Melissa Browning

Environmental Issues

Man of Steel: Apocalyptic Eco-Justice?

By on June 17, 2013
When it comes to superhero allegiance, our house sides with the Justice League. From the time my partner was given a Superman cape as a 5-year-old, he has always been a big fan. I bought him a Superman tattoo for Christmas the first year we were married. Ten years later when our daughter was born, we decorated her nursery with Wonder Woman posters and paraphernalia. We wanted her to look up from her crib and see a character created as a symbol against Patriarchy — a strong woman who (mostly) used reason rather than violence to bring about justice. Just to be sure the image was safe, we skipped the weak 1960s incarnation of Wonder Woman as Diana Prince working in a clothing boutique!

Bless All the Dear Children

By on February 17, 2013
At the Christmas carol and candlelight service our family goes to each year, I had a hard time singing “Away in a Manger.” The very mention of children, the image of a baby in a manger, reminded me of Newtown. The third verse of the song was where I had to stop singing: Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
Environmental Issues

Climate Change and Setting the World on Fire

By on February 10, 2013
It was Earth Day, 1988. I was in my fifth grade “Earth Science” class, a place where one might expect to talk about the importance of caring for the earth. But this was not what we were talking about that day. At least, we weren’t talking about it until one student asked our teacher about the hole in the ozone layer and whether or not she should stop using hairspray. Our science teacher replied by saying that hairspray wasn’t a problem because the end of the world was coming and the whole earth would be consumed by fire anyway.
Activism LGBTQ

The Nugget Boycott: Week Two

By on August 1, 2012

This post originally appeared at Huffington Post on August 1, 2012

It’s been two weeks. I’m nearly through the detox period. OK, I’m exaggerating. I do (usually) eat other things…


2 Samuel 11:1-15: The Story of Patriarchy and HIV/AIDS

By on July 29, 2012
This week, more than 20,000 people are meeting in our nation's capital for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. Activists, doctors, people living with HIV and AIDS, development workers, theologians, social scientists and all kinds of folks are currently attending this event. In the 31 years since the discovery of HIV and AIDS, nearly 30 million people have died from the virus with 34 million peoplecurrently living with the disease. The epidemic is at its worst in sub-Saharan Africa, and women are affected the most. In fact, 59% of people living with HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are women. Statistics like these are mind-numbing. Though necessary, they can nearly cripple our response as they point to the inefficacy of our actions. This is why, when I teach or write on HIV and AIDS, I prefer to tell stories. And as people of faith, we need stories, both ancient and new, to help us navigate our response to social issues such as HIV and AIDS.