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    • 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
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    • Photo of the Day April 17, 2018
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• Spring's Snowy Start• Farewell Winter• Out and About – Winter 2017-2018Image: Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • The Spring Blizzard of 2018 April 14, 2018
      It's being called a blizzard and a winter storm of "historic" proportions. I'm opting to acknowledge the season we're actually in (as hard as it may be to believe) and calling it the spring blizzard of 2018. . . . And, yes, it's still very much happening right now in the Twin Cities and across southern Minnesota.I was out in it […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
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    • Mystical Czech artist, Marie Brozova February 22, 2018
      About Life, Universe and All…The luminous Czech artist, Marie Brozova, creator of the wonderful 'Forest Shaman' painting featured on my blog, lives with her husband and seven cats deep in a Czech forest - without electricity or running water. No computers, no cell phones, no TV. Only the silence and the sounds of nature and the spirits. Artist Mari […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • SPICING UP THE CHURCH: February 14, 2018
      Here is the website of the wonderful meeting group for gay Christians in the Czech republic, Logos. And below is their position statement. Check them out. Logos – Gay Christians in the Czech RepublicWe are an ecumenical fellowship of gay and lesbian Christians and their friends, in which we share our faith in all its diverse manifestations, and try to suppor […]
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    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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    • RIP: Barbara Bush April 19, 2018
      Sad to hear that Barbara Bush has died. She was a Republican but I liked her ... her championing of reading, her fearless un-dyed white hair, her book about/by Millie the dog :) .... she was admirable and authentic. Here's more about her from the PBS NewsHour ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)
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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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