The church needs to work more closely with its LGBT members |

The church must reconsider its treatment of LGBT persons, especially those who have been fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientations.

I was visiting missionary friends in Turkana, a remote, arid, and desolate region of Kenya, in the summer of 2001. My friends had asked me to help baptize 40 nomadic women at a distant outstation chapel, about a three-hour drive from the main mission over rocky terrain and river beds that pass for roads. These women were shepherds who tended their communal flock of goats. (The men remained at home to care for the animals.)

Our journey was nothing compared to that of the women and congregation, who traveled for two hours by foot for their baptismal Mass. We were delayed because our jeep overheated. The assembly had already been gathered for an hour and sang hymns while they waited for us.

More: TFr Brian Massingale, at

Christian Utah Republican: Ensuring LGBT rights has helped me ‘live my religion’

A Christian state lawmaker from Utah said in an interview with NPR that his faith has not been compromised by protecting LGBT rights — in fact, it has been strengthened.

“I actually believe I’m living my religion now, as I look out and try to do good to those that maybe don’t agree with me,” state Sen. Stuart Adams (R) said on Wednesday’s episode ofMorning Edition. “Like loving my neighbor or trying to be respectful of other people. I believe those are good Christian religious principles that we ought to not just talk about, that we ought to actually live and act on.”

Earlier this year, Adams and his fellow legislators approved a law expanding anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, while also allowing exceptions for religious institutions.

“We did not deal with public accommodations. We bookended this at housing and employment,” Adams explained. “And yet, I think if you walk down the streets of most cities in Utah and ask people whether there was protections for the gay and lesbian community, they would say yes. Most people don’t differentiate between housing and employment protections and public accommodations.”

Source: Raw Story

Homophobia Has No Place in the Church 

“Young man, I appreciate your message, but you need to realize that most gay people are dangerous predators.”

I had just finished sharing about my experience with same-sex attraction (SSA) at a church in the heart of Wisconsin, and an elderly man tracked me down after the service. These were the first words out of his mouth.

I was taken aback and asked him to clarify. It turns out that a gay man made a pass at him many years ago when he was in the military — and it had caused him to view all gay people as sexually aggressive and dangerous. His view of the homosexual community was defined almost exclusively by a single experience — and fear.

I have a fear as well, but my fear is that homophobia is all too common, not just in society, but even within the church. Some may object to my use of the word homophobia. It can sometimes be used as a politically loaded term wielded to silence any and all opposition to same-sex sexual activity. However, this is not the root definition of the term.

Source: Homophobia Has No Place in the Church | Desiring God

Discrimination Is Not a Religious Value

As a Christian priest and pastor, I’ve just finished the holiest week of our church year — a week that included the reminder that the “new commandment” Jesus gave his followers the night before he died was “love one another.”

And you most certainly do not love one another by passing legislation that misuses religion as an excuse to discriminate against one another.

So for this week after Easter, here’s my new commandment:

Thou shalt not confuse the freedom to exercise your religion with the freedom to impose your religion on other people.

Source: Discrimination Is Not a Religious Value

Two Catholic Governors and Two Bishops Oppose LGBT Discrimination 

With North Carolina’s passage of a “license to discriminate” law that now jeopardizes LGBT communities’ civil rights in the states, new attention is being afforded to similar legislation across the U.S. This year alone, there have been at least 105 bills in statehouses across the country which seek to protect those who discriminate against LGBT people or otherwise curtail civil rights tied to sexual orientation and gender identity, often in the name of religious freedom.

How have Catholics responded to this latest struggle for full legal equality? Bondings 2.0 highlights two developments below.

Support from Catholic Governors and the Laity

Catholic governors have intervened to defend LGBT civil rights in at least two states where these “license to discriminate” movements popped up. In Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards announced his intention to rescind an executive order which allows discrimination against LGBT people. The order was signed by former Governor Bobby Jindal, who is also Catholic, about which The Advocate reported:

Bondings 2.0

Catholic School Backs Away from Banning Transgender Students 

A Catholic high school in Rhode Island has taken a step away from its ban on transgender students  after receiving sustained criticism from alumni and the local community.  This move follows earlier conciliatory statements from officials at Mount Saint Charles Academy (MSC), Woonsocket, attempted to explain its original ill-conceived policy banning transgender students from enrolling.

