Sunday, May 31, 2015

Slowdown on Responding to Comments: My Apologies

My apologies to all of you who have left comments here in the past several days that I haven't been responding to and acknowledging your much-appreciated remarks. I am nursing a somewhat mangled right hand (nothing serious: the result of having my fingers carelessly wrapped in the dogs' leashes when one of them decided to lunge suddenly on our walk in the park several days ago). So typing is a bit difficult for me right now.

Quote for Day: Leah Mickens on "Benedict Option" and Need for Control on Part of (Straight) White Men

Leah Mickens on the "Benedict option" (countercultural, combative Christian withdrawal from mainstream society) and how this option (curiously) seems to appeal primarily to straight white men — so that it cannot be adequately evaluated without noticing its gendered and racialized roots:

Quote for Day: "What A Gift the Catholic Hierarchy Has Been Handed by the Irish"

Tom Fox in National Catholic Reporter on the opportunity that the Irish vote might (and should) offer the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church — if they'd be willing to seize this opportunity:

Chris Morley on John Anderson's Reality Check for Irish Catholicism: The Future of Irish Catholicism after the Marriage Equality Deluge

Chris Morley has sent me some commentary on the recent vote of Irish Catholics in support of LGBT equality. Chris's commentary focuses on a recent Catholic Herald article by John Anderson (linked below), which seeks to place this vote in its historical context. Chris's article interweaves excerpts of Anderson's commentary with his own valuable comments and links. Here's what Chris has written:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Congrats, You Have an All Male Panel: Recommending a New Tumblr Site

A number of days back, I began seeing links popping up in my newsfeed and in blogs I routinely read, pointing to a new Tumblr site with the alluring title "Congrats, you have an all male panel!" As I visited the site and read about it, I thought it was hilarious and timely and wonderful and absolutely necessary. The creator of the site, Finnish researcher Saara Särmä, is inviting people to submit pictures of and information about the many, many seminars and public discussions in every field possible that employ panels of experts that turn out — surprise! — to be all men. 

End-of-Week Commentary on Irish Rainbow Referendum: 5 Links

And since it's clearly impossible for me to go a day (on which I post) without saying something about the recent remarkable rainbow referendum in Ireland, here's a highly selective set of articles commenting on that historic event to which I want to draw your attention as this work week ends:

Critically Important to Analyzing Duggar Story: Stephanie Krehbiel and Ruth Krall Discussing Issues of Sexual Violence (and Cover-Up) in Churches

In the latest issue of Mennonite Life (issue 2015, vol. 69) (online here), Stephanie Krehbiel interviews Ruth Krall on the topic "Breaking Open the Structure of Sexual Violence." As she notes, Ruth's magisterial book The Elephants in God's Living Room, which Ruth published at her Enduring Space blog, has done a tremendous amount to publicize the sexual violence practiced by the noted Mennonite 20th-century theologian John Howard Yoder. Perhaps more than any other Mennonite scholar, Ruth has been responsible for organizing Mennonite women to force the male-dominated leadership structure of their church to face the Yoder story and do something about it.

Duggar Saga: End-of-Week Wrap Up (with 10 Links to Valuable Commentary)

As this work week ends, I thought I'd update you on the ever-unfolding Duggar family saga, and provide you with some links to commentary on this story that, in my view, is well worth reading:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Religious Culture of Abuse of Females in Right-Wing Christianity: A Current Case Study

In my posting on the Duggar family earlier today, I cited Jenny Kutner to note that what shouldn't be overlooked in the Duggar story is how Josh Duggar's abuse, his parents' cover-up, and the excuses being made by the religious and political right are rooted in a religious culture of abuse of females. As I indicated, the religious ideology defended by the Duggars and their friends calls on women and girls to submit to men and boys. It routinely excuses even outright abuse, sexual or otherwise, perpetrated on females by males as just how boys behave.

