bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

and other lies I’ve loved

February 22nd, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m only a few chapters into this memoir but I’m already struck by it. Kate Bowler, a 35 year old divinity professor and mother and wife, was raised in a strong Christian family, spent her 20s and 30s researching and writing about prosperity gospel, the idea that the more you love and serve God, the more he blesses your life with riches. After giving birth to her son, she found out she had stage four colon cancer, and is currently in the process of dying. She says she wouldn’t have had the ‘hubris’ to write this book without if it weren’t for this. It’s a book about how dying has shaped her faith, how it’s gotten her to a deeper, less presentational relationship with it.  I don’t know the thesis yet as I haven’t finished it, but I love this part and so I have to share:

‘There is something so American about the Show and Tell of our daily lives. A big house means you work hard. A pretty wife means you must be a rich. A subscription to the New York Times shows you must be smart. And when you’re not sure, there will always be bumper stickers to point out who has the honor roll student and who finished a marathon. America likes its shopping malls big and its churches even bigger, and every Starbucks in every lobby proves that Jesus cares about brewing the best. Sometimes I saw this idea under the banner of family values…It was the way the women boasted about their fat cheeked babies and their little boys in bow ties. It was in the way that the pastor displayed his wife and child in the front row and asked his little Jennifer to sing the solo: “Isn’t she talented, folks?’ It was in the way people bought tidy mansions with extra guest rooms in case a refugee sponsored by a church needed to stay a night. Christmas cards were prosperity gospels writ miniature, stacks of pictures of a family in matching denim sitting on lightly distressed couches in fields of waving wheat. Does every field in America have a photo couch? But I was taken with the white light brightening their smiles as they turned to each other and laughed. They were the good news.”

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