Jamelle Bouie had a great piece at Slate last week explaining the long strange journey of Protestant Evangelicals from pressing for the expansion of abortion rights to vehement opposition to nearly every aspect of women’s reproductive choices. Bouie correctly identifies the trend, but he misses an important pivot point that calls the rest of his analysis into question.
Bouie correctly points out that political conservatives and Protestant evangelicals were relatively warm toward pro-choices causes until the ‘70’s. The nation’s most liberal abortion rights legislation prior to Roe v. Wade was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan. Sen. Barry Goldwater was staunchly pro-choice across his entire career.
In 1971 the Southern Baptist Convention endorsed abortion rights for women in a remarkably bold statement for the time. The Baptists responded to Roe v Wade in 1974 by re-affirming their previous statement in favor of abortion rights.
Let’s All Read This Lawsuit About Creepy Assaulting (Allegedly!!) Masturbating Quiverfull Pastor Guy
Last year, Douglas Phillips, the head of Vision Forum Ministries, one of those deeply creepy Quiverfull churches, and total superfriend of Clown Car Vagina Family Duggars, stepped down after revealing he’d had a “lengthy, inappropriate affair” with a ladyperson. He kinda sorta forgot to mention that the “inappropriate affair” was actually a 6-year pattern of (ALLEGEDLY, JESUS) grooming and sexually abusing one of his parishioners, which is actually a tad more than inappropriate. Now the woman, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, has sued Phillips and Vision Forum Ministries and the complaint, as the kids say, is a doozy.
How many counts does this lawsuit contain? All of them, Katie! She’s suing Phillips for assault, battery, sexual battery, inflicting emotional distress upon her, and frauding her (more on that later), and suing Vision Forum for negligent supervision and retention, which basically means they knew full well he was sexually assaulting Torres and decided to do nothing about it and let him stay on as leader. That is a lot of things! Let’s lawsplain AND read the best/worst parts of the 30-page complaint, shall we?
Springfield Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki has reportedly decided to uphold a decision from Blessed Sacrament Parish denying communion to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin because of his “pro-choice position.”
“Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law,” Bishop Paprocki reportedly wrote in response to a pro-life activist’s query, the Illinois Review reported. “My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.”
Canon 915 states that those who have been “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
The Religious Right is still trying to sell Americans on the idea that merging religion and government is just the thing to turn this country around in a hurry, and now they’re getting some assistance from two media personalities: Bill O’Reilly and Ben Stein.
In an interview on NBC’s “Today Show” this morning, Fox News host O’Reilly said Americans are tired of secularism.
“I think people are fed up with secularism,” he said. “It gets just to be too much.”
So what is O’Reilly’s answer to this supposedly excessive secularism? Teaching “Judeo-Christian” values in schools, naturally.
“Kids, if they live in a secular home and go to public school don’t know anything about Jesus,” O’Reilly said. “Our Constitution was forged on Judeo-Christian philosophy and tradition.”
O’Reilly’s evidence for this is a little thin: He cited the presence of Moses holding the Ten Commandments inside the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court’s website says that display contains many historical lawgivers. It is intended to show the evolution of the laws over centuries and nothing more.
The “not fake” part refers to the age of the document, not to the accuracy of it, just like the rest of the bible.
An ancient, business-card-sized papyrus fragment that appears to quote Jesus Christ discussing his wife is real, Harvard University announced Thursday. The fragment caused international uproar when it was revealed by a Harvard historian in September 2012, with prominent academics and the Vatican swiftly deeming it a forgery.
Harvard officials said scientists both within and outside the university extensively tested the papyrus and carbon ink of the badly aged fragment, dubbed the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” The document, written in Coptic, a language of ancient Egyptian Christians, is made up of eight mostly legible dark lines on the front and six barely legible faded lines on the back. The handwriting and grammar were also examined over the last year and a half to confirm its authenticity. Scientists have concluded the fragment dates back to at least the sixth to ninth centuries, and possibly as far back as the fourth century.
The document was never meant to prove Jesus was married, Harvard Divinity School professor Karen L. King emphasized Thursday. Instead, she argued, it’s meant to highlight that some early Christians may have believed Jesus was married. The distinction is significant because debates over sexuality and marriage have dominated contemporary discussions about Christianity; the Catholic Church cites Jesus’ celibacy as one reason its priests must not have sex or marry.
Sexuality, (not orientation, but the act of being a sexual being, as we all (most) are) appears to be one of the most difficult subjects for Christians to parse - every human knows they are a sexual being, whether for reproduction, or outside of it - sex is pleasurable, intimate, affirming, and actualizing. Inherently - humans are endowed with sexuality through the evolutionary process, which evolution delivering humans from survival based needs into something much greyer, and difficult to define. This is not an issue in the same way for people not hinged to religious dogma. They simply (most) accept it as a factor of life, a personal, intimate issue that belongs to them, and their partner exclusively, being not a system that exists outside that bond - either for a god, or anyone else for that matter (say governments, society at large, etc)
This is why overcoming this sexual hypocrisy is important for Christians, (and people of other faiths with the same dichotomy, however, Charisma is focused on Christians so that will be my focus here) is important for self-actualization.
I found this Charisma article interesting because it appears, while awkwardly, to be attempting to wrestle with the contradiction.
Here’s hoping they can find sexual peace through openly speaking about sexuality as a healthy, positive factor of human evolution, rather than a dark, dirty, sinful factor of human failure.
I am not arrogant enough to suggest how Christians find their way out of the contradiction to a healthy sexual future, nor am I willing to suggest all or even most Christians suffer from the hypocrisy, and many have found commendable ways of walking the tight line between doctrine and their own sexual freedom, I am just noting the contradictions, and wishing them well.
In a recent study conducted by christianmingle.com, Christian singles between the ages of 18 to 59 were asked, “Would you have sex before marriage?” The response? Sixty-three percent of the single Christian respondents indicated yes. In my 30 years of youth and adult ministry experience, this is as unfiltered, direct and honest as a question and answer can be.
It is equally honest to say that nearly nine out of 10 self-proclaimed single Christians are, in practice, sexual atheists. In other words, God has nothing to say to them on that subject of any consequence or, at least, anything meaningful enough to dissuade them from following their own course of conduct. It is the ultimate oxymoron. A person who at once believes in a wise, sovereign and loving God who created them and all things, can also believe simultaneously He should not, cannot or will not inform their thinking or living sexually. It reminds me of those famous red letters in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46, NIV). There is disconnect between identity and activity.
No, our life in God and for our God reflects our real view of God. These are our adults who populate our weekend services, attend our Bible studies, download our podcast messages, pray often and who have Jesus Culture, TobyMac and Maroon 5 in their playlists. Having tracked this trend among youth for decades, it is no surprise to me that the broad spectrum of single adults—yesterday’s youth—both feel and act this way. We should really make an effort to not be too shocked or surprised.
Jesus Himself said it would trend this way. The apostle Paul forewarned the very single, very godly Timothy that there would be times in his ministry when clear and sound doctrine in Scripture would be defeated by broken culture teaming up with the ever-present and self-serving nature within every Christian. He accurately forecasted a self-styled Christianity that reflected culture over the character of Christ in personal moral spaces and practice.
The Catholic Church in Cincinnati doubles down on religious bigotry wrapped up in dogma:
Teachers in Cincinnati Archdiocese schools could lose their jobs if they violate a new employment contract that clamps down on their personal lives beyond school walls.
The new contract obtained by The Enquirer has doubled in size and is strikingly different from previous Archdiocese teacher employment agreements.
For the first time, it details prohibited practices such as gay “lifestyles,” out-of-wedlock relationships, abortions and fertility methods that go against Catholic teachings.
The contract for the 2014-15 school year explicitly orders teachers to refrain “from any conduct or lifestyle which would reflect discredit on or cause scandal to the school or be in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals.” It goes so far as to ban public support of the practices.
Principals in the 94 Archdiocese-supervised schools in Southwest and Central Ohio began receiving the new employment agreements Thursday. More than 2,200 Greater Cincinnati parochial teachers will be affected by the new contract, the Archdiocese estimates.
The $1 million question is : all the people (Noah Rothman, Andrew Sullivan, et al) calling out mozilla, and the activists who helped oust C.E.O. Brendan Eich, because they did not want their brand associated with bigotry and hatred, why are you silent today in relation to this? let me attempt a guess as to why - Gays are a much easier target than the church….right?
So where is the outrage from these people? Hypocrisy is as hypocrisy does, I suppose.
An attorney for one of two Montgomery County women accused of fatally stabbing two children in a bloody exorcism said in court Friday that he would pursue an insanity defense, known in Maryland as “not criminally responsible.”
The defendant, Monifa Sanford, 21, is scheduled to be tried on first-degree murder charges in late August. She is accused of killing the two children on Jan. 17 inside a Germantown townhouse.
The children’s mother, Zakieya Avery, faces the same charges in the deaths of the children — ages 18 months and 2 years old. Their older siblings — ages 5 and 8 — survived knife wounds. Both women also are charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder
The couple, named as Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar, were found guilty of sending the text message to the imam of their local mosque.
Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan.
Several recent cases have prompted international concern about the application of blasphemy laws.
The imam brought a complaint against the couple last July.
The couple’s lawyer told the BBC he would appeal against the sentences and said the trial had not been conducted fairly.
Pakistan has a de facto moratorium on the death penalty so it is unlikely the couple will be executed.