Five Things I Learned from Cleve Jones

This Pride Cleve Jones came to St. Louis. The Cleve Jones. Cleve Jones of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and When We Rise, legendary LGBTQIA+ activist and total badass. He was in town to be Grand Marshal of our Pride Parade and to speak about his new book (also called When We Rise), and it was at his book [Read More…]

PFLAGGED

I experience a lot of emotional situations in my work. I’m a clergy person, and I sit with people as they wrestle with questions of life and death. I’m an activist, and I have had more than my share of tense and scary moments on the streets. But tonight’s panel on religion and LGBTQIA+ issues, [Read More…]

“Best Choice” Not the Best Choice for St. Louis-Area Public Schools

A Double Shot of Paranoia I’m at Starbucks to meet Joy Maxwell. Maxwell is Curriculum Coordinator for the increasingly controversial “Best Choice” sex education program, a project operated by ThriVe St. Louis and taught in public schools in and around the Midwestern city. In recent weeks, Best Choice has been the subject of numerous articles – and [Read More…]

In Defense of Debates

Last week I debated god. Not as in “I had a debate with the Creator of the Universe,” although that would have been cool. Rather as in “I had a debate about the existence of god with a Christian apologist.” This was new to me. While I enjoy debates immensely, and while I’ve been a [Read More…]

Justice Without God

“Tzedek, tzedek tirdof” – “Justice, justice you will pursue.” This phrase, which I learnt from my Jewish clergy colleagues while protesting together in Ferguson, lies at the heart of faith for many. Almost all religious traditions, somewhere in their scriptures or practices, make a call to justice. From the Muslim call from god “O you [Read More…]

Oppression Is Not Magic

Whenever I write about oppression, I can predict one typical response: “What is this mystical “oppression” you speak of? Can you point to it? Are you talking about discriminatory laws? But there are no laws prohibiting this thing – so how can people be oppressed in that arena?” The question, which is so common, seems to [Read More…]

I Used to Think Like Dave Rubin. Then I Woke Up.

Political commentator Dave Rubin has a new video out: Why I Left the Left. Ostensibly, its a defense of “classical liberal” values like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and non-discrimination. In reality its a hit piece targeting what Rubin calls “progressives”: people who think trigger warnings are a good idea, who think colleges can expect [Read More…]