Irish Rainbow Referendum: Valuable Commentary from Past Few Days (As Vatican Wags Its Finger at the Rainbows)

Another story that keeps popping so fast, I can't really keep up with everything that's being said: Ireland. And its recent rainbow referendum. I very much appreciate the links and reports you readers have been providing (notably, from the other side of the pond, the indefatigable Chris Morley). Here's my own pick of things worth reading that have appeared in the last several days:

Duggar Saga: From Curioser and Curioser to Sleazier and Sleazier — Police Reports Ordered Destroyed by Huckabee-Allied Judge, Female Police Chief Under Fire, SNAP Weighs In

News about the model Christian family in my home state of Arkansas, the Duggars, continues to pop so fast and furious that it's hard to keep up with. I appreciate links a number of you good readers have provided to previous threads about the Duggars, who are attracting much attention now that the story of Josh Duggar has become public, because of the way in which they have represented themselves for years now as the model Christian family, and the way in which they have viciously attacked the LGBT community as a threat to children — when Josh Duggar and his parents knew of his molestation of minor girls who appear to have included his own sisters.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Is Catholic Magisterial Teaching About Marriage Equality Homophobic, or Is It Not?

Folks: opposing same sex marriage needn't be evidence of homophobia.  It's an unjust, vicious slur to equate the two without evidence.

Irish Vote for LGBT Equality Continues Rippling Out to Other Nations: Chris Morley's Update

Chris Morley left two wonderful reports (and here) in the comments section of this blog today, about the ripple effect (already) of the Irish vote last weekend. To make sure that more readers have a chance to see these reports, I'm lifting them from the combox and posting them as a posting as this work day ends: Chris writes,

God Said, "Whenever the Rainbow Appears in the Clouds, I Will See It and Remember the Everlasting Covenant Between God and All Living Creatures of Every Kind on the Earth" (Genesis 9:16)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Human Rights Victories, Lemons, and Punchbowls: A Question for All of You

I have a question for you, dear readers. I ask it because I have no answer for my own question, and hope that some of you might have plausible answers to propose to me:

After Ireland, Heat On in Many Other Countries to Respect LGBT Equality: Australia, Italy, Germany, Etc.

As I've noted in a number of postings in the past few days, a theme now emerging following the remarkable Irish vote for LGBT human rights has been the example the little island of Ireland now sets for many other places in the world. There's a venerable trope of talk about Ireland as the surprising little place that makes a huge and unanticipated splash in the rest of the world — as when Irish missionaries, monks who had preserved Greek and Roman texts destroyed in the rest of Europe, tramped across Europe in the early Middle Ages to Christianize many places in the continent, a story explored by Thomas Cahill in his popular book How the Irish Saved Civilization. Much of the commentary about the possible effects of the Irish vote on other countries implicitly builds on that trope.

Quote for Day: Fred Clark on Irish Vote for LGBT Human Rights as Expression of Catholic Values

Fred Clark at Slacktivist on how the Irish vote on equality for LGBT citizens reflects Catholic values:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

NOM Finally Responds to Catholic Ireland's Vote for LGBT Equality: "Millions of Irish Citizens Stood to Vote to Uphold the Truth of Marriage"

Because I asked yesterday where the National Organization for Marriage's response to the vote of Catholic Ireland for equality for LGBT citizens was, out of fairness to NOM, I should report that Brian Brown of NOM issued a statement yesterday afternoon. Since the statement was issued after the election results had been announced, it's baffling to read Brown decrying the "apparent passage" of the equality referendum. Nothing apparent about it, to my way of reading reality.

Fintan O'Toole on Irish Marriage Vote: "Ireland Has Redefined What It Means to Be an Ordinary Human Being"

Of all the commentary I've read now that the Irish have voted overwhelmingly for LGBT equality, Fintan O'Toole's in The Irish Times today stands out. It's one of those essays that manage to be so on point that it's difficult for me to select any one piece of it to suggest to you why you'd be well-advised to read the entire statement. The thematic focus of O'Toole's reflections: in yesterday's referendum results, Ireland has left tolerance behind:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Final Results of Irish Referendum on Equal Rights for LGBT Citizens: 62% YES, 38% NO — Smashing Victory for Human Rights in Traditionally Catholic Nation

The final results of the Irish referendum on equal rights for LGBT citizens:

As Catholic Ireland Votes for Human Rights for a Minority, Martyr for Those on the Margins, St. Oscar Romero, Is Beatified

And, as long as I'm sharing postings I've made this morning on Facebook and Twitter, here's another I'd like to share with all of you here.

Paging Ms. Gallagher, Paging Ms. Gallagher: Where's NOM Response to Catholic Ireland's Massive Vote for Human Rights (and Compassion, Courage, Hope)?

From my Facebook page today (I'll atone for my cheekiness later today by slaving over a batch of mint jelly after we've had our walk with the dogs.)

