Southern Religion

North Texas billboards arguing Biblical embrace of gay lifestyle

Metropolitan Community Churches sponsor the four billboards between Fort Worth and Grand Prairie. There is an attendant Web site:

They have of course provoked some support and more rebuttal [as you can see in the video].

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , | 1 Comment

Is Land set to re-preach fear of hate-crimes law?

Southern Baptist Convention ERLC chief Richard Land may preach his counterfactual hate-crime fear tomorrow to the Florida Baptist Pastors Conference.


Land has consistently made the sweepingly false [1, 2, 3, 4,] argument that new law is “the groundwork for prosecuting Christians who share their biblical beliefs against homosexuality.”

Land’s session tomorrow is entitled “Persecution of the American Church: Welcome to pastoring in a persecuted environment” and he has consistently argued that enactment of the hate-crime legislation would lead to religious persecution.

After the law was signed, ERLC made again the strained, general prediction of oppressive outcomes:

Advocates of freedom of religion and of speech, as well as of the biblical view of sexuality, expressed dismay at the development, even though they oppose violence against homosexuals. They fear the measure, combined with existing law, could expose to prosecution Christians and others who proclaim the Bible’s teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful. For example, if a person commits a violent act based on a victim’s “sexual orientation” after hearing biblical teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, the preacher or teacher could be open to a charge of inducing the person to commit the crime, some foes say.

In fact the First Amendment is still in full force. We do not have “hate speech” laws in this country and attempts to impose their limited-purpose analogs have been judicially demolished.

Convoluted arguments about possible combinations of laws muzzling and/or imprisoning preachers have no basis in fact. Arthur Leonard, a professor of law at New York Law School and an expert in gay rights and discrimination based on sexual orientation said flatly, “No sane prosecuting attorney in the United States would go after a church due to a preacher making a sermon based on the Biblical teachings about homosexuality.”

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Law, Religion, SBC | , , , , | 2 Comments

‘God is dead:’ No, and neither is fundamentalism (anywhere)

While assaulting myths about modern religion, Karen Armstrong writes in the Nov./Dec. issue of Foreign Policy:

Fundamentalism is not conservative. Rather, it is highly innovative — even heretical — because it always develops in response to a perceived crisis. In their anxiety, some fundamentalists distort the tradition they are trying to defend. The Pakistani ideologue Abu Ala Maududi (1903-1979) was the first major Muslim thinker to make jihad, signifying “holy war” instead of the traditional meaning of “struggle” or “striving” for self-betterment, a central Islamic duty. Both he and the influential Egyptian thinker Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) were fully aware that this was extremely controversial but believed it was justified by Western imperialism and the secularizing policies of rulers such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

All fundamentalism — whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim — is rooted in a profound fear of annihilation. Qutb developed his ideology in the concentration camps where Nasser interred thousands of the Muslim Brothers. History shows that when these groups are attacked, militarily or verbally, they almost invariably become more extreme.

Even if it enrages you, indeed especially if it enrages you, her comparative-religion analysis deserves consideration.

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion | Comments Off on ‘God is dead:’ No, and neither is fundamentalism (anywhere)

Disney’s first black princess: Breakthrough or stereotype rehash?

Princeton University’s Judith Weisenfeld doesn’t mince words:

Disney’s announcement that it planned to create a black princess drew a range of excitedly positive as well as sharply critical responses, with some reporters, bloggers, and members of the general public expressing little confidence in the racial sensitivity of the studio that gave us Song of the South (1946), or in the company that still features a ride based on the film at its theme parks. Other controversies during the new film’s production included negative audience response to the princess’ original name (Maddie) and work as a chambermaid, both of which were interpreted as signifiers of slavery. The racial indeterminacy of the love interest, Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) of the fictional country Maldonia, has also generated strong response, with some wondering why a black man – even an animated one – was not fit to be a prince.

Our view? Not as racist as Song of the South. But if you’re looking for clean Disney hands, we didn’t find them.

Please read the rest of Weisenfeld’s review of the animated feature, to premier November 26 in New York and Los Angeles.

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Movies, Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off on Disney’s first black princess: Breakthrough or stereotype rehash?

Tactical strike for the Catholic left?

For presiding over the funeral Mass of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley was charged by another Catholic cleric with being under the influence of Satan (“the father of lies“).

Such public quarrels are rare and this charge came from the far Catholic right — from Archbishop Raymond Burke. It was part of his argument and that of others on the Catholic right that pro-choice Catholics should be denied both communion and funeral rites. An undeniably controversial view and deserving of coverage.

Amy Sullivan of Time wrote:

But it’s one thing for partisans and bloggers to disparage a Mass for a dead Senator; it’s quite another for a Vatican official to do so. Even some leading conservative Catholics may find they cannot support Burke’s latest salvo. When told of the Archbishop’s assertion that pro-choice Catholics should not be permitted funeral rites, Princeton professor Robert George was taken aback: “That’s a very different, and obviously graver, claim than that with which I would have sympathy. I haven’t heard before any bishop say that pro-abortion politicians should not be given a Catholic funeral.”

In this and other aspects of her article the Catholic right at Life Site News and elsewhere see a “tactical strike for the Catholic left.”

Whereas non-Catholics mostly see, well, journalism. Worth reading.

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Religion | , , , , , | Comments Off on Tactical strike for the Catholic left?