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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
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      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! ]]
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      . . . Minnehaha Creek, that is!As anyone who follows this blog would know, since January 2012 I've lived by Minnehaha Creek in south Minneapolis. It's a very beautiful part of the city, and I feel very fortunate to be living here.A tributary of the Mississippi River, Minnehaha Creek starts at Gray's Bay at Lake Minnetonka and winds 22 miles th […]
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    • Catholics Recognize and Celebrate the Truth of Transgender People: “Their Quest for Authenticity Is a Quest for Holiness" October 21, 2017
      The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, recently published an article focusing on “the transgender ideology and the church.” Written by Jonathan Liedl with contributions from Maria Wiering, the purpose of this article is to attack what it labels “transgender ideology.” This label, “transgender ideology,” is […]
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News Archives, Jan 08 -14 2010

From Irish Times:

Irish abuse not typical – cardinal

Paddy Agnew, Jan. 14, 2010

The clerical sex abuse scandals in Ireland are not representative of the behaviour of the vast majority of priests in the Catholic Church, a senior Vatican figure has said.

Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, said the abuse by priests in Ireland constituted “painful” and “criminal” behaviour.

(Read more)

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From People for the American Way:

PFAW Condemns Robertson’s Comments on Haiti Earthquake

Religious Right Leader says Haiti “swore a pact to the devil”

Jan. 13, 2010

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan today condemned a statement made by Religious Right leader Pat Robertson, who said that the nation of Haiti has been cursed ever since it “swore a pact to the Devil.”

(Read more)

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From Earth Times:

Austrian Catholics leave Church in record numbers

Deutsche Presse Agentur, Jan. 13, 2010

Vienna – A record number of Austrians left the Catholic Church in 2009, disgruntled by the Vatican’s controversial decision to readmit a bishop who questioned the Holocaust, local media reported Wednesday. Last year, some 53,200 people disengaged from the country’s biggest religious grouping, 31 per cent more than in the previous year.

(Read more)

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From New York Times:

Discrimination on Trial, but Not on TV

Editorial, Jan. 14, 2010

The trial that started on Monday in San Francisco over the constitutionality of California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage could have been a moment for the entire nation to witness a calm, deliberative debate on a vitally important issue in the era of instant communications. Instead, the United States Supreme Court made it a sad example of the quashing of public discourse by blocking the televising of the nonjury trial.

(Read more)

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From National Public Radio (NPR):

Pat Robertson Blames Haitian Devil Pact For Earthquake

Frank James, Jan. 13, 2010

The scientific experts will tell you that Tuesday’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti was caused by tectonic forces along a seismic fault line that runs through the island of Hispaniola which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic.

But Pat Robertson, the Christian televangelist, has a different explanation guaranteed to scandalize untold numbers. On the “700 Club” he said Haitians made a pact with the devil to be freed from their French colonizers in the 18th Century.

(Read more)

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From World Council of Churches:

Churches mobilize support for Haiti quake victims

Jan. 13, 2010

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed condolences and solidarity with the people of Haiti after the earthquake there and has called for prompt support in the relief efforts.

The major earthquake that shook the Caribbean nation of Haiti overnight has become yet another in a series of natural disasters to hit this already vulnerable nation, the poorest in the western hemisphere.

(Read more)

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From ELCA News Service:

Lutheran, Other Middle East Churches Adopt Statement to Ordain Women

Jan. 12, 2010

HARISSA, Lebanon (ELCA) — Ordaining women as pastors to serve Middle Eastern churches may become a reality. Delegates at the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) voted unanimously Jan. 12 to adopt a statement in support of this change.

(Read more)

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From ABC (Salt Lake City):

Will LDS Church documents surface at California Gay Marriage trial?

Chris Vancour, Jan. 12, 2010

ABC 4 News is being told that some of the LDS Church’s activities could be brought up at the California federal trial on the future of gay marriage.

(Read more)

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From AP/One News Now:

Pastors meet to develop strategy against same-sex marriage

Associated Press, Jan. 13, 2010

Opponents of same-sex marriage from around the country — many of them black ministers — have held a two-day summit in the nation’s capital.

They’re urging Congress to use its authority to block city officials’ legalization of homosexual marriage in Washington, which could take effect in March, and to let the city’s voters decide the issue. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said he’s introducing legislation to that effect.

(Read more)

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From FiveThirtyEight:

Divorce Rates Higher in States with Gay Marriage Bans

Nate Silver, Jan. 12, 2010

Over the past decade or so, divorce has gradually become more uncommon in the United States. Since 2003, however, the decline in divorce rates has been largely confined to states which have not passed a state constitutional ban on gay marriage. These states saw their divorce rates decrease by an average of 8 percent between 2003 and 2008. States which had passed a same-sex marriage ban as of January 1, 2008, however, saw their divorce rates rise by about 1 percent over the same period.

(Read more)

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From Anglican Journal (Canada):

Primate to lead Canadian delegation to World Religions Summit

Marites N. Sison, Jan. 11, 2010

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has accepted an invitation to lead the Canadian delegation to the 2010 World Religions Summit to be held in Winnipeg this June.

About 100 faith leaders are gathering to pray and hold leaders of G8, the world’s richest countries, to their pledges of support for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Religions Summit is being held June 21-23, just prior to the G8 Summit scheduled June 24 to 26 in Muskoka, Ont.

