Friday, June 28, 2013


Icon of Equality

Oh, I've got dozens of more colorful photos of the last few amazing days. News reports and victory rallies. Rainbow flags and Stars and Stripes. Celebratory worship services in cathedrals and inspiring press conferences in front of the Supreme Court. And yet for me this is the Icon of Equality.

Because at the end of the day this is what equality looks like: a just released memo from the Office of Personnel Management granting equal benefits to all Federal Employees -- ending the marital apartheid system that granted health insurance, life insurance and survivor's benefits and the legions (over 1100) federally protected rights to some -- not all -- marriages.

No, the Death of DOMA does not bring liberty and justice to all. It does not bring marriage equality to the 37 states still failing to live up to the American dream of a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the propostion that ALL people are created equal. It does not end employment discrimination for LGBT Americans. And -- for all the sweeping reforms it provides for same-sex couples and their families it came in the shadow of a Supreme Court decision that took Voting Rights away from other Americans.

So we have miles to go before we rest -- that is a fact certain. And we also take heart and gain strength for the journey ahead by being able to look at this Icon of Equality -- in all its simplicity and beauty -- and know that the power that brought us this far will continue to carry us forward until we make liberty and justice for all not just a pledge we make to our flag but a reality we live in our nation.

God bless America and La Lucha Continua!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Celebrating two steps forward; recognizing one step back

"We celebrate two steps forward on Marriage Equality in the shadow of yesterday's historic step back on Voting Rights. For everyone rejoicing today, remember what it felt like in 2008 to celebrate the election of the first African-American president while watching Prop 8 take rights away from LGBT Californians. None of us are free until all of us are free; equality isn't equality until everyone is equal and the kingdom will not come until there are NO strangers at the gate." -- The Reverend Canon Susan Russell, Diocese of Los Angeles

Two Giant Steps Forward for Marriage Equality

June 26, 2013 will be remembered as the day this nation took two giant steps forward toward making liberty and justice for all not just a pledge but a reality for LGBT Americans.

By affirming the Federal District Court ruling that found California's Prop 8 unconstitutional and by striking down Section 3 of DOMA the Supreme Court made history with rulings that told all loving and committed couples who marry that they deserve equal legal respect and treatment.

Sadly, those two steps forward came just a day after the same Supreme Court took one step back by striking down a central part of the Voting Rights Act -- and so our delight in the movement forward on marriage equality is tempered by our distress at the dismantling of voter rights protections.

Nevertheless, as a California priest and pastor I rejoice that my church can now offer both equal blessing and equal protection to the couples who come to us for marriage. As an American citizen I am proud that my country is continuing to evolve toward that "more perfect union" where liberty and justice applies to all - not just some - Americans. And as an activist committed to the audacious goal of full equality for LGBT Americans I am celebrating today's rulings as incremental victories toward that not-yet "mission accomplished" goal. We did not get the whole enchilada - but there is enough guacamole for me.

Of course I would have loved to see the Supreme Court issue a broad ruling on marriage reflecting what the majority of Americans already know: When we all can share in the freedom to marry, it makes our families stronger, it makes our communities stronger and it makes our nation stronger. And while today's decisions by the Court fell short of that broad ruling, they inarguably moved us down the road toward the day when marriage discrimination will end up where it belongs: in the dustbin of history.

Overturning Prop 8 is a great day for California and dumping Section 3 of DOMA is a huge victory for married couples in the now 13 states (plus the District of Columbia) with marriage equality. For thousands of married lesbian and gay couples, today's ruling means that they can better protect one another and their children because they will no longer be discriminated against in federal policies intended to support families, like inheritance laws and family and medical leave.

At the same time, there are still 37 states that continue to treat gay and lesbian citizens and their children as unequal and second-class citizens.

So today we celebrate with those who now have the freedom to marry. We give thanks for all who have labored so long and hard to bring us to this day of decision that puts us further down the road toward full equality.

