On Not Taking the Bait

I was traumatized by my time in church. The years of sitting in pews, Bible studies, and coffee shops with Christian leaders, listening to variation upon variation of how wrong homosexuality is, slowly eroded me. Words might not seem that powerful, but if they are a steady trickle, coursing over your young mind which is […]

To My Conservative Friends: You Have a Voice

Last year, I wrote an article called Talking About LGBT People: A Tutorial. The basic gist of the article was that, when it comes to straight, conservative Christians trying to understand gay people, listening is better than talking. This thesis is obviously a good one: we should all listen more intently, and be less willing to […]

A Curmudgeon’s Manifesto

We live in a time of heightened tension. In fact, we practically live in a zombie apocalypse, and the contagion is codependency. We are all turning into full-time managers of each other’s attitudes, beliefs, and sentiments. We froth at the mouth at those who disagree with us on social media; we yell instead of discuss, […]

Replacing Outrage With Curiosity

I recently read Jon Ronson’s powerful book So You’ve Been Publically Shamed – an exploration of how the internet has become an incredibly unsafe place, and how public shaming online destroys lives offline. The culprits, he says, are us – good, well intentioned, and usually smart people who pile on, mock, and ridicule anyone who challenges our […]

Cross Talk, Conflict, and Cultivating Peace

When I go to my weekly 12 step meeting, there is a tent card on the table titled “Cross Talk Guidelines.” These guidelines are what make the meeting one of the most life-giving, challenging, and nurturing places I’ve ever been. As I’ve been moving through my recovery, I’ve started to apply the Cross Talk Guidelines […]

Rules for Dialogue: How to Converse Well In An Age of Trolls

Call me old fashioned, but I am an unapologetic believer in the etiquette of discourse. The internet has turned into a barbarian hinterland of uncivilized dialogue, and I pride myself on being a member of the last vanguard who stand for polite conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all don our […]

Talking About LGBT People: A Tutorial

I have been writing and conversing about homosexuality and faith for well over 5 years now, and over the years I have noticed some trends. Some are very good: when most Christians are confronted with the raw humanity of the LGBT issue, regardless of their theological convictions, they are moved to greater compassion. Many genuinely […]