You can’t deny people their rights and be nice about it


"The Theological Is Personal," Dianna Anderson writes.She's talking here specifically about the perennial controversy over how much equality women are to be allowed in the church, but her comments apply just as much to the "debate" over how much equality LGBT people are to be allowed in the church, and to the "debates" about how much equality both women and LGBT people are to be allowed in society as a whole: Here’s the thing we need to always remember in the discussion of complementarian t … [Read more...]

Selfish Gentiles and ‘Shellfish Objections’: Timothy Dalrymple vs. the Apostle Peter

Who are you going to side with: the Apostle Peter, or Timothy Dalrymple?You're going to have to pick one or the other, because Dalrymple, an evangelical blogger here at Patheos, is the latest contemporary American Christian to come out against Peter's explanation of his own vision from God.Peter believed that his vision from God was about accepting Gentiles (for starters). Dalrymple says that's wrong. He says that Peter's vision was really just about shellfish.Peter says that God … [Read more...]

What ‘teaching hate’ does and doesn’t look like

Ismael Estrada of CNN reports on the aftermath of another recent bigotry eruption in a nondenominational evangelical church: "We don't teach hate, says church where anti-homosexual song filmed." About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, … [Read more...]

P.S.: Please don’t eat the chimpanzee


Surfing around for an image to enlist for the previous post on the story of Peter's vision from Acts 10-11, I came across some rather odd bits of artwork.Like this one, for example, from a Sunday school curriculum illustrating the story.Acts 10 says Peter fell into a trance and: "saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air."I'd just … [Read more...]

Slavery and same-sex marriage (cont’d.)

Stephen Prothero's CNN op-ed from earlier this month titled "On gay marriage, Obama, Billy Graham and a tale of 2 Christianities" touches on some of the points in the previous post here.Prothero notes that the Rev. Billy Graham (or, at least, his children on his behalf) spoke out against marriage equality in North Carolina, citing the Bible as the basis of his opposition. President Barack Obama, a day later, cited the Bible in explaining his support for marriage equality. Prothero … [Read more...]

Slavery, seafood, sexuality and the Southern Bible

Do you see anything at all in that sheet about race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality? No, you do not. And that is why, despite what Peter says, his vision was only just God's way of telling him that it was OK to eat elephants, giraffes and snakes. Obviously.

I've written many times here about Peter's vision of the treyf smorgasbord in the book of Acts (most recently here, and earlier here).I love that story, which is why I've linked to those chapters from Acts, reprinted them here, and summarized them many times. It's a terrific story from the Christian Bible and I want everyone to read the whole thing. For some reason, that leads my conservative friends to accuse me of desperately wanting to hide this story and to prevent people from reading … [Read more...]

Exposing the shameful secrets of Charles Worley’s fundamentalism

Fundamentalism thrives on isolation from and opposition to the world -- isolation from and opposition to the rest of society, to other people, to The Other, to everyone else.The despicable Charles Worley and his Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina illustrates this opposition. But the fact that we know about Worley, that we've heard his vile words through a viral video that has been viewed by more than half a million people, shows that isolation is becoming increasingly difficult … [Read more...]

Charles L. Worley seems to be training others to be just a awful as he is

OK, it's getting late in the day and my plan of cooling down to a calm, rational tone to discuss this still isn't working.So let's discuss the Rev. Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C.Actually, let's just make that Charles L. Worley -- there's nothing "reverend" about this bastard, regardless of what the clueless, hateful club-members of this local congregation try to say. He's not "pastor" Worley. Pastor means shepherd, and Worley's not shepherding a … [Read more...]