There’s a pattern here


Justin Lee teams up with Audrey Hepburn. A Tennessee pastor says he has nothing but love for the people he refuses to allow to marry. And Henry Farrell says that bigotry rooted in perceived religious mandates may be marginally less obnoxious than bigotry rooted in personal animus but it’s still, you know, bigotry. [Read more...]

‘An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are LGBT into the company of Jesus’


Ken Wilson isn’t like Rob Bell or Brian McLaren — a former pastor already labeled with the tribal warning sign of “controversy.” He is an until-now non-controversial member of the tribe, and he’s still an evangelical pastor writing as an evangelical pastor. The title, and format, of his book is “A Letter to My Congregation.” [Read more...]

Pope Francis says maybe to civil unions

In the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, this couple is in a civil union. Bruce and Patty have been legally married for more than 22 years, but because Mr. Springsteen's previous marriage ended in divorce, the church does not recognize this marriage as legitimate. (Getty Images photo by Jon Raedle.)

Roman Catholic Church is not lobbying to make it illegal under secular law for anyone to obtain a civil divorce. Nor is it attempting to prevent divorced people from access to legal, civil remarriage. Divorce and remarriage are, in the eyes of the Catholic church, sins. But the church acknowledges that they are also a legal right that it would be unjust and immoral (i.e., sinful) to deny others. There’s no reason — no Catholic reason — that Pope Francis and his church could not take the same approach to same-sex marriage. [Read more...]

‘An excellent job at de-evangelization’


If you set out deliberately to destroy the church and pervert the gospel, you probably still couldn’t come up with anything as diabolically effective as the teavangelical nonsense of the angry white religious right. Here is some good commentary on Arizona from William Lindsey, E.J. Dionne and Rachel Held Evans. [Read more...]

The tribal trilateral: White, Protestant, anti-abortion.

Danielle Suarez is an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol. Women are not allowed to help patrol the borders of the evangelical tribe. The agents in charge of that -- the tribal gatekeepers -- are all white men.

That’s what all those other tribal signifiers, past and present, tend to be — short-hand substitutes for the clobber-text hermeneutic of white American Christianity. Whether it’s the currently ascendent tribal marker of being anti-gay, or if it’s the tribal marker of young-Earth creationism, or if it’s the rapidly fading tribal marker of teetotalism, all of those things weren’t so much about the things themselves, but were, rather, ways of shouting, “But what about the Bible?” They were ways of demonstrating one’s allegiance to what tribal gatekeepers called “the authority of the scriptures.” Which is to say, really, the authority of the tribal gatekeepers themselves. [Read more...]

I wave to the people but the wind just blows ‘em down


A five-day work week? That’s a union thing — and unions are evil doncha know. “Jesus wants you heavily armed.” Houston church desperately fighting to get on the wrong side of the gospel. (You thought I was gonna say “wrong side of history”? That too.) After they finished writing the Constitution, the Founding Fathers had a drink or two. “This is a problem.” [Read more...]

Kansas Christianists seek monopoly on worldly honors and emoluments

Dimmitt, Texas, 1949.

This bill is the epitome of the recent effort to redefine “religious liberty” as a way of enshrining the privileges of the privileged. It is an attempt to, in Thomas Jefferson’s phrase, secure a “monopoly on worldly honors and emoluments.” The thing about monopolies, of course, is that unlike liberties, they can’t be enjoyed by everyone — only by the select chosen few. [Read more...]

This is what actual ‘religious liberty’ looks like


“Plaintiffs honor, and yearn for, the sacred values and dignity that other individuals celebrate when they enter into marital vows in Virginia, and they ask to no longer be deprived of the opportunity to share these fundamental rights.” [Read more...]