The Nashville Statement and the Moral Bankruptcy of Evangelicalism

I’m not going to dignify the CBMW’s Nashville Statement with any kind of point by point response, the whole thing is a tiresome rehash of what evangelicals have been saying about LGBT people for years. I already did a point by point breakdown of the SBC’s anti-trans resolution a few years ago, it basically covers the same things I would say here, so consider that my response to the statement itself. What I’d rather talk about is what evangelicals aren’t issuing joint statements condemning, namely, white nationalism. Their silence in the face of the rising tide of fascism and white supremacy in this country is deafening.

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Sarasota County School Board has police usher trans alumnus out of school board meeting

As background to this, Nate Quinn is a Sarasota County public school graduate who has fought for trans rights in Sarasota public schools since he came out as trans in high school. Sarasota’s current policy is to deal with trans students on an individual case-by-case basis, with school principals and administrators deciding whether or not to let each individual trans student use the correct facilities and have their names and pronouns respected.

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Get your own house in order

When I was in high school, my sister and I once invented, on the spot, a rule against riding in cars with men we weren’t related to, in order to avoid being driven home from babysitting by a Growing Kids God’s Way dad who creeped us out. That was the last time we babysat for that family, we made up an excuse about being too busy with school work but the truth was that we didn’t feel safe. When we ran into the family years later as adults, he remembered how old we were during that short time we sat for them, something neither of us could recall, but that made me uncomfortable for my teenage self all over again. I tell this story because while everyone is running around screaming about how we need to ban trans people from bathrooms because a few predatory cis straight men might take advantage, I can’t stop thinking of all the times my creep-dar kicked into high gear. None of them were in bathrooms. None of them were around trans people. No, all the times I felt unsafe or uncomfortable growing up, the times when every fiber of my being were screaming, “run away, stay away, keep your distance and don’t ever be alone with this man,” were all around “good Christian family men.” I remember the man at my church who I felt strangely sexualized around, although I was too young to understand it, just that I felt very much aware that I had a body. He moved his family away, became quiverfull homeschoolers, his wife and daughters started wearing long dresses and head coverings. Some time later we got word that his wife was leaving him because she’d discovered he’d been molesting her oldest daughter, his stepdaughter, for years. Nobody reported the[…]

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Amazing Grace

How do you encapsulate a day like today? This day, when by some coincidence of fate or of providence, two moments in the long struggles to ensure that the ideals of freedom and equality upon which this nation was founded were available to all, just happened to converge. It does not seem right, somehow, to talk about today’s marriage equality ruling without talking about Charleston and President Obama’s eulogy of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, with all of the deep sadness mingled with a glint of promise that just maybe equality will advance once more. For the last seven years, through accident of history, the struggles of racial equality and LGBT equality have found themselves intertwined, the highs and lows in contrast with one another. In 2008 the country did what so many never dreamed possible and elected a black president, but that same night the joy was tempered by the passage of Prop 8 in California. Two years ago, we celebrated as the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, but at the same time mourned the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Each time a step forward in equality for some, a step backwards for others. Joy and sadness, justice and injustice, mingled together. I can only try and imagine the whiplash that African American members of the LGBT community had to have felt. A nation lurching towards equality, but never quite able to get on the right track for everyone at once. Here we are again. I haven’t written about Charleston because I’ve been unable to find the words to express the depth of the pain and tragedy, how people who have suffered such loss due to pure unbridled hatred can show such immeasurable grace to someone so evil. How can you write about the fragile, budding[…]

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Is opposing LGBT equality now the highest doctrinal issue?

They all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.–Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. I Continuing their efforts to turn “religious freedom” into a dirty word and a dog-whistle buzzword for bigotry, nineteen religious groups filed an amicus brief arguing that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would imperil their religious freedom. I’ll allow you a second or two to do a double take before we continue. The idea that granting the same marriage rights to LGBT people as everyone else would infringe on their religious freedom because people would think them bigots is so abjectly preposterous that it doesn’t deserve to be treated as an argument any more worthy of serious consideration than someone standing on a street corner insisting that the sky was puce and clouds are made of cotton candy’s argument does. What is worth noting, however, is who the amici are. One of these things is not like the other. All but one of the groups signed on to this brief can be described as evangelical or fundamentalist protestant Christian groups. The other group is the Mormon Church. Let me note that all of the Christian denominations and groups signing on to this amicus brief opposing marriage equality believe that the LDS are heretical and not a Christian denomination, but rather a false religion destined for hell. For that matter, half of these Christian groups aren’t even entirely convinced that the other half are really Christians. They have, however, chosen to downplay that into “theological differences” because[…]

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Michael Farris and RFRA followup

On Tuesday I gave you all the rundown about how federal RFRA drafter Michael Farris admitted that he intended the law to legalize religiously motivated discrimination against LGBT people. Farris went on Tuesday’s episode of the Hannity Show and once again stated that he believes that people have the right to discriminate. I was waiting to see if Fox was going to post the video of the segment to their website, but since it looks like they aren’t going to, here’s my shaky video recorded off of the TV. Sorry that I don’t have any fancy dancy video capture equipment to give you a better video, blame Verizon for putting a bunch of DRM on their DVRs. The question about discrimination starts around 2:20 in the video after the jump.

