Carol Kuruvilla | Huffington Post | February 20, 2015
Catholic students in San Francisco are speaking out against their archbishop — and they chose one of the holiest days on the church’s calendar to do so.
On Ash Wednesday, hundreds of students and parents, some with ashes still streaked across their foreheads, gathered outside Saint Mary’s Cathedral to protest morality clauses for Catholic school teachers promoted by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, ABC News’ local affiliate reported.
Hannah Regan, a 14-year-old student at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, was one of the many who sang and recited prayers outside the church. She’s been in the city’s Catholic school system for about 10 years and loves the community she’s grown up with. But on Wednesday, she came out with a challenge, holding up a sign that read, “Teach Love, Teach Justice, Teach Acceptance.”
The Daily Beast, my good friend Russell Saunders relates what life was like for him as a gay youth in a fundamentalist evangelical church. While the people he worshiped with as a child and a young man were “generally kind-hearted, sincere people who wanted to make the world better,” his church was terribly homophobic:
| Patheos | February 18, 2015 In a heartfelt and important article for
It was in a Sunday school classroom that I was told that gays were out to deliberately spread AIDS, a calumny that still has traction in some quarters. It was at a conference I attended with the youth group where I heard a man who styled himself a Christian comedian crack a joke about “faggots,” to the riotous laughter and thundering applause of the audience. It was at a smaller youth gathering where I heard another speaker talk of shipping gays off to a desert island, once again to the acclaim of those assembled. If hell was for your garden-variety sinner, the sub-basement was for the gays. It was a lesson I learned well.
Throughout an adolescence marked with anguish, Saunders sought faith-based conversion: “Every single prayer revolved around one unchanging, passionate plea to heaven: please let me not be gay any longer. I hadn’t chosen it, and God knew I’d have given anything to change it.” He finally found happiness, not through any ex-gay ministry, but by accepting that he already was who he was supposed to be. He came out and found a freedom he’d never thought possible. A firm proponent of religious liberty, Saunders believes it is “perilous to intrude into the stuff of sermons and Sunday school lessons,” but he’s adamant that a line be drawn when it comes to claims made by mental health professionals. To that end, he supports a nationwide ban on youth being subjected to therapies purported to cure homosexuality.
Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | February 19, 2015
Pope Francis has appeared to compare trans and genderqueer people to nuclear weapons, saying both do not ‘recognize the order of creation’.
The head of the Catholic Church has claimed people who ‘manipulate’ their bodies are similar to ‘Herods’ that ‘destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.’
The comments were made in a new book published in Italy, Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, calling on Christians to safeguard God’s order of creation.
Roy Moore speaks to Fox News (screen grab)
Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore on Sunday insisted that he had a moral duty to defy the United States Supreme Court if they tried to change God’s “organic law” by declaring that LGBT people had an equal right to marriage.Moore told Fox News host Chris Wallace that if the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBT had equal marriage rights then he “would not be bound thereby.”
“I could recuse or dissent as a justice from Delaware did in the Dred Scott case [affirming slavery] in 1857,” the Alabama chief justice insisted. “They ruled black people were property. Should a court today obey such a ruling that is completely contradictory of the Constitution?”
| Time | January 29, 2015
“Could you be a church in Selma and not march, just handle your own community?” says pastor Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church. “I don’t think I can do that.”
Three Sundays ago in Franklin, Tenn., twenty minutes south of Nashville and in the heart of the country’s contemporary Christian music industry, pastor Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church preached what was perhaps the most important sermon of his life. You can watch it above–start around 44:40 if you are short on time.
For the past three years, GracePointe has engaged itself in a time of listening on the topic of sexual orientation and identity. It began around the time that the country star Carrie Underwood, who goes to GracePointe, spoke out in favor of marriage equality in 2012, and the Westboro Baptist picketers showed up the church.
NICOLE WINFIELD | Associated Press | Yahoo News | January 31, 2015
VATICAN CITY (AP) — A new Vatican outreach initiative to listen to women hit a sour note before it even got off the ground: The sexy blonde on its Internet promo video came under such ridicule that it was quickly taken down.
But the program is going ahead, and an inaugural meeting this week will study women’s issues in ways that are utterly new for the Holy See.
No, there is no talk of ordaining women priests.
Queering the Church | January 26, 2015
According to a Spanish newspaper report, Pope Francis recently held a private meeting at the Vatican with a transgender man and his fiancee.
Diego Neria Lejárraga had written to the pope about being rejected by his faith community after undergoing gender confirming surgery. Neria explained: “After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me.”
Neria told the newspaper Hoy, from the Extremadura region of Spain, that Pope Francis had initially responded to his letter with a phone call, and the pontiff told Neria that the letter “touched his soul.”