We Need To Dance at Each Other’s Weddings

I had to send regrets to two invitations to local interfaith iftars in the past week. Yet the word regret can’t fully capture the loss I feel this year at not being able to accept my Muslim neighbor’s act of inclusion and welcome as they celebrate the blessings of Ramadan.Why?I’ve been reading in preparation for a weeklong faculty seminar on “Martin Luther’s Theology and the Jews” at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum next week. In the afterword to their book, Martin Luther, The Bible, an … [Read More...]

Freedom & the Racialized Body: Resonances with Luther at 500

The following is from part of what I presented at the recent conference on Embodied Freedom: Exploring the Intersections Between Christian Freedom and Personal, Social, and Global Bodies. The event was part of the ELCA’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and one among many things related to it in which I am involved this year.When Sojourner Truth queried, “… and ain’t I a woman?” in 1851, she called into question the racialization of womanhood that pervaded the ninete … [Read More...]

Active in Love: The ELCA on Faith, Sexism, & Justice

As someone who thinks, writes, and teaches about gender justice and religion, I am deeply familiar with the ways that religion is often central to the problem when it comes to sustaining gender injustice. And, despite generations now of women and men doing feminist and anti-racist and queer theologizing, the problems of misogyny, white supremacy, and homophobia remain. In the era of Trump, they … [Read More...]

How Gender Studies Transforms Religions

How does one adequately describe ways that gender studies has transformed the study and practice of religion in the U.S. and around the world? … in 8,000 words or less! This is a task I’ve been invited to undertake this summer for a chapter on “Religion” in the forthcoming Companion to Gender Studies to be published by Wiley-Blackwell to complement to their recent and wide-ranging Encyclopedia of G … [Read More...]

Feminist, Interfaith, Public: My Luther Year

Five hundred years ago, an Augustinian monk drafted a disputation on indulgences wherein he detailed how corruption in human institutions threatened the heart of the gospel and the soul of the faithful. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses thus emerged as a pivotal point in the Protestant Reformation. The document wasn’t the first nor by any means the last disputation, treatise, essay, hymn, polemic or com … [Read More...]

A Community Re-Imagining Faithful Justice

In 1993, I had just finished college and was starting graduate school in theology when I heard about the Re-Imagining Conference.  I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening there, but it quickly became apparent that it was the gravitational center of feminist theology that fall. Many of the most respected feminist, womanist, and mujerista theologians I had been reading and was just getting to know h … [Read More...]

Does Being White Trump Being Christian?

I wrote the following piece which was first published in the Springfield State Journal-Register on February 1, 2017. People of faith should be leading the opposition to President Donald Trump's Executive Order that bans refugees and effectively targets Muslims. They should have found his stated desire to do this during the campaign disqualifying. Yet, 81 percent of white evangelical Protestants … [Read More...]

Does Being White Trump Being Christian?

I wrote the following piece which was first published in the Springfield State Journal-Register on February 1, 2017. People of faith should be leading the opposition to President Donald Trump's Executive Order that bans refugees and effectively targets Muslims. They should have found his stated desire to do this during the campaign disqualifying. Yet, 81 percent of white evangelical Protestants … [Read More...]

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 … [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 w … [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...]