United States homophobe Scott Lively attacks lesbian Christian musician


This video from Britain is called Vicky Beeching – first TV interview about coming out as gay. August 14th 2014. Channel 4 News.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Anti-gay pastor slammed for berating Vicky Beeching

Saturday 16th August 2014

CAMPAIGNERS slammed a homophobic US pastor who took to TV studios to berate musician Vicky Beeching after she came out as gay.

Church minister and Christian rock star Ms Beeching received widespread support after she disclosed her lesbianism in a newspaper interview. She said she had vowed to come out after suffering an auto-immune disease from the stress of keeping her sexuality a secret.

But on Channel 4 News on Thursday night, she was paired with anti-gay pastor Scott Lively, who told her she had “given in to a lie.”

Stonewall spokesman Richard Lane said: “Scott Lively is a clear demonstration of the huge amount of work left to do to eradicate discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

“Lively has proudly boasted about his work to introduce draconian anti-gay Bills in Uganda and Russia. Thankfully, with role models like Vicky Beeching, young people will know that you can be gay and practise your faith. That’s a truly inspirational message.”

A homosexual French Muslim imam is spreading a message of religion and tolerance in Europe. In addition to opening a gay-friendly mosque in Paris, he also recently married a lesbian couple in Sweden: here.

British disabled poet Mark Burnhope interviewed


This video from Britain says about itself:

27 November 2011

Mark Burnhope reads ‘The Well and the Ceiling Rose’, ‘The Snowboy’ and ‘Shinglehenge’ (from The Snowboy).

By Jody Powell in Britain:

A Christian outsider, maybe-Quaker, physically disabled and queer

Thursday 17th July 2017

32-YEAR-OLD MARK BURNHOPE is a poet, editor and disability activist whose new book Species is his first full verse collection. Here he tells Jody Porter all about what impels him to write

What are your religious/political beliefs and how have they affected your poetry in the past and now in this book?

I’m a Christian outsider, maybe-Quaker, physically disabled and queer.

My religions are poetry, contemplation, social action and disability rights. I’m agnostic about the nature of “God” but her presence will always permeate my work and identity as “other,” even in contexts where I’m told I belong.

My chapbooks, The Snowboy and Lever Arch, dealt with religious disenfranchisement in their own ways. Species explores otherness as “natural/unnatural,” so people occupy the same space as animals, birds and monsters.

My politics are just my self, primarily filtered through disability/queerness.

I’m on the left but recoil from its tendency to exclude disenfranchised people in spite of its purported ethos of inclusion.

Recent examples include Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) having their wheelchair-using speakers turned away from the recent large London protest on the basis that it was their responsibility to pay for access to the stage, and not the event organisers — the People’s Assembly, who were quick to apologise and hopefully take steps to improving the situation for the future.

Then there was the discomfort I felt when certain people sharing pictures of DPAC protesters at Westminster Abbey fighting to keep the Independent Living Fund infantilised us, joked about us as defenceless, ultimately harmless and no genuine threat to government. Too often, that’s the able-bodied left for you.

I’m on the left because that’s where I find myself. But all this time, disabled people themselves have been leading a grass-roots, self-advocating charge against welfare reform and it saddens me when that’s co-opted by a non-disabled majority left that considers us only an optional piece of a larger puzzle — the “bigger fish to fry” syndrome — then depicts our efforts as quaint have-a-go attempts to join in.

I appreciate the sentiment behind a phrase like “solidarity with disabled people” but we’ve never spoken of “solidarity with able-bodied people,” we just call them the left.

I wish we received the same treatment but I find myself having to watch the action from the periphery too often.

What’s the significance of the collection’s title Species and the Darwin quote at the front of the book?

The book’s first epigraph, from theologian Francis Turretin in the 17th century, says that the law given to Moses “is usually distinguished into three species: moral… ceremonial… and civil.”

The book of Exodus contains the “clobber passages” which Christianity has used to oppress queer people alongside lesser-known verses which designate women, disabled people and others as “abominations.”

It’s not just gay people. The continual reinforcement of these prejudices in our day and age is due, in part, to this arbitrary and textually unsupported division of the law into three “species.”

The Darwin quote — “We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for existence” — relates to natural selection, that the strongest survive and the weakest conveniently die out for the continuation of “the whole.”

Species includes a sequence about the Atos-sponsored London Paralympics 2012, the government systemic ableism of eugenics-inflected propaganda and the dismantlement of the welfare state under the guise of “reform.”

The Darwin quote is a joke, meant to lead the reader into the book with a wry smile. I used the quote because it made me laugh. We have to laugh, or we’d cry.

What are abnominals?

The abnominal is a form invented by Scottish poet Andrew Philip, described in his second collection The North End Of The Possible: “The abnominal is a form I have developed using only the letters of the dedicatee’s name, each of which must appear at least once per stanza.

“The poem, which is 20 lines long, should begin and end by addressing the dedicatee in some way. The title must also be an anagram of their name.”

This allowed me to directly address relevant personalities: David Cameron, David Attenborough, Maurice Sendak and a few more.

Who in contemporary poetry do you admire?

Many mainstream magazines exclude disenfranchised writers and the writing modes central to their practice. In those spaces, everything tends to just melt into a generalised “best-of-British poetry.”

Yet if a poet’s work is inclusive, intersectional and concerned with representing disenfranchised writers, I’m probably going to read it.

On that list are radical feminist and disability/crip work and poetries of race, colour and queerdom.

One group that’s given me more confidence in writing my own bodily experience is the disability or “crip” poetics movement in America.

Mike Northern, Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Fiona Black and all the poets collected in Wordgathering online, along with the Beauty Is A Verb anthology and feminist works breaking down the barriers, are writing my revolution.

Species is published by Nine Arches Press at £8.99.

Ancient Roman women priests-controversy catacomb on the Internet


Fresco inside the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome, said to depict woman priest. Photo credit: AP/Gregorio Borgia

From TheBlaze.com:

Do These Ancient Paintings Prove There Were Female Priests in the Early Church?

Nov. 20, 2013 11:46am, Billy Hallowell

New questions are emerging about the role of women in the early Christian church after the Vatican this week unveiled recently restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome.

Some say the paintings depict women serving as priests during Christianity’s beginning centuries — a contention the Vatican is calling the stuff of “fairy tales.”

Two scenes inside the catacombs, in particular, are capturing attention.

In one, a group of women are seen celebrating what is believed to be the Eucharist. Another shows a woman in a garment that resembles a robe with her hands lifted up in a position that is generally used by priests during public worship, The Associated Press reported.

The paintings are being used as evidence by some individuals and groups that women once served as priests and that they should once again be allowed to do so within the confines of the Catholic Church.

While the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a group that ordains and argues for female priests, believes this is the case, others aren’t so certain. …

Reuters reported that the Catacombs of Priscilla – underground burial chambers that stretch eight miles – were built as burial grounds between the second and fifth centuries.

The catacombs have been reopened to the public after a five-year restoration project. For those who cannot make it to Rome to see the site can explore it from home using Google Maps.

Debate over the Catholic Church’s restrictions on female faith leaders continues as the Vatican’s policy of only allowing male priests remains in place.

United States evangelical Christians against war on Syria


This video is called Bolivians Protest US Strike On Syria.

From Christianity Today in the USA:

Should U.S. Bomb Syria? Evangelical Leaders Take Surprising Vote

National Association of Evangelicals finds out where its members stand.

Jeremy Weber [ posted 9/5/2013 02:27PM]

As Congress debates whether or not America’s military should intervene in Syria after chemical weapons killed nearly 1,500 people, a survey of evangelical leaders nationwide reveals how they would vote.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 churches from 40 denominations, asked its board members: “Should Congress authorize direct U.S. military intervention in Syria?”

The result: 62.5 percent said no, while 37.5 percent said yes.

“I was surprised because I expected the answers would be the other way around,” writes NAE president Leith Anderson in announcing the survey results (first to Religion News Service).

He acknowledges the broad agreement on “serious consequences” for the use of chemical weapons, but also notes, “Christians in Syria have been victims during the past two years of civil war. We don’t want to make their lives worse.”

Geoff Tunnicliffe, leader of the World Evangelical Alliance, also spoke out against American military intervention yesterday during a conference of Christian leaders being held in neighboring Jordan.

“There is a major consensus amongst the Christian leaders in this region that any military intervention by the United States will have a detrimental effect on the situation and in particular for Christians in Syria,” Tunnicliffe wrote to the White House and the United Nations. “Christians have already been threatened in Syria by some of the opposition indicating that a post regime Syria will be Muslim and Christians will not be welcome.”

Religion News Service reports on the Jordan conference. Meanwhile, CNN explains how Syