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Posted inGeneral

I Get Religious Mail: St. John’s Folly

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m continually surprised by what people are willing to declare a “charitable” cause and ask others for money for. This week, I got a solicitation in the mail that pushes those boundaries even further: This letter is asking for money to help pay for the upkeep of St. John the Divine, a huge Episcopal cathedral […]

Posted inGeneral

So Wrong For So Long: On Liberal Biblical Reinterpretation

Reading Time: 3 minutes Following up on last week’s affray over cognitive dissonance in pro-LGBT Christians, I have one more point I want to make. Liberal and progressive believers have a variety of theological rationalizations for why they remain in a church that’s historically been an unrelenting enemy of people like them. One of the most common is that […]

Posted inGeneral

The Cognitive Dissonance of Pro-LGBT Christians

Reading Time: 6 minutes My post last week asking LGBT people and allies why they still consider themselves Christian touched off a firestorm. Both in the comments here and on Twitter, I got a flood of responses from liberal Christians – some polite and friendly, others extraordinarily hostile and aggressive. There were several objections that came up repeatedly. I […]

Posted inGeneral

Pro-Gay Christians, Wouldn’t Atheism Be Easier?

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have to wonder what could possibly be motivating gay and gay-affirming Christians to stay in the church. Last week, another one was unceremoniously tossed out: Julie Rodgers rocked the evangelical world last year when Wheaton College announced they would be hiring the celibate gay Christian as an associate for spiritual care in the Chaplain’s […]

Posted inGeneral

The Compliment of Taking Religion Seriously

Reading Time: 4 minutes Tanya M. Luhrmann, an anthropology professor at Stanford, wrote an op-ed last month titled “Belief Is the Least Part of Faith“, arguing that belief in the supernatural doesn’t play the pivotal role in religion that secularists think it does. This, she claims, makes philosophical debates about God’s existence largely irrelevant. (Unmentioned in the piece, Luhrmann […]

Posted inGeneral

The Catholic Church Is Not a Democracy

Reading Time: 5 minutes Pope Benedict’s surprise resignation has set off a frenzy of speculation as to who the next pope will be and what changes he might bring to Catholicism. Benedict was well-known as an enforcer of orthodoxy, cracking down harshly on nuns, supporters of same-sex marriage and other progressive factions within the church, and the beleaguered liberals […]

Posted inGeneral

How Influential Is the Religious Right?

Reading Time: 4 minutes My latest column on Alternet, about the failed predictions of the religious right, has gotten a reply from a writer calling himself suburbXn who identifies himself as a liberal Christian, and who thinks I’m vastly exaggerating the influence of the people whose prophecies I cited: You can find extremists and crazies behind ANY belief who […]

Posted inGeneral

Book Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood

Reading Time: 4 minutes Summary: A personable, good-humored example of the liberal-theist cherry-picking ethic. I recently wrote about the evangelical writer Rachel Held Evans and whether her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, can undo Christianity’s entrenched ideals of patriarchy. I still don’t think that’s likely, but I’ve read the book now, so I’d like to offer some more […]

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