aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Schmeling loses appeal
CHICAGO (Reuters) - An appeals panel in the largest U.S. Lutheran body has ordered a gay pastor removed from his ministry because he is in a sexual relationship with another man, officials said on Thursday.
The decision from the Committee on Appeals of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is final in the case of Pastor Bradley Schmeling of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta.
The 4.8-million-member ELCA allows gays to serve as pastors so long as they abstain from sexual relations.
That policy will likely be challenged and could be revised at the church’s annual meeting in Chicago next month, but even if it is changed Schmeling would not automatically be reinstated since that usually requires a separate process that can take up to five years, a church spokesman said.
Schmeling said he was deeply disappointed but not surprised.
The ELCA churchwide assembly in Chicago next month should be interesting. Roughly half of the 119 proposals to be considered there are related to gay and lesbian matters.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Waiting for conservative Christians to denounce Coulter
I am waiting for conservative Christian activists to denounce Ann Coulter. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting and I’m waiting. This does not seem like a tough one, after all, Coulter has now publicly said of presidential candidation John Edwards she wished, “he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Too many conservative Christian activists are behaving as if God is subordinate to their political desiresÃ¢â‚¬Â¦or worse that he is simply a pawn to be used in their desires.
Ann Coulter is a perfect little example of this problem. Countless conservative Christians embrace her and groups like the so-called Family Research Council feature her at banquets. And when she says things like wishing death upon a presidential candidate the Christians say nothing at all.
As quoted by Terrance at Republic of T:
Kuo is in for a long wait, and what he wishes for will probably never happen. Organizations like the Family Research Council can’t denounce her precisely because so many conservatives embrace her. And so many conservatives embrace her because so many of them agree with even her most extreme statements. And that so may of them agree with her most extreme statements - getting a chuckle out of her wishing for Edwards assassination, laughing uproariously when she calls him a “faggot,” and nodding in agreement when she accuses 9/11 widows of enjoying their husbands’ death - is exactly why she won’t be condemned by them or any right wing organizations. She’s the voice of their base.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Evolution: like realizing the Earth is not the center of the universe
The NYTimes had a special Science section on evolution today. Science of the Soul? ‘I Think, Therefore I Am’ Is Losing Force was one of the articles in it:
Challenges to the uniqueness of humanity in creation are just as alarming as the Copernican assertion that Earth is not the center of the universe, [Nancey Murphy, a philosopher at Fuller Theological Seminary] writes in her book “Bodies and Souls or Spirited Bodies?” (Cambridge, 2006). Just as Copernicus knocked Earth off its celestial pedestal, she said, the new findings on cognition have displaced people from their “strategic location” in creation.
Another theologian who has written widely on the issue, John F. Haught of Georgetown University, said in an interview that “for many Americans the only way to preserve the discontinuity that’s implied in the notion of a soul, a distinct soul, is to deny evolution,” which he said was “unfortunate.”
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity and complexity of life on earth.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The Ark easily had room for the dinosaurs (as you can see in other articles in this issue). First, the Ark was the size of a huge cargo ship (at least 450 ft [137 m] long). Second, there weren’t many different kinds of dinosaurs (only about 50 “kinds"). Third, God most likely brought the smaller juvenile dinosaurs, not the aging adults, because they would be better suited for the voyage and the responsibilities of reproducing rapidly after the Flood.
That from the new Creationist Museum. Mike Riddle, who authored that this past February, has a masters in education. Ugh!
Via Echidne of the Snakes, who also reports that the actor playing Adam in a Creation Museum video recently had a graphic Web site called Bedroom Acrobat where users would post explicit photos and stories. More on that from Raw Story (where I got the photo).
REALATED - Ars Technica takes a field trip to the new Creationism Museum:
There was also an explanation as to why, with only one progenitor family, it wasn’t considered incest for Adam and Eve’s children to marry each other. Apparently there was less sin back then, and therefore fewer mutations in their DNA. Evidently sin, not two copies of the same recessive trait, gives rise to congenital birth defects.
