The Anglican Archbishop of Wales asks a question worth pondering. "If the church of God can't conduct a debate in a civilised way when it claims to be a reconciled and reconciling community - what message does that give to the world? We cannot as a church call for compassion, peace and justice in our nation and in our world if we as Christians do not exemplify those virtues in our own lives and in our dealings with one another."
And a school district in Delaware provides an example of what happens when you're a religious minority in too many places across this country. A Jewish family sued the district after they had teachers who pressed upon their students their religious views, gave preferential treatment to those students who were members of a local bible club, and had prayers in much of the major events throughout the school year.
"If they don't like it - go to another school," one resident said of religious minorities. This is the public face of religion, one which cannot possibly conceive or imagine life through the eyes of another person, of another faith, so they never can imagine the problem when government is endorsing and pushing religion because it's always their religion which is being pushed. This is why the value of the first amendment cannot be under stated.
Wolf Blizter of CNN questions Paul Begala's Catholicism, since he's a liberal on the network. Astounding. Does being a liberal preclude you from faith according to this journalist? Given the cable news record on covering religion, one would think the answer is yes. Besides Keith Olberman recent piece on the UCC, it's almost unheard of for a liberal religious perspective to get an airing on cable news these days.
A lesbian couple gets turned away from a Michigan Catholic church. This sounds like what the UCC ad was addressing. Apparently the ad was referring to what is happening too often in the church. But there is a happy ending in that other area Catholic congregations ended up welcoming the couple when the news of their exclusion was made public. This reminds us that the gospel is still at work in the world, even when the news seems too often suggests otherwise.