1330 posts categorized "Religion"

August 28, 2015

Pope Francis gives blessing to author of gay children's book

Another charming gesture by Pope Francis. That is fine as far as it goes; but I am a policy man, and pastoral gestures are not enough. He will be in D.C. three weeks from now as part of his visit to the United States. The closest I expect to get is when he visits St. Matthew's Cathedral, which is three blocks south of my apartment. I wish him well, and certainly consider him a vast improvement over his predecessor. But I am now 59. I was 23 when I first was in D.C. during a papal visit in 1979. I long ago stopped waiting for what my friend Craig calls Holy Mother the Church, Inc. to reform itself. I send my best wishes to those who made a different choice and continue to push for change from within the community of the faithful.

August 27, 2015

Appeals court: Rowan County clerk can't keep denying marriage licenses during appeal

August 24, 2015

Some Duke Freshmen Won't Read Graphic Novel 'Fun Home' Because of 'Moral Christian Beliefs'

Perhaps they thought they were at Liberty University.

August 23, 2015

Islamic State blows up ancient temple at Syria’s Palmyra ruins

These barbarians need to be exterminated before they destroy every intiquity in the Mideast. Astonishing that anyone is willing to embrace any faith or worship any God that demands of them such atrocities.

Gay Rights and the Race Analogy

An essay by John Corvino.

RNC endorses 'Indiana on steroids' religious freedom bill

Thousands rally in Kentucky against anti-gay county clerks

Ellen Page confronts Ted Cruz: 'You’re discriminating against LGBT people'

Sen. Cruz simply turns the truth on its head and portrays discriminators as victims of persecution. That only makes sense if gay people are not human beings, or not rightful citizens, or if there is no secular public space. What Cruz and others call religious freedom is really religious supremacy for them over the rest of us. We have no choice but to fight back.

August 18, 2015

Police Units Blame Each Other For Security Failures At Jerusalem Pride

August 15, 2015

Israel's Threat from Within

La-fg-israel-girl-dies-gay-parade-20150802-004
(Photo by Sebastian Scheiner / Associated Press)

My latest column for Bay Windows looks at how home-grown fanaticism is isolating the Jewish state. Here is an excerpt:

A pair of recent atrocities by Israeli terrorists (which is what they must be called) underscores the futility of diverting attention from the country's oppression of Palestinians by emphasizing its pro-gay policies.

The fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Shira Banki at Jerusalem Pride, and the firebombing death of Palestinian Sa'ad Dawabshe and his baby son, Ali Dawabshe, in a West Bank village, point to increased Israeli fanaticism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appropriately denounced the attacks, but that is small comfort coming from a man who has done so much to stoke the extremism that led to the crimes.

The deluge of threats against Israeli President Reuven Rivlin after he condemned the violence demonstrates that vigils for the victims are not enough. The present situation disturbingly echoes the one 21 ago when a right-wing extremist killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as he left a peace rally. At the time, Netanyahu eloquently said that bullets would not be allowed to determine the course of government, but in fact they did.

Israel is isolating itself more and more, including from American Jews, and failing to address internal threats for which it has planted the seeds. Netanyahu's pledge in March never to return occupied land was not just an election ploy. Israel continues to build new West Bank settlements while knocking down Palestinians' houses and cutting down their olive groves. In light of this, expressions of horror are unconvincing.

Read the whole thing here.

August 11, 2015

Stabber who killed teen at Jerusalem Pride admitted to psychiatric ward

August 05, 2015

When it comes to latte, Pastor Manning has a discerning palate

James David Manning of ATLAH World Missionary Church, it appears, is a connoisseur.

August 04, 2015

Swiss bishop says Bible 'unambiguously' calls for executing homosexuals

Actually, the Bible calls for blood on lots of different heads. The bishop wouldn't be cherry picking, would he?

Dear @Pontifex, if this guy still has a job when you visit the USA next month, spare me the nicey-nice shtick. I am going against popular sentiment when I express my suspicion that your tolerant talk is mostly just window dressing; but I would love to be proven wrong.

August 01, 2015

Rallies for victims of Jerusalem stabbing held in major Israeli cities

Also: Aeyal Gross in Haaretz on Why the Israeli government’s condemnation of Jerusalem Gay Pride attack is hollow.

July 31, 2015

Jewish Extremists Suspected in West Bank Arson That Killed Palestinian Toddler

If you are an American taxpayer, your tax dollars are helping to subsidize the West Bank occupation (now in its 49th year) that perpetuates this.

Interview with #JerusalemPride organizer who witnessed attack

July 30, 2015

Could the Vatican be ready to back civil unions?

I confess I am caring less and less what the Vatican does.

July 28, 2015

What does Islam say about being gay?

Mustafa Akyol writes in NYT.

This just in: evangelist bigot objects to exporting immorality

Franklin Graham, who profiteered off the charity Samaritan's Purse, thinks people who agree with his noxious views should have a monopoly to talking overseas.

Bishop comes out as gay after a 'lifetime of denying' the truth

Bishop Kevin Kanouse of the Evangelical Lutheran Church plans to remain married to his wife. Just a guess, but it sounds as if his coming out is not quite done. But best wishes to him and his wife.

Georgia pastor has no time for anti-LGBT hypocrites

Pastor went all the way there.

Mormon Church may leave the Boy Scouts over end of ban on gay leaders

I was going to just say buh-bye, but the fact is that this will hurt kids and help no one. A lovely approach to religion.

Gay and transgender Catholics seek meeting with @Pontifex in September

July 23, 2015

Betty Bowers: Charity scams belong to religion!

