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Religion & Spirituality

No, This Is Why We've Been Beating Up on the Church

  • The Church has been "beaten up" over the last 10 or 12 years because, at its highest possible echelons, it functioned as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding the crime of sexual assault.
  • The Catholic Church Is Still Lying to Itself

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

Yesterday (Feb 7) on the blog, we discussed the appearence on my man Chuck Todd's Daily Rundown program of a certain George Weigel, alleged Catholic public intellectual and full-time fluffer of the Clan of The Red Beanie. (Weigel is a man born five centuries too late. He'd have been the guy in the corner of the Spanish dungeon taking down in impeccable penmanship the confessions of the people being tortured for the greater glory of The Church.) It wasn't until I read last night the full account of his appearence transcript that I realized that Weigel had pole-vaulted over the International Chutzpah Line. In arguing for the existence of some mythical "Catholic backlash" to the Obama administration's decision to require that contraception be included in any health plans sanctioned under the Affordable Care Act, Weigel said the following:

"This has struck a tribal nerve in Catholicism," Catholic scholar George Weigel said to Chuck Todd on the Daily Rundown. "The Catholic Church has been beaten up over the last 10 or 11 years and I think Catholics are tired of the government and others beating up on the church."

Holy mother of god, to coin a phrase.

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Black Evangelicals, White Evangelicals and Franklin Graham's Repentance

Black evangelicals also have personal faith that Jesus’ death paid for their sins, but their Gospel doesn’t end with personal (and individual) salvation. For (them... the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were for the redemption of both individual souls and the redemption of whole societies.

Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners/God's Politics

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!


Franklin Graham in his home office, Boone, N.C. 2003. Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

When Franklin Graham expressed doubts about President Obama’s Christian faith during and interview on Morning Joe last week (Feb 19-25), it reminded me of an uncomfortable dinner I had in the late ‘90s.

I sat down for a pleasant meal in the home of two great friends — one of them a white evangelical faith leader deeply committed to social justice. Well into the evening’s conversation —when we’d dropped all our pretenses and our exchanges moved well past mealtime niceties — one friend asked me something that caught me entirely off guard.

“Do you think Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian?” he said.

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Santorum at odds with his own church on environment

Santorum can't be blamed for wanting to throw a little red meat to conservatives as he seeks to maintain his momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But he is as wrong on his theology as he is on the science.

Larry B. Stammer,  Los Angeles (CA) Times

Photo: Matt Stamey, Associated Press

It has long been a maxim that mixing religion and politics can spell trouble. So when Rick Santorum told a partisan crowd in Columbus, Ohio, recently that President Obama's worldview was based on a "phony theology" that drives "radical environmentalists," he must have known his comments would reverberate far beyond his conservative political base.

Santorum was speaking of efforts to forestall the worst effects of climate change through controls on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, and policies aimed at encouraging the development of renewable sources of energy. Obama, he said, was putting the Earth before the needs of humans. "It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology."

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Priest Denies Lesbian Communion at Mother’s Funeral

  • Father Marcel Guarnizo, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, MD, reportedly told the daughter when she approached him for Holy Communion: “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.”
  • Clobbering "Biblical" Gay Bashing
  • Special Report | Catholic Bishops' Ongoing Abuse of Human Sexuality

Human Rights Campaign

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A Maryland priest denied Communion to a lesbian at her own mother’s funeral and even left the altar during her eulogy. The disturbing story was reported by The New Civil Rights Movement and picked up by the Huffington Post.

Father Marcel Guarnizo, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, reportedly told the daughter when she approached him for Holy Communion: “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.”

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Clobbering "Biblical" Gay Bashing, Rev. Mark Sandlin, Believe Out Loud

  • St. Paul has something to tell you, “...you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” (Romans 2:1).
  • Christianity and “Biblical” Hatefulness

Special Report | Catholic Bishops' Ongoing Abuse of Human Sexuality, Week of February 12, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest
From marriage to contraception, the tax-exempt Catholic Church wants to run the public agenda.

 

Clobbering "Biblical" Gay Bashing

 

 

  • St. Paul has something to tell you, “...you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” (Romans 2:1).
  • Christianity and “Biblical” Hatefulness


Rev. Mark Sandlin, Believe Out Loud

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

We Christians are good at a lot of things. Helping others. Dressing up on Sunday.  Quoting scripture. Pot luck meals. Taking care of church members. Weddings. Funerals. Worship. But perhaps the thing at which we are the most persistently exceptional is misinterpreting the Bible then running amuck in the world because of it. Honestly, mad skills. And history backs me up on this one.

