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Nov. 16th, 2010

Andromeda Galaxy

bruorton

Megachurch pastor comes out of the closet

Whoa... interesting.  Long story short: Jim Swilley, leader (bishop?) of a megachurch in Atlanta, GA, came out as gay to his congregation after encouragement from his ex-wife, children, and a sense of conviction from hearing homophobic reactions to the recent gay teen suicides.  (NPR story here, incl. extended interview and full video of his church address in which he told his story.) 

It's a startling step closer to the day when a rejection of homophobia is no longer a conservative or liberal issue, in the church or in society.  There is so much that distinguishes this from other high-profile outings (like Ted Haggard), most importantly that Swilley isn't just trying to get out in front of some scandal.  In fact, it bears none of the usual sense of hypocrisy: he doesn't treat it as a sin from which he must repent, and he says that he's never made derogatory or homophobic remarks.  He just wants to be honest about who he is.

There's lots of good stuff in the interview; for instance, Swilley seems willing to consider marrying a gay couple, and rejects the "marriage only for procreation" argument by saying "I marry folks on their 2nd or 3rd marriage who aren't going to have kids... and am I supposed to do fertility tests on all the couples I marry?" I'm not clear exactly what your title as bishop means, but -- right on, Bishop Jim!

It was also fascinating to hear him seemingly working through the issues anew even as he's talking to the interviewer, as if he's still just realizing the new vistas that have opened to him for thinking about civil rights, marriage equality, and so on.  For me, his most touching comment was: "Saying all these things out loud is just so new for me..." 

Aug. 17th, 2010

LegaltoLove

misterc

What If...?

Jun. 3rd, 2010

LGBTStillSpeakingUCC

misterc

Batty In The Beehive State

Could it be that septuagenarian Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is so ill-informed & so detached from reality that genuinely believes this tripe he's spewing, or is he just out-and-out lying in an attempt to scare people into filling the GOP's dwindling coffers?

Either way, this man needs a check-up from the neck up!

Mar. 8th, 2010

EveryDay

misterc

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Below is a beautiful time-lapse video of the night sky from somewhere in Hawaii, accompanied by an equally-as-beautiful sound track. The video is about a minute long, but you get to see so much in that one minute!

The creator of the video is a person named "Charles" from a website called Vimeo, which describes itself as a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make.

If you watch the video, you should really do so in the full-screen mode (and in HD, if your computer is capable), which allows you to see so many details. I, for one, was surprised to see SO MANY STARS in the night sky! Living in suburbia with so much man-made illumination at night, it's easy to miss the sublime beauty of a clear night sky.

I suppose that this post doesn't technically have anything to do with Christianity, but it DOES have to do with reminding us all of the beauty God has placed all around us, if we only take the time to see it...REALLY see it.


Enjoy...

The White Mountain from charles on Vimeo.

Feb. 27th, 2010

rain

everlastingway

The Affirmation Declaration

This was posted on christianleft awhile ago and I thought it should be posted here as well.


http://www.affirmationdeclaration.org/index.php?go=home

Purpose (from the homepage):

The Affirmation Declaration is a statement that expresses the convictions of Christians all over the world. It was written in response to the now famous Manhattan Declaration, to correct egregious errors contained in the document, errors that have been preached in the pulpits of many local churches for far too long.

With the growing notoriety and support for the Manhattan Declaration, our Affirmation Declaration reflects an urgent need to respond to the portion of the Manhattan Declaration dealing with issues related to sexual orientation—specifically, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We strongly disagree with the contention that same-sex attractions and the oft-resulting romantic activities are immoral.

Because of the large number of people affected by this serious issue one way or the other, we felt it expedient to respond formally, both by submitting our Declaration to the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration, as well as by releasing our Declaration to the public, allowing Christians to show their support for love and affirmation, just as so many have shown their support for the propagation of false doctrines of oppression and inequality against the GLBTI (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) community.

We also desire to let the world know that not all Christians are locked in what we believe to be an ancient worldview regarding homosexuality. We want to give people hope—hope to know that God loves them just as they are; hope to know that their gay loved ones are not destined for Hell; hope to know that although some Christian churches will never accept them or their same-sex unions, a great many will.

May the signatures we garner serve as a fire that will never burn out, lighting the way through the darkness of bad theology, and setting Christ's Church back on the right track as it relates to matters of sexual and gender orientation, and gender identity.

Read the whole thing here, read the rebuttal to the Manhattan Declaration here, and sign here if you agree!

