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  • UMAffirmation
    Conservative Christians Blame the Gays for Hurricane Sandy by Jason St. Amand Web Producer / Staff Writer Tuesday Oct 30, 2012 A conservative Christian pastor
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 22, 2012

      Conservative Christians Blame the Gays for Hurricane Sandy

      by Jason St. Amand

      Web Producer / Staff Writer

      Tuesday Oct 30, 2012

      A conservative Christian pastor is blaming Hurricane Sandy, which was expected to impact the Eastern seaboard Monday evening and Tuesday morning, on the LGBT community.

      John McTernan, author, pastor and founder of Defend and Proclaim the Faith ministries, fired off a blog post on the Defend and Proclaim website that suggested the LGBT community and President Barack Obama’s support for marriage equality are to blame for Hurricane Sandy. He also took aim at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.




      October 29, 2012 12:58PM

      Hurricane Sandy Spawns Right-Wing Theodicy

      Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge

      As Hurricane Sandy heads ashore on the east coast of the U.S., far right-wing religious zealots are already calling it a sign from God for everything from U.S. policy on Israel to, of course, the gays.




      UK: Anti-equal marriage bishop chosen to become Archbishop of Canterbury

      by Scott Roberts
      8 November 2012, 11:19am

      The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, who is strongly opposed to equal marriage, is set to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.




      Pro-Gay Ex-oilman Named Archbishop of Canterbury

      by Robert Barr

      Associated Press

      Friday Nov 9, 2012

      LONDON - A former oil executive with experience in conflict resolution has been chosen to lead a global Anglican Communion riven by sharply divided views on gay people and their place in the church.

      Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday that Justin Welby, 56, a fast-rising priest with only a year’s experience as a bishop, had been picked to succeed Rowan Williams as archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans.




      UK: New Archbishop signals openness on LGBT issues

      by Scott Roberts
      9 November 2012, 3:02pm

      The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, who has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, says the Church of England must have “no truck with any form of homophobia”.







      Integrity welcomes the announcement today of the next Archbishop of Canterbury: Bishop Justin Welby, currently Bishop of Durham. It is a difficult position – to be the designated “instrument of unity” for a Communion which is increasingly diverse and attempts to draw together peoples and countries with competing needs. Bishop Welby comes well equipped to take on the challenge, having worked in Africa and being familiar with the Church in several different countries.


      Welby comes from the evangelical wing of the relatively conservative Church of England, and is said to oppose gay marriage. Caroline Hall, President of Integrity USA, said, “Our prayers will be with Bishop Welby as he takes on this enormous challenge. I hope that he will be able to build on the experience of his predecessor, Archbishop Williams and manage not to cave to the tactics of bullies. The majority of Anglicans want to work together to further the reign of God, and it will be Bishop Welby’s task to provide leadership for this cooperation. In the reign of God there is neither male nor female, black nor white, gay nor straight. I hope that he can help us to make this vision of inclusivity a reality throughout the Anglican Communion.”


      When visiting the Episcopal House of Bishops earlier this year, Bishop Welby said, “I pray and hope that we live with confidence and hope, and grow in the ability to live in complexity. That we are able to have diversity without enmity. God has made the churches full of diversity, that is the miracle of unity, praise God for diversity, when lived in love and integrity.” Integrity's hope is that the Bishop will be able so to do.


      Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 10/31/2012



      Unnatural disasters

      By Nancy Wilson and Yvette Flunder

      Natural disasters can bring out people’s best. As Hurricane Sandy roared across the Northeast, people joined together to pile sandbags; they reached out to neighbors who needed a dry place; they risked life and limb to save strangers from a watery grave. Would that all neighbors be treated with such respect in political storms as well.

      As the political storm season comes to a climax, there are unnatural disasters that speak of the human capacity to harm each other.

      In a category 1 unnatural disaster, cartoonish leaders demean religion by blaming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for the hurricane. Linda Wall , prominent anti-LGBT lawyer claims that the USA is under “God’s judgment.” The Rev. John McTernan blames marriage equality laws for God’s “destructive judgments.”




