Tuesday, September 30, 2008



The liberal, biased media is at it again. This time with their typical religiously clueless attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin.

So, a number of years ago (2004), Kenyan Bishop Thomas Muthee called Palin to the front of the church to lay hands on her and pray for her. I know, how shocking!

First, let me acknowledge my own “background.” I am not Pentecostal or Charismatic. That said, at least I can respect the spiritual tradition and cultural background of Bishop Muthee and Gov. Palin.

By the way, Gov. Palin has not regularly attended the church (Wasilla Assembly of God) where this service occurred for a number of years. She has been a member for seven years at Wasilla Bible Church — “a nondenominational, Evangelical church.”

This is an example of the liberal media not only blowing out of proportion the nature of this prayer service, but also of their cultural insensitivity.

“What you saw was something very basic that happens in a Pentecostal church,” said Anthea Butler, a religion professor at the University of Rochester. “You would see this in any Pentecostal church on any given Sunday.”

Yep. But clueless Keith Olbermann called the video “terrifying” and said it made Rev. Jeremiah Wright look “pretty mainstream” in comparison. And just where did Olberman receive his theology degree?

And what about cultural insensitivity? Isn’t this the great PC mantra of the liberal left?

Some of Muthee’s beliefs come from his experiences in Kenya, where he and wife, Margaret, founded a church in a violent area on the outskirts of Nairobi in 1988.

“Witchcraft [Muthee, among many other things, prayed for victory over witchcraft in his prayer for Palin] is a sad reality in many parts of Africa, resulting in scores of deaths in Kenya over the past two decades,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement that chastised the media for its coverage of the video.

“Bishop Muthee’s blessing, then, was simply a reflection of his cultural understanding of evil. While others are not obliged to accept his interpretation, all can be expected to respect it. More than that, Muthee should be hailed for asking God to shield Palin from harmful forces, however they may be manifested,” Donohue’s statement said. “And for this he is mocked and Palin ridiculed?”

“I don’t know why they are making a big thing out of it,” Olupana said of the media reaction to the video. “Witchcraft as part of a belief system is real to the people who live there,” he said, noting that there was “nothing unusual about what happened.”

Yes, Keith Olbermann and others like him are once again clueless about the normalcy of such a prayer service for millions of Pentecostal Americans. They are also clueless and culturally insensitive (biased, judgmental, arrogant) about the spiritual values of Kenyon Bishop Muthee.

So, who really is “Legally Blonde” here? That pejorative moniker has been hung around Gov. Palin’s neck by Olbermann and his ilk. Yet, Olbermann shows just how spiritually clueless and culturally “legally blonde” he is with his uneducated, insensitive, biased, and unsophisticated rants against Gov. Palin and Bishop Muthee.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Listening to the Silenced Voices

For far too long, church history has been HIS-story. For far too long, the powerful, empowering voices of women have been silenced. It is a sad pattern that we can trace back all the way to Hagar!

Her Story of HIS Story

Fortunately, a fair and balanced study of church history shows that women have always been about the business of helping hurting and hardened people. Women have always spoken God’s truth in love to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

It’s time for church history once again also to be Her-story!

That’s why my co-author (Susan Ellis) and I have penned Sacred Friendships: Listening to the Voices of Women Soul Care-Givers and Spiritual Directors. In it you read about fifty-two amazing women. No longer are their voices silenced.

What Others Are Saying

Here’s what Professor Cathering Mueller-Bell of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary has to say about Sacred Friendships.

“Sacred Friendships is a refreshing portrayal and celebration of the impact that women have made in the lives of others that has reflected the image of God in the healing process for those who are suffering. At last we see a book that promotes the fusion of biblical truth and loving grace as the foundation for the complexities of the sanctification process. Sacred Friendships unveils the rich heritage of diverse women in Christian ministry from a global, developmental perspective which informs a model of soul care that is powerful by suggesting an approach that provides all of the elements necessary for authentic spiritual transformation.”

Listen to what Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School and Senior Editor of Christianity Today says about Sacred Friendships.

