The Hon. Carole Jackson: “O’Brien v. Health and Human Services”
[The Religious Freedom Restoration Act] is a shield, not a sword. It protects individuals from substantial burdens on religious exercise that occur when the government coerces action one’s religion forbids, or forbids action one’s religion requires; it is not a means to force one’s religious practices upon others. RFRA does not protect against the slight burden on religious exercise that arises when one’s money circuitously flows to support the conduct of other free-exercise-wielding individuals who hold religious beliefs that differ from one’s own.
Brian Walsh: “Clobber Texts”
When I hear folks say that homosexuality is the litmus test for “orthodox biblical faith,” while legitimating and enjoying the benefits of an economic system characterized by exploitation, injustice and environmental rape, then I’ve got to admit that I just don’t take that kind of talk too seriously.
… I don’t believe that any of the six ‘clobber texts’ have anything to do with the question of same sex committed relationships that we are talking about these days. Not one of them.
But I think that they are all concerned with the relationship of sexual practice and our broader socio-economic lives.
We think about God in light of our own limited human perspectives. Typically, theists say that God is greater than human beings in all our positive attributes. And so can one ever make a legitimate case for a theist – or an adherent to any other sort of view of God, for that matter – conceptualizing God as less loving, less merciful, or less just than we ourselves are? Isn’t saying “God’s justice isn’t like our justice” a cop out, or worse – in essence saying not that God is MORE just than we can conceive, but that, in terms of what we mean by “just,” God is not just at all?
Gregory D. Smith: “Why I am — perhaps not — an evangelical”
As a young Christian I was suggestible. I tried for a time to be politically conservative, but it didn’t work for me. It’s just not who I am. More to the point, I couldn’t find the “religious right” perspective anywhere in the bible. As a mature Christian I’m comfortable affirming that there is a troubling conflation of politics and Christian belief in the American evangelical church. … Faith in Christ is not a political ideology. American evangelicalism is being misled on this point.