In trouble for belonging to an “anti-gay” church

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113Chip and Joanna Gaines are the hosts of “Fixer-Upper,” a popular home remodeling show on HGTV.  They are openly devout Christians. And they are now under fire.  A BuzzFeed article is accusing them of being anti-gay.  This is because they belong to an evangelical congregation that does not conduct gay weddings and that holds to traditional teachings about sexual morality.  That means, according to the Buzzfeed author, that the church is anti-gay.  And because the Gaineses belong to this church, that means they must be anti-gay also.

As far as anyone knows, the Gaineses have never discriminated against a gay person (the charge against some Christian bakers and photographers who have turned down gay customers).  Nor has anyone found them saying anything negative about homosexuality (as in some charges of pastors “preaching hate.”)  No, their transgression is simply belonging to a church with traditional teachings.  For this, their jobs are threatened.

Now comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert is a Catholic.  He appears to hold conventionally liberal ideas and supports LGBT issues. But he belongs to a church that, by these standards, is anti-gay!  There are, in fact, lots of Catholics in the TV and entertainment industries.  Are they all to be disqualified like the Gaineses?  Or, to take another example, does BuzzFeed believe that Muslims, who surely have harsher views about homosexuality than even conservative Christians, should be thrown out of Hollywood?

So here we are.  Simply being a member of a conservative church may be enough to get you into serious trouble.

After the jump, an excellent article by a gay writer castigating his fellow LGBT supporters for their tactic of dealing with their opponents by shaming and silencing them, specifically criticizing how they are treating the Gainses. [Read more…]

The journalistic sin of smugness

Will Rahn, the Washington editor of the Daily Beast, no less (known both for its liberalism and its snarkiness), has written a mea culpa on journalists’ failure to understand the Trump phenomenon, a confession remarkable for its self-knowledge and its moral diagnosis. [Read more…]

People who got it wrong

Being one of the people who got it wrong by being taken by surprise at Donald Trump’s election, perhaps I can justify, in a small way, the wicked kick I am getting at the reaction of the experts who just cannot get their minds around Trump’s election.  I’ll give you a sampling after the jump. [Read more…]

CNN caught feeding debate questions to Clinton

Donna Brazile is a Democratic operative who landed a gig as a commentator at CNN.  The Wikileak trove of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails includes Brazile giving him a question that would be asked in the CNN-hosted Town Hall debate.

Earlier Wikileaks seemed to indicate that she was leaking questions in earlier debates, but Brazile and CNN both strongly denied it.  But there is no question about what this e-mail says.

So CNN and Brazile have severed ties. [Read more…]

Luther and technology

David Gibson of Religious News Service tells about three major exhibitions opening this month on Luther’s Reformation:  at the Morgan Library in New York City; at the Minneapolis Art Institute; and at Emory University in Atlanta. These sound extremely interesting and worth going to.

I was struck by what the Morgan library curator says about Luther’s use of the new information technology of the time (with the assistance of artist and printer Lucas Cranach).  See what he says after the jump.  But read Gibson’s whole article, which includes the point about how Luther became the model for “speaking truth to power.”
[Read more…]

NY Times illegally published Trump’s tax returns

The New York Times published three pages from Donald Trump’s state tax returns for 1995.  They show a loss of $916 million, which “could have” allowed him to pay no federal taxes for 18 years.  (The story is here.)

That remains highly speculative until we can see the full returns. But the biggest problem is that publishing tax returns without permission is a crime. The Washington Post reports that the Executive Editor of the Times said that he would be willing to go to jail if he could publish Trump’s tax returns.

Read all about it after the jump.  Then consider:  Do you think these revelations will harm Trump’s election chances, as Clinton’s campaign is saying it will?  Do you think this will end up harming the reputation of prestige journalism more than it will Trump?  Won’t ordinary Americans appreciate Trump’s ability to avoid paying the IRS (if that, in fact, happened) while resenting the press’s illegal violation of his privacy? [Read more…]