Monday, October 30, 2017

As Manafort Goes Up in Flames, Major White Evangelical Leaders Tweet About . . . Something Else, Anything but Manafort

As the man who managed the campaign of the moral monstrosity placed in the White House by eight in ten white evangelicals and some six in ten white Catholics and Mormons goes up in flames on #MuellerMonday — the man I'm talking about is Paul Manafort, of course — it's fascinating to see what the leading white evangelical epigones of that moral monstrosity in the White House are tweeting about this morning.

The tweet above is what Reverend Robert Jeffress tweeted* just after news broke about Manafort's and Gates' indictments.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Catholic Clerical Sexual Abuse Crisis, Clericalism, and Pope Francis: Michael Boyle's Take — "The Problem Is an Elevated Theology of Who Priests Are"

In February this year, I recommended to you the four-part series by Michael Boyle on his A Sound of Sheer Silence blog site entitled "How Did This Happen?" In these valuable essays, Michael walks through an assessment of the clerical culture that produced the crisis around sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic church, and its cover-up. He's responding to the report of the Australian Royal Commission on Abuse. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Quote for the Day: Queer Catholics Once Again Reminded "That, in Both Life and in Death, They Can Be Shunned by Their Church"

At Huffington Post yesterday afternoon, Carol Kuruvilla writes about a set of "pastoral" directives that have been leaked from the offices of the Roman Catholic diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, which is headed by His Excellency Bishop Robert Charles Morlino. The Pray Tell blog published an email several days ago in which the Vicar General of the Madison diocese, the Reverend Monsignor James R. Bartylla, tells priests of his diocese how to handle funerals of queer Catholics. In a nutshell, the policy established by this communication permits priests to deny funerals to queer Catholics, if they judge that this is an appropriate action for the following reasons:

A Reader Asks: "If You Could Sit Down with Fr. Martin for a One on One," What Would You Say? My Response

In response to what I posted yesterday as I recommended to you the podcast discussion featuring Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson, Sarasi asked me a very good question:

Bill, if you were to be invited to one of these "both-sides" discussions, if such a thing existed, where would you begin? (even if this might not be a realistic scenario) If you could sit down with Fr. Martin for a one on one, would you say anything different?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Some People Get Uninvited from Talks. Some People Never, Ever Get Even an Invitation to the Table at All": Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, Jamie Manson NCR Podcast Conversation

I've previously recommended to you Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson's essay at National Catholic Reporter entitled "Kick-Starting a New Catholic Conversation." I'd like now to recommend a podcast conversation between the three that NCR published several days ago. I've embedded it above for your convenience in listening. 

In this discussion, Mary, Marianne, and Jamie talk with NCR's Brittany Wilmes about their essay and what they intended in co-authoring it. Some key points that stand out for me as I listen:

Monday, October 23, 2017

An Apology from New Ways Ministry Official for His Comment About Me on Facebook

I do want to acknowledge that I have received an emailed apology from the New Ways Ministry official who left the comment on Facebook yesterday that I have discussed in the past two postings. He generously tells me that I may share the apology, and I appreciate that. I'm doing so now.

On the Characterization of Some Catholic LGBTQ Voices as Uncharitable Garbage: Continuing the Necessary Conversation

Because I think this conversation is extremely important — if the goal of any reformist group within the Catholic church really is to create conditions for open, honest dialogue about same-sex love — I want to capture some of the conversation as it is occuring here (and on Facebook) in response to my posting yesterday about how an associate director of New Ways Ministry has publicly characterized me and my work as "uncharitable garbage." He made the comment in response to my recent essay recommending some wonderful analysis offered by Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson, which critiqued the response of Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry to this analysis.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Associate Director of New Ways Ministry Responds to My Essay about Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy Burke, and Jamie Manson's Recent Proposal as "Uncharitable Garbage": My Reflections

A number of days back, I recommended to you an essay by Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson calling for kick-starting a new Catholic conversation about same-sex love. My posting notes some criticisms of this essay made by Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cahill and Wilkinson's Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: "Most Comprehensive Report Ever Published on the Systemic Reasons Behind Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church"

Several days ago, when I blogged about Desmond Cahill and Peter Wilkinson's study Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports, I told you I planned to say a bit more about this ground-breaking study after I had read it thoroughly. My previous posting looked at one of the systemic roots of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church: how the encyclical Humanae Vitae has undermined the credibility of any official Catholic teaching about human sexuality by ignoring the wisdom of lay Catholics as it seeks to impose, from the top down and with no consultation of lay Catholic experience, a ban on contraception widely rejected by the laity. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Saltwater Baptism," by Jared Callahan and Russell Sheaffer: The Awful Rowing Toward God for Two Gay Latino Evangelical Youth

A painful journey to self-acceptance, and to the understanding that God calls us to love and accept ourselves as we have been created — a journey undertaken within a Latino wing of evangelical Christianity in the U.S. today . . . .

