Post(s) tagged with "religion"

Homos for the Holidays: A Religion Survival Guide ⇢

(via HuffPo and written Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, Ph.D)

Your daughter and her new girlfriend have joined you and your extended family for a holiday feast. You’re thrilled that they agreed to come. But your favorite uncle apparently didn’t get the memo about how great it would be to have a lesbian couple sitting at the table. Somewhere between the hors d’oeuvres and main course, he starts grumbling about how “crimes against nature” and “abominations” are ruining his holiday.

Do you: a) fake a migraine and escape to your bedroom for two hours; b) switch the topic to politics, which would surely be easier to talk about than this; or c) adopt a non-anxious, self-confident posture as you calmly explain why God has no problem with your daughter’s relationship and neither should anyone else?

I imagine most people would like to choose option “C,” but far too few feel sufficiently prepared to do it. I don’t recommend delivering a lecture on this topic over dinner. But if you’re worried about entertaining homos for the holidays, here’s a brief religion survival guide that can help soothe the family conversations. Just imagine chatting with your beloved uncle over eggnog. Whenever he makes one of the following claims (as he likely will), just respond calmly and lovingly in return, like this:

Uncle Claim #1: The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality.

Your Calm Response: Lots of people think exactly the same thing! But did you know that most biblical scholars agree that biblical writers never addressed gay and lesbian relationships as we know them today? The word “homosexuality” wasn’t even invented until the late 19th century. Biblical writers cared much more about guarding against idolatry and condemning social and economic injustice than worrying about who fell in love with whom. Want to talk about year-end bonuses for Wall Street moguls?

Uncle Claim #2: But wait, God destroyed Sodom because of all that gay sex, right?

Your Calm Response: Actually, in the story of Sodom in Genesis 19, all the men of Sodom attempt to gang-rape some foreign visitors. As in rape cases today, this act is not about sexuality but about violence, power, and the hatred of strangers. All the references to this story in the rest of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) confirm that the “sin” of Sodom was hatred of foreigners, pride, and abuse of the poor. No sexual “sin” is mentioned in any of these later references to the story of Sodom’s destruction. You know, biblical writers would probably urge us to discuss U.S. immigration policy if we’re going to talk about “sodomy.”

Uncle Claim #3: Well, OK. Still, the Bible clearly supports heterosexual marriage as the ideal.

Your Calm Response: I used to think so, too! But did you know that the primary form of marriage in the Hebrew Bible is polygamy, with the prize going to King Solomon, who was said to have 700 wives and 300 concubines? I was really surprised to realize that in the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul were unmarried and childless and seemed to recommend that everyone else follow their example (the best thing Paul could think to say about marriage is that it cures lust; take a look at 1 Corinthians 7). Actually, we could talk about the amazing biblical stories of same-sex devotion concerning Jonathan and David or Ruth and Naomi!

Uncle Claim #4: Then why did God create Adam and Eve, you know, rather than Adam and Steve?

Your Calm Response: Have you met Steve? He’s fabulous… OK, just kidding. But think about this: the biblical creation stories in Genesis never mention same-sex relationships of any kind. The purpose of those stories is to show that God is the creator of everything that exists — don’t you think that this would include people who have a sexual orientation towards others of the same sex? And think about the creation story in Genesis 2. That chapter seems to say that the explicit purpose of creating sexual partners is not for the procreation of children but instead for the relief of loneliness. Same-sex relationships fulfill that purpose of creation as well as different-sex relationships do — just look at your grand-niece! Doesn’t she seem happy with her girlfriend?

Uncle Claim #5: Of course she does! But the Church won’t accept her relationship!

Your Calm Response: You know what? Lots of churches will! And you know what else? The Church has never really figured out what to say about marriage. Way back in the first few centuries of Christianity, the Church actually elevated celibacy as the spiritual ideal, not marriage. Only in the medieval world and especially in the Protestant Reformation during the 16th century did Christians start to talk about marriage as a significant Christian vocation. Today, lots of churches recognize same-sex relationships as a blessing just like heterosexual couples are. But right now, dear uncle, don’t you think the most important thing is to make my daughter and her girlfriend feel welcome here, in our family?

