Posts in In America

#LOVEWINS

Written By | June 29, 2015 | Posted in In America | No Comments

To all of those who are able to call marriage “marriage” without any further qualification, to all of those now able to marry whomever they choose, to all of those granted their rights under the Constitution, we say our very enthusiastic, “Congratulations!”

The Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015 is truly historic and removes a prohibition which had previously been imposed on the basis of a narrow religious ideology. This land is free, with the promise made to all people that our lives may be guided – or not – by any religion we choose and with the protection that religion ought not and cannot impose its ideals on those who disagree.

To those who have now been granted this freedom in the area of marriage, Congratulations!

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The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage on the Church

Written By | June 28, 2015 | Posted in In America | No Comments

Many Christians have compared the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court decision on abortion, while overlooking one piece of data which should be of comfort: the Supreme Court decision on abortion has not forced one single Christian to have an abortion or change their speech or practice regarding abortion. History shows that when we recognize the rights of a group of people, we do not turn around and remove rights from another group.

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Transgender: Some Cautious Thoughts

Written By | June 4, 2015 | Posted in In America | 4 Comments

Transgender issues have been high in the news the last few days with the unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner. The transgender movement marks another way in which our society continues to change in dramatic ways from one generation to another. Overall, I believe we are changing in very positive ways, but I sometimes wonder if in our desire for an egalitarian utopia, we don’t allow ourselves to consider all that we are doing and saying.

My position on transgender issues can be described as cautious but egalitarian. I fully believe in the right of people to be and do anything they want to themselves, as long as their actions do not cause direct harm to others. I believe a case can be made for certain laws and regulations designed to help protect people – ie, requiring seatbelts – but when it comes to laws regulating moral behavior, such laws are almost always flawed if they address behavior that does not extend beyond the individual.

Many conservatives will counter that “immoral behavior” (as they define immorality) has a corrosive effect on society, producing communities that are no longer safe places to raise Christian children. What they mean, of course, is that allowing alternate (to conservatives) lifestyles will expose their children to ideas and ways of life which contradict Christian indoctrination. What you believe about morality should have no effect on how I am permitted to live my life, so long as my life choices do no direct actual harm to others.

At the same time that I hold a kind of libertarian position regarding individual liberty, I believe such a position does not mean every desired expression or action should receive unrestricted societal approval. There are questions to be asked and implications to be considered. In this post, I want to consider a few thoughts regarding the transgendered lifestyle.

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The Duggars: It’s About the Hypocrisy

Written By | May 26, 2015 | Posted in In America | No Comments

Meet the Duggars. Mother, father, 19 children. The oldest, their firstborn and poster child for much of the far-right, has been outed as a Grade-A hypocrite.

On the one hand, I am not necessarily interested in the actions a child committed years ago. On the other hand, I am very interested when those actions, the surrounding cover-up, and the message the child delivers when he becomes an adult reveal a gross hypocrisy.

Before diving in, one additional note on why this matters. I continue to contend that folk are folk. There are Christian jerks and atheist jerks and Muslim jerks and gay jerks and straight jerks. There are nice religious people and nice atheists. There are monsters in every group (though we must acknowledge that certain ideologies are particular breeding grounds to monsters, ie, radical Islam). People are people and bad apples will be found in every bunch. The story of Josh Duggar is not the story of how one man proves that an entire belief system is wrong. Instead, Josh shows us that people are people and bad apples are found in every bunch so we should be careful before we throw stones.

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Should the Nipple be Free?

Written By | May 6, 2015 | Posted in In America | 8 Comments
obscene

Credit: Scott Metzger – www.metzgercartoons.com – http://www.metzgercartoons.com/newswritingmisc/topless-couple-on-the-beach-cartoon-its-a-greeting-card

I get it. Some of you can’t get past the title of this blog post, and many of you are already making untoward assumptions about me, my character, and my motivations for writing it. This may, by far, be one of the most blush-inducing things I have ever written. That said, it is in part because of those assumptions, and because of the redness creeping up my face, that I feel like I need to address this issue in my writing. We need to be willing to discuss things that make us uncomfortable, and baby, it doesn’t get much more culturally uncomfortable for me than this. I am going to explore the “Free the Nipple” campaign, which addresses the issue of female toplessness, the sexualization of women’s bodies in general, and why it is important to address the inequality in our society that leads us to treat men and women differently in this regard (a subject that the comic above, which made rounds in social media not too long ago, does a great job of addressing.)

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Christianity Loses Favored Status

Written By | September 26, 2014 | Posted in In America | 1 Comment

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

So began the Declaration of Independence. With these words, America laid out a case for declaring sovereignty from England. (Completely unrelated aside: it is hard to understand the intense patriotism of conservative Christians when the very foundation of this nation was in violation of passages like Romans 13:1-7 which instruct Christians to be subject to even unjust rulers.) These words, written by deist and early Bible critic Thomas Jefferson, have echoed hollowly throughout American history. Time and again, our nation has revealed that what we really believe is that some people are more equal than others.

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