We have used the Bible to support, promote and act upon some pretty un-Christian things: slavery, holocaust, segregation, subjugation of women, apartheid, the Spanish Inquisition (which, no one ever expects), domestic violence, all sorts of exploitation and the list could go on and on. Oddly, if you ask theologians to pick one biblical theme to rule them all, most of them would say “love”... well, love and grace. Okay, love, grace and forgiveness. Fine. They probably would not specifically agree on a single term, but they would most likely name something that is, in every way, the opposite of the oppression, belittlement, hatred and marginalization represented by the numerous atrocities committed by the Christian Church.

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Has Obama Exposed the Powerlessness of the US Bishops?

  • In offering the bishops an "accommodation" they refused to accept on a contraception provision of the new healthcare law, the Obama administration effectively exposed the powerlessness of the bishops when the rest of the church rose to accept the offer.
  • With Catholic leaders and churchgoers turning their backs on the bishops, the men who rule the church are watching their political power wane.
  • What War on Religion?

Adele M. Stan, AlterNet

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

In politics, it's said, the perception of power amounts to power itself. If that's the case, then the political power of the U.S. Catholic Bishops has long been based on little more than perception, that of an all-powerful church, an idea too often advanced by a corporate media romanced by the clerics' silken vestments and those great stone piles in which they preach. But among the people of the church, the bishops' pronouncements on matters of sex and politics don't amount to a hill of beans.

Politicians and media have long known this, but the perception remained that there was a "Catholic vote," one the bishops could deliver, even if those voters ignored the bishops' backward sexual edicts. But the events of the past week reveal that the bishops command no one, not even the leaders of Catholic institutions.

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What War on Religion? Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones

  • If Obama is hell-bent on waging battle with religious institutions—as his critics allege—he sure has a funny way of showing it.
  • Far from waging war on religious organizations, Obama has largely left in place the federal faith-based infrastructure created by President George W. Bush. He has also increased the amount of federal dollars flowing to religious groups...Under Obama, Catholic religious charities alone have received more than $650 million...US Conf,Of Catholic Bishops got $81.2 million (a raise from Bush's $71.8m)
  • Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in?



 

What War on Religion?

  • If Obama is hell-bent on waging battle with religious institutions—as his critics allege—he sure has a funny way of showing it.
  • Far from waging war on religious organizations, Obama has largely left in place the federal faith-based infrastructure created by President George W. Bush. He has also increased the amount of federal dollars flowing to religious groups...Under Obama, Catholic religious charities alone have received more than $650 million...US Conf,Of Catholic Bishops got $81.2 million (a raise from Bush's $71.8m)
  • Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in?

Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

For months, Catholic religious leaders have waged a PR campaign criticizing the Obama administration for allegedly infringing on their religious liberties. They've blasted, among other things, an administration requirement (since rescinded) that institutions affiliated with religious organizations offer contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans. Religious conservatives are also fuming that the administration declined to renew a contract with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to provide services for human trafficking victims because the group refused to provide referrals for contraception and abortion to sexual assault victims.

Gary Marx, the executive director of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, sent out a fundraising letter this month urging people to sign a petition fighting Obama's "war on religion," writing: "The Obama Administration's actions are evidence of a pattern of hostility towards religious institutions and an antipathy to uphold and protect the nation's most fundamental founding principles."

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Special Project | President Obama, Change we can believe in? Week of February 19, Jeanette Eastman, Associate Editor, Evergreene Digest
The key point is that Obama is a president who hasn’t merely tried but failed to achieve what he promised to achieve. He has deliberately and publicly worked to do the opposite of what he promised on key issues.
8 New Items including:

  • Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Dismiss ACLU Challenge to Warrantless Wiretapping Law
  • Obama’s Human Rights Insouciance
  • Populism and Pain in Obama's 2013 Budget Proposal
  • Obama’s Plan to Save the Military From Cuts-at the Expense of Domestic Programs
  • Despite Domestic Cuts, U.S. Aid To Israel Up By $25 Million In Proposed Budget
  • Obama's Proposed 2013 Budget Cuts Produce Safety Testing by the USDA
  • Why Obama should have vetoed FAA Reauthorization Act
  • Why white liberals are (really) ditching Obama
     

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