Jesus Comics:Ben Franklin (New Year’s Resolutions)

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I couldn’t have sat by anyone with whom I disagreed more

I couldn’t have sat by anyone with whom I disagreed more.

On this gorgeous California day I was taking a day trip to Santa Cruz Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park, about an hour out from Malibu, California.

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The only way to get to the islands, other than private boats, is through the Island Packers Company.  Here is a photo of the boat we were on.

He and I were on the top level.

He had his camera in hand and so did I.  We had just had the opportunity to photograph a pod of dolphins.  A truly amazing experience.

When we sat back down he began introducing himself to me.  He told me about his family, some of whom were clergy.  I told him I was a clergyperson myself.  He informed me he was Bishop Mark Lawrence, Episcopal Bishop of South Carolina.  I figured he was a moderate to liberal Christian, being that he was Episcopalian.  I figured wrong.  He figured, me being Baptist, that I was conservative.  He figured wrong.  When I informed him I was the pastor of a liberal Baptist church he still had hope for me.  After all, I had just said some kind words about N.T. Wright, a conservative theologian.  When I informed the Bishop Wedgewood was a gay affirming congregation, though, he didn’t look impressed.  I thought I saw an ecclesiastical wince.

Later that night, back at my hotel, I googled “Bishop Mark Lawrence” and discovered he stands against a lot of what I stand for.

Bishop Lawrence thinks he is being faithful to God and the Bible.  I think he is very wrong about God and the Bible.  He’s also very wrong about sexual and gender minorities.  I used to believe like Bishop Lawrence, but thank God I no longer do.

Gay people who realize God affirms them and their sexual orientation remind me of dolphins swimming beautifully, jumping in and out of the water.  May God help GLBT people refute the teachings of religious leaders like Bishop Lawrence.

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What I’m Reading – December, 2011

The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us

Douglas A. KnightAmy-Jill Levine

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

James H. Cone

How to Survive a Horror Movie

Seth Grahame-Smith

Critique of Religion and Philosophy

Walter A Kaufmann

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Jesus Comics:Thich Nhat Hanh

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Jesus Comics:Rudolph the Red Nosed R

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Men Who Don’t Believe Their Wives

There are a few things I do or don’t do that really rile my beloved up.   Perhaps nothing gets her gander up more than me not believing her.  She says males have a tendency of not believing something unless they are handling something.

I can’t tell you – isn’t this ironic – I can’t tell you how many times the car my wife is driving has had a problem

and yet when I get behind the wheel the problem is not repeated.  So – so what’s a man to think?

Well, according to a story out of Britain, us non-wife-believing husbands better start believing.

Twenty-five years ago, a British woman who saw a spot on a tonsil tried to get a better look using a pen and a mirror. She slipped and the pen went down her throat.

Neither the woman’s husband nor her doctor believed her.  I assume from this report the doctor was a male.

X-rays at the time didn’t detect the pen.

A CT scan now shows the woman was right.  (Aren’t they always!)

The 76-year old woman had the felt-tip pen removed. Even after all these years without trouble, doctors figured there was a risk the pen could tear a hole in her stomach. Remarkably, the pen still worked.

Early in life one of the major questions of life is, Do you believe in Santa Claus?  Much later the major question of life becomes, Do you believe your wife?

You better!

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Does a male, heterosexual, middle class voice dominate, or monopolize, your church’s pulpit?

Does a male, heterosexual, middle class voice dominate, or monopolize, your church’s pulpit?

Feminist theology, liberation theology and  queer theology stress, among other things, that one’s locatedness impacts what one sees, how one reads [especially the Bible], what one knows, and what one preaches.

At Wedgewood females preach, gay  men preach, gay women preach, transgender people preach, liberals preach, moderates preach, young people preach, old people preach, ordained individuals preach, non-ordained Wedgewoodians preach, poor people preach, rich people preach, middle class people preach, white people preach, black people preach, a professional comedienne preaches, etc.

I’ve learned more in my reading and from listening to sermons from non-male, non-heterosexual, non-middle class voices than to voices like my own.

The voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the voice of a young woman, a voice of a religious outcast due to her unexplainable pregnancy, a voice of one who knew poverty.  Can you this Christmas hear Mary’s voices?  To what other voices might God want you to listen?

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Jesus Comics:Lucy (Charlie Brown)

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Jesus Comics:Dr. Seuss quote

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Jesus Comics:Ron Paul quote

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