September 30, 2020

Trump and his supporters believe that he is a scapegoat. In their understanding of what that means, he is being blamed for things that aren’t his fault by “fake” news media and a “deep state” conspiracy that is trying to sabotage his presidency. It’s not entirely false. I actually agree that he is functioning as a scapegoat but in a different sense. Donald Trump is embodying the toxicity of white supremacy in a way synonymous to the symbolic role Bull… Read more

September 23, 2020

Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers who killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, sent out a mass email to his colleagues on Tuesday in which he wrote, “It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.” Though I have no idea what Mattingly’s theological background is, his outcry echoes the perspectives I have heard from many white evangelicals online regarding the recent protests of police brutality. Police are the good guys because they punish criminals just… Read more

August 10, 2020

God, are you such a clown That you’re also the snake We have always feared Lurking in the leaves of Every forest we burned Down to avoid your bite? You have bitten me and I’m Intoxicated by your strange art Which lures me off the one right Path that would have promptly Taken me where I should have Gone without adventure. But you wanted a salty story So you have painted my lips And strummed at them to Make me… Read more

August 3, 2020

This is a spoken word poem I made that was inspired by mystical encounters with God in the woods next to my house. I have an audio recording and the text of the poem below. You can think of it as a riff on Psalm 42:7: “Deep calls unto deep.” Starchild · Impulse + Contact Impulse + Contact It starts with an impulse, Hiding like a snake In the leaves, growing More and more restless. The insects know first A… Read more

July 16, 2020

I want to win everyone. I suppose it’s a fairly common problem among pastors. But there are two layers to this for me and they are very different. On the one hand, I have a sense of vocation about “winning people over” to experience the incredible joy I have discovered in my strange mystical journey in search of salvation and spiritual completion (though I’m way less interested in convincing people of one right set of beliefs than I was as… Read more

July 13, 2020

I keep on thinking that I’m “over” what happened to me. At a shamanic retreat in December, I “completely” forgave the man who molested me at a church basketball lock-in, and I thought yes finally I’m done; this time it’s going to stick. But then I read the Menlo Park #ChurchToo story and the rage came back. I just wish that I could vomit fire all over every authoritarian, patriarchal, celebrity-driven church institution until authoritarian, patriarchal, celebrity-driven Christianity is incinerated… Read more

June 29, 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez summarized one of my core religious convictions in a speech given on February 27, 2020 in a hearing about “religious freedom.” She said: “I know and it is part of my faith that all people are holy and all people are sacred. Unconditionally.” It’s the kind of theological declaration that I would have mocked as unserious pedestrian liberalism when I was an evangelical, but the beauty of her sincere conviction utterly pierced my heart when I watched her… Read more

June 28, 2020

[This is a guest-post from my father John Guyton who’s interested in the parallel between Athens’ great plague of 500 BC and the COVID pandemic today. Here’s a link to his personal blog.] A plague ravaged the young city-state of Athens sometime around 500 BC. The distressed citizens sought help from a revered sage on the island of Crete. Arriving by ship, he calmed the people and encouraged reforms, which they put into practice. When the plague lifted, Athens stood poised… Read more

June 24, 2020

Why do white evangelicals like our vice president Mike Pence continue to feel the need to “correct” others who say black lives matter by saying NO, ALL LIVES MATTER? Is it just racist dog-whistling or is there something deeper going on? Though I realize I cannot know anyone else’s heart, I would like to hypothesize a meaning for #AllLivesMatter based on the work of my seminary theology professor J. Kameron Carter. What #AllLivesMatter communicates is that all human life is… Read more

June 18, 2020

The Gospel Coalition published an article by Kevin DeYoung decrying the Supreme Court decision that extended workplace anti-discrimination protections officially to LGBTQ people. DeYoung calls for a “culture war strategy” in which conservative evangelicals have more babies and disciple them rigorously in order to take back American culture. Here’s the problem: rigorous evangelical discipleship doesn’t always produce dutiful culture war foot soldier clones; it often produces ex-evangelicals like me. I have been all-in on the Jesus thing from the beginning… Read more

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