Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Religion & Homosexuality

  • Another big story: Norman Kansfield, president of the Reformed Church in America's New Brunswick School of Theology, has parted ways with the seminary. It's unclear whether or not he was ousted (he and the board deny it), but the fact is that he left after blessing the relationship of his daughter and her lesbian partner. Now, you wouldn't expect the ultra-conservative Chalcedon Foundation to run a thoughtful, even-handed report on the situation, but that's exactly what they've done. (Our guess is that Kansfield has been up a reservoir of goodwill at Chalcedon, which has helped him in this situation.) Christianity Today isn't so even-handed, but as usual, they've got the biggest collection of links on the story.

    But for our money, Newsday has the best take on the matter:

    Q: What's a liberal on homosexual rights?

    A: A conservative with a gay kid.

  • William Sloane Coffin is convinced that homophobia was behind the refusal of CBS and NBC to run the UCC's God Is Still Speaking ads.

  • The Episcopal Church in the USA is facing a major downturn in revenues from last year, presumably at least in part due to the Gene Robinson controversy. Meanwhile, the Church of England may pay pensions to gay clergy's same-sex partners.

  • DOMA pushes are on in Colorado, despite that state's current law banning same-sex marriage, and Florida. You don't suppose these things are, like, coordinated to hit potential swing states, do you?

    In any case, it'll be interesting to see if newly-elected Colorado Senator Ken Salazar uses any of his political capital to speak out against the constitutional amendment in his state. Given his track record so far, we're not holding our breath.

  • Our policy on the RNR is not to cover the doings of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, on the theory that it's the publicity Phelps wants--and he wants it to hurt people. But we've linked to this story because it seems to us that it would be incredibly easy to take some wind out of Phelps' sails by recasting the headline. Instead of "Baptist Church from Kansas brings anti-gay message to Helena," why not "Local Church Groups Stand Up For Tolerance"? We mean, when the protestors are outnumbered 8-200--as they almost always are--who's the story really about?

  • If you haven't already, toddle over to this diary and read our report on hearing Beth Stroud speak today in Lancaster. She's a class act.


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