Friday, May 25, 2007
60% believe God created the world in 6 days
ABC News headlines its breathless coverage of the creationism museum - “designed by the same man behind some of the attractions at Universal Studios in Florida” - with presumably new poll results:
According to an ABC News poll, 60 percent of Americans believe God created the world in six days. In Petersburg, Ky. this weekend, a creation museum is opening that depicts a story far from what you may have learned in science class.
Exhibits at almost every natural history museum teach that dinosaurs are millions of years old and that they died out long before human beings existed, but at the creation museum, they say God created dinosaurs and humans at the same time.
The ABC News report includes some balance - “Mainstream scientists worry that because this museum is so sophisticated it will be more effective at giving children a distorted view of science.” - but no real articulation of the scientific facts. Say, for example:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth. Courts have repeatedly ruled that creationism and intelligent design are religious doctrines, not scientific theories.
No, what ABC gives us is a media thrill ride, a fluff piece that advertises a theme park as credible (if questionable) science tied to a nugget of news (the poll).
Military disavows Christian event in Georgia
Only after a DC-based group objects:
After complaints by a government watchdog group, the Air Force and the Army partially distanced themselves yesterday from a three-day evangelical Christian event this weekend at a Georgia theme park.
The Memorial Day weekend “Salute to the Troops” celebration at Stone Mountain Park is sponsored by Task Force Patriot USA, a private group that says its purpose is “sharing the fullness of life in Jesus Christ with all U.S. military, military veterans and families,” and whose Web site says “Christ is our Commander-in-Chief.”
In recent days, both the Task Force Patriot USA Web site and the newspaper of Robins Air Force Base, Ga., described the celebration as “an official U.S. Air Force 60th Anniversary event.” Along with speeches by evangelical ministers, church services and distribution of Bibles, the published schedule promised “hourly flyovers” by Air Force jets, performances by military bands, color guard presentations, a parachute demonstration by the Army’s elite Silver Wings jump team from Fort Benning, Ga., and exhibitions of Air Force equipment.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It will be interesting to watch how this plays out:
Neither Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire nor Bishop Martyn Minns of the breakaway Convocation of Anglicans in North America have been asked to attend the next Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering hosted by the archbishop of Canterbury. The conference is scheduled for next summer in England.
The communion’s secretary-general, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, spoke at a briefing for reporters in London, and his remarks were later distributed.
In the invitation sent Tuesday to more than 850 Anglican and Episcopal bishops, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the 77-million-member communion, said he had decided to forgo invitations to Robinson and Minns so that the meeting would focus on holding the increasingly fractious fellowship together.
Including bishops “whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the communion” would hurt efforts to create trust, Williams said.
But Robinson, whose 2003 consecration as the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop caused an uproar with conservative church members in the U.S. and abroad, may be asked to attend the conference as a guest, Kearon said.
He said there was no question that Robinson had been properly elected as a bishop according to Episcopal Church rules. The 2.3-million-member church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Ann on Jerry
Let me be the first to say: I ALWAYS agreed with the Rev. Falwell.
Actually, there was one small item I think Falwell got wrong regarding his statement after 9/11 that “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians—who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle—the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”
First of all, I disagreed with that statement because Falwell neglected to specifically include Teddy Kennedy and “the Reverend” Barry Lynn.
For the record, I’m not “actively trying to make...an alternative lifestyle.” I’m actively trying to normalize a culturally accepted and naturally occurring part of the human condition.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
If the Bible is classified as indecent only those over 18 could buy it and it would be sealed and wrapped with a warning label:
More than 800 Hong Kong residents have called on authorities to reclassify the Bible as “indecent” due to its sexual and violent content, following an uproar over a sex column in a university student journal.
A spokesperson for Hong Kong’s Television and Entertainment Licensing authority (TELA) said it had received 838 complaints about the Bible by noon on Wednesday.
The complaints follow the launch of an anonymous website which said the holy book “made one tremble” given its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest.
The website said the Bible’s sexual content “far exceeds” that of a recent sex column published in the Chinese University’s “Student Press” magazine, which had asked readers whether they’d ever fantasised about incest or bestiality.
