Monday, December 31, 2018

Michael Sean Winters Asks, "Can the Church Round the Corner in 2019?": My Response

"Can the church round the corner in 2019?" Michael Sean Winters asks in an end-of-year reflection published today. I consider that question, and have to admit: I find my imagination faltering.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Family Funerals, Immigrant-Bashing, and the Weaponization of American Catholicism: Place to Which "Pro-Life" U.S. Catholic Leaders Have Brought Their Church

Monday, December 24, 2018

A Christmas Story

Since Christmas is a time for telling ourselves stories….

The Christmas story is one we have to make way for against all odds.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Calling the Bluff of Those Who Maintain That Roots of Southern White Evangelicals Don't Run Back to Defense of Slavery

I'm not a white evangelical now, but I was raised in the Southern Baptist church, with two Baptist grandmothers (one Southern and one Missionary) — so I know more than a little about white evangelical culture in the American South. My father's brother and his wife spent their academic careers teaching and (in my uncle's case) doing administrative work in Southern Baptist colleges. Their two sons are Southern Baptist ministers, as was their maternal grandfather.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Father Prado on Pope Francis: Wants to Deny Access to Priesthood to Gays Because He's Catholic — I Have Questions

Father Fernando Prado, author of the book The Strength of Vocation, in which he interviews Pope Francis and gets the pope on record "worrying" about gay priests and opining that it's better to keep the gays out of the priesthood, recently spoke to Crux. In an article entitled "Pope doesn’t back down from skepticism about gays in priesthood," InΓ©s San MartΓ­n reports about that conversation and about Pope Francis' view that, in Prado's words, "homosexuals" should not have "access to the priesthood." 

Headlines to Read Side by Side: Pope Tells Abusive Priests to Turn Themselves in to Criminal Authorities; Police Are Enabling Rampant Abuse in ICE Shelters

Bill Chappell, "Pope Francis Tells Abusive Priests And Bishops To Turn Themselves In"

Michael Grabell, Topher Sanders, and Silvina Sterin Pensel, "Police Are Enabling Rampant Abuse in Immigrant Children's Shelters"

Two headlines from yesterday that should, I think, be read side by side. The pope is telling abusive priests and bishops to turn themselves in to criminal authorities, since the church cannot, he insists, police itself and solve the problem of abusive priests and complicit bishops without help from outside authorities.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Death of 7-Year-Old Girl in U.S. Custody, a Family Funeral, and the Inexplicable Cruelty of Right-Wing U.S. Catholicism: An Advent Conundrum

Sometimes I follow threads in Catholic discussions on Twitter down rabbit holes. I know I shouldn't do this, because the holes inevitably turn out to be dark, claustrophobic, and stifling. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

As Polling Data from 2018 Elections Shows Quite Specifically White Evangelicals Are Trump Base, Valuable Recent Commentary


As an exit poll conducted by the Edison Research group in the 2018 elections shows that Donald Trump's base of support is not white working-class people in general, as is often suggested, but white evangelicals quite specifically, and as Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor and graduate of Arkansas' Southern Baptist university Ouachita declares that she will be remembered by history as "transparent and honest," an assortment of statements I've read recently about these issues:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why Blaming Gay Priests for Catholic Abuse Situation Will Not Help Anything (Plus News about Cardinal Pell, Anti-Gay Hardliner)

As I posted my posting two days ago with an assortment of reports about the sexual abuse of vulnerable people in Christian churches, I had decided that I'd do a follow-up posting featuring some valuable commentary from Jamie Manson about Pope Francis' "worries" about gay priests. In my view, the critique/discussion of comments by top Catholic officials like the ones Francis has made to Father Fernando Prado about homosexuality and gay priests needs to go hand in hand with reports about abuse of vulnerable people in Christian churches. Where a plethora of reports from various churches, including the Catholic church, demonstrates plainly that the vulnerable people being abused by priests and pastors include females…. Demonstrating that the gays-are-the-problem analysis is a red herring if we really want to get to the root of sexual abuse of vulnerable people in faith communities….

Monday, December 10, 2018

Abuse of Vulnerable People and Churches: Recent Reports, from Baptists to Nuns Raped by Bishops and Priests to Jesuits to a German Princess Saving the Church

This is a collection of reports on the abuse situation as it is unfolding in various churches now. These are all recent statements, and not by any means a representative report on all that is happening on the sexual abuse front in religious groups right now. Stories are breaking on that front fast and furious — this is only my own selection of reports that have drawn my attention recently, for reasons that will be apparent as you read:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

My Father at Pearl Harbor As It Was Bombed, and DNA Discoveries in Genealogical Research: An Account

My father, Benjmain Dennis Lindsey, Jr., at Pearl Harbor during WWII (on left).

This is one of those "personal" postings that seem to have become rarer as I maintain this blog. I'm not sure why I post less and less about my own personal history here, or my family's history. I think I may have been spurred to do so now by two fascinating statements I've read in the past several days about the use of DNA to discover one's ancestry or family history (here and here). As my posting  says, I had a DNA surprise some months back — that is, I learned some information about a family member close to me whom I knew very well as I grew up, which I never expected to find and never set out to find, but which I'm now having to process. In part, because this family member represents a staunchly evangelical — Southern Baptist, in particular — branch of my family, and what I have learned about his life and history complicates that picture to a large degree…. So here goes with the personal posting, about which I'm forewarning you if these aren't your cup of tea:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

More on Missionary John Allen Chau: "You Go on a Beach, You Throw a Fish at Some People, You Holler at Them" — This Is Missionizing?

Several days ago, I posted some reflections about the story of American Christian missionary John Allen Chau, who was killed by the Sentinelese recently after he insisted on going to North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal to missionize them, though he had been warned that doing so would place him in grave danger. As my posting noted, this story has placed religious missionizing in the spotlight of the mainstream media. It raises serious questions about how Christians understand (or should understand missionizing) — a topic that has been fruitfully discussed for some time now in theology programs in which new understandings of mission are emerging.

Monday, December 3, 2018

"All" Francis Is Doing Is Calling Gay Priests to Keep Vows of Celibacy: A Rebuttal

Headlines Keep Pouring Forth: "Pope Francis Goes Full Homophobic"; "Pope Tells Gay Clergy to Quit" — Some Mercy. Some Hope. Some Welcome!

Newshub (New Zealand)

And the headlines just keep pouring out around the world: "Pope Francis goes full homophobic"; "Pope Francis doesn’t want homosexuals to join the priesthood"; "The Catholic Church is still homophobic"; "Pope Francis says gay life has become 'fashionable' and is hurting the Catholic Church"; "Pope tells gay clergy to quit"; "Gay people not welcome in clergy."

Sunday, December 2, 2018

I Have a Dream: As Pope Francis Announces that Gay Men Shouldn't Enter Priesthood, as Advent Begins — "Leave the LGBTQ Community the Hell Alone"

This is a meditation for the first Sunday of Advent. It has specific reference to what Pope Francis said (or is said to have said: let the Catholic games begin!) in a book released in Italy yesterday, which is being represented widely in headlines throughout the mainstream media like this one today from The Guardian in London: "Gay people should not join Catholic clergy, Pope Francis says." Given that we know that there already are gay men in the Catholic priesthood and hierarchy — galore — this statement will rightly strike people with functioning consciences and access to much information at all as downright silly. As malicious….