Thursday, February 26, 2009

Christian Agnostic Closing

Hey all, I'm closing down this blog. I'm blogging regularly for Religion Dispatches now so this place has become a ghost town.

Go here for my blog posts on RD.

Go here to check out all of RD - it's an amazing site!

See you over at RD!

Candace

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Great Moments in Forgiveness

Remember when John Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus? Well, the pope finally gets it.


"The remark by John Lennon, which triggered deep indignation mainly in the United States, after many years sounds only like a 'boast' by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success, after growing up in the legend of Elvis and rock and roll," Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said.


No shit, Sherlock. That's what he meant in 1966 and if the church could get it's collective head out of its ass it could have seen that 42 years ago.

And people wonder why the Catholic leadership is becoming obsolete.

Here's the story: http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/61898954

On another front - Bob Jones University - the rabidly conservative Christian college in Greenville, SC has apologized for its racist policies that forbade interracial dating and admitting black students. They didn't admit black students until 1971.

The apology reads, in part:

"For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than provide a clear Christian counterpoint to it. In so doing, we failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry."


My suggestion to BJU is keep that statement for a template when they apologize to gay and lesbian people in another 50 years. Here's a taste:

"Like any human institution, we have failures as well. For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the HOMOPHOBIC ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding SEXUAL ORIENTATION to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than provide a clear Christian counterpoint to it. In so doing, we failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry."


Ah, one day we'll be reading that statement from BJU - but not anytime soon. If it took them this long to repent of racism, homophobia will probably take even longer.

But, there is always hope.

Here's the BJU story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27844969/

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Not Gays vs. God in Marriage Debate

When my partner and I got married about 6 years ago, we had a preacher preside over the ceremony and we invoked the name of God on many occasions, asking that our union be blessed by the Higher Power we both believe in.

As California moves to overturn the state Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage, Karen Ocamb at Alternet notes that the argument is increasingly turning to the false dichotomy of "gays vs. God."

For the proponents of Prop. 8, however, the battle is "spiritual warfare," with religious freedom and the nation itself at stake if same-sex marriage is allowed to survive and spread beyond California's borders.

"If sexual freedom is the ultimate liberty, then you have to rewrite the Bill of Rights," Chuck Colson, founder of the Prison Fellowship Ministries, says on a Yes on Proposition 8 video produced by the American Family Association for distribution to pastors and Christian activists. "This vote on whether we stop the gay marriage juggernaut in California is the Armageddon. We lose this -- we're going to lose in a lot of other ways, including freedom of religion."


First, "sexual freedom" is not what anyone is asking for in the right to marry. Sex is not the basis of my relationship with my partner and I doubt it's the basis of most heterosexual relationships. If the ability to have sex were taken away from us by illness or other tragedy, I would stay with my partner. We are together because we love one another and want to pursue a life together. We simply want that commitment recognized by the state and federal government so we can enjoy the more than 1,000 rights that married couples get like inheritance, health insurance, and Social Security benefits. Those are not really sexy topics – but they are all important in the security of our union.

Secondly, what about MY freedom of religion? I practice Christianity – a liberal form of Christianity that is most often the target of persecution by Colson and his cohorts. If I had a dime for every time I've been called a "false Christian" or a "heretic" by those who practice a more conservative form of Christianity, I wouldn't need the government to financially secure my relationship. I'd be a millionaire a million times over by now. Those who crow most about "freedom of religion" merely mean freedom for "their" religion – not the forms of religion they dislike.

Unfortunately, this spiritual fervor against same-sex marriage seems to be changing the opinion of those polled who are now showing a majority favoring this odious discrimination amendment.

Those who oppose this amendment need to be hammering home the fact that these are civil rights we're seeking – not religious rights. The religious question is not the other side of this issue any more than flat earth believers are the other side of the global warming issue. Allowing these people to place a religious frame around the issue is dangerous and must be stopped.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has the right argument that needs to be made loud and clear:

"I vow to vote No on Proposition 8 because I believe our civil society demands that we uphold -- not eliminate -- these fundamental rights. I believe all Californians deserve to be treated equally. And I believe that government exists to protect individual rights, not to undermine them," Villaraigosa said in a statement released by the Courage Campaign.


To that I say, "Amen!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Give me a freakin' break!

The "ex-gays" are now whining that they need their "special rights" like those nasty gays and lesbians.

The support group for so-called "ex-gays," PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), has brought suit against Washington, D.C.’s Office of Human Rights for not including "ex-gays" as a protected group under laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to a PRNewswire-USNewswire story posted at Yahoo.com.

The executive director of PFOX, Regina Griggs, was quoted in the story as claiming, "The ex-gay community is the most bullied and maligned group in America, yet they are not protected by sexual orientation non-discrimination laws."

In Washington, D.C., discrimination based on several categories is banned, including "sexual preference," "sexual orientation," "gender identity," and "gender expression," the article noted.

"Ex-gays" are not distinguished from heterosexuals by the law and are not included in the protected categories.

Of course they're not "distinguished from heterosexuals." If you "ex-gays" think you're no longer gay then you are HETEROSEXUAL! Get used to it. Now you have all the rights and privileges we gay and lesbian people are denied - and yet you still complain.

Some people are never pleased - even when they change God's gift of sexual orientation in order to get those special heterosexual rights.

Quit your bellyaching and get on with being the heterosexuals you say you are - unless, perhaps, you're not ...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Palin Pals With Her Own Home-Grown Terrorists

It's no secret that Sarah Palin has had an abusive past in her relationship with facts – but as I learned in the newsroom, it's never wise to let the facts get in the way when there's a good story to tell.

Palin's latest fact-light charge is that Barack Obama is "palling around" with terrorists because of a tenuous link to William Ayers, founder of the violent Weather Underground in the late 1960s.

News reports pointed out that Obama was eight years old at the time of Weather Underground bombings and that the two men do not know each other well although they live in the same Chicago neighborhood, have served on a charity board together and Ayers hosted a meet-the-candidate event when Obama first ran for state office in the mid-1990s.

The dictionary defines "terrorism" as "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." A terrorist is one who employs these tactics to reach their own goals.

Given that definition, I think the charge of "palling around" with terrorists fits Mrs. Palin much better than it does Obama. The American people have been subjected, in just the past few weeks, to an endless assault by our own domestic terrorists like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and President George W. Bush. They appeared on our screens with their hair on fire warning that "" unless we grant $700 billion dollars of corporate socialism to the Wall Street fat cats who partied too hard.

"Without immediate action by Congress, America can slip into a major panic." If Congress fails to approve the rescue plan, the nation could face a "long and painful recession," Bush said.

The fear emanating from the screen was palpable. People on that fabled Main Street began to worry if their money was safe in the bank or if a spot under the mattress might be preferable. Congress, too, (including, sadly, Obama) heard the siren song of terror, acted on that fear, and rushed into a deal that no one knows whether will help or not. What we do know is that we've leveraged our country's future on a sucker's bet, and we should have known better. With the bailout our home-grown terrorists have won their final battle – cleaning out the last of the pennies in our national treasury.

No buildings fell, no planes were crashed – but a deadly bomb has exploded on Main Street – detonated by the very people elected to protect that cherished street.

Sarah Palin – these are your pals.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remind me who the sexist is?

So, McCain thinks Obama is sexist with his whole "lipstick on a pig" comment.

Well, at least Obama doesn't publicly call his wife horrible names. And if he did, I'd bet money Michelle wouldn't stay with him long - yet, Cindy McCain stands by her man, flying him in her jet, housing him in several lavish homes ... hmmm, gotta wonder about these things. Just sayin' ...