Not exactly the equivalent of standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square but kudos to the students. Imagine if they actually succeeded. Manna for cable news heaven: “Communist authorities classify the Bible as porn.”
Via Ann Bartow.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
He always reminded me of my father; still does. For those who don’t remember, I ran away from home.
Steve Benen’s is emerging as the definitive retrospective from the blogosphere, “When I worked at Americans United for Separation of Church and State for several years, I read Falwell’s materials, I listened to his speeches, I watched his interviews, and got a real sense for who this man was and what he devoted his life to...” Read it and weep.
Wonkette is most vitriolic. Again and again and again and again. John Aravosis is the runner up, but he’s got the video of Falwell saying just last week that he stands by his 9/11-is-the-fault-of-gays claim. Bravo John!
You might expect this from Wikipedia (Bravo Wonkette again!) but many of us have learned that the real factual atrocities come from our beloved (sarcasm drips) cable news networks. This one from MSNBC, via Josh Marshall at TPM…
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Kinsley on Hitch on God
Hitchens is an old-fashioned village atheist, standing in the square trying to pick arguments with the good citizens on their way to church. The book is full of logical flourishes and conundrums, many of them entertaining to the nonbeliever. How could Christ have died for our sins, when supposedly he also did not die at all? Did the Jews not know that murder and adultery were wrong before they received the Ten Commandments, and if they did know, why was this such a wonderful gift? On a more somber note, how can the “argument from design” (that only some kind of “intelligence” could have designed anything as perfect as a human being) be reconciled with the religious practice of female genital mutilation, which posits that women, at least, as nature creates them, are not so perfect after all? Whether sallies like these give pause to the believer is a question I can’t answer.
The Book Review will be out from behind the firewall Saturday; available now from Salon, God Grief, a review by Giles Harvey, “Like a greedy man at the buffet overfilling his plate, Hitchens spends ‘God Is Not Great’ heaping iniquity after iniquity on the three central monotheistic faiths for the role they have played in history”
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
More on the Anglican Communion turmoil
An African archbishop’s defiant intervention in the U.S. Episcopal Church has sent new shock waves through a global Anglican church already badly divided and facing possible schism over gay issues.
Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria kept up his high profile attack this week, saying the leadership of the U.S. branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion was “insulting and condescending” to the church at large.
“The decisions, actions, defiance and continuing intransigence of the Episcopal Church are at the heart of our crisis,” he told Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and titular leader of the 77-million-member global church.
“They are determined to pursue their own unbiblical agenda and exacerbate our current divisions,” he said in a letter to Williams, who had asked him to stay out of the United States and not participate in a ceremony last Saturday in Virginia.
Akinola ignored the plea from Williams and an earlier one from the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori. He carried out the ceremony in which Bishop Martyn Minns, an Episcopalian, was installed as head of a new Nigerian-based church branch designed as a refuge for orthodox American believers.
Ruth Gledhill has Anglican TV video of the installation provided over by Akinola and a wealth of discussion links on the turmoil. She wonders “what is so wrong about having two Anglican provinces functioning within the same borders?”
Atheists & divorce
Left Oblique looks at divorce rates:
42% - Mixed-faith couples involving Jews
40% - Mixed-faith couples involving Mormons
34% - Non-denominational (conservative, fundamentalist) Christians
30% - Jews
29% - Baptists
27% - All Born-Again Christians
25% - Mainline Protestants
24% - Mormons
24% - All Non-Born-Again Christians
21% - Catholics
21% - Lutherans
21% - All Agnostics and Atheists
A Christian nation
Via Stranger Fruit
WHILE ON THE TOPIC: Hitchens quotes Rove, “I think the way he puts it is, ‘I’m not fortunate enough to be a person of faith.’”
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Anglican to Akinola: don’t come. Akinola already here.
The NYTimes, Anglican Church Intercedes as an Episcopal Rift Widens:
The archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has waded into a gathering dispute over efforts by conservative congregations in this country to break away from the Episcopal Church.
On Saturday, the archbishop of Nigeria, Peter J. Akinola, is scheduled to preside over a ceremony in Virginia to install a bishop to lead congregations around the country that want to leave the Episcopal Church, in large part because of its liberal stance on homosexuality.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has asked Archbishop Akinola to cancel his visit, a spokesman said.
