Gatekeeper gatecrashes a wedding (stay classy, Get Religion)


Terry Mattingly notes that popular evangelical author and speaker Brian McLaren recently officiated at a same-sex wedding. Mattingly takes this as an opportunity once again to remind everyone that he, Terry Mattingly, has personally discussed religion with Billy Graham. Have you? No? Well Terry Mattingly has. So there. And if that doesn't qualify Terry Mattingly to separate the wheat from the chaff, what possibly could? In his role as someone who has, personally, discussed the meaning … [Read more...]

If N.J. archbishop John Myers is right, then only Catholic marriage should be legal (and all Protestants are living in sin)

Dignitatis Humanae, Schmignitatis humanae. John Myers does not care for Vatican II's teachings on religious freedom.

I got married in New Jersey. Since I'm not Catholic, I didn't have a Catholic wedding. Newark Archbishop John Myers seems to think that shouldn't count as a legal wedding. And he says any Catholic who disagrees with him should be cut off from the rest of the sacraments as well: In a sweeping pastoral statement to be made public today, the leader of more than 1 million North Jersey Catholics urges them to vote “in defense of marriage and life,” and warns that the passage of same-sex … [Read more...]

Jesus declares his priorities in his first sermon


To understand who Jesus was and who Jesus declared himself to be, we can have no clearer signal than the very first sermon he gave, in which Jesus established the priorities of his ministry. We read of this sermon in Luke 4:16-21: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of Leviticus. And when he had opened the book, he found the place … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Max S. Gordon: "Proud Americans, Be Who You Are" In other words, I can’t dismiss Paul Ryan’s good-natured homophobia as anything else but what it is, a hatred of gays.  I can’t blame a generation gap, or that he’s from some other country that isn’t “free” like us, or any of the bullshit excuses that would let him off the hook.  He’s just like me. Only he has privileges that I don’t, because he’s heterosexual.  It’s that simple.  We try to make it more complicated, … [Read more...]

3 things you can do if you want to be a big jerk


Here are a few recent stories in which various people -- including some public officials -- demonstrate how to be a really big jerk. I don't recommend being a big jerk, mind you, but if that's your goal, then study these stories carefully. These folks are putting on a clinic in jerkitude. 1. Walk into a store owned by Christians, throw their religious literature into the trash and insult their faith. Mayor Tonya Hoeffel of Garrett, Indiana, is a big jerk. Mayor Hoeffel walked into a … [Read more...]

But if homosexuality isn’t ‘objectively immoral,’ then Anything Goes …


One of the most common and most popular objections that arises whenever anyone acknowledges that homosexuality is not "objectively immoral" is the argument that somehow this means that "anything goes." "If we start affirming then all of morality goes right out the window. If we don't say that gayness is objectively immoral, then the world has gone mad today and good's bad today and black's white today and day's night today ..." Et cetera. I do not understand this argument. The … [Read more...]

What if I’m wrong about the clobber verses?


Excellent question. "What if you're wrong?" is always an excellent question and I'm grateful to my inquisitors and critics for making sure I never forget it. Even if I don't always enjoy the tone of their full expression of this question, I thank them for the helpful reminder that I always might be wrong. That's the constructive aspect of this challenge, which comes up every time I discuss this topic of LGBT people and the church or make an argument -- despite those clobber verses -- … [Read more...]

The clobber verses vs. ‘the only thing that counts’

Same argument. Same hermeneutic. Same body part.

I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." -- Galatians 5:12-14 So, yes, the anti-gay clobber verses are there, in the Bible. Open the Christian scriptures and, if you know where to look, you can find all six … [Read more...]