Which Amendment Comes First? Guns, Muslims, and Fear that Trumps Freedom

After Senator Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster; and other lawmakers, led by Rep. John Lewis, staged a sit-in on the House floor; Congress finally allowed for a vote on measures that would, among other things, ban people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.Conservative lawmakers voted the measure down. Though its failure to pass was predictable, the reason they gave was a bit of a head-scratcher. (Not that reason has much play in the conversation around gun control...) Their c … [Read more...]

Good Christian Sex: Not an Oxymoron

Guest Post, by Bromleigh McCleneghanLast spring, I told the committee that hired me as the new associate pastor that I was writing a book about sex, both in the interest of full-disclosure and as a bit of self-defense. They couldn’t complain later if they didn’t complain initially, right?They didn’t complain. They are lovely. Though the congregation has taken to teasing me ever so slightly, especially as my book received its title (Good Christian Sex). Apparently it will receive a mentio … [Read more...]

The End of Us: Where Love Is Not Enough

Love is not enough.I'm a pastor, so I'm not supposed to say that. As a minister of the gospel, I'm supposed to say that love "bears all, believes all, endures all," etc. That love conquered the grave. The love is made perfect in Christ, and therefore perfects us all.Love will keep us together. Love lifts us up where we belong. Love is all you need.At some point, it all starts to sound the same, and it all starts to ring hollow. People have had enough of silly love songs.When the … [Read more...]

Who is My Neighbor? Police Shootings and Those We Leave For Dead

I am writing a book about family values--not the James Dobson kind, that are dependent on your family being a man+woman+2.5 kids+terrier. I'm writing about the kinds of values that do not rely on compliance with rigid gender roles, or a particular expression of "right belief." They are values that each unique family and faith community can discuss, apply, and live with intention, to find meaning and greater connection.The value that I'm struggling to articulate today is: justice. We say it's … [Read more...]

Pro-Choice, Anti-Abortion: Why the SCOTUS Ruling on Abortion is Good for Everyone

Hi, my name is Erin and I'm a feminist.I am also a Christian who believes in the sanctity of life; and I am deeply unsettled by the number of pregnancies that are terminated in America every year.I believe life begins at conception, and that any loss of life is tragic. However--I also know that my opinion on that matter comes from a place of privilege. I've never lived in poverty or worried how I would feed myself--much less child. I've never been raped or physically abused. I have a … [Read more...]

Those Who Watch for the Morning

On Friday, I got a Holy Spirit memo that the message I started on Monday was not the right one for Sunday. That’s how it goes sometimes. So today, we’re going to have a Good News Sunday. It would do us all some good, and it might do the world some good, to focus on all the ways people are doing ok; all the glimpses of light breaking through the cracks out there. Your Mission today— is to not lose hope. Do not give up on good news, that is still being embodied and enacted, out there in the world … [Read more...]

Get Off the Fence: Why “We Welcome Everyone” Isn’t Enough

Since last week's horrific shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, many pastors have offered words of comfort for the victims' families; words denouncing violence and gun culture; and prayers for a more peaceful world.Then, there's those other guys. "Pastors," so-called, in Florida, and Texas, who have said unspeakably hateful things about the LGBT community; who have publicly prayed that God might "finish the job" and kill the rest of them; and some other terrible things that I'm not … [Read more...]

And This Will Be Our Penance

Just to recap... Conservative leaders are running on platforms of "zero tolerance" for terrorism--and  Muslims in general, as though that is all the same thing. And yet, those same leaders voted today that it's A-OK for people on the FBI no-fly list to buy weapons of mass destruction. Because perhaps the FBI is just being twitchy when they say these folks are a threat to society. Because rights. And freedom. You know the drill.Here is what I now know: when this country's sick romance with gu … [Read more...]

They Want Us Dead: Hate and Marginalized Communities

A powerful guest post from my college friend, Shawn McGuffey. An important read that needs to be shared far and wide--and I'm proud to share it here. “They want us dead. I’m gay. They want us dead.”This morning I woke up smiling. Laughing. And making jokes with my partner. While morning laughter is usually as routine for us as eating and brushing teeth, it was notable today because we have not done so since the tragic massacre in Orlando this past weekend where 49 people – primarily Latin … [Read more...]