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

President Barack Obama and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk greet one another at the State of the Union in January 2013.

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...]

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...]

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

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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...]

When talk of ‘civil disobedience’ is just masturbation

Richard Land likes to pretend he's Rosa Parks because that's so much nicer than admitting that he's James F. Blake.

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...]

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...]

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...]

Muslim students, lofty neutrality toward the Other, and the Miley Rule

Whether it’s a Christian majority struggling to come to terms with their Muslim neighbors or a cisgendered majority advising a “position” of no position toward those unlike them, valuable wisdom can be found in the words of Miley Cyrus: Just put yourself in that person’s shoes. [Read more...]

Missouri-Synod Lutherans: Interfaith action against gay people is fine, but not prayers for slain children


Praying for the victims of tragedy with other members of the community is forbidden. But interfaith coalitions are just fine when it comes to kicking LGBT people. This isn’t hypocrisy. It’s just that the people in charge of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod hate gays way more than they love the schoolchildren of Sandy Hook. [Read more...]