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.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I'm trying to get back to a regular posting schedule but one week before school means that lots of last minute projects are staring me in the face. So we'll see how the blog fares in such a situation. There's been a number of pieces on religion and evolution and the issue of divestment which I hope to post on soon. But for now I thought I'd highlight some news items of interest.

"There is no one religious position on the Roberts nomination, no one religious view on the future of the court or the cases it will hear," Bill Sinkford, president of the UUA. That's the message of liberal religious leaders as they respond to the religious right's rally for a conservative judiciary, called Justice Sunday II. Treating a set of politics as if this could constitute religion is a danger that seems to bedevil today's religious scene. Chuck Currie has a helpful set of links on this event.

Creationism picks up an ally in Australia as the country's education minister Brendan Nelson endorses the instruction of "I.D" in the schools. So, no the US is not unique in having this debate. Alternet has a piece on other "wierd science" claims that the religious right has pushed. The American Prospect has an article chronicling the origins of intelligent design and how it replaces previously failed creationist attempts in getting a foothold in the schools.

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese approved withdrawing from the National Council of Churches, over a number of issues including mainline stances on gay and lesbian inclusion. The Orthodox Church in America has also signaled their intent on withdrawing from the NCC and the World Council of Churches. This development will hurt protestants and the orthodox and it re-enforces the idea that the only litmus test today is homosexuality.

The ELCA Lutherans' recent gathering had a number of issues approved from sharing communion with the Methodists to the development of a gender inclusive hymnal. But the big news was the decision to continue the ban on non celibate gay clergy without allowing a local option. The vote was close number wise but since a 2/3 majority was needed for such a change it was no where close to passing. It's hard to imagine when in the next decade a change can come to the church, which means few options for glbt members.


At 2:00 PM , Blogger Tyler Simons said...

As far as the ELCA results go, I'm doubly disappointed. I'm all for total inclusiveness for homosexual church members and clergy, I'm a vehement supporter of queer marriage, and I don't particularly care much for patriarchalism (or a similar but grammitcally correct term, if you will) but I'm not terribly keen on the idea of gender-inclusive prayerbooks and hymnals. We've had one of our lenghty discussions, in which this topic (among others, as usual) is addressed at the Watchpost.

Basically, what's the point of a gender-inclusive prayerbook if you aren't going to change the Lord's prayer, the mother of all masculine concepts of God? Would anyone want to say "Our non-gendered parent, who art in heaven...?"

That said, in contemporary prayers, I have no problem with calling God "She" (as the best (male) pastor I've ever had tended to do) and writing new hymns that don't use masculine language. I'm not too keen on getting rid of all the old ones, though. Dealt with appropriately, I feel, they can be used as a good teaching tool to discuss the problems with 2000 male-centric years of Christianity.


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