Christianity

The “Good” about Friday

I grew up in a shame-and-blame religion. The so-called Good News, as taught to me, is that we humans are fundamentally evil, unholy, sinners, distant from God. And so to save us, God needed to execute the perfect blood sacrifice. And there was only one person perfect enough to serve as that sacrifice, God himself. […]

Mourning My Faith

Last night began the Jewish holiday of Purim. This is a celebration of the book of Esther. The last time I celebrated it was when I was still a member of a Messianic Jewish congregation two years ago, before I came out as an atheist, long before I came out as polyamorous. It was even […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Curious Story of Tamar

Matthew begins his gospel by breaking the rules. It’s not so much that he includes a boring genealogy that breaks the rules—although from a storytelling perspective, starting with a boring genealogy certainly breaks the storytelling rules. To the ancient Jews, genealogies were very important, and they pop up throughout the Bible. Rather, it’s the way […]