He asked me if I had ever considered suicide. I told him, “yes,” and explained the circumstances. I asked if he had much knowledge about what life was like for women in a very conservative religious world. He acknowledged ignorance, so I spent a few minutes explaining it. Suddenly, his face changed, and he said, “Oh now it makes sense. The state with the highest number of anti-depressant prescriptions written, and written primarily for women, is Utah.” One prominent suicide and… Read more

Two Deaths: One, my brother-in-law, gentle, surrounded by love; the other, The United Methodist Church, rapaciously violent, with blood running in the streets. On Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 3:08 am, my sister’s husband passed from glory to glory. His heart just wore out. Several days before his death, and after conversation with wise physicians and other caring health professionals, my sister and her husband jointly signed the papers for his admission to end-of-life care under a well-known Hospice organization…. Read more

Paternalism, disguised as “godly male leadership” is another term for “male supremacy” and is no different from white supremacy. Both are distasteful in the eyes of God.   On May 30, 2018, the Board of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary decided to rescind the rewards they had heaped upon Paige Patterson for his treatment of women. In the press release, they announced that they have taken away his cushy retirement, his ever-so-elegant title as President Emeritus, and his forever home on campus…. Read more

Starbucks has some things to teach us about inclusivity, but ultimately, like my plants, the United Methodist Church must split to regain health and vitality. It’s more complicated than we think it is to practice inclusivity. On Tuesday, May 30, 2018, Starbucks ran full-page ads in several major newspapers (I saw them in both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) explaining why they were “starting a new chapter in our history.” Executive Chairman Howard Schultz offers the philosophy… Read more

On Memorial Day, it is time to remember those who died so that we as a nation may continue this unusual experiment in self-governance called democracy. History has few examples for us to follow as we pursue the ongoing task of weaving the delicate fabric of freedom around forces that push us into less-free spaces. Our memories make us, inform us, shape us. Sometimes they fill us with the warm glow of love given and returned, of special joys and… Read more

The Truth: Donald Trump is every Southern Baptist male’s ultimate fantasy: to do openly what they have been doing in private. Yes, Paige Patterson is Donald Trump’s pimp.  Well, well, well, the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary decided they’d continue to pander to Paige Patterson’s sexism by adding the title “emeritus” to President and give him a cushy, paid-for home on the campus. While drawing his fat salary, he can sit on the front porch rocking chair and comment… Read more

 What broken windows can we fix in The United Methodist Church? Perhaps if we found one, we could find The Way Forward. Can life be entirely fair? I started wondering that yesterday when my husband and I decided to have lunch at a new restaurant in our area. My routine question: “Do you have a gluten-free menu?” The routine answer, “No, but some items are marked with the (tiny, nearly impossible to see) symbol.” And, as is the case with… Read more

Do not criticize Paige Patterson for telling the truth: if your black eyes, in whatever form they present themselves, mean some man will show up at church, then do not complain about them. That’s God’s plan for you. Don’t bother to duck.  Does God mind it when women get hurt by the men in their lives? It seems like a silly question, but recent events make it a realistic one. Yes, even as I write this, I can hardly believe… Read more

The church in the US exists as a voluntary institution operating without state mandate (as opposed, for example, to the Church of England, still supported by taxes on landowners). It actually has no right to the “tithe” as the basis for it has passed. Dear Thoughtful Pastor, Matthew 6:4 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) reads: “Give your contributions privately. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.” According to this scripture, is it wise to put your… Read more

My own great divorce from Evangelism came years ago and as accompanied by much grief. I left because . . . well, I was kicked out. Too mouthy, inadequately submissive to male authority, and, finally, I committed the ultimate, and the unforgivable sin: I got a divorce. A real one. I crossed the invisible line and paid the price. C. S. Lewis’ profound book, The Great Divorce, sprang to mind when I read an opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News by… Read more

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