Religion

On the Anniversary of Losing My Religion

I was born into a Pentecostal family. My dad was the pastor. All versions of my story start the same way, with that line. For decades, I was stepping further and further away from the faith I was taught as a kid. But the emotional core of my faith was still fundamentalist, and I still […]

An Atheist in an Airplane

No one raised in a religious environment wants to come out atheist. Few people who grew up in the US would want to use that word. And when I finally told one of my close friends that I was an atheist, she said, “Oh no! You lost your faith?!” But after I explained exactly what […]

A Born Again Unbeliever

The last time I wrote to you, I was a Christian fundamentalist. Now, I’m not. That’s not quite true. The last time I wrote to you, I still gave a nod to Christian fundamentalism. Now, I do not. In April, that house of cards collapsed. And while the fundamentalist dogma runs deep, I think you’ll […]

3 Best Things Being a Gentile in a Jewish Home at Passover

Tomorrow is a very special Sabbath, Shabbat Pesach. I spent almost two whole days this week wrestling over which songs to play in service. I probably overdid it, yes. As a result, however, this is my excuse for a Friday post this week. The three best things about being a Gentile living in a Jewish […]

It’s Not Sunday’s a-Comin’

Today is the first day of the omer. Actually, it began last night. Beginning with the second day of Passover, Jews begin counting the days. For 7 weeks they count, 49 days. This is called “Counting the Omer,” laid out in Leviticus 23:15-17. The omer was a measure of grain, an offering of thanksgiving for the […]

The Last Passover

“I have earnestly desired to eat this Pesach meal with you before I suffer.” Tonight begins the first night of Passover, of Pesach, the Jewish holiday of remembrance and living-out the Israelite escape from Egypt. It is a holiday of questions, of upheaval, of chaos, of suffering and deliverance. And for Christians, also the beginning […]

The Very First Wife Swap

(This is part 3 in my series on 1 Corinthians 5. Click here to read from the beginning.) Most of us probably imagine the first swingers as 1960’s hippies in a free-love commune. But in fact, it started earlier than that, in World War II. Christopher Ryan explains: It seems that the original modern American swingers were […]

Whatever the All-Merciful Does Is for Good

The Talmud tells this story (in Berachot 60b): Rabbi Akiva was once going along the road and he came to a certain town and looked for lodgings. But everywhere he went, he was refused. He sighed and said, “Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good.” So because he couldn’t find a place to stay in […]

A Little Truth Would Go a Long Way

(This is part 2 in my series on 1 Corinthians 5. Click here to read from the beginning.) One marvels at the repetition of intentionally tragic stories, like Evergreene’s: After her Christian marriage ended in divorce, and after she slogged through the concomitant depression, she decided she’d be happier living a bisexual, polyamorous lifestyle. She hid her […]

Removing the Leaven from Passover

The Passover stuff is already out at the grocery store. At the other end of the store, an even greater selection of pastel-colored candy and related items. But Pesach is still several weeks away, and first I have another bat mitzvah to think of. My Beloved will finally herself be called to the Torah in […]