We give thanks for a Protect Marriage Movement dedicated to protecting all marriages and a Family Values coalition committed to valuing all families. And we recognize that there are miles to go before we rest -- before that arc of history we are told bends toward justice reaches the goal of equal justice for all LGBT Americans.

We will not rest while millions of others across the country are still treated as second-class citizens. We will not claim "mission accomplished" until liberty and justice for all really means "all." And we will not settle for anything less than the proposition that all people are created equal as we continue to work to achieve the freedom to marry -- and to vote -- for all Americans.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


All Saints Church join in outrage at Voting Rights Act ruling

All Saints Church joins with all those outraged by today’s Supreme Court action striking down a central part of the Voting Rights Act. The sharply divided decision will significantly reduce the federal government’s role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination against African-Americans and turns back the clock on the fight to end discrimination in our nation.
“What this ruling means is that states and localities previously covered by Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act will now be able to implement changes first and victims will have to prove discrimination after the fact,” said All Saints’ rector Ed Bacon. “The sad truth is that as a nation we still have roadblocks designed to obstruct citizens of color from voting with ease and so we still need the checks and balances the Supreme Court removed this morning."

The court has done America a grave disservice in casting aside voting rights protections – which have long served our nation’s commitment to equality and justice. It is a self-evident reality that racial protections are still needed in voting in this country. As recently as last year’s elections, political partisans resorted to voter suppression laws and tactics aimed at reducing the votes of people of color.

In the days and weeks ahead we will work with our justice allies to stand up, to speak out and to redouble our commitment to equality by calling on Congress to act to undo the damage inflicted by this regressive ruling.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Because you can't make this stuff up ...

... and with thanks to Katie Sherrod for the "share."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

No sorrow is as strong as love remembered

If you don't know about our wonderful Jazz Vespers service at All Saints Church you should. Click here for more info ... and read below for the meditation I got to offer at the service this evening.

Jazz Vespers | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | All Saints Church, Pasadena

It is an awesome privilege to be called to offer what is essentially the spoken “set” in this evening of amazing musicianship and holy inspiration.

I knew I wanted to talk about the intersection between story and song and struggle. I knew I wanted to weave in some threads of healing and hope. And I knew I didn’t want to talk very long so we could all get back to the music.

Not sure where to start, I turned where I turn again and again for inspiration – to the writings of the always inspirational author, poet and bishop Steven Charleston … and there I found the piece Hilda just read.

And I knew I’d found what I needed to hear when I read:

No sorrow is as strong
as love remembered,
no fear as powerful
as hope reclaimed.

These are words that resonate deep down in the marrow of my lived experience of simultaneously holding the pain of deep sorrow and the joy of new hope.

They call out in my ears the music of Rosanne Cash singing that “God is in the roses and in the thorns.” And they tap not only into the personal loss of love remembered but the institutional challenge of hearing hope’s whisper over the culture’s shout of “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Listen. Can you hope’s whisper in the words of Bishop Charleston?

You are not weak before what confronts you,
but surrounded by a deep reserve of strength,
drawn up from every small moment
when goodness shaped your life,
when the presence of God
was as real as the touch of a comforting hand,
when life made sense
because it sang you to sleep
in the peace of an unassailable innocence.

This what Ed Bacon talks about when he calls us to “reverse our amnesia” – to see beyond the challenges of the moment to the hope of the future – to call upon the deep reserve of strength to challenge anything that tells us we are less than who we were created to be – beloved of God beyond our wildest imaginings and called to love all God’s beloved equally in return.

Steven Charleston’s words remind me of other words – words of Marianne Williamson – words so powerful they were quoted by Nelson Mandela in his Inauguration speech in 1994:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
And therein, as they say, lies the rub. In order to liberate others we must be liberated from our own fear. And Steven Charleston, it turns out, “has an app for that” in these words:

The happiness you have known
is the host of angels on whom you now can call.
Ignore the night
and see instead the countless stars
that have guided you safe this far.

