religion

...now browsing by tag

 
 

The Great Religious Secession

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Church…I am someone who believes that religious liberty is the country’s founding freedom, the idea that made America possible. I am also a homosexual atheist, so religious conservatives may not want my advice. I’ll give it to them anyway. Culturally conservative Christians are taking a pronounced turn toward social secession: asserting both the right and the intent to sequester themselves from secular culture and norms, including the norm of nondiscrimination. This is not a good idea. When religion isolates itself from secular society, both sides lose, but religion loses more.

Over the decades, religious traditionalists’ engagement with American secular life has waxed and waned. After the public-relations disaster of the Scopes evolution trial in the 1920s, many conservative Christians recoiled from politics, only to come out swinging in the 1970s, when the Moral Majority and other elements of what came to be called the religious right burst onto the scene. If you believe in cultural cycles, perhaps we’re due for another withdrawal. Certainly, the breakthrough of gay marriage has fed disillusionment and bewilderment. “I suspect the initial reaction among evangelicals is going to be retreat and hope to be left alone,” Maggie Gallagher, a prominent gay-marriage opponent, recently told The Huffington Post.

Still, the desire to be left alone takes on a pretty aggressive cast when it involves slamming the door of a commercial enterprise on people you don’t approve of. The idea that serving as a vendor for, say, a gay commitment ceremony is tantamount to “endorsing” homosexuality, as the new religious-liberty advocates now assert, is a far-reaching proposition, one with few apparent outer boundaries in a densely interwoven mercantile society. It suggests a hair-trigger defensiveness about religious identity that would have seemed odd just a few years ago. As far as I know, during the divorce revolution it never occurred to, say, Catholic bakers to tell remarrying customers, “Your so-called second marriage is a lie, so take your business elsewhere.” That would have seemed not so much principled as bizarre.

Authored By Jonathan Rauch – See the Full Story at The Atlantic

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: Marriage Equality Support Up Among Black Protestants

Monday, March 17th, 2014

titleBut not among white evangelicals.

Pew has the details:

The long-standing tension between religious beliefs and the idea of same-sex marriage has been a key factor at play behind recently proposed bills in several states, most visibly in Arizona, aimed at protecting business owners who have religious objections to same-sex marriage. At the same time, however, new Pew Research Center data from 2014 show that just within the past year, growing shares of some Christian groups favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The sharpest change has occurred among black Protestants, only 32% of whom favored same-sex marriage in our aggregated 2013 polling. A survey we conducted last month found that figure has now risen to 43%. There also has been an uptick in support for same-sex marriage among white mainline Protestants (from 55% in 2013 to 62% this year). Debates are ongoing within some mainline churches about whether to conduct same-sex marriages.

Eventually even white evangelicals will come along, as the younger generation grows up.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: Support for Marriage Equality Reaches 53%

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

titleA new survey shows a continued increase in support for marriage equality in the US as a whole.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey released Wednesday. The survey on attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comes as U.S. lawmakers and courts are increasingly allowing same-sex couples to wed. Some 53 percent of the 4,509 Americans surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute said they supported gay marriage, up from 32 percent in 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it.

Some interesting tidbits: Americans think 20% of the country is gay (if only). 83% of Jews support it, 56-58% of Catholics support it, and 59% of black Protestants and 69% of white Evangelicals oppose it.

One more thing – a third of millennials who have left their childhood religion cited opposition to marriage equality as a major factor.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

USA, Kansas: House Passes Bill to Allow Discrimination Against Gays

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

KansasThe House in Kansas passed the “Right to Discriminate” bill yesterday that would allow businesses to legally discriminate against same sex couples.

On Top Magazine reports:

Kansas State Rep. Charles Macheers’ bill (HB 2453) cleared the House with a 72-49 vote. The measure would allow individuals, businesses and religious groups with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to refuse to provide services, facilities, goods, employment or employment benefits related to the marriage, civil union, domestic partnership or “similar arrangement” of a gay or lesbian couple. “[N]o refusal by an individual or religious entity to engage in any activity described in section 1 … shall result in … A civil claim or cause of action under state or local law based upon such refusal,” the bill states.

It’s blatant discrimination, and will be overturned in the courts if it makes it into law. The bill now goes to the Senate, where there are 31 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Kansas.

USA, Arizona: GOP Representative Proposes Bill To Legalize Discrimination

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Arizona Representative Steve YarbroughArizona Representatives Steve Yarbrough is proposing a new bill that would make it legal for individuals and corporations to discriminate against gays and lesbians based on their religious beliefs.

