Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Vagenda of Manocide

No, that's not a typo. That is a direct quote from this sign spied on the campaign trail and now making the rounds on Twitter.

"Beware The Beast: Hildbeast Clinton And Its Vagenda Of Manocide."

Seriously. I couldn't make it up. It's evidently the brainchild (and yes -- I use the term loosely) of a dude who's kinda famous in his parts for outrageous stuff like this -- at least according to

It is hard to even wrap your brain around -- much less image a response to -- such overt misogynistic absurdity. Which is precisely why you need to get ready for the best part.

Guess what happens if you go to Seriously. It's an actual URL. Check it out.

That's right. It's a Donate to Hillary Clinton for America page.

Someone on the HRC staff was smart, savvy and with it enough to snatch up the URL and do the Genesis 50:20 thing -- turning what was intended for harm as a means to accomplish good.

I don't know about you but that kind of creativity and agency gives me hope that when we make it through these last days of the longest election cycle in the history of voting we're going to have smart, savvy, with it people in charge -- people who are committed to moving us forward into a future where we really are #StrongerTogether rather than #PolarizedToPieces.

In the meantime, I'm hearing rumors that the next hot Feminist Thrash Metal Band is going to be calling itself The Vagenda of Manocide. You just might have heard it here first.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Winning Some and Losing Some on a Summer Afternoon

This is my last week of vacation -- I go back to work next Monday after a lovely long time off with travel, family time and lots of R&R at home. Yesterday I got bit by the writing bug and decided to use some of my leisure time to dust off a piece I've posted before ... Top Ten Questions about Jesus, The Bible and LGBT People ... and update it for the current election cycle.

I posted it over on the Huffington Post -- you can read it here -- and then got back to the "To Do On Vacation" list. Now, the piece is hardly "going viral" ... but I knew it must be garnering some readership when I started getting hate mail ... from both rabid anti-LGBT Christians who accuse me of leading people to the Lake of Fire and from rabid atheists who are sure they'll change my mind if they point out that the Bible has inconsistencies.

Then there was this. I just went to check my email between loads of laundry (Item #7 on Today's Gay Agenda) and found these two emails quite literally back to back in my inbox.
Aloha Rev. Susan:

I just read your post on the Huffington Post site about the "10 questions...." Your answers and understanding are so clear and easily understood that I would like to share them with my members/friends/allies in our weekly newsletter.

I am currently pastor of Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are a small community with a big heart. While I recognize that most of those who will read the newsletter already have some of the information you so clearly state, it is such a blessing to have it all laid out in such a logical and useful form. Prayers that you will be able to continue shining your light of compassion and understanding.

Love and blessings,
Rev. Dr. William H. Knight
To Susan Russell,

Where do I start? You so casually dismiss plain biblical teachings to validate your sinful life. 2 Peter 2 talks about the depravity of false teachers, speaking of evil things that they don't even understand. Those who have a heart trained in covetousness, and are accursed children, carousing in their own deceptions, those who have forsaken the right way. These Peter says are wells without water. You Susan if you don't repent will perish in your own corruption. You stated that Jesus never said anything about the homosexual. Well He did in fact do so in Matt 19:5f when He said, "have you not read, He who made them in the beginning made them male and female and for this reason a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, together being one flesh." This is the sexual relationship that Jesus taught. But lets remember, or don't you believe that all of the writers of the Bible were inspired of God, they didn't write what they wanted to, they were directed by God Himself. Does 1 Corinthians 6 mean nothing? You are twisting scripture to your own destruction. Teaching the doctrines of demons. It's clear, the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Unless they repent and are washed. The saddest part of this is, how many souls will be lost because of what you teach?

May God grant you the time to repent. 
Jeff Richardson
Aurora, MO.
As my friend and mentor Liz used to say all the time, "You win some and you lose some ... but you always dress out!"

And anybody who is tempted to think for a nanosecond that the work of dismantling the homophobia that infects the church and afflicts the world is even close to over just drop me a text, tweet or email and I'll be happy to give you a little reality check on why we keep dressing out. Seriously.

More later. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Claiming the Blessing: Fourteen Years Old YESTERDAY

Yesterday got away from me without marking it here as the 14th anniversary of my very first day at work at All Saints Church in Pasadena and the official launch of Claiming the Blessing: the intentional collaborative of organizations and individuals within the Episcopal Church advocating for the full inclusion of all the baptized in all sacraments of the church.

My, my. my how time flies when you're having fun.

On August 2, 2002 we set up shop in the "corner cubicle" in the "temporary trailer" in the North Driveway on the All Saints campus and we got to work on our agenda.

Yes, the truth can now be told -- the rumors were absolutely true. We TOTALLY had "an agenda" -- and it was:
"Promoting wholeness in human relationships, abolishing prejudice and oppression, and healing the rift between sexuality and spirituality in the Church."
Since 2002, our advocacy has included liturgies for the blessing of same-sex relationships, equal access to all orders of ministry by qualified gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender candidates and supporting civil and sacramental marriage equality.

In 2015 we saw extraordinary progress toward the goal of ending marriage discrimination in the Episcopal Church when the 78th General Convention — meeting in Salt Lake City — adopted resolutions that amended our canons on marriage and approved liturgies for equal use by same and opposite sex couples.

While there is inarguably still work to do to eradicate homophobia and discrimination against LGBTQ people in the church and in the world, it has been a deep privilege to be part of doing our part through the work of Claiming the Blessing and in partnership with heroes and sheroes of the movement too many to mention.

La lucha continua -- but for moment, let's mark this 14h anniversary with gratitude for the progress so far. (Visit our website for the CTB story.)