Your holiday conversation probably won’t go exactly like that. But here’s the most important thing: religion is supposed to draw us together, create community, and deepen our love for one another. You love your uncle, and you love your lesbian daughter. Religion should never force you to choose between them. That’s the good news of religion this holiday season: God loves LGBT people just as much as your beloved uncle. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Baptist Minister Protests Lack of Marriage Equality 
A lesbian minister in North Carolina has joined the ranks of those willing to officiate marriage ceremonies but not sign licenses until gay couples’ marriages have the same legal recognition as heterosexual ones.Nancy Petty (pictured), pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, recently told her congregation she would prefer that straight couples have a magistrate at the local courthouse sign their license. She is waiting to hear if church deacons will endorse her position and if a vote of the congregation will be necessary, the Associated Press reports.“I’m perpetuating what I believe is an unjust law,” Petty said. “I don’t sign birth certificates. I don’t sign death certificates. I do baptisms. I do funerals. There’s no other ritual of the state that I have to sign a document.”Pullen Memorial has a history of progressive activism; its leaders opposed segregation and the Vietnam War. It has blessed same-sex unions since 1992 and was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention for doing so.Petty, the church’s first woman pastor, estimates that she has conducted about 75 marriages for straight couples and an equal number of holy unions for same-sex pairs since she began her tenure in 2002. It is one of the few churches in North Carolina that will perform same-sex unions. “I have people drive here from all over the state,” Petty said.In April a Disciples of Christ congregation in Louisville, Ky., announced that its ministers would no longer sign marriage licenses, as a protest against marriage inequality.

Baptist Minister Protests Lack of Marriage Equality

A lesbian minister in North Carolina has joined the ranks of those willing to officiate marriage ceremonies but not sign licenses until gay couples’ marriages have the same legal recognition as heterosexual ones.

Nancy Petty (pictured), pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, recently told her congregation she would prefer that straight couples have a magistrate at the local courthouse sign their license. She is waiting to hear if church deacons will endorse her position and if a vote of the congregation will be necessary, the Associated Press reports.

“I’m perpetuating what I believe is an unjust law,” Petty said. “I don’t sign birth certificates. I don’t sign death certificates. I do baptisms. I do funerals. There’s no other ritual of the state that I have to sign a document.”

Pullen Memorial has a history of progressive activism; its leaders opposed segregation and the Vietnam War. It has blessed same-sex unions since 1992 and was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention for doing so.

Petty, the church’s first woman pastor, estimates that she has conducted about 75 marriages for straight couples and an equal number of holy unions for same-sex pairs since she began her tenure in 2002. It is one of the few churches in North Carolina that will perform same-sex unions. “I have people drive here from all over the state,” Petty said.

In April a Disciples of Christ congregation in Louisville, Ky., announced that its ministers would no longer sign marriage licenses, as a protest against marriage inequality.

Source: advocate.com

Canadian Lutheran convention votes to allow gay ministers, blessing of same-sex marriages ⇢

SASKATOON - Delegates attending the biennial convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have voted to allow gays and lesbians to become ministers.

The delegates voted 205 to 114 in favour of a motion that states sexual orientation is not in itself a factor that disqualifies a candidate for the church’s ministry.

The motion rescinds ones from past conventions which disqualified candidates from ordination if they were self-declared, practising homosexuals.

The delegates also voted 192 to 132 to allow ministers to conduct or bless same-sex marriages, according to their consciences and the laws of their provinces.

Delegates sang “Lord Listen to Your Children Pray” while ballots for the same-sex marriage motion were being cast.

Close to 500 Lutherans and guests have been meeting in Saskatoon since Thursday for the convention.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to permit non-celibate gays and lesbians to become clergy in the summer of 2009.

Church of Scotland lifts moratorium on gays and lesbians becoming ministers ⇢

Scotland’s largest protestant church has voted to allow gay men and lesbians to become ministers.

The Church of Scotland imposed a temporary ban after the appointment of Scott Rennie, a gay minister, to a church in Aberdeen in 2009.

The general assembly, the church’s law-making body, voted on Monday morning to lift that moratorium, officially allowing gay ministers to take on parishes for the first time since it was founded in 1560-1 by John Knox, a leading figure in the Scottish reformation.

queerwatch:

(via xzullyzombiex)

queerwatch:

(via xzullyzombiex)

Source: fadeddaydream

I have been going to the NYC Pride Parade for close to 15 years and I have always loved seeing all the welcoming church, especial those groups that march in defiance of their leadership.  Keep it up St. Francis Xavier!

CNN Coverage - Catholic Gay Pride Banner Controversy 

Source: youtube.com

New York Catholics March Despite Ban
Marchers from St. Francis Xavier, a gay-welcoming Catholic church which  had been participating in New York City’s Gay Pride parade for several  years, were forbidden by NYC Archbishop Timothy Dolan from marching with  a banner identifying their parish’s name in last weekends parade. Their  response? They marched with a blank banner.
(story via Box Turtle Bulletin and photo of the group from my own Pride photos)

New York Catholics March Despite Ban

Marchers from St. Francis Xavier, a gay-welcoming Catholic church which had been participating in New York City’s Gay Pride parade for several years, were forbidden by NYC Archbishop Timothy Dolan from marching with a banner identifying their parish’s name in last weekends parade. Their response? They marched with a blank banner.

(story via Box Turtle Bulletin and photo of the group from my own Pride photos)

MCCNY sticker handed out at NYC Pride.

MCCNY sticker handed out at NYC Pride.