Dot 429 reports:

Yarbrough pointed out that the bill, which has been proposed in the past, wouldn’t just permit LGBT discrimination but would allow for religion to protect the individual to discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, sex, religion, marital status, and any other normally protected class. Yarbrough said that his motivation behind SB 1062 was the 2006 case of photographer Elane Huguenin, who was charged with discrimination by New Mexico’s Supreme Court for using religion as her reason behind refusing to photograph the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple.

Okay, seriously? This guy actually pointed out that his bill would allow discrimination against people based on their race? Their religion? Their marital status?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arizona.

Finding Home

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Sally Farrar: “Now my thoughts are a bit frustrated. We had planned to make Christmas cookies and treats with my sisters, nieces, and nephews—all of whom are Mormon (which is irrelevant, but thought you all should know). I am upset that chasing a marriage license has taken away our family time together—time we cannot get back. This is not fair and is wrong in so many ways. There is a rustle in the crowd as the Weber County door opens and cheers erupt. I quickly make my way to the front of the line to hear the announcement. The cheers turn to moans as it is announced the clerk cannot let us in. Humiliated, I grab Brenda’s hand and say ‘Let’s go.’ On the long drive back home, we discuss the legal significance of Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling and contemplate the behind-the-scenes scenario that must be taking place.”

Read the full story on the MEUSA News Blog…

Time to Come Out as People of Faith for Marriage Equality

Friday, October 18th, 2013

ChurchMost Christians once opposed the fight for equality for gays and lesbians. Today many Christians and other people of faith are at the forefront of the fight to end discrimination against the gay and lesbian community — even working to support marriage equality.

In 1988, a group of conservative Christians in Oregon collected enough signatures to force a vote on whether or not the state’s governor had made the correct decision when he signed an executive order banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in the executive branch of Oregon’s government. Voters passed that initiative and it once again became permissible to fire people based on their sexual orientation. Most religious leaders either cheered the decision or remained silent.

Then, in 1992, the Oregon Citizens Alliance came forward with another initiative called Ballot Measure 9. This initiative would have amended the state constitution to declare ‘homosexuals” “abnormal” and “perverse.” It would have been the first time a class of people had their rights taken away in a state constitution since African-Africans where declared less than a full person. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland joined a broad coalition that ultimately defeated the measure. Many considered the proposed language akin to language used against the Jews in the early 1930s in Germany. But a similar measure passed in Colorado.

Authored By Reverend Chuck Currie – See the Full Story at the Huffington Post

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: GOP Rolls Out Unnecessary Bill To Protect Religious Institutions

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

US Capitol BuildingWith nothing better to do (see debt limit, immigration bill, federal budget etc.) the house GOP is ready to roll out a bill that would protect religious institutions from same-sex marriage.

The Hill reports:

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) plans to introduce the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act Thursday. He said the bill “ensures that any religious institution, organization or church that believes that marriage should continue to remain between one man and one woman will not be discriminated against by the federal government.”

Even the bill’s sponsor admits it’s unnecessary:

I believe the Constitution protects these institutions,” he said, “but I just want to make sure that it’s in the law, that it’s 100 percent sure, that people have no question about it.”

But hey, what else is the House GOP have to do?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: The LGBT Rights Revolution in Churches

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

ChurchFor most gay Americans in the 20th century, the church was a place of pain. It cast them out and called them evil. It cleaved them from their families. It condemned their love and denied their souls. In 2004, a president was elected when religious voters surged from their pews to vote against the legal recognition of gay relationships. When it came to gay rights, religion was the enemy.

A decade later, the story is very different. Congregations across the country increasingly accept, nurture, and even marry their gay brethren. Polls show majorities of major Christian denominations — including American Catholics, despite their church’s staunch opposition — support legal gay marriage.

Leaders of some of the most conservative sects, like the Southern Baptists, have moved away from the vitriolic rhetoric of yesteryear and toward a more compassionate tone. Mormons march in gay-pride parades. A sitting Republican senator, a Methodist from the heartland state of Ohio, says the question was settled for him by “the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.” A new pope says, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Authored By Molly Ball – See the Full Story at SDGLN

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Haiti: Anti Marriage Equality Rally Leaves Two Dead

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Haiti - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Two presumed gay men are dead after a religious rally against marriage equality and homosexuality. Gay Star News reports:

A gay hate march in Haiti attracted over 1,000 anti-gay demonstrators, and left two presumed homosexuals beaten to death. Video footage from four different sources shows angry and sometimes violent protestors demonstrating against a marriage equality proposal that could legalize same-sex marriage in the Caribbean island. The hundreds of people were a mix of men, women and children, as well as individuals from different religious groups including Muslims and Protestants, all chanting and carrying signs that threatened homosexuals in the country.

Disgusting and dispicable – when was the last time you heard about a straight man (or woman) being killed by gays at a gay rally?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.