Ignore the night. See the stars. Follow the light. Be the change you want to see.

Tonight I knew I wanted to talk about the intersection between story and song and struggle. I knew I wanted to weave in some threads of healing and hope. And I knew I didn’t want to talk very long so we could all get back to the music.

And so I want to close with a reading from the Gospel – The Gospel According to Christina Honchell:
Jazz is God’s chosen music, because God is the greatest of all improvisers. Consider the Genesis creation story: God had an idea, a theme, a place to start and maybe a place to end, but the “getting there” is improvised.

God is tinkering with creation throughout the scriptures and through the Holy Spirit to this day and beyond.

Our God is a God who frustrates the designs of the nations, defeats the plans of the peoples – creation is still being improvised.

Like creation, the best jazz is often unfinished, open to co-creation, shot with contest and dialogue.

We need to learn to improvise. I am not interested in a religious practice or experience that is the same every time – I want to be surprised, to not know where a spiritual path may lead, to have spiritual discipline and also to be open to what happens when two or more “players” go off on an improvisational journey to God knows where.

That’s where the “aha” moments in religion come from – not from a faith that is predictable, rigid, static and steeped in fear.

Like jazz, healthy religion is not for control freaks – it unleashes sensibilities that cut against the grain of hierarchies and elites. It is about joy and energy and liberation.
[Here endeth the reading from the Gospel]

It IS about joy and energy and liberation And liberated from our fears our presence automatically liberates others.

May this evening of God’s chosen music liberate us to go out into a world in desperate need of liberation to be beacons of God’s love and justice and compassion.

And may we be given the grace to claim the promise that

No sorrow is as strong as love remembered,
and no fear as powerful as hope reclaimed.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hasta la vista, Exodus!

Hot off the Huffington Post: My reflection on the announcement that the notorious "pray-away-the-gay" bunch over at Exodus International are closing up shop.
There are not enough words in the world to undo the harm done to LGBT people who have been damaged, devalued and, in far too many cases, destroyed by the toxic narrative that their sexual orientation was an illness to be cured. Homosexuality does not need healing. Homophobia does.

There is not enough regret on the planet to rectify the misuse of biblical texts as weapons of mass discrimination against the LGBT members of God's beloved human family. God does not ask, "Whom do you love?" but, "Do you love?"

But -- and it is a significant "but" -- the end of the Exodus era is yet more evidence that the tide is turning, that evolution is not a theory, and that there really is a lavender light at the end of the tunnel.
Read the rest here ...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tick Tock SCOTUS: Diocese of L.A. is Getting Ready!

Decision Day is Coming

and We're Ready with  

a Liturgical Event  

at St. John's Cathedral  



the Day of the Decision    

As we move further into June, every day is a day closer to the long-awaited Supreme Court decisions on the pending marriage equality cases: Perry v Schwarzenegger (Prop 8) and Windsor v United States (DOMA).

To either get you or keep you in the loop, here is a summary of what we know -- and where to find out more -- from AFER (American Foundation for Equality Rights) and from GLEAM/LA (the Program Group on LGBT Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.)

The next opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule on Prop 8 is THURSDAY, June 20.  Below is a summary of all the potential dates that the decision can come down. 

Potential dates of SCOTUS ruling

*    Thursday        June 20th
*    Monday          June 24th
*    Thursday*      June 27th  (Not confirmed)

*Date not yet on the Court's calendar, but we should be prepared for it to be added

The Court gives no advance notice on which rulings will be released when - and rulings are posted at 10am (EDT) ... so for So Cal folks that's 7am. AFER will be organizing a "Day of Decision" event at 5:30pm on "the day" - whenever that turns out to be - at the corner of San Vicente and Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Here are the links to AFER's everything you need to know, the Facebook Event Page, Twitter handle, and a new graphic of potential outcomes.   

