Postcards from the culture war

“A Scout is kind” and other, less-heartening, scenes from our ongoing moral panic, including: Bible-thumping; “gay sex makes people explode;” mandatory hiring of Satan-worshipers; legislator surprised to learn “religious” and “Christian” are not synonyms; and a response to David Barton’s argument for “just” genocide. [Read more…]

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Jim Wallis sounds an uncertain trumpet on marriage equality

When you don’t ask questions, you’re not leading. You’re following. When it comes to marriage equality, Jim Wallis still seems to be a follower. But at least now he’s following a better set of leaders. [Read more…]

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People get ready, there’s a train a-coming

Dannika Nash writes an open letter to the church: “We want to stay in your churches, we want to hear about your Jesus, but it’s hard to hear about love from a God who doesn’t love our gay friends (and we all have gay friends). Help us find love in the church before we look for it outside.” [Read more…]

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‘God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean’ (No. 2)

Slowly, but surely, we’re winning this argument. Slowly, gradually, more and more Christians are coming around to understanding the Apostle Peter’s rooftop vision from God the same way that Peter understood it. [Read more…]

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Well you’re high on top of your mountain of woe

The one thing white evangelicals had been sure of was that they were morally superior. Losing any given battle in the culture war was tolerable because they could, at least, reassure themselves that they had been fighting for goodness and truth and righteousness. But when it comes to discrimination against LGBT people, not only are they losing, but their defeat is celebrated as a triumph for goodness and truth and righteousness. They’re slowly beginning to realize that they are not the Good Guys in this story. [Read more…]

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Thou shalt not treat human beings as ‘controversial issues’

Here I don’t want to wade into that constitutional debate. Or into some abstract, meta-level theological debate. Here I want to just highlight a couple of bold posts from yesterday that remind the rest of us that this is not primarily about a “debate” — it’s about people. And it is wrong to treat people as something other than people. It is wrong to reduce people to “controversial issues.”
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‘PIB’ — the flailing desperation of the but-what-about polygamy, incest & bestiality slippery-slope claim

The pattern of PIB will be familiar if you’ve ever discussed marriage equality with relatives, co-workers or fellow parishioners who oppose it, but can’t quite explain why. It’s not so much an argument as a defense of not having one: “Oh yeah? Well just because I can’t give a good reason why something should be prohibited doesn’t mean it should be allowed! After all, I can’t explain why polygamy, incest and bestiality should be prohibited either — so does that mean those should all be made legal too?” [Read more…]

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Birth certificates and bathrooms in Arizona

Columnist Brahm Resnik worries that this bill would, in effect, require all transgendered persons in Arizona to carry their birth certificate with them at all times. But it wouldn’t do that. It would, instead, require everyone to carry their birth certificate with them at all times. [Read more…]

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