Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: Cardinal Pell Facing Criminal Charges with Multiple Complainants

Hot off the presses: "Cardinal George Pell charged with multiple sexual offences: Third-ranking official in the Vatican charged by Victoria police in move that will send shockwaves around the Catholic church."

Delta Responds to Me About My Complaint

An update for all of you: after I posted my story two days ago on Monday about having filed a complaint with Delta when my seat next to Steve on a recent flight from Atlanta to Charlotte was taken from me as my boarding pass was scanned and assigned to another passenger, though there were empty seats in comfort class, to which we had been told we were being upgraded, I got a reply from Delta to my complaint at long last on Tuesday. As my posting on Monday states, immediately after I emailed my complaint about this matter to Delta on May 25, I got back an acknowledgment from Delta stating that I would receive a response to the complaint before 30 days had passed.

Father Klaus Mertes on False Victimization Claims of Catholic Hierarchy in Abuse Crisis: Application to Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Project

I've recently asked several questions that seem to me imperative for us to ask, if we're to take seriously Father James Martin's proposal for bridge-building between the Catholic hierarchy and the LGBTQ community. Here's one of those questions

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Guardian on Abuse in Church of England in Peter Ball Case: "A Reputation Deservedly Damaged"

Not to be missed: the Guardian editorial yesterday on the cover-up in the Church of England of Bishop Peter Ball's abuse of minors, including Neil Todd, who committed suicide after he was unable to get a hearing for his story among the powers that be in the Church of England. The Guardian writes:

Flying the Not So Friendly Skies: A Report on One Same-Sex Couple's Experience with Delta Airlines

The following is a report about how businesses — in this case, an airline — now routinely treat their paying customers in the U.S., and get away with it. Because they can do so — and all the more so with the Republican party totally controlling the federal government. Don't want the healthcare system ripped apart and millions having their healthcare coverage torn away from them? Too damned bad. We can do it, and we will do it, no matter how many of you make your voices heard in opposition.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

More on Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Project: If Derision Is a Societal Necessity, Is Mocking the Sartorial Excesses of the Hierarchy Really Disrespectful?

As the current discussion of the staging of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in Central Park in New York reminds us, mockery can be a powerful artistic and political tool to lampoon the pretensions of worthies demanding respectful obeisance. From Father James Martin's Bridge Building presentation to New Ways Ministry last year up to the present in interviews he has given about his book, a recurring theme as he chides the LGBTQ community for not doing its bit to build a bridge to the Catholic hierarchy is that LGBTQ people (and others) have mocked the sartorial excesses of highly placed Catholic hierarchical figures.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What Twitter Is Saying About the GOP Wealthcare Bill: "Broad Tax Cut to the Affluent, Paid for by Billions of Dollars Sliced from Medicaid"

What folks are saying on Twitter about the wealthcare bill the Republicans have finally released after weeks of secrecy as they seek to ram it through the Senate:

Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Metaphor and Call to Mutual Respect Between Catholic Leaders and LGBTQ Community: My Critical Commentary

I have not read Father James Martin's new book Building a Bridge, which calls on the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church to collaborate with the LGBTQ community and vice versa in building a bridge reconnecting the Catholic and LGBTQ community. I did read the presentation Father Martin made to New Ways Ministry when he received its Bridge Building award last year, and I commented on that address here (and see here and here). I commented on what I had read of the address at that point in time, that is to say.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Twitter Thread in Response to Franklin Foer on What's Wrong with the Democrats

This is a Twitter thread in response to Franklin Foer's "What's Wrong with the Democrats?" in the latest issue of The Atlantic. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Catholics, Take Responsibility for Hate": Twitter Discusses Terrorist Attack on Muslims in London Yesterday

I've recently been a lurker in an online conversation about Jordan Denari Duffner's Religion Dispatches article claiming that Islamophobia is common in the Catholic media. Several people involved in this conversation who are movers and shakers of the American Catholic intellectual establishment, with strong ties to leading "liberal" Catholic journals in the U.S., responded viterupatively to Duffner's report: Totally unsubstantiated, they said. Sloppy research, they said. Grew up Catholic and never saw any evidence of Islamophobia among Catholics, they indicated.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

"Condemning White Supremacy and the Alt-Right Movement Shouldn't Be Hard. But the Southern Baptist Convention . . ."

Things I've read and shared on social media in the past few days, about the kerfuffle that ensued at last week's meeting of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Convention, when an African-American delegate offered a resolution asking the convention to condemn white supremacist and alt-right ideology and the longstanding use of the bible to support this ideology:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Remembering the Pulse Massacre: "Less Talking about LGBT Catholics; More Listening to Them"

Some things I've been reading (and conversations in which I've been involved on social media) in the past two or three days, about the Catholic community's response (or non-response, as the case may be) to the Pulse massacre last year and its commemoration this year:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Remembering the Pulse Massacre: Or Why I'm Still Not Feeling the Love from Christians in Donald Trump's America

From the day that the massacre of 49 LGBTQ people (most of them Hispanic and African-American) happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, I began blogging my heart out. I wrote, in particular, about the roots of violent homophobia in the attitudes of many people of faith. I wrote about the lethal tendency of people of faith to erase LGBTQ people and refuse to speak the names of LGBTQ people even as something like the Pulse massacre took place.

