Showing posts from May, 2018

Discovering the Biological Cause for Collusion with Abuse

Any community mental health nurse worth her salt knows that each of the problems of human behavior--every mental health diagnosis included-- can be traced back to problems with one or more of the five components of health. Often all five in one diagnosis. When it comes to prevention or intervention—treatment, that is—those same components come into play. There’s the emotional, the social, the cognitive or intellectual, the spiritual values which seldom boils down merely to religion, and almost always physical and biological manifestations. When the patient is an individual, it’s fair game to think about addressing each one of these types of health. Anti-intellectuals, on the contrary, usually speak only of the physical when a person’s health is being evaluated. That’s why we do not give credence to untrained individuals to do a good assessment. The vast majority of Americans, most certainly, will leave out 80% of the factors that determine an individual’s health. Same goe

A Message to Southern Baptist Women from #LongB4MeToo

"The women of the Southern Baptist Convention are finally waking up," I said to myself sometime last week when I heard more than 1000 SBC women had been joined by a group of like-minded men, calling for the resignation of the most infamous of my husband's classmates from the 1960's at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Yet, according to Wade Burleson , that number soon grew to over 3200! At last, Paige Patterson, along with his old friend Paul Pressler, has done himself in. Or so it seems, and the two may be taking a significant portion of the Southern Baptist Convention with them, as most bystanders can't help noticing,  if the trend to honor and defend these guys  continues .  Pressler, whose image is encased along with his wife's in the chapel of the same seminary that his old friend Paige has ruled over for years, will soon be facing multiple men in court, who allege he is a sexual predator. These guys have provided me with more writing material

In the Service of Full Disclosure

The opportunity to talk on scores of live radio programs about a controversial, cutting-edge topic that most people still considered "a private issue for churches only" in the mid-90's never unnerved me until I started getting requests, much to my surprise, to appear for Christian interviews. I braced myself for an inquisition each time, and they came often. Though not nearly as often as I'd expected. It was the highest number of interviews ever requested of one author, the publicist at Huntington House in Lafayette, Louisiana, told me one day, as she called to report the degree of receptiveness she sensed from the newest inquirer. Most of all, each talk show host was fascinated by what they'd read of our family's story , now eager to hear more of how six years earlier two missionary careers--mine and my husband Ron's--had ended after we'd persisted in confronting some of the most powerful men in the religious world, insisting that they cease their b

The Gift of Sharing Sacred Stories

"Bernice, you don't have to tell everything you know," my patronizing father often said to my mother, with the same sarcastic chuckle he might use for a child who was embellishing a wild story of some creature from outer space. These moments were always awkward, especially for Mom if she was just getting to the critical point or punch line of a narration she was sharing with dear friends who had never heard that specific episode from her past. Story-Telling, a Lost Art Form As the second oldest of four daughters, all who had learned early to embrace the traditional Deep South way of passing along life's stories, there was a sacredness to most every story she told, even  without the mention of any form of deity. Even today, my mother, at ninety-two, doesn't know how to talk without telling stories. Same as I don't know how to write without doing so. Nor do I like to read anything that's not chunked full of stories. Because those closest to her

Denzel Washington Sets the Stage for Responding to Sexual Abuse in the Church

"What an opportunity you have! Don't be depressed by it because we have to go through this, we're here now." These words, spoken recently by Denzel Washington, as he talked about the challenges his faith walk brings to millennials, are simply an enhancement of the stand he recently took by deciding not to be present to speak at the Global Leadership Summit, a gathering that also drew Bill Clinton as a guest speaker in times past. Why would anybody turn down such an opportunity? If you’ve kept up with what’s going on in Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago lately, you might instantly know. Willow and its pastor Bill Hybels, now accused by a growing number of sexual abuse of congregants, has been the model for many a young pastor for how to grow a thriving church. Without Willow, it’s hard to imagine what the Global Leadership Summit would be now, even if it survives. Yet Hybels is daring to use the same word I’ve used for thirty years to describe what c