"They don't judge you. The program offers you a feeling of hope. The program taught me what it meant to forgive. If you want people to bless you and move forward despite your past, you have to learn to do that for others."
Why has American Christianity become known for the pain it causes? Let American Christianity stop being known as a religion that hurts, as a faith focused on what we're against, and instead let them know we are Christians by our love.
We both go to church. We both believe in Jesus. I am a Christian. You are something else. Such is the message I often hear from organized religion, and as a gay man and ex-fundamentalist, I find it divisive and presumptuous.
While differences on all matter of doctrine abound among Christians, the exclusion of women from ordination isn't simply one more theological difference. Rather, it is a form of misogyny masquerading in the guise of Biblical and theological integrity.
While some claim that Dylann Roof is mentally ill, the truly frightening possibility is that he is sane and sober -- that he was raised under a white supremacist culture and is acting out his racism in the most violent of ways.
I think of the Big "C" Church as the institution with the rules, regulations, denominations, culture, and the overall organization that may turn people off from the idea of an organized religion such as Christianity.
Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas know Junipero Serra's legacy, but Californians know it best, and many would like to know what the devil is going on. I truly want this Pope to have moral authority.
I truly want this Pope to have moral authority. He called world leaders cowards for accommodating modern capitalism, referring to it as the "new colonialism." I pray the pope will be courageous in September.
Last June 21st, I reluctantly accompanied my friend Sarah to Times Square Summer Solstice for Yoga, appropriately titled: "Mind Over Madness." Every year, thousands of people descend upon two Broadway plazas throughout the day for their chance at a free yoga mat and one of a dozen outdoor classes.
My guilt gauge is overly responsive. It goes off at the slightest 'infraction,' so I can't look to it for a true reading. Instead, I can acknowledge false guilt, then make a deliberate choice about what I want to do.
Coming from a mostly diverse kindergarten, you are accustomed to being around all different types of kids from all different walks of life, whether you realized it or not. "Your parents had you before they were married. They're going to hell." Welcome to the life of a Catholic schoolgirl.
In a matter of days, "Take Down Your Flag" has become a living song. Peter Mulvey has just uploaded a video containing the chords and framework in hopes that more people will continue to grow this song and commemorate those we've lost in South Carolina.
There is a deep sadness that won't leave me. It dogs my steps. Similar to the days surrounding the Newtown massacre of first graders almost three years ago, I feel bereft of any joy when I live in a world where what happened in Charleston last Wednesday took place.