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. [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 [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 [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 [Read More…]

#BlackLivesMatter in Barbershop’s Love Letter to Chicago

I spent five formative years in my mid-twenties living in Hyde Park on the South Side, learning about racial divides and economic stratification in ways that only Chicago can teach. And Barbershop: The Next Cut is above all else a love letter to Chicago. The film finds Calvin’s barbershop sharing space with Angie’s beauty shop [Read More…]

Prince Was My Third Tween Love (the naughty one)

After memorizing every word of every song on my Rick Springfield cassette tape of Living in Oz, and mooning over my poster of Michael Jackson in his yellow sweater-vest, I came of a certain-age knowing that there was something dangerous and the right amount of naughty about Prince. I knew that he was a different kind [Read More…]

Gender Theory & Religion, Brought to You by E!

How many viewers of reality shows on the E! Channel have studied gender theory? Thought about the religious roots of homo- and trans-phobia? Taken white male privilege seriously as a factor in shaping political alignment and the worldview of a trans* woman? Given serious consideration to how drag can be a deeply insulting to one [Read More…]

Queering Difference, Correcting Coakley

The following is an excerpt of my discussion of Linn Marie Tonstad’s new book, God and Difference, published in full over at FeminismandReligion.com last month. [Read more…]

Making Religious Homophobia Illegitimate

I have a dream that someday, religious homophobia will be as illegitimate as flat-earth cosmology and young-earth creationism. B.o.B. and Ken Ham notwithstanding, no one gives any real credibility to claims that the earth is flat or that it is only 6,000 years old. Sure, those people are out there, and you can even visit [Read More…]

Top Five Posts of 2015

It’s the week of year-in-review lists and posts, so I thought I’d see what the top five posts from my Patheos year have been. They are a pretty decent indication of hot topics from 2015, and a fair representation of the kinds of things I like to blog about: Jesus is Not a Get-Out-of-Jail Free [Read More…]