- The Twitter Conversation: #Marriage4All

MEANWHILE, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is planning to mark Decision Day 2013 with a liturgical celebration the evening FOLLOWING the decision (i.e., the next day) - at 7pm at St. John's Cathedral at 514 W Adams Blvd. (near the corner of Figueroa), Los Angeles 90007.

Potential Dates for Liturgical Event:

*          Friday, June 21
*          Tuesday, June 25
*          Friday, June 28

Plans are still evolving for the liturgy but this is a "heads up" that as soon as we have a decision the call will go out for this opportunity to gather as people of God and celebrate our ongoing journey toward that full equality for each and every member of God's beloved human family.    

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Flag Day!

Today is Flag Day. According to Wikipedia, “Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress.”

That flag (AKA “The Stars and Stripes” – “Old Glory” – “The Star Spangled Banner”) is, at its best, a symbol of what we aspire to be as nation. Conceived in liberty. Dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. One nation with liberty and justice for all.

On this Flag Day 2013, mine is flying proudly on my porch in celebration of the aspirations it symbolizes – and as a reminder that we won’t be done with becoming that nation until those ideals cease to be aspirations and become a reality for all Americans.

And so on this Flag Day 2013 the stars and stripes on my porch are flying right alongside another flag – the rainbow flag. Again fromWikipedia, “The world's best-known version of the rainbow flag, sometimes called 'the freedom flag' [has been] popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity.”

Together they inspire me to believe that the grand experiment of the American Dream is still continuing to unfold – in spite of the challenges it faces. Together they call me to commit to not just pledge allegiance but to work for justice. And together they remind me that the values we salute in the stars and stripes – values of liberty and justice; of freedom and equality – that those values transcend race, color, creed, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and any other category we can come up with.

Together they make me proud to be an American. Proud to be gay. And proud to be part of making history as we work to continue the work of becoming the more perfect union our flag symbolizes.

Happy Flag Day, everybody. And – with one eye on the Supreme Court – let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

LA Pride 2013: Episcopeeps in WeHo

It was another beautiful day in the West Hollywood neighborhood for another great celebration of Gay Pride -- L.A. Style. Here's a look:

Friday, June 07, 2013

What a difference a decade makes ...

Love this piece in the Washington Post today by Bishop Gene Robinson: On gay bishops, what a difference a decade makes

You'll want to read it all, but here's a bit to get you started:
Flash forward ten years from my election. On May 31, 2013, The Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin, an openly gay, partnered Lutheran was elected to serve as bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. While Dr. Erwin’s election has certainly been newsworthy (as well it should be), there has been nothing of the firestorm that occurred a decade ago. And what a difference a decade (especially this last decade) makes! The response within and beyond the ELCA has not been exactly “Ho-hum!” But there has been less of the divisive rhetoric and drawing of lines in the sand that we might have expected.
I couldn’t be happier for and prouder of Dr. Erwin for allowing his name to go forward and the ELCA for recognizing his gifts for ministry. Their denomination now looks a little more like the inclusive church they have long preached about and longed for. And given the changing attitudes among religious people about homosexuality, Dr. Erwin might get to be just a bishop, not a “gay bishop.”

The perhaps unexpected reward that Dr. Erwin and the Lutherans will gain is a closer relationship with God. When we do justice work, stand with the oppressed, and put our lives and our faith where our inclusive theology is, we meet God there. A favorite saying of mine, given to me a month after my election, says, “Sometimes God calms the storm. But sometimes, God lets the storm rage, and calms His child.” That is my prayer for Dr. Erwin and the Lutherans. Let God calm your hearts and soothe your souls. You are walking with God. I, for one, consider it an honor to be on this journey with you.
Finally ... in case anybody is counting ... today is ALSO the 7th Anniversary of the Blessing of the Civil Union of Mark Andrew and his charming (now husband) Gene Robinson --

-- a service I was honored to not only attend but to be the preacher. So while we're all waiting for the SCOTUS "shoes to drop" let's remember [a] what a difference a decade can make and [b] that we're all called to keep ON making a difference until justice rolls down like water and (you know the rest!) ... righteousness like an everflowing stream!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

1 man, 1 woman isn't the Bible's only marriage view

Nice Op-ed in the DesMoines Register on the what "Traditional Marriage" is -- and is NOT -- in the Bible ... by three biblical scholars. Worth reading, sharing and saving ... IMHO.

