Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary Stands Up to National Organization for Marriage

Courage Campaign is circulating a cease-and-desist letter that Peter Yarrow of the Peter, Paul, and Mary group wrote to the National Organization of Marriage during NOM's recent disastrous "Summer for Marriage" tour.  Without securing permission from Peter, Paul, and Mary, NOM played the group's version of Woodie Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" during its rallies around the nation.

Fr. Geoff Farrow on Catholics for Equality: Constructive Critique of a New Catholic Group Promoting LGBT Equality

I don’t know anything more about the new (well, soon-to-be-launched) group Catholics for Equality than I’ve been reading on various websites.  The group’s website states that it intends to “support, educate, and mobilize Catholics in the advancement of freedom and equality at the federal, state, and local levels for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered family, parish and community members.”  The group has apparently been having organizational meetings for some time now.  

NY Times Supports Women's Right to File Suit v. Wal-Mart: A Million Women Deserve a Hearing

The New York Times today comes out in favor of permitting women who have worked for Wal-Mart, and who seek to file a class-action lawsuit for discrimination against the corporation, to pursue their case as a class.  Two courts have already upheld the right of the women in question to file a class-action suit.

Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier on the Men Who Rule Us: "Akin to Identical White Mice"

This is research scientist Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier, who has statistically proven the link between cell-phone use by drivers and high rates of auto accidents, commenting on hallway photos of members of the medical faculty at the University of Toronto:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jeremiah Wright's Little Rock Sermon: What He Said, What I Heard

When I blogged about Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermon at New Millennium Baptist church in Little Rock yesterday, I mentioned that I might add a bit later about what Rev. Wright said in his sermon.  I’m not sure that the notes I took are worth sharing with anyone else, because they’re idiosyncratic.  Like most longtime listeners to sermons, I hear what I want to hear in homilies that make a broader and more elegant point than the one I’m receiving—though I have long since trained myself to hear the text even as I weave my own subtext while I listen.

Ginning Up the Elijah Generation: Fred Clarkson on Religious Right's Outreach to Younger Generation

Fred Clarkson has an incisive (and highly insightful) piece at Talk to Action right now, putting into historical context the perfervid attempts of folks like Glen Beck and Lou Engle right now to “gin up an Elijah generation” of new religious right activists.  As Fred notes, whenever social and political developments contravene the Christian right’s theocratic reading of the nation’s destiny, this movement repeatedly warns us that only its armies can stay the hand of a God angry with America for straying into the darkness—for straying from God’s course for the nation.

Jim Martin on Glenn Beck's Bête Noire: Christianity in All Its Disturbing Fullness

Following his Saturday revival meeting for America, Mr. Beck continues his full-throated attack on the social justice teachings of Christianity--which is to say, on the Christian gospels themselves.  Beck is now adding to his broadside this spring against the strong social justice strands of Christian teaching and his attempt to co-opt and subvert the social gospel Christianity of Martin Luther King the charge that President Obama espouses liberation theology.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Media Misrepresent Jeremiah Wright Sermon, Accuse Him of Describing Obama Detractors as Psychopaths

I've just posted the following to my Facebook page:

Comments Section of Blog

Dear Readers,

A good friend and faithful reader of the blog has emailed to let me know the comments section of the blog disappeared yesterday when I revamped the look of the blog.

I hadn't realized that the comments feature disappeared with the renovation.  I apologize for the loss of that feature, and will work today to remedy it.

Right now, headed off to church to hear Rev. Jeremiah Wright preach, so I can't attend to that matter immediately.  But I will definitely do so upon my return.  Meanwhile, sorry for this hiatus in the comments feature, and I hope you're all having a good weekend.  I do hope I can somehow retrieve all the lost comments on past postings!

Later in the day: I think I now have the comments working again, and I apologize for the hiatus.  If anybody experiences problems commenting now, could you please email me (my address is given at the profile tab for this blog) and let me know?  Re: comments: since the last spate of heavy attack threads, I've added a feature that permits me to review comments before they are published on the site.  I've done this simply to have a degree of control over outright, unhelpful attacks on me as the blog-keeper, or on others commenting here.  I have never censored any comments on this blog.  I have in one case and one only blocked a blogger who refused to adhere to my request that he stop the constant personal attacks on others and on me.  

