Before Someone Drops a House on You

I've long had a theory about Fred Phelps: He didn't really hate gay people.Well, ok, he probably did. But not to the degree that his antics would lead one to believe. He was probably homophobic in the same way that a lot of people are homophobic...in a passive way that is mildly accepted by much of popular culture (which is a whole 'nother post) but you don't see all of those mainstream haters pounding the pavement with these ugly signs, and forming an abusive cult around their ideology. W … [Read more...]

Singing in Dimly Lit Places: Is Religious Freedom Under Threat?

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Here is the question that will be on Patheos Public Square  next week: While the principle of religious freedom is inscribed in the Constitution and forms a core idea of American democracy, it has also become an increasingly embattled issue amid broader cultural tensions over individual rights, the power of government, and the separation of church and state. Is religious freedom under threat, as many advocates claim? What does it mean to defend religious freedom in a diverse, modern society … [Read more...]

Singing for Our Lives

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I’m not sure how it started, or when. But at least since I was a young’n, and probably a good many moons before that… each year, several hundred high school students would gather at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville for Kentucky All State Choir. (Yeah, that’s how we rolled, y’all. A glimpse of my wild and crazy youth right here).That hotel is about 20 stories high, with a large open-air atrium for a lobby. You can look up from the ground floor and literally see the door to every guest room, sur … [Read more...]

$*^! Jesus Says: The Christmas Shopping Edition

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An open letter (because the blogging world freakin LOVES open letters) to the American Family Association:Dear Affluent Straight White (Mostly Male) Christians:Nobody is persecuting you. And I mean, nobody.Encouraging Christians to boycott Radio Shack because the retailer features a “holiday” greeting instead of ‘Christmas’ wishes, is like refusing to wear pants because it’s cold outside.Or something.Here’s the thing: Jesus never in his life said, “Merry Me-smas.” He never mea … [Read more...]

Coming and Going

How confusing this must seem to small children, I was thinking the other day. To them, it must feel like we are just throwing all of our stuff in a truck, to be driven at some future time by SOMEONE, to SOMEWHERE; and then piling in the car and getting somewhere, eventually, and then maybe finding a place to live and unload our beds and our books and our stuffed dinosaurs when we get there.And then I thought...wait a sec. That is exactly what we're doing. And really, it doesn't seem so c … [Read more...]

Most Smartest and Sacred: Are Atheists Really Smarter than Us?

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According to 63 studies conducted over the last 80-some years, Atheists are OFFICIALLY smarter than people of faith. Officially. I read that this week.My first reaction was to take offense.  I mean... I'm a reasonably intelligent person. So are (most) Christians I know. So are the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddists... I mean, I've got no gripe with people who don't align themselves with a belief system, but seriously; how does faith (or lack thereof) speak to smarts?For my money, that just c … [Read more...]

The Conviction of Things Unseen: on Mystery Priests and Modern Miracles

cool door

The mystery priest came out of the closet. I mean...not that closet. But he came out of hiding, anyway. So, I stand corrected. I never thought we'd hear from him.Last week, a young woman in Missouri was hit head on by a drunk driver. Her vital signs were dropping quickly, and some of the rescue equipment was malfunctioning. In the midst of this grim scene, the girl asked the first-responders to pray with her. According to witnesses, a priest then appeared out of nowhere and anointed her with … [Read more...]

Happily Mostly After

pretty princess

Happily ever after is a lie.And no, I'm not having man problems. I don't hate my job. I'm not sick. I'm not in weather-related funk, and I'm not overly discouraged about the state of the economy. I've just got this on my mind... A photographer staged some life-sized vignettes of 'princesses' in their ever after.  These renderings show anything but a fairy tale ending. Belle--addicted to plastic surgery?; Cinderella--drinking away her disappointment.  There's more. Check it out.To some, th … [Read more...]

The Sacred Maybe

silas

I have a boy who is almost 3, but he's been talking like 4 since he was 2. He didn't get the memo that boys and/or second children do not develop vocabulary as quickly as their female/first child counter parts. I mean, boy likes to chat. At his two year check-up the nurse said, "does he know a) 5-10 words, b)10-20 words, or c) more than 20 words?" My husband and I kind of looked at each other and said, "um...why don't you ask him?"For all his articulate advancement, there are certain turns … [Read more...]


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