(via MackandTim on Flickr)

(via MackandTim on Flickr)

Boston Pride 2010

Boston Pride 2010

Bishop Gene Robinson: Yes, We Do Need Separation of Church and State: Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Maintains These Boundaries ⇢

Source: The Huffington Post

Many religions and even ex-gay groups recognize that homosexuality is a complex issue. But the phenomenon of exorcism—which relies on a belief that evil spirits inhabit a person and drive him or her to same-sex attraction—persists. Gays who have been brought up in religious traditions may seek exorcism as a last resort; but like other forms of so-called “conversion” or “reparative therapy,” gay exorcism may do more harm than good to those who undergo it.

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Gay ’Exorcisms’ Continue—In the U.S. :: EDGE Boston (via createdotherwise)

EXACTLY!

I would love to see this in NYC next week!
equalitopia:

Reblog to win tickets to a special screening of 8: The Mormon Proposition
About the film
8: The Mormon Proposition exposes the Mormon Church’s historic  involvement in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8  and the religion’s secretive, decades-long campaign against gay rights.  The film takes place in California and Utah as Mormons, following their  prophet’s call to action, wage spiritual warfare with money and  misinformation against gay citizens, doing everything they can to deny  them of marriage and the rights that come with it. 8: The Mormon  Proposition opens in theaters on June 18th, 2010, two years after the  first gay marriages took place in California (June 17th, 2008). Read  more at the official website.
Equalitopia is giving away tickets for you and a guest to special screenings of 8: The Mormon Proposition in select cities.
8: The Mormon Proposition is a film by Reed Cowan narrated by Dustin Lance Black about the Mormon Church’s historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8.
How To Win
If you can make it to one of the screenings listed, simply reblog this post for a chance to win! You can also tweet for another chance to win!
If your contact information (email, IM, Twitter or Facebook) is not found on your Tumblr blog, please simply include one of those pieces of information so we can contact you.
Screenings
Los Angeles (Tuesday, June 8th, 7:30pm)American Cinematheque at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
San Diego (Wednesday, June 9th, 7:30pm)Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15, 701 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Chicago (Sunday, June 13th, 7:00pm)Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State Street, Chicago IL 60601
New York (Monday, June 14th, 7:30pm)Chelsea 9 Cinemas, 260 W 23rd St., New York, NY 10011
Washington DC (Tuesday, June 15th, 7:30pm)Landmark E-Street, 555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

I would love to see this in NYC next week!

equalitopia:

Reblog to win tickets to a special screening of 8: The Mormon Proposition

About the film

8: The Mormon Proposition exposes the Mormon Church’s historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8 and the religion’s secretive, decades-long campaign against gay rights. The film takes place in California and Utah as Mormons, following their prophet’s call to action, wage spiritual warfare with money and misinformation against gay citizens, doing everything they can to deny them of marriage and the rights that come with it. 8: The Mormon Proposition opens in theaters on June 18th, 2010, two years after the first gay marriages took place in California (June 17th, 2008). Read more at the official website.

Equalitopia is giving away tickets for you and a guest to special screenings of 8: The Mormon Proposition in select cities.

8: The Mormon Proposition is a film by Reed Cowan narrated by Dustin Lance Black about the Mormon Church’s historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8.

How To Win

If you can make it to one of the screenings listed, simply reblog this post for a chance to win! You can also tweet for another chance to win!

If your contact information (email, IM, Twitter or Facebook) is not found on your Tumblr blog, please simply include one of those pieces of information so we can contact you.

Screenings

Los Angeles (Tuesday, June 8th, 7:30pm)
American Cinematheque at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

San Diego (Wednesday, June 9th, 7:30pm)
Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15, 701 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Chicago (Sunday, June 13th, 7:00pm)
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State Street, Chicago IL 60601

New York (Monday, June 14th, 7:30pm)
Chelsea 9 Cinemas, 260 W 23rd St., New York, NY 10011

Washington DC (Tuesday, June 15th, 7:30pm)
Landmark E-Street, 555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

This makes me so sad. Faith should never cause someone to want to change such a fundamental part of themselves.  And faith and/or cultural pressure should never cause someone to live in fear.  I hope this woman can contact Al-Fatiha.    
via 3.bp.blogspot.com

This makes me so sad. Faith should never cause someone to want to change such a fundamental part of themselves.  And faith and/or cultural pressure should never cause someone to live in fear.  I hope this woman can contact Al-Fatiha.    

via 3.bp.blogspot.com

this story hits me personally that I want to shout as forcefully as I can to my conservative Christian friends: Enough!

Enough with dividing the world between moral, family-loving Christians and supposedly permissive, corrupt, family-destroying secularists.

Enough with pretending that personal virtue is connected with political creeds. Enough with condemning your adversaries, sometimes viciously, and then insisting upon understanding after the failures of someone on your own side become known to the world. And enough with claiming that support for gay rights and gay marriage is synonymous with opposition to family values and sexual responsibility.

-

Mark Souder’s downfall shows virtue knows no ideology

Enough already is right!

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