpasture, Luke Hendrikson, and Dominic Shahbon (Bethel); Jeremy Edwardson (Ex-The Myriad, owns The Soundhouse studios in Redding); Paula White-Cain and Jonathan Cain (Journey); Chris Quilala (Jesus Culture); Tosha and Joseph Zwanziger (The Fathers House, CA); Kari Jobe; Cody Carnes; Eddie James; Micah Stampley; Britt Nicole; Jaye Thomas; Jasmine Tate; Myles & DeLana Rutherford (Worship With Wonders Church);

Matthew 7:15–20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear…


Two years ago I wrote an article titled, “Here’s Why Nations Turn on Themselves: Lessons From Scapegoat Theory.” Scapegoat theory, developed by anthropologist and literary critic Dr. René Girard — who finished his career at Stanford University — purports to explain the origins of how and why groups self-destruct. His insights are remarkably helpful after seeing the attemped coup at the United States Capitol building yesterday. I’m a pastor who has repeatedly spoken out against Trump, using Girard and his insights into my faith tradition.

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Photo by ElevenPhotographs on Unsplash

First, let’s look at Girard’s theory in a nutshell, and then I’ll explain how it…


Many church leaders face mounting pressure to hold services. This pastor says it’s a bad idea. Here’s why.

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Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

1. Too Many Churches Are Anti-Science & Will Not Follow Guidelines

Too many church leaders and members distrust science. Franklin Graham, a mouthpiece of the Christian Right, posted a Facebook message on June 20 to his 8.8 million followers questioning the trustworthiness of government guidelines in regards to COVID-19. Dr. Anothony Fauci warned this wariness leads to poor decision-making in regards to meeting — which is why so many Christian organizations have experienced outbreaks, and why the New York Times ran a feature today on the 650 cases of the virus linked to…


Evangelicalism and MAGA culture are in a symbiotic relationship

In a new book edited by Ron Sider — author of Rich Christians In an Age of Hunger, which has sold more than 400,000 copies — a handful of evangelical leaders sound the alarm about the spiritual harm being done by the current White House occupant. In a book titled The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump: 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity, Sider and others lay out a case for opposing Trump’s re-election.

Too little, too late.

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How to choose? Let me help.

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photo by the author

Last I checked there were 26 flavors of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the ice cream costs more than the average pint, but it consistently delivers solid flavors and textures. Three years ago I decided to try them all and rank them (to my spouse’s … amusement? chagrin?). Flavor is subjective, yes — so take it for what it is: a self-declared amateur ice cream judge’s Top Five list. And, for what it’s worth, I like most things, and am partial to ice creams that are less sweet.)

#1 Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks

Chocolate and peanut…


If you’re new to this series, I’m a pastor countering aspects of fascism with Christian theological critique. For this segment, we’ll talk about how fascist leaders embrace a cult of death through militarism. (If you’d like to read previous posts in this series, see the bottom of this page for links.)

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New York cop: Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

I’ve hesitated in the past to call Donald Trump a full-blown fascist because of his seeming lack of appetite for military interventions. Authoritarian? Definitely. I noted his strongman tendencies here and here, and I pointed out his law-and-order rhetoric here, but his most recent threat of military intervention against…

Emily Swan

Co-Author with Ken Wilson of Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance, and co-pastor of Blue Ocean Faith Ann Arbor, a progressive, fully-inclusive church. Queer.

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