That echoes the request of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism. She contends that by attending the ceremony, Archbishop Akinola would heighten tensions between the Episcopal Church and many in the 77-million-member Anglican Communion.
But according to organizers of the installation ceremony, Archbishop Akinola is already in the United States.
Akinola’s response, “...the Church of Nigeria will be the first to restore communion on the day that your Province abandons its current unbiblical agenda. Until then we have no other choice than to offer our assistance and oversight to our people and all those who will not compromise...”
RELATED: Episcopal Bishop of Washington John Bryson Chane on Akinola’s gospel of intolerance.
LATER: The deed is done:
The Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, Peter J. Akinola, on Saturday installed Bishop Martyn Minns of Virginia as the new leader of a diocese that would take in congregations around the country that want to leave the Episcopal Church. In doing so, Archbishop Akinola rejected requests by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church to refrain from taking part in the ceremony.
God’s destruction in Georgia
“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage… “We must help and pray for those ravaged by this disaster, but let us not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long,” Marcavage said. “May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God,” Marcavage concluded.
No comment from Repent America to explain the fires in the Red Christianist heart of Georgia:
More than 900 firefighters are spending time away from their homes and continuing to battle those wildfires in Southeast Georgia. At last count the fires have burned 96 thousand acres. Flames have destroyed millions of dollars in timber, and the lack of rain is not helping. For almost three weeks hundreds of firefighters from all over the United States have worked around the clock to get the wildfires under control.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
The global Christian community loses its moral bearings
It’s no secret that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion are engaged in a bitter internal struggle over the role of gay and lesbian people within the church. But despite this struggle, the leaders of our global communion of 77 million members have consistently reiterated their pastoral concern for gays and lesbians. Meeting [in February 2005], the primates who lead our 38 member provinces issued a unanimous statement that said in part: “The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.”
We now have reason to doubt those words.
Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria and leader of the conservative wing of the communion, recently threw his prestige and resources behind a new law that criminalizes same-sex marriage in his country and denies gay citizens the freedoms to assemble and petition their government. The law also infringes upon press and religious freedom by authorizing Nigeria’s government to prosecute newspapers that publicize same-sex associations and religious organizations that permit same-sex unions. [...]
Surprisingly, few voices-Anglican or otherwise-have been raised in opposition to the archbishop. When I compare this silence with the cacophony that followed the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, a gay man who lives openly with his partner, as the bishop of New Hampshire, I am compelled to ask whether the global Christian community has lost not only its backbone but its moral bearings. Have we become so cowed by the periodic eruptions about the decadent West that Archbishop Akinola and his allies issue that we are no longer willing to name an injustice when we see one?
I also feel compelled to ask the archbishop’s many high-profile supporters in this country why they have not publicly dissociated themselves from his attack on the human rights of a vulnerable population. Is it because they support this sort of legislation, or because the rights of gay men and women are not worth the risk of tangling with an important alliance?
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I just finished the powerful, riveting and disturbing documentary, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple by Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith and Noland Walker and presented by American Experience. I had nearly forgotten and never really knew:
Although Jim Jones Jr. says that everyone who went to Jonestown was a “shareholder” in utopia, word filtered back to San Francisco that members were being held against their will. Bay Area congressman Leo Ryan took a small delegation to Jonestown in November 1978. The trip started well, but calamity unfolded quickly, much of it captured on film.
After escaping a knife attack by a cult member at the Jonestown compound, Ryan and his delegation fled to the airstrip, where Jones’ goons opened fire, killing Ryan and four others.
Jones then gathered his flock for a final sermon, insisting that the government would torture all in retaliation. It was time for the final communion.
The audiotape is chilling. Jones cries “Hurry, children, hurry” against a background of screaming women and children. He praises the mass destruction as an act of “revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.” Jones didn’t drink his own poisoned Kool-Aid, though. Instead, he died from a shot to the head.
