1449 posts categorized "Religion"

February 12, 2016

Catholic Bishops Not Obliged to Report Clerical Child Abuse, Vatican Says

February 09, 2016

LGBTIs and Christian hate: Welby and the Anglican Church need to pick a side

I couldn't agree more. There is a de facto schism in the Anglican Communion. Pandering to bigots will not and cannot help matters. If Welby is going to pretend otherwise, he should step down.

February 04, 2016

President Obama Speaks at National Prayer Breakfast

The President Speaks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore

President Obama was right to speak at an American mosque, as Jeb Bush agreed.

January 31, 2016

Bolivian Feminists Revolt Against Christianity

(Hat tip: Craig Howell)

January 30, 2016

Since Mormon church enacted anti-gay policy, 32 young LGBTI people have killed themselves

January 29, 2016

Former Australia PM to anti-gay group: Marriage must be kept 'undamaged'

Oh, so he's opposed to adultery and divorce? Nah, he's just against us. Phooey.

January 27, 2016

'An Eye For An Eye': Trump Shows How He Would Govern – Goes Old Testament On Fox Over

Indiana Senate Committee Kills Anti-Gay 'RFRA On Steroids' Bill

Five years later, Uganda's LGBT groups on David Kato’s murder

January 26 was the fifth anniversary of the brutal murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato. His colleagues have carried on with great courage and remarkable grace. Below is video from Kato's funeral in 2011, where his friends carried his coffin themselves.

January 25, 2016

Pope Francis reiterates opposition to same-sex marriage

Dear gay Catholics, His Holiness is not that into you.

January 18, 2016

A hazardous challenge at the heart of eloquence


Republicans praise him even as they work relentlessly to dismantle the social safety net. Their Martin is just a source of noble sentiments, safely emasculated and safely dead. But he did not get a national holiday and a national monument by being safe. He had to connect, yes, and his brilliance as an orator was evident the moment he stepped into the pulpit of Holt Street Baptist Church for a mass meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association on Dec. 5, 1955 to launch a bus boycott.

But key to his power and greatness was his challenge to the nation, evident in these words from that speech, which many in power took as a threat worth killing over. Only by taking up that challenge do we properly honor him.

My friends, I want it to be known that we're going to work with grim and bold determination to gain justice on the buses in this city.

And we are not wrong; we are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Imagine being that brilliant at age 26. It never ceases to provoke awe.

January 15, 2016

A voice still with us


Happy 87th birthday, Dr. King. We still hear your challenging voice.

What Pope Benedict Knew About Abuse in the Catholic Church

Photo by Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty)

As The New Yorker reports, the Church sexual abuse scandal got as close as to Benedict XVI's brother Georg Ratzinger, who was director of the Regensburg Choir when more than two hundred children were victimized there. But possibly the most damning case was that of Father Maciel:

Most cases of abuse were handled (or not handled) by local bishops and archbishops, but some were adjudicated by Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The most prominent of these cases was that of Father Marcial Maciel, a favorite of Pope John Paul II and the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a powerful Mexican religious order that, at its pinnacle, included eight hundred priests, fifteen universities, and a hundred and fifty prep schools, as well as a lay movement with a reported seventy thousand followers.

In the seventies and eighties, former members of the Legionaries reported that, as young boys, they had been sexually abused by Maciel. As the Church later acknowledged, the complainants were highly credible and had no ulterior motives: they were not seeking monetary compensation or notoriety. They followed Church procedures by filing formal charges through ecclesiastical courts in Rome, but nothing was done. In fact, Pope John Paul II called on Maciel to accompany him on papal visits to Mexico in 1979, 1990, and 1993.

When one of the former Legionaries expressed his frustration, in the lawsuit, about the Church’s inaction, Berry and Renner reported in their book, the Legionaries’ own canon lawyer, Martha Wegan, who made no secret that her first loyalty was to the Church, replied, “It is better for eight innocent men to suffer than for millions to lose their faith.”

