When a conservative Republican governor vetoes a "religious liberty" bill passed by a conservative Republican legislature because the business community tells her to, it shows who really calls the shots.
Religion as we have known it is breaking down. The evidence is everywhere we look. It is in the despicable rhetoric and violence of politically-oriented religious extremists, far and near. It is in the scandals and abuses plaguing our current ecclesiastical structures.
Our popular imagination turns Eve into a receptacle for one set of our fantasies. Our fixation on Eve's sexuality causes us to overlook the story's major themes and what they might mean for our common life together.
Religion is a tool that performs a service for us, something we utilize for our own spiritual development. Unfortunately, we sometimes end up getting used by the tool! But that's not the fault of religion.
In the Great Commission, he called for the making of disciples -- people who followed a teacher in order to bring about his or her vision of the world. So I say, if you're going to bring them to Jesus, then actually bring them to Jesus!
The story of Jonah is how a mortal man tried to run away from the mission his Creator had gifted to him. He was subsequently swallowed by an enormous fish which spit him out onto dry land only when he resolved to return to his true mission in life.
When the rights of any person are stripped away by law and the church, all suffer. People who identify as sexual and gender minorities in Uganda will be martyred and we will later ask why we did nothing.
This has been the hardest eulogy for me to write. I cried almost every step of the way. I miss him greatly. I know we all do. His smile, sense of humor, warmth, wisdom and vision. We have lost a giant.
Let's take a moment and celebrate, this is a victory for equality and another fight lost by the Christian Right. Yet this fight is far from over. Many other states are attempting to pass similar measures, some even harsher than Arizona's.
"My biggest fear is to lose the gains we have made. I am also afraid of going back to civil war. We have made so much progress and I am afraid to lose it: children going to school, young people studying and playing sport, women working. We have fought too hard for our freedoms to lose them again."
When I say that my material fortune is the result of God's blessing, it reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers.
It took me a long time to grasp this complexity, and I am still discovering what it means for me. I am grateful for those who help me know I dwell in a place of both/and, not either/or, where I can appreciate the wholeness of God and every human being.