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, … [Read more...]

Secular unions vs. Holy Matrimony, Part I

EDITOR'S NOTE: First of two columns on current debates about Holy Matrimony and civil unions. If the American public has truly changed its mind on marriage, then it's time for Catholic priests to start saying, "We don't," instead of continuing to endorse the government's right to legislate who gets to say, "I do." At least, that's an option that Catholics, and by implication other religious traditionalists, must be willing to consider, according to scholar George Weigel of the Ethics and … [Read more...]

NYC’s dangerous churches (in schools)

Once a month, Village Church volunteers offer their neighborhood a gift -- free babysitting. This Friday "Parents Night Out" program uses non-religious crafts and games, which is important because the Presbyterian flock's leaders insist that it's open to parents of any "creed, color, party or orientation." It helps to know that this evangelical church is located in New York City's Greenwich Village and meets in rented space in Public School 3. "We're New Yorkers and we know all about the … [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...]

Why journalists (heart) the Episcopal Church

On a typical Sunday, 4,281 Episcopalians attend services in the world-famous Diocese of New Hampshire, according to official church reports. This isn't a large number of worshippers in the pews of 47 parishes -- roughly the same number that would attend weekend Masses in two or three healthy Catholic parishes in a typical American city. Episcopal attendance in New Hampshire fell sharply between 2003 and 2007, which is the most recent statistical year available (pdf). Meanwhile, this diocese … [Read more...]

Obama prays behind closed doors

Steve Strang knew the ground rules for the recent meeting between Sen. Barack Obama and a flock of evangelical, Catholic and liberal Protestant leaders.The invitation to the Chicago gathering stated: "This is an off-the-record (no media) time for questioning and listening, with no expectation of endorsement."But it's one thing to keep Obama's answers off the record. As soon as the two-hour meeting was over, some participants began talking and writing about the questions they had asked."I was … [Read more...]

Obama’s awesome testimony

Play the right guitar chords and worshippers in megachurch America will automatically start singing these words: "Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom power and love, our God is an awesome God."So Barack Obama caused raised eyebrows when he turned to that page in the evangelical songbook during the 2004 Democratic National Convention."We worship an awesome God in the Blue States," he said, in the speech that made him a rising star. "We coach Little League in the … [Read more...]

Jerry Falwell, gay-rights activist?

It isn't shocking when leaders of the Human Rights Campaign praise people who have taken stands to back the civil rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals.But it certainly raised eyebrows when the gay-rights group publicly thanked the Rev. Jerry Falwell. The result was an odd little news story that, at first glance, made about as much sense as the Southern Baptist Convention throwing a party for its friends at the Walt Disney Co.The story began with Falwell defending volunteer legal work that … [Read more...]


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