Volume 9, Issue 6

God and Politics

Cover Stories

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love and Understanding?
By Rev. Candace Chellew
In our world of continuing war, poverty and greed, we tend to scoff at people who talk endlessly of peace, love and understanding. We laugh at them because the idea of peace, love and understanding seems like a pipe dream in our world.

The Words in Red
By John H. Campbell
If Jesus Himself were to run for president, teaching all of these same teachings the way he had, what would happen? My guess is that given the way the current political climate seems to me, I fear that he would be labeled a “bleeding heart liberal” and perhaps they’d try to have the “Galilean Fishermen For Truth” discredit Him when he spoke of turning the other cheek, making peace instead of waging war, acceptance of diversity, inclusiveness for outcasts, and love and compassion for all people!

Out of Xanadu
By Lori Heine
The true character of God is revealed to us in Scripture as “He” liberates the oppressed from bondage and welcomes the outcast into fellowship with “Him.” People whose politics reflect a preoccupation with their own comfort, security and self-flattery worship something quite different than the God of Jesus Christ.

A Meditation on Addictive Religion
By Dr. Robert N. Minor
Take right-wing religion’s teaching that people are basically so evil and lost that they deserve eternal, abusive punishment. Add its effectiveness at convincing people of their innate evil because they’re prepared for it through childrearing methods that punish inherently bad children. Enforce such messages with political leaders whose solution to problems is more punishment. The result: adults’ desperate need for a fix to provide relief from self-denigrating, self-abusive feelings.

Religion and Politics
By Lawrence Falkowski
How do people of the progressive Christian movement deal with the very firm political reality that when you mention religion and politics in the U.S. you are talking about the religious right?

Constitutional Crisis In The Making: America On The Edge
By Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB
God is brought up more now in these political institutions than he is in some churches. The line of separation between Church and State is gone.

A Holy War?
By Lana Phillips
Politicians use God’s name in speeches, claiming to be believers; but sometimes it seems that they’re just using God’s name in vain.

God and Politics: Why or Why Not?
By Sheila K. Smith

I recently had the opportunity to interview a fellow seminarian to gather his thoughts on the subject of God and politics.

Homospirituality

Worship God Not The Bible: A Black Gay/Lesbian Understanding
By Herndon L. Davis
Literalism or the act of taking a literalist belief, view, and understanding of the bible is exactly how it has been used in the past to destroy, kill, enslave, and marginalize human beings around the world. Literalism is the tool by which Native Americans were persecuted, our ancestors enslaved, and by which women and gays/lesbians have been kept in cultural bondage.

Being Single, Christian and Content
By Anthony Andrews
That hole that we try to fill with meaningless relationships is always going to be a God shaped hole. The “Mr. Right Now” we settle for brings his own baggage into the relationship and only contorts your relationship with God.

Gay Fundamentalist
By Robert Dooman
God touched my life many years ago. I learned to have a relationship with God and morphed into an evangelical fundamentalist. I was an elder in a church where we all knew gays were horrible evil creatures with an agenda.

Features

Raising up Prophets to Society: An Interview with Dr. Robert N. Minor
By Rev. Candace Chellew
If there is any message that Christianity has it’s that message – this love is worth whatever it takes, and love is sometimes worth dying for and we’ve done it. That’s not just being a prophet, but a model, a Christ, a parable to this society.

Leaving Jerry Falwell: An Interview with Marc Adams
By Rod Gambassi
Nine years have passed since the release of Marc Adams’ first gay-themed book, The Preacher’s Son. In reality, TPS is his autobiography. At least as much of an autobiography that can be written by someone writing about their life from age 3 to 23. Now, Marc Adams has released two new books simultaneously.

GodAssault: Morality as the Ultimate Game
By Lisa Lambert
In GodAssault, your conscience is not your guide. The Bible is.

Book Review: What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank
By Raymond De Vries
Frank claims that the new conservatives – “the Con Men” – have cornered the market on this same aw-shucks, down-home demagoguery and are using it to advance the interests not of the folks who vote for them, but of the true American elite: the capitalist class whose only value is money.

The Pope, His Secretary, and Gay Marriage
By Miles Christian Daniels
But during the two week media frenzy that was John Paul’s life, death and burial, I was a bit taken back by the lack of attention given to the late pope and his relationship with Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz – the pope’s private secretary of more than forty years.

DignityUSA Sees Challenge Ahead in New Papacy
DignityUSA Press Release
The leadership of DignityUSA, the organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Catholics reacted with dismay to the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope.

United Church of Christ’s ‘Call Me Malcolm’ premieres at two international film festivals
United Church News
The Rev. Michael D. Schuenemeyer, the UCC’s minister for LGBT concerns, says Call Me Malcolm is unique among documentaries that deal with transgender issues “because it focuses on gender identity as it relates to matters of faith, spirituality, vocation and human personhood.”

Letters To The Editor

Same-Gender Marriage

The Love That Proudly Speaks its Name
By Lloyd Peacock
The first day I met Bob I fell madly in love with him. I want to assure this committee that I feel no different about him today. So whatever government decides in respect to same-sex marriage, our love will remain the same.

The Issue of Marriage Equality
By Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
The issue of marriage equality hammers home the need for all people of good will to fight for the rights of oppressed people. Gay people are citizens and as such are entitled to all of the rights and privileges afforded any other citizen, including the right to marry.

Musings on Gay Marriage
By Allie Jo Conkle
It’s hard enough to find affection in this lonely world.

Transpirituality

Who Has the Truth?
By Rachel Miller
Most of us claim to believe in a supremely powerful force, God, who created the universe and set in motion a master plan for humanity. How can any of us be so arrogant as to assume that we know the mind of God? How can any human have more than a partial, dim view of God and God’s plan?

From the Pulpit

Love Makes You Do Stupid Things
By Rev. Candace Chellew
Love makes us do things we think are stupid – moving to a new place where we don’t really want to be, taking a new job we don’t really want, going to a place where we know crucifixion awaits us – but because we are acting out of love, we’re not doing stupid things – we’re doing redemptive work.

Who Should I Hate?
By Rev. Andy Sidden
Who should we hate? Mom, dad, the kids? Our sweeties, our mates, our life partners? Our brothers and our sisters and even ourselves? Jesus said – what?

Bible Study and Inspiration

Lepers, Loons and Losers Part 10: Little Boy, Big Meal
By Tom Yeshua
Each of us has been given food to share with others: the food of learning, a wide variety of talents, wisdom, humor, compassion, justice, peacemaking, the list goes on and on.

Examining the Beatitudes Part 1: At Home in the Breath
By Debbie Graham, R.N.
Don’t be too quick to write off the Beatitudes as pie-in-the-sky ideals that only the most holy mystics can obtain. Remember that Jesus spoke these words to rough, poor, politically oppressed people. They lived hand to mouth at best and had no time for bleeding heart idealism.

Holy Humor

You Know You’re in a Redneck Church If…

10 Things You Never Hear in Church