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Jennifer Danielle Crumpton
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Rev. Jennifer Danielle Crumpton spent over a decade as a corporate advertising executive for Fortune 500 brands before graduating with a Master of Divinity in 2011 from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. There she immersed into inter-faith dialogue and faith-based social justice, feminist theology, and Christian social and structural ethics.

A writer, media commentator and public speaker, Jennifer is the author of Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl's Guide to the Good News. Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Jennifer is associated with Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan. Connect with her at @JenniDCrumpton or JenniCrumpton.com.

Entries by Jennifer Danielle Crumpton

3 Ways Bill Maher Is a Hard-Core Femmevangelical

(9) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 10:40 PM

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You might be thinking, Bill Maher is a an atheist, lady. But honestly, as a Christian minister, I have to say he's a model Christian, too.

1. He knows what Jesus actually stood for.

And it wasn't war, violence, misogyny, corruption, bullying, self-centeredness or discrimination.

Maher has always seen the irony of a traditional Christianity that behaves antithetically to Jesus. Which means he knows more about Jesus than most Christians. He calls out Christians who promote war and violence over diplomatic alternatives, the opposite of Jesus. He exposes why evangelicals love people like Trump, who calls people names, does dirty deals, says he doesn't talk to God, and lacks true solutions for welcoming the stranger; the opposite of Jesus. Maher notices when politicians favor one rigid strain of fundamentalist ideology while claiming everyone else's human rights are infringing on their "religious liberty". Jesus was always vocal when Romans and religious rulers denied rights and upheld laws detrimental to those who were suppressed in society.

In order to truly follow Jesus, Christians must pay attention to what Jesus really did. We should be seeing, calling out, and addressing injustices and hypocrisy.

2. He knows what's in the Bible.

And it is not a rule book for all time.

Maher understands the grave dangers of biblical literalism. He seems to understand more about the complex manner in which the Bible was actually developed and codified than the average Christian, and points out when scripture is cherry-picked out of context to oppress the marginalized or uphold dehumanizing world views. He asks questions about things that do not make sense, rather than buying theological excuses. He raises red flags over scripture that is misused, instead of using the Bible as a weapon to subdue people. Jesus reportedly spent a lot of time saying, "You have heard it said [something icky]...but I say [something humane]..." Jesus did not write the New Testament, which is full of contradicting reports, narratives and ideas; Christians would do well to wonder what Jesus would think of how other people interpreted his story. Bill Maher wonders that too.

Christians can learn to be as wise and empathetic as Jesus if we learn the history of the compilation of the Bible, understand the thought-provoking purpose of the mythos that fills its pages, and use it gently and accordingly.

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3. He challenges sexist politics.

Subversive statements protest the treatment of women in a culturally viable way.

Maher has said some truly off-base stuff about women in the past, but I am a believer in redemption. He picks up on the ludicrous nature of politicians' statements about women's health and well-being, and the general venom from the religious right pointed toward any efforts to open more opportunities that allow women be equal, independent and self-directed. He may be crude about it sometimes, but he says what needs to be said to shock us into seeing the absurdity of anti-woman policies and ideologies. He detects the normalized nuances of the illness that is sexism, the accepted atrocities that put girls and women in danger.

Maher clearly sees the sexist patriarchy that still informs Christian America today. While many men completely misunderstand and therefore hate feminism, and some young women say they do not need feminism, Maher seems to know we still do, perhaps more than ever.

Jesus lashed out at a society that diminished women and other marginalized people. He spoke to women with respect, and included women as major pillars of his movement. Many stories about how he interacted with and uplifted women were left out of the canonized Bible and were banned in Church history. Jesus made a lot of subversive proclamations that his society did not understand, and the most pious rejected him. Christians must speak up, no matter how much flak we get, for the personal autonomy, dignity and equality of women and girls.

