No Milk Please offers a parody today of what makes gay people unhappy, and why people “change.”
Jon Zuck of the normally peaceful and meditative Wild Things of God blog comments on “ayatollah” Pat Robertson’s latest “fatwa”: On Aug. 19, Robertson announced a death sentence against Iraq’s Muktada al-Sadr. How might a contemplative person of faith respond? Zuck offers a simple answer, and it’s not this:
BlogActive attempts to “out” Rep. Ed Schrock of Virginia, representative to Pat Robertson’s district, because of the lawmaker’s support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. BlogActive offers no evidence, however.
Earlier in the week, BlogActive attempted to “out” the chief financial officer of Concerned Women for America, Lee LaHaye.
Kirk Talley announced today (in an e-mail not made available online) that he has concluded a six-month period of retreat and redemption. He is resuming concerts, attending Maranatha Church of the Harvest in Lenoir City, Tenn., and continuing counseling. He thanks a long list of people, including his ex-gay counselors. Interested individuals may subscribe to Talley’s newsletter here.
John Aravosis noticed that one of Exodus’ favorite “news” sources, AgapePress, is asserting that the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was no big deal.
Father Jake brings us up to date on the financial, political and religious misdealings of the American Anglican Council.
Episcopalian Bob Griffith comments on a Sam Harris op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. Harris finds fault with the Religious Right’s persistent refusal to obey the Bible — and polite society’s refusal to criticize religions when they explicitly promote intolerance and violence. However, one of Griffith’s commenters notes that Harris seems to be stereotyping people of faith.
Bridges Across the Divide — an effort since 1997 to promote respectful communications among people who disagree over the morality of homosexuality — is gradually undergoing a massive update and makeover, starting with the site’s discussion forums. Congratulations to Johanna, Jason (Legolas), and others for the work done thus far.
Liberal Catholic remembers that chastity isn’t just for conservatives.
Psychotherapist Joe Kort offers advice to gay people on anger management — especially useful at a time when gay couples and their children are being harassed by antimarriage activists. Here is Kort’s review of Wayne Besen’s book, “Anything But Straight.”
Chris Matthew Sciabarra, a libertarian, assesses the upsurge in fundamentalism and end-times religion in American politics.
A pro-exgay religious group calling itself Repent America was kicked out of a Philadelphia Phillies game in early August for raising a banner that labeled gay Phillies fans as sinners and insinuated that the spectators were going to hell unless they become “free” in Christ. The end of the AgapePress article indicates that the group didn’t merely oppose “Gay Community Day” at the ballpark; Repent America wants ballparks to deny gay couples the right to express “public acts of homosexuality,” such as hand-holding or kissing.
Declining youth suicide was in the news when media outlets reported that growing tolerance and nonviolence toward confused and same-sex-attracted teenagers might be partly responsible. Baptist Press seems not to have reported that side of the story; instead, BP points readers to UTurn, an ex-gay organization. One of the group’s goals is to sensitizing youth ministers to the vulnerability of same-sex-attracted youth. Sounds admirable enough. Unfortunately, UTurn also aspires to deny teenagers access to the comforting, “almost church-like spirit of the homosexuality subculture” and to blame suicide on sexual choices, not harassment. UTurn also says it “will take the lead in calling students to absolute purity in thought, attitude, and behavior — long before their sexual orientation is healed. UTurn will hold out for them the same biblical standard of purity required of all people.” In practice, of course, the Southern Baptist Convention does not hold heterosexual male teenagers to a perfect standard of “absolute purity.” No word on whether UTurn will be accountable to family and community values by reporting success or failure rates.
What’s The Matter with Kansas? Thomas Frank, a Kansas native, wrote this book detailing the economic, religious and moral decline of Kansas. Frank attributes the decline, in part, to religious conservatism’s alleged abdication of personal responsibility to “God’s will” and to free-market capitalism that has bled the life out of family farms and remote cities. William Marvel, husband of a Kansan and writer for The New Hampshire Gazette, agrees and expands on Frank’s message. Reviewers at Amazon.com like the book, too. But Josh Chafetz — writing for the New York Times — says Frank’s book amounts to arrogant blue-state bigotry.