Secular unions vs. Holy Matrimony, Part II

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of two columns on current debates about Holy Matrimony and civil unions.Gay-rights advocates know the formula and so do their opponents: If gay marriage becomes a civil right, then religious believers who dare to defend ancient doctrines on marriage will become de facto segregationists and suffer the legal consequences.The problem for the left is that this happens to be true."Before we shrug and reply, 'So what if it's religious? It's still bigotry, it's s … [Read more...]

Russia, rock, riots and religion

It wasn't easy being a rebel in the Soviet Union, back in the 1970s when Sergy Ribko was a rock drummer who cherished whatever scraps of music and media made it through the Iron Curtain.Most of all, the self-proclaimed hippy who would later become a Russian Orthodox priest loved The Beatles.The band taught "us to think about the meaning of life, good and evil, even about God and eternity, taught us to understand and love freedom in all its manifestations," wrote Ribko, in an open letter … [Read more...]

Gagging the military chaplains 2.0

Every now and then, bishops write letters for their priests to read to the faithful during Mass.In 1996 the Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services sent a letter to its chaplains instructing them to urge their flocks to back the "Project Life Postcard Campaign" in support of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.Father Vincent Rigdon wanted to follow this order in rites at Andrews Air Force Base. But there was a problem. Pentagon officials had issued a gag order against chaplains … [Read more...]

God hates almost everyone, saith Phelps

The true believers from Westboro Baptist Church carried their usual battery of offensive signs on March 10, 2006, as they staged their fateful protest near the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder.One contained a stick-figure cartoon of two men having sex. One proclaimed "Thank God For Dead Soldiers" and another "God Hates You." During the demonstration these signs faced what the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., and his family call the pro-America "pep rally" that greets them wherever they go … [Read more...]

College campus holy wars

Anyone who explores academic hallways on American campuses will find lots of cartoons posted on professors' office doors and bulletin boards.But what if the cartoons included the Prophet Muhammad?In one famous case, a professor at Century College in Minnesota dared to post the Muhammad cartoons that were published in a Danish newspaper. Facing fierce criticism, she put the images behind a curtain so that anyone passing her bulletin board would not see them unless they chose to do so. … [Read more...]

God hates most sinners, saith Phelps

The words of the fifth Psalm are not for the faint of heart."Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness. ... The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity," warned the psalmist.Obviously, says the Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church, this passage teaches that God hates the evil liberals who run the Southern Baptist Convention, along with legions of other Americans.Phelps also believes that God hates the pope and plenty of other religious … [Read more...]

‘No go’ zones in UK — again

The alleged crime took place at the corner of Alum Rock and Ellesmere roads in Birmingham, England, where an officer spotted two missionaries distributing "God's Bridge to Eternal Life" tracts.The controversial pamphlets contained comments such as, "Throughout history individuals have tried many ways to gain or earn eternal life, but every attempt has been unsuccessful." There were Bible verses, such as, "Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. … [Read more...]

God words vs. actions

When it comes to religion, modern Americans think religious beliefs are good, but they tend to worry about beliefs that affect other people. As a rule, religious words are safer than religious actions.Consider these numbers from a new Ellison Research study that shows surprising support -- on the left and right, among believers and skeptics -- for freedom of expression when it comes to words and symbols.An overwhelming 90 percent of adults agreed that faith groups should be allowed to rent … [Read more...]


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