America's Best Christian strikes again.

Unmasking the religious right war on gay America

Alvin McEwen exposes the lies behind the First Amendment Freedom Act.

Gov. Beshear to county clerks: do your job or resign

Thank you, Governor.

July 14, 2015

Rev. Cedric Harmon testifies for Death with Dignity Act

Our friend Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, who was on the steering committee for D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, and is co-director of Many Voices, testified on July 10 in support of the Death with Dignity Act of 2015. Thanks to him.

Philadelphia Archbishop calls firing of lesbian teacher 'common sense'

Dear @Pontifex, if this what we can expect from your archbishops, the Roman Catholic Church will slide further and further into irrelevance in the West. Despite your manifest pastoral gifts, I note your conservative history and doubt that you have any intention to change Church doctrine on women or homosexuality. I am prepared to have my mind changed, but not from wishful thinking. This isn't cutting it.

July 13, 2015

Scott Walker says his presidential run is God's plan

So a voice in Scott Walker's head told him to run for president. This guy was twice elected governor of Wisconsin. First, thank you cheeseheads. Second, could the GOP get any worse? I'm sure the answer will come any day now.

Santorum calls for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage

This is the disconnect of fanatics like Santorum. He cannot accept the fact that a growing majority of Americans support marriage equality. How does he expect to pass the amendment? He really doesn't understand that he lives in a republic, and that he lost the argument.

July 10, 2015

You can just feel the pastoral care

If there is a God and this is what He demands from His followers, then He already knows that I am His sworn enemy. How anyone can believe this contemptible rubbish escapes me.

GLAA testifies for Death with Dignity Act

Today at a hearing of the D.C. Council Committee on Health and Human Services, I will testify for GLAA in support of Councilmember Mary Cheh's Death with Dignity Act. I will be accompanied by former GLAA president Craig Howell, who drafted our testimony. Here's a passage from the ending:

The Humanist magazine reported last December that Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu publicly "declared himself in favor of assisted dying should he ever find himself terminally ill or in a situation of unbearable suffering." Stephen Hawking, probably the most famous differently-abled person in the world, has said he too might one day want to exercise his right to die: "To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity."

The openly gay retired Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, writes, "There is nothing innately good about allowing 'nature' to take its course in a prolonged and painful journey to an inevitable death. It doesn't make you a better person because you endured the indignity and trauma of it."

Contrary to Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, this legislation is not based on a "eugenic philosophy" but on compassion and respect. We urge its passage.

The bill is based on a 1997 Oregon statute, and includes appropriate safeguards to prevent coercion or other abuses. The experience in Oregon and other right-to-die states should allay concerns in this regard. Read GLAA's testimony here.

July 09, 2015

Anti-gay priest caught lying over hidden spy camera in men’s bathroom

Another clerical moralist exposed as a hypocrite and predator.

American Muslims are helping black churches rebuild after outbreak of fires

Admirable.

(Hat tip: Mark Thompson, Make It Plain)

Dead-ender tries to pray away marriage equality

Wingnut Janet Porter thinks she can pray away the SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

July 03, 2015

Nutty fundie lady wants you to stop getting married right now!

This car wreck of a viral video demonstrates the craziness of believing you own God's truth. This lady, Becky Wegner Rommel (who some say is from Michigan and some from Indiana), cannot stand the fact that even a majority of Christians supports marriage equality. They can't be Christian! Because she says so! A nice touch is when she quotes a non-existent biblical passage while rebuking us for not reading the Bible, which for some reason she seems to think holds unquestionable authority over our lives. A mind is a terribly thing to waste.

July 02, 2015

The Worst Reactions to Marriage Equality

Matt Baume at AFER looks at our 'winger friends who are losing their heads over the marriage equality victory.

Episcopal Church allows weddings for same-sex couples

Congrats to Bishop Gene Robinson and all who worked to achieve this.

July 01, 2015

The President Sings of Grace

Ap_barack_obama_charleston_amazing_grace_jc_150626_16x9_992
(David Goldman/AP Photo)

My latest column looks at the momentous events of last week and at how justice comes from recognition, as the president put it, of ourselves in each other. Here's a portion:

President Obama had the best week of his career last week, with victories on trade, fair housing, healthcare and marriage equality that cemented his legacy. But instead of taking a victory lap, he capped his week with a eulogy in the form of a sermon on grace.

Black churches have figured prominently in my thoughts lately. On Stonewall Sunday, going through my Twitter feed, I found a joint Father's Day sermon delivered the week before by the Revs. Otis Moss II and III at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. In addition to being LGBT-affirming, Trinity is famous for its tradition of prophetic preaching, thanks to video loops of its previous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, that roiled the 2008 presidential campaign.

Near the close of Justice Anthony Kennedy's marriage opinion, he gave a nod to Jim Obergefell: "As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death." Outside the court, Obergefell held a photo of his late husband and took a call from the president. The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," tacitly embracing the words above the court's entrance: "Equal Justice Under Law."

The act of domestic terror that took the president to South Carolina later that day was intended by its perpetrator to start a race war. As Obama noted, however, when Dylann Roof murdered pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney and eight other members of Charleston's Emanuel A.M.E. Church at a Bible study meeting, he did not account for the power of grace.

Read the whole thing here.

June 30, 2015

What Mother Church needs is not nicer words but change in doctrine

It would be nice if the bishops had the grace to use that text. But what is needed is doctrinal change, and there is no evidence that the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church have any intention of budging. Life is just too short.