Russ Dean

  Don’t get me wrong, I’m as weary and disheartened by the phrase as the rest of you. In the wake of the latest tragedy, though, it seems I hear it most in the aftermath of the ongoing chapters of our mass-shootings. Someone invariably steps to a podium, gathers all the air in front of a camera and...
  The Supreme Court recently heard arguments from a Maryland case involving a 40-foot cross that was constructed by the American Legion in 1925 as a memorial to veterans of the First World War. The original complaint came from the American Humanist Association in 2014, who argued that the cross...
  We moved to Birmingham, Ala., in 1996 for my job as the new associate minister of an affluent Baptist church in the tony, wooded enclave called Mountain Brook. The church had multi-layered programs and the staff to keep all those trains running on time. One of the members of that staff was a...
  I just read a frightening piece about the “rebranding” of the far right in Germany. Apparently the new fear-mongers there think the neo-Nazis are old school. Like our own, sad white nationalists, dressed in khakis, not white hoods, and carrying tiki torches, Germany’s better dressed, better...
  COMMENTARY: I want to talk to my conservative friends. This nation is too divided, and we may not survive (literally) if we cannot come together. I don’t mean we have to agree. Diversity of ideas is our nation’s brilliance. The dialogue of different ideas is our strength. So, we don’t need...
  Russ Dean - Humanity: “There is so much good”   In this week’s pastors’ column for our church newsletter, I opened with these words: “It’s been a terrible week, another terrible week, in our country. Our democratic dysfunction is at an all-time high. Our divisions have never been more apparent,...
So, I’m writing on Wednesday, purposely ahead of the hearing of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and sadly just after learning there are accusations from other women. I’m writing now because the outcome of tomorrow’s deliberations will have no bearing...
  I was about 10 years old, almost the perfect age for that quintessential summer experience, aka: learning to water ski! We were visiting the summer getaway of Allen and Catherine Young at Lake Greenwood. Allen had taught a thousand kids to ski, and I was anxious to be 1001. I wrestled with those...
I suppose I am not unlike many folks who were raised in my part of the world – raised in a wonderful, solidly conservative, protestant church, Bible teaching was a staple in my diet. My childhood fascination with the amazing stories of the Bible was later conditioned through a thorough education by...
  In 2009 Amy and I became pilgrims, and pilgrimage changed us. With our boys, 12 and 10 at the time, we flew to Madrid, Spain, and took a bus to a little town called Sarria, which is 111.5 kilometers from the Cathedral of St. James. The number keeps rising, and last year over a quarter of a...

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