      US: False advertising lawsuit filed against New Jersey group offering gay ‘conversion therapy’

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      27 November 2012, 11:55pm

      Four gay men in New York have filed a lawsuit accusing a New Jersey-based group of falsely offering “conversion therapy”, with a view to “reversing” their homosexuality.




      November 28, 2012 3:17PM

      Campaign Calls On Anti-Gay Leaders to “Repent”

      Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge

      Soulforce, the faith-based LGBT civil rights organization founded by Mel White, has begun its “Repent Campaign” designed to open up dialogue with right-wing religious leaders.

      Currently, Soulforce is asking people to vote for which “fundamentalists you think most deserve our attention right now in this political moment.” The list is quite long and includes some well known names like National Organization for Marriage leader Maggie Gallagher, radio host and American Family Association public policy director Bryan Fischer, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, and supporter of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill Lou Engle.




      US: Evangelical Christian man fakes being gay for a year as research for a new book

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      4 December 2012, 11:30pm

      An evangelical Christian man from Tennessee has cause controversy by pretending to be gay for a year, as research for a new book, and has received criticism from the LGBT community.




      Reparative Therapy is Quackery, Rabbis Agree—But that Doesn’t Mean it’s Okay to Be Gay

      By Jay Michaelson

      Three things happened in the gay Jewish Orthodox world this past week: one was reported on CBS and CNN, and the other two passed relatively unnoticed. But to really understand the former, you need to know about the latter two.

      The big development was the lawsuit filed by four former clients of JONAH (“Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing”), the leading Jewish “reparative therapy” organization. The clients, and two of their parents, have sued JONAH for fraud, claiming that the organization peddled quack therapies that were ineffective and counterproductive. This is big news, and, if successful, the suit would represent the second major blow against “reparative therapy” this year—the first being California’s banning of it entirely.




      US: Christian right leader continues support for Ugandan President, despite “kill the gays” bill

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      7 December 2012, 5:49pm

      Despite the fact that the Ugandan Parliament has been reviving its so-called ‘kill the gays’ bill, the US-based Family Research Council has continued to offer its support to the country’s president.




      Singing Loud And Proud: Choir For LGBT Mormons Breaks Out

      by Andrea Smardon

      December 14, 2012 5:51 PM

      All Things Considered

      Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

      "It was almost like watching a rock concert, and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that,' " he says.

      But by the time Owen was old enough to join the choir, he was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he had been excommunicated after he came out as gay.




      San Francisco: Gay-friendly ‘Queen James’ Bible launched

      by Scott Roberts
      13 December 2012, 7:06pm

      A San Francisco Episcopal minister has launched what’s been described as a new “Gay Bible”.




      Vatican paper says marriage equality efforts aim for a gay ‘utopia’

      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
      18 December 2012, 12:36pm

      The media in the Vatican has likened moves towards equal marriage to a communist-like “utopia”, and said that the Catholic Church will not accept “fashionable” changes in favour of equality.




      Bishop Gene Robinson: Jesus was pro-gay and spent most of his time with 12 men

      by Scott Roberts
      17 December 2012, 2:00pm

      The US Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, says Jesus would have approved of gay families and of LGBT relationships in general.




      US: Republican Todd Akin pushes for homophobic ‘licence to bully’ law

      by Scott Roberts
      19 December 2012, 1:57pm

      Missouri Republican Representative Todd Akin is giving one last push to an anti-gay bill before leaving the US House of Representatives.




      US Pentecostal churches blamed for homophobia ‘surge’ in Africa

      by Scott Roberts
      19 December 2012, 10:38am

      Extreme elements of the US Pentecostal Church are behind the ‘surge’ in homophobia across Africa, according to human rights groups.




      Save lives in Uganda

      Anti-homosexuality bill called ‘world’s most harsh’

      by Amee Paparella on December 19, 2012

      [Called Out Editors’ Note – This article was published after the Ugandan Parliament went on recess without bringing up the bill.  Still, it’s encouraging that someone in The UMC had the guts to go on record.]