1 man, 1 woman isn't the Bible's only marriage view
written by Hector Avalos, Robert R. Cargill and Kenneth Atkinson

The debate about marriage equality often centers, however discretely, on an appeal to the Bible. Unfortunately, such appeals often reflect a lack of biblical literacy on the part of those who use that complex collection of texts as an authority to enact modern social policy.
As academic biblical scholars, we wish to clarify that the biblical texts do not support the frequent claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only type of marriage deemed acceptable by the Bible’s authors.

The fact that marriage is not defined as only that between one man and one woman is reflected in the entry on “marriage” in the authoritative Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000): “Marriage is one expression of kinship family patterns in which typically a man and at least one woman cohabitate publicly and permanently as a basic social unit” (p. 861).

The phrase “at least one woman” recognizes that polygamy was not only allowed, but some polygamous biblical figures (e.g., Abraham, Jacob) were highly blessed. In 2 Samuel 12:8, the author says that it was God who gave David multiple wives: “I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom. ... And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more” (Revised Standard Version).

In fact, there were a variety of unions and family configurations that were permissible in the cultures that produced the Bible, and these ranged from monogamy (Titus 1:6) to those where rape victims were forced to marry their rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and to those Levirate marriage commands obligating a man to marry his brother’s widow regardless of the living brother’s marital status (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Genesis 38; Ruth 2-4). Others insisted that celibacy was the preferred option (1 Corinthians 7:8; 28).

Although some may view Jesus’ interpretation of Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:3-10 as an endorsement of monogamy, Jesus and other Jewish interpreters conceded that there were also non-monogamous understandings of this passage in ancient Judaism, including those allowing divorce and remarriage.

In fact, during a discussion of marriage in Matthew 19:12, Jesus even encourages those who can to castrate themselves “for the kingdom” and live a life of celibacy.
Ezra 10:2-11 forbids interracial marriage and orders those people of God who already had foreign wives to divorce them immediately.

So, while it is not accurate to state that biblical texts would allow marriages between people of the same sex, it is equally incorrect to declare that a “one-man-and-one-woman” marriage is the only allowable type of marriage deemed legitimate in biblical texts.

This is not only our modern, academic opinion. This view of the multiple definitions of “biblical” marriage has been acknowledged by some of the most prominent names in Christianity. For example, the famed Reformationist Martin Luther wrote a letter in 1524 in which he commented on polygamy as follows: “I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not oppose the Holy Scriptures.”

Accordingly, we must guard against attempting to use ancient texts to regulate modern ethics and morals, especially those ancient texts whose endorsements of other social institutions, such as slavery, would be universally condemned today, even by the most adherent of Christians.

FAQs About God, Jesus, the Bible and Gay People

[Just posted to the Huffington Post]

June is Gay Pride Month. It is a time for parades and for festivals, for rainbow flags and dance tents. And this year it is not only about gearing up for Pride; it is about counting down to the Supreme Court rulings on the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, due any day. It is about recognizing the amazing progress that has been made on LGBT equality over the last year. And it is about recommitting ourselves to continuing the struggle until liberty and justice for all really means "all." Everywhere.

So here's the 2013 version of my annual update to "Frequently Asked Questions About God, Jesus, the Bible and Gay People." It is the brochure we give out at Southern California Pride Events here in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, offered in hopes that together we truly can be the change we want to see in the world, and in rebuttal to the rabid rhetoric of the anti-gay religious right. They do not speak for me. And they do not speak for my church.

