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  • UMAffirmation
    Feb 6, 2013

      Vatican Criticizes European Religious Freedom Ruling

      Religion News Service  |  By Alessandro Speciale Posted: 01/17/2013 12:22 pm EST


      VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican on Wednesday (Jan. 16) criticized a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that affirms employers' right to limit the expression of religious beliefs in the workplace when it conflicts with equality laws.


      In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican's foreign minister, said that on "morally controversial subjects, such as abortion or homosexuality," people have the right to defend their freedom of conscience.





      January 17, 2013  11:23AM

      Leading UK Evangelical Comes Out for Gay Acceptance

      Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge


      Steve Chalke, the pastor of Oasis Church Waterloo, a Baptist church in London, is making waves in the evangelical community after coming out to affirm “loving, stable” gay and lesbian relationships. The Independent quotes Chalke as writing:


      “When we refuse to make room for gay people to live in loving, stable relationships, we consign them to lives of loneness, secrecy and fear. It’s one thing to be critical of a promiscuous lifestyle—but shouldn’t the Church consider nurturing positive models for permanent and monogamous homosexual relationships?”


      Reaction from fellow evangelicals, like Greg Downes at Christian Today was swift, and negative: “Since the scriptures are crystal clear on the issue, my fear is that any shift to embrace this new interpretation is nothing short of a denial of the authority of the Bible itself,” Downs said.





      Anti-gay evangelist Scott Lively: ‘Gays will crush religion and persecute Christians’

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      22 January 2013, 6:18pm


      An anti-gay preacher from the US has attacked the gay rights movement, accusing it of attempting to “crush” religious liberty, and that it seeks to “persecute” Christians.





      Comment: The boundaries of tolerance

      by Adrian Tippetts
      23 January 2013, 7:03pm


      Don’t be fooled by the victim narrative of religious lobby groups, writes Adrian Tippetts for PinkNews. In a society of competing ideas, cultures and aspirations, individual liberty is sacrosanct.





      Evangelical Churches Refine Message on Gay Issues

      by Travis Loller

      Associated Press

      Thursday Jan 31, 2013


      The Rev. Robert Jeffress has changed the way he talks about homosexuality from the pulpit.

      The pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Dallas hasn’t stopped preaching that homosexual sex is sinful, but he no longer singles it out for special condemnation. Now, Jeffress says he usually talks about homosexuality within "a bigger context of God’s plan for sex between one man and one woman in a lifetime relationship called marriage."





      Megachurch Pastor: We’re “American Al Qaeda” for Opposing Homosexuality

      By Tom Bartlett


      Tom Bartlett is a science reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Utne Reader, Slate, and others. 


      The day after it was announced that Louie Giglio, an Atlanta pastor, founder of the Passion movement and campaigner against human trafficking, had been chosen to deliver the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration, an old sermon of his surfaced. Okay, it didn’t “surface”—ThinkProgress, the well-known left-wing blog, dug up a sermon from the 1990s in which Giglio calls homosexuality a sin, worries that same-sex marriage will undermine society, and insists that only a sensitive guy with long hair named Jesus can turn gays straight. An outcry ensued and Giglio withdrew from the ceremony. As political debacles go, this was junior varsity stuff—“over in a flash,” as Sarah Posner put it here on RD.





      Sin is Not a Crime: A Conversation with Patrick Cheng 

      A Christian theologian re-writes the seven deadly sins, invites everyone—LGBT, religious or not—to come out of the closet

      By Candace Chellew-Hodge


      Candace Chellew-Hodge is the founder/editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians and currently serves as the pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C. She is also the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians (Jossey-Bass, 2008)


      The next time a Christian prattles on about how gay sex is a sin, blame Augustine.


      The Church Father who gave us the doctrine of original sin also had a very negative view of sexuality in general—and gave us the idea that the only appropriate sex is for procreation, within the bounds of marriage.


      But, as Patrick Cheng reminds us in his latest book, From Sin to Amazing Grace, there are Christian traditions that pre-date Augustine’s prudish views. 





      Ghana: Anti-gay critics say new children’s minister will ‘promote homosexuality’

      by Corinne Pinfold
      4 February 2013, 5:49pm


      Ghana’s new children’s minister has been accused of supporting gay rights by her critics even though she denies stating that homosexuality should be legalised.




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