Hell no! Torture is not loving.

Good morning lovelies. Today, we have a rare treat. A guest post by my awesome husband Kent Krabill! Enjoy.


hellI’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people believe in a “loving” God who they simultaneously believe will torment the majority of people who have ever lived for ever and ever in a fiery place called hell.  If there is such a “loving” God (I don’t believe there is, of course), then nobody should willingly worship him (if, at some point, there is actually an all-powerful God who torments people for ever and ever in a fiery place called hell, and my “choice” is worship or be tormented, I guess I might change my mind and give in.  I mean really, eternal torment in a fiery place?  That sounds really bad).

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  So, lots of my friends and family are seemingly okay with this disgusting, monstrous caricature of a god.  They go to churches and sing love songs to him (honestly, a lot of these songs sound like they are singing to their lover, but that is for another post).  But have you ever really thought this thing through?  Have you ever sat back and considered what it would be like if this “loving” God actually tormented and tortured millions of conscious souls forever?  Some of you get upset that the government water boards a few people for a few minutes to get key intelligence.  But this “loving” God you are worshipping is apparently going to do much, much worse, and it will be for ever and ever.  And you are ok with that?

If there is a “loving” God like this and he is actually going to torture people for ever and ever, this “loving” God is much worse that any notion of “Satan” or the “Devil” that we find in the Scriptures (or anywhere else, for that matter).  I mean, that creature called “Satan” or the “Devil” wreaks havoc for a while, but at least his cruelty has a stopping point.  Right?  I mean, he ends up getting tortured forever, right?  So at most, he gets to wreak havoc for what, say a few thousand or million years (shout out to all the young Earth folks reading this!).  But this “loving” God you are singing sappy love songs to is going to be torturing people forever and ever.  Let that sink in.

Maybe, just maybe, if there is a “loving” God, this being actually loves.  Maybe, just maybe, this being is a merciful God and a compassionate God.  Maybe, just maybe, this being isn’t against humanity, but for humanity.  Maybe, just maybe, this being isn’t out to torture you, but to suffer and die and take all the shit humanity has to dish out in order to show you how much he/she/it loves you.  Hmmm.

The writers of Scripture used powerful language to convey important concepts.  We do this all the time today, both in writing and verbally.  I mean, read a couple of sentences back.  Humanity didn’t really serve up Jesus a dish of shit, right?  So maybe, just maybe, this God you are so fond of isn’t really planning on tormenting and torturing the bad guys (or, actually, all those folks who never heard of or believed in Jesus) for ever and ever.  Yes, there are verses in the gospels and Revelation that contain strong language about eternal torment.  But maybe, just maybe, that strong language is used to emphasize the extent and power of the warning.  In fact, if we look back at much of the strong language used in the Hebrew Scriptures, we see examples of this all the time:

Isaiah 34:9-10

And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch,

and her soil into sulfur;

her land shall become burning pitch.

Night and day it shall not be quenched;

its smoke shall go up forever.

From generation to generation it shall lie waste;

none shall pass through it forever and ever.

Of course, we all know that this isn’t true.  Many of you have visited this very area, passed through it, and know there is no smoke going up today.  But the message of the passage is clear, right?  We don’t have to pretend it is real.  In fact, doing so totally takes away from the power of the language.

So, to recap, God is not a total asshole like you have been taught.  This loving being isn’t going to eternally torture or torment anyone.  In fact, this loving being isn’t going to torture or torment anyone.  Ever.  At anytime.  Why?  Because this loving being is about good news, not bad.  This loving being is for humanity, not against it.  You are loved.  Just as you are.  So embrace that love.  And pass it on.

Oh, and stop worrying about spending an eternity in hell.  There is enough hell right here on Earth to worry about.  So let’s take action to end that hell.  And bring peace on Earth and good will to men.  Sound good?

Three days in Post-Racial America.



Jamine Robinson points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter demonstrators have set up an encampment at the precinct which is near the site of the Sunday shooting of Jamar Clark by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The last three days have been more than a little crazy in post-racial America lovelies. Honestly, it is all a little overwhelming.

Let’s start here.

Mercutio Southall Jr., a black man, was assaulted at a Donald Trump rally.