1. Is being gay a sin?
No. Sins are acts that separate us from God and keep us from loving our neighbors as ourselves. Being gay is not a sin. Bullying is a sin. Being hateful to other people is a sin. Putting yourself in the place of God to judge others is a sin. Being gay is not.

Read the rest here ... and HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

In Marriage Equality News ...

... across the pond the House of Lords "Overwhelmingly Approve Gay Marriage Bill, Crush Opposition"

Huffington Post report here, including:
The House of Lords has crushed an attempt to kill off the gay marriage Bill by 390 votes to 148 - a majority of 242 in favour of same-sex weddings.
This came after the Archbishop of Canterbury [a] spoke against the bill and [b] kicked up a fuss by saying the marriage debate was "not at the heart a faith issue" ... something that makes sense here in the U.S. where we have separation of church and state but not so much where the CofE is the established church of the realm.

In other news, the SCOTUS clock continues to tick here in the states with the days dwindling down for the release of the marriage equality rulings by the Supreme Court. Decision Day will be: June 10, 17, 24, 25, 26 or 27 -- and (unlike the 9th Circuit Court) SCOTUS doesn't give advance info on what they're ruling on when so stay tuned.

And "tick tock equality."

Monday, June 03, 2013

Youth Sunday 2013 @ All Saints Church

It was a truly amazing Youth Sunday yesterday as we celebrated our youth choirs, prayed over our graduating seniors and listened to youth preachers at all our services.

The rector's charge to the preachers was to: "Grapple with the scripture texts appointed for today as well as to engage with one or more contemporary issues that the texts and their lives raised up in them for consideration."

And grapple they did. These gifted kids engaged with the stories of Ezekiel and Ahab and of Jesus healing the Centurion's servant and how they raised up for them issues of LGBT equality, the death penalty and immigration reform.

At 9:00am we heard Tori Dutcher-Brown: "When we allow ourselves to be set against each other, we are participating in our own destruction ... failing to achieve the love, change and compassion we so desire."

At 11:15am we heard Katy King: "Ever hear that 'the truth will set you free?' That's what real justice looks like -- having the humility to hear the truth and to let it set us free."

And at 1:00pm we heard Connor Smith: "As I've learned at All Saints, if we don't reject the evil of prejudice then we bear some responsiblity for how it manifests itself in ourselves and in our world."

Watch. Learn. Be inspired. And bookmark the links to these extraordinary kids to watch the next time you despair over the future. It's actually in pretty fabulous hands!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

15 things Jesus Didn’t Say:

This comes to us from Jim Palmer's blog via Facebook and I thought it was WAY to fabulous not to share: (I think the Greek and Hebrew one is my fav ... although it's a close call!)
“For God was so disgusted with the world and you that he gave his one and only Son.”
“I have come to bring you a new religion.”
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have correct theology.”

“If anyone would come after me, let him disparage all other religions and their followers.”

“If you love me, you will regularly attend a church of your choice… within reason.”

“Blessed are the tithers for they shall be called the children of God.”

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Heaven after the earth goes up in flames and destroyed.”

“You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor,’ which means the people with whom you attend church and relate to in your Christian sub-culture.”

“In my Father’s house there are a limited number of rooms. But no worries, there is plenty of room in Hell.”

“The kingdom of God has come!… Well, not exactly. I mean, not completely. Let’s face it, the really-real kingdom comes after we die. Hang in there. It won’t be long.”

“And you will know the truth and the truth will make you superior to all the other simpletons who never learned Greek or Hebrew.”

“You are the light of the world… well… in a sinful-filthy-scum kind of way.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you a checklist of things to do and not do in order to remain in God’s favor.”

“For God so loved the world… you know like theoretically… as in, God loves the big ‘W’-world. But when it come to you specifically, that are quite a few things that would need to change for God to actually and specifically love… or even like… YOU.”

“He appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days and spoke about how to incorporate his life and teaching as a 501(c)3, and go into all the earth to build mega-churches in his name.”