I’m Just a Black Man Trapped in This White World…


Dennis Sanders

Dennis Sanders is the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis, MN.  You can follow Dennis through his blogs, The Clockwork Pastor and Big Tent Revue and on Twitter.  Feel free to contact him at dennis.sanders(at)gmail(dot)com.

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57 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    Welcome Dennis. Well you’ve been here a while, but welcome to the FP. While i’m a liberal type, i think its good for this blog to have a solid conservative voice.Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Welcome! I’m very excited to have you on board, Dennis.Report

  3. Avatar Maribou says:

    I look forward to reading your posts, Dennis.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Very pleased to welcome you aboard.Report

  5. Avatar Rod Engelsman says:

    Cool! You can be the house Aspie! Congrats.

    I’m especially interested in the gay pastor thing given the “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” rhetoric from the RR.Report

  6. Avatar James K says:

    Hi Dennis, welcome aboard.Report

  7. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Black gay Republican – mind not blown.

    Ordained black gay Republican who’s lived in the same metro as I have for year and a half and I had no idea? Mind kind of blown, I’ll admit.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

      …Oh, and welcome! Not to speak for the editors (though they clearly expressed themselves by bringing you on board), but based on the topics you have an interest in writing about (and the perspective from which you’ll do so), there probably couldn’t have been amore perfect addition to the site at this political moment. This is gonna be awesome.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Michael Drew says:

      I’m having a harder time squaring the pastor thing with Republican than either the gay thing or the black thing.

      Gay, black… you don’t choose those. Pastor on the other hand, you choose. And christianity’s principles ought to be completely antithetical to GOP “values” (pistol-packing pastors seeming to fall into a “Christianity: UR DOING IT RONG” sort of meme).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to M.A. says:

        I kinda think a joke about “ritual cannibalism” goes here.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Kim says:

          I am at best an independent spiritualist, Kim. But I have respect for those who hold religious beliefs in faith, after philosophical confrontation, and have decided that they in good faith find the tenets of belief worth holding.

          I have some philosophical problem with organized religion when taken to the extremes that stop people from progressing to full mental adulthood (described using Kohlberg’s terms, organized religion tends to keep many supposed adults at the “avoiding punishment” level rather than encouraging them to grow beyond it). I think that most of the world’s modern religions need to go through another set of reformations in order to stop behaving in ways that diminish, generally, the progress of human development on both individual and societal levels.

          But I don’t think jokes about “ritual cannibalism” are appropriate here. That’s an inaccurate description of all but the weirdest and least representative branches of christian doctrine.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to M.A. says:

            … Catholicism isn’t representative?
            (to be fair: I’m just as down with joking about the Jewish religion. “swinging birds around your head” and all that).Report

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to Kim says:

              The best religious joke I’ve heard recently was “Buddhism: the only religion that explicitly requires do-overs.”Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to M.A. says:

                rofl. that’s pretty good.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to M.A. says:

                That’s more like Hinduism. Buddhism is all about how to escape having to do a do-overReport

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Murali says:

                It’s Hinduism too, really. Moksha and all that. It’s just I think Hinduism places more emphasis on the idea that most people are going to need a lot of tries.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Chris says:

                I thought about Moksha, but it doesn’t seem as doctrinally central to Hinduism as Nirvana does to Buddhism. At least my arm chair sociology tells me that most devout Hindus go through religious rituals without thinking about Moksha. I often say that really we’re monists and pantheists or panentheists, but a lot of Hindus are polytheists. For a lot of people, it is about being born into a good station in their next life. Or going to heaven. Hinduism is so messy that it is genuinely difficult to pick out any one universal doctrine. At best, you have a term that desginates a cluster of belief systems which have a family resemblance to one another.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali says:

                Judaism is also messy, but more in a “we like to argue. a LOT” way.
                (that, and doctrine came about way way later than the actual religion)Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Murali says:

                Yeah, all that makes sense.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Chris says:

                I’ve always had a soft spot for Hinduism. People ask me “What is you love so much about India?” I answer “um, which India. There are about six hundred of them, take your pick.” Nobody could possibly grasp the totality of Hinduism.

                I know one little part of Hinduism, Vaishnava: it’s a big enough subject to occupy that part of my time. So for those who follow that path, moksha means becoming a devotee of Vishnu. Completely different form of moksha/liberation than what Buddhism would say about the word.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Michael Drew says:

      Aren’t we really beyond this? Shouldn’t we just see a Dennis as the Protestant Gay Asperger Puerto Rican Republican he is?Report

  8. Avatar Johanna says:

    Glad to see you here. I have always thought you have conducted yourself with calm and grace in the comments and on the League Cast your personality put to shame those here who constantly characterize conservatives with a wide negative brush. I don’t say much here, except I wanted to let you know I’m pleased to see the addition of a writer who I’ve always felt was less interested in flame-throwing and more interested in thoughtful discourse.Report

  9. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    Could you outline the redeeming features do you see in the Republican Party? I’ve known a couple who called themselves Log Cabin Republicans. When I asked them why they continued to call themselves Republicans, despite the GOP’s opposition to their union, they thought they were bringing back a note of sanity to the party.