Source: | Bondings 2.0

Malawi Catholic Church demands government resumes jailing gays

The Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi have publicly called on the Malawian Government to resume criminalizing members of the LGBTI community and end its moratorium on prosecuting those accused of indulging in gay sex.

The government, under President Joyce Banda, announced that authorities would no longer enforce Malawi’s laws criminalizing same-sex activities so that the country could have a conversation about whether to legalize homosexuality in 2012.

In the meantime Malawi’s High Court has been reviewing the constitutionality of the country’s laws criminalizing LGBTI people for several years but has not yet come to a decision.

However the Catholic Church in Malawi has now had enough and wants the law enforced again, saying the government only suspended the law because of foreign pressure.

Source: Malawi Catholic Church demands government resumes jailing gays – Gay Star News

When the governor called in Jesus to defend gay people from Christians 

Governor Nathan Deal, a reliably conservative Republican, cited Jesus last week to cast doubt on the wisdom of broadly worded “religious liberty” legislation that has passed Georgia’s legislature and awaits his action. His stunning words might signal that the anti-gay fever that has swept conservative Christian America, especially in the wake of the 2015 Supreme Court gay marriage decision, could be about to break.

Let that sink in for a minute while I tell you about our sad plight here in the Southland.

Source:  Christians, Conflict and Change

Fired Church Worker Still Proclaims Justice, Even After Diocese Settles Lawsuit 

There’s a feeling you get when you’re in the presence of someone holy. It’s different than when you meet a celebrity. With a celebrity, you feel awe because of their reputation, and tend to feel a little diminished in yourself. When you meet someone holy, you feel a mixture of awe and ease.  You are astonished at the goodness that radiates from that person, and at the same time, the person’s humble presence makes you completely relaxed. Awe and ease are what I felt when I met Colleen Simon two weekends ago

Source:  Bondings 2.0

Discrimination and the Catholic Church: Nigeria

It’s not often that I agree with a Catholic Herald opinion piece on anything to do with LGBT issues and the Church, but here is one by Ed West, Deputy Editor, where I do. Catholic teaching is absolutely clear that discrimination, malice and violence against gay people is totally unacceptable, and should be strongly resisted. The obvious conclusion, as the writer points out, is that Catholics should be loudly protesting the anti – gay legislation in Nigeria. (What he doesn’t say, which i would add, is that we should also be loudly protesting against any discrimination, malice or verbal violence within or by the church and its institutions – as for, example, at Eastside Catholic High School, and other institutions that have unjustly fired excellent teachers, musicians and other staff).

Shouldn’t Catholics be protesting loudly against anti-gay persecution?

Nigeria’s new laws contravene Catholic teaching – and we should say so

Nigeria has become the latest country to impose extremely harsh measures on people in same-sex relationships. This is part of a trend towards a world morality gap and follows developments in Russia, Uganda and India.

The Catholic Church’s position on such laws are clear: they are are unjust. And it sometimes seems that the Catholic Church is standing atop two boats heading in opposite directions, with radical, illiberal anti-discrimination laws in the West and ultra-conservative morality laws in the developing world. Barbarism in one direction; decadence in the other.

Yet even educated people in Britain are hardly aware of the Church’s opposition to such laws (few noticed when the Church spoke out in India last month). They lump in the Catholic view on sexuality with that of the rabidly intolerant governments of Nigeria and Uganda. And Catholics don’t seem to be making much effort to dissuade them.

As one Catholic, Niall Gooch, wrote on Twitter: “Christians should be more vocal about laws & governments that encourage anti-gay hostility.” He has a point. Instead, it’s left overwhelmingly to secular, often anti-religious, campaigners.

Gooch points to Articles 2357 and 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which say that gay people “must be accepted w/ respect, compassion, & sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

Catholics should see this as a matter of social justice. As Gooch has argued, as much as Catholics oppose discrimination laws that affect adoption agencies and B&Bs, and various other radical secularist measures, what’s happening in Nigeria is surely far, far worse than schools using the charity Stonewall’s material.

-read the full post at

(but be warned that reading the comments could seriously harm your blood pressure).

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