(The phrase "awful rowing toward God" is from Anne Sexton.)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Trump Eviscerates Obamacare by Executive Action, "Pro-Life" North Carolina Catholic Virginia Foxx, a Member of Bishop Peter Jugis' Flock, Exults

Charles Pierce on the executive action taken today by the man "pro-life" white Christians placed in the White House, to undermine healthcare coverage of millions of Americans in need of coverage:

On the Danger of Allowing Gay People to Be Public in Catholic Institutions: A Story from the Recent Past

Yesterday, I blogged about the recent statement of a bishop, Peter Jugis of Charlotte, North Carolina, that Catholic officials and institutions must have the right to punish gay employees who "go public" about their gay identities and relationships. During the night last night, as I lay awake thinking about these issues in the wee hours of the morning, a memory flashed back. It's from my years teaching at Xavier University, a Catholic university in New Orleans. The following events occurred around 1989 or 1990, as best as I can recall.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wolf or Sheep? Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis Defends Right of Catholic Institutions to Fire Gay Employees Who Go Public About Their Lives and Loves

As Michael Gordon and Tim Funk report recently for the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, North Carolina, Catholic bishop Peter Jugis says that gay employees of Catholic institutions should be fired when they "go public" about their disagreement with "fundamental moral tenets" of the Catholic magisterium.

"When Wolf Meets Sheep": On the Possibility of Safe Dialogue Spaces to Discuss Same-Sex Lives and Love in the U.S. Catholic Church

At New Ways Ministry's Bondings 2.0 blog today, Robert Shine cites Damian Torres-Botello, an out gay Jesuit who writes the following in The Jesuit Post about the possibility of open, respectful dialogue about same-sex love in the Catholic church after anti-LGBT right-wing Catholics succeeded in having a talk by Father James Martin cancelled recently:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson Propose Reframing Catholic Conversation re: Same-Sex Love; Francis DeBernardo Responds — My Reflections

Recently, at National Catholic Reporter, Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson published an essay calling for kick-starring a new Catholic conversation about same-sex love. Several days ago, at New Ways Ministry's Bondings 2.0 blog, Francis DeBernardo posted a response to this essay. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cahill and Wilkinson's Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church on How Humanae Vitae Undermines Sexual Ethic of Catholic Church

As a complement to what I just posted about how the U.S. Catholic bishops and Republican party brought right-wing white evangelicals on board the anti-contraception and anti-abortion bandwagon, I'd like to share a posting I made yesterday to my Facebook friends. I'm now reading the recent ground-breaking, exhaustive study of child sexual abuse in the Catholic church entitled Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports by Desmond Cahill and Peter Wilkinson's of Melbourne University's Centre for Global Research. (Thanks to Sarasi1 for inviting me to do that). When I've finished reading it, I'll have more to say about it, but for now, here's something that leaps out at me as I read:

How Right-Wing White Evangelicals Fixated on Birth Control and Abortion: Answers from Tara Isabella Burton, Fred Clark, and David Gushee

At Vox this past weekend, Tara Isabella Burton asks how birth control became a part of the conservative evangelical agenda, when even the most conservative evangelical churches never had a peep to say about this matter until fairly recently. She writes:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Update on Judge Wendell Gfiffen of Little Rock: Judge Griffen Files Suit vs. Arkansas Supreme Court for Violating His Religious Liberty

In May, I told you of a move to impeach Arkansas judge (and my friend) Wendell Griffen after he took part in a public demonstration against the death penalty organized on Good Friday by the church he pastors in Little Rock, New Millennium Baptist church. In response to his involvement in this protest, the Arkansas Supreme Court and Arkansas Attorney General restricted the kinds of cases at which Judge Griffen might preside, claiming that he was too biased to hear some cases, such as ones in which the death penalty might be an appropriate sentence in their view.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Las Vegas Story: Google Finds Itself Gamed Again by Organized Hate Groups (Back to the Case of Father Martin and Church Militant)

On 21 September, I presented you with a series of screenshots showing you that on that day at about 2 P.M. CST (in the U.S.), the three "top news" stories that Google was returning to those who googled the name "James Martin" were all personal attacks on Father Martin from the Church Militant website, which is not a bona fide news site at all.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thoughts and Prayers: The American Way of Evading Meaningful Action Through Resort to Meaningless "Religious" Nonsense

Monday, October 2, 2017

Back from Trip, Thinking About American Catholicism, the "Both-Sides" False Equivalency Argument, and Ethics of Survival

I'm sorry to have been silent for a week. Steve and I spent last week in New Orleans visiting friends and family, and as we did so, I couldn't keep up with blogging — even, to any great degree, with following the news. I'm back now, and among all that I might talk about (the dire situation in Puerto Rico and the morally bankrupt response of the Trump administration to it; the event of mass murder in Las Vegas last evening), what is foremost in my mind today, for the purpose of this blog, is a discussion I read in the past day or so at the National Catholic Reporter site.