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

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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 […]

Hell = Our Churches

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  “Do you believe in a literal hell?” Even though it was more than a decade ago, I’ll never forget that first question. In the midst of my Southern Baptist ordination council, the gathered men wanted to make sure that I would carefully toe the line of fundamentalism. At the time, I was growing more […]

The Day After the 4th

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  The Cost of Patriotism Born of Fear Scared as Hell Salvation Decisions Full Jails We Invaded Millions Die Red, White and Blue Apple Pie The World Starves Choirs Sing We Destroyed Everything We Matter We Alone We Don’t Care About Your Home The Flood of Blood Took Our Brain The Pain of Arrogance Did […]

On the 10th Anniversary of My Ordination

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  Jesus called me into ministry.   The institutional church has put me through hell.   The keepers of the normative have always tried to stand in my way.   Having spent years in discernment, I will never forget the first question. “Do you believe in a literal hell?” After an afternoon of similar questions, […]

Only the Queer Heals

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  *This article first appeared in The Yoke Quarterly    I couldn’t believe how green the grass was. With each step, I felt like I was touching air. The water spoke. The closer I got, the more I realized that I could see aquatic life for miles. The clearness was unimaginable. I swam. With each […]

The Courage to Be Queer: A Theological Exploration

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*I delivered this keynote address at the LGBTQ Religious Experience Summit at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas on March 21, 2015.   May this be a wild experience for us all…perhaps even a queer experience if we are lucky. Let’s begin by talking about theology. What is theology? Most people think that theology is […]

God is in Hell

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  “You are going to hell!”  I hated people damning me to hell.  There was always something about someone speaking me into a fiery torment for all of eternity that was the ultimate “fuck you.”  I am not there anymore.  This morning after yet another incident of being damned, I realized I get told I […]

The Borderless God in a Time of Borders

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When I was growing up, we/I believed everyone who disagreed with us/me about God was going to hell.  I continued to cling to and organize my life around the border of saved and unsaved for a long time.  Then I started doing some deeper reading about the limitless love of God and everything began to […]

A Few Thoughts for My Sons Jeff and Phillip on the Occasion of their Second Birthday

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  You are young now.  You can only say a few words.  There will come a time when you will know more words and will be called upon to speak.  I want to write a few words to you before that time comes.   We are the inheritors of a tremendous faith tradition of love […]

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