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

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

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

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

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

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

I finally figured it out: Nashville Statement signers do not follow Jesus. They follow Paul, a troubled man who ran the message of grace through his own Pharisaic, black and white, male-centric, mean, clean grid trying to make sense of it all. Paul makes sense to them; Jesus does not.  Well, in the midst of giant national tragedy on the Gulf Coast, the theologians who are sure they know everything about God and sexuality have issued their statement pronouncing that anyone… Read more

With the horrific damage just starting to unfold from Hurricane Harvey, many people will set up donation centers for clothes, shoes, toiletries. Not a good idea. The number one thing is, “Don’t send your used shoes.” Compassionate people plus tough and tragic situations equal a desire to do something, anything, to relieve suffering. So we ask, “How can I help?” There’s plenty of suffering to go around. From people who have lost family, homes and possessions from the recent hurricane and flooding… Read more

Do not buy into the lie that the Confederacy was about State’s Rights. Not true. It was all about keeping the institution of black slavery in perpetuity. And, as are most unjust causes, the Civil War was ultimately all about money. Thanks to a correspondent who knew how to access the relevant historical archives for the State of Texas, I have now read the 1861 document called “A declaration of the causes which impel the State of Texas to secede… Read more

Correction: I included James McDonald as a member of this Advisory Council. I was wrong: he resigned in 2016. I apologize to him for including him in this list. Business leaders know that Trump’s support for neo-nazis and white supremacists has no moral foundation. They’ve jumped ship. Unfortunately, the members of his religious advisory council apparently have no problems with outright racism. Here’s the list of those appointed to the Religious Advisory Council. These are the religious leaders who supported Trump’s election… Read more

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