Friday, June 9, 2017

My Statement in Support of Religious Liberty and Judge Wendell Griffen at Today's Rally in Little Rock

I was asked (along with a number of other guests) to make a brief statement at the religious liberty rally held in Little Rock today on the steps of the state capitol in support of Judge Wendell Griffen. As I have reported, the Arkansas state government, which is now totally controlled by right-wing Republicans most of whom strongly wish to impose their right-wing religious views on everyone in my state, is seeking to have Wendell impeached after he took part in a protest against capital punishment on Good Friday along with members of the Baptist church he pastors. The purpose of today's rally was to show support for Wendell as he exercises his right to religious liberty in a way that has never infringed on his role as a justice. I read a portion of the statement below at today's rally:

Chris Morley on UK Election Results and What They Mean: On-the-Ground Report from Manchester

And since we're talking politics here today, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you one of the wonderful reports Chris Morley posts in comboxes here on an ongoing basis — this one having to do with the election that just took place in the UK. Chris lives in Manchester, and so his commentary is on-the-ground commentary from that part of England. Here's Chris's report:

Brittmarie Janson Perez, What Was the Founding Fathers' True Legacy?

Brittie Perez has sent me another of her stellar statements about things happening in the world today, and I want to share it with all of you now. As you'll see, this is commentary about the implications of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, focusing on what happened on 7 June with Dan Coates and Mike Rogers. Here's Brittie's essay:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

In Pride Month, Lots of (Empty) Talk about Catholic-LGBTQ Bridge Building: Why I'm Not Feeling It

During Pride month, there's a lot of talk circulating about bridge-building — between the Catholic church and the LGBTQ community. I'm not feeling the talk, to be frank.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pride Month: Remembering Ellen Degeneres' Coming Out on National T.V. Twenty Years Ago

Pride month is a good time to point you to the commemoration Ellen Degeneres did on 28 April of her historic coming-out episode twenty years ago. It's on my mind today because I save episodes of Ellen's show to watch as I slog on my treadmill daily, and have just gotten to that episode in my queue of saved shows. Steve and I just finished watching it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Correction to Last Posting: Religious Freedom Rally in Little Rock Is 9 June — And Also a Question for Bilgrimage Readers

Yikes! Mary Jo O'Grady sent me a message to tell me that I had typed 9 July in yesterday's posting, as the date of the upcoming rally in Little Rock in support of religious liberty and Judge Wendell Griffen. The correct date is 9 June.

I'm very sorry for the mistake and want to correct it immediately — and am grateful to Mary for letting me know about this. Fortunately, the title of my posting did give the date correctly as 9 June, and the graphic I shared with the posting also gave that date. I am truly sorry for the confusion caused by my giving the wrong date in the body of the posting.

Monday, June 5, 2017

We're for Religious Liberty: Rally to Be Held June 9 in Little Rock in Support of Judge Wendell Griffen

I think most readers of this blog are not in Arkansas or nearby states. But on the off chance that there are readers of Bilgrimage in my local area about whom I don't know, or readers of this blog who have friends in Arkansas or nearby areas who might be interested in this event, I wanted to share news about it:

Divisions in American Left Yield Trump: The Case of Bill Maher and Response of Some Liberals to Discussion of This Case

It's clear to me following the last federal election in the U.S. that the American left is divided in a way that powerfully contributes to the dysfunction that has produced a Trump presidency and a Republican majority in Congress. Bernie bros vs. Hillary supporters. Libertarian-leaning Democrats vs. socialist-leaning and progressive ones. Those who see "identity politics" and "political correctness" as the bane of the Democratic party, and those of us who cannot imagine a Democratic party without a commitment to identity politics — because identity politics touches on the concreteness of those who are "actually" poor and marginalized in our society; it names the reasons many of us are shoved to the margins and struggle economically.

Friday, June 2, 2017

In the News: Trump Decision to Exit Paris Accord "One of the Most Ignorant and Dangerous Actions Ever Taken by Any President"

In the News: Myth That Incidents of Hate-Tinged Violence Have Diminished Following Spike After Trump's Election

D. Watkins on the continued spiking of incidents of hate-oriented violence in the U.S. after Trump's election, from which he keeps us distracted with his never-ending kaleidoscope of tweets: 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Rachel Held Evans on White Evangelical Roots of Trump's Decision to Ditch Paris Climate Agreement: My Response

Like Rachel Held Evans, I was raised in a white evangelical family in the South. Her approach to white evangelicals in this tweet is charitable, and I'd do well, I'm sure, to emulate her.

In the News: Conservatives Respond Differently to Kathy Griffin's Tasteless Stunt Than to Online Pictures Showing Obama Hanged in Effigy — Why?

Items I've read online this morning, which catch my attention as important — and, for that reason, I want to share them with you. The unifying thread here is "this morning":