Showing posts from June, 2013

The Last Straw and the #Truth

It seems I still have more to say on this issue, so those who are tired of it already may want to just close this post now and avoid the next few.  I promise to move on to another subject soon, but having NOT written about this for ten years of ministry, I've built up a list of things to say.  And it seems that there is a segment of people who have been yearning for someone to write about this. 

So what was the straw, the final thing that made me break my silence?  I think it was the "fat-shaming professor," Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico, who tweeted, "Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth."

For the record, having written an M.A. thesis, a D.Min. thesis, and something over 300 sermons, I'm pretty sure that's not the #truth.  But I was raised by a fat man with a Ed.D.  He always told me what the hardest thing about finishing a d…

The Big Issue Simplified

A lot gets projected onto fat people.  And a lot gets projected onto people when they talk about fat.  So here's the nutshell version of what I was trying to say in my last post:
Be nicer to fat people.  Shaming people is not nice.  Shaming fat people is also not productive and helpful.  Truly.  Not.  Helpful. Judge not.  Period.   Really.  Stop judging other people.  Let go of some of the stereotypes you associate with fatness.  Like many stereotypes, you can find examples where they seem true, but they aren't always true.  Particularly look at your assumptions about willpower and laziness, but there are others you should challenge and let go of, as well.Fat is complicated, and varied, so avoid assuming that everyone can be fixed by your personal favorite simple solution or that your personal diagnosis or experience fits everyone, whether it is "diet and exercise," "calories in vs. calories out," "emotional eating," "addiction," or &quo…

The Big Issue

I’ve preached and blogged on a number of justice-related subjects over the dozen years that I’ve been in ministry. I’ve written about feminism, racism, classism, and homophobia. I’ve written about immigration and war and reproductive freedom and prison reform. I’ve written about religious intolerance and all sorts of types of bigotry. But there’s one issue I’ve always avoided writing about. I used it as a one-sentence illustration of a different issue once, but only, I think, once.

There are some prejudices that most of our society knows are wrong. Most people in our society know that racism is wrong, although there is still plenty of racism out there. And then there are issues that as a society we’re divided on, like homophobia, but where the liberal circles I’m in have a clear understanding that it’s wrong. But there are some prejudices that are still deemed completely acceptable. Those can be hard to write about, harder to speak up about, and hardest to confront when they’…