Revisiting Michelle Duggar's Remarks About LGBT People as Child Predators Who Endanger the Daughters of Others

Valuable commentary from Out in Arkansas (on its Facebook page), linking to Joanna Rothkopf's Salon article revisiting Michelle Duggar's remarks attacking LGBT citizens of Fayetteville, Arkansas, last year — as potential child molesters . . . . 

Catholic Ireland Says Yes to Human Rights (and Courage, Compassion, and Hope): Ball Now in Court of Church's Pastoral Leaders

Friday, May 22, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Civil Rights for Gays Must Be Understood and Incorporated into the Catholic Tradition"

Jim McGarry, a retired religious studies teacher in the archdiocese of San Francisco, cited by Dan Morris-Young in an article discussing the clashing visions of church evident in this diocese right now:

Quote for Day: "Brand of Gay Equality That’s Developing in Ireland Right Now Deserves Broader Attention" for Its Emphasis on Family and Catholic Social Teaching

Mo Moulton, lecturer in history and literature at Harvard, writing in The Atlantic about the Irish campaign for marriage equality: 

The Curious Saga of Josh Duggar, Anti-Gay "Family Values" Champion, Or, Aristotle Was Onto Something When He Said That Hubris Courts a Big Fall

Big news in my own state of Arkansas as this week ends, which has implications that reach far beyond the borders of the state, since this news involves a family with a national presence and following in the religious right and the Republican party: as In Touch Weekly reported several days ago (and here), anti-gay family-values religious-right superstar Josh Duggar, executive director of Family Research Council's FRC Action arm, was reported to the police in 2004 by his father for molesting underage girls. 

Patricia Miller's Takeaway re: Recent Pew Study Showing U.S. Catholic Church in "Demographic Free-Fall," with Notes about Recent Débacle re: LGBT Youth Conference in Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis

As I noted last week, the most recent Pew Research Center "Religious Landscape" report on the state of religious affiliation in the U.S. finds that, among Christian groups, the greatest loss of adherents in the period 2007-2015 has been in the Catholic community. Pew finds that nearly a third of American adults report having been raised Catholic, and of that group, 41% no longer identify as Catholic. 12.9% of American adults are former Catholics. As the Pew study notes, "No other religious group in the survey has such a lopsided ratio of losses to gains."

News in Catholic Abuse Crisis: Continued Outrage that Finn Will Ordain Seminarians, St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese Under New Criminal Investigation, Sensational Accusations Against Vatican Official Cardinal Pell

In the area of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church, several stories and pieces of commentary in recent days that deserve attention, I think:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

As Ireland Heads to Vote Tomorrow, Valuable Last-Minute Wrap-Ups About the Irish Marriage Referendum

As Ireland prepares to vote on a referendum to change its constitution so that the constitutional definition of marriage includes same-sex civil marriage, many journals and newspapers are issuing "briefings" and overviews of the issues on this final day before the vote. I've cut some snippets out of several of these for your to read. As you'll see, my focus has been on commentary dealing with the issue of Ireland's Catholic identity and what that means for the vote tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Former Irish President Mary McAleese on Why She Intends to Vote Yes: "A No Vote Costs Our Gay Children Everything"

Leah Mickens: Broadening Catholic Conversations About a "Culture of Life" by Talking About Issues Like Racial Injustice

I'm posting this to recommend to you a series of articles Leah Mickens has published at her Extra Ecclesiam Est Libertas site, critiquing the "culture of life" rhetoric of many traditionalist Catholics. Here's a taste that will, I hope, whet your appetite to read the entire set of Leah's articles on this topic — the following from part one of Leah's series: 

Calls for Honest Catholic Conversations About Contraception: What Are We Really Talking About?

As the date for the final meeting of the synod on the family called by Pope Francis approaches, it's interesting to see calls being made by various lay Catholics for honest discussion of the issue of contraception. Certainly the entire church would benefit greatly from such honest discussion of this issue.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: J.P. O'Malley on Ideology of "Family" As "Kind of Invisible Wand" Used by Catholic Hierarchy to Control the Irish People

J.P. O'Malley sees the possibility of a yes vote on marriage equality in Ireland at the end of this week as "the complete collapse of the old guard of archaic-socially-repressive-Catholic institutions that have dominated Irish society since the Free State was formed in 1922." As he notes, the Irish constitution enacted by Eamon de Valera in 1937 viewed "the family" in utopian terms that, at first blush, might appear charming to those who don't look beneath the surface and spot the patriarchalism hidden within its definition of family, which works against the interest of women, children, and the poor.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Most Homophobic of Them All? Catholic Leaders Continue Giving Impression That Catholics Are Uniquely Hostile to Gays

