Photography by D. Plasman

Several years ago, I traveled to Nicaragua with six members of Edgewood United Church UCC in East Lansing. Our goal was to install dozens of water filtration systems in remote villages. My lodging partner, workmate, and inspiration was Eli, a transgender male. Side by side, we entered the dirt-floor homes of villagers, bringing with us 20-gallon plastic containers, outfitted with plastic tubing and elbow joints.

Once set in place, we filled the empty containers with precise layers of local stone, pea gravel, coarse and fine sand, and an inch of crushed brass alloy. Then, contaminated water hauled from local ponds and streams was poured into the top of the container. Slowly, the water worked its way through the multi-layered system until a steady stream finally trickled from the tap near the bottom. If the homeowner repeated this process for three weeks, the container produced fresh water.

Since the systems had to be built and the sand packed to careful specifications, Eli and I weren’t always sure each container we installed would work. As we waited a long minute for the water to work its way through each container, we often bit our bottom lips and tried to look hopeful. All our installations were successful, and after each victory we did obligatory chest bumps and fist pumps.

In spite of oppressive temperatures, Eli was a workhorse, an inspiration, and a person who thinks deeply about the intersection of theology and social justice.

One evening, I remember hearing a high-pitched squeal. The village pig had been slaughtered, so I was told. Choice parts of the pig were served to us at breakfast the next morning. I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the pig’s head in honor, in memory, and in gratitude for a life given for our nourishment.

Here we are as a nation. We are led by a fake President, a man unable to lead or to govern or to feel compassion, a man who tweets an insane order that bars transgender soldiers from serving in the military—this after an abhorrent speech at the annual Boy Scouts jamboree.

I would call our President a pig, but that would be an insult to the pig whose head hangs from an iron hook. I would call our President a pig, but that would be an insult to Sesame Street’s Miss Piggy, cartoon’s Porky Pig, and Arnold Ziffel–a rather intelligent pig on the 60’s show Green Acres. I would call our President a pig, but that would be disrespectful to the herd of demon-possessed pigs that stampeded down a cliff in Luke 8.

Though fearing a swine protest, I’ll say it anyway: Our President is a pig, and his newly appointed Communications Director, Mr. Sacramucci, is a slimy piglet.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Sally Van Vleck July 29, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

    Very thought provoking post; as a vegetarian for almost 40 years, I look at the pigs head, not in horror or revulsion, but rather with a little prayer for the pig, which is, I think, how you view it.
    It’s such a sad, tragic state of affairs, that we have gone from our previous president, such an admirable person, who was so wrongly maligned (I think that’s the word I want) to this. I have growing concern with each tweet, with each impetuous remark or decision. Where will this lead us as a country? How can we turn this around? How can we protect the most vulnerable who will suffer most: the low income people, the LGBTQ community, minorities, immigrants, disabled people? What are we being called to do?

  2. Marie Cobb July 30, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    You do have a way with words! So many animals are on such a higher level than #45. What were they thinking to elect such an absolute horror of a man? We may never be able to erase the bad he is creating. I cannot stand to hear him speak. It makes me want to punch him!

  3. Richard Dunn July 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    Amen!!!!! A zillion “amens”. Dan – you have stated the facts creatively but clearly. Blessings on your much needed ministries. With love in Christ, Dick