February 20, 2020

Lent is hard for some of us. It’s a time of penance, but how do we handle that if we’ve sinned against ourselves more than we’ve sinned against others? We are all image bearers of God. Whatever we do to one another, we do to God. As you are also an image bearer, whatever you do to yourself, you do to God. It’s not holy to be cruel to ourselves. This is especially problematic within Christian traditions that dismiss suffering… Read more

January 20, 2020

One of the most impactful things to happen to the Christian faith since the printing press is the internet. Thirty years ago, we didn’t have instant access to more religious texts than we could possibly read in a lifetime. We weren’t able to connect with like-minded, or more importantly, not-so-like-minded people from across the world. We were instead limited to our immediate communities and only the beliefs and attitudes that happened to be expressed locally. The door is wide open… Read more

January 17, 2020

“Each new revelation triggers shock waves that ripple through faith communities and through the faith of each member. Who and what can we trust? On a societal level, the word church no longer means trustworthy, not even for true believers. Churches must confront this hard reality. The trust they betrayed can never be rebuilt. Instead—and only if they address the extent of the betrayal—faith leaders can begin to build trust anew. This is a long-term and costly proposition, so buckle… Read more

December 13, 2019

Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and obviously his mother plays a large role in that story. Jesus’s birth story wraps up around the time he gets wrapped in swaddling clothes, but that’s not where the story ended for Mary. Mary, did you know you’d experience heavy vaginal bleeding, constipation, and breast pain? (I mean, she probably did know.) Postpartum bodies don’t just snap back immediately after giving birth. Pregnancy changes our bodies in some… Read more

December 10, 2019

Christmas can be a significant trauma trigger, especially for anyone who has been through religious trauma. If we’re already dealing with PTSD or trying to heal from our trauma, it’s not surprising the holiday season could affect us. Dealing with Difficult Memories People tend to get nostalgic around Christmas. We may find ourselves reflecting on old memories. Some of those memories may be painful because we remember being hurt. Other memories may be painful because we’re remembering something, or someone,… Read more

December 9, 2019

2019 ranks up there with the worst years of my life, if not the worst year. “Worse than the year some dude was trying to kill you?” you ask. Yes. Worse than that. There are a few complicated situations, and I don’t want to get into the details, but I will say my family and I have been through a very difficult year. We’ve been dealing with some serious challenges and emotional fallout. It’s the kind of emotional and psychological… Read more

December 5, 2019

Charity is good, but we need to be careful about it. Most of us feel extra charitable around Christmas. As we buy and wrap gifts for our loved ones, we think about all the people who are struggling, and we might look for ways to help them. It’s easy for us to assume we know what someone else needs, but when you have plenty and have always had plenty, it’s hard to understand what it’s like to live differently. Giving… Read more

October 23, 2019

I converted to Catholicism as a feminist. Some people were pretty shocked. It’s one thing to be raised within Catholicism, become a feminist, and then wrestle with how both can exist together. It’s a whole other thing to willfully convert to Catholicism as an adult and feminist woman. I’ll be honest. It was a huge sticking point for me when I was considering conversion. That’s part of why it took me so many years to follow through. Let me preface… Read more

June 3, 2019

I’ve already written about how church communities can support people who’ve gone through religious trauma. Churches can do much better. Today, I want to address the ways trauma survivors can take responsibility for our actions. I don’t mean taking responsibility for our trauma. That’s never our fault. But sometimes we engage in harmful actions while reacting to that trauma, and we are never justified in harming others. It’s important for us trauma survivors to take responsibility for any destructive behaviors… Read more

May 9, 2019

I’m a mother. I love my daughters. I’m overwhelmed by how cool they’re turning out. Both of my daughters are artistic, sensitive, empathetic, and their ideal evening is eating wings and watching Doctor Who. I definitely feel like I’ve done the world a favor here. That said, I really don’t like Mother’s Day. I can’t stand all the sentimental and overly sweet messaging we throw out on Mother’s Day from a culture that very obviously doesn’t honor mothers, what with… Read more

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