Showing posts with label Gay and Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay and Religion. Show all posts

May 2, 2018

New Poll Shows Same Sex Marriage Support Among US Religious Groups




 Gay marriage is gaining support even among conservatives

 

 Most religious groups now support same-sex marriage being legal, according to a study released today from PRRI, the Public Religion Research Institute. The survey, which was based on more than 40,000 survey responses collected throughout 2017, finds that twice as many Americans now support same-sex marriage as opposing it, 61% to 30%.

Not surprisingly, support is strongest among members of religious groups that tend to be politically liberal, such as Jews (77%), the unaffiliated (80%), and Unitarians (an overwhelming 97%).

What is more surprising is how quickly support for same-sex marriage has grown among religious groups that are more politically diverse. Two-thirds of Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and white mainline Protestants now say they are in favor.

What's more, majority support now includes African Americans, whose support for same-sex marriage has increased from 41% in 2013 to 52% today. Hispanic Americans also saw double-digit increases, with support rising from 51% in 2013 to 61% today.

As support has grown, the outright opposition has declined, the study shows.

Majorities of Americans in most states support same-sex marriage, with the exceptions all located in the South. Even in the handful of states that do not have more than 50% support for same-sex marriage, they also don't have 50% opposition; Alabama is now the only state in the Union where a majority of residents say they oppose same-sex marriage. 

Support growing more slowly among Mormons and Evangelicals

While support is robust among most religious groups, white evangelicals and Mormons remain the only holdouts and do not express majority support for same-sex marriage. 40% of Mormons and just 34% of white evangelicals say they are in favor.

On the other hand, "there is evidence that even these groups are trending toward majority support," says PRRI.

For one thing, the opposition has decreased by double digits in both groups since 2013 and is now at 58% among white evangelicals and 53% among Mormons. A few years ago, the opposition had broad support among both groups – 71% of evangelicals and 68% of Mormons said no to same-sex marriage.

For another, the trend lines are clear that younger evangelicals and Mormons are significantly more supportive than their elders. Among evangelicals, for example, twice as many young adults favor same-sex marriage (53%) as those over 65 (25%). Mormon Millennials also showed majority support (52%) compared to Mormons over age 65 (32%).

The study also points out that white evangelical Protestants and Mormons represent a declining "market share" in the American religious landscape today, as their numbers are dwindling or remaining stagnant in comparison to the rapid growth of secularism. While they may hold "outsized political influence," combined they represent fewer than one in five Americans today, says Robert Jones, PRRI's CEO.

Most Americans oppose the "baker exception"

The study also showed that six in ten Americans oppose the idea of religiously based service refusals, which is the issue at the center of a major Supreme Court case this year. The court is considering whether a Colorado cake baker should have the right to refuse service to LGBT couples who are getting married if doing so would violate his religious beliefs. 

Members of most religious groups said business owners should not get to choose which clients to serve. This was particularly true among black Protestants, 65% of whom say that business owners should not have the option of denying service to LGBT customers.

Again, Mormons and evangelicals are the outliers. In both groups, 53% say that business owners should have the right to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples.

On a separate question, every religious group had majority consensus on nondiscrimination measures that provide equal legal protections to LGBT people. The lowest was among white evangelical Protestants, with just 54% support, and the highest among Unitarians, at 95%.

Mormons, the study pointed out, are unique in the large gap that exists between their views on different, but related issues.

"Only 40% of Mormons favor allowing same-sex couples to marry, yet nearly seven in ten (69%) support laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and employment—a 29-point gap," said the report. "Among no other major religious group is the gap on these two issues larger."

The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 1.2 percentage points.

National Catholic Reporter

January 12, 2018

Tim Farron (UK) Regrets Saying 'Gay is No Sin'



Tim Farron has said he regrets stating he did not believe gay sex was a sin during last year's general election 
He also said late last year: "People who are devout Christians are seen as "dangerous" and "offensive" in modern Britain." He went one way but reversed 180*
after the general election(he stepped down).
It has been said that politicians will say anything to get elected. It would seem this might be a good sample. In the US we have a genius politician that changes his position from one interview or tweeter to the next, on the same day. The interesting part here is that he is making his change of mind about gays and Christians very public by giving interviews in the subject. Why? It could be that in the Christian community if you have sinned you need to repent and part of the process is to make it public. particularly if your sinning was public. In the old days it was called... shaming.

                                                       🦊


After Tim Farron, it is tempting to agree with the former Liberal Democrat leader’s conclusion, that being an evangelical Christian is not compatible with political leadership. And yet it’s not clear whether this is the case or whether it is Farron’s own lack of political skills that resulted in his being one of the shortest serving party leaders of recent times. 

BBC:
The ex-Lib Dem leader told Christian Radio he had been "foolish and wrong" and had spoken partly to try and get the issue of his faith "off the table".
The committed Christian said the focus on his beliefs stopped him getting his message across during the campaign. 
"It was a little bit like having your main advertising hoarding permanently damaged and vandalized," he said. 
Mr. Farron also said he had been right to step down immediately after the election, in which the party did not make as much ground as it had hoped, saying he found himself in a situation where "either I let the party down or I compromised my faith". 
During the six-week-long campaign, he was asked repeatedly about his religious beliefs and, specifically, about whether he believed gay sex was a sin.
After initially appearing not to answer the question directly, he said he did not want people getting the "wrong impression" about his views, telling the BBC "I don't believe that gay sex is a sin".