(Read more)

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From Irish Central:

Preview of Pope Benedict XVI’s message to Ireland

Patrick Roberts, Jan. 12, 2010

In a preview of Pope Benedict’ s letter to the Irish people, expected on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 17, the Pope will “acknowledge the tremendous contribution of the Irish to the church worldwide from the time of the golden age of monasticism to the modern missionary movement.

(Read more)

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From New York Times:

Israel Rabbi Asks Pope to Halt Pius’ Beatification

AP, Jan. 11, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI should be welcomed when he visits Rome’s main synagogue, but he should halt moves to beatify wartime pontiff Pius XII, criticized for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust, a former chief rabbi of Israel said Tuesday.

(Read more)

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From Newsweek:

Gay Marriage on Trial: The Relevance of Slavery

Eve Conant
With the two gay couples off the stand for now, attorneys for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger are turning to experts and historians to dissect the meaning and progress of the institution of marriage. Yet instead of gay marriage, historian Nancy E. Cott, a former Yale and now Harvard professor, has been grilled today and yesterday more about slavery than homosexuality.

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From ELCA News Service:

ELCA Presiding Bishop Addresses Proposed Uganda Homosexuality Law

January 8, 2010

CHICAGO (ELCA) — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is “gravely concerned” about a proposed anti-homosexuality bill under discussion in Uganda, wrote the Rev. Mark S. Hanson in a January 8 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, thanked Clinton for her recent statements and follow-up actions by the U.S. Department of State regarding the proposed law.

(Read more)

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From Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests:

Clergy sex abuse victims blast Catholic diocese

They seek out others who may have been hurt by cleric

Priest worked at 13 churches in nine Missouri counties

He’s the third accused Jeff City priest to be exposed in last six months

Bishop should “aggressively reach out” to victims and witnesses, SNAP says

Support group is concerned because church staff continues “being secretive”

There’s no evidence, SNAP believes, that Catholics have notified law enforcement

Holding signs and childhood photos at t two sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
— blast Jefferson City church staffers for keeping credible sex allegations about a mid-Missouri priest from the public, and
— plead with current and former church members and employees to call police if they have any information about accusations against the cleric.

(Read more)

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From Wall Street Journal:

Pope Speaks on Creation

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict linked the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage to concern about the environment, suggesting that laws undermining “the differences between the sexes” were threats to creation.

(Read more)

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From Ha’aretz:

Holocaust survivors ask Rome rabbi to tell pope of pain over Pius sainthood

ROME – Holocaust survivors and their families will ask Rome’s rabbi to tell Pope Benedict of their pain at his advancement of the case for declaring Pope Pius XII a saint when the pontiff visits Rome’s synagogue this weekend.

(Read more)

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From Keen News Service:

Historic trial begins today; case seeks to strike Prop 8

By Lisa Keen on January 10, 2010

The trial to challenge Proposition 8 opens at 9 a.m. Pacific time this morning, and it promises to be an event of historic proportions for the LGBT community on many levels—legally, politically, and dramatically.

(Read more)

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From The Sun (San Bernardino, CA, USA):

Catholic bishops begin postcard campaign for immigration reform

Stephen Wall, Staff Writer Posted: 01/09/2010 06:10:36 AM PST
In an empty sanctuary on a cool weekday morning, Federico Jaimes prays for amnesty.

The 57-year-old Mexican immigrant kneels as he clutches a string of rosary beads in a solemn petition to the Almighty.

(Read more)

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From The Telegraph (UK):

Catholic ban on women priests ‘illegal under Harriet Harman equality bill’

The Roman Catholic ban on women entering the priesthood will become illegal under Harriet Harman’s controversial Equality Bill, according to Christian charity, CARE.

By Patrick Hennessy, Political editor

A new report by the leading charity – backed by a legal opinion from a leading QC – says the Bill will make it impossible for all churches and faith-based charities to insist that their senior staff lead private lives in accordance with their religious beliefs.

CARE said that, under the Bill, which will be considered by the House of Lords on Monday, it would be illegal for a Christian charity to sack a senior manager for adultery or living an openly gay lifestyle.

(Read more)

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From Zenit:

Ugandan Group Forms Breakaway Church

KAMPALA, Uganda, JAN. 8, 2010 .- The 20 so-called Catholic priests in Uganda who formed a new church where celibacy is not required are no threat to the Catholic Church, says the retired archbishop of Kampala.

Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala described the so-called Catholic Apostolic National Church as a group of “false prophets,” the Associated Press reported last week.

(Read more)

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From Catholic Culture:

Vatican cardinal decries fear of Muslims, says Saudi Arabia should permit churches

January 06, 2010

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who served as the Vatican’s foreign minister from 1990 to 2003 and was appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 2007, has called upon all nations of the world to enshrine the right of religious freedom in their nation’s laws.

(Read more)

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From Zenit:

US Bishops Lament Politicization of Health Care

Will Oppose Bills That Allow Public Funding of Abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 11, 2010 – While the U.S. bishops affirm that health care reform should be a national priority, they lament the politicization of the process and vow to oppose legislation that provides public funding for abortion.

Kathy Saile, director of the Office of Domestic Social Development, said this in a video statement posted on the conference’s Web site, in what is the first comment to come from the episcopal conference since the Senate passed its version of health care reform legislation on Dec. 24.

In the days leading up to the final vote in the Senate, the bishops had sent several letters to Senate leaders expressing concern that the legislation was “deficient” and needed “essential changes.”

(Read more)

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