(Hat tip: Craig Howell)

January 14, 2016

Anglican Church Suspends Its US Affiliate Over Same-Sex Marriage

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivers his Christmas Day sermon (Chris Ratcliffe / Getty Images)

BuzzFeed reports:

Leaders of the 80-million-member Anglican Communion decided Thursday to suspend its U.S. affiliate, the Episcopal Church, for a three-year period in response to a decision last year allowing priests to marry same-sex couples.

There can be no true communion with people if you have to abandon your conscience to preserve it. There is a de facto schism already. Our friend Bob Witeck writes:

America's Episcopal leaders are listening to their "better angels." They understand that people of faith alleviate pain, rather than add more to the world.

January 11, 2016

Roy Moore's last stand

He can't go soon enough to suit me. A disgrace to his profession.

LaBarbera: Biggest danger facing U.S. is 'gayria law'

Another pathetic, obsessive homophobe cannot face reality.

Anglican church could split over gay issue this week

If the alternative is more pandering to homophobia by Lambeth Palace, then it ought to split. What in heaven or earth is the point in pretending to a unity that is not there?

January 03, 2016

Nation that executed 47 people in one day sits on U.N. Human Rights Council

Ben Carson's new anti-gay campaign manager

I'm sure he and Carson advisor Armstrong Williams have a lot to talk about.

ISIS execute teenage boy for having sexual relations with ISIS leader

Kind of reminds me of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 where a woman who is raped is forced to marry her rapist.

The price of secularism in Bangladesh

Some extraordinarily brave people on the front lines in the fight against obscurantism.

December 30, 2015

Pastor says Hillary Clinton will turn kids gay

The Force is with her!

Ultra-Orthodox lawmakers boycott swearing in of Israel's new gay member of Knesset

December 29, 2015

2015: Year of the Arsonist

Reichstag fire, 1933 (Photo public domain; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

My year-in-review column went online today at the Blade. My summary blurb is "Historic progress met the usual backlash." Here's an excerpt:

"Set the motherfucker on fire!" That recent call by a Donald Trump rally goer concerning a black protester, with another attendee yelling "Sieg heil," illustrates the viciousness fueling Trump's presidential campaign. If you take this lightly, Google "lynching." It is not just that what happened in Europe in the last century could happen here; what happened here could happen again. Trump's incitements, and those of his rivals, do not just pander to intolerance, they spray gasoline on the fire.

Hate-spewing demagogues were not the year's only newsmakers, but they produced its most dangerous legacy. The demons they unleashed cannot easily be tamed. But the haters cannot win the general election unless the rest of us allow it. Before we head back into battle, let us review some positive developments of 2015, though with cautionary notes.

The landmark victory for nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, which President Obama celebrated by lighting the White House north front in rainbow colors, inspired opponents to switch tactics by pushing "religious freedom" laws (better dubbed "religious supremacy") to continue their anti-gay attacks. The Equality Act represented a new approach to LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, but stood no chance in a Republican-controlled Congress. Openly gay Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and several colleagues launched the smart, well-designed Campaign Zero policy website.

Read the whole thing here.

December 28, 2015

The Queen's Christmas broadcast 2015

At the risk of triggering my friends who are royal fetishists, I must share this annual message from Her Majesty, which I missed earlier due to being caught up in holiday merriment. As she quotes John 1:5, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." An ever-timely sentiment this rebel can embrace.

Respecting other people's holidays

(Photo by Craig Herndon/The Washington Post)

The lovely Jonathan Capehart reposted this item from last year and mentioned that he was enraged for hours once when a well-meaning white friend sent him a Kwanzaa card. Really? Someone this morning wished me a happy Boxing Day, a British occasion that's irrelevant to me, and I reacted with amusement and moved on. There are lots of things like that in life. I stopped being Christian in 1970, but I enjoy Christmas music, and I sang "Christmas is coming, goose is getting fat" which I learned fifty years ago from Harry Belafonte's Christmas album. Jonathan disdains Kwanzaa as a "made-up black holiday," but every holiday was made up by somebody. Thanksgiving was made up, but is celebrated by millions. I should note that Capehart only brought up the subject to criticize a Republican bomb-thrower who portrayed Kwanzaa as a big leftist conspiracy.

