A Tennessee lawmaker has written a letter to state county clerks telling them that they should ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage.
State Representative Rick Womick of the 34th Legislative District sent a letter last Wednesday to county clerks who had been told to issue licenses to same-sex couples by the state government.
"It has come to my attention that most, if not all of you, have been contacted by AG Herbert Slatery and the Haslam Administration, and have been told to uphold the SCOTUS opinion or face a discrimination lawsuit," wrote Womick. more >>
A Christian student at the University of Cape Town was forced out of her position at the institution after she posted a message on Facebook deemed "anti-gay marriage."
Commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that struck down all state-level gay marriage bans, Zizipho Pae, an economics and statistics major, was forced out of the Student Representative Council last week because she accused society of "normalizing sin."
After a meeting that included heated arguments, the university's student council voted 7 to 1 in favor of a motion to immediately remove Pae from her position, according to minutes posted online by the student group. more >>
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said it will be re-evaluating its long-standing participation in the Boy Scouts of America, following the latter's decision to end its blanket ban on openly gay adult leaders.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today's vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church's governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined," the Mormon church said on Monday.
"The Church has always welcomed all boys to its scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America." more >>
Transgender clergy now serve openly in several mainline and progressive Christian denominations. Churches that espouse traditional Christian theology have not allowed transgender persons to be clergy as they do not accept transgender identity as a Biblical expression of personhood. Several of the transgender clergy below caused disorder in their churches and denominations when they insisted on recognition. Several of them have left diminished or destroyed churches in their paths. Below are brief biographies of the openly transgender clergy serving in the United States today.
The Episcopal Church (approved transgender ordination at its 2012 General Convention)
The Reverend Carolyn Woodall is a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, California. Formerly the Deputy Public Defender in Sonora, Woodall now has a small criminal defense practice in addition to serving as deacon for St. James Episcopal Church. Woodall serves as the Chair of the Stakeholders' Council of Integrity USA, "the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church." more >>
It seems the rebuttal-topic-of-choice I most often encounter in talking with unbelievers about the gospel is the Church's inconsistency when it comes to what the Bible says and what we actually practice. You know, the whole "picking and choosing" thing.
A good percentage of the time this allegation of inconsistency is owing to the accuser's ignorance regarding how to properly read and interpret the Bible. The content of the Bible is clear as day. It's not full of riddles. But it's also not a book you can pick up, read a little in the front, skip a few hundred pages, read a little in the back, and then walk away with a solid understanding of the God and reality it portrays. Unfortunately, this is what many skeptics do, and it's why they have a tough time understanding why Christians adhere to certain commandments but not others. Because they haven't studied the Bible as a whole, they don't understand the differences in how God orders worship in the Old and New Covenants. Consequently, they view behaviors like our consumption of shrimp or wearing of cotton/polyester shirts as being selective on our part. more >>
E. Dewey Smith Jr., senior pastor at The House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Travelers Rest) in Decatur, Georgia, has become somewhat of a hero among gay rights advocates after a clip from one of his recent sermons on the hypocritical treatment of gays by some black churches went viral during the weekend. On Monday, however, he declared that his message should not be taken as support for LGBT advocacy.
"In the African-American church … you are guilty of condemning the Supreme Court system and preaching against something. But if you look at half of our choirs and a great number of our artists that we call abominations, we call demons, we demonize and dehumanize the same people that we use. We don't say nothing about the gay choir director because he's good for business," said Smith in the 5-minute clip from the controversial message that has been viewed more than 300,000 times on YouTube since it was posted last Thursday.
"As long as the choir sound good, I ain't saying nothing about his sexuality. We have done what the slave master did to us. Dehumanize us, degrade us, demonize us, but then use them for our advantage," he added. Dewey's comments from the clip have sparked a frenzy of headlines and an ongoing discussion about his views on same-sex marriage. more >>