      Lives of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters in Uganda are in jeopardy.

      The Uganda Parliament is considering a bill that would impose more severe punishments for homosexual acts, which are already illegal there. The re-introduced bill would put LBGT individuals and their families at great risk. It has been called the "world's most harsh and comprehensively homophobic law."



    • UMAffirmation
      A Queer New Year By Peter Montgomery As we noted
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 8, 2013

        A Queer New Year

        By Peter Montgomery

        As we noted on New Year’s Eve, GLAAD posted a great year-end roundup of five big advances on LGBT issues among religious communities in 2012, all of which were part of RD’s coverage this past year: religious voices in marriage equality battles, greater visibility for pro-equality Catholics and Mormons, a further embrace of LGBT equality in the Episcopal church, and the emergence of LGBT voices on campus at religious colleges.




        US: First openly gay Anglican bishop, Gene Robinson, retires after 10 years

        by Joseph Patrick McCormick
        5 January 2013, 9:46pm

        The US Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, retired from his post on Saturday, after almost ten years.



      • UMAffirmation
        Survey: Big drop in Americans who say being gay is a sin by Scott Roberts 11
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 16, 2013

          Survey: Big drop in Americans who say being gay is a sin

          by Scott Roberts
          11 January 2013, 10:33am


          Americans who believe being gay is a sin are now a minority, according to research released yesterday, which links the trend to President Obama’s 2012 decision to support equal marriage.





          Anglican Nigerian church threatens to split from Church of England over gay bishops row

          by Joseph Patrick McCormick
          10 January 2013, 2:52pm


          The Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion has threatened to break away from the Church of England over a recent announcement that the latter has dropped its opposition to gay clergy becoming bishops.





          Rescuing the Gospel from gays-vs.-Christians debate

          Torn offers candid, even-handed analysis of devisive issue

          by the Rev. Heath Bradley on January 11, 2013


          Justin Lee has a voice and a story that everyone needs to listen to. He is the leader of The Gay Christian Network, a regular blogger, and author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.


          In this, his first book, Lee offers his readers a wide-ranging discussion of the gay debate in the church today, including very even-handed and brief overviews of the biblical and scientific debates surrounding homosexuality.




          Anti-gay Christian group: It is ‘dangerous’ to say the bible is inclusive of gay people

          by Joseph Patrick McCormick
          15 January 2013, 6:05pm


          The leader of the Evangelical Alliance has responded to an article which claimed the bible could be inclusive of gay people, to say that suggestions of a new biblical interpretation are “dangerous”.




        • UMAffirmation
          Vatican Criticizes European Religious Freedom Ruling Religion News Service | By Alessandro Speciale Posted: 01/17/2013 12:22 pm EST VATICAN CITY (RNS) The
          Message 4 of 16 , 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.




          • UMAffirmation
            Book Review: Torn offers balanced talk on church & homosexuality January 17, 2013 by Heath Bradley, Special Contributor Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 18, 2013

              Book Review: ‘Torn’ offers balanced talk on church & homosexuality

              January 17, 2013

              by Heath Bradley, Special Contributor

              Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
              Jericho Books, 2012
              Hardcover, 272 pages


               Justin Lee has a voice and a story that everyone needs to listen to. He is the leader of the Gay Christian Network (gaychristian.net), a regular blogger (gcnjustin.tumblr.com) and, now, the author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.


              In this, his first book, Mr. Lee offers his readers a wide-ranging discussion of the gay debate in the church today, including very evenhanded and brief overviews of the biblical and scientific debates surrounding homosexuality.


              Far and away the strongest aspect of this book, though, is the honest and candid nature in which Mr. Lee shares with us his own story.





              Mormon Church Working With LGBT Leaders on Utah Anti-Discrimination Bill

              by Jason St. Amand

              Web Producer / Staff Writer

              Tuesday Feb 12, 2013


              Officials from the Mormon Church have apparently been working with Utah’s LGBT community in order to create a bill that would protect gays from housing and employment discrimination in Utah, Salt Lake Tribune reports.


              Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, opened a bill file on Thursday, called "Housing and Employment Amendments" and will sponsor the measure if the two parties can reach an agreement. Although 16 cities in Utah have passed similar ordinances, this bill would ban anti-gay discrimination statewide.





              Pope's Resignation An Opportunity For Africa's Cardinals

              by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

              February 16, 2013 5:18 AM

              Listen to the Story

              Weekend Edition Saturday


              Sunday Alamba/AP


              The names of African cardinals are popping up as possible contenders to succeed Pope Benedict as head of the Roman Catholic Church when he steps down at the end of the month.


              The Mary Mother of Good Council School is one of a number of respected Roman Catholic schools overseen by the archdiocese of Accra, the capital of the West African nation of Ghana. The Metropolitan archbishop of Accra, Charles Palmer-Buckle, who trained as a priest at pontifical universities in Rome, is upbeat about the continent's contribution to the Catholic Church.




            • Affirmation: United Methodists
              Diocese Won’t Reinstate Fired Gay Ohio Teacher Associated Press Wednesday Jun 12,
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 30, 2013

                Diocese Won’t Reinstate Fired Gay Ohio Teacher

                Associated Press

                Wednesday Jun 12, 2013


                The superintendent for a Roman Catholic Diocese has declined to reinstate a gay teacher who is challenging her firing by a Catholic school.





                June 14, 2013 12:28PM

                Nearly Half of LGBT People Claim No Religion

                Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge


                As someone who has been criticized by the LGBT community for remaining in a religion—namely, Christianity—that does not want me, it’s not shocking to me that a new Pew Research poll shows nearly half of all LGBT people claim no religious affiliation.


                The survey showed 48% of the LGBT population claims no religious affiliation, compared to 20% of the general public. Even among LGBT people who do embrace religion many are closeted or hiding in congregations with 33% saying “there is a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity.”





                Church of Scotland could lose £1 million a year in givings, over gay ordination row

                by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                16 June 2013, 2:33pm


                Congregations have begun to resign from the Church of Scotland, with six having already quit, over a recent decision to allow gay ministers to be ordained.



              • Affirmation: United Methodists
                Christians v. Gays: The Damage Done By David Gushee Dr. David P. Gushee, a Christian ethicist,
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 13, 2013

                  Christians v. Gays: The Damage Done

                  By David Gushee


                  Dr. David P. Gushee, a Christian ethicist, teacher, activist, and churchman, serves as Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University.


                  Predictably, conservative Christian activists and commentators are already decrying the Supreme Court’s decisions today rejecting the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and permitting same-sex marriages to resume in California.


                  These Christians are doubling down, and doubling down, and doubling down again, on the same arguments and strategies that have failed in the court of public opinion and today in the Supreme Court.





                  Gay, Evangelical and Seeking Acceptance in Church

                  by Rachel Zoll

                  Associated Press

                  Sunday Jun 30, 2013


                  Evangelicals are being challenged to change their views of gays and lesbians, and the pressure isn’t coming from the gay rights movement or watershed court rulings: Once silent for fear of being shunned, more gay and lesbian evangelicals are speaking out about how they’ve struggled to reconcile their beliefs and sexual orientation.





                  June 28, 2013 1:31PM

                  Message to Anti-Gay Pastors: Double Down

                  Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge


                  Double down and be very afraid. That was the message to pastors during a conference call today by an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the right-wing outfit of attorneys that represented Protect Marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court over California's Proposition 8.


                  The conference call, held by Pulpit Freedom Sunday, a program created by Jim Garlow's Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, Calif., featured ADF attorney Joe La Rue outlining the impact of the Supreme Court's decision overturning Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and returning the Prop 8 case to California.






                  [Called Out Editors’ Note – In the “straw men” picture that accompanies the article, the figures appear to be made out of a combination of hay (round bales) and straw (rectangular bales.)  We’ll leave it to you to look up the difference between hay and straw.]

                  An Evangelical Intellectual Takes On Same-Sex Marriage, Grasps at Straw Men

                  Following Christian philosopher William Lane Craig through a corn maze

                  By Eric C. Miller


                  Eric C. Miller is a lecturer in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the rhetoric of the religious right.


