Cookies of Love: a Progressive Pastor’s Encounter with Fred Phelps

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Brother Fred - is dead. When someone passes it is right and well to remember them. The following is a recounting of an encounter I had with the late, spreader of homophobic hate - Fred Phelps -- at his worst, and perhaps at his best. During my last semester of grad school I was involved in monitoring the proceedings at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (effectively, the “Congress” of the denomination that meets every four years to adopt and revise policies & regulations) … [Read more...]

Mardi Gras, Sodomy, & Us: the sodomites among us – tend to be us.

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I see sodomite people.Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday. The day before Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent. A time for living with passion, vim and vigor, and for zealously sucking the marrow out of life. It’s also a time when some folks feel a need to wag their fingers. I’m feeling moved to wag a finger of my own – at those who tend to do the finger wagging. The following article is one of my favorites that I’ve ever come across. I found it 8 or 9 years ago in The Wittenb … [Read more...]

Our Sin of Hating Fabulous & The Death Throes of Homophobia

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We hate people who are fabulous. We always have. Cain killed Able because Cain had sin in his heart - and because he was jealous of his brother offering a fabulous offering to God.Joseph's brothers hated him, threw him in a pit, and sold him into slavery because they had sin in their hearts  -- and because they were jealous of their brother's fabulous dreams and his fabulous, colorful (rainbow?) coat.Emmet Till was beaten to death because his white brothers had sin in their hearts - a … [Read more...]

Have a Just Valentine’s Day

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It’s the time of the year when lover-dovers show their love and affection for their snookums by buying sweets and gifts of beauty. Chocolate and flowers are the top sellers (if anyone is crushing on me, I prefer dark chocolate and Gerbera daisies – just sayin’).As a Christian blogger, you might expect me to take this time to remind us that it’s actually called St. Valentine’s Day, and that it’s an official feast day in the Roman Catholic Church, and then go on to remind us about the brave pri … [Read more...]

What’s Eating Michelle Shocked? A Pastoral Letter to a Sister in Christ

Dear Sister Michelle,I’m a Christian pastor who is a long time fan of your music and have seen you perform live twice. The first time was in Washington, D.C. when you were touring with Billy Bragg in 1988 and the most recent time was at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina two years ago.I don’t think you identified as a Christian in 1988 but many of your early songs suggested to me that I should view you as a fellow follower of the inclusive ways of Jesus. Your music has been very em … [Read more...]

A Lullaby We All Need To Hear

I recently realized that kid's birthday takes place in the same week as National Coming Out Day -- Oct. 11th.It dawned on me that even though he's presenting cues that he's probably straight, that I want him to know that I will love him just as much no matter what sexual orientation he lands upon as he grows. He knows about "LGBTQ" and that I'm the pastor of a "Reconciling" ministry and he's had a gay man and a bi-sexual individual among his babysitters over the years. Even though I'm a … [Read more...]


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