When a pastor is scared of his congregation — and scared that God isn’t good

Gachnar the Fearsome. (Actual size)

John Shore's latest post coincides with some of the things we've been talking about here recently. He writes "To secretly gay-affirming pastors of conservative churches," touching on some of the things we recently discussed regarding Ken Wilson's A Letter to My Congregation and regarding the structural duplicity of so many evangelical institutions (see here, here and here).John describes a pair of conversations he had with the pastor of a conservative local church. The pastor first sought … [Read more...]

There’s a pattern here


Justin Lee, "You love gay people? That's great. Prove it." You know why LGBT people have such a bad impression of Christians? It’s not because of protesters with “God hates fags” signs. We know they’re extremists. It’s because of daily being dehumanized by the Christians who lecture and preach at us, treating us as issues instead of as human beings — and because of the Christians we know who stand idly by, thinking that if they’re not actively hating us, that counts as loving us.   • " … [Read more...]

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


Ken Wilson is the pastor of a large, midwestern evangelical church -- the Vineyard Church Ann Arbor.Vineyard churches are a relatively new and growing network of charismatic/Pentecostal evangelical churches. There's probably one near you, and you've probably been invited there at some point, because Vineyard churches are like that.Point being that any way you slice it and however you go about drawing the lines that bound the evangelical tribe, Wilson is an evangelical Christian who … [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.)

From a legal point of view, "civil unions" just don't cut it.To see why, just consider why the idea of civil unions as a separate-but-equal marriage-like thing for same-sex couples seems initially appealing for some folks. Anyone who views civil unions favorably arrives at that point because they've recognized that there's an injustice -- an inequality under the law -- that needs to be corrected. They've recognized that it's fundamentally unfair for opposite-sex couples to have access to … [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.William Lindsey: It's not quite accurate to say that the top pastoral leaders of the Catholic church in the U.S. are doing nothing to address the exodus of younger Catholics from the church due to the church's homophobia. As a collective body, the bishops of the Catholic church … [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.

The tribal gatekeepers of white evangelicalism are exhausting. If there were any plausible way to argue that they were acting in good faith rather than just smarmily pursuing raw power, then perhaps they'd be worthy of more than snark. But pretending they're behaving in good faith just requires that we ignore far too much that is far too evident.Still, kudos to Tony Jones for patiently trying to address the purported substance of the gatekeepers' perpetual complaint. In "Can You Be Pro-Gay … [Read more...]

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


• Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Now that they've neutralized unions, they're going after everything unions ever won -- including the five-day work week.• Scott Paeth, "Jesus Wants You Heavily Armed" I suppose, if we wished to take the passage strictly literally, we could interpret it in line with Jesus' follow-up statement. After his disciples pull out two swords, he declares, "That's enough!" Enough for what? Who knows! But I'd be perfectly happy with an interpretation that say … [Read more...]

Kansas Christianists seek monopoly on worldly honors and emoluments

Dimmitt, Texas, 1949.

Initially, it looked like a bill to provide sweeping sectarian exemptions to civil rights laws was going to easily become law in Kansas. It sailed through the state legislature's Republican-controlled lower chamber, and was expected to cruise through the Republican-controlled Senate and then be signed into law by the state's Republican governor.But it turns out this bill wasn't just a Very Bad Idea, it was also a Very Badly Written Very Bad Idea. Once some of the big-business, … [Read more...]