Evangelical Leader: “Church Teaching on Homosexuality Like Justifying Slavery”

One of Britain’s most prominent evangelical Christian leaders has broken ranks on the issue of homosexuality describing the traditional Church teaching on he issue as dangerous and unchristian.


Rev Chalke argued that the church’s traditional teaching on homosexuality as ‘a sin or less than God’s best’ had been deeply harmful Photo: GETTY

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor7:30AM GMT 15 Jan 2013

The Rev Steve Chalke, a broadcaster and charity founder, likened the “dominant view” of homosexuality among evangelicals to that of those who once used the Bible to justify slavery or thought it was heretical to believe the Earth orbited the sun.

He accused Christians of treating gay people as “pariahs”, expecting them to live “lives of loneliness, secrecy and fear” and even driving some to suicide.

His comments come in an article in the magazine Christianity under the headline “The Last Taboo” which he said he felt “both compelled and afraid” to write.

Long dominant in US life, evangelicals – who place a strong emphasis on the “authority” of the Bible and believe in being “born again” – have become increasingly influential in Britain in recent years, with fast growing congregations at a time when church attendance has seen steep decline.

But although evangelicalism is often viewed as a bastion of conservative values, it also has a long-stranding association with “radical” causes dating back to the 19th Century

more at  – Telegraph.

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Progressive Catholic Group Ordaining Transgender Priest

The North American Old Catholic Church is ordaining Shannon T.L. Kearns, a trans man, later this month. Kearns (right) will be responsible for starting a new parish in Minneapolis.


“The North American Old Catholic Church looks forward to establishing a presence in Minneapolis with the ordination of Father Kearns,” said Bishop Benjamin Evans, who is presiding over the ordination on January 19. “God’s Holy Spirit continues to bless us with growth.”

Founded in 2007, the North American Old Catholic Church has a mission of social justice, does not submit to the authority of the Pope, and is open to female and LGBT clergy.

“I am honored and humbled to have my calling to ministry affirmed by the North American Old Catholic Church,” says Kearns, who transitioned while studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York. “I look forward to many years serving as a priest.

via  Queerty.

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Catholic ‘Dignity’

According to “Vatican digs in after gay marriage advances” (Tribune, Nov. 11), the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriages because “Catholic teaching holds that homosexuals should be respected and treated with dignity but that homosexual acts are ‘intrinsically disordered.’” If you truly believe the former, how can you believe the latter?

If you believe in treating blacks with dignity, but that they should also be slaves, what kind of dignity is that?

Being polite and kind is not treating someone with dignity, which means “the quality of being worthy or esteemed.” How is denying a life of committed love to someone wired to be attracted to the same sex treating them with esteem?

Of what worth do you esteem them to be worthy of? Of being an emotional eunuch? It’s that self-fulfilling approach that makes them “disordered.”

Catholics aren’t treating gay men with dignity; they aren’t treating them as worthy men created with liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness in their own way. No, with marriage, it’s the pursuit of happiness the Catholic way — even if you’re not Catholic — or not at all.

That how it was in the Middle Ages, not in 21st century America.

Dean Spencer

Salt Lake City

-letter to The Salt Lake Tribune.

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DC GOP Adopts Inclusive Platform

Becomes first state GOP delegation to adopt LGBT-inclusive language ahead of Republican National Convention

By John Riley, Metro Weekly

The D.C. Republican Committee, the District’s equivalent of a state party, has become the first Republican state party to endorse LGBT-inclusive language into its party platform ahead of the Republican National Convention, being held in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27 to 30.

The part of the D.C. GOP platform dealing with ”Family and Marriage” now reads: ”We, the Republicans of the District of Columbia, support the belief that all individuals, without regard to sexual orientation, are entitled to full and equal protection under the laws and the Constitution and that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Robert Turner II, president of the D.C. chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans and a newly elected member of the D.C. Republican Committee, announced the adoption of the platform language in a June 28 press release.

”We are excited to be a part of a state party who understands that inclusion wins!” Turner said in the release. ”Marriage equality is settled law here in the District. All citizens, including LGBT citizens, should be treated equally.”

Turner told Metro Weekly that he testified before the platform committee in June and offered LGBT-inclusive language. Although he didn’t get the exact wording he had hoped for, Turner said he was still happy with the outcome. The language Turner had proposed was more specific, referring to ”sexual orientation, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”

State platforms will be considered at the August convention when the full GOP party platform is drafted.

via Metro Weekly.

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Yellow Ribbon Campaign Seeks Catholic Support for Gay Rights

A new campaign from the Las Memorias Project, which works to prevent HIV among Latinos, asks Catholic parishioners to wear yellow ribbons to support LGBT rights.

The Yellow Ribbon Campaign seeks supportive Catholic leaders who will show support for LGBT people and opposition to the Catholic church’s antigay policies by wearing a yellow ribbon during Sunday services throughout the summer. In an open letter, Las Memorias Project’s Richard Zaldivar writes, “[T]here is a campaign by conservative bishops to challenge our movement for wellness and equality for members of our community. [They] are using the pews of the Catholic Church to promote a political agenda. Church should not be used for politics nor should it be to prevent wellness in our community.

On Sunday, please wear a yellow ribbon or cloth on your shirt or blouse to support Catholics for Equality and Social Justice. This is not confronting the church but to remind our faith leaders that the doors of the faith community must be open to everyone in order to promote community wellness. Please encourage your family members and friends to wear the yellow ribbon in support of equality and social justice.”

Read more here:  New Campaign Asks Catholic Parishioners to Show Support for LGBT Rights

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London prepares for World Pride

Gay 80s icon Boy George and R&B star Deborah Cox will perform on the main stage celebrating World Pride

The countdown to World Pride has begun, and promises to be bigger, bolder, and braver than ever before.

It promises to be one of the highlights of the London summer calendar, sitting comfortably next to the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games.

World Pride will be taking over Soho, the gay heart of London, on 17 June to officially launch the event.

The festival will take place from 17 June to 8 July, with the main parade on Saturday 7 July

Pride London and global LGBT organization Kaleidoscope Trust will be honoring US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the World LGBT Award this July at a gala dinner to celebrate the event.

– more at Gay Star News


(World Pride this year will also include a strong faith presence, including participation by a large contingent from Christians Together at Pride, Soho Masses and other UK faith groups, as well as the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups,and  New Ways Ministry from the USA. There will also be a full programme of faith related conferences and other events in the weeks leading up to the Parade on July 8th).

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‘Perverted’ penguins shocked biologist so much he hid results

The “perverted” sexual behavior of Adelie penguins shocked a British biologist on Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova mission to the South Pole so much that he never formally published his findings. Instead, he wrote a short monograph that was distributed to only a few fellow experts and that was lost for nearly 100 years. The short paper was recently rediscovered and is now on display at the Natural History Museum in Tring, England. The paper documented what George Murray Levick perceived to be necrophilia, homosexual behavior, abuse of young chicks and rape by what he termed “hooligan” males, but more modern research has demonstrated that the birds were simply responding to what they perceived to be sexual cues.

Levick was the resident biologist on Scott’s 1910-13 mission to the South Pole — a feat they achieved only to discover that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them.

– full report at LA Times


Bagemihl, Bruce: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity

Roughgarden, Joan: Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People,

Related articles

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Equally Blessed: “Sister Margaret Farley deserves honor, not censure”

Equally Blessed released the following statement in response to the criticism of Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics
, by Sister Margaret Farley, a Catholic theologian emeritus at Yale University released today by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

We are saddened, but not surprised that the Roman Catholic hierarchy has found fault with the valuable work of yet another female theologian.

The Vatican’s legalistic parsing of Sister Margaret Farley’s work will only enhance herwell-deserved reputation as a gifted scholar.Rome’s attempt to steer Catholics away from Just Love will serve instead as a recommendation for all those who seek a sexual ethic rooted in justice and mutuality, rather than in platitudes and abstractions. The positions Sr. Margaret articulates resonate with many Catholics, who seek to live out the values of our faith in the context of real life.

We applaud particularly Sister Margaret’s understanding that “same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships.” As always, when differing with the hierarchy she makes it clear that this is purely her personal opinion. Yet the scholarly care with which she reaches it will be persuasive to Catholic readers who do not believe the Vatican’s claim that intellectual inquiry is unnecessary because the truth is what the Vatican says it is.

We are hopeful that Sister Margaret’s strong body of work will inspire and encourage other Catholic theologians to continue this kind of research.

Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 115 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families: Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry. On the web: Equally Blessed

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Vatican critique of book confuses catechesis, theology, CTSA board says

The Vatican “inappropriately conflates the distinctive tasks of catechesis and theology” in its criticism of the 2006 book “Just Love” by Mercy Sister Margaret Farley, according to the board of directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

The board, meeting in St. Louis, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s assertion in a June 4 notification that many of the positions taken by Sister Farley are contrary to Catholic teaching is “simply factual.”

“In our judgment, however, Professor Farley’s purpose in her book is to raise and explore questions of keen concern to the faithful of the church,” the board said in a one-page statement. “Doing so is one very legitimate way of engaging in theological inquiry that has been practiced throughout the Catholic tradition.”

“The notification risks giving the impression that there can be no constructive role in the life of the church for works of theology that 1) give voice to the experience and concerns of ordinary believers, 2) raise questions about the persuasiveness of certain official Catholic positions, and 3) offer alternative theological frameworks as potentially helpful contributions to the authentic development of doctrine,” the statement said.

The CTSA board said “faithful Catholics in every corner of the church are raising ethical questions” about the issues explored in Sister Farley’s book.

“In raising and exploring such questions with her customary sensitivity and judiciousness, Professor Farley has invited us to engage the Catholic tradition seriously and thoughtfully,” the statement added.

US Catholic

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Why the Catholic Church needs Margaret Farley

The Vatican has once again sharply criticized a nun, this time for writing on sexual ethics.

The Vatican has accused Sister Margaret Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order and professor emerita of Yale Divinity School, of publishing a book that posed “grave harm” to the faithful.

The book title? “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.”

View Photo Gallery: In light of the Vatican’s action, a list of nuns who have become known in the broader world. Two of the Americans listed have been canonized.

“Just Love” is a work that sets out to find “ethical guidelines and moral wisdom for our sexual lives” taking on the task of discerning issues of “character and virtue” in relationship not just to behaviors but also to the “large questions” of what human embodiment and sexual desire mean in a moral sense. (p. 15) Our sexual relations, Margaret Farley ultimately concludes, after a cross-cultural and historical exploration, must be founded on both love and justice in an integral sense. “I propose, finally, a framework that is not justice and love, but justice in loving and in the actions that flow from that love.” She seeks to help us all define a sexual ethics that is not abstract, but “morally good and just” in reality, in actual relationships. (p. 207)

If ever there were a method of moral reasoning on sexual ethics that is desperately needed in the Catholic Church today, it is the one proposed by Margaret Farley.

-full reflection by  at Washington Post

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