The Bee Stings Enforced ‘Joy’

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit Thursday against longtime florist Willie Pace for refusing to openly weep tears of joy at the mere thought of a same-sex wedding after a lesbian couple came into his shop to order flowers for their upcoming ceremony.

“As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” Ferguson said in a statement about the suit. “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation. If a representative of a business is within earshot of the mention of a same-sex wedding, past or future, and does not unabashedly weep from an overwhelming sensation of sheer delight and joy as the thought crosses his or her mind, this is a violation of the Act, and will not be tolerated.”

This lawsuit comes right on the heels of another filed in Washington just last month, after a Christian T-shirt printer refused to design shirts for, and then enthusiastically participate in, a gay pride parade in Seattle.

This is probably prophetic.

Free, From Brill- Women in the Bible, Qumran and Early Rabbinic Literature: Their Status and Roles

Available from Brill in their Open Access section

Women in the Bible, Qumran and Early Rabbinic Literature: Their Status and Roles explores the different attitudes toward the woman’s guilt for the expulsion from the Garden and human’s calamities and the legal ramifications of her lower social and legal status regarding independence, ownership and membership in the community.

Again, it’s free so why not download it?


“God is glad when the craftsman at his bench, the maid at the sink, the farmer at the plough, the dresser at the vines, the mother at the cradle break forth in hymns of prayer, praise and instruction.”—Katharina Schutz Zell

Do you have any strange quirks?

I’ll be honest. I have plenty of them. But it was only after I heard my 18-month-old daughter, mimicking a jaunty bathtime tune I had absentmindedly composed that I realized one of my more prominent quirks—I narrate my actions in song. As it turns out, I’m a walking musical, and not a particularly good one, either. And the worst part? It occasionally happens in public.

Barring rare cases of spontaneous musical output or maybe devout religious settings, the unabashed (and probably mediocre) singing of common people going about their business seems a bizarre thing.  Sure, it’s acceptable to have private jam sessions in the comfort of your car or shower, but shouldn’t public places be off limits?

This unwritten social norm wasn’t always the case. In fact, at some times and in some places, public outbursts of song were encouraged.

Though some reformers eschewed music, for others, like Martin Luther, it was “a gift of God to be nurtured and used by man for his delight and edification, as a means for giving praise of the Creator, and as a vehicle for the proclamation of God’s Word.”

Enjoy the remainder.

Is the Church of England Really in Decline?

No.  Diarmaid MacCulloch writes

Anglican cathedrals are booming, it’s not just the evangelicals who can fill a church and the little rural churches are more loved and cared for than they have ever been. The real spectacular decline has been in the traditional Free Churches. In other words, the story of English religion over the last century is of steep Evangelical decline. The C of E carries on.


The Dissolution of Marriage

The word ‘marriage’ used to mean something specific.  No longer.  Now it’s simply a term which describes everything from the union of a man and a woman to a union with yourself…  And before long, with your car or your dog or your 10 year old.  And no one will be able to raise an objection because when marriage means anything you want it to, it means nothing at all (which, by the way, is exactly how most people view marriage- as nothing at all).  But, take note, there is no ‘slippery slope’….   (ha).

When 38-year-old Sophie Tanner celebrated her second wedding anniversary on Tuesday, there were none of the usual trappings – no flowers or romantic meal for two; no hastily purchased card sealed with a kiss.

It’s not that her other half is remiss, but that on 16 May 2015, when the PR consultant took her vows on the steps of Brighton’s Unitarian Church, the person she swore to cherish for eternity was, well, herself.

“I literally had the idea when I was lying in bed recovering from flu and a bad relationship,” she remembers. “Everyone celebrates getting together with someone and becoming married, but there’s no milestone in society that celebrates escaping something awful or returning to your own happiness and contentment.”

Unitarian… that’s not surprising.