WASHINGTON — Political scientist Mark David Hall explained Monday that America's history is rich with examples of governments creating religious accommodations for generally applicable laws and asserted that accommodations protecting Christian business owners from having to serve same-sex weddings would be no different.
Hall, a political science professor at George Fox University in Oregon, gave a Monday lecture at the Family Research Council where he explained that although there has been much opposition to the passing of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts in certain states, states have a long history of passing exemptions to laws that forced believers to violate their religious beliefs, even with much support from liberals.
In the last few years, there have been a number of lawsuits brought against Christian business owners who have refused service for same-sex weddings on the basis that it would have violated their religious convictions. Such cases have resulted in business owners being fined ruinous amounts and the loss of their business. more >>
Julie Rodgers, a counselor in the Chaplain's Office at Wheaton College, announced Monday that she supports same-sex relationships and resigned her position at the college. Rodgers, who identified as a gay, celibate Christian, said she no longer sees celibacy as a viable option for most self-identified gays.
In a blog post, Rodgers wrote, "When young people have angsted at me about the gay debate, I've just told them to follow Jesus—to seek to honor Him with their sexuality and love others well." For some, this means embracing celibacy, Rodgers said; but for most, it means pursuing marriage to someone of the same sex. "We're made for long-term, committed relationships that bind us to one another and cost us something . . . Some might find that in friendship, which is wonderful. But most will find it in a spouse because that's the context we have for making such serious commitments and staying true to them once life happens."
I affirm an orthodox Christian sexual ethic and wrote an article for WORLD expressing concerns when Wheaton hired Rodgers. So, one might expect me to disagree with her. Actually, I think Rodgers is right – just not in the way she thinks. more >>
This is the first of a six part blog series in which I am carefully going to attempt to graciously point out some of the major ways that I believe the Church in America has dropped the ball in its interaction with the gay community. When a friend suggested that I embark upon a series like this, I was extremely hesitant because the last thing I want to be or be known as is a critic. There are already more than enough of those lurking about in the blogosphere, crouching in the shadows just waiting to pounce on the next juicy pastoral failure, Christian hypocrisy, or church scandal. But, at the risk of coming off as critical, I have decided to do this because the fact of the matter is that the Western Church at large – there are some exceptions – has been radically ineffective in reaching the same sex attracted community with both the truth and the love of Christ. I think some of that ineffectiveness has arisen from willful hatred and discrimination against this community (and that's what this first post will be about), but I truly believe that most of the ways we have fallen short can be traced back to our ignorance regarding this issue.
Our knowledge of homosexuality, and the very real struggle that many experience with it, has been largely misinformed by biblically-faulty religious tradition. Many of us have been taught by an old, angry preacher somewhere that people just choose to start being attracted to the same sex. So our response has been, "Hey, stop choosing to be gay!" Many of us have been told by well intentioned, but biblically illiterate church folk that if someone makes a simple decision to believe in Jesus, they can be instantly cured of their homosexual tendencies. So our plea to the gay community has been, "Hey, come to Jesus, get the Holy Spirit, and he'll make you straight!" Some of us have been wildly misled by paranoid conservatives to believe that all gay people are "perverts" who are attracted to young children, so our response has been to shield our kids from any type of interaction with these supposed predators. Some of us have been told by ungracious religious teachers untrained in the Bible that God has forever given homosexuals over to a completely hardened heart, so our response has been to not even share the gospel with them because. "Since God's done with them, there's really no use in witnessing, right? Better just to keep away from them…."
We've been told and have believed a lot of wildly erroneous ideas. This skewed information has totally misshaped our perception of people who experience same sex attraction and jacked up our approach to them as well. Homosexuality has rapidly gained popular acceptance over the last 50-60 years and, at large, we've failed to respond with the truth of the Bible and the love of its Author. So I'm doing this series. Not because I think my six little posts will make straight all the ways we've gone crooked, but because the conversation needs to get started. It's time we step back from our frustration over the political woes surrounding this issue, regroup, and refocus on actually reaching gay people with the gospel. My goal is hopefully to aid in that process for those who decide to read along. more >>
Evangelical preacher the Rev. Franklin Graham has spoken out against legislation proposed by Democrats in California seeking the remove and replace the words "husband" and "wife" from federal law.
"Where will the assault on biblical marriage end?" Graham asked in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
"They say these are 'gendered terms' that discriminate against homosexuals. You're absolutely right they are gendered terms— because marriage was created to be gendered! The One who created marriage defined it as between a man and a woman," he continued. more >>
The historic ban on openly gay leaders is set to be officially struck down within the Boy Scouts of America after its executive committee voted unanimously on the change late last week. Individual Scout troops will be allowed to set their own policy on leaders, meaning that church-sponsored troops would be allowed to uphold the ban.
"This change allows Scouting's members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families," the BSA said in statement on Monday. "This change would also respect the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own."
A changing sexual revolution demands changing tactics. Remember all that talk for the last decade that sexual orientation is like skin color — genetic and immutable? Well, the science not only looks iffy, it was never solid.
From the Guardian:
With each study, confidence in the gay community about a genetic link to our sexuality has become stronger. It has become generally assumed that a gay gene must exist. But take look at the actual science, and the history of sexuality, and you will find serious problems with the theory. more >>