Loaves and cakes: Jesus tramples on the religious liberty of his disciples


On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured. The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are … [Read more...]

Paprocki’s ‘exorcism’ failed. What does the outcome of this spiritual experiment tell us?

Archbishop Thomas Paprocki attempted an exorcism yesterday. It failed.

Tom Paprocki, Roman Catholic archbishop of Springfield, Ill., demonstrated his impotency yesterday by attempting an "exorcism" to rid Illinois of marriage equality. Paprocki summoned up all of his moral authority and all of the spiritual authority of his office and brought it to bear. And he failed. Completely. It didn't work. This is a measurable, demonstrable outcome. It's darn near scientific. Paprocki offered us an experiment that would provide clearly verifiable and falsifiable … [Read more...]

Marriage equality in Illinois, 15 … 16 … 17 …


Good news for the people of Illinois and the Constitution: "Illinois lawmakers approve gay marriage in historic vote." Lawmakers approved gay marriage Tuesday in a historic vote that saw supporters overcome cultural, racial and geographic divides and put Illinois in line with a growing number of states that have extended the right to wed to same-sex couples. ... Gov. Pat Quinn said he intends to sign the bill, which would take effect June 1. After a long slog and several false starts in … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars


"In a democracy there is no more inappropriate place to being a gun than a political rally." "I don't want to see this happen to somebody else." "The WSJ, like most other newspapers, has a paint-by-numbers article that they pull out every few years announcing the demise of Evangelical political influence and the rise of a kinder, gentler, and less-partisan religious political engagement." "He's not a general. He can't order a retreat." "You are engaged in some sort of false … [Read more...]

New Jersey people they will surprise you


I've been cautiously monitoring the court battle over marriage equality in New Jersey, the place of my birth. As John Gorka says, "I'm from New Jersey, I don't expect too much," and so I've been skeptical of the positive signs and reluctant to celebrate until it seemed clear that such celebration wasn't just some cruel illusion. That's the Jersey way of looking at things. But I think maybe we can celebrate now. "N.J. Supreme Court: 'No public interest' in blocking gay marriage" The state … [Read more...]

A gay (Gol)goth(a) scene


Joe Gervis shares the new video from Canadian band The Hidden Cameras. Joe describes it as "chilling," and it may also be triggering, due to its heartbreaking, disturbingly realistic portrayal of bullying, bystandering and despair: That's a familiar story to anyone who reads the newspaper. Or to anyone who is familiar with -- or has experienced -- the cruelty of bullying and the power dynamics of high school. It's also a familiar story for anyone familiar with the Christian gospel. … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars (10.7)


"The survey, released Friday (Oct. 4), by Quinnipiac University, shows that two in three (68 percent) adult Catholics questioned said they agreed with the pontiff’s observation that the church has become too focused on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception." "For too long, the church has often placed limits around sex and sexuality that do not empower us to make good, healthy decisions about relationships, or leave too many of us clueless and insecure about our … [Read more...]

Who said this?

Who said this? I would rather die in the battle for truth than continue living under the chaos and tyranny that is coming upon us. And so some things are worth dying for, whether it's in our own emotions or in our own ambitions or whether it's actual, physical death. Some things are worth standing for and it's time for us to stand up. Was it: A. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a letter to German Christians in 1938. B. John Lewis, to his fellow marchers just before crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in … [Read more...]