Tone-deaf with perfect pitch: A new plan to chase young people away from the church, one-by-one


His first reaction to reading Nash’s explanation of why so many young people no longer feel welcome in the church was to pick up the telephone and personally inform a young person that she was no longer welcome in the church. Faced with Nash’s eloquent complaint that young people were figuratively being forced out of the church, his first reaction was to actually force a young person out of the church. [Read more...]

‘Be ye not afraid’: Kiwi MP’s terrific speech on marriage equality


“The sun will still rise tomorrow. … Your mortgage will not grow. You will not have skin diseases or rashes, or toads in your beard, sir. The world will just carry on. So don’t make this into a big deal. This is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on.” [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

‘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...]

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...]

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.”
[Read more...]