1. Here's one reason (among many) that Americans perceive the Catholic church as the most unwelcoming of all religious communities to LGBT people: as Timothy Kincaid writes in a report this morning about the decision this weekend of the United Protestant Church of France to permit pastors to bless same-sex marriage,

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Week Out from Irish Marriage Equality Referendum, NOM's Behind-the-Scenes Work to Assure a No Vote Receives Increasing Scrutiny

In his weekly recap this week of global LGBT-and-religion news at Religion Dispatches, Peter Montgomery points to a BuzzFeed article by Lester Feder in which Feder says that marriage equality advocates in Ireland are increasingly nervous about high polling numbers (78%) indicating that the Irish people will vote to alter the Irish constitution to permit same-sex marriage. Feder notes that polls also suggested that proposition 8 in California, which yanked away gay citizens' right to civil marriage, would be defeated, but on election day, the polls were proven wrong.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Recommending Laura Bassett's Haunting Article "Buried in Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder of a Nun Who Knew Too Much"

If you have not read Laura Bassett's Huffington Post article "Buried in Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder of a Nun Who Knew Too Much," I highly encourage you to do so. It's not easy reading, and you may not be able to shake the essay, having read it.

An End-of-Week Collection of Videos about Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland

The marriage referendum in Ireland is now a week away, and I thought that, as an end-of-week offering, I might gather into a single posting a bouquet of videos addressing the Irish referendum to which the ever-vigilant Chris Morley has posted links in the past several days. These run the gamut from grandmothers talking about fairness and human decency as a fundamental Catholic value, to young folks calling their grandmothers and talking about how the world in which they live is different from the world in which their elders grew up — and everyone needs to feel he/she has a place in the world, as major cultural shifts take place.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quote for Day: Wendell Griffen — "'Unrest' Is What Oppressed, Wounded, and Outraged People Do in Their Quest for Justice"

Wendell Griffen at his Justice Is a Verb! blog on how "civil unrest" takes on an entirely new complexion depending on who's discussing the term:

Patricia Miller on Who Was Not at Georgetown Confab on Poverty, and William Greider on Recent IMF Banking Conference: Difference Women's Voices Make

Everywhere I turn online today the news at religion and religion-and-politics websites is the recent panel discussion at Georgetown on the theme of poverty, at which President Obama made an appearance. Commonweal is featuring a statement today from E.J. Dionne, who was a contributor to the discussion, and in his "Morning Briefing" column at National Catholic Reporter this morning, Tom Roberts points readers to a version of Dionne's statement that has just appeared in the Washington Post.

Survivor Groups to USCCB National Lay Review Board: Why in God's Name Is Resigned and Disgraced Bishop Robert Finn Slated to Ordain Priests in May?

Several groups of abuse survivors and advocates for abuse survivors have written the National Lay Review Board a letter that, in my view, deserves very serious attention. A bit of background: this board is the official body of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that advises the bishops on handling the abuse crisis in American Catholicism. The letter to the USCCB National Lay Review Board is from Bishop Accountability, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. The signatories are Anne Barrett Doyle and Terry McKiernan of Bishop Accountability, Kristine Ward of NSAC, and David Clohessy of SNAP.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Apologies, Dear Readers, for Subject-Verb Agreement Errors

Me Blushing

My apologies, dear readers, for the subject-verb agreement errors in my posting yesterday. I do know that "Supremes" is a plural noun and demands a plural verb to follow it. Because nothing annoys me so much as a subject-verb agreement error (well, there's the misuse of the transitive verb "lay" for the intransitive verb "lie," which is now becoming normative, though, as Ms. Ida Cook dinned into my ears in 9th grade, hens lay and people lie; and there's the use of simple past forms of verbs for their past participle ["I've drank it all"]), I was mortified when I re-read yesterday's posting and saw, glaring out at me, not one but two verb errors following the subject "Supremes."

