Terence

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Fenton Johnson, Writer

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2011 at 9:16 am
Fenton Johnson is the author of two novels, Crossing the River and Scissors, Paper, Rock, as well as Geography of the Heart: A Memoir and Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks, a meditation on what it means for a skeptic to have and keep faith. He has contributed stories and cover essays to Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and many literary quarterlies, and received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. He is on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona.
His most recent book Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey draws on time spent living as a member of the monastic communities of the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky and the San Francisco Zen Center as a means to examining what it means to a skeptic to have and keep faith. Keeping Faith weaves frank conversations with Trappist and Buddhist monks with a history of the contemplative life and meditations from Johnson’s experience of the virtue we call faith. It received the 2004 Kentucky Literary Award for Nonfiction and the 2004 Lambda Literary Award for best GLBT creative nonfiction.
Johnson has served as a contributor to Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and many literary quarterlies, and has received numerous literary awards, among them a James Michener Fellowship from the Iowa Writers Workshop and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in both fiction and creative nonfiction. His writing also received a Northern California Book Reviewers nomination for best fiction (for Scissors, Paper, Rock, Washington Square Press) and the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award and Lambda Literary Awards for best creative nonfiction (for Geography of the Heart, Scribner). He contributes occasional commentaries to National Public Radio and has written the narration for several award-winning public television documentaries and personal films. He serves on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona and is currently completing The Man Who Loved Birds: A Novel and is a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.
He has received awards from the Wallace Stegner and James Michener Fellowships in Fiction and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in both fiction and creative nonfiction. He has also received a Kentucky Literary Award, two Lambda Literary Awards for best creative nonfiction, as well as the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award for best gay/lesbian nonfiction. He received a 2007 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation to support completion of his third novel and to begin research and writing on a nonfiction project.

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Growing Catholic Acceptance Of Gay Relationships, LGBT Equality

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm
New research finds US Catholics view gay relationships as morally acceptable. Furthermore,  Catholic support is higher, and is growing faster, than in the American population as a whole.
Two Gallup polls released in the last two days show once again that public acceptance of gay relationships and LGBT equality is continuing to grow – and  US Catholics, unlike their bishops, are more supportive than others.  The graph below shows a clear trend over the past 10 years: acceptance is increasing steadily, and has now crossed the 50% threshold, while opposition is eroding just as steadily.
2001-2010 Trend: Perceived Moral Acceptability of Gay/Lesbian Relations
As we have seen in previous polls, Catholic support for acceptance is stronger than that of Protestants. and also stronger than that of the country at large. What I have not seen before though, is that Catholic support is also growing faster.
Percentage Calling Gay/Lesbian Relations Morally Acceptable, by Politics, Religion
Support for full marriage equality is not as strong , not growing as quickly, and not as pronounced among Catholics. Still, at 48% of US Catholics supporting gay marriage, this is stronger than the country as a whole (overall, 44% of Americans are in favour, up from 40% in 2009, and also in 2oo8.)
Notably, 81% of Americans who claim no religious affiliation favor legal same-sex marriage. That compares to 48% support among Catholics and 33% among Protestants (including those who identify as Christian but do not specify a particular Christian denomination).
I will enjoy digging further into the history of these annual Gallup reports, and if I turn up anything of further interest – you’ll be the first to know.
Read more at Gallup, on LGBT acceptance, and on Gay Marriage.
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