Volume 10: Issue 1
Table Of Contents
Story: Gracious Christianity:
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge
Religion has become mean-spirited, catty, critical,
a clique where one must walk in lock step to the doctrine, dogma and
yes, the political tenets, or one is certainly bound for a fiery afterlife.
Revenge of the Blob?
--By: Lori Heine
The same Jesus conservatives cite as such an authority on the existence
of an eternal Hell also told us His criteria for salvation. Those who
treat others with compassion (who are gracious) will be saved, whereas
those who treat others as they would never wish to be treated themselves
are the ones who'll be in trouble. I find it hard to fathom how so many
Right-Wing Christians can be so butt-ugly to others, yet expect to be
taken seriously when they claim a copyright on Jesus.
--By: Cheryl D. Coleman
"Those Christians" need to
think a few minutes about the concept. "Those Christians," two
words which sound almost like an epithet when I say them these days with
increasing bitterness and skepticism about Christianity and The Church.
The adjectives that come to mind when I think of them are judgmental,
hypocritical, unkind, rigid, hateful, condemning, condescending, and prideful.
Gracious? Humble? Gentle? Loving? Christlike? No.
Faith Becomes a Verb
--By: John H. Campbell
Rather than trying so fervently to pinpoint the things about others
which we disagree with on a personal level or do not like, work for the
common good of all. Stop creating an "other" and/or a "them/they" to be
feared and realize once and for all that we are all God's children, no
matter how diverse and different we and our individual lives, situations
and beliefs may be.
Dear Dr. Dobson
--By: Catherine Beckman
five decades, Frank could find no Loving God to replace the distant,
sadistic one of his Catholic youth. A God that had held arbitrary
and unachievable standards of merit and perfection. A loveless God
played out perfectly in the mirror of Frank's parents.
Out of the Shadows
--By: Justin R. Cannon
A few months after coming out to my family and some close friends
I wrote a study in which I examined the six verses commonly misinterpreted
to condemn homosexuality. Eventually my Bishop and two others came
beside me to financially support the printing and publication of this
study. I eventually established www.TruthSetsFree.net as a means of
sharing my study with those in need.
Gay Pride 101
--By: James C. Chappelle
standing amongst that harmonious sea of people, all of them wanting
nothing more than to just simply let the day happen, I caught God's
Spirit. It was found in the warm smiles of little old ladies, and
in the roaring of dozens of competing songs from dozens of floats.
Grace swelled up in the proud faces of the drag queens who danced
their way along Santa Monica Boulevard like roving evangelists wooing
the crowds to partake of the days many blessings. It was heavenly!
Don't Ignore Me
--By: Marguerite Curtis
Don't ignore me, try
to understand that being asexual is a valid sexual orientation.
Don't Hang Up
--By: Louie Crew
Don't hang up,
I'm not a heckler.
Paradox of Grace
An Interview with Authors James Mulholland and Philip Gulley
--By: Candace Chellew-Hodge
man seems to mind stirring the theological pot with their assertions
that God's grace is more powerful than evil and that every soul will
be reconciled to God either in this life or the next.
If Grace is True: Why God Will
Save Every Person
--A Book Review By: Rod Gambassi
is a book that is sheer joy to read and experience. It turns traditional
orthodox theology, be it Reformation, Pre-Reformation, Post-Reformation,
Orthodox on its ear and is perhaps the best contemporary exposition
of Universalism in today's world.
Stranger in a Strange Land: Bishop Spong
in Cobb County
Bear's Notebook: an ongoing series of reports on current
events and ideas
-- By: Darrell Grizzle
The Sins of Scripture offers a fascinating
critique of biblical texts that truly are terrible, but Spong's love for
the Bible as a whole often gets lost beneath his rhetoric. He spends a
lot of time defending positions that are frankly questionable (Jesus was
married to Mary Magdalene; St. Paul was a repressed gay man; Judas Iscariot
did not exist but was a literary creation to further the early church's
anti-Semitism). His preoccupation with such ideas gives his critics easy
ammunition to dismiss The Sins of Scripture as just another "off
the wall" book, rather than taking seriously the very real concerns about
how Scripture has been used (and is still being used) as a weapon against
On the Front Range of the Culture
Reflections on the Soulforce Action against Focus on the Family, May
--By: Richard Lindsay
I participated in the activities over the weekend, I kept thinking
about Jesus' words to his disciples, that they must be, "innocent
as doves and shrewd as snakes." It seems Soulforce has put the pieces
together for being both prophetic and strategic.