                  Of all the terms used to describe the recent shift in public opinion toward same-sex marriage, “seismic”  is one of the most common. Given the centrality of California to this discussion, headline writers have found “Seismic Shift” difficult to resist. And it makes sense—the earth seems to have moved, structures shifted or collapsed. 


                  In recent weeks the metaphor has found fresh resonance. Opponents of same-sex marriage are frantically rushing to raise and brace their beams.




                • Affirmation: United Methodists
                  LGBT Group Finds Acceptance at Evangelical College by Sarah Parvini Associated Press
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jul 22, 2013

                    LGBT Group Finds Acceptance at Evangelical College

                    by Sarah Parvini

                    Associated Press

                    Saturday Jul 13, 2013


                    PASADENA, Calif. -- Nick Palacios struggled to get his conservative Pentecostal parents to accept him as a gay evangelical Christian for nearly a decade before his family found a common ground through faith.


                    Now, as an openly gay seminarian, the 29-year-old hopes to carve out a similar acceptance for other gays in the broader evangelical community through his role as president of the nation’s first LGBT student club sanctioned by a major evangelical seminary. The group, called OneTable, formed last fall at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, one of the world’s largest multi-denominational seminaries, and has attracted about three dozen students.





                    Dean of Chichester: Being gay is ‘not a choice but a given’

                    by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                    15 July 2013, 6:35pm


                    Update: An original draft of this article published on 13 July included a misquotation which made it appear as though the Dean of Chichester suggested that being gay is a choice. The talk held at Chichester Cathedral titled ‘Gay Marriage- Sacrament or Scandal’, included an impassioned debate during which the Dean stood up for gay rights and equal marriage and said he was “horrified” by homophobic behaviour. The correct quote from the Dean read that being gay is “not a choice but a given”.


                    The Dean of Chichcester held a public talk at Chichester Cathedral last week, which focussed on equal marriage, during which he reflected on the idea that “homosexuality is not a choice but a given”, but also that there was no easy solution to religious opposition to equal marriage.




                    July 19, 2013 6:33PM

                    FRC's Perkins Selling Straight Hot Sex

                    Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge


                    Faced with a growing acceptance of gay and lesbian people in both society and the church, the religious right is rolling out its new sales pitch for heterosexuality: "Married heterosexuals have the best sex!"


                    After failing to sell the younger generation on the intrinsic value of marriage as the best way to raise children, they've decided to back up a few steps and instead pitch the great baby-making sex that straight married couples apparently have.


                    "Those who worship God weekly have the best sex," asserted Patrick F. Fagan, Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) at the Family Research Council.



                  • Affirmation: United Methodists
                    Archbishop Desmond Tutu: I would rather go to Hell than worship a homophobic God by James Park 27
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 4, 2013

                      Archbishop Desmond Tutu: I would rather go to Hell than worship a homophobic�God

                      by James Park
                      27July2013, 12:30pm

                      Archbishop Desmond Tutu, famous for his role in ending�Apartheid, has said that he would rather go to Hell if he discovered that God was homophobic.


                      Pope Says He Won�t Judge Gay Priests

                      by Nicole Winfield

                      Associated Press

                      Monday Jul 29, 2013

                      Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn�t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.

                      "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked.


                      Archbishop of Canterbury: �Popular opinion on equal marriage is not a case for changing obedience to�God�

                      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                      30July2013, 1:42pm

                      Speaking at a Christian conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said that popular opinion on equal marriage is �not a case for changing obedience to God�.


                      Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay�people?

                      by Scott Roberts
                      29July2013, 12:59pm

                      In a significant development Pope Francis has said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society.


                      July 29, 2013

                      Will Francis� Statements on Women and Gays �Make a Mess� Inside the Church?

                      By Mary E. Hunt

                      Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Roman Catholic active in the women-church movement, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues.