“Robert Kellemen and Susan Ellis have done a masterful job bringing together here the stories and voices of Christian women throughout the history of the church. A wonderful anthology of women’s voices. They steer an amazing course between feminist misreadings on the one hand and irresponsible neglect on the other. A superb presentation! I am sending the table of contents to all our Beeson faculty members encouraging them to look for the book.”

Benefit Now

For a 50% off e-copy you can visit:


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin: Sexism Then and Now

Sarah Palin: Sexism Then and Now

I have a confession to make. I’m upset. Yes, angry at the sexist, biased, and vicious coverage of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Readers of my blog know how hard I work to stay out of politics. But you also know how hard I work to be a voice for the voiceless—to speak up for minorities and the oppressed.

Sarah Palin is being oppressed by the bigoted, biased, arrogant media.

Well, history is on her side. Consider just a few quotes from and about great women in church history—quotes collated from my latest book, Sacred Friendships: Listening to the Voices of Soul Care-Givers and Spiritual Directors.

“Just because I am a woman, must I therefore believe that I must not tell you about the goodness of God” (Julian of Norwich).

“Women’s history has certainly come a long way in a very short time. Perhaps the reason for this phenomenal progress is the fact that so much of it was there, just waiting to be rescued from obscurity by interested historians.”

“‘Where were the women?’ ‘What did they have to say?’ ‘How did they shape the life and thought of the church?’ For many of us, the courses we took in church history or the history of Christian theology left these questions unanswered.”

“Books surveying the history of Christianity have been traditionally ‘his stories’—describing the flaws and celebrating the achievements of great theologians, eloquent preachers, and powerful administrators.”

Here’s the thing. Women have always been pushed down. This is especially true of strong women who dare to think for themselves, who dare to act on their convictions.

Take just one such example from the courageous life of Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin is clearly pro-life. She was so pro-life that she carried a Down Syndrome fetus to term despite the usual medical pressure to have him aborted. To the pro-choice media and establishment this only proves she is an extremist on the abortion issue. To most people who fall in the middle, this says “here is a woman who is true to her convictions.” But, nowhere does the standard media narrative about America break down more than on her “feminist” posture. The standard media and establishment argument is that she really can't be a feminist because she is pro-life. But, the public saw a rather rugged husband who gave up his 20-year stint as an oil worker for BP to become the primary care giver for their five children when she became Governor. To real people making real life decisions, that is a powerful statement about gender issues.

How ironic. How revealing. The supposedly enlightened press still lives in the dark ages when it comes to allowing a woman to have her own mind, to demonstrate the courage of her convictions.

[1]Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, 11.
[2]Ranft, A Woman’s Way, 1.
[3]Oden, In Her Own Words, 11.
[4]MacHaffie, Her Story, xi.
[5]Lawrence B. Lindsey, “The Public, the Press, and Palin,” The Weekly Standard, 9/3/08.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Living Her Pro-Life Convictions

Living Her Pro-Life Convictions

Twice within less than one week Governor Sarah Palin, Republican VP Candidate, has demonstrated that she lives her pro-life convictions. Whether one is a Republican or a Democratic, an Independent or a Libertarian, all should agree that applause and props are due any candidate who actually lives what they believe, rather than live according to political expediency.

When first nominated by Senator John McCain, the news came out that Governor Palin’s fifth child had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome—early enough that she and her husband could have chosen the “legal” route of terminating the life of this child. Mom and Dad Palin chose life.

Then today, the news tumbles out that Governor Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. While millions would shout, “abort!” the Palin family has expressed their full support for their daughter, who plans to marry the father and give birth to their unborn child.

As Senator Obama wisely and fairly has noted, his own mother became pregnant with him out of wedlock when she was eighteen. So this is not a partisan issue—Obama’s now-deceased mother also chose life.

On a related issue, some now are charging Governor Palin with guilt because she believes in abstinence-only education. In the political, “gotcha’ mentality,” they claim, without any logical or statistical foundation, that this somehow proves how naïve abstinence-only education truly is. As if other forms of sex-ed somehow guarantee that young people will not have sex outside of marriage? Please, get real.

What we have here is consistency. Like her views or not, Governor Palin lives her convictions, walks her talk, has the courage of her convictions. Props all the way.