Monday, August 22, 2016

On a Disappearing Lecture by a Bishop Challenging Injustice Towards Gay Folks: Churches Hostile to Gays Might Consider Just Shutting Up about a Loving God

Last Friday, the publication Catholic Outlook, a publication of the Catholic diocese of Parramatta in Australia, uploaded to its website the text of a lecture given by the diocesan bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen the preceding day as the annual Ann D. Clark lecture in Penrith, Australia. When I saw links to Bishop Long's lecture on Twitter over the weekend, I shared a link to the Catholic Outlook text of the entire lecture. That link is here.

Peter Montgomery on How Right-Wing Christians Justify Support for Trump; Frederick Clarkson on Dominionist Agenda Hidden in Plain Sight in U.S. Right-Wing Christianity

One of several reasons I have found it difficult to blog here of late is that the ongoing discussion of Donald Trump's candidacy in the U.S. has pulled me into rather intense daily discussions on Facebook and Twitter of issues like the influence of race matters in the 2016 elections and the role religion is playing in the elections.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Michael Coren: Not Only Did Some Christians Oppose Slavery — Many Christians Defended Slavery, Citing the Bible and Longstanding Tradition

As Michael Coren reminds us in his Epiphany: A Christian's Change of Mind and Heart Over Same-Sex Marriage (Toronto: Signal, 2016), p. 61, not only did some Christians oppose slavery and work for aboltion, but many Christians also avidly defended slavery. Noting as they did so that slavery was practiced by the biblical patriarchs, blessed by the bible, taken for granted by Paul, and had long been considered essential to proper social order in Christian societies — just as the subordination of women to men was essential if Christian social order was to be maintained in Christian societies. 

What Earthly Good Do Churches Do? On Christian Support for Donald Trump, and Whether It's Possible to Remain Christian

Michael Boyle describes, and brilliantly so, the turning that happened inside him after he entered the Dominicans and began preparing for ordination — and then realized that what the Catholic party line was telling him about celibacy, clerical life, and health was not quite cogent:

In the Midst of Death We Are in Life: Spiritual Resources for Living (Gracefully) Through It All

Legendary New Orleans jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain died on 6 August, and his funeral was held two days ago at St. Louis cathedral in New Orleans. Charles Pierce has uploaded to his "Politics" blog at Esquire video footage of Irma Thomas singing "Precious Lord" — so beautifully and reverently — during the offertory part of the funeral Mass. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Michael Coren: Let's Not Forget That Many Churches Used to Oppose (and Not Long Ago) Gender Equality and Women's Right to Vote, Citing the Bible As Their Authority

Another snippet from Michael Coren's Epiphany: A Christian's Change of Mind and Heart Over Same-Sex Marriage (Toronto: Signal, 2016), p. 67. As he notes, many churches today maintain that they would be in violation of unchangeable biblical teaching if they changed how they dealt with gay* people, and became welcoming, affirming, and accepting of those who are gay. 

Claims of Persecution and Catholic Support for Trump: Need to Move Beyond Defensive Parochial Response to Engage Real Issues — Like White Catholic Racism

In a recent essay for Fortune, Matthew Schmalz, who teaches religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, suggests that Donald Trump resonates with some Catholic voters because "[t]here’s a sense among many non-college-educated, white, Catholic voters that they are doubly marginalized—by their economic status and by their religious identity." As Schmalz explains, though (white) Catholics have been assimilated in American society, many Catholics still carry "generational memories" of having been excluded from affluent mainstream Protestant-dominated culture in the U.S.