                      Pope Francis made his first foray abroad since becoming pope and by all accounts his stock is up. In the case of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, however, the encore will be more important than the performance itself. Will his comments on the plane ride home regarding the role of women and��the�gay lobby� translate into changes inside the institutional church? One can only hope, though it remains too early to tell.�

                      I wasn�t there, but I watched enough live coverage to get a feel for the scene at Copacabana Beach. Whether I wanted it or not, I probably earned the plenary indulgence promised to his Twitter followers! These Vatican people think of everything from age to age.�


                      [Called Out Editors� Note:� We thought this was interesting and needed to go in both the Religion and Marriage posts.� We�ve known about this book almost since it was published.� One of us has a friend that does go on about this book.]

                      Christian church performed same-sex marriages almost 2,000 years�ago

                      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                      30July2013, 9:37pm

                      A book by historian John Boswell around the origins of equal marriage is being released in digital edition for the first time in August, and discusses that almost 2,000 years ago, the Christian church performed same-sex weddings.


                      July 30, 2013 3:45PM

                      U.S. [Catholic] Bishops Have No Trouble Judging Gays

                      Post by Peter Montgomery

                      Pope Francis�s informal comments about gay people � �Who am I to judge them if they�re seeking the Lord in good faith?� � have drawn a lot of attention, including a valuable context-providing analysis�from Mary Hunt here on RD.

                      The remarks stood out because their gracious tone toward gay people is a striking departure from the rhetoric of this pope�s immediate predecessor -- so striking, in fact, that Thomas Reese, a priest and former editor of the Jesuit-published America magazine, wrote, "The pope made it clear that there is no room for homophobia either in the church or society. But if I had said what he said 24 hours before he said it, I would have been reported to the archbishop."


                      Analysis: Pope�s Revolution; Not All are Pleased

                      by Nicole Winfield

                      Associated Press

                      Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

                      The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased.

                      Four months into his papacy, Francis has called on young Catholics in the trenches to take up spiritual arms to shake up a dusty, doctrinaire church that is losing faithful and relevance. He has said women must have a greater role - not as priests, but a place in the church that recognizes that Mary is more important than any of the apostles. And he has turned the Vatican upside down, quite possibly knocking the wind out of a poisonously homophobic culture by merely uttering the word "gay" and saying: so what?


                      Pope�s Comments Push LGBTQ Equality Issues Forward

                      by David �Perry

                      EDGE Contributor

                      Thursday Aug 1, 2013

                      Pope Francis stunned Catholics and several other denominations when he declared, "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?"

                      The Pontiff, speaking in Italian, was fielding questions from reporters during his return to Rome after a successful tour in Brazil when the question of gays in the priesthood, and the rumor of the "gay lobby" that supposedly forced his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI into retirement.


                      [Called Out Editors� Note:� We include this only to demonstrate the level of invective some so-called religious leaders will stoop to.]

                      Anti-gay evangelist accuses US Supreme Court judge of being a��homosexualist�

                      by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                      2August2013, 5:50pm

                      An anti-gay evangelist has written a column which accuses one of the US Supreme Court justices of being a �homosexualist� for ruling in favour of �gay rights in the past.


                      Archbishop of Detroit: Pope�s comments on gay people represent �no�change�

                      by Corinne Pinfold
                      3August2013, 12:30pm

                      The Archbishop of Detroit has spoken out over excitement about Pope Francis� seemingly progressive comments on homosexuality, arguing that the pontiff �didn�t say anything different� to established Catholic teaching.


                    • Affirmation: United Methodists
                      Openly gay minister ordained in Minneapolis 9:26 PM, Aug 25, 2013 MINNEAPOLIS - A church in Minneapolis made history on Saturday by ordaining an openly gay
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 5, 2013

                        Openly gay minister ordained in Minneapolis

                        9:26 PM, Aug 25, 2013


                        MINNEAPOLIS - A church in Minneapolis made history on Saturday by ordaining an openly gay minister for the first time.


                        Daniel Vigilante is now the minister of outreach at Trinity Community Church at 28th and Humboldt Avenue.




