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The Value of Crazy-Making Dialogue

…rch, I want to put on my churchman’s hat and reflect a bit.   It’s often difficult for people to grok what congregational polity means to the UCC, among other denominations. It’s not just an organizational method: it’s a basic principle of our faith that we are allowed—and we allow others—to follow their conscience. Each community defines for itself how it wants to express its faith, with the only real boundary being that we are in fact trinitaria…

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Hagee Calls Obama “The Most Anti-Semitic President Ever”

…Las Vegas home (in which “God himself would be happy to live if he could afford it”] then Miriam Adelson told the audience “how I fell in love” with Hagee “the most effective Christian Zionist in the worldand then Hagee described the Adelsons as “the greatest citizens of America.” And the crowd kvelled. The extravagant accolades did not end there. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who also received an award, compared Klein, who has a speech impediment, to…

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Will Anti-LGBT Government Contractors Have A RFRA Claim?

…vil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment, religiously affiliated organizations do have an exemption which permits them to hire co-religionists, but for-profit companies are not entitled to such an exemption. However, Lipper pointed out, “what the court has potentially done in Hobby Lobby is open RFRA defenses to organizations [for-profit companies] that wouldn’t be entitled to a Title VII exemption but are potentially able to i…

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Anti-Contraception Activists Claim Their Suits are Last Resort to Undermine Health Care

…immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision this morning upholding the Affordable Care Act as constitutional, anti-abortion and anti-contraception activists began sending out press releases claiming they would continue to fight the law on the grounds that the Act funds abortion care (which is false), and through their lawsuits against the contraception mandate. Short of a Congressional repeal, which Republicans and conservative activists are st…

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Gay Judge’s Prop. 8 Decision Holds

…ree with their rulings or not: “In our society, a variety of citizens of different backgrounds coexist because we have constitutionally bound ourselves to protect the fundamental rights of one another from being violated by unlawful treatment. Thus, we all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right,” Ware wrote. The case is far from over and has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Uni…

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Playlist #1: Indie Rock’s Dark Night of the Soul

Hopefully the first of many playlists to be featured on the RD blog, here’s a list from S. Brent Plate to accompany his article on the latest take on religion from angst- and doubt-filled indie rockers. Negative/Mystical Theology Arcade Fire, “Black Mirror” (from Neon Bible) Vic Chesnutt, “Flirted With You All My Life” (from At the Cut) Salome, “The Witness” (from Terminal) Arcade Fire, “City with No Children” (from The Suburbs) Danger Mouse and

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NYPD Lied About Islamophobic Third Jihad

…Muslims, but they’re using a discredited Islamophobic film to train their officers. These activities continue to demonstrate several structural issues in the NYPD and their treatment of “minority” communities in NY—names like Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo are still on the lips of New Yorkers, decades after their victimization. Of course, since the city is all “minority,” it means that for the NYPD all New Yorkers are suspect. Mayor Bloomberg’s ac…

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Growing Up Gay in 666: Fred Phelps in Retrospect

…d of Phelps. Younger congregants think it’s cool he pickets us because it affirms what we believe.” Rev. Schlingensiepen’s church was targeted by Phelps because it helped MCC move from a small renovated gas station in East Topeka to their new church home on the west side. “Our congregation had to work through our own internal anxieties about homosexuality first,” Schlingensiepen explained, adding that when his flock recognized members of MCC as th…

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Was George W. Bush the Last Hippie?

…sparked your interest? I graduated from High School in 1967, took a year off to see the world in the merchant marine, ended up in the McCarthy for President campaign, and landed at Harvard the next year in time for the first student takeover. I was in SF during the summer of ’68, when chaos was simmering, and in Chicago in August of ’68 when chaos erupted. I did the dope and lived the life. The sixties, as they did so many of my generation, made…

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Women are (Still) Fleeing the Church — And the Cause is (Still) Pretty Clear

…ched its “religious liberty” drive against covering contraceptives in the Affordable Care Act, a campaign that soon drew support from evangelicals and resulted in the stunning Hobby Lobby decision to allow employers to deny birth control to women who work for them. College-educated women’s church attendance dropped below men’s for the first time in 2016, the year that evangelicals cozied up to Donald Trump and the Catholic bishops actually helped…

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