“It was just a sea of white faces,” he told ThinkProgress. “A lady kicked me in the stomach. A man kicked me in the chest. They called me n*****, monkey, and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me. So for all the people who are still confused at this point, they proved what ‘all lives matter’ meant. It means, ‘Shut up, n*****.’”

On Sunday, the morning after the rally, Trump told the hosts of Fox & Friends that Southall deserved what he got.

“Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said. “It was disgusting what he was doing…This was a very obnoxious guy, a troublemaker, looking to make trouble.”

[I know some of you will disagree with his assessment of what “all lives matter” means. What you need to realize is that many, many people have co-opted that phrase and are using it to justify their hatred, racism, and xenophobia. Additionally, it is always good to be aware of people hear versus what you say. For more on this read here, here, and here.]

Trump also posted bogus statistics on black crime which came from a neo-nazi hate group. Which he defended on The Bill O’Reilly Show last night.

In spite of all of this, Trump continues to rise in the polls.

Moving on.

Yesterday I was alerted to a disturbing movement in response to the recent protests against systemic racism on college campuses across the country. A white supremacist group put out the call to start bogus “White Student Union” facebook pages associated with as many colleges as possible. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:

A post on the blogging website Medium, by the user Bears for Equality, traces the phenomenon back to a post on the white-supremacist blog the Daily Stormer. That post, dated on Saturday, latched onto the appearance of a “white student union” page affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and called on readers to duplicate it. “Make more of these White Student Union pages on Facebook for various universities,” the post reads. “You don’t have to go there.”

One of my faithful subscribers alerted her alma mater, Penn State that they had been targeted by the racists hoping to stir up more problems and hatred on their campus. Penn State like most universities are fighting to have the sites removed, and as of this morning, these efforts seem to be successful. Here is the statement they released on twitter:


Here is a link where you can find the list of Universities that have been targeted so far so you can check to make sure your alma mater has successfully removed and denounced these bogus pages. 

Moving on.

This morning I woke up to a report from the Associated Press that five #blacklivesmatter protesters in Minneapolis had been shot and wounded by a small group of white supremicists who showed up at last night’s protest.

Add all of this to the disproportionate number of black people arrested, incarcerated and killed by police officers and it is clear we have some serious work to do.

Excuse me, Post-racial America, you seem to have some blood on your hands.

Trump and the other GOP candidates will likely have no good response for these recent events. In fact, Trump specifically has already proven he has the worst possible answer. To quote Chauncy Devega in his article in Salon:

The 2016 presidential primary season has seen Republican candidates endorse internment camps for Syrian refugees, an enemies list for Muslims, making Christianity the official state religion of the United States, establishing a Gestapo-like force to eject “illegal immigrants” from the United States, and other actions that are unworthy of what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

Those men and women who seek the office of the president of the United States should be responsible, reflective, and intelligent individuals. While they are members of a political party, these individuals should also be ambassadors of the Common Good who first and foremost want to advance and protect the General Welfare of the United States and its citizens. To this point in the campaign, the Republican 2016 primary presidential candidates, as a group, have not shown that they are capable of honoring that obligation.

The presidential primary season is not over. There is still time for the Republican Party to rise to the occasion.

To that end, will the 2016 Republican primary presidential candidates denounce Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the violence of his supporters or condemn last evening’s shootings of the Black Lives Matter protesters by white supremacists?

Will this crop of potential GOP presidential nominees demand that their peers, as well as the right-wing Fox News propaganda machine, tone down their collective racist, nativist, xenophobic and violence-inducing rhetoric?

The answer is likely to be “no.” Instead, the Republican 2016 presidential candidates will ignore the violence and bigotry they have encouraged or instead play the “victim” of the “liberal media.” The Right-wing Fox News echo chamber will also likely spin fictions of “liberal infiltrators” or “agent provocateurs” that are actually committing violence at Donald Trump rallies or shooting Black Lives Matter activists in Minneapolis.

As they have repeatedly done in recent American history, movement conservatives and their media will continue to strike a match in a room full of gasoline vapor and act surprised when it explodes.