If you sometimes experience a gap between posting your comment and seeing it pop up on the blog, the reason is that I have not yet seen a notice that you've posted and that the comment requires my approval.  Thanks for your understanding.

Later, later the same day: a reader has pointed out to me that the comments on the blog prior to today's changeover of template haven't migrated along with the new template.  I have contacted Disqus for help with that problem, and hope to have a solution for that problem soon.  Thanks, all of you, both for your patience and for helping me spot bugs that have come along with the change in template.

Remembering the Real Martin Luther King: True Revolution of Values Demands Justice for the Poor

Tom Roberts' commentary at National Catholic Reporter about Mr. Beck's national revival meeting yesterday is well worth the read.  As Roberts notes,

In this Orwellian era, when a TV entertainer like Glenn Beck is able, if only for a day, to somehow claim to advance the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. while urging listeners to flee from churches that preach social justice, a major reality check is in order.

Mr. Beck's Great Awakening: Religion Pimped by Greed

Glenn Beck informed America yesterday that we have been wandering in darkness.

My recollection of the verses off which he is riffing (Isaiah 9:2, Matthew 4:16) is that they follow the walking in darkness with someone bringing a great light.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cooking to Save the Planet: Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup

This is another in my series of postings about cooking to save the planet.  As I've noted as I've posted these pieces, my goal in writing them is to share tips about shopping for food and preparing and eating it that may be perfectly obvious to some readers, but which will, I hope, help many readers whose life history hasn't, unfortunately, included the kinds of lessons in these matters once passed on as a matter of course within families.  

Tea Party Jesus and the New Catholic Hierarchical Pastoral Line: No Faggot Adoptions, Please!

A not-to-miss posting at Tea Party Jesus today: let the little children suffer, didn't Jesus say?

Well, something like that, I'm sure.

Glenn Greenwald on Faux Rage of Tea Party: A Script Written by the Rich, Promoted by Republicans, Enabled by Spineless Democrats

And, as a postscript to what I just posted about who is pulling the strings of tea partiers (and their Catholic hierarchical fellow-travelers), and why those strings are being pulled, I'd like to post an excerpt from Glenn Greenwald's commentary on the tea party movement at Salon yesterday (with a hat tip to Pam Spaulding, who posted a link on her Facebook site today).

The Beck-Chaput Script for America: Don't Let Me Lose Control (Or You'll Pay)

Courtesy Huffington Post, I've just seen Jon Stewart's commentary on Mr. Beck's "I Have a Scheme" event in D.C. today.  And here's what strikes me: the publicity footage for Beck's tea-party event might well have been written by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Comes Out as Gay: Making Forgiveness Real Through Acts of Atonement

About Ken Mehlman's conversion:

In case you haven't already heard, Ken Mehlman, former chair of the Republican National Committee, came out of the closet this week as a gay man.  In an interview with Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic, Mehlman indicates that he is gay and has recently recognized and come to terms with this fact about himself.

Greg Waldorf on E-Harmony's Segregated Dating Service for Gays: "I Feel So Good about the Success"

Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post asks Greg Waldorf, founder and CEO of the dating site e-Harmony, why the site has a separate dating service for same-sex couples--that is, why it practices segregation as it offers matchmaking services.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Catholicism: Making Room or Putting Others in Their Places?

And so here's what it comes down to, when all is said and done.  Here's my bottom line, as I think through that mystifying, rabid insistence of many Catholics and many other religious groups working with Catholics today on "family" issues--the insistence that, in the end, the life of faith is all about keeping men men and women women.

Mormon, Catholic Battle vs. Same-Sex Marriage Intersects Again: Robert P. George Joins Editorial Board of LDS Newspaper

Here's an interesting tidbit of news (courtesy Right Wing Watch): Robert P. George, darling of the neocon wing of American Catholicism and media-anointed intellectual guru for the theology of the body in "the" Catholic battle aginstt same-sex marriage, has joined the editorial advisory board of Salt Lake City's Deseret News.  The newspaper is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Who'd have thought it--collusion between Mormons and neocon/theocratic Catholics around issues of family?  Say it's not so . . . .