A sobering reminder of the flip-side of the wisdom of crowds. Catch it if you can. The trailer:
Monday, April 09, 2007
Maybe Tim Gill should buy WorldNetDaily
When she turned the Atlanta-area black gay and lesbian magazine Venus into an ex-gay publication, Charlene Cothran offended loyal subscribers and advertisers with antigay and antiwhite rhetoric that was written with the help of spiritual mentor, Venus blog editor, and ex-gay activist D.L. Foster.
Late last month, Venus got a boost — from an ex-gay contributor to Christianity Today and from an antigay activist in Illinois.
Antigay activist Peter LaBarbera, whose ties to the Constitution Party have raised alarm at Ex-Gay Watch in the past, printed a promotion for Venus magazine to his national religious-right readership. [...]
Meanwhile, at Christianity Today, ex-gay activist Amy Tracy wrote up an interview with Cothran that avoids direct discussion of Cothran’s orientation.
[Question:] How do you view your sexuality now?
[Answer:] I view myself as celibate.
The interview focuses instead on Cothran’s perception of herself as a victim of rejection by those friends whom she now preaches against.
RELATED: Gill profiled in Time last week.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
South Park: the secrets of Easter revealed
On last night’s episode of the Comedy Central show “South Park,” Catholic League president Bill Donohue appeared as one of the cartoon characters, along with a figure of Pope Benedict XVI. The Easter script depicted Donohue chastising the pope for being “too soft.” Donohue then takes over as pope. When a Jesus figure appears, he has both the pope and Jesus arrested. After Jesus is killed by Kyle, he resurrects and kills Donohue.
Donohue commented on this today:
“I have no idea why ‘South Park’ creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker caricature me as a heartless thug. In any event, I stand convicted and have no defense. Now I have to get back to business-I hear someone just took some liberties with the Easter Bunny.”
The secret revealed. Not a particlularly funny clip. If fans were permitted to post clips, a far better clip would be posted.
Monday, April 02, 2007
In last week’s Slate Political Gabfest, David Plotz described Satan as kind of Karl Rove for God whose impact is to “make God a better God.”
Plotz blogs the Bible for Slate. I’m guessing it’s this passage, in blogging Job, that explains why he called himself a Satan lover:
Job lives in the land of Uz, which is not to be confused with the Land of Oz (though, as we shall see, Uz, like Oz, is vulnerable to sudden tornadoes that cause deadly building collapses). Job “feared God and shunned evil,” and his goodness made him the richest man in the East, the Warren Buffett of Uz, with 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels. He also had seven sons and three daughters. (That 7-3 numerical pattern is kind of odd-why are sheep like sons and camels like daughters?) One day, God’s divine beings drop by His house for a visit. Accompanying them is “the Adversary,” or as we have come to know him, “Satan.” (Satan means “adversary” in Hebrew.) Here is what this Satan is not: a fallen angel, wicked, omnipotent, demonic, living in hell, warring with God for dominion over the earth, carrying a pitchfork, smelling like brimstone, or wearing red spandex. Here is what he is: an arguer, a troublemaker. But Satan is actually the kind of guy any smart God would want around, because he questions authority. He asks the tricky, contentious questions that make God more thoughtful about His own work. (The kind of questions, say, that presidential advisers should ask the president.) Satan makes God uncomfortable, but only so God will do His job better.
The Judas Gospel’s contradictory Christianity
Religious historian Elaine Pagels, co-author of Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, argues that the recently discovered Judas Gospel offers a new understanding of the death of Jesus. Interviewed in Salon today, here she looks at how the gospel’s author offers a radically different Christian perspective on suffering and the nature of evil:
[The first or early second century] was at a time when all followers of Jesus were struggling with the question, Why did Jesus die? What does it all mean? In the New Testament, the gospels say he died as a sacrifice. Paul says Christ, our Passover lamb, was sacrificed for us. Why? Well, to save us from sin.
But this author is saying, wait a minute. If you think God wants his son to be tortured and killed before he’ll forgive people their sins, what kind of God do you have in mind? Is this the God who didn’t want animals to be sacrificed in the temple anymore? So this author’s asking, isn’t God a loving father? Isn’t that what Jesus taught? Why are we saying that God requires his son to die for the sins of the world? So it’s a challenge to the whole idea of atonement, and the idea that Christians—when they worship—eat bread and drink wine as if it were the body and blood of Christ. This person sees that whole thing as a celebration of violence. [...]
