Follow up on the tragic case of Rev. Brent Dugan

by David Blakeslee In November, 2006, Presbyterian minister Brent Dugan was about to be outed and took his own life in a Mercer, PA hotel room. I wrote about that tragic event here and was prompted to look into aftermath of the situation by a recent comment left on that post from a person who knew Rev. Dugan. On July 1, 2010 I called the Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania and spoke with their executive director, Rev. Dr. Donald B. Green about the FCC complaint which was … [Read more...]

What Happened Yesterday?

(What it Might Have Been Like for Victims) by David Blakeslee I got up. I got dressed. I hugged my children. I called a friend. I went to work. I packed my bag for a prolonged business trip. I went to lunch. I then went to the doctor’s office for a final check on my health and then, to get my teeth cleaned. I was traveling for my work to a place where it might be hard to get medical attention. I sat down in the waiting room. I found a magazine, Sports Illustrated, to read. I flipped … [Read more...]

Reflections on what we share in common

(This post from occasional contributor, clinical psychologist David Blakeslee, covers some similar territory as conservative gay blogger, GayPatriot on the Kevin Jennings controversy.)  I have been a bit agitated lately, it is probably my own problem, but instead of being internally ruminative about such sensations I decided to find some object to focus these feelings on.  It didn’t take long, all I had to do was visit Warren’s blog .  There I could find a few outlandish assumptions, … [Read more...]

Why Can't Heterosexuals get it Right?

An article today in the Daily Mail, Betrayal of a Generation, outlines the difficulties experienced by children in the United Kingdom. The UK performed as follows: Rates of teenage births were the worst in the developed world. British children were most likely to be drunk from the age of 11 onwards, most likely to have had sex by 15 and highly likely to smoke cannabis. Their diet was also poor. The Netherlands ranked highest according to the UN study. The difficulties cited by the … [Read more...]

Sit, Jesus. Stand, Jesus. Good Jesus. Bad Jesus.

Every movement, whether political, religious, economic or social, hinges on the values of that group and how effective those values are at creating the desired transformation and keeping the movement alive through both good and bad times. Every group has a leader, at some point in time, who best articulates and embodies those values. Such a leader can either create a movement outright or accelerate a movement already begun. In later years that leader is revered and idolized for his … [Read more...]

Reverend Brent Dugan: Lifelong Service, Suppression, Treachery and Despair

Many of you may know the story of Rev. Dugan. I only became aware of it this week as reported in the Post-Gazette last month. Rev. Dugan was the pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon where he had served his congregation for over 19 years. Nineteen years of sermons on compassion, worship, prayer, morality. Nineteen years of visiting the ill, marrying the hopeful, burying the dead and consoling survivors. Nineteen years of jokes, tears, confusion and devotion. A lifetime of … [Read more...]

Seduced by the Narrative

As a practicing psychotherapist of nearly 25 years I have had a close up view of how people suffer, how they come to understand that suffering and how they change. Much of my early practice was organized around helping people construct a historically grounded narrative to understand their suffering and to free them up to behave in a way that would not recreate more suffering and actually improve wellbeing. Sometime in the late 1990's it became obvious to me that this intervention was at … [Read more...]

Religious Practice, Scientific Inquiry and Human Suffering

I thought I would make my first post on this blog an introduction in how I approach scientific material as a practicing Christian. I think it is always best to acknowledge worldviews at the beginning of any scientific discussion. I have argued that the social sciences in particular are negligent in this regard, implying that they are value free and scientific in their collection, organization and interpretation of data. I understand that this is a worthy goal, but I think the very nature of … [Read more...]


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