• RSS Queering the Church

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  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

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  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Quote of the Day May 29, 2017
      Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • "Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 2) May 27, 2017
      This evening I share a second batch of photos from this year's Mayday parade. As I mentioned in Part 1, on Sunday, May 7, I attended the 43nd annual In the Heart of the Beast Theatre's Mayday parade in south Minneapolis. This year's theme, "Imagine, Heal, Resist," was all about coming together to "imagine a just and joyous futur […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • Trump Meets Francis, Twitter Talks: One Photo Seen Through Many Eyes May 24, 2017
      Ok everyone, this is the photo we're going to be using for memes today. Godspeed. pic.twitter.com/jGUWt5aYMh— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) May 24, 2017One photo, many different ways of reading it — as Twitter commentary this morning is suggesting; different eyes see different things:Vacation Picture No. 937: Wednesday with the family at the Vatic […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Commentary on Manchester Terrorism: "Women [and Girls] Are the Canaries in the Coal Mine for Male Violence" May 24, 2017
      Thought-provoking commentary I have read on the Manchester terrorist bombing as in all likelihood an attack quite specifically targeting girls:Michael Daly: Eight-year-old Saffie Rose was not collateral damage. She was a target. She had been deliberately murdered with icy premeditation along with 21 others at the specific place and time that the bomber chose […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
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    • Rep. Adam Schiff on Kushner May 28, 2017
      California Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump/Russia, comments on Jared Kushner and his plan to create a secret back channel with Russia ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Marriage and Religious Freedom: UK Civil Partnerships

The successful, unexpected amendment to the UK equality bill which will lead to allowing civil partnership ceremonies to be conducted in religious premises has drawn extensive comment, much of it predictable.  On the right, the Daily Telegraph has headlines screaming that clergy “will” be sued for refusing to conduct them.  (Note the certainty here “will be sued”, not “could be sued”.  Also predictable, is the argument that this is somehow an attack on “religious freedom”, an argument which is so often used to justify restricting the freedom of sexual minorities.  Fortunately, there is also more sensible commentary available, notably that by “Ekklesia”.

This is a progressive, faith based web site that generates a daily list of news and commentary pieces, which I get routinely by email subsription.  Today’s list is dominated the civil partnership implications.  I thought the two most important ideas were from Sharon Ferguson, director of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), and from Ekklesia itself, in an editorial comment. Rev Ferguson points out very simply that this does not restrict religious freedom: it extends it.   There is nothing in  the legislation that will compel any one to do anything.  No religious minister had yet been compelled in law to marry contrary sex couples against there will:  none will be compelled to marry same s-sex couples.  However, those ministers who do wish to bless civil partnerships in church, will now have the freedom to do so – a  religious freedom which was previously not open to them.  As Ekklesia points out in a separate report, there are now several religious groups who want that freedom.

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