The Pastoral is Political: Trans Visibility and Equality

Yesterday was International Transgender Visibility Day—a day to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people around the world. Like International Women’s Day, Worlds AIDS Day, and International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, one day isn’t enough. Sex Workers, AIDS, Women, and Transgender folks—we all deserve more than 1/365th… Read More

Life “On the Inside”

I get questions… As I have continued my spiritual advocacy for LGBQ+ people on the inside (aka prison ministry to incarcerated LGBTQ+ people), I have discovered how little is known about life on the inside, including by clergy. So, here’s a bit of summary. Note: All of these aspects will vary, depending on whether a… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: We Need to Talk About Menstruation. Period.

Last night, I finally watched the Oscar-winning documentary (short subject) Period.  End of Sentence.  The film details the many women across our world who have missed opportunities for education and employment due to the lack of menstrual hygiene products.  Furthermore, women would use items like dirty rags, ashes, and leaves in order to avoid bleeding through… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: UMC General Conference

Our Pastoral is Political column this week is shared by Pastor Bromleigh McCleneghan. Hundreds of United Methodists from around the globe are gathered in St. Louis today for a specially-called General Conference to discuss the way forward as a church desperately divided over human sexuality. The outcome of these few days will determine, in large part, who… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Money Stress is Spiritual Stress

No one exactly said, “Let them eat cake,” but the recent government shutdown felt that way. Four in ten Americans can’t meet an unexpected $400 expense, we’re often told.  In my experience, the number is probably higher, and people are too embarrassed to say so.  In my younger years, I was one of those people. … Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Let’s Talk About Bisexuality

“I don’t want to hide anymore.” These are the words I have been saying to myself (and my therapist) a lot this past year and a half. You see, I am bisexual, and in September 2017, I started the process of coming out: first to my husband and close family, then to some of my… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: The Absence of Tension and the Presence of Whiteness

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate… who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Beyond Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice

Earlier this year, I had an encounter that shook me in a powerful way. I was speaking on a panel of religious leaders at a sexuality education conference. I was by far the most progressive person on the panel. A woman who worked at an abortion clinic asked about finding chaplains, as so many of… Read More