Ultrasound Refugee

I am not a refugee

But a child you see


To touch the hem of the garment of your

Human decency

Just wanting a scrap from the table of your infant


I am just a small part

Of the huddled mass at your teeming shore

The Jesus you say you love

Knocking on your door


I am no poison m&m

no wolf at the door

I would be happy with a spot on your floor

With no pillow to lay beneath my head

No feather comforter

Like you keep on your bed


I am the least of these

Perhaps you’ve heard of me?

Would you make me sign your registry?

Or wear an ID?

Maybe a  yellow star?

I know it sounds crazy

but I would do it

just at the chance to sit where you are

Without a bomb fragment

Or Gunfire

Or shrapnel

whizzing past my head

Not knowing how or if my child will be fed

Or if at night as we lay us down to sleep if in the morning we’d





I don’t have to live like a refugee

That’s what Tom Petty said

As if in the end, it was all in my head.

As if I had had a say in the matter

As if I could stop every bullet that would shatter

My life into so many pieces the Kings Men couldn’t put me back together


If I come on a boat or on a donkey still inside my mother

What does it matter?

Will I get turned away at the inn like your brother


If I lie on the side of the road will you walk by



If you were a veteran I would help.

If you were an American I would help

If I

Could be sure….

You are a Christian I would help

Hashtag all lives matter.



You say you are just trying to protect your own

You can’t even lay down your stone

And notice that you are living in a glass home

Throwing stones at yourself.

Turning away the Jews again at your shore and sending them back to die

Turning your face from the wounded

Maybe give being the Samaritan a try

Who is your neighbor?

The one you crucify?

If there is no greater love than to lay your life down

Can you still testify?

That you love me like you love yourself

Nah, just bust out that movie, Elf

And start singing carols and trimming the tree

And telling your kids about the nativity




the stones

At your own homes


You were once the huddled mass yearning to breathe free

Now it is me

If only I could show up on an ultrasound machine

so you could see





Paris Edition: Dammit! I care more (about the right things) than you do.

peaceforparis-featuredIt seems lately I am “not allowed” to care about anything without someone saying I care about the wrong thing or that I must also make it clear that I care about something else more.

I am not allowed to care about the Paris attacks unless I have already made it clear that I care about the Beirut attacks, the attacks in Turkey or any other attack in any other area of the world.

Some don’t want me to change my profile picture to the French flag unless I also have changed it to the flag of Isreal.

We are not supposed to care for the refugees because there are homeless veterans or (once again) aborted babies.

I am not supposed to care about what the black students experience on our college campuses because there are soldiers who have lost life, limb and sanity fighting at our request.

Etc., etc., ad nauseam.

How is it that all of a sudden compassion, caring and courage have all become competitive sports? Something to be won at the expense of others? Has it come to this? Are all our best qualities now just another thing to use against one another? Is empathy about the “right” things, people and situations now just a way to say “I WIN!”. How sad.

Perhaps, just perhaps, courage, empathy, compassion and the rest of our virtues are not a competition at all. Perhaps, like love, they are not an apple pie with only so many slices to go around. Perhaps, as we voice our care and concern, our admiration and respect, these things do not diminish but rather multiply. Maybe we could all try to recognize that just because someone says one thing is tragic (for example, the attacks in Paris) does not mean that they do not also believe that other things are just as and sometimes much more tragic; that just because we believe one person exhibits courage, does not mean others have not and do not exhibit courage and sometimes in greater measure.

What if instead, we mourn every death? Celebrate every act of courage? Call out every injustice? Recognize every act of altruism? What if we actually believed that humanity’s best qualities could multiply with use and worst qualities would necessarily and absolutely atrophy in the presence of love?

What kind of world would that be?

A better one I think.


(This post is an Update of my previous post Dammit! I Care More About the Right Things Than You Do which I wrote after the death of Cecil the Lion.)

Poison M&Ms?




For all of you using the “bowl of M&Ms” analogy: This one’s for you.

What if you had a process for screening the M&M’s that had proven to be 100% effective to this point at screening out the “poison” M&Ms?

We do.

The process for coming into the U.S as a refugee is one the most difficult ways of getting into the U.S. It is MUCH easier to come here on a travel or student visa.