Do I agree with everything Bill Maher says? No. I don't agree with his general assessment of Islam, or the idea that there is nothing to salvage of the Christian faith. But Bill Maher challenges the status quo, like Jesus called us to do, and he talks about the things that Christians should be paying attention to. He consistently questions religion and in so doing presents what I call the "real gospel": a call for freedom, equality, dignity and wholeness for all...

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Michael Cohen's Rape Comment Is a Gift to Feminists

(8) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 5:04 PM

Michael Cohen's automatic response to The Daily Beast in defense of Trump -- "And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse" -- is actually a gift to society. It reminds us that the rape culture -- a world in which rape is overlooked, joked about, disbelieved, minimized, and even accepted as normal or inevitable -- is alive and well. That disturbing assumptions about a man's right to a woman's body still lurk on the tips of the tongues of not just those we consider criminally ignorant or inane, but the educated elite. That a man who should know the law immediately popped off such a dangerous statement reminds feminists of faith what we are fighting for.

The truth is, many such assumptions about women's subjection and submission to men, especially their husbands, come from scripture. They are part of technically secular systems that spread from religious roots. It's important that Christian women and all women of faith speak up against the misogyny that was normalized by religious beliefs about gender roles and expectations that still pollute politics and popular culture today.

Biblical marriage was the selling or trading of a girl to a man who would literally own and operate her -- body, mind and soul. Old Testament prophets like Ezekiel and Hosea used imagery of God/husbands punishing wives with sexual abuse and violence to warn ancient leaders that God would punish their disobedience and disloyalty with harsh, painful penalties. Biblical ideas about women unquestionably deserving force or violence if they deny or displease their husbands are still etched deeply in our DNA in 2015.

For all the media debates and dissents about the word, we need feminism. It is the most important movement of our time, for the health and well-being of over half the world's population. Thank you, Michael Cohen, for reminding us how intimately close to the surface of urbanity the assumption of rape is. Thank you for providing (irresponsible and inconceivably nasty) proof of what we need to change and who we need to keep our eye on. It's not always who we might...

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Women's World Cup: If heroes don't get paid equally, who will?

(2) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 5:23 PM

Yesterday's dominating FIFA Women's World Cup victory by the U.S. Women's National Team over Japan (5-2) set a television record: It was the most-watched soccer match ever in the U.S. on a single network.

Between 21.0 million and 23.5 million viewers tuned in; the...

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White Male Terror: Where Is the 'War'?

(11) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 12:49 PM

Nine people are dead after 21-year-old suspect Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel AME Church -- an historic African Methodist Episcopal church in South Carolina -- and sat for an hour before opening fire on gathered churchgoers.

The U.S. Department of Justice has begun a hate crime investigation, since a surviving...

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The Truth About Ruth: Huckabee Trips on Theology and Equal Pay

(57) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 12:26 PM

Gov. Mike Huckabee flew to New York City Wednesday after announcing his GOP presidential bid in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas. He answered questions from a pool of voters on The Kelly File, and mine was:

"You recently said you 'speak Jesus'. As a Christian minister myself,...

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Christian Disdain of Women as Terror Weapon? No Way

(5) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 5:16 PM

This week, a Fox News host on the show Outnumbered (Out#) contributed to a discussion about how to stop terror recruitment among vulnerable immigrant communities in the United States by incoherently suggesting our government employ a "more robust, manly, not feminized, version of Christianity."

I wholeheartedly condemn this...

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Christian Women Looking for Action in 2016

(4) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 5:01 PM

Not that kind of action, real action. The election cycle has already begun. Women of faith are increasingly seeking to elect those who commit to the betterment of women's lives and recognition of our contributions, cherished freedoms and autonomy. So, what should Christian women be looking for in a candidate...

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3 Lessons for America From Christian Bale's Moses

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 2:33 PM

Earlier this week, I sat down with Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ridley Scott and a handful of religion journalists to talk about Sunday night's New York premiere of Exodus: Gods and Kings. You might guess that a bunch of religion writers tried to school the artists on the religious veracity...