Election opportunity

In an interview with Premier Christian Radio, Mr. Farron - who is now the party's environment spokesman as well as MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale - said he now regretted not being honest with himself at the time and admitted his answers had been motivated, partly, by political expediency.
Asked whether he had felt under pressure to deal with the issue while touring the country, he replied: "The bottom line is, of course, I did."
"There are things - including that - that I said that I regret. There was a sense I felt I had to get this off my table: here's a general election, a great opportunity for the Liberal Democrats... and all they wanted to do was talk about my Christian beliefs and what it meant." "I would say foolishly and wrongly, [I] attempted to push it away by giving an answer that, frankly, was not right."
Part of the difficulty he said he found himself wrestling with was the different understanding of what sin constitutes for Christians and non-Christians. 
"In the end, if you are a Christian you have a very clear idea of what sin is. It is us falling short of the glory of God, and that is something all of us equally share.
"So to be asked that question is essential to persecute one group of human beings because sin is something, Jesus excepted, we are all guilty of. But if you are not a Christian, what does sin mean? It is to be accused of something, to be condemnatory, and so we are talking different languages.
While he said he could have tried to explain the Bible's teaching on sex and sexuality, he said it would have been "naive in the extreme" to expect journalists to give him a hearing on the theological details.
Reflecting on his experience, he said that while he did not believe there was "a wicked agenda" to marginalize or ridicule Christians, he said there was a risk of society becoming "tolerant of everything apart from the things we don't like".
He added: "There are some who just can't comprehend that somebody can have really strong convictions and be a Bible-believing Christian on the one hand and at the same time really passionately believing in people's rights to make their own choices, which essentially is what liberalism is."
Sir Vince Cable, who succeeded Mr. Farron as a leader, was quick to stress that his colleague's views did not represent party policy.



November 14, 2017

This is Why Religious Exceptions Brings Gay Marriage and Gay Civil Rights Backwards







All states have anti-discrimination legislation that prevents businesses discriminating against people based on their sexuality, among other things. 
Religious exemptions would allow people — and private businesses — to refuse services for same-sex weddings by objecting to such weddings on religious grounds. 
I have written elsewhere about why religious exemptions for same-sex marriage are economically foolhardy. 
They are also bad policy: they undermine the very purpose of the anti-discrimination legislation. 

Equality vs. freedom 

The anti-discrimination legislation aims to balance competing "rights". On the one hand, it promotes the right to equality. It also tries to avoid impinging the right to freedom of religion. It is premised on the idea that vulnerable groups require legal protection from persecution. 
The most recent example of state anti-discrimination laws is the Victorian Equal Opportunities Act of 2010. Its purpose is to encourage "positive action to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimisation". This enhances prior laws by encouraging pro-active action by goods and services providers to eliminate discrimination. 
The legislation attempts to balance equality with religious freedom by providing exceptions where discrimination is deemed 'reasonable'. For example, in Victoria, the law allows people to discriminate if it is "reasonably necessary ... to comply with the doctrines, beliefs or principles of their religion". The act also exists alongside Constitutional provisions that prohibit the Commonwealth from either mandating or forbidding, religious observance.
The anti-discrimination legislation thus demonstrates a clear policy goal to eliminate discrimination except in the case of narrowly drawn exceptions. The question is whether religious exemptions for same-sex marriage undermine that policy goal. 

Where to draw the line

Religious exemptions for same-sex marriage could apply to three different activities: 
  • services provided by religious organizations and offered only to adherents of that religion 
  • non-religious services offered to the world at large by religiously owned or operated entities 
  • services provided by private organizations and offered to the world at large 
Religious groups offering religious services 
It is generally accepted that religious entities should be exempt from same-sex marriage laws when performing religious activities. For example, a church minister need not marry a same-sex couple. This is not a live issue in the debate. 
Religious groups offering non-religious services to the world at large
Religious groups provide many services to the general public. They might include schools that are open to people of all faiths, properties that are open for rent, or religiously affiliated businesses that provide general services. Superficially, one might argue that providing services for same-sex couples could be at odds with the religious group's beliefs. However, two factors count against that. 
First, the religious group has actively decided to offer its services to the world at large. In so doing, it has signaled that it is willing to serve people who do not agree with its religious tenets.
Picking and choosing which people to serve is arbitrary and exclusionary and this is precisely the type of discrimination that anti-discrimination law aims to avoid. 
Second, the services being offered are non-religious. For example, leasing a property, baking a cake, and providing flowers are all non-religious services. Thus, providing these services to same-sex weddings does not violate the religious group's beliefs. Thus, it cannot impinge religious freedom. 
Private businesses offering services to the world at large 
Religious exemptions for private business offering services to the world at large are problematic. 
First, the most recent legislation explicitly states that motive is irrelevant when determining whether actions are discriminatory. However, religious exemptions imply that discriminatory conduct is acceptable if the motive was a personal objection to same-sex weddings. This directly contradicts existing legislative language. 
Second, the legislation's stated purpose is to eliminate discrimination in areas where discrimination has historically been prevalent. This involves a situation where a powerful group has used that power to harm the victimized group. In part, this is premised on the inherent unfairness in discrimination. In part, it is premised on the real world harm that such discrimination causes. 
In this context, LGBTI individuals have historically faced discrimination. This manifests in higher rates of depression and anxiety, according to Beyond Blue. Such discrimination has historically been religiously based. 
Thus, religious exemptions would entrench discrimination against a historically victimized group, and propagate real world harms.
Third, services are not magically different merely because they are for a same-sex wedding. Thus, religious exemptions are not necessary to prevent discrimination against religious groups. Indeed, this, in and of itself, suggests that the only purpose for religious exemptions can be to facilitate discrimination under the artificial shroud of religious observance. 

