August 29, 2018

Any organization based on secrecy and tight hierarchies, with admittance only to celibate males, and with females in hidden, subservient roles, is going to be permeated by a combination of sexual perversion and sexual frustration. Such a system has, by definition, no external sources of accountability and many reasons for lack of transparency. It should not be necessary to say, but it is: Decency of action for those in leadership of a church, a community, or a government, is a… Read more

August 24, 2018

When Jesus spoke of the first man and first woman (he did not refer to them as Adam and Eve), when he spoke of Noah, he was pulling upon common language and common understandings of God as creator and human as storyteller. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: It seems to me that Christians have really worked themselves into a corner with the Adam and Eve myth.  By reading it literally and positing that the serpent is Satan in disguise, their theology is… Read more

July 30, 2018

Depending on your perspective, the demise of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec is due either to the evil force of longstanding clergy overreach or the evil force of the feminist movement that began in the 1960’s. The statistic shocks: in the city of Quebec, Canada, 95 % of the entire population attended weekly Mass in the 1950’s. Now, 5% do. Since the ’50’s, 547 churches have been closed, sold or transformed. New owners range from theatrical companies to dance… Read more

July 17, 2018

We can’t help you. Now, if you are rich, if you are moneyed, if you think gays are intrinsically disordered and people of color should stay out of the US and are still quietly sure that women are second class but are losing courage to say it out loud because the #metoo’ers are making too much noise, then the good religious folk can create laws to help you get richer and buy more political power and oppress women more and keep… Read more

July 6, 2018

Of course educated young adults, having grown up in a multicultural and gender-fluid world, are leaving the church: they see it as a hateful and ignorant place, a place of lies and sexual discrimination. I don’t blame them. What is the single largest religious group in America? The non-religious. Data coming from PPRI (Public Religion Research Institute), a respected non-partisan research organization, tracks the rise of the non-religious from 6% in 1991 to 25% in 2016. It gets worse. Among… Read more

June 27, 2018

He does not equate Trump and Jesus and is also able to separate Trump’s questionable morality from his political leadership, something I have not been able to do. An editorial printed in the Saturday, June 23, 2018 edition of the Wall Street Journal, a soundly Republican newspaper, totally fascinated me. Titled, “Did an Ancient Greek Anticipate Trump” I found it helpful as I seek to make sense of the current world: recognize that is it not coherent and quit trying to find some… Read more

June 21, 2018

So in retrospect, I want to say this: I was not nearly hard enough on those Texas Bishops yesterday. Frankly, even the Nazi’s kept better records than it looks like our border guards have done. At least they had lists. Late Wednesday afternoon, the press release came out with the letter the Texas Bishops of The United Methodist Church wrote about the situation with the desperate immigrants on the southern border of the US. In that letter, they began by “commending” President… Read more

June 20, 2018

Oh well, the Bishops won’t offend the big GOP donors in their various conferences. Money does talk, after all. And big money shouts “Don’t diss Trump–he has filled my pockets with money.”  Texas is, after all, a GOP bought and sold state. And so apparently all our Bishops are equally bought and sold. Yeah, I’m about as angry as I’ve ever been. In a joint letter just released by the five Texas Bishops of The United Methodist Church, they “commend” Donald Trump for… Read more

June 20, 2018

But there was stability, at least for this group of people and for this period of time. We fortunate ones who were reared in that stability unquestionably benefitted. However, as one who is increasingly turning to world past to make sense of the world present, I know that kind of societal stability has been more rare than abundant. As I began this column, I sat in the midst of strangers, all as anxious as I. We each had a loved… Read more

June 20, 2018

Despite the Evangelical betrayal of electing an indecent President with his indecent minions systematically raking in personal riches while stripping away protections and destroying families, at our core, US citizens are fundamentally decent. There are still plenty of good people in the US, despite the current and rabidly evil practices promulgated by the people currently in power, primarily put there by Evangelical “christians.” Except for a significant minority (55% of Republicans support the policy) who do not see any problem… Read more

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