The Holidays Upon Us: Eat, Pray, Shop

Eat, pray and shop. Open your homes AND prepare your hearts. You can do all of these and I hope you will. Thanksgiving is soon upon us and the Christmas shopping frenzy has begun. Impossible to walk into any retailing environment now and not find Christmas paraphernalia everywhere. The purists are upset. But this is the season that makes or breaks many businesses and the less lucrative Thanksgiving sales can’t get the attention. Economic indices are important Those who create… Read more

The Evangelicals Were Correct: God Wanted Trump

God wanted Trump to expose the dark, decayed underbelly of Evangelicalism so real cleansing and healing can take place.  Since the beginning of the Trump era, I’ve wondered about the insistence on the part of the Evangelical world that God wanted Trump to be our President. Suddenly, with the whole Roy Moore fiasco surfacing (did you know he was banned from a mall because of his persistent cruising for teenaged girls?), it started to make sense. God wanted Trump, all right, but not… Read more

Why Evangelicals Support (Allegedly) Pedophilic Roy Moore

Many have reacted negatively to the equation of Joseph and Mary with Roy Moore and the 14-year-old girl Moore (allegedly) sought to seduce. But, to me, with my long history in Evangelicalism, it makes perfect sense. When a religion systematically silences the female voice at the highest levels, and that is part of the core of the Evangelical world, then the female cannot be seen as fully human. It is that simple. No voice, no humanity. Instead, females become fit… Read more

The Angry White Male and Domestic Violence Gone Amuk

Our society idolizes the angry, white male. We heap praise on him, make TV shows and movies about him, turn him into a mega-star pastor celebrity, elect him to the highest offices in the land. Found at the scene: “hundreds of shell casings and more than fifteen 30-round magazines (source: Wall Street Journal). Besides the bloodied and dead bodies, the white, angry, male shooter left that evidence behind. After all, the gun rights people say, “We have every right to carry… Read more

Sacred Customer Service, Healthy Feet, and The United Methodist Church

And I still think that without an actual apology, a move to sacred customer service, we may as well be upfront and say, “We are writing off the next generation of thinking and caring Jesus-followers.” As some of my readers know, I finally decided to get my feet fixed. I had only put this off for over 50 years. The damage was fairly extensive. Surgery one is over. Next Wednesday, I will be given the go-ahead to put on a… Read more

If Donald Trump Had Been an Honorable Man . . .

If Donald Trump had been an honorable man, he would have been exactly what the country needed. Perhaps the most significant casualty will be Christianity. He would have brought in wise and creative people who would say, “This system is stuck. I’m going to unstick it and help it regain its vitality” and “this regulation was necessary at one time, but it is no longer. I’m going to eliminate it.” If Donald Trump had been an honorable man, his educated… Read more

Let’s Not Conflate “Sick” and “Evil”

There’s a big difference between sick and evil. Time to stop conflating the two and stop excusing the inexcusable. Yesterday, an evil man drove a truck through a bike path in New York City, colliding with a school bus in the process. Many killed, more injured in a scene of stomach-churning carnage. The President calls the perpetrator “sick and deranged.” Wrong. The perp is evil. And there’s a difference. When we label people sick, we infer that some of their… Read more

The Church of the Holy Bunionectomy

Now, the group is not called The Church of the Holy Bunionectomy. But that is the role it serves in the lives of us who have joined it. In late August, after procrastinating for over 50 years, I began the process of repairing the massive damage my inherited bunions have wrought. My surgeon described the first procedure as a “nearly total foot rebuild.” The other foot gets the same treatment mid-November. It’s been awful and will be awful. I know… Read more

Religious People Can Be The Most Evil of All

Seven hundred and ninety-six bodies, from newborn to three years old, killed because the religious people deemed them irreversibly stained since they were conceived outside of marriage. I finished reading The Lost Children of Tuam, a 7000-word document about the dead children Ireland wanted to forget, and the Catholic Church helped kill. I was sick to my stomach. The thought kept rolling around in my brain: religious people can be the most evil of all. The piece tells the story… Read more

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Has Facebook Hurt Church Attendance?

In my opinion, it is not Facebook, which does have room for somewhat reasoned dialogue, and yes, it can be contentious, but not always, that has dampened church attendance. There is space for nuance, explanation. Instead, Twitter may be the problem. Dear Thoughtful Pastor, I remember images of old cars (they were not old at the time, but are now) lined up around the country churches and people standing outside in little groups appearing to have a good time. There… Read more

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