Into the Lion's Den
--By: Dotti Berry
Sapp and Dotti Berry weren't going to let Dr. Dobson's closed doors
stop them from having the opportunity to share their stories and take
some love inside Focus on the Family. On Tuesday, May 2, after having
participated in the weekend-long Soulforce vigil and direct action,
Dotti and Roby deliberately missed their 11 a.m. flight out of Denver
to spend the morning at Focus on the Family.
of the Closet:
Straight Clergy With Gay Family Members
--By: Jane Tully
As the church family processes the reality that an estimated 4.5 million
LGBT people are members of the Anglican Communion and untold numbers are
ordained, those of us who are both clergy leaders and straight family
members have experience the church can use.
to Wreck a Relationship: "Be A Lady"
--By: Dr. Bob Minor
By the time they're in junior high -- or sooner -- girls should have
internalized the message that in spite of all else they've been taught,
their real value is their ability to get the attention, approval, and
partnership of a man. As many still put it, a real lady needs a man to
"love and protect" her.
Officially Sanctioned Hatred
--By: Most Reverend Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB
A perversion of the central core message of Christ has taken place. Fundamentalists
have hi-jacked the faith and love given to us by Jesus and they have turned
it into an ugly, hate-filled message that is being used to dominate people
and impose their will on those who don't agree with them.
Gift of Perfectionism
or How to Trash Your Entire Day Before Breakfast
--By: Howard Hanger
After years of practice and research, we now know
that it is entirely possible to destroy an entire day without the help
of any major accident or dilemma.
The President's Religion
--By: Andrew R. Murphy
Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting prisoners are,
however, precisely the sort of tasks that the president continues to reject
as budgetary priorities, ranking them, in terms of governmental commitment,
far below tax cuts for the wealthy, militarization of global politics,
reliance on foreign fossil fuels, and draining Social Security coffers.
Letters To The Editor
-- By: Matt Foreman
Rather than reframing the debate away from moral values, we must embrace
them. Or more precisely, the utter immorality of the escalating attacks
against LGBT people. And, equally, the utter immorality in the failure
of so many people of good will to stand with us. It is time for us to
seize the moral high ground and state unambiguously that anti-gay discrimination
in any form is immoral.
After Doing Everything Right for Marriage Equality
-- By: Dr. Bob Minor
success of these marriage amendments is not a good measure of the
success of LGBT equality. Thrust upon us, we've come to think of the
amendment fights as if they represent a line in the sand. The right-wing
scared the country into believing so, and even one or two LGBT national
organizations have acted as if that were so.
An Intense Spiritual
-- By: Rachel Miller
Pretending to be a church
member in good standing made me a hypocrite too. I finally realized that
in order to be true to myself, I couldn't just resign from my local church
but would have to leave the entire Christian church. So, after much soul-searching,
that is the step I have taken.
From the Pulpit:
Jesus Has Two Mommies
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge
Why is the very idea of Jesus having two mommies so offensive? What
makes it so offensive is the exact same thing that makes the idea of same-gender
marriage so offensive to so many people. The question of why marriage
equality for gays and lesbians - indeed, why the very existence of gays
and lesbians - is so offensive to so many people has been one that perplexed
me for a very long time.
--By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge
We laugh with scorn at so many things in our lives - things we refuse
to believe will come true, even if God has promised us it will come true.
But, that laughter of scorn often turns to giggles of delight when we
see the impossible come true.
Our Power Is in Our Weakness
--By: Louie Crew
According to scripture, our power is in our weakness. Any rank or position
we have, we give up, use up, or risk, to serve others. At the "Great Gittin'
Up Mornin'," we will be judged not by how right we are, or smart we are,
or grand and powerful we are, but by how much we serve those who are the
least among us, even those who are our enemies.
Push That Rock
--By: Jerry Maneker
It is therefore most important that progressive Christians, particularly
those in the LGBT community, be of a disciplined mind, utilizing their
self-discipline that is given to all of God's children, as stated by the
Apostle Paul in the first reading tonight, to push that rock of prejudice,
stigma, discrimination, and oppression.
Queer Eye for the Straight World
--By: Gary Simpson
The story of creation is about Queer Eye for the Straight World. The
idea that God sees potential in the void of our world is in the creation
story. God has not stopped creating from the void. Our Lord is still in
the business of creating. God creates every day in the personal voids
of our lives.
Bible Study and Inspiration:
Lepers, Loons and Losers Part
and the Spear
--By: Tom Yeshua
For some unknown reason,
this one soldier refrains from bone-breaking and, in his mind, chooses
a less violent way of making sure this Jew was really dead. So, taking
his rather short spear, this nameless soldier plunges
his weapon into the chest of Jesus, immediately releasing a flow of blood
Examining the Beatitudes Part 2:
Mourning is a Blessing?
--By: Debbie Graham R. N.
The beatitude does not say, "Blessed are those who experience loss."
It says, "Blessed are those who mourn." The word "mourn" is a verb. A
person who mourns is working with their grief.
The Wonders of God
Top Ten Dog Peeves about People