Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thankful for First Dog, Lil

From my article in Chapel Hill News about the passing of our Lil (the yellow Labrador retriever in the pic):

Like a first kiss, one’s first dog is something you never forget.
Lil was my first dog, and I will never forget her. Fourteen years ago I adopted her through Orange County Animal Services. Lil was a beautiful yellow American Labrador Retriever, with the breed’s distinct markings, bone structure, and huge paws, which told us we should not be surprised when she hit 80 pounds when fully grown.
When we first visited her at the shelter, she jumped all over us, licking us everywhere on our bodies, from head to toe and back again.
“Lil” was short for “Little Doc,” as I promised myself I would adopt a dog upon my completion of my Ph.D. But sometimes she resembled Lilith, the notorious demon in Jewish tradition. For example, when throwing her a branch to retrieve, she wasn’t as much “retriever” as she was a keep-away artist, inviting us to run after her while almost kneeing us as she ran by us. She loved chewing anything that looked like a stick, including red or black pens, grinning with either a red or back smudge across her muzzle.
Lil was like other dogs in many ways. She was my running bud, running slightly ahead of me along country roads. She loved nothing more than to go for a ride in a car, putting her snout out the open back window, ears flapping backwards, while taking advantage of all the smells that came along the currents of air. One friend taught Lil the art of eating pretzel sticks from her mouth as Lil gently nibbled the other end. However, unlike some Labs, she was not wild about water. She was intimidated by ocean waves, and Lil seemed too prim and proper to be washed, looking put out when we hosed off the soap.
Lil was a steady presence amid all the radical changes in my family’s life. She would let me pet her thick yellow fur as I transitioned out of one academic position, to a pastorate, and back to the academy again. When in high school, my daughter told her deepest secrets to Lil late at night. My partner and son swear there was nothing like coming home after a hard day and being welcomed by Lil’s “welcome home” bark as she soon brushed hard against a leg, waiting for someone to rub the sweet spots behind her ears, eliciting an ongoing low, satisfying moan from her, telling us to rub harder.

More here:

Pax! B

Adrianne: The Educator

Awesome article on/about Adrianne and her family (proud dad) here on Rainbow Rumpus:

The beginning of the article:

Adrianne loves to play games with her preschool class. A favorite game of hers is a silent version of “Simon Says”: Adrianne starts by tapping her nose, waiting until the entire class is tapping their noses before moving on to another motion (patting her head, for example). The movements become quicker—patting the floor, knees, shoulders, and so on. The game gives the kids—or “tiny munchkins,” as Adrianne affectionately terms her class—an opportunity to move and refocus.   
Adrianne comes from a family of educators. Her mom, Pam, was a public school teacher for twenty years, her dad, Brett, teaches ethics and English composition at North Carolina Central University, and her dad’s partner, Dean, is associate dean of students at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Adrianne and her family share passions beyond teaching, however. She and her dad practice yoga, hike, and visit museums together whenever they can. And preparing family meals has always brought the clan—which includes Adrianne’s younger brother, Parker—together for good conversation. “What we were eating was less important than the quality time we spent together,” Adrianne says. 

Read more here:




Friday, March 14, 2014

Does Race Matter When it Comes to Acceptance of Same Sex Couples?

I found this issue of race fascinating after an ad ran for Honey Maid Graham Crackers, showing an image of a happy white same sex couple. In, the argument was that the white gay couple is more acceptable to the outside world than other couples of different races:

Here's the clip:

So does race matter?


Just as a lesbian couple is not as threatening as a gay couple, white couples are not as threatening than other races.  After all, we live in a racist, as well as homophobic, culture...and we live in a sexist, classist, abelist culture.  I could go on.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Talk at Emory and Henry College

I gave a talk at Emory and Henry College on my three loves: love of family, love of Jesus, and love of dogs.

I began the talk with a provocative stab: I live in a country in which legislators in AZ passed a bill that discriminates against me as a part of the tribe LGBTQ; that Uganda's President signed a bill condemning LGBTQ to life in prison, and that Mormons are telling students at Brigham University not to masturbate.

What a time to be alive?

We are on the crest of history unfolding.

What I'm aware of is that the unfolding blurs lines of state, culture, and religion. They are all now enmeshed, and hard to separate.

This is not a time to be silent but to speak out, pointing to the danger of these actions by people here and abroad.



Friday, February 21, 2014


Dear LGBTQ parents, friends, allies, and family members...

Big push here: I need 12 people (6 minimum) to go on pilgrimage along St. Cuthbert's Way: Melrose Abbey to Lindisfarne, England.

Here's the blurb:

Hi Pilgrims! St. Cuthbert's Way calls you to come and walk to Lindisfarne on this holy trek. Six pilgrims have signed up! Six openings left! Come and walk the way of St. Cuthbert to Lindisfarne, England, a.k.a., "The Holy Isle!" Pilgrims will meet on the night of Sat., May 24, at Melrose Abbey, and end on Thursday, May May 31st on Lindisfarne. This is a 65 miles, or 13 miles a day. The cost for this pilgrimage, which includes tents (tents with cots, tables, chairs and lights!) and 3 meals a day, plus transportation of our materials is $990. Trail Trekkers will provide the tents and meals along the way. There is room for 6 more pilgrims! Any questions? Ask Brett Webb-Mitchell, Director of the School of the Pilgrim,, or visit:

Come one!  Come all!  Need a firm number by the end of March, 2014!



Friday, February 7, 2014

Homecoming Kings and Queens

Call me an old fart, but it is incredible that high schools and colleges and universities have homecoming events, let alone homecoming kings and queens.

But here is a happy piece about a young man, Blake, who is going to be a homecoming king in East Mecklenberg High School in Charlotte, NC.  For this transgender youth, this is a big deal...and it is a big deal for society in general, let alone the South.

Here's the piece from towleroad:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Illinois Bishop John Paprocki: Please Sit Down and Shut Up

This man is wrong on so many levels.

First: As a religious leader of a Church that has a history of child abuse going back generations, the last person who should be offering ideas about "discipline" is from the Catholic Church.

Second: who needs to be disciplined? For what?  Gay adults are not children.

Third: before you try to take the speck out of someone's eye, take the log out of your own.  Though my being gay is not a "speck" issue.

This is what the Bishop of IL said:

“To be opposed to the redefinition of marriage and to be opposed to things that are sinful, that’s actually a very loving thing,” he continued. “Perhaps it’s the permissiveness of our society that people think that if you don’t get what you want that you’re somehow being hateful, if you don’t give them what they want. But sometimes, like any good parent will tell you, that sometimes you have to discipline your child, sometimes you have to say no. And sometimes, you even have to punish.”
But to “punish” gay families is actually quite loving, according to Paprocki. “And when a parent does those things towards their children,” he concluded, “they’re actually being very loving by correcting them and showing them the right way to do things.”

Here's the source from