Trump and the Christian Persecution Complex

Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

I found myself beginning morning prayer today with a sincere "Dear God... please do not let Donald Trump be president." Even though I know prayer does not especially work like a Sear's catalogue, nor do I think God exactly controls the outcome of such things... I reckon I was just flinging a desperate hope to the universe and awaiting some return signal that these are not, in fact, the end times. Because that Jerry Falwell, Jr. business last week? Where Rev. Falwell compared Trump to Jesus, and M … [Read more...]

Still, Always: What Alan Rickman Really Gave Us

magic-1129363_640

Many of the miracle stories in the gospels have a common denominator: the hush factor. After performing a sign or a wonder, Jesus would often tell onlookers, or the recently healed leper/lame/blind man, that they were to "Say nothing to anyone."Biblical scholars have argued for millennia as to why that might be. Unable to fully explain it, they did what biblical scholars do and they came up with a big fancy name for this phenomenon so that people would stop asking them hard questions. They ca … [Read more...]

Bumps in the Night: Why We Love to Turn Up the Terror

cemetery-395953_640

I think I was about 15 the first time I read Pet Sematary. I was terrified. I was grossed out.I was totally hooked.I remember holing up in the basement to watch the movie with some friends. It was ok. But nothing like the delicious thrill of the words on the page, and the invitation those pages offered into the macabre layers of my own imagination. Something about King’s brand of terror has never translated well to the screen… His art is language, and trying to force real, physical ima … [Read more...]

EXPECTO PATRONUM! And Other Spells That Don’t Ensure Your Internet Safety

menger-702837_640

Listen. Most any 'change in privacy' notice you see on Facebook is a scam. Social media sites would completely implode on themselves if they started charging, and they know it. Or if everything suddenly became "public," in the most basic understanding of the word. Furthermore, anything that says "if you copy and paste this into your status, then _____ thing will or won't happen" is definitely a scam. Your status box has no magic power to create a force field around you and the rest of the … [Read more...]

Get it Together, America–We’ve Got Company

Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped) (1)

Maybe this week in U.S. news is no more embarrassing than any other. But I tell you what, I am feeling especially appalled by our collective bad behavior. Maybe it’s because the behavior has been especially…well, appalling. Or maybe it’s because the POPE IS IN TOWN, and, I don’t know, it seems like we should clean up the place a little. Use a napkin, at the very least, and not put our *^@%#^ feet on the table.It’s hard to know where to begin, with such ignorant, arrogant and buffoonish ac … [Read more...]

Talking to Strangers: Scene in a Bar

cafe-843293_640

I was drinking a beer. That was her first clue that I wasn’t a real Christian.When she asked me what I did and I mentioned that I was a pastor, I’m guessing that sealed the deal.So when she asked me to tell her about my church, I could have quoted our denomination’s identity statement, keeping it light and generic. Or I could have told her about youth group and women’s ministries and mission work in El Salvador. But I figured I was already batting zero—drinking a beer AND being a lady min … [Read more...]

The Naked Truth About Dress Codes

10-32-18-618_640 (1)

Women's bodies sure are controversial these days.And not just in the political/ideological sense regarding reproductive rights and healthcare. I mean just--there is fundamentally something offensive and confusing about curves, cleavage and knees. And I guess now, bones. A girl at a Kentucky High School was sent home for wearing a top that was very, very revealing... of her collar bones.   The Missouri Legislature figured that maybe a stricter dress code would cut down on sexual harassment c … [Read more...]

Healing and Hilarity in “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

ptcs

If David Sedaris and Anne Lamott had a baby together... it would be this book. And I mean that in the best possible way.Sometimes the market seems saturated with spiritual memoirs. (I know, because I want to write one and editors tell me as much...) They range in tone from super feels-y to very jaded; and in creed from the ultra-conservative-gone-athiest to the other-way-around. Some speak to the spiritual-but-not religious crowed, and some address the r … [Read more...]

All the Weird, Wonderful World: A Back-to-School Prayer

shoes

As I mentioned last year, I am usually not the parent crying into my latte on the first day of school. For one thing, my kid LOVES school, so I am just happy to see her skipping off into hours of playtime, new-friend-making, and math--which she loves, which is beyond me, but go girl anyway. Mostly, I am just trying to get out of the massive crush of suburban parenthood without a)having a panic attack or b) absolutely losing my $h^t at the mom who is TEXTING IN THE DROP OFF LANE and blocking the … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X