So far, we have taken in 750k refugees since 9/11. None of them have been arrested for committing an act of domestic terrorism.

(Just in case you were going to say, “But the Tsarnaev brothers!”)

So, what if I gave you a bowl of 750k m&m’s and told you they had been tested and none of them were poisoned would you take a handful? Of course you would.

What if I then gave you a bowl of 10,000 more and told you they had been screened using the same process? Would you take a handful? Of course you would. You do it every time you buy M&Ms. There have been exactly as many poison M&Ms as there have been terrorist refugees. Does that mean we tell the FDA to stop checking up on their factories? No, of course not.
No one is saying we should not screen the refugees to make sure the people we let in are safe. We are just saying after they have been screened, go ahead and take a big old handful of M&Ms.


Mizzou: What does being rich have to do with it?

mizzouSo, this morning I see that people are getting all worked up because Jonathan Butler, Mizzou student, activist and hunger striker, turns out to have a father who is quite wealthy? How wealthy you ask? His dad made 6 million last year and his family has a net worth of over 20 million. This has a lot of (mostly white) folks REALLY upset. I mean, hey, he’s got money, why is he complaining? How can there be racism when you are able to pull down that much money?

I am going to let you in on a little secret…

Having money does not shield you from racism.

I will say that again. Having money does not shield you from racism (or sexism or homophobia or any other form of discrimination, except for people who are discriminated against for being poor. Money will help you out with that one).

Just because a black student (or professor) has money does not necessarily mean they are treated equally at Mizzou (or anywhere else for that matter). Do rich black people not experience racism? Do people ask them first if they have money before mistreating them and then decide against it if they are wealthy? No. Of course they don’t. Does being wealthy keep them from being pulled over for driving while black? Actually, no, it does not. Many times they are pulled over more often because they are black and driving an expensive car. Does it keep them from being assaulted by police? Again, no. Ask Thabo Sefalosha or James Blake the famous tennis player. I have very successful professional friends who are followed in department stores, called “boy” by police officers in front of their kids, and whose kids have been called the n-word at their posh private schools.

Let’s review…

Question: What does having money have to do with being treated as less than because of the color of one’s skin?

Answer: Not a damn thing. Privilege is not just about money. 

Related articles:
Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person

My Privilege

Whatever you do to my daughter I will do to you. Really?


If you’re like me you’ve probably seen this picture at least 20 times in your news feed by now. If not, well, count yourself lucky. It has been picked up by news outlets, shared on social media and perhaps most disturbingly touted as an example of good parenting by virtually all of them, including Seventeen Magazine.

You pretty much already know the story just from looking at the picture, it’s the tired trope of the overprotective dad. It is literally a joke (with a healthy side of “I’m not really joking”). You can find example after example with minimal effort.  I have even written about other examples in the past.

I know what some of you are thinking, and it is exactly what many of the articles written about this meme so far – “It’s really a great way of saying, “Haha, I’m cool and totally have a sense of humor. But, also, I’m watching you, buddy.””

But is it really a great way? Is it?

I don’t think it is.

I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. First and foremost it treats the daughter as a passive participant. “Whatever you do to my daughter.” Unless it is rape, it takes two to tango sir. Your daughter is a free moral agent, what she chooses to do or not to do with a boy is not only because it is what the boy has decided. To bypass your daughter and go straight to the boy and lay all the responsibility on his shoulders teaches your daughter all the wrong lessons. For one it teaches her she is a passive victim and at the whim of a boy, his hormones or any other peer pressure situation. In addition, it tells her that she is powerless in the relationship with this boy and that you feel he is the one in the relationship with all the power. If I am not mistaken, isn’t that the opposite of the message you are trying to send, sir?

The second thing I think is just plain weird/creepy about this is, “Whatever you do to my daughter, I will do to you”. Really? WHATEVER? What if they kiss? What if they get to second base? Or third? What if they have sex? What if they have oral sex? Sorry to be so graphic, but do you see how weird/creepy this is????? Seriously, ewwwwww. Why would anyone see this as an appropriate thing (much less a model of good parenting) for a parent  to say to the young man (or young woman) about to go to Homecoming with your daughter?