Saturday, September 23, 2017

David Gushee's Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism on His Experience When He Spoke Out vs. Anti-LGBT Theologies

In his book Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2017), David P. Gushee speaks about what happened as he began to revise his understanding of how the churches treat queer people — as he began to change his thinking as a religion scholar specializing in the field of ethics whose academic career was spent teaching in Baptist-affiliated institutions (Southern Baptist and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship). When he began to speak his mind and publish about these matters, he found himself slapped, excluded, shunned, disinvited from lecturing at places that had invited him to lecture, receiving hate mail, hate email, and hate tweets. He found his books yanked from shelves in Christian bookstores. Here (and above) are some excerpts for you (clicking graphics makes them enlarge):

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Google's "Top Stories" re: Fr. James Martin Right Now? All Vile, Hateful, Lie-Filled Personal Attacks by Church Militant — Google's Continuing Irresponsibility with "Top Stories"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bridge-Building with the Catholic and LGBTQ Communities, and the "Both Sides" Argument: More Critical Responses

I very much like Robert Shine's response to Bishop Robert McElroy's wake-up call. Robert Shine applauds Bishop McElroy's wake-up call regarding the "cancer of vilification" seeping into American Catholicism as a response to people like Father James Martin who discuss building bridges with the LGBTQ community. As Shine notes, as welcome as Bishop McElroy's call is, it ends on a disappointing note of false equivalency, which claims that "both sides" are at fault in this situation. Robert Shine writes writes,

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

On the (Hateful Homophobic) Vitriol Eating Away at the Communion of the Church: "If Good Religion Slumbers and Stagnates, Bad Religion Is the Alternative"

I see connections galore between these good articles I've read in the past few days. Do you, too, I wonder?

Laura Donlon, "Fr James Martin says Cafod 'not entirely accurate' in its account of why his London lecture was 'cancelled'":

Two Obituaries, Two Very Different Stories of What Family Is About: Who Counts, Who Doesn't, and the Role Churches Play

Two obituaries, two very different stories about what family is about — who counts, who doesn't, who is included, who may be excluded, looked down on, denigrated, told that he/she is worthless when family gathers:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Faith Defined as Dogma Is Weaponized Faith: A Theological Footnote to Father Jenkins' Response to Senator Feinstein re: Catholic Dogma

I'd like to add a theological footnote to what I posted yesterday reflecting on the recent claim of Notre Dame University president Father John Jenkins that "'dogma lives loudly' . . . is a condition we call faith." As I noted, Father Jenkins makes this assertion in an open letter to Senator Diane Feinstein criticizing her statement to Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett, who is being vetted for a federal judge's position, that "dogma lives loudly" in Barrett and might impede her ability to uphold the law when the law conflicts with her dogmatic religious positions.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Notre Dame President Father Jenkins Responds to Senator Feinstein: "'Dogma Lives Loudly' . . . Is a Condition We Call Faith" (But No, It's Not)

At a hearing last week, Senator Diane Feinstein grilled federal judge nominee (and Notre Dame University law professor) Amy Coney Barrett about a paper she co-authored in 1998 with John Garvey, who is now president of Catholic University of America. Senator Feinstein suggested that the position Barrett took in her 1998 paper is tantamount to proposing that, for someone sitting on a court bench, religious faith should trump law when the two appear to be in conflict. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Love Does Not Permit Us to Plug Up Our Ears with Bible Verses": Donald Trump and White Christians' Patriarchal Worldview — Connecting Dots

I see lots of dots connecting in these valuable pieces of commentary I've read in the past several days. I hope you might, too:

Is the Problem That Brought Us Trump Racism or Sexism? Or Both? Commentary in Today's Newsfeed

A reader of Talking Points Memo gives Josh Marshall some feedback about the interconnection of racism and sexism in the rise of Donald Trump to power: 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Betsy DeVos' Attack on Obama-Administration Regulations re: Sexual Harassment on Campuses: It's What Heterosexual Males Want

Trump's education secretary Betsy DeVos has ripped up Obama-administration regulations that sought to put teeth into the attempt of women in university settings to report sexual harassment and rape. She's actually defending rapists: that's the gist of her comments about her decision to ditch Obama-administration policies in this area. (See here, here, here, here, and here).

Sunday, September 10, 2017

People Who Have Been Told That Their Gifts and Talents Don't Count: Unearthing Buried Stories of LGBT Family Members

I shared some of this story here a number of years back. Because I told the story again on Facebook today and a Facebook friend encouraged me to share it with wider circles, I'm going to tell it here again, with apologies if you read my previous posting in the same vein several years ago:

Opening to "Dialogue" in U.S. Catholicism and the Fracas Involving Father James Martin and Austin Ruse: My Take

I see mention online of some kind of fracas involving Father James Martin and Austin Ruse — or perhaps "fracas" is not the right word. What seems to have happened is that Ruse attacked Martin in an exceptionally ugly way on social media. That's not surprising: Austin Ruse is an exceptionally ugly man representing an exceptionally ugly iteration of Catholicism that has considerable sway within the U.S. Catholic church.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

4 Sept. 1957: Elizabeth Eckford Walks Gauntlet to Integrate Central High; 4 Sept. 2017: Robert E. Lee's Great-Grandson Forced to Resign Pastorate After Denouncing White Supremacy

Robert Wright Lee, "Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV Statement on Leaving His Church after Speaking Out Against White Supremacy at MTV Video Music Awards": 

In the News: Hurricanes, America's Moral Crisis with Trump, and What Are Churches Good for Again?

Some pieces I've read in the last few days that, to my way of thinking, tell a story. I hope you'll agree: what story do you hear as you read this commentary?

Neal Gabler, "America's Moral Crisis": 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

What Do You Hold Onto After Floods Have Swept Everything Away? Questions LGBTQ Christians Are Also Forced to Ask

What do you hold onto after floods caused by a hurricane have swept through your house and destroyed almost everything? I haven't had that happen, and can hardly imagine.

It did happen to close friends of ours with Katrina, and to a cousin of Steve's and her family who live in New Orleans. These folks rebuilt and went on with their lives.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Commentary on the Nashville Statement: "Strikingly Trumpian Brand of Redemption That Saves by Statements of Division"

Commentary I have read about the Nashville Statement and found good. I hope you will, too: