religion

In a Detroit Free Press op-ed, John calls for nuance in reactions to the Orlando shooting:

In Mateen’s case, there’s less evidence of religious extremism inciting murder than of a violent individual reaching for the nearest violent ideology to justify his violent tendencies — tendencies that arose from various causes, both religious and secular . . . . These details matter in formulating a smart response.

Read the full article here.

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At CU-Boulder’s What’s Wrong? blog, my colleague Katherine Kim and I consider some of the pros and cons of religious arbitration. From the essay:

An important feature of liberal (i.e. free) states is to protect citizens’ moral agency, allowing them to align their actions with their moral convictions. Many citizens base their moral convictions on their religious beliefs. For these citizens, religious arbitration may provide an important opportunity to resolve disputes in accordance with shared values.

Read the full essay here.

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Celibacy

John replies to Michael Hannon’s startling response to “Thinking Straight” at Commonweal:

You don’t have to be a “libertine” to recognize that what the young boy is experiencing is not just a really, really, really strong desire for friendship. More important, you don’t have to be a libertine to acknowledge that willful blindness to what the boy is actually experiencing can do serious, lasting damage.

Read full article here.

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QueerTheory

At Commonweal, John explains how a little queer theory (misunderstood and misapplied) can be a dangerous thing:

What social conservatives want is nothing less than to dismantle the very vocabulary by which we express and realize our inchoate longings for intimacy. They want to push us back to a time when homosexuality was not merely the “love that dare not speak its name,” but the love that could not speak it. They want to restore a regime where the boy with the funny feeling might—if he’s lucky—grow up to have a good-enough heterosexual marriage, but he might just as easily grow up to have a lonely life of furtive, dangerous same-sex encounters.

Read the full article here. Also check out Hannon’s reply and John’s rejoinder.

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It’s certainly true that many people claim that they find all they need to know within the Bible: God said it, I believe it, that settles it! There are at least two major problems with this approach. First, most people don’t know what the Bible actually says. And second, when one examines what it actually says, the results can be rather embarrassing for the “God said it” crowd.

Read the full column at HuffPost.

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Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of the gay Catholic group New Ways Ministry, called [Cardinal] Dolan’s remarks “nothing short of an Easter miracle.”

Really? Rising from the dead is an Easter miracle. Marshmallow Peeps are an Easter miracle. (You can put them in your pantry for a decade, and they won’t decay. It’s true.) But a Christian leader saying “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t attack gay people”? That’s just common decency, not to mention good strategy — especially in a world where a majority of American Catholics support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Read the full column at HuffPost.

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