Mormon Church Threatens to Excommunicate Podcaster Who Voiced Support for Marriage Equality & Ordination of Women

***Edit***: A version of this post went up earlier this afternoon, but it disappeared from the site. Might have been a tech glitch on our end. Sorry for the confusion.

It seems like every time the Mormon Church has the opportunity to take a lead on social or cultural issues, they shoot themselves in the foot. Just last year, when they had the chance to reach out to women, Mormon leaders excommunicated Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.

And now they’ve done it again with a progressive Mormon podcaster. Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times has the story:

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Ellen DeGeneres Responds to Christian Bigot Accusing Her of Promoting a Gay Agenda

Pastor Larry Tomczak wrote a piece for the Christian Post last week in which he accused Ellen DeGeneres — along with the rest of Hollywood — of promoting a gay agenda:

“Ellen DeGeneres” celebrates her lesbianism and “marriage” in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls.

Sure…

(By the way, I’m used to seeing conservative Christians put “marriage” in quotation marks when referring to gay marriages… but why is Ellen’s name in quotation marks?)

Anyway, DeGeneres responded yesterday by picking apart Tomczak’s ridiculous statement:



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Pope Francis: Free Expression is a Fundamental Right, But “You Cannot Insult the Faith of Others”

You’ll be thrilled to learn that he Vatican is totally in favor of free speech.

There are, however, two notable exceptions: faith, and the Pope’s mom.

Calling freedom of expression a “fundamental” human right, the pope outlined why he believes there are limits to that right. If someone “says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” he joked, according to an Associated Press translation. “It’s normal. It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

That’s cute. We can, we have, and we will.



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Gay Teacher Fired From Catholic School: I Will Not Give My Time, Talent, or Treasure “to a Bigoted Organization”

Another Catholic school teacher has been fired from a job he loved because he married his same-sex partner. Except this person isn’t afraid to dole out the b-word when talking about the church he grew up in.

Lonnie Billard (below), 68, was an English and drama teacher at Charlotte Catholic High School for 13 years and a follower of the Catholic faith for his entire life. He and his boyfriend, Rich Donham, have been together for over a decade. Billard says he had always introduced Donham to colleagues as his partner, and there had never been a problem.



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Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Paper Digitally Removes Female Leaders From Paris Photo

File under “Jews with Cooties”:

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper in Israel appears to have edited out female world leaders from a photograph of Sunday’s anti-terrorism rally in Paris, Israeli media reported. … Presidents, prime ministers and royals from around the world flew in to show their support and posed arm-in-arm for a picture that became a symbol for the sorrow felt across the world in the wake of the attacks.

Readers of at least one Jewish news outlet were shielded from the disgraceful spectacle of men and women walking side by side.

[W]hen ultra-Orthodox paper HaMevaser (The Announcer) ran the iconic photo, female leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo were all of a sudden missing from the scene.



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