A balancing act

An anti-discrimination law exists to prevent prejudiced and exclusionary actions. In this context, the laws balance the need for equality with the need to preserve religious freedom. 
There is an argument for exempting religious groups from anti-discrimination laws when they perform religious actions. 
However, there is no such argument for exempting businesses, or religiously affiliated organizations, when they offer services to the public at large. Such exemptions would undermine the very purpose of an anti-discrimination law. 
Mark Humphery-Jenner is associate professor of finance at UNSW Business School.
ABC Australia

August 23, 2017

(Here is The Tape) Bishop Takes Care of student's woody and Vice versa



This is a Follow up on the story in which the Romanian Bishop is fired after this tape was made public. The tape only shows the shades of the action(occurrence). The Bishop was having sex with a student on his Seminary. These are hard times for religion and not being able to be honest about what a human being needs instead of describing bodily, psychological and even spiritual needs as sins or worse demonic. 






Corneliu Barladeanu 
The tape obtained through Gay Star News

July 7, 2017

Pope Francis Wants a Bridge Between Gay Catholics and The Church but The Bishops??May be Not





 Pope Francis Represents changed in an organization that fears it 



On a recent Sunday, a Catholic cardinal in New Jersey welcomed gay and lesbian Catholics to a special Mass at his cathedral in Newark. "I am your brother," Cardinal Joseph Tobin told the congregation, "as a disciple of Jesus."

Weeks later, a Catholic bishop in Illinois instructed priests not to offer Holy Communion or funeral rites to anyone engaged in a same-sex union, unless they had "given some sign of repentance" before their death. Bishop Thomas Paprocki said he has a duty to warn wayward Catholics, with charity, but also "without compromising the truth."

Many of this country's bishops -- who are free, more or less, to follow their own priorities -- linger somewhere between Tobin's welcome and Paprocki's warning. But if the bishops are divided on LGBT issues, there is a greater gulf between church leaders and gay and lesbian Catholics themselves, church experts say. 

 Into that breach steps the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and popular author with a large following on social media. In a new book, called "Building a Bridge," Martin calls on LGBT Catholics and their bishops to begin conversations rooted in mutual respect, compassion and sensitivity.

Those conversations can be difficult in a church that calls homosexual acts "intrinsically disordered," and, in some dioceses, fires employees who have same-sex partners or advocate for LGBT rights. One conservative website called Martin "a wolf in sheep's clothing (or a Roman collar)."

But Martin's book has won endorsements from high places. Three bishops contributed favorable blurbs, including the head of the Vatican's office of Laity, Family and Life, who called it "welcome and much-needed." Martin himself was recently named a consultor to the Vatican's communications team.

Martin spoke to CNN recently about homophobia, why gay priests stay in the closet and what he tells LGBT Catholics who want to leave the church. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What prompted you to write this book?

After the massacre at the gay nightclub in Orlando last year, only a few Catholic bishops expressed their sympathy or reached out to the LGBT community, and even fewer used the words "LGBT" or "gay" in their statements. That was revelatory to me. Even in death, LGBT people are largely invisible in the church.

Why do think so few bishops explicitly mentioned LGBT people after Orlando?

That is a great question. I'm hoping it's not homophobia. I assume it's because for some of them acknowledging the LGBT community is a kind of tacit approval of everything the community says and does, which is certainly not true. And I think there may be a certain amount of fear of the unknown. In my experience, not many bishops know, as friends, LGBT people who are public about their identity or sexuality. That unfamiliarity may lead to a certain amount of fear and suspicion.
One bishop, Robert Lynch in Florida, said that religion is partly to blame for attacks on LGBT people.

He is absolutely right. That doesn't mean that church teaching caused the shooting, but the ways in which religious leaders speak about the LGBT community influences the way the culture at large talks about them. Oftentimes it can give people cover for simply being homophobic, and they can use church teaching as a mask for their homophobia.

Your book doesn't mention much about the church's strong opposition to same-sex marriage, including several bishops' dire responses to the Supreme Court decision legalizing it. Why is that?
For two reasons. First, I'd rather not focus on areas where the LGBT community and the institutional church are still miles apart; I'd prefer to focus on possible areas of common ground. And second, I really didn't want to single out any individual bishops for criticism. But it was mainly the first issue, because they are so far apart on that issue.

You call the firings of gay Catholics by church officials unjust. But aren't they causing "scandal," as the church defines it, by flouting Catholic teaching?