Feb. 7th, 2010

Prop 8

misterc

Anne & Michael & Cindy & Meghan

Ann & Michael Hathaway
Actress Anne Hathaway (of Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada) has revealed that, after her brother, Michael, came out as gay, her family basically excommunicated themselves from the Catholic Church, and most of them have since taken up with the Episcopalians.

Anne, who is a longtime GLBTQI rights supporter, said basically that she cannot support a church that cannot support her "beloved brother" (Anne's words).

Anne and the rest of the Hathaway clan may have ditched Catholicism but Anne, herself, apparently is in no hurry to find a pew with a more gay-friendly view, saying that--where faith is concerned--she is ...a work in progress.

I know whereof you speak, my sister!

Cindy & Megan behind the cutCollapse )

Jan. 19th, 2010

Rainbow Eye

misterc

John Corvino

Just...WOW!

Jan. 5th, 2010

Prop 8

misterc

Prop 8 Trial Beginning Soon!

Below the cut in bold type is an email I have sent to some of my "real world" friends regarding the upcoming trial in California regarding the legality of Proposition 8.

I am posting it here because I wanted to make sure that as many people know about this, and take action on it as possible.

Read on about the online petition...Collapse )

Jan. 4th, 2010

Rainbow Eye

misterc

Please Help Me Understand

I know that I have held onto hurt & anger toward mainstream Christianity for a long, long time, and I honestly have grown so tired of lugging that burden around with me. I know that a big part of being a true follower of the Living Christ is to (in the most honorable sense of these following words, I promise) be a living bottomless pit of forgiveness. If we expect to be forgiven for our mistakes & our sins & our hurts against others, then we must stand at the ready to forgive others, even if they don't ask for forgiveness.

I am trying to make these more than just words, and I am trying to pray for those who hate me & seek to do harm against me...I really am...but I need help. I've been reading & seeing all kinds of news about the involvement in the African nation of Uganda by some in the American evangelical movement to create a law there that not only makes homosexuality illegal, but which subjects the "offender" to the possibility of the death penalty.

I know that I should turn the other cheek and keep these misguided people in my prayers, but how do I learn to speak those prayers from my heart when I keep hearing this same thing coming from them? This time it's a bill in Uganda; but we've seen them celebrate as they not only make it illegal for us to legally commit ourselves to those we love, and even take away rights from us in places like Maine & California. I know that they are not finished with us either. They want us gone. Non-existent. Extinct. Permanently removed.

I don't feel as if I am exaggerating. This is how all this comes across to me. This is how these people make people like me feel.

I try to concentrate on the fact that people who support and/or stand quiet while things like this are going on are not doing work that God has lead them to do, and I know that they are all misguided, but I can't keep making excuses for them, and I can't just keep praying that God will open their eyes before it's too late. I can't help but wonder if it's not already too late.

As much as I hate to use such blunt & graphic language, how can I keep praying for people who are constantly bashing my head in with their spiritual fists? How am I not supposed to want to fight back, and not become angry when I see & hear the lies & the real harm they're doing to people whose only "sin" is that they don't love the way most other people do???

These aren't rhetorical questions, and I am in tears writing these words, and I want to know if anyone out there can help me understand how I can ever move forward with this kind of stuff going on all around me. How I can learn to forgive people who not only don't want or believe they need forgiveness, and who seem intent on quite literally killing (people like) me?

When does forgiveness effectively become surrender?

Dec. 24th, 2009

Rainbow Eye

misterc

You Gotta Love How Dolly Loves The Gays!



I'm sure that it's probably not surprising to hear that Dolly Parton supports equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, but it just warmed every last cockle in my heart to see that she feels a kinship with us homosexuals because, like us, Dolly knows how it feels to not be accepted in the "mainstream"--whatever the [bleep] that is.

In my humble opinion, Dolly & God have at least one thing in common: they both (using Dolly's words now) love everybody for who they are. Now that's what I call true Christianity!

Speaking of which, in the article linked above, Dolly gives her opinion on mega-church pastor Joel Osteen's contention that "homosexuality is not God's best," and she does it in her always-loving way.

You'd be absolutely correct to note that, physically speaking, Dolly is loaded up with plastic and silicone topped off with some great fake hair (I'm pretty sure she'd be the first to admit it), but that big ol' country heart of hers? As they might say down south, it's as genuine & as big as all get-out...even bigger than her tallest wig & her world-famous bosom! :-)

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