                        Church sign goes viral: ‘Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine’

                        by Joseph Patrick McCormick
                        30 August 2013, 5:50pm

                        The picture of the sign was viewed over a million times after it was posted on Reddit

                        An inclusive church in Canada has joined others using its sign to advertise a message of inclusion, and has found viral internet fame as a result.

                        The St John’s Anglican Church, erected the sign saying: “Jesus had two dads, and he turned out just fine!”.




                        Comment: Canada is embracing gay Muslims

                        by Barry Dennison
                        30 August 2013, 5:50pm

                        Journalist Barry Dennison explores how a group of gay Muslims practice their faith during Ramadan in Canada.

                        After seeing numerous internet pictures of gay men being hung by the neck in Iran, it raised questions: How is Islam practiced in western society? Does the Canadian Government truly give everyone equal opportunity to believe as they choose?


                      • Affirmation: United Methodists
                        Editors Note: The Religion Dispatches items by Peter Montgomery are weekly summaries of religious news affecting LGBTQ people. Pray the Gay Away :: An
                        Message 11 of 16 , Nov 21, 2015

                          Editors’ Note:  The Religion Dispatches items by Peter Montgomery are weekly summaries of religious news affecting LGBTQ people.



                          Pray the Gay Away :: An In-Depth Look at 'Conversion Therapy'

                          by Christiana Lilly

                          South Florida Gay News

                          Just three days after Christmas in 2014, Leelah Alcorn wrote a final message on her Tumblr account -- a suicide note.

                          "Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There's no winning. There's no way out," she wrote. "People say 'it gets better' but that isn't true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse."




                          Religion Dispatches

                          By Peter Montgomery October 12, 2015




                          Catholic philosopher claims gay people are ‘inherently disordered’

                          Roberto Marchesini also claims gay people do not mature past childhood.

                          As the Catholic Church continue to question their views on homosexuality, a renowned Italian philosopher has spoken out in support of those who wish to keep gays away from the religion.




                          Religion Dispatches

                          By Peter Montgomery October 18, 2015




                          Let There Be Light: Handwritten Draft of King James Bible Reveals Secrets of Its Creation

                          By Ed Simon October 19, 2015

                          The King James Bible may well be the greatest work of literature ever written by committee—and now we know a bit more about the collaboration that produced it.

                          Jeffrey Allen Miller, an English professor at Montclair State University conducting research at Cambridge announced a remarkable discovery last week: “in the archives of Sidney Sussex College there survives now the earliest known draft of any part of the King James Bible, unmistakably in the hand of one of the King James translators.”




                          The Untold Story of Religious Support for Gay Rights

                          By Rebecca Alpert October 22, 2015

                          Now that we have marriage equality, and the Pope is hugging gay friends, what more is there to say about the gay community and religion?

                          Quite a bit, if you ask Heather White, author of Reforming Sodom: Protestants and the Rise of Gay Rights. And the conversation should start with a re-interpretation of recent history.




                          Religion Dispatches

                          By Peter Montgomery October 23, 2015




                          Religious Leaders Pledge to Protect Religious Freedom—For Everyone

                          By Sarah Posner October 26, 2015

                          Twenty-one religious leaders of various faiths gathered on the steps of the National Cathedral on Friday to sign a pledge for religious freedom and to call on public officials and political candidates to reject bigotry and protect religious freedom. http://religiondispatches.org/religious-leaders-pledge-to-protect-religious-freedom-for-everyone/?utm_source=Religion+Dispatches+Newsletter&utm_campaign=78d8b826af-RD_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_742d86f519-78d8b826af-42408065



                          Gay priest tells Pope: Your church is making life hell for gay people

                          A Vatican priest who was sacked after coming out for gay has shared the message he sent challenging the Pope on LGBT rights.




                          Religion Dispatches

                          By Peter Montgomery November 1, 2015




                          Gay Priest Fired by Vatican Describes 'Special Homophobia'

                          by Hermann Munoz and Alan Clendenning

                          Associated Press

                          Thursday Nov 5, 2015

                          BARCELONA, Spain -- The Polish monsignor who came out as gay and was fired by the Vatican just before a meeting of bishops about outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families says that a "special kind of homophobia" exists among priests, because those who are homosexual are forced to hate themselves.