You could make the "scandal" case about a whole raft of people: people who are divorced; people who are divorced and remarried without an annulment; women who have given birth to, or men who have fathered, a child out of wedlock; an unmarried couple who are living together. All these things are very public and we chose not to thunder over them. That, to me, is classic discrimination. Either you require everyone to adhere to church teaching -- on everything, not just sexual morality -- or not. But you don't put one person's life under a moral microscope simply because they are LGBT.
A bishop in Illinois recently said that Catholics in same-sex unions should be denied Holy 

Communion and funeral rites. Is that new?

That is relatively new. And, again, if the church wants to discriminate against LGBT people, it also has to focus on the moral and sexual behavior of straight people. And we should remember that burying the dead is one of the traditional "corporal works of mercy." It's not a punishment. I find statements like that [from the Illinois bishop] to be needlessly cruel.

Is there any theological justification for denying burial rights to a person in a gay marriage?
Any person prepares himself or herself to enter into the sacraments. So before we go to Mass, for example, we are hopefully in a "state of grace" and have gone to Confession. But to single a group out and target them with statements like this is discriminatory. No other group have their lives put under a microscope like this. None. It's like giving a homily at Mass and, rather than talking to all of us, singling out one person in the pew. And this is a group that has already felt marginalized enough. The place where they should feel most at home is often the place where they feel most excluded. And that is not the way that Jesus operated. When Jesus met people who were seen as on the outskirts of society, he welcomed them. The welcome comes first, and we're not doing that if we call people sinners before we even shake their hands.

OK, but what happens after the church welcomes LGBT people? Is there a Part II, when you have honest conversations about church teaching on homosexuality?

I'm just inviting people to take the first steps, and for many LGBT people those conversations can't even happen, because they don't feel like they are even welcome to step foot in a church.
Catholic church changing tone on gays?
 
I'll give you an example. I've been getting a torrent of messages and requests for help through my public Facebook page recently. Probably 50 a day. And I had one from a woman who asked me if I knew a priest in her city, because she worked in a hospice and the priest assigned to the hospice was refusing to anoint a man who was dying — because he was gay. That's the kind of stuff that LGBT people face every day in the church. Another man told me that he decided to go back to church, and it was Easter, and the homily was on same-sex marriage. We tend to speak about the LGBT community only as problems, rather than people.

A number of surveys show that many, if not most Catholics support gay rights, especially young Catholics. 
Do you get the sense that this is a generational thing, and that in 20 or 30 years the church hierarchy won't be talking about or treating LGBT people in the same way?

I don't think the church will ever change its position on same-sex marriage, but there is a sea change happening in their approach to LGBT Catholics in general. You have someone like Cardinal Joseph Tobin of New Jersey who is not advocating changing church teaching but is welcoming LGBT people, listening to them and trying to inculcate what Pope Francis calls a "culture of encounter."
There are two reasons for this shift. One is Pope Francis. His saying "Who am I to judge?" about gay people; his public meeting with Yayo Grassi, his former student who is gay, during his papal visit to the United States; his comments in Amoris Laetitia [a papal document in which he opposes gay marriage but says that gay Catholics should receive "respectful pastoral guidance."] And the bishops who Pope Francis is appointing in the United States are much more LGBT friendly.

The second thing is the increased number of LGBT Catholics who are coming out and making LGBT issues much more important for the church as a whole. At St. Cecilia's Church in Boston recently we had 700 people at a talk, and I stayed afterward signing books for two hours. LGBT people are so hungry for a place in what is, after all, their own church, and they are grateful that someone in a collar would bring this up.

You write that there are hundreds, if not thousands of gay and lesbian Catholic clergy. Why aren't they "out"?

Several reasons. One, their bishops or religious superiors ask them not to come out. Two, they fear reprisals from parishioners. Three, they fear it would be divisive. Four, they are private people. Five, they are not fully aware of their sexuality. And lastly, people have mistakenly conflated homosexuality and pedophilia, and so priests don't want to come out because they fear they'll be labeled a pedophile.

Would it make a difference if more clergy came out?

Of course it would. It would help to show Catholics in the pews what a gay person is like and, incidentally, how gay people can live chastely. The great irony is that these men and women are living out exactly what the church asks of LGBT people -- chastity and celibacy -- and they are not allowed to talk about it. They are doing great work under a strange cloud that should not exist.
It seems the "T" in LGBT raises such different and complex questions for the church. Transgender advocates have taken issue with the Pope, particularly his comments comparing the danger of gender theory to nuclear war.

This phenomenon is the leading edge of reflection on human sexuality, even in our American culture. So it is not surprising that the church is still grappling with this. It is something that people have only been grappling with publicly for about 10 years.

The other night in Boston, a couple came up to me. The husband was transgender, and had become a woman, and the woman had stayed with her spouse. That is, she married someone who was a man and who was now a woman. I was amazed and had a hard time even processing it. I said to the wife, "How are you able to do this?" And she said, "Love is love." I thought, here is a new kind of love, a new kind of fidelity, to consider and ponder, as some sort of expression of God's love for us. The church needs to reflect on that.

What do you say when someone asks, "Father Jim, why should I stay in a church that doesn't welcome me?"