Archbishop Chaput Argues for Freedom: For Himself and His Cronies

The line of argument that Archbishop Chaput of Denver sketches in his recent comments to the Canon Law Association of Slovakia: we can look for more of this in days to come, in response to Judge Walker's prop 8 decision in California.  This is becoming a typical argument of the Catholic right (and the religious right in general), as its theocratic claims are exposed and challenged by the democratic process in various democratic societies around the world.

Paddy Byrne on Challenges Facing Irish Catholic Church: "This Is Not a Time for Safe Hands"

Fr. Paddy Byrne writing in The Nationalist (Carlow, Ireland) this week, about the process by which Catholic bishops are selected: as he notes, it is entirely secret, with no input from the people who will be shepherded by a new bishop, and with an overwhelming emphasis on choosing a bishop with "a safe pair of hands" who has never said a word to question Vatican dictates, especially in the area of birth control, sexual morality, and women's ordination.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Muslim Cab Driver in New York Stabbed: Where Are the Voices of Leaders of Faith Communities?

Very bad news: a Muslim cab driver in New York City stabbed Tuesday night.  Because he is Muslim.

Will the leaders of the major faith communities in the U.S. now speak out as leaders (and here), as the rhetorical violence turns to actual physical violence? 

Where is the voice of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church in the U.S.?  It's time to speak out.

A Reader Writes: In Gender Roles, We Conform Ourselves to Nature in Wonder and Humility

A reader, Bill Donaghy, writes:

I'm a seeker who has been captivated by the ways the Divine permeates creation and speaks through physical signs and symbols. So regarding your pejorative thought here [i.e., in my "pejorative" (!) posting yesterday about the theology of Elizabeth Schüssler-Fiorenza], as I read it, that the Church insists "... that men be men and women be women..." I can't find an alternative that doesn't somehow speak a lie with the body, do violence to creation, or else divorce the harmony of our bodies and spirits? I feel this is somehow wrong, like us reconfiguring reality to ourselves rather than receiving reality as a gift, and in wonder and humility, conforming ourselves to it. 

And here's my reply:  I'd like to make three points:

Anglican African Bishops Meet to Fight Western Pansexualism: Anglican Version of Theology of the Body

Here's the polite Anglican version of right-wing Catholic rhetoric about keeping African men men and African women women: this is David W. Virtue reporting on the current Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa's All Africa Bishops' Conference (CAPA): the Anglicans are fighting "Western pansexualists" who do "not hold fast to a biblical view of Christian morality."

DNA Tests Prove Hitler Had Jewish Blood: We Hate What We Fear in Ourselves

DNA samples provided by living male relatives of Adolph Hitler demonstrate that the race-obsessed Führer, who wanted to rid Aryan Germans of the "poisons" of Jewish blood, was himself both Jewish and African.

We hate and fear the stiigmatized otherness that is closest to ourselves--the stigmatized otherness that is often carried right in our own hearts and own bloodstreams.  It is no accident that the nastiest homophobes, those who preach loudly about the danger of "poisonous" gender theories that muddle the line between men and women, so frequently turn out to be twisted closet cases themselves.

Women Happy to Be Women and Men Happy to Be Men: American Taliban Spells Out the Agenda

Markous Moulitsas summarizes the findings of his new book American Taliban: How Sex, Sin and Power Bind Jihadists to the Radical Right at Huffington Post today.  As he notes, whether the issue is violence, women and gays, or hostility to education and science, the American radical right is cut from the "same controlling, ideological cloth" as the jihadists whom they so violently oppose on the other side of the globe.

Moulitsas quotes Jerry Falwell, who explains it all to us--who explains the agenda of female subordination and male domination that is at the very heart of the American right's theocratic goal for cultures it can control:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Theologian Elizabeth Schüssler-Fiorenza: Gender Battles Are Not Merely Theological, But Political

At its core, the theological concept of gender complementarity, as employed by both Catholic and evangelical groups determined to make continents like Africa a battleground for Western culture wars, is deeply antithetical to the liberation of women and of LGBT persons. Those using the male-female complementarity idea as the central, most salient idea of the entire Christian tradition to "protect" traditional African cultural norms are doing so to attack women who seek liberation from oppression in both the developing sectors of the globe, and in developed nations. Just as they are attacking gay persons and their mobilization against oppression around the world . . . .

