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#4 / Jonestown Theology: Lenten Explorations in the Valley of Death

Wikimedia / Nancy Wong

God is never lost. In the midst of great evil, God is there. I have long wondered how Jonestown fits into such ideas. In the 1970s, Rev. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple founded the settlement in the jungles of Guyana. After a few years of communal living, Jones led his followers to commit a […]

The Children in Our Churches

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  A few months ago, we were sitting in church when one of our babies became upset. Like any parents, we quickly grew uncomfortable and tried to quiet our son down. Not long after the crying started, someone a few rows back loudly declared, “Can’t you shut that baby up?” Immediately, the entire church glared […]

My Kids Tell Me Everything I Need to Know About Your Church

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A few weeks back, our family opened the doors of an old church and sat down. I was invited to share with the congregation about my work and told that my family was more than welcome. From the moment we walked in, the sneering glances and pursed lips informed us that this congregation was most […]

The Taliban in the Self

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  Shots rang out. Blood was everywhere. Bodies hit the floor. Children screamed. The images and descriptions of the scene at a school in Pakistan are more than horrific. Over 130 children are dead over an extremist religious ideology. From terrorist attack to terrorist attack, the Taliban have proven that there is no end to […]

When Texas Descends into Hell: The Vulnerability of Scott Panetti

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  On October 30, I woke up and walked into the bedroom of our three young children.  Our oldest children are twin boys.  Their little bodies were contorted around stuffed animals and producing loud snores.  I watched them sleep for a little while.  The room was still dark.  I walked further in.  Our youngest was […]

A Gender Revelation: The Forming Hood Twins

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Sonograms are interesting experiences for parents who dare to believe their children are gendered unique in the image of God.  The dichotomy of boy and girl seem trite and misguided when staring at the formation of life.  I refused to allow the technician’s misguided question of “Do you want to know the gender of the […]

Remembering Queerly: Words from Conversations on Theology and Activism at Galileo Church

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  There are moments we never forget.  These moments meet and transform us.  I am the product of such a moment.   I was a young man with much assumed knowledge and even more conviction about who and what God was.  I believed that the Bible spoke clearly and our task was to respond clearly.  […]

Let the Children Come to Me: Words Upon Arrival at an Immigration Action in Washington, D.C.

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  There is a child crying nearby and we ignore it.  The louder the cries of the child become the more we cover our ears.  The crying grows louder and louder until it reaches a desperate scream yet still we refuse to be moved.  Then the cry goes silent.  This is the story of our […]

Pushing into the Darkness to Be the Light

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  The children walk down the aisles of our churches waving palms all around.  Together, we reenact the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  Palm Sundays are always festive times.  Everyone knows that the next time they gather it will be Resurrection Sunday and Jesus will have won a great victory over death.  The problem […]

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