It contradicts everything we know about Christianity. But there’s a lot we don’t know about Christianity. There are different ways of understanding the death of Jesus that have been buried and suppressed. This author suggests that God does not require sacrifice to forgive sin, and that the message of Jesus is that we come from God and we go back to God, that we all live in God. It’s not about bloody sacrifice for forgiveness of sins. It suggests that Jesus’ death demonstrates that, essentially and spiritually, we’re not our bodies. Even when our bodies die, we go to live in God.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
The Holiday begins at sundown Monday.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Ben and Hell and the bloodthirsty God
[H]ell is a place where sinners burn in an everlasting fire.
God’s mercy and love are great, but those who reject him should know that hell “exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more,” the pontiff said, according to reports by the Catholic News Service and the London Times.
Thanks for the threatening reminder Ben; I feel the mercy. What it reminds me is that this brand of Christianity is not one I buy into. Much more reasonable and believable to me are the views explored by religion scholars Elaine Pagels and Karen King in their new book, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity:
Many Christians think that, you know--what does it mean to be a Christian? It means you believe that Jesus died for your sins, that God loves the world and sacrificed Jesus to show how much he loves the world. [The Judas Gospel author] is a Christian who says, `Well, what kind of God are you talking about then? I mean, are you saying that God wants to--God will not forgive sins unless his own son is tortured and killed in a horrible way? I mean, is this a bloodthirsty God like those gods that wanted human sacrifice like the Inca gods or something like that? So this author says that’s a horrible picture of God.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Former AFA columnist speaks out against homophobia
When Pam Spaulding was tipped off to columnist and former AFA staff attorney Joe Murray’s change of heart on the issue of homosexuality, she wrote and asked for an interview. The author of “some of the most entertaining anti-gay columns for the AFA I’ve ever read” - including, for example, Have We Lost the Culture War? and Santorum’s Surrender? - enthusiastically agreed to answer some pretty frank questions:
Pam Spaulding: As a Christian (and a conservative), describe your own evolution in thinking about homosexuality, the LGBT community, and how it has informed your politics and beliefs.
Joe R. Murray: Well, first I am not sure if I am a “conservative” in the traditional sense. To me, the meaning of “conservativeÃ¢â‚¬Â� has changed over the past few decades and, in light of such a change, I doubt that label applies to me.
I am pro-life, but I am also in favor of gay marriage. I believe in a strong military, but I do not believe homosexuality is immoral. I believe that trade policy should protect the Main Street worker and not the Wall Street fat cat. I believe that America has a duty to protect her borders and preserve her cultural integrity. And I believe in a higher minimum wage. So, I am not sure exactly where I fit in political spectrum.
That being said, the issue of gay rights has been weighing heavy on my mind for quite some time. The gay issue is a human issue, and thus I strongly believe that it must be approached with concern and compassion. Furthermore, the individuals engaging in the debate must recognized that behind the theories there are real life human beings that are made in the image of the Creator. [...]
It was...hypocrisy that caused me to open my eyes. Those on the Christian right, for whatever reasons, have become fixated on homosexuality. They are obsessed by it and perverse form of vengeance appears to be fueling their inquisition. I may be wrong, but I think actions are speaking much louder than words here.
The whole gay issue is no longer about the quest for the Truth; it is about fear and loathing. It is about shame and sorrow. It is anything but Christian.
And if a person’s sexual disposition is determined by birth, how can it be that these folks were created merely to be cast into Hell? The fundamentalist explanation makes no sense, but the view that only some homosexual behavior (see the verbiage used in Corinthians, etc.), and not all gays, is immoral does make sense.
Thus was my evolution. I may not be right, but I think the Christian community must explore these issues openly and honestly if they are truly to remain Christian. We have an obligation to explore these issues and be open to the fact that the modern view on homosexuality may be wrong.
Read the entire interview. Hopeful stuff. And great work from Pam!