I say: Jesus Christ called you into this church at your baptism, and it is just as much your church as it is the Pope's, the local bishop's and mine. You have just as much right to be in the church as anyone else. Don't let anyone ever push you out of your church.
I'm very clear on that.

Are people surprised to hear that from a priest?

They're sometimes surprised but on reflection they understand it. The other day I was at a baptism in New York and at the end of the baptism the priest lifted the child up and the organ boomed out "Alleluia," and it sent chills down my spine. I thought: This is the most sacred moment in a person's life. This is entrance into the Christian community and it should never be forgotten. That child is in the church now and forever. Straight. Lesbian. Gay. Transgender. Bisexual. And no one should ever seek to kick that person out of the church.

(CNN)


May 4, 2017

Trump Will Sign Today Order Protecting Religious Orgs from Gay Marriage


*NPD






President Trump will sign an executive order on Thursday protecting the religious liberty of the Little Sisters of the Poor and ordinary Americans who don't subscribe to gender ideology or believe in same-sex "marriage," two "senior administration officials" have confirmed to Politico.
The Nation released a leaked copy of an executive order in February that prompted outrage from the left over its protections for Christians who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman and who don't want to be forced to fund contraception.
Politico says an "influential conservative who saw the text said it hasn’t been dialed back much" from the leaked text in February and that it contains "very, very strong" language.
This executive order would protect the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious institutions from being forced to participate in the provision of contraceptives and life-ending drugs and devices.
”All persons and religious organizations that object to complying with the [contraception] mandate for religious or moral reasons" would immediately be exempt from it, according to the text released in February. 
The draft of the order mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services "take appropriate actions" to ensure that Americans aren't forced to fund abortion when they purchase health insurance. Everyone must have "the ability to purchase health insurance that does not provide coverage for abortion and does not subsidize plans that do provide such coverage," it says.
It would prevent the IRS from unfairly targeting conservative or Christian institutions for holding a natural view of marriage. It would also protect people who believe, speak, act, or decline to act based on their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman and "sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage."
Also protected would be those who live their beliefs that "male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life."
This order would guarantee that religious freedom is protected "when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with federal, state or local governments."
There have been increasing instances of photographersbakers, and florists facing discrimination or punishment from the government for refusing to participate in same-sex weddings or ceremonies.
Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. 
Although Trump has come through on many of his pro-life campaign promises, protecting religious freedom and the pro-family cause has been less of a priority for his administration so far
The Trump administration is still defending the contraceptive mandate. He has appointed a number of LGBT advocates to influential positions and extended Obama’s executive order forcing federal contractors to have "transgender-inclusive" nondiscrimination policies as a condition of doing business with the federal government.
Although the rumored executive order won’t completely undo the numerous victories social liberals have achieved in the last decade or so, it will be a significant blow to them. 
Claire Chretien
*National Prayer Day

April 12, 2017

Christian GayRocker Trey Pearson Gives TheHaters SameSex Kiss


(We shorten tittles by putting words together trying to make it only one sentence which is easier on the eyes and easier to search) 😼😼😼😼


Last June, singer Christian rock singer Trey Pearson penned an emotional coming out letter to his fans. It didn't take long for anti-LGBTQ crusaders in the Christian community to criticize the former lead singer of Everyday Sunday, who has two children with his ex-wife, for being gay. The now-solo artist was even dropped from a Christian music festival. But after spending 20 years not being able to express his true self, Pearson has more important things to do than dwell on the haters — last week, the musician marked a milestone for the Christian rock and LGBTQ communities when he released a music video featuring a gay couple.

The video for Pearson's new song, "Silver Horizon," features Pearson watching a religious service from the back of the church. A young man (played by actor Cole Doleman) gets up to sing, and after a couple of minutes, his boyfriend gets up from the pews and the two share a passionate kiss. Everybody is happy, including the priest. The song is a joyful and beautiful celebration of free love and tolerance within the Christian community. 

Pearson talked to Out magazine about his experience writing the song and making the video. "The song, 'Silver Horizon,' is very much about the journey I have been on this last year and a half — going from trying to hang on so hard to something I couldn't be, to finding the light on the other side of the darkness." He continued, "I wanted the music video to be about that light and hope for the future. Coming from a systemic oppressive church culture that was brainwashing and made me feel like it wasn’t okay to be my truest, best self, I wanted to shine a light on seeing that change, and the hope for a better future."

As for his relationship with the church today, Pearson says: "I have a deep appreciation for the faith tradition I grew up in, and have a lot of love for Jesus, but I also recognize there are a lot of horrible things done in his name... Overall, there's a lot of the church teaching extremely harmful theology, destroying millions of LGBT lives, and people around them, as well. It's not the church's first growing pains, let alone humanity's... I'm very grateful for how quickly it's changing right now, and definitely hope to see it continue to change." And celebrating more honest artistic expressions like this are a key part of that change.

