A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, May 20, 2005

“The policy of Father Reese was to present both sides of the discussion...But that did not sit well with Vatican authorities,” - Jose M. de Vera, the Jesuits’ spokesman. They ranged from debates about sexuality to how the church ought to relate those of different faiths. For this reason Father Reese is no longer editor of one of the most respected religious journals in this country, America. One of the last actions Raztinger was to have Reese fired.

And Erik Meder, lost his position with the U.S. Jesuit Conference because of an article he wrote for a Jesuit newsletter which called for the church have an open dialogue with gay and lesbians about homosexuality. A number of catholic journals, colleges, and academics are worried about the rapidly closing space for debate and dialogue in the Catholic Church under the new pope. It's an issue which should concern everyone.

Also the new pope has leaned on Archbishop Flynn of MN to deny glbt supporters who wear the rainbow sash from partaking in commuinion. And "A pregnant student who was banned from graduation at her Roman Catholic high school announced her own name and walked across the stage anyway at the close of the program." This girl's courage and sense of self taking up what was hers, refusing to be barred because of some religious authority, is a lesson for others who find themselves shut out of the church.

Richard Ostling lets his bias show in his coverage of the ABC news show on the resurrection. He writes that the show will bring "on liberal theologians to dismiss the Easter story"..interpetations of the meaning of this story will vary with liberals and conservatives, but "dismiss"? I doubt any liberal would describe their work in such a manner. Barbara Lerner at the Nat'l Review says about the mainline "NCC-Eurosecs with crosses who worship Castro" Does such language suggest regard for religion by the right?


At 10:39 PM , Blogger ZuDfunck said...

I don't know Tommy
This may not be a very good idea
Libs & Religion?
Hoo boy!
Maybe if it was in Video form you could sell it...

At 6:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Gaunt is spineless.

At 2:35 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

Sigh... OK, perhaps someone could have the decency to follow through what "liberals" do when they look at the Resurrection - at miracles - at Scripture in general; apply a little common sense that seeking to gain understanding is not the same as dismissal, rather the opposite?

At 4:21 PM , Blogger greg said...

Well all you liberals out there, time to buck up. You think the prospects for Christianity look bleak? Imagine how the eleven apostles in Matthew felt when they realized (per today's Gospel reading) that their mission was to go and bring the good news to all nations. The incarnate Jesus was gone, there were only eleven of them, and the world was full of people who thought nothing of killing people for disturbing the peace. And yet they went, and look what happened. They went because they believed in a God who was *always* with them; in success and failure, in hardship and celebration, in life and in death. And they succeeded because God *was* in fact with them, just as God is with us all. Certainly standing up and witnessing to Jesus' message of love and tolerance in Red America in 2005 is no more difficult that standing up and witnessing in Jerusalem in 50 AD, or Rome in 100 AD. The early Christians did it, and look what happened.

You may protest that what happened was that the religion was co-opted by the Roman authorities, and that was largely the end of real Christianity. Yes and no. At its core Jesus' message is as subversive as can be. It was a Catholic priest and theologian that started the reformation. It was Christian churches that gave birth to both the abolitionist movement and the civil rights movement in this country. It was the Catholic church that spread liberation theology in Latin America. Many churches are supporting the glbt right movement. And yes, initially the church authorities fought against all these things and are still fighting against some of them; but however much the church authorities may think that they own and define the word of God, they do not. Only God does that. And the will of God is expressed through the body of the church - i.e., through you and me and all who recognize the presence of God.

At the end of the day faith is about believing that humans are immersed in the holy spirit, which is always at work. Some choose to ignore it, or to twist its message through rationalization, but in the end the holy spirit will triumph, and indeed does triumph continually, every time that a person heeds that quiet little voice and does what it right. Our understanding of how God works may always be evolving, but our faith in God's love and goodness should never waver.


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