    All fine and good in its way. I’ve known black Republicans who went over to the GOP on the issue of abortion. The old colour lines were always nonsense: the Democrats didn’t create a lease in perpetuity on the black vote because of the civil rights struggle. But the GOP has consistently rejected its moderates and rejects them still.

    But the Republican Party drove me out, created no end of heartache in my own personal life. My parents were Barry Goldwater Republicans, good, caring missionaries. But on the issues of LGBT and Creationism and the Vietnam War, they were implacably opposed to any progress. They hung on the words of Rush Limbaugh until they passed away.

    What I don’t understand, will never understand, is the idea of idealising a political party, either my own Democratic Party, or your GOP. The GOP are not going to change their tune about LGBT rights any time soon. I’ve been where you are with the Republican Party, thinking of the Gospel of John, “the light shone in the darkness and the darkness did not understand it.” I thought, as with The Walk, I’ll go on believing in the Jesus I see in the Bible, though I’ll probably have to do it alone.

    I didn’t leave the Republican Party. They rejected me. I’ve watched, over time, as the Democrats have taken in refugees from the GOP. We’ve got Conservatives in plenty in our ranks. But there are fewer and fewer moderates left in the GOP.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    So glad to have you on board Dennis! Looking forward to writing together again.Report

  11. Avatar Murali says:

    Welcome Dennis. Can’t wait to hear more about why you identify as Republican rather than independent or Libertarian.Report

  12. Avatar Glyph says:

    Welcome Dennis!Report

  13. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I realize that “black gay republican” is the headline grabber but “minister working through Asperger’s” is the remarkable detail. (Says the gregarious atheist.) I hope you choose to write a note about that.

    I’m absolutely thrilled to share a masthead with you. Welcome!Report

  14. Avatar aaron david says:

    It’s wonderful to have you on the front page Dennis!Report

  15. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Eh, I knew about the gay, black, Republican thing a while ago. My mind’s just blown that it took this long to get you on the masthead! I just figured you weren’t interested.Report

  16. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Dude, it is awesome to have you here.

    Additionally, my grampa lived in Flint back in the 80’s. You know the Coney Island on Davison? He used to take us there.Report

  17. So happy to have you on board – this is long overdue.Report

  18. Avatar Elias Isquith says:

    Wonderful to have you aboard, Dennis. Welcome!Report

  19. Avatar Anne says:

    Welcome Dennis and I whole heartedly second Johanna’s comment she stated my thoughts just more eloquently.Report

  20. Avatar NewDealer says:

    What’s up, doc?Report

  21. Avatar Michelle says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your pieces, Dennis. I can get the conservative part, but not the Republican thing. Then again, I don’t think today’s Republican Party is conservative in any meaningful way. I await further enlightenment.Report

  22. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Would you describe yourself as a moderate/Rockefeller Republican (e.g. Jacob Javits/Lincoln Chaffee) or one of a more modern variety?

    Did you come of political age during the Reagan 80s?

    I grew up in a family of liberal Democrats and stayed in the fold but I knew some people in high school who became conservative Republicans as an act of teenage rebellion against their liberal-Democratic parents. I must admit that this never occurred to me and seemed silly. Can one really rebel by becoming a banker?Report

  23. Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:


    But in the meantime, a warmest welcome indeed.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      Wait, I do have a question: does your religious organization have any affiliation with Carlton Pearson’s Inclusion Gospel? If this question is offensive given Pearson’s current standing within American Christianity, I apologize.Report

  24. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Sure, we don’t have enough gay black Republican ministers here, but don’t we already have more than our share of Michiganders?

    Just kidding, of course. It’s a real pleasure to see Dennis make the masthead.Report

  25. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    WooHoo! Welcome Dennis!Report

  26. Avatar Will H. says:

    I believe you’re right in the middle of the Schell distribution area.
    “Firebrick” by August Schell is without doubt the best of all the commercially available Vienna lagers.
    Mine is better (just so you know); but it was the Firebrick that I based my recipe on (for the most part).

    Didn’t think so much of their alt.Report

  27. Avatar Plinko says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your part of the Leaguecast on the state of the GOP. Great to have you blogging on the FP, Dennis!Report

  28. Avatar zic says:

    There’s a line from a U2 song: She was always attracted to the things she’s afraid of.

    For me, it would be the things I don’t understand as opposed to fear. I get gay; black, preacher, aspergers, and even conservative. I can’t help but wonder if ‘Republican’ stems from trying to understand. Because if we’re calling today’s Republican party back to the Gospel, back to hearing Jesus’s message of loving the least among us instead of casting others out, it’s an undertaking I don’t understand; I fail to comprehend how it’s even possible.

    Welcome aboard.Report