The Grace of Being Freed From Judging My Neighbor

Earlier this week, I had an op-ed about religious freedom published in the local newspaper, responding to to legislative efforts in many states (VP nominee Mike Pence’s Indiana among them) to enable business owners to use religious freedom as a license to deny services and discriminate. Here’s an excerpt (click to read the full piece): As Lutherans prepare [Read More…]

Making Religious Homophobia Illegitimate

I have a dream that someday, religious homophobia will be as illegitimate as flat-earth cosmology and young-earth creationism. B.o.B. and Ken Ham notwithstanding, no one gives any real credibility to claims that the earth is flat or that it is only 6,000 years old. Sure, those people are out there, and you can even visit [Read More…]

When Religious Freedom Only Protects Heteropatriarchy

It’s not really religious freedom. Conservative politicians have been on a roll for the past couple of years coopting the idea of religious freedom, itself an important element of our pluralistic democracy.  The version they are trumpeting and carving into law, however, is anything but religious, free, pluralistic, or democratic.  Indiana’s new law is only [Read More…]

Because Religion?

Consider this: George Fox University decided that references to sex in Title IX don’t include gender identity.  The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education says it does. Hobby Lobby owners decided that IUD’s are abortifacients.  The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology says they are not. On what basis did the private [Read More…]

Religious Freedom … Really (UCC edition)

I’ve written before about the problems with so many claims of protecting “religious freedom” in recent reproductive justice debates.  On the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom (and against contraception) I noted that: We don’t have to compare apples and oranges to make the point that the religious freedom the USCCB seeks to [Read More…]

This Week in Religious Freedom & Healthcare

This picture of me shouldn’t be revolutionary.  And yet … Here is a great 90 second summary of what is at stake this week when lawyers for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood will argue before the Supreme Court that your boss should get to determine what preventative health care you receive: Here is a round-up [Read More…]

BREAKING: Marriage Equality IS Coming to Illinois!

This just in from Illinois Unites For Marriage: The Illinois House just passed the freedom to marry!  In a vote count of 61:54, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act passed on the House floor. The marriage bill passed in the Senate in February, and will  now return to the Senate for a procedural vote [Read More…]

Pluralism, Marriage, & Religious Freedom

The following is an excerpt from a commentary I wrote for my local newspaper, the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, published last week.  The picture to the right is a historic one of our actual intersection of Church and State streets.  This commentary brings together the ongoing struggles for marriage equality in the state of Illinois with some [Read More…]

When the Personal Becomes Political

I wrote about the religious element of Joe Biden’s response to Martha Raddatz’s question about abortion last week. In a great post this week over at Feministing, Mimi Arbeit breaks down four possible answers to the question, pointing out that Biden used the first three: (See video, transcript.) Many others have expressed frustration with Raddatz [Read More…]

Religious Freedom Is For Everyone

What’s wrong – and right – with the role of faith in American politics today?  It is wrong that the mantle of religious freedom is being carried by a small minority of leaders who are actually interested in protecting their own ability to impose their religious ideology on others. Here’s how I put it in [Read More…]


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