And now I'd like to offer parallel analysis (which supports what I say above) from a theological article I happen to be reading this morning.  This is Elizabeth Schüssler-Fiorenza's "We are Church - A Kindom of Priests."  Schüssler-Fiorenza presented this essay as an address to the Women's Ordination Worldwide in 2005.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Catholic Church's New Brand: Keeping Men Men and Women Women

As a new work week begins, I want to lift these observations from my Saturday piece on John Allen's interview with Daniele Sauvage of the Africa Family Life federation.  I'd like to make a few more remarks about Sauvage's statements to John Allen.

As my posting on Saturday noted, John Allen recently interviewed Daniele Sauvage for National Catholic Reporter, after Sauvage had spoken to the he Catholic bishops of Africa at their latest Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).  Allen notes that Sauvage views "Western concepts" such as "reproductive health" and "gender ideology" as "virulent ideological poisons" being injected into the bloodstream of traditional African culture by Western special interests groups.

Turbulence in Mexico Over Gay Rights: Mainstream Media Pit Catholics vs. Gays

Jim Burroway reports today at Box Turtle Bulletin on rising tensions in Guadalajara, Mexico, where (as I noted last week) the Catholic cardinal archbishop of the diocese Juan Sandoval Iniguez recently asked the public, "Would you want to be adopted by a pair of faggots or lesbians?"  Sandoval is furious that the Mexican Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Mexico City's gay marriage law, and has also permitted adoption of children by same-sex couples.

In the News: Mr. Obama Needs to Take a Stand

A persistent theme in the news today: Mr. Obama needs to take a stand, articulate his philosophy of leadership and identify his core principles, and emulate the Grand Communicator, Reagan, in providing a narrative about his leadership that clarifies why he is a symbol of hope and change we can believe in.

John Harris and James Hohmann have a piece at Politico in that vein, as does Dan Conley at Salon.

Mr. McConnell on the President's Christianity: I'll Take Mr. Obama "At His Word"

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he takes Mr. Obama's word that he's a Christian.

Isn't that white of Mr. McConnell . . . .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things One Thinks in the Night: First Job Interview, Challenge to Make American Catholicism Welcoming

Things one thinks about lying stark awake on a sultry summer night: my first job interview.  I was finishing my dissertation and casting about for a job.  Any job.  It was a seminary in one of Minnesota’s major cities.

Right before I run the faculty gauntlet, I make one last nervous bladder-emptying trip to the restroom.  And as I finish, I look down to find I have peed myself. 

Brian Cones at U.S. Catholic on Prop 8 Decision: Catholic Silence Is Disturbing

Because I've been pushing against the homophobic silence of the American Catholic center--of its opinion-making mavens, in particular--about the implications of Judge Walker's recent prop 8 decision for gay persons struggling for human rights, it's incumbent on me to note one humane voice that did speak out amidst the din of deafening silence of centrist U.S. Catholic publications after Judge Walker issued his ruling.

Rashad Robinson on Dr. Laura's Pity Party: Free Speech Is About Taking Responsibility

Rashad Robinson at Huffington Post on the claim of Dr. Laura Schlessinger that she is a victim of those trying to curb her free speech after she went on one final bias-fueled tirade on her radio show:

What Schlessinger, Palin, and so many others fail (or refuse) to comprehend is that "freedom of speech" is not "freedom from the consequences of speech." If a figure who has put him or herself in the public eye uses speech to harm others, he or she must held accountable. Critics have the responsibility to exercise THEIR freedom of speech in order to educate the public when false and hurtful information is being spread. We learned in the late 90s how "Dr. Laura" feels about LGBT people. We now know how "Dr Laura" feels about race. The public has a right to know whether her sponsors agree with her, and Schlessinger's advertisers have every right to drop their support.

Yes, Schlessinger, Palin and others of their ilk do refuse to understand that with their free speech goes responsibility for what they incite through through their words.  Their rule of thumb is clearly, Responsibility for others.  For libs and progressives.

Frank Rich on Islamophobic Hysteria of Neocons: Ginned-Up Rage for Political Gain

Frank Rich on the bogus "ground-zero mosque" controversy in today's New York Times:

The ginned-up rage over the “ground zero mosque” was not motivated by a serious desire to protect America from the real threat of terrorists lurking at home and abroad — a threat this furor has in all likelihood exacerbated — but by the potential short-term rewards of winning votes by pandering to fear during an election season. 

