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Esteban Santiago Should Have Been Helped.

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  Back in November, Esteban Santiago was growing increasingly paranoid and traveled to the Alaska FBI office to share that he thought that the government was controlling his mind. From his car, agents recovered a gun. Not long after, local police transported Santiago to a hospital for mental health treatment. About a month later, Santiago […]

The Mentally Ill God: A Sermon from Zimbabwe

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*Delivered at Monomotapa Baptist Church in Gweru, Zimbabwe on 2/7/2016 Throughout Zimbabwe, I’ve heard something repeatedly…that social and political realities have nothing to do with spiritual realities. In the United States, people say similar things when they don’t want you to talk about things. People want to keep God way up in the clouds. For […]

The Times I Lose My Mind

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  I once spent over $14,000 on books in one month. I sold and spent anything I could get my hands on. I would’ve done anything to buy more books. In fourth grade, I was paranoid of tornadoes. Day after day, I fought anyone who attempted to force me outside. I once tried to cut […]

Shame & Suicide: The Scandal of Southern Baptist Theology

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  “He’s not in heaven…and you won’t be either if you kill yourself.” I will never forget the cruelness of the language. The suicide rocked our Southern Baptist church. We descended deeper into judgment…the only fuel of fundamentalism. Secretly, I think most people thought shame was the antidote for suicide. I was ten. Even then, […]

Running Toward Evil

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Mornings are hard. I think my medicine gets low. Placing one foot in front of the other, I pushed toward the bathroom and took a pill. Immediately, I start feeling better. I always take the pill before I see my kids.   Though I speak on many panels, I was nervous about this one. Often, […]

Suicidal Theology

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  “You have to get married. I have to get married. If I don’t get married this time then I will never get married. You have to get married. I have to get married. Stop. This isn’t the person I want to be with. It doesn’t matter. Do you love me? I have chosen her […]

The Blood of a Black Man in Dallas

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  Over a hundred times, the family of Jason Harrison reached out to Dallas police for help getting him to Parkland Memorial Hospital. Suffering from severe mental illness, Jason was often out of his mind. On June 14 of last year, police arrived at the Harrison residence. The body camera of one of the officers […]

The Genocide of the Mentally Ill

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  Jason Harrison is dead. Jason Harrison is not dead because he was holding a screwdriver and made a movement toward Dallas police. Jason Harrison is dead because we live in a society that refuses to value and protect the lives of the mentally ill. If Dallas police officers had engaged the situation with the […]

A Magical Moment of a Hidden Sickness

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I am sick. I am not talking about the kind of sick that you are able to get over. My sickness is chronic. Though I take medicine twice daily, I will never be healed. Then again, I don’t know that I want to be. The construction of my mind is terribly important to who I […]

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 […]

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