No Religious Exemption for Abuse

Late last summer, a group of Illinois pastors sued the state for their right to engage in conversion therapy, which had been outlawed months previously, in effect seeking a religious exemption to practice child abuse.They provide the latest example of literalist and exclusivist Christians who are used to having their discrimination tolerated and their abuse accepted. And now, these groups have a sympathetic Vice President in Mike Pence who is opposed to LGBTQ rights and supportive of efforts … [Read More...]

Hearing God on Hacksaw Ridge & in Airport Detention

In the movie Hacksaw Ridge, Desmond Doss is perched on the edge of the ridge with his battalion of soldiers in retreat after a gory firefight and before an artillery strike is called in. A Seventh Day Adventist and conscientious objector who refused to carry a weapon in favor of saving lives as a medic, Doss pauses in the midst of fire and blood and disemboweled soldiers.“I want to do your will, but I can’t hear you …” He prays, pleading with God for a message about what he should do next. … [Read More...]

From Election to Marching: Calling a Thing What It Is, or We Are Not the Crazy Ones

“A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.” ~ Martin Luther, 1518 Saturday marked the first day since November 9 that I didn’t feel crazy, or completely out of sync with reality, or that everything I thought was true was false. I had been doing that thing that I know I wasn’t supposed to do: retreat and disconnect. I also kn … [Read More...]

All About Hijab: Gender, Race, Religion & Ghazala Khan

It started with a dignified woman standing on stage, on television, stoically bearing witness to the dead son her husband spoke about with grieving passion. When that husband challenged the nation’s premiere bully to read the Constitution, that bully set his sights on the woman.Of course he did. This is a man who used to own an international beauty pageant, a man who reduces women to their a … [Read More...]

The Grace of Being Freed From Judging My Neighbor

Earlier this week, I had an op-ed about religious freedom published in the local newspaper, responding to to legislative efforts in many states (VP nominee Mike Pence's Indiana among them) to enable business owners to use religious freedom as a license to deny services and discriminate.Here’s an excerpt (click to read the full piece): As Lutherans prepare to commemorate the 500th anniversary o … [Read More...]

Writing About #BlackLivesMatter While White

By now, you know whether or not Alton Sterling and Philando Castile had criminal records. As if that justifies either of them being shot and killed by police while pinned to the ground or while sitting in a car with a four-year-old in the back seat.One day I got my neighbor’s “rap sheet” in the mail.At least that’s what the sender, another neighborhood resident, called the printout of mostl … [Read More...]

#JesseWilliamsSyllabus

I was going to write about the liberation theology of Jesse Williams.I immediately zoned in on this piece of his speech when I watched it Sunday night on the BET Awards: “But freedom is somehow always conditional here. ‘You’re free,’ they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free. Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the h … [Read More...]

#JesseWilliamsSyllabus

I was going to write about the liberation theology of Jesse Williams.I immediately zoned in on this piece of his speech when I watched it Sunday night on the BET Awards: “But freedom is somehow always conditional here. ‘You’re free,’ they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free. Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the h … [Read More...]

SCOTUS Ruling on Care & Compassion for All Women

A few months ago, I got an email from a reader who said she grew up conservative Christian, though now considered herself progressive and a feminist. The abortion issue still vexed her. She asked me this:Q:  I have been having a cognitive issue with abortion rights.  I am fervently pro-women and consider myself a feminist, but something about it isn’t sitting right. I agree that women should ha … [Read More...]

Trump. Women Know “That Guy”

His response to a woman’s charge that his buddy assaulted her begins and ends with defending his buddy.We know that guy.He stages a made-for-tv apology reminiscent of an intimate abuser after publicly berating a woman for doing her job.We know that guy.He uses and abuses women who are, aren’t, and might someday become his wives.We know that guy.He ignores the horrific eff … [Read More...]

An Interfaith Leader’s Twelve-Step Response to the Pulse Massacre

In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education today, Eboo Patel says: “An interfaith leader is someone with the vision, knowledge base, and skill set to create the spaces, organize the social processes, and craft the conversations such that people of different religions can share a common life together.” While the essay doesn’t talk about the horrific events in Orlando this weekend, it’s easy … [Read More...]

Hello, Christians Who Still Don’t Get Feminism

Recently, I sat down with Josh deKeijzer at HelloChristian.com for an interview about feminism and Christianity. Josh took the opportunity to ask me some of the main questions that Christians who remain skeptical or outright hostile to feminism still have. As much as I can’t believe that there are still people who think feminism is some kind of malevolent movement, I understand that stereotypes a … [Read More...]