April 8, 2017

Cardinal Appointed by Francis Backs Jesuits Pro LGBT Book

A top Vatican cardinal and several other high-ranking prelates have praised a new book on what the Catholic Church's relationship with the "LGBT community" should be, written by progressive Jesuit Father James Martin. 
Martin's book is titled Building A Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and SensitivityReligion News Service reports that in the book, Martin says “church leaders should address LGBT people by the term they call themselves." Martin also says Church employees shouldn't be fired for going against Church teaching by endorsing homosexual acts or openly professing homosexuality because "such firings selectively target LGBT people."
Far-left dissident nun Sister Jeannine Gramick endorsed Martin's book as a "must-read" that "shows how the Rosary and the rainbow flag can peacefully meet each other."
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has banned Gramick from "any pastoral work involving homosexual persons."
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican's life and family dicastery, called Martin's book "a welcome and much-needed book that will help bishops, priests, pastoral associates, and all church leaders more compassionately minister to the LGBT community."
Image
Father James Martin, SJ and Sister Jeannine Gramick. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
"It will also help LGBT Catholics feel more at home in what is, after all, their church,” said Farrell, the former bishop of Dallas.
Farrell has repeatedly praised the controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which critics say contradicts or can be interpreted to contradict Catholic moral teaching. He says it opens the door for those living in invalid sexual unions (labeled by the Church to be adultery) to receive Holy Communion.
Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin, made a cardinal by Pope Francis, endorsed the book: "In too many parts of our church LGBT people have been made to feel unwelcome, excluded, and even shamed. Father Martin’s brave, prophetic, and inspiring new book marks an essential step in inviting church leaders to minister with more compassion, and in reminding LGBT Catholics that they are as much a part of our church as any other Catholic."
Tobin has criticized the four cardinals who asked Pope Francis for moral clarity on Amoris Laetitia as "troublesome" and "at best naive."
Martin's book is also endorsed by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, famous for instructing his priests to accept "LGBT families" and give Communion to adulterers, banning an outspoken pro-life priest from writing bulletin columns, and calling the Catechism's language "very destructive."
"The Gospel demands that LGBT Catholics must be genuinely loved and treasured in the life of the church. They are not,” according to McElory's endorsement. The book "provides us with the language, perspective, and sense of urgency to replace a culture of alienation with a culture of merciful inclusion."
Image
Cardinal Joseph Tobin Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
McElroy has suggested there is an "anti-gay prejudice that exists in our Catholic community and in our country." 
"My own view is that much of the destructive attitude of many Catholics to the gay and lesbian community is motivated by a failure to comprehend the totality of the church’s teaching on homosexuality," McElroy told America magazine. Labeling homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered," as the Catechism does, is "very destructive language that I think we should not use pastorally," he said.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that those with same-sex attraction "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" and "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" (CCC 2358).
The Catechism also teaches: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (CCC 2357).
When it comes to same-sex relationships, the Catechism makes distinctions between the person, the inclination, and the act. It labels sexual activity between people of the same sex, and the inclination to commit them, disordered. It does not, however, label any person disordered. Being attracted to people of the same sex is not a sin in and of itself, the Catechism teaches, but acting on it would be.
In November 2016, Martin accepted an award from a pro-gay group, New Ways Ministry, that has been condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the U.S. Catholic bishops. In his acceptance speech, Martin said the Church should embrace homosexuality’s "special gifts."
In the same speech, he suggested that some Catholic bishops who uphold the Church’s teaching on sexual morality might be “trapped brethren” who are secretly gay themselves. He also praised a 17-year-old for "coming out" on a retreat and equated sexual proclivities with race and age.
New Ways Ministry has been banned from speaking in Catholic dioceses across the country. It is “a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities." Part of its mission is to "identify and combat personal and structural homophobia," and "work for changes in attitudes and promote the acceptance of LGBT people as full and equal members of church and society."
When President Trump rescinded the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom order, Martin tweeted his support of boys using the girls' bathroom and vice versa to over 100,000 twitter followers.

March 31, 2017

Controversial “Christ was Gay” by Christopher Marlowe


A controversial document in which the playwright Christopher Marlowe reportedly declared that Christ was gay, that the only purpose of religion was to intimidate people, and that “all they that love not tobacco and boys were fools” is to go on show online for the first time.

The so-called “Baines note”, a star item in the British Library’s Renaissance manuscript collection, offers tantalizing evidence about the private life of Marlowe, one of the most scandalous and magnetic figures of the Elizabeth period.  

 Christopher Marlowe. Photograph: Alamy
Compiled in May 1593 by the police informant and part-time spy Richard Baines, it claims to record a conversation between the two men in which the playwright airs a long list of what Baines describes as “monstrous opinions:


