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Patheos: Series on Global Health and Humanitarian Aid

carHealth crises in the Global South cannot be underreported. In the United States, they get far, far too little media attention, proportionate to the amount of coverage of the latest fad diet or cosmetic surgery trend. For example, 780 million people do not have access to clean water. 3.4 million die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene related causes. How many stories have you seen in the last year in American media about water in the developing world? You can probably count them on one hand.

Health care is a moral issue. That’s what makes it, by nature, a religious issue. So I’ve made global health and humanitarian aid the focus of an ongoing series of articles as part of my work on journalism of religion at Stories Untold.

“People become the poem” – Interview with Syrian-American Poet Amal Kassir

Central African Republic Needs Humanitarian Help Urgently

Religion, Healing, and Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea

How a 19th Century Sufi Inspires Algerian Youth to Write about Human Rights

How Episcopal Leaders Made a Deal with the New York Post to Misreport on Sexual Miconduct

Note: this essay contains references to sexual assault and gender-based violence. Last update: January 7, 2016.
Starting in 2011, a pastor, now a priest, named Ginger Strickland, and her bishop, Pierre Whalon, as well as a number of other Episcopal Church officials, tried to cover up a sexual misconduct case in Paris and New York, in which I was the victim and which I originally brought to light. They used every tactic they could: invoking lawyers, pressuring newspapers, shutting off contact with me, physically barring me from church buildings, publishing false stories, emotional bullying, gaslighting, and so forth. These machinations may have, indeed, typically worked, 25 years ago, to suppress priest misconduct allegations. But nowadays we have the Internet, which allows most anyone to publish anything to the world. So, powerful people cannot cover things up the way they used to — and you, and I, and the rest of us regular people, are all the better off for it. Continue reading “How Episcopal Leaders Made a Deal with the New York Post to Misreport on Sexual Miconduct” »


Kathy Boudin

In April 2013, a number of media outlets pounced on Columbia University for employing Kathy Boudin. She’s a former member of the Weather Underground, a radical leftist group, and she participated in a 1981 botched robbery that left three people dead. In 1984 she was convicted of murder, and was released on parole in 2003. In 2008, Columbia’s School of Social Work hired her as an adjunct professor. Robert Redford’s film The Company You Keep  triggered happened to be being released in April 2013 while these media outlets began to focus their lasers on Boudin.

Since I’m a Columbia student, I have unusually good source access to this case. So I took it upon myself to try to separate the truth from the fiction in the press about Kathy Boudin. The following series of articles was the result:

Kathy Boudin: An Analysis from the Columbia Campus

Nine Columbia Students Interviewed About Kathy Boudin I

Nine Columbia Students Interviewed About Kathy Boudin II



Prompted by an editor who has worked at NGOs for years fighting human trafficking, this series started with an interview with an Evangelical megapastor, and then an academic who raises questions about whether Evangelicals are monopolizing American anti-trafficking efforts. A lively debate proceeded from there, which took us from Nepal to South Africa and back to New York City.

Samuel Rodriguez on a Global Evangelical Movement to End Human Trafficking

Are Evangelicals Monopolizing, Misleading US Anti-Trafficking Efforts?

Tim Dalrymple and John Mark Reynolds, Philosophical Fragments: Surprise! Evangelical Efforts Against Sex-Trafficking are “Colonialist”!

Derek Rishmawy, Christ and Pop Culture: Sex-Trafficking, Evangelical “Colonialism”, and the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Derek Rishmawy (for Philosophical Fragments)Sex-Trafficking, Evangelical “Colonialism”, and the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Laura Agustín, The Naked Anthropologist: Chink in the Evangelical wall: Sex trafficking, colonialism and Christian ethics

Morgan Guyton, Mercy not Sacrifice: Sex-trafficking, colonialism, and miscommunication

Are American Anti-human Trafficking Efforts on Shaky Moral Ground?

How Buddhist Nuns Fight Human Trafficking in Nepal

Proselytizing While Fighting Trafficking: Human Rights Violation?

Republication of How Buddhist Nuns Fight Human Trafficking in Nepal by tricycle, a Buddhist journal based in New York City

A Code of Conduct for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Humanitarian Help and Joining a Church: Quid Pro Quo?



It was suggested to me that I interview popular preacher R.J. Sproul, Jr., about his new DVD series, Economics for Everybody. The interview ultimately raised not just questions about goods and services, but about how clerics use their discipline to try to promote economic ideologies.

How is Religion Used to Justify an Economic Ideology?



This conversation began when I interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills about his new book, Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition. The interview occurred just prior to the Papal Conclave following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The interview prompted reaction from the Roman Catholic left and right as well as American Anglicans, all of whom gave their thoughts about the priesthood from a theological, historical, and anthropological perspective.

Garry Wills on Priests, Popes, Secrecy, and the Internet

Kurt Wiesner, The Episcopal Café: More on priests with Gary Wills

The Secrets of the Conclave… and the Church

“Jesus did not don gold cloaks”: the Future of the Papacy

Pope Francis’ Jesuit origins prompted a follow-up interview with J. Patrick Hornbeck, II, a theology professor at the Jesuit Fordham University in the Bronx:

What Do The Jesuits REALLY Think About Pope Francis?