Tthe question has been forced into the public arena by Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins's personal decision to wear a hijab in "human solidarity" with vulnerable Muslims in America as part of her observation of Advent, and by the college's hamhanded and tone-deaf meanness in fanning the flames of the ensuing controversy.
This does not say that the events recounted in the nativity narratives are false. It does, however, require readers to recognize that these stories were crafted to show who Jesus was and what he lived for. In them, Jesus embodies what is truly worth aspiring to in life -- not the conventional trappings of success, but a transformative relationship with God.
In the aftermath of the recent shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, it's time we examine the role of words in our politics and in our society. Those who defensively insist that their vicious verbal attacks on Planned Parenthood have nothing to do with a single gunman's massacre of innocent citizens are fooling themselves.
Whether you are fortunate enough to be rich and powerful like a scribe or poor as the widow, we all depend on God's grace, and we all have received what we have through that grace and not our own deserving. Let us put our resources towards those things that lift up the lowly, that empower those with no voice, and that, with God's help, will perhaps even change history.
Recently, New York Times columnist David Brooks lamented that conservative Christians are losing the culture war. Brooks suggested that conservative Christians shift focus and "nurture stable families." But Brooks is wrong; the culture war isn't over. Conservatives are stuck in a war they can't win.
Could Jesus have been gay? This is not a new question for many theologians, and certainly not for me. I've played the central role in Terrence McNally's gay passion play Corpus Christi for the past nine years now. And with that exploration has come this beautiful yin and yang of backlash and catharsis that has transcended art and completely transformed my life as I knew it.