Richard Baines to the Privy Council
Shortly before Marlowe's death, the informer Richard Baines made the following accusations against the playwright in a note to the Privy Council, the group of advisors who worked closely with Queen Elizabeth.
[One Christopher Marly]
A note containing the opinion of one Christopher Marly concerning his damnable judgment of religion, and scorn of God's word:
"That the Indians, and many authors of antiquity, have assuredly written of above 16 thousand years agone, whereas Adam >> note 1 is proved to have lived within six thousand years.
He affirmeth that Moses was but a juggler, >> note 2 and that one Hariot>> note 3 being Sir Walter Raleigh's man can do more than he.
That Moses made the Jews to travel 40 years in the wilderness (which journey might have been done in less than one year) ere they came to the promised land, to the intent that those who were privy to many of his subtleties might perish, and so an everlasting superstition reign in the hearts of the people.
That the beginning of religion was only to keep men in awe.
That it was an easy matter for Moses being brought up in all the arts of the Egyptians to abuse the Jews, being a rude and gross people.
That Christ was a bastard and his mother dishonest. >> note 4
That he was the son of a carpenter, and that if the Jews among whom he was born did crucify him, they best knew him and whence he came.
That Christ deserved better to die than Barabas, >> note 5 and that the Jews made a good choice, though Barabas were both a thief and a murderer.
That if there be any God or any good religion, then it is in the Papists,>> note 6 because the service of God is performed with more ceremonies, as elevation of the mass, organs, singing men, shaven crowns, etc. That all Protestants are hypocritical asses.
That if he were put to write a new religion, he would undertake both a more excellent and admirable method, and that all the New Testament is filthily written.
That the woman of Samaria >> note 7 and her sister were whores and that Christ knew them dishonestly.
That Saint John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ and leaned always in his bosom; that he used him as the sinners of Sodoma. >> note 8
That all they that love not tobacco and boys are fools.
That all the apostles were fishermen and base fellows, neither of wit nor worth; that Paul >> note 9 only had wit, but he was a timorous fellow in bidding men to be subject to magistrates against his conscience.
That he had as good a right to coin >> note 10 as the Queen of England, and that he was acquainted with one Poole, a prisoner in Newgate, who hath great skill in mixture of metals, and having learned some things of him, he meant through help of a cunning stamp-maker to coin French crowns, pistolets, and English shillings.
That if Christ would have instituted the sacrament with more ceremonial reverence, it would have been in more admiration; that it would have been better much better being administered in a tobacco pipe.
That the angel Gabriel was bawd >> note 11 to the Holy Ghost, because he brought the salutation to Mary.
That one Richard Cholmley hath confessed that he was persuaded by Marlowe's reasons to become an atheist."
Among them, Marlowe casts doubt on the existence of God, claims that the New Testament was so “filthily written” that he himself could do a better job, and makes the eyebrow-raising assertion that the Christian communion would be more satisfying if it were smoked “in a tobacco pipe”.

Baines added a personal note, apparently aimed at watching government officials: “All men in Christianity ought to endeavour that the mouth of so dangerous a member may be stopped.” A few days later, Marlowe was stabbed to death in Deptford, south London, in circumstances still regarded as suspicious.

The document has been in the collection at the British Library since its founding in 1753 and has often been consulted by scholars, but this is the first time the public will be able to examine it in detail.

Curator Andrea Varney told the Guardian: “There’s nothing quite like being able to look at the real thing, and this will let students and readers from all over the world get close to Baines’s original report. The manuscript itself is over 400 years old and fragile, so digitisation really helps.”

The document and accompanying transcript are being made public in the latest phase of the British Library’s Discovering Literature project, aimed at students, teachers and the general public. Some 2,000 documents are now online, accompanied by 370 background essays and other resources. Four million visitors have visited the site since its launch in 2014. 

One of the biggest attractions to date has been a late 16th-century play text calling for tolerance towards refugees. It is seemingly in the handwriting of a man even more famous than Marlowe, albeit somewhat better behaved – William Shakespeare.

In the centuries since his violent death, Marlowe has been celebrated as gay icon whose works explored the realities of homosexual desire while it was still deeply dangerous to do so. Alongside the Baines note, the British Library has uploaded scans of the director Derek Jarman’s notebooks for his avant-garde film of Marlowe’s Edward II (1991). The play focuses on Edward’s love for his favourite male companion, Piers Gaveston; Jarman’s take on the story is nakedly political, featuring references to contemporary battles over gay rights.

The library is also making available resources on other contemporary writers, among them Ben Jonson and the poets John Donne and Emilia Lanier.

Varney said: “So often we focus only on Shakespeare, but there are a whole world of other people out there, many of them just as brilliant. It’s about opening a window on that.”

The Baines document itself is highly contentious, with some scholars arguing that Baines was a fantasist, and that his “note” was a put-up job designed to get Marlowe, who was arrested at almost exactly the same time, in even more trouble with the authorities.

Charles Nicholl, whose 1992 book The Reckoning examines the shady circumstances surrounding the playwright’s death, said: “The one thing you can say for certain about it is that the note was designed to incriminate Marlowe. These are pretty dangerous and wild utterances that he is making.”

Nonetheless, Nicholl added, the document has a rare power: “It does sound like Marlowe; it’s almost as if he walked into the room. After all this time, that’s still rather shocking.”

The documents are available at bl.uk/discovering-literature

The information here is from the Guardian below:

January 15, 2017

Anti Gay, Alleged Church Male Molester, Bishop Eddie Long Dies,63



 Eddie Long New Birth Missionary Mega Church

Bishop Eddie Long, the controversial (alleged young male sex molester) Georgia-based head of one of the nation’s largest mega churches, has died. He was 63.

Long died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
  
At its peak New Birth Missionary Baptist Church had about 25,000 members going around the world preaching homophobia and change through prayer as they preached the gospel.

Long had a controversial past. In 2010, he and his church settled a lawsuit filed by four young men who accused him of pressuring them into sexual relationships while they were teenagers and members of his congregation. Long Settled and paid the young men to keep the case going to trial.

