Christian Progressives Come Out of the Shadows

The NY Times rehash on the religious angle on the election is interesting. There is, of course, the wailing and gnashing of teeth by Bishop Ralph Reed and Bishop Al Mohler about the moral decay of our country and the changing face of the electorate.

Then there’s this sneaky paragraph:

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Can You Be a Gay Christian and Not Be Pissed?

Justin Lee: Gay, Christian, and Too Nice

So the Church of England has appointed another middle aged, white, anti-gay guy to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Big whoop. In Western institutions in which the people actually get a vote — like, say, American democracy — middle aged, white, ant-gay guys are losing power. That’s all to the good, if you ask me.

But it’s still not easy being a gay Christian. Easier than before, but not easy, per se.


One person who’s tackling that is Justin Lee, author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. It’s a good book. I recommend it. But here’s the deal: I think that Justin is too nice.

Justin desires to build bridges in the divisive world of the church-sexuality conversation. That’s great. I think that he and Andrew Marin are the models of this positive, bridge-building work.

But I wonder, when I talk to Justin and when I read his book, why he’s not more pissed.

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What Is the World’s Fastest Growing Religion? Philip Jenkins Knows

Jenkins says that at first blush, the answer is obviously Christianity. But when you drill down into the stats, the answer might be Islam:

If Christians point to Africa as the ultimate success story, then Muslims can boast their growing numbers across their historic heartlands. In 1900, for instance, Egypt had perhaps nine million Muslims, compared to 75 million today. In the same period, the number of Iranian Muslims grew from ten million to perhaps 65 million. In 1900, the lands that would become Indonesia had perhaps 34 million Muslims, compared to 190 million today.

Put another way, four times as many Christians are alive today as there were in 1900; but over the same period, Muslims have grown at least seven-fold.

via RealClearReligion – The World’s Fastest Growing Religion.

More Election Rehash: Citizens United, Gay Marriage, and Republican Democrats

Justice Anthony Kennedy

I’ve got to think that no one breathed a bigger sigh of relief on election night than SCOTUS justice Anthony Kennedy. Having been excoriated by all but a few on both left and right for the Citizens United decision — Kennedy was the swing vote in that decision and wrote the majority opinion — he must have been sweating this election season. A breathtaking amount of money poured into the coffers of start-up PACs and Super PACs, not to mention the millions (billions?) raised by the candidates themselves.

SCOTUS had previously and repeatedly ruled that money is speech; in Citizens United, the Court reaffirmed that “Corporations are people, my friend.” Corporations could form for the exclusive purpose of funding campaigns, and go on to fund them anonymously.

Tuesday’s election proved that, regardless of how much free speech you can buy with billions of dollars, you cannot buy an election. I’m guessing that was in Kennedy’s gut when he wrote the decision — that he has more faith in the American electorate than many of us who condemned the decision. Well, if that it what he was thinking, then he was right.

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS had a $175 million-dollar strikeout:

Minus the millions spent against the president, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS were invested heavily in congressional elections, spending the most in Senate races. Including Obama and Romney, American Crossroads spent money for or against 20 federal candidates in 14 races, while Crossroads GPS focused on 27 in 24 contests.

By our calculations, American Crossroads came out on the winning side in three of its 14 races, with one still too close to call — that’s about 21 percent. GPS did only slightly better, getting its desired outcome in just seven of the 24 elections it spent on; one contest also remains undecided. GPS’ success rate comes to 29 percent.

But at least Sheldon Adelson is $50 million poorer, and we can all rejoice in that.

*****

One of the dumbest philosophical blunders in the losing campaign to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage was the quote  you’d hear and read on signs, “Marriage is marriage.”

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