Rich is absolutely on target, as usual.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daniele Sauvage of Africa Family Life Federation on Danger of Western "Ideological Poisons" to Africa

In his usual prescriptive-as-descriptive journalistic style, John Allen continues to write about African culture and African Christianity as a corrective to the excesses of liberal Western values and liberal Western churches.  This week’s National Catholic Reporter carries an article by Allen entitled “Secularism, Africa, and Characters in Rome.”

James Zogby Calls for Strong Voices Vs. Islamophobic Hate: Where Are the Voices of U.S. Church Leaders?

Re: the hateful current of Islamophobia now surging through the U.S., James Zogby writes,

Fear is back, with a vengeance. It rules the street and we have every right to be concerned. What is needed now are strong voices speaking again to our better selves. Voices that will speak directly to the Gingrichs, Palins, Cornyns, Becks, and Kings and say "Shame. Your bigoted appeals to fear and intolerance disgrace us all and put our country at risk in the world. In the name of all that is good, stop before it is too late."

Powerful words.  And absolutely correct.

In the News: Theology of the Body, Revolt in Irish Catholic Church

In case you missed these articles in the past week: lots of interesting commentary on events in the Catholic church.  I’m highlighting a number of pieces that deal with topics I’ve mentioned frequently on this blog in recent days.

I’ve critiqued John Paul II’s theology of the body a number of times lately.  As I’ve noted, its biologically deterministic understanding of gender and gender roles is increasingly forming the basis of a concerted attack on gay and lesbian persons.  It purports to be grounded in a dispassionate reading of nature accessible to any person of good will, regardless of that person’s faith perspective (or lack thereof).  But, in fact, it imports into its reading of natural law strong theological presuppositions about the place of men (dominant) and women (subordinate) in the scheme of things, and makes these gender assumptions central to the entire Judaeo-Christian revelation.

Blackwater Settles with U.S. Government, Contracts Keep Coming

Blackwater security company (it's now called XE) is back in the news.  This private-mercenary group has supplied military personnel for recent U.S. wars in the Middle East, and has been credibly accused of atrocities and various other improprieties circumventing the laws of various nations.

And now it's being reported that the U.S. State Department has struck a deal with Blackwater, requiring it to pay $42 million in fines for its improprieties, in lieu of facing criminal charges.  And here's the kicker in this deal:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Commonweal Breaks Silence on Prop 8 Ruling: Are Judge Walker's Facts Really Facts?

I blogged some days ago (and here) about the continuing silence at the center of American Catholicism—the continuing silence of the opinion mavens of the American Catholic intellectual elite—about Judge Walker’s prop 8 ruling, and what it  portends.  As my frame of analysis, I adopted an historical perspective: I imagined that at some point in the future, people of good will looking back on this moment of American history will seek to understand why some groups rejoiced and why others were silent about a human rights breakthrough now being greeted with justifiable joy by an oppressed group of human beings.

Jesse Kornbluth on Rumi as Islamic Spiritual Guide

I wrote last Sunday that Rumi and other Islamic mystics have taught Christians much about spirituality and love of the divine.  And so I was delighted to read Jesse Kornbluth's article about Rumi yesterday at Huffington Post, which makes a similar point.

Kornbluth notes that not only is Rumi the best-known Islamic poet in cultures around the world, but the is also he best-selling poet in the United States.  And he incarnates the confluence of the three religions of the Book rooted in Middle Eastern culture: at his death, Christians proclaimed him their Jesus, and Jews their Moses.

Target Shareholders Speak Out: Donation to Rabid Homophobe Harms Target's Brand

And speaking of long-term damage: the fallout from Target's $150,000 donation to rabidly homophobic Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is far from over.  Martha Lohn reports today--again at HuffPo--that several shareholders filed resolutions yesterday with both Target and Best Buy (who also contributed to Emmer) noting that the choice of these companies to make these donations undercuts values these companies claim to honor in their corporate life, and harms their brand.  Those filing the shareholder resolutions were Walden Asset Management and Trillium Asset Management Corp. of Boston and Calvert Asset Management Co. of Bethesda, MD.

Feds Playing Game with Oil-Spill Narrative?