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A Love Beyond

(1) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 1:13 PM

Iranian Musician Anis Oveis Risks Everything for Music


Outside in the night air, a security guard keeps watch for authorities. Inside, a beautiful young woman fidgets with her scarf, making sure her hair is completely covered. The band Mavara, for which she plays keyboard, takes the stage, but...

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12 Years a Slave, an Eternity for Women

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 12:23 AM

"Sin. There is no sin. A man does what he wishes with his property."

The whip hisses and pops, tearing open the flesh of a slight-framed, barely pubescent slave girl. Stripped naked and hog-tied to the whipping post, terror and resignation cohabit her face.

Patsey once sat humming naively...

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Chix 6: A Broadway-Bound Game-Changer for the Girls

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 5:02 PM

Musicals have a tradition of being, at heart, love stories. A show's energy is generated not only by rousing music, but by the audience anxiously rooting for the damsel to escape the clutches of the villain (whatever form that takes), for the star-crossed lovers to defeat the odds and stroll...

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A Helluva Zealot: Reza Aslan Doesn't Just Bury Fox News, He Resurrects the Young, Progressive Christian Imagination

(861) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 12:06 PM

Are the spiritual-but-not-religious X and Millennial generations ready for a real "come to Jesus" moment? Read Aslan's Zealot.

Transformative epiphanies circle the globe in a stream of light and all humanity bears witness, documented for eternity in the great book. Visions and pronouncements spiral in split seconds to the four...

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Can Christians Handle Perfect Love?

(201) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 4:47 PM

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. -- 1 John 4:18

Where do you find fear in your thinking and actions? Those are the places we must set...

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A Fountain of Faith: Women, Water and the Hope of New Life

(2) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 2:34 PM

"Satisfy the needs of the oppressed then... The Lord will guide you always... You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." -- Isaiah 58:10-12

Water is so fundamental to a life of faith that the Bible references it 722 times. In the stories of...

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The God Who Shows Up When God Disappears

(5) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 9:47 AM

"The courage to take the anxiety of meaninglessness upon oneself is the boundary line up to which the courage to be can go. Beyond it is mere non-being. Within it all forms of courage are re-established in the power of the God above the God of theism. The courage to...

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A Good Scandal: Kathie Lee Gifford Brings the Gospel to Broadway

(3) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 11:17 AM

Kathie Lee Gifford is a bad follower of Jesus. Her humility and sincerity in describing her personal faith journey, one that began at age 12, is indicative of a woman who leads a rich, bold life of risks and rewards, successes and struggles, questions and ... not answers, but something...

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Breastfeeding In Public: Can Women be Spiritual in a Male Fantasy World?

(12) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 6:00 PM

I have not been able to forget the news story that recently kicked off the new school year for the nation: that American University assistant anthropology professor Adrienne Pine breast-fed her feverish, fitful baby in the classroom in order to avoid cancelling the first day of class.

...
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Challenge: The Authenticity Risk

(2) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 6:23 PM

When it comes to dismantling digital deception, a man emerges as an ideal female model.

Last week, an enemy of women became a hero. And I'll say something I rarely utter: I want to follow a man's lead, and you should, too. Come with me for a moment.

You're standing...

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Christ and Consumerism: 'Priceless' At What Price?

(11) Comments | Posted December 14, 2011 | 8:16 PM

For the longest time, I thought something was really wrong with me.

Over the 12 or so years I spent in the corporate marketing world as an advertising executive for global entities like Citigroup, MasterCard and the ad agencies that animate their brands, it became an increasingly perplexing problem. Even...

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Six Degrees of Charlie Sheen: God, Fame Games & the Global Female

(2) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 11:02 AM

When Jesus announced his ministry to a synagogue of marginalized Jews in Nazareth during the upheaval of the first-century Roman diaspora, he read from Isaiah 61 to summarize his mission: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the...

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