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: John Dear on Nonviolence As Call for Everyone, Matthew Pulver on U.S. Complicity in Assassination of Oscar Romero

Father John Dear on the . . . odd and capricious . . . way in which mainstream news commentators chide protesters in places like Baltimore and Ferguson about nonviolence, while totally ignoring the massive violence practiced by those with real power in our society: 

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: When "Pro-Life" Is Anything But — Robert Mickens Comments on National March for Life in Rome

At National Catholic Reporter Robert Mickens comments on the American-style "pro-life" march, the National March for Life, that took place in Rome last Sunday. As he notes, Cardinal Raymond Burke attended the rally, and Cardinal George Pell addressed a group gathered on Saturday in anticipation of the conference, assuring these traditionalist Catholics that the synod on the family won't do a blessed thing won't change any of the "tradition" that Pell and other traditionalists imagine is written in stone and derived from the gospels, though much of it is a late development in the history of Catholic thought.

Pew's Latest "Religious Landscape" Survey: Christian Affiliation Declining Sharply in U.S., "Nones" on the Rise, Largest Net Losses Among Catholics — Valuable Commentary

Unaffiliated Make Big Gains Through Religious Switching; Catholics and Mainline Protestants Suffer Large Losses

Yesterday, Pew Research Center released a report on its findings in its latest "Religious Landscape" survey, which looks at the state of religion in North America. The last such survey was in 2007. Here's what Pew finds in 2015:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Year Ago Today We Married: Continuing to Give Witness

On this day a year ago, Steve and I married in my home state of Arkansas — our home state, after we returned here in 1997 when we were providing care for my mother in the final years of her life. Readers who have followed this blog for some time now will know of our marriage last May. My point in remembering it today is not so much to announce it (in retrospect, as an anniversary, I mean), as to continue giving witness about what it means for many gay people in the U.S. to live our ordinary, everyday lives in parts of the country determined to complexify those lives.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Is There So Much Love in the World That We Can Afford to Discriminate Against Any Kind of Love?: Remembering Mychal Judge

Is there so much love in the world that we can afford to discriminate against any kind of love? Franciscan Father Mychal Judge asked frequently, according to biographer Michael Ford in his Father Mychal Judge: An Authentic American Hero (NY: Paulist, 2002) (p. 124). Judge asked this as a gay man who came to see his sexual orientation as God's gift to him, a gift to celebrate, and who found it incomprehensible that some people sought to deny those who are gay the chance to live fulfilled lives in loving, committed relationships.

Thought for Day: "Jesus Didn't Die on the Cross to Preserve Gender Complementarity"

In a hard-hitting essay published last fall, Rachel Held Evans looks at the false gospel of gender binaries and how that false gospel, with its talk of gender complementarity that is all about upholding male-dominant gender roles, has become a "dangerous idol" in the Christian community. An idol, because it "conflates cultural norms with Christian morality and elevates an ideal over actual people" . . . . 

The Gender Breakdown in Supreme Court Responses to Marriage Equality: An Exercise in Historical Fantasy

Think about it: if you're an historian 100 years from now, 200 years from now, looking back on global currents of thought and cultural-political change at this point in the history of world, what would stand out for you as worth noticing? What currents of change do we find ourselves in the midst of now, which are perhaps more difficult for us to see clearly, since we're right in the midst of them?

Chris Morley on Irish Priests' Statements of Support for Marriage Equality

And then there's this report from Chris Morley in another comment here yesterday about statements by two Irish priests that they're supporting marriage equality:

Chris Morley on the "Pure Bluff" of Irish Catholic Bishops As Referendum on Marriage Equality in Ireland Approaches

As the date of the Irish referendum on marriage equality (it will be held 22 May) approaches, Chris Morley keeps providing valuable, carefully documented updates in comments here on what's happening in Ireland. To assure that all readers of this blog have the chance to benefit from Chris's reports, I'm going to lift two of them into a posting today. First

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers' Day Greetings to the Mothers in Our Lives

On this Mothers' Day, sending best wishes to all the mothers in our lives: as I look through my photo album, I don't find a lot of photos featuring my mother Hattie Clotine Simpson Lindsey and all three of her sons. There are photos of my mother with one or the other of us, but few of her with all three of us boys together. This is one taken in 1953 not long after the birth of my youngest brother Philip. The picture was taken in Columbus, Mississippi, where we lived at the time. It was in the following year, I recall, that my brother Simpson finally threw away his noony (as we called baby pacifiers), which he's shown with in this photo.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chris Morley on Bullying Threats of Ireland's Catholic Bishops in the Marriage Equality Referendum

Chris Morley, who provides one valuable report after another for this blog about events taking place in the U.K., has just sent me a posting about what's taking place with Ireland's Catholic bishops. I'm pleased to share Chris's report with you today. It follows:

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Story of the Refusal of the Episcopal Cathedral in Orlando to Baptize the Son of a Gay Couple: My Reflections

For a variety of reasons, I've been following with some interest the story of the refusal of Anthony Clark, dean of the Episcopal cathedral in Orlando, St. Luke, to baptize the baby of a married gay couple, Rich and Eric McCaffrey. I first became aware of the story a few days ago when Faithful America sent out an email asking people to sign a petition calling on the bishop of the diocese, Greg Brewer, to assure that no priest in his diocese refuse baptism to a child on the basis of the sexual orientation of the parents. The petition states,

Slavery, the Myth of American Innocence, and the Heritage of Historic Racism in the U.S.: Facing What's Real

White America, as it turns out, has a long and storied tradition of not knowing, and I don't mean this in the sense of truly blameless ignorance, for this ignorance is nothing if not cultivated by the larger workings of the culture. We have come by this obliviousness honestly, but yet in a way for which we cannot escape culpability. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Quick Note About My Moderation of Comments Here

Dear Folks,

As those who've been following this blog for any length of time may know, I like to try to respond to any comments here that address me directly — or that seem to be directly addressing a posting I've made. For comments responding to other commenters, I try to acknowledge that I've read them by hitting the like button, but I try not to intrude into conversations that are between other folks in threads here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Musical Evening about "Slavery and Song": A Resource to Recommend to You

In a posting here last October, I mentioned that we had with us friends from Edinburgh, Ian and Donna Gilmour, and that Ian had a sabbatical fellowship from the Church of Scotland, in which he's a pastor, to research African-American spirituals — how they're used in worship, how they enshrine key aspects of black liberation theology, and how they sustain the spirit to enable it to resist oppression.

Tom Doyle on What Bishop Finn's Failed Pastoral Leadership Cost Kansas City Diocese, in Dollars and Cents

Father Tom Doyle, OP, at National Catholic Reporter, on what Bishop Robert Finn's failed pastoral leadership cost the Kansas City diocese in dollars and cents: 

Lay Catholics Remind Francis: Pretty Talk about Women's Equality Means Little in a Church with Sexism Embedded in the Flow Chart — Testimony of Jamie Manson and Frank Bruni

In an essay that has just been published by National Catholic Reporter, Jamie Manson notes that, while the media grab at zingy quotations by Pope Francis about the equality of women, they pay no attention at all to the context in which the pope issues such remarks — a context in which he praises the notion that biological complementarity of the sexes is designed by God to put men and women into their respective places (for women, that place is always subordinate to men), and to make the notion of same-sex marriage unthinkable. Biology becomes destiny in the theology of complementarity, which takes a notion far from the core of Judaeo-Christian revelation and makes it the central hinge on which Christian faith turns at this point in history.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Catholics, Vote on the Basis of Abortion and Gay Marriage, "Then Work Your Way Down to the Social Justice Teachings"

In a piece of centrist politico-religious commentary at Religion News Service yesterday that I find singularly unconvincing, Georgetown Ph.D. student Jacob Lupfer argues that American Catholics have valuable lessons to teach the American public square about non-polarized political-religious discourse. Several of the responses to Lupfer's arguments illustrate, to my way of thinking, precisely how little American Catholics may have to teach the U.S. public square about non-polarized political-religious discourse, and just how polarized American Catholic political-religious discourse actually is.

Monday, May 4, 2015

As Pope Francis's Encyclical on Environment Nears, Attempts by Big Oil to Subvert It: Recent Commentary

As various news sources are reporting that Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment will be published next month, there's interesting reporting and commentary about the attempt of right-wing groups funded by big oil interests in the U.S. to subvert the encyclical — even before it has been published and before anyone really knows what it's going to say. Here's Garry Wills' take on this situation in New York Review of Books recently:

Quote for Day: Bill Quigley of Loyola Law School to Justices Scalia and Alito — "Have You No Sense of Decency, Sirs?"

From Bill Quigley of Loyola University (New Orleans) Law School, an appeal to the consciences of Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito: "Have you no decency, sirs?" Bill points out that the end of the odious Joseph McCarthy's era of red-baiting began when Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy and asked him (video link), "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" As he notes, Scalia and Alito's shameless parrotting of crude right-wing talking points about same-sex marriage at last week's Supreme Court hearing deserves the same response.