Long, who preached passionately against homosexuality for years, denied the allegations.
In 2011, Vanessa Long filed for divorce. Shortly afterward, Long told his followers he was taking some time off to work on his marriage.

“I do want you to know that this is, for me and my family, especially with me, one of the most difficult times and things I've had to face, and only because my strength, other than God, is in Miss Vanessa," he said at the time.

"And I want you to rest assured that I love her and she loves me. ... In all the things that I've ever had to deal with and being pastor, my rock has been to be able to come home to a virtuous woman who always had peace in my house... We’re going (to) work it out." he said.

In its statement the church called him "a family man and spiritual leader who was well respected and loved for his passion to unapologetically and courageously preach the gospel of Jesus Christ."
The couple later reconciled.

August 30, 2016

Gay Teens More Important than Religious Law


                                     


  
California’s ban on gay-conversion therapy for teens survived a free-speech challenge back in 2014. Now it’s survived another challenge claiming that the law targets religiously motivated conduct. The decision is legally correct -- but it’s a much closer case than the appeals court acknowledged. And it raises the extremely tricky question of how the state may regulate a psychiatric practice whose foundations are interwoven with religious beliefs.

The key to the free-speech decision from two years ago was that, California isn’t prohibiting speech per se. It’s outlawing a particular medical practice that happens to be accomplished in part through talking. Whether it’s a good idea or not, state legislatures have the legal authority to prohibit licensed providers from performing ineffective and potentially harmful medical treatments.

In other words, California almost certainly couldn’t ban an adult and a teen from sitting down together and talking to each other in a way that both believed would or could change the teen’s sexual orientation. Such a conversation would count as protected speech, outside the state’s authority to regulate. But when the conversation is instead treated as a medical therapy, it comes within the state’s authority to regulate the practice of medicine -- which is a course of conduct, even when it’s accomplished partly by the use of words.

Once they lost on free-speech grounds, the practitioners of gay-conversion therapy didn’t give up. They mounted a further challenge based on the establishment and free exercise clauses of the Constitution.

One advantage of the second challenge over the first is that it comes closer to capturing the subjective experience and motives of the practitioners of what they call “sexual orientation change efforts.” A 2009 report by the American Psychological Association said that “the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation.”

The same is probably true for the practitioners of such therapy. In an earlier era, the profession of psychiatry saw homosexuality as a curable disease. But now that the profession has largely abandoned this view, those medical professionals who maintain it are often not coincidentally deeply religious. They accept the biblical prohibition on homosexual conduct as morally binding. And they reason that a good God would not have imposed that prohibition unless it were possible for humans to adapt themselves so as to obey it.

It’s not an accident, therefore, that the religiously oriented Family Research Council, for example, advocates gay-conversion therapy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected the practitioners’ religion-clause claims pretty summarily. The opinion first rejected the argument that the California ban violates the establishment clause by entangling the government with religion. It doesn’t, said the court, because it only targets clinical therapy. People remain free to pray with teens if they believe this may help them change their sexual orientation. This conclusion is certainly legally correct. The fact that some therapists might pray with patients in their sessions doesn’t mean the state can’t regulate the basic clinical course of conduct.

Then the court took on the more subtle question of whether it should matter that those who seek or perform conversion therapy are religiously motivated. The court admitted that there might be a constitutional problem if the law targeted only religiously motivated conduct. But it said that because the law includes all efforts to change sexual orientation, religiously motivated or otherwise, it doesn’t violate religious liberty. In other words, the court said, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to conclude that the primary effect of the law was to inhibit religion.

This issue is actually more complicated than the court made it sound. Suppose all or nearly all gay-conversion-therapy seekers and practitioners are religiously motivated -- an assumption that isn’t ridiculous. And suppose the state passed a law outlawing the practice on the ground that it was medically harmful -- while fully knowing that the practice is grounded in religious belief. Again, the assumption isn’t a heroic one. Would that violate the free exercise of religion?

The answer is controversial even among religious liberty scholars -- but it could well be yes. Compare a humanitarian ban on kosher or halal slaughter. In my hypothetical example, the legislature would know that believers practice such slaughter for religious reasons. The legislature’s own motives would be to make animal slaughter more humanitarian, say by requiring electrocution to kill the animal faster. Yet the overarching intended effect of the law would be to inhibit a religiously motivated practice. It’s possible that such a law might violate the free exercise clause, even if as written it applied to all slaughter, not just kosher or halal practices.

The point is that, when a social practice like medical therapy or animal slaughter is profoundly intertwined with religious motivation, the government can’t necessarily prohibit it just by saying that its own motives are secular -- even assuming they really are.

Yet the reason the court’s decision was nonetheless correct is that religious liberty isn’t absolute. Provided the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting a harmful practice, it’s allowed to prohibit it. The state could, for example, prohibit religiously motivated child sacrifice or widow-burning. Those practices could be entirely religious in nature -- but the state may still ban them because it has a compelling reason to combat the harm.

There’s a strong reason to believe that gay-conversion therapy for teens who can’t themselves fully consent is harmful. The state has a strong interest in prohibiting a potentially dangerous and unproven medical practice on that ground alone. It’s not that religious liberty isn’t implicated. It’s that it is overcome by other, stronger interests.

Noah Feldman

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners; But it does represents the view of adamfoxie Blog

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