Dan Froomkin reports today at Huffington Post on the increasing questions being raised about the optimistic report released by the Obama administration several weeks back about the Gulf oil spill.  Readers may remember that the gist of the report is that--surprise, surprise!--the oil is simply vanishing, unexpectedly so.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Catholic Women Speaking Truth to Power

As Irish grandmother Jennifer Sleeman organizes a boycott of Sunday Mass in September calling on the faithful women of Ireland to let the Catholic officials know that women are tired of being treated as second-class citizens, I'm reading Irish theologian Carmel McEnroy's book Guests in Their Own House: The Women of Vatican II (NY: Crossroad, 1996).  Carmel writes (p. 264) about the current strong movement in which the women of Ireland, the mná na hÉireann, have begun to speak out in defense of their children who have been abused by clerics, and to assert their right to carry on the faith of their mothers and fathers at a time when the hierarchy are bankrupting the church.

Ted Olson Defends "Ground-Zero Mosque"

For readers who haven't yet read this news: Ted Olson, the former Solicitor General under George W. Bush and one of the two brilliant advocates who successfully challenged California's prop 8 law, has issued a statement defending the rights of those who want to construct an Islamic community center near the ground-zero site.

Olson states,

I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices, or structures, or places of religious worship or study where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing, and that we don't want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don't think it should be a political issue. It shouldn't be a Republican or Democratic issue, either. I believe Gov. Christie from New Jersey said it well, that this should not be in that political, partisan marketplace.

Olson's wife Barbara died in the ground-zero attacks.

White House Slam of Gay Bloggers Continues: John Aravosis Asks Why

Re: the White House's recent lambasting of gay bloggers who keep asking the president to keep his campaign promises (see Pam Spaulding for hard-hitting analysis of this story), John Aravosis observes at AMERICAblog,

It's not entirely clear why the White House thinks all of these on-the-record whine fests are a good idea.

It does seem clear to me, though.  The White House plays this political game for the same reason that the cool, dispassionate, cerebral president upbraids only hecklers from the gay community.  It's a cheap game, one designed to demonstrate the machismo of the administration and to score points with independents who need to be reassured that the administration is centrist.

Syreeta McFadden on Ross Douthat's Approach to Mosque Controversy: Sinister Subtext Appealing to "Seeming" Reason

A must-read piece today: Syreeta McFadden at Religion Dispatches on Ross Douthat's recent ground-zero mosque columnJoan Walsh masterfully dissected Douthat's bigotry at Salon earlier in the week, and Eduardo Peñalver has sparked lively discussion of Douthat's column with a posting at Commonweal.

My point here is not to discuss Douthat's column.  I'll leave it to interested readers who have not yet read it to link to and read it for themselves.  And I do recommend Walsh's commentary and the Commonweal thread about the essay for further analysis of the piece.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

People of Faith Speak Out: Stop Demonization of Islamic People in Ground-Zero Controversy

And, as a good counterpoint to what I posted today about the silence of the official spokespersons for several religious groups re: the "ground-zero mosque" controversy, I want to mention an article I'm just now seeing at National Catholic Reporter.  The article, jointly composed by Religion News Service and NCR staff, notes that more than forty religious leaders have issued a statement condemning the attempt to demonize Muslims and supporting the right of the Islamic community to construct a community center near the ground-zero site.

Mexican Cardinal on Gay Adoption: Would You Want To be Adopted by a Pair of Faggots?

Would you want to be adopted by a pair of faggots?

Those words came recently from the mouth of a prince of the Roman Catholic church, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara.  They came from the mouth of the follower of Jesus whose picture is at the head of this posting.

Prop 8 Decision: Homphobia on Trial, Engaging Irrational "Arguments on Which It Rests (2)

Yesterday I noted that I want to continue my discussion of the primary irrational “arguments” (I call them hunches or cultural suspicions that don’t rise to the level of rational argumentation) that, in my view, bolster the case of those who resist same-sex civil marriage in the U.S.  My goal here is not so much to analyze the two suspicions on which I’m focusing, as it is to note how they were placed on trial in the prop 8 case.  And how they lost.

They lost because they cannot claim, ultimately, to be based in rationality.  Because they do not have a rational basis.  To be precise: they lost because they are hunches and suspicions that have everything to do with continuing discrimination against LGBT people, and not with rational analysis of prejudice, discrimination, or issues of sexual orientation and gender.