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

Teach Your Daughter About Her Physicality and Her Responsibility

What is it about us fecund beings and tiny humans that encourages such disdain, dislike, and outright abuse? It makes no sense to punish women and children.  I don’t know the why. But I do know the solution. Teach your daughter.  “Pro-life in the streets, pro-choice in the sheets.” ~Jennifer Weiner That’s the best phrase I’ve seen to characterize many of our political leaders. Wish I had come up with it, but I must credit Jennifer Weiner for her scathing editorial… Read more

If Only He Had Been a . . . but the Enemy is Us

Yes, indeed, we have met the enemy, and the enemy is us. If only he had been a Muslim, then we would have known who to hate. If only ISIS had been behind this, then we could see how many other people we could kill in retaliation. If only he had a skin color that was anything but white, then we could plan on 200-foot high border walls. If only he had been a she, then we could have blamed… Read more

Brilliant and Cruel: the GOP Push to Kill the Unfit and Non-Productive

I’m afraid of being found permanently unfit and so non-productive as to have no value. I fight to return to my normal tasks, my usual level of output. My new morning routine: I wake slowly, reluctantly. Eventually, I send my hand to find my cane, sit up and carefully put my foreign-feeling foot in its strange boot on the floor. I search with my still functioning foot for the one shoe that makes me relatively level when standing. Balancing carefully,… Read more

Abused Children Ask: Why Didn’t God Get Us out of There?

Never forget, parents and caregivers set the model for how people will perceive God later in life. Abused children face big obstacles to gain an understanding of the goodness of God. Read more

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