Rev. Jennifer D. Crumpton is an author, media commentator, columnist for Patheos and Huffington Post, and public speaker on topics at the intersection of women, religion, politics, social justice, and popular culture. After more than a decade as an advertising executive for Fortune 500 companies, she reconsidered her calling and went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, where she studied feminist theology, inter-faith social justice, and social/structural ethics. Jennifer is active in various organizations and publications around women's equality, multi-religious peace and security movements, and LGBTQ equality. Jennifer lives in New York City with her husband, Dave Ross, and is affiliated with Park Avenue Christian Church.
A Little More About The Writer:
I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama in the fundamentalist, evangelical Southern Baptist Church. I never knew anything other than hierarchical, male-dominant religion espoused as absolute truth. In my 20s, I started to experience some cognitive dissonance, as so many of us do with our traditions, over the way it affected my growth, self-worth, impact, and life as a female adult. I wondered why men were given authority, or more importance and gravity, over women? Why was there so much focus for women on smiling, being attractive and polite, having a "pristine reputation", and doing what we were told? Why were masses of wonderful people excluded from leadership and "salvation"? What really happened in Jesus' life, and what did it all mean before the Roman Empire made it a power-wielding, governing state religion?
I had major issues with the gap between my real life and religious doctrine, my authentic self and the way women were portrayed and expected to behave in the Bible, in church, and in community. Deep intellectual curiosity, open-hearted and open-minded exploration of the world, healthy personal choices and boundaries, and assertiveness toward goals and growth outside the norm felt so taboo. I was told, both verbally and by example, that God did not want us to be happy; "He" wanted us to follow the rules. Meanwhile, everything God had placed within me related to my purpose, calling, joys, loves, desires and needs -- what makes us God's unique creations and should have guided to me to my most impactful future -- was guilted and thwarted.
Sound familiar? We all have different circumstances, but many of have lost our way and forfeited our true callings and most fulfilled lives of joy and service because of ancient oppressive and biased religious dogma. And it's not just an individual experience; it is a structurally-saturated worldview still pervasive in our society across politics, education, business, entertainment, economics, and all types of long-standing institutions. For things to progress and get better, this has to change. It's up to us.
Later in life, after creating space and time for this questioning, and studying for my Master of Divinity at seminary, it became clear to me that all the elements of religion that diminished people could be understood for what they are, exposed, discussed and re-calibrated to an original intention: the partnering of humanity and divine love to bring the realm of God: what Jesus envisioned as a freeing of the captives, release of the slaves, a restoration of our higher vision, and a society in which all people are able to take their rightful place.
Since, I've worked for several global, inter-religious social justice organizations, such as Odyssey Networks, Intersections International, and International Center for Religion & Diplomacy. Now I'm focused on the true love God put in my heart: writing, telling stories that dig deep and give hope, and learning new things.
I write books; contribute to various publications; show up as a media commentator on channels like NewsMax, FOX, CNN, and Sirius XM; and freelance as a journalist for the Lifelong Learning business channel, Sarder TV. I've lived in NYC for more than a decade now, and it's my beloved home; but I love being outdoors, nature, animals, and any kind of water: oceans, lakes, rivers, or even just the Central Park Reservoir! I'm into yoga and reading, and fascinated by neuroscience and the beauty of our mysterious inclinations toward spiritual experiences.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and I look forward to getting to know you.