                          Religious Americans Keeping the Faith, But Changing with Time

                          by Rachel Zoll

                          Associated Press

                          Tuesday Nov 3, 2015

                          A survey released Tuesday brought some good news for faith leaders alarmed by the spike in the number of Americans who say they have no ties to a particular religion.




                          Haters Gonna Hate: Christians Aren't Buying Wal-Mart's High Score on AFA Copy Cat Index

                          Tuesday Nov 3, 2015

                          The anti-gay religious right has never been known for its originality. So, it comes as no surprise that the anti-gay hate group American Family Association has ripped off the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to create their own version of the gay rights group's Corporate Equality Index.




                          The Problem with Pew’s Science & Religion Poll

                          By Andrew Aghapour and Michael Schulson November 5, 2015

                          To get good answers, you have to ask good questions.

                          “Generally, do you think science and religion are often in conflict?” is not a very helpful question. It’s vague from start to finish. Religion could refer to the beliefs and practices of evangelical Protestants, Jesuits, secular Jews, or Theravada Buddhists—or even some imagined mashup of all global faiths. Science is fuzzy, too. It refers to a wide range of disciplines (e.g. astronomy, botany, psychiatry) and occurs in a variety of settings (laboratories, forests, high school auditoriums). In the popular imagination, it’s practiced by everyone from white-coated nerds to egomaniacal monsters.




                          Religion Dispatches

                          By Peter Montgomery November 7, 2015




                          Will SCOTUS Call the “Bluff” of Religious Liberty Activists?

                          By Kara Loewentheil November 9, 2015

                          If the announcement that the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement (CCR) makes you feel like you’re experiencing deja vu, you’re not exactly wrong.

                          After Hobby Lobby, the Administration took a slow and leisurely approach to creating new regulations for the accommodation process. Finally released in July, the regulations, among other things, instituted a process for those non-profit religious organizations (NPRO) that objected to the original accommodation.




                          Out of Options: Christians’ Losing Battle Over Equality

                          By Kaya Oakes November 11, 2015

                          In the months since the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law, conservative Christian thinkers have followed two tracks. On the one hand, writers like Rod Dreher and Ross Douthat have used the language of war, battle, and struggle as a call to retrenchment. If we just went back to what the Bible intended for marriage and sexuality, in their thinking, Christianity might be able to steer itself back toward a central place in American culture and morality.

                          However, most conservative Christian thinkers are also aware that if this is a battle, it’s a losing one. And in fact, it has probably already been lost.




                          Religion Dispatches

                          By Peter Montgomery November 12, 2015




                          Mormons Announce No Baptisms for Babies with Gay Parents

                          Friday Nov 6, 2015

                          It's been a banner year for gay rights with the Mormon church -- until yesterday.

                          The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced a new policy Thursday that denies baptism to children living in a same-sex household. In a separate announcement, the church told leaders that participating in a same-sex marriage is tantamount to apostasy, or abandoning their faith,KUTV reports.




                          LGBT Activists Upset Over New Mormon Church Baptism Rule

                          by Brady McCombs

                          Associated Press

                          Friday Nov 6, 2015

                          Gay and lesbian Mormons and their supporters are reeling over a rule change by church officials that says members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out, and bars their children from being baptized unless they disavow same-sex relationships.




                          Protest of Mormon LGBT Policy Planned in Salt Lake City

                          by Brady McCombs

                          Associated Press

                          Monday Nov 16, 2015

                          A day after the Mormon church stood behind its new rules targeting gay members and their children, while issuing clarifications, several hundred people are expected at a rally in Salt Lake City to protest their displeasure with the policy changes.


                        • Affirmation: United Methodists
                          Can The Religious Left Be Effective Again? Longer Answer: Quizás By Daniel Schultz May 20, 2016
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jul 4, 2016
                          • Affirmation: United Methodists
                            Can The Religious Left Be Effective Again? Longer Answer: Quizás By Daniel Schultz May 20, 2016
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jul 4, 2016
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