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Original RFRA Drafter Admits Discriminatory Intent

Like a lot of other people, I’ve been following the controversy surrounding Indiana’s SB 101, their state level RFRA bill that’s designed to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. Indiana’s RFRA has been compared frequently to the federal RFRA, both by supporters of Indiana’s law who claim that it’s no different than what President Clinton signed into law in 1993, and opponents who point out that it’s much broader than the federal RFRA. What most people don’t realize about RFRA, however, is that while it was a popular piece of legislation that passed with bipartisan support, the religious right had their fingerprints on it from the beginning and always intended it to be used for much broader purposes than most of the bill’s supporters realized. The coalition that drafted the original RFRA was either chaired or co-chaired (alternate accounts on HSLDA’s website say both) by HSLDA founder and then-president Michael Farris. Farris was one of the drafters of the bill, and takes credit for organizing the broad coalition that supported its passage.

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Michelle Duggar’s anti-trans* robocalls and #DuggarHypocrisy

I haven’t really written about the Duggar family before because I feel for their kids still at home. They had no say about being thrust into the national spotlight, and invariably criticism of Jim Bob and Michelle turns into snark about the kids, and I don’t want that. Before I go any farther, let me say that any attacks on the Duggar children in the comments will be deleted. They didn’t ask for this, and with the exception of Josh, who has chosen to become a professional activist with hate group FRC Action, they need to be off limits. That aside, the reason I’ve broken my self-imposed “No Duggars” rule is because of Michelle Duggar’s robocalls against Fayetteville, AR’s proposed LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. I’ve embedded the audio Jeremy Hooper provided on GoodAsYou after the cut. Be warned, it’s a rather disturbing anti-trans diatribe about how transwomen are men who are trying to be predatory towards women and children. In response to this virulent attack on trans* people and their identities, a group of former homeschool kids has created the hashtag #DuggarHypocrisy.  Here’s why. While Michelle Duggar pretends to be concerned about sexual predators targeting women and children, Michelle and Jim Bob have remained silent as both Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips’ sexually predatory behavior was exposed. Shaney Lee has detailed the Duggar’s ties to Bill Gothard and their promotion of Gothard’s material, it’s an important read. Micah Murray’s post on the Duggars and Gothard is also more than sufficient to demonstrate the close ties the Duggars have with Gothard. As for the Duggars and Doug Phillips, in 2010, Michelle received the “Mother of the Year“ award from Doug Phillps. As documented by the Christian Post, before Vision Forum went under they sold DVD’s such as “Tea with Michelle Duggar,” a Vision Forum-produced video[…]

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John MacArthur to parents: Shun your gay kids

Well, not all your gay children, just the ones who are adults (I think, he wasn’t really clear on the adult bit) and who are Christians. If your kid isn’t a Christian, you’re supposed to consider them a heathen and treat them accordingly, and go all out trying to convert them. If your kid is a Christian and comes out to you though, you’re supposed to Matthew 18 them, going so far as dragging them before the church and excommunicating them. And then you’re supposed to cut off contact, don’t eat meals with them, shun them back into the kingdom.  Oh, and he doesn’t actually define “adult,” so presumably this could mean kicking out your kid who’s 18, still in high school and living at home, relying on you for support. Not to mention that even though in the video he seems to be talking about adult children, the title of the video is, “How to Respond to a Homosexual Child,” as is the title of the post on his website. How many parents are going to watch this video and end up kicking their child out? Half of all homeless youth in this country are LGBT, in large part due to parental rejection. How many more kids will end up homeless because of John MacArthur?  Parental rejection, this Matthew 18-style shunning that MacArthur considers Biblical, is a significant contributing risk factor for suicides by LGBT people. How many people are going to end up being “loved” right into an early grave by parents following MacArthur’s advice? At best, John MacArthur’s advice will destroy the relationships between parents and children and do immeasurable harm to the person who is shunned. Doing that to your own child isn’t love, it’s the ultimate in cruelty. And for what? A handful of Bible verses that[…]

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Vulnerability

I like to pretend that things don’t bother me, that I’m tough and sarcastic and let things roll off my back, but that’s not really true. I’m not sure how I didn’t know this already, but I discovered tonight that the inaptly named Alliance Defending Freedom helped draft Arizona’s bill, that, unless it is vetoed, will legalize discrimination against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom. There’s nothing in their arguments for the bill that I haven’t heard before. Heck, I heard ADF attorney (and once upon a time HSLDA staff attorney and former faculty member at Bill Gothard’s fake law school) Jordan Lorence make those same arguments when the Federalist Society brought him to speak at UF. In a staggering display of bad theology, in their minds discrimination is what god would want and so when they fight to usher in Jim Crow 2.0, they’re really standing up for religious freedom. I can’t even capitalize the word “god” in that because the god they worship may be a lot of things, but it’s not the one, true God. It’s a twisted perversion of the Gospel that gives a middle finger to everything Christ said and did while He was on this earth. That’s not why I’m sitting here wanting to cry though. On their own, hateful organizations doing hateful things make me angry; I don’t get emotional over the shenanigans at Family Research Council or NOM, I get mad. Alliance Defending Freedom is different. See, they’ve got this program called the “Blackstone Legal Fellowship” designed to train the next generation of lawyers. It’s a program that more than a few of my friends have done or will be doing. I’m probably a coward, for everything I’ve said and done elsewhere, I haven’t ever brought it up. I don’t[…]

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