In Sexuality and Gender, theology on January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm
One of Britain’s most prominent evangelical Christian leaders has broken ranks on the issue of homosexuality describing the traditional Church teaching on he issue as dangerous and unchristian.
Rev Chalke argued that the church’s traditional teaching on homosexuality as ‘a sin or less than God’s best’ had been deeply harmful Photo: GETTY
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor7:30AM GMT 15 Jan 2013
The Rev Steve Chalke, a broadcaster and charity founder, likened the “dominant view” of homosexuality among evangelicals to that of those who once used the Bible to justify slavery or thought it was heretical to believe the Earth orbited the sun.
He accused Christians of treating gay people as “pariahs”, expecting them to live “lives of loneliness, secrecy and fear” and even driving some to suicide.
His comments come in an article in the magazine Christianity under the headline “The Last Taboo” which he said he felt “both compelled and afraid” to write.
Long dominant in US life, evangelicals – who place a strong emphasis on the “authority” of the Bible and believe in being “born again” – have become increasingly influential in Britain in recent years, with fast growing congregations at a time when church attendance has seen steep decline.
But although evangelicalism is often viewed as a bastion of conservative values, it also has a long-stranding association with “radical” causes dating back to the 19th Century
more at – Telegraph.
In Trans Issues on January 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm
Jan. 6, Feast of the Epiphany. Coming as it does so early in the year, the celebration still seems to arrive a little late. Christmas festivities and holiday meals, topped off with New Year’s Eve parties, have more than filled our feasting needs. Now it is time to get back to diets and email. Yet something about this day still grabs our attention. Epiphany is a feast of “something’s up.” With portents in the sky and the hint of myrrh in the air, perhaps we’re being signaled: Stay alert — this could be the year!
The first epiphany sprang a large surprise: a vulnerable infant who is God’s own son. How likely is that? The annual feast invites us to expect the unexpected, to be aware that graces come from surprising sources. Perhaps this year — within your family or your work site or your faith community — you may hear a personal story of courage and faith shared by a transgender person. This will be an epiphany and a grace.
To our own surprise, we have been blessed by such an epiphany. The past year has brought us deeper appreciation of the experience of transgender members of the human community. Mentored by a Catholic sister who has dedicated her life to ministry among transgender persons, we have been instructed by the witness of these often vulnerable members of the body of Christ. Their life stories carry a common theme: an abiding sense of “disconnect” between their inner sense of self and the evidence of their body. In their deepest awareness, gender identity (who I know myself to be) has been in conflict with the social role their physical anatomy suggests (who others expect me to be).
Attempting to conform to the expectations of their parents, spouses and children, transgender persons often struggle to override this sense of disconnect. Some enter into marriage, hoping this will suppress the daily reminders that they are not as they appear. Many more put effort into presenting a “false self” to the world, to protect against being discovered for who they really are. But the price of this unnatural effort is high. Alcohol and drugs offer false comfort along the way; suicide begins to appeal as an exit from this distress.
via An epiphany of transgender lives reveals diversity in body of Christ | National Catholic Reporter.
In Sexuality and Gender, Trans Issues on January 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm
The North American Old Catholic Church is ordaining Shannon T.L. Kearns, a trans man, later this month. Kearns (right) will be responsible for starting a new parish in Minneapolis.
“The North American Old Catholic Church looks forward to establishing a presence in Minneapolis with the ordination of Father Kearns,” said Bishop Benjamin Evans, who is presiding over the ordination on January 19. “God’s Holy Spirit continues to bless us with growth.”
Founded in 2007, the North American Old Catholic Church has a mission of social justice, does not submit to the authority of the Pope, and is open to female and LGBT clergy.
“I am honored and humbled to have my calling to ministry affirmed by the North American Old Catholic Church,” says Kearns, who transitioned while studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York. “I look forward to many years serving as a priest.
In Sexual Orientation on December 29, 2012 at 10:09 am
Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.
Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl (i.e. “de-baptise.nl”) had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.
“Of course it’s not possible to be ‘de-baptized’ because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics,” Roes told Reuters.
He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the church.
In Sexual Orientation on December 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm
St Matthew-in-the-City church says Jesus Christ’s sexuality is not know for sure but he would have backed gay marriage
Jesus was gay according to a Christmas billboard at a New Zealand Anglican church.
The Christmas billboard at St Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland is frequently controversial – previously it has joked about Joseph’s sexual prowess and shown the Virgin Mary with a pregnancy test.
This year it depicts Jesus in his manger with a rainbow halo and the words: ‘It’s Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out.’
St Matthew’s Reverend Clay Nelson said: ‘Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay. But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?’
While his colleague at the church, Reverend Glynn Cardy implied Jesus would have backed same-sex marriage, which is currently being debated in New Zealand.
He said: ‘There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalized in society.’
And he wanted to raise the question of sexuality among the faithful.
‘Would it make a difference if he was gay? Would that change the picture for you? Would it mean what we revere about him changes?’
Last year’s Virgin Mary pregnancy test billboard spread around the world, reaching 21 million people on Facebook. But it was condemned as ‘blasphemous’ by some Catholics and vandalized.
via Gay Star News.
In Sexuality and Gender on November 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm
NBC’s comedy series The New Normal emerges from a shifting American culture increasingly accepting of new family arrangements and consciously engages the dynamics these present . Recently, The New Normal took up Catholicism in relation to the gay protagonist, David — and did so in a strikingly positive, fact-based manner.
As background, the premise of the show is that a gay couple hire a single mother with a nine-year-old daughter as their surrogate in the quest to have a child. Episode 7 features the couple, David and Bryan, struggling to decide on godparents for their child, as they are two people who identify as non-spiritual.
So often the LGBT community and the Catholic community are pitted against each other in entertainment. The New Normal overcomes false dichotomies to reveal reality. LGBT Catholics and allies have long known that good priests are building welcoming parishes, that the Church is not anti-gay in its fundamentals, that LGBT persons desire a place in the Catholic faith, and that, with commitment, change can occur should we be willing to seek it.
The conversations between Bryan and Father Michael are comedic, poignant, and surprisingly truthful moments for a popular television show. While as a student of theology, I would have liked to see more nuance in several statements of the show’s dialogue, it is heartening to see mainstream entertainment positively reflect on the good relationships and good work of so many Catholics who are trying to make the Church a welcoming and affirming place for our LGBT brothers and sisters.
-full commentary by Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry, at Bondings 2.0.