For Sen. Portman, Sen. Kirk and the rest of us: The next big step is the important one

What we earlier saw with Sen. Mark Kirk is still true for Sen. Rob Portman. It is good to see his perspective change due to “direct personal relevance,” but it would be better if he could learn to expand his perspective even without it. That’s the next necessary step, the next epiphany awaiting these senators. How can we encourage that next step? [Read more…]

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Don’t treat people as symbols for a tribal loyalty quiz

Worse than that, though, is what these tribal trustees are doing when it comes to LGBT people. They’re not treated as people at all — just as short-hand symbols who provide a convenient test. For the tribal gatekeepers, LGBT people do not matter as people. They do not even exist as people, but only as a useful gauge of any given defendant’s beliefs about the “authority of the Bible.” [Read more…]

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No burden, no regret in ‘fair, respectful, equal’

The burden, regret, reluctance and remorse all seem to be on one side of the ledger. The joy, relief and spiritual renewal all seem to be on the other side. I think that tells us something. I think maybe that tells us everything. [Read more…]

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When talk of ‘civil disobedience’ is just masturbation

Marriage equality does not affect Southern Baptists at all. It does not require them to start doing something they have not been doing or to stop doing anything they have been doing. It does not compel or prohibit them in any way. It does not require their obedience and thus it is not subject to their disobedience — civil or otherwise. [Read more…]

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Lay your burden down, God is not a jerk

That burden, that discomfiting sense that religion and goodness are at odds, is something I’ve seen dozens of Christians wrestling with when it comes to the simple justice of marriage equality. Their instinct, their conscience, their sense of fairness and rightness all compel them to support equality, but religion stands in the way. Religion says there’s a rule, a text, a verse, a passage, some words on a page somewhere — and that those words trump your conscience, your sense of fairness, your desire to be kind, and just, and loving to your neighbors. [Read more…]

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Felonious nipples, VAWA & stories hidden in plain sight

North Carolina plan says show a breast, lose the right to vote; the bad old days were not that long ago; congratulations to Gomer Pyle; two famous Freds and why it’s easier to compare myself to the evil one; patriarchal Christian movie wants evangelicals to oppose birth control. [Read more…]

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The Bible, Steve Chalke, Wilberforce and ‘The Civil War as a Theological Crisis’

“How has the whole Church found itself believing something about slavery which is so at odds with the Bible?” prominent British evangelical Steve Chalke asks. It’s an interesting question. Christians today unanimously condemn slavery as a grave moral evil. The Bible condones it. Christians who insist we must never be “at odds with the Bible” are, in fact, at odds with the Bible — at least according to their own understanding of what that means. [Read more…]

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Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

“We support biblical families,” Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy says of his fast-food corporation. So let’s take a look at some of those biblical families. Today’s entry: True family. [Read more…]

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