Granted, Kwanzaa is full of Marxist claptrap (imho), but most black people don't celebrate it according to surveys (maybe they are just spent from Christmas), and it's probably promoted more by white people trying to be inclusive. So if you don't have a kinara, don't remember the Nguzo Saba, and don't have cool African clothes to wear, then have some eggnog and Christmas cookies and relax.

Nonetheless, I learned from Maulana Karenga years ago that tonight's principal is Ujima, or collective work and responsibility. Swahili is a lovely language, about a third of its words from Arabic. Our own word "seven" is from the Arabic "Saba," which derives from Akkadian, a reminder that all cultures are influenced by others. In many cases, blood was shed, treasure and people were stolen, and missionaries covered it by converting people to the conqueror's religion. None of us has clean hands. But regardless of Christmas boycotts and different cultural observances, we are all bound up in the same economy. Whatever we call it and however we got here, most of us can agree that helping our neighbors is a good thing. Most of us, I suspect, also agree that Ann Coulter, who is far nastier than sweet Jonathan could ever be, can shove it up her ouya. Pardon my vulgarity, and happy whatever it is you are celebrating.

Americans are still attacking Sikhs because they think they’re Muslims

Doubly ignorant: we shouldn't be attacking Muslims as a group in the first place, much less mistaking members of a completely different religion for Muslims. This blind lashing out does no good and a great deal of harm.

America already is great

A fine bit of wisdom here.

December 23, 2015

Franklin Graham quits the GOP

They're not right-wing enough for him.

Kenyan Muslims protect Christians from massacre on embattled bus

The only way forward is together.

December 21, 2015

Slovenia heeds Francis, rejects marriage equality

If you are a gay Catholic and you still think the pope is a liberal, get help.

Africans' selective criticism of foreign meddling: anti-gay ok, pro-gay not ok

Naturally, the role of anti-gay American conservatives in fomenting anti-gay violence and oppression in Africa is buried way down in the article. That is an obscene distortion. It is a lie and a damnable lie for Africans to object to liberal interference while having no problem with conservative interference.

Evangelical slander merchant Scott Lively, who played a leading role in inspiring the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill, is facing trial for crimes against humanity. Let that be the headline. But it is infantilizing and subverts the cause not to hold Africans responsible for their own anti-LGBT bigotry. They need to be told again and again that it was homophobia that was introduced by colonialism. Gay and trans people were already there, all across the continent.

In any case the fight is on. Extraordinary leadership, courage, and grace are being shown by our brothers and sisters there. They tell us that withdrawal of aid is counterproductive, and we must listen. But selective objection to foreign meddling is bullshit and it's time to say so.

Finally, it's a lie to say that people didn't know about homosexuality in their midst. Whatever they called it, they damn well did know about it. If it has only recently been a source of controversy, blame that on exploitive American hate merchants like Lively, as well as on opportunistic African politicians.

December 16, 2015

You can get married by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in NZ

Today in faith.

December 11, 2015

Bronx priest stole more than $1M to pay for affair with boyfriend

Quite an amazing story. Somehow, I feel sure, Cardinal Dolan will find a way to blame the gay community, or an immoral society, for his institution's corruption and denial. Because the baked-in attitude throughout Mother Church is that it is, and must be, above the law.

Dominican cardinal can’t stop slurring US ambassador

Can you say discipline, Your Holiness?

Blade cover addresses Muslims: 'Trump Does Not Speak for Us'

December 09, 2015

The Daily Show: Trump is the White ISIS

George Takei on Donald Trump

Actor George Takei, who as a child during WWII was interned with his family in an American concentration camp, takes on Donald Trump. Below are clips from his new show about the internment camps, Allegiance.

December 08, 2015

Trump's bad sourcing

Well isn't this a shocker.