Featured The Theological

Catholic Women as Priests

Yesterday, the New York Times posted a slideshow from Judith Levitt of Catholic women who are priests.

This might come as a surprise to some of you, but there is a growing resistance movement among Catholics who have been able to find loopholes in their own bi-laws and begin ordaining women:

In the last 10 years the Vatican has had to contend with a particularly indomitable group of women who seem to be unaffected by excommunication or other punishment offered by the church. The movement started when seven women were ordained by three Roman Catholic bishops aboard a ship on the Danube River in 2002. The women claimed their ordinations were valid because they conformed to the doctrine of “apostolic succession.” The group that grew out of that occasion calls itself Roman Catholic Womenpriests. There are now more than 100 ordained women priests and 11 bishops.

Sermons The Biblical

The Politics of Surprise (Matt. 25: 31-46)

This is the text to the message I gave at Camas Friends Church on Jesus Sheep and Goats parable in Matt. 25.

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Matthew 25 (From Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel):

When the son of man starts his revolution with all his band around him, then he was assume some authority. And all the nations will be assembled before him, and he will sort them out like a farmer separates out his cows from his hogs, penning the cows on the right and the hogs on the left.

Then the leader of the movement will say to those on his right, ‘come you pride of my father, share in the movement that was set up for you since creation; for I was hungry and your shared your food with me; I was thirsty and you shared your water with me; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; ragged and you clothed me, sick and you nursed me; I was in jail and you stood by me. Then the people of justice will answer, ‘Sir, when did we see you hungry and share our food, or thirsty and share our water? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or ragged and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in jail, and stand by you? And the leader of the movement will reply, ‘When you did it to one of the humblest brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you fallen skunks, and into the flaming hell reserved for the Confuser and his crowd. For I was hungry and you shared nothing with me; I was thirsty and you gave me no water; I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me, ragged and you didn’t clothe me, sick and in jail, and you didn’t stand by me.’ Then these too will ask, ‘Sir, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or ragged or sick and in jail, and do nothing about your needs?’ Then he’ll answer, “When you failed one of these humblest people you failed me.’ These will take an awful beating, while the just ones will have the joy of living.”

I am drawn to a number of “surprises” in this parable. In fact, I think that more than having to do with judgement the surprises are what make this story turn.

The Political

Romney, Sheep and the 47%


Understandably, there’s been a lot of hullabaloo in media since Mother Jones revealed Mitt Romney calling 47% of us Americans mooches. In case you’ve missed it, here’s some of the transcript of what he said to the attendees of this $50,000-a-plate dinner:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax Watch the video here.

Romney’s comment should catch you off guard, it should sting. 47% is a lot of folks. It certainly includes me and my family, and there’s a good chance it’s you too. But it becomes even more ridiculous when you realize that more than 1/5 of the 47% are the elderly. Not to mention this also includes many others, such as those in college, those in the military, the lucky beneficiaries of the Bush-era tax cuts, the super-wealthy and more — find these and other statistics here.


Morning Prayer


This is a morning prayer written by Walter Rauschenbusch I have been praying this month as I work on my dissertation.

Blog Entries

Writing-Sabbatical Update #2


My study for week #2.

This past week I made good progress towards my goal of writing four chapters for my dissertation this month. I’m not sure if my strategy is the best – And I’m not sure I want you to tell me if you think otherwise – but the goal is to get the basic contours of the project done, write as much as I can and need to, and then spend time shaping and carving the project down into a more concise and final version. So far, in two weeks I’ve written 130 pages or so and two chapters. I am sure that not all of it will go into the final version, or that it’s even all good stuff, but I feel like what I have to work with is moving me forward.


Writing-Sabbatical Update #1


This past week I began a four-week “writing sabbatical,” and the whole thing went really well. The church was generous to release me from my responsibilities so that I could commit focused-time to working on my dissertation. The goal is to work my typical 40+ hours a week but spend that time writing – so that by the end of the month I might have a rough draft – we’ll use rough draft here liberally – completed or at least close. That means that I have a goal of adding three or four more chapters to the four I already have written. The push is in order that I might hand this thing in by the cut-off next February. Last week was successful in moving me toward that in that I not only was able to finish a new chapter, but was able to make some connections and learn some things that have alluded me in the short bursts of time I’ve been working on the project thus far.