Pope Francis Expresses Extremely Tepid Support for Civil Unions… So Stop Getting All Excited

First and foremost: Pope Francis emphasizes that marriage cannot be extended to same-sex couples because it is, by definition, a heterosexual union, just like the Catholic Catechism says. On the other hand, if we don’t call it marriage… heyyyy, that just might work!

In comments he made during an interview for an Italian newspaper (in Italian), the Pope said that the Church could accept civil unions for same-sex couples.



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Quiverfull-Friendly Minister Placed on Leave After 34 Sexual Harassment Allegations

In a dramatic (if commonplace) turn of events, a prominent Christian luminary who advocated home-schooling, traditional gender roles, and purity before marriage has been removed from his position following allegations of sexual misconduct.

At least 34 women who have been involved with the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) over the past 40 years claim they have been sexually harassed by the ministry’s founder, Bill Gothard (no, really, that’s his last name). He has also been accused of molestation and failure to report child abuse.

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Project ROSE Offers Sex Workers a Choice: Church or Prison?

The Bible says that Jesus spoke and listened to prostitutes with demonstrable love and acceptance, refusing to reinforce the rejection and condemnation these biblical women endured from their communities. It does not indicate that he may have arrested or detained them, threatened them with imprisonment, or coerced them into hearing hours of sex-shaming tirades.

But to Project Phoenix, the organization behind the anti-prostitution initiative Project ROSE, that’s the best strategy for rescuing sex workers from themselves, whether they like it or not.



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Sowing Seeds: An Ex-Christian’s Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate

“When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.”

So said Bill Nye in Tuesday night’s debate, quoting his famous mentor Carl Sagan to explain his own personal commitment to science education.

The aspect of Nye’s performance in the Creation Debate that most impressed me had nothing to do with his scientific arguments, his command of logic, his skilled rebuttals, or even his patience. What has stayed with me is the enthusiasm and passion with which he communicated. It’s the same passion — that unabashed sense of “Wow, isn’t this stuff neat!” — that made me a fan of his television show all those years ago. Put simply, I love that Bill Nye is in love.

That passion matters. The debate we saw may have been about facts and logic, but the real fight (which Nye referenced more than once and has spoken about in the past) is for the future of society. Will we continue to learn about the world around us in ways that let us explain, predict, and problem-solve? Or will we cling to superstitions that stunt the growth of our knowledge, preferring to find our answers in literalized ancient mythology?

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Bob Jones University Breaks with GRACE, Prematurely Ending Investigation into the School’s Culture of Sexual Abuse

How do you deal with your school’s reputation for astronomical levels of unchecked sexual abuse? Probably the first step is to try to find out what’s causing the situation so you know what needs fixing — right?

Nah, that’s just silly. We’ll pray instead.

[caption id="attachment_101964" align="alignnone" width="565"](Image via John Shore)[/caption]

In an article I’m not even going to try to top, and will really recommend you check out for yourself, journalist John Shore‘s report on the situation at Bob Jones University. In a nutshell:

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