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May 21, 2012

North Carolina pastor calls for all gay people to be put into concentration camps and starved to death

Just like Jesus would have wanted! Say What Now of the Day - The Daily What
Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, went on an anti-President Obama rant earlier this month during a sermon. Then he got off topic: I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. Build a great, big, large fence — 150- or 100-mile-long — put all the lesbians in there… Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out… And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die.

May 19, 2012

Taking the Christianity out of Sex

Short version: Sexual norms are socially constructed, not biologically driven, and vary greatly amongst cultures. This research topples many ideas about virginity, promiscuity, homosexuality, and gender-based notions of sexual appetite. Taking the Christianity out of Sex | Dollars and Sex | Big Think
Men have stronger sexual desires than do women…Women are the more monogamous gender…Homosexuality is an unnatural sexual behavior. Sexual beliefs, like these, are so widespread that we have collectively come to view them as being embedded in our biology. Cross-cultural data collected from pre-industrial societies, however, tells a different story. That data suggests that culture – including religion – has played an important role in ingraining these “truths” about human sexuality into our collective psyche. . . . Thanks to the exhaustive efforts of anthropologists like George Murdock, Douglas White, and dozens of others who contributed to the Standard Cross-Cultural Survey, I can tell you quite emphatically that there is no uniformity of human beliefs about sexual behaviors across cultures and from an early point in time. In fact, cross-cultural evidence collected on 1167 pre-European contact societies suggests that much of what we believe to be true about human sexuality is socially constructed rather than biologically pre-determined.* Let’s start with the issue raised by the commenter – how widespread across societies was the belief in pre-marital virginity? . . .

May 11, 2012

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on the lies about the history of marriage

Joe. My. God.: Lawrence O'Donnell Rips Tony Perkins'
Lies About The History Of Marriage

What do you do when your church hates your gay family, your gay friends?

Ken Lowery, one of the funniest guys on Twitter (@KenLowery), is publicly processing his thoughts and feelings about his church. It's worth reading. Where I’m At - Ken-Lowery.com
Nonetheless, the broader UMC’s steps backward pissed me off. There’s a very real resentment toward the UMC right now, and it’s well grounded, and it goes something like this: we pay our apportionments, we put in the volunteer hours, we follow the Greatest Commandment, we often go above and beyond our neighboring churches because that’s what we’re called to do. We fund church plants, mission work, disaster relief, and do it all gladly – because that’s what we’re called to do. And our reward is to be treated as less than worthy. As inherently sinful, above and beyond the sin that every person carries and is constantly at war with. So the question becomes, why do we pay in, if we’re not going to be treated the same as everyone else? Why are we expected to do our part if we are not afforded the same grace and love as every other member of the church? I know how angry this issue makes me, even though as a straight white male, I have nothing personal at stake. (Well, there’s the well-being of my loved ones at stake, but you know what I mean.) So I cannot imagine the fear, hurt and fury of LGBT people (and their family members) who live under the very real possibility that the tantrums of emotional and moral dinosaurs could very well destroy their homes and families. That is a monstrous kind of terrorism, an expression of ugliest Empire, and a black mark on the legacy of the Church (all the churches, in all parts of the world, in all stripes) that should never be forgotten. So my conversation with both Allison and Richard was this: do I just say “fuck it” and go? Because honestly, life is too short to spend time reasoning with people who will scream “faithful living” when they mean “dogma” or, worse, “fear,” and who are gladly murdering a generation of potential families right in the crib because that isn’t how things were when I was a young man/woman. So why not shed the intellectual rot of outdated ideas and old thinking and get on with doing some righteous, forward-thinking work? Or do I stay, because dammit, this is my church too? I have as much a claim to this legacy as anyone else, so why should I cede ground to the people who do not seem to know they are killing the very thing they love because they believe they have nothing left to learn? Why abandon ship to go where people may end up, when I’m already where people are? In short, should I stay, or should I go?