The Anglican wars roll on (and Holy Communion for dogs)

The German Shepherd's name was Trapper and he came to St. Peter's Anglican Church with his owner, a newcomer at the historic Toronto parish.At the end of the Mass, Trapper went forward with everyone else for Holy Communion. That's when the vicar, in what she later described as a welcoming gesture, served the dog some of the consecrated bread that Anglicans believe has -- in a mysterious manner -- become the body of Jesus Christ.So one parishioner complained to the bishop and, in a flash, … [Read more...]

Woodstock sinks into sexual ethics in America

Back in 1969, the same year as Woodstock, Gallup Poll researchers asked Americans this moral question: "Do you think it is wrong for a man and a woman to have sexual relations before marriage, or not?""Yes, wrong," responded 68 percent of those polled, while 21 percent said, "No, not wrong."By 1973, the traditionalist camp affirming that premarital sex was wrong was down to 47 percent and the minority of those disagreeing rose to 43 percent. In 1991, only 40 percent considered premarital … [Read more...]

Young, gay and faithfully Catholic

Gay activist Dan Savage went straight for the jugular in his recent remarks on bullying at a national conference for high-school journalists.The problem, he said, is the Bible.To state the matter in terms that can be used in family newspapers, the sex-advice columnist repeatedly proclaimed that the Bible contains far too much bovine excrement."People often point out that they can't help ... with the anti-gay bullying, because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in … [Read more...]

Education wars among Georgia Baptists

When it comes to higher education, Georgia Baptists are of two minds these days.On Oct. 21, the trustees of Shorter University in Rome, Ga., approved a covenant requiring faculty and staff to support the "mission of Shorter University as a Christ-centered institution affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention." Then they asked employees to "reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and … [Read more...]

Orthodox bridge to evangelical world

As point man for Russian Orthodox relations with other faith groups, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev is used to talking shop with Catholics, Anglicans, leaders in older brands of Protestantism and other world religions.These duties have long been part of his job description. Meeting with leaders from the world's booming evangelical and Pentecostal flocks?Not so much.However, recent ecumenical contacts by this high-profile representative of the Moscow Patriarchate is evidence that times are … [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...]

Return of (part of) the chaplaincy story

Editor's note: There was no "On Religion" column this past week due to the death of Terry Mattingly's mother, Berta Geraldine Mattingly, in Texas. The following post originally ran at GetReligion.org****It seems that we are going to see more mainstream coverage of those debates about religious liberty, military chaplains and Don't Ask, Don't Tell." So let's back up and note a few basic fact, some of which were handled quite well in that CNN.com report that I praised the other day in the post … [Read more...]

Don’t ask, don’t tell the chaplains

The setting: The office of a priest who serves as a military chaplain.The time: This hypothetical encounter occurs soon after the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forbids gays, lesbians and bisexuals to openly serve in America's armed forces.The scene: An officer requests counseling about tensions with her same-sex partner as they prepare for marriage. The priest says this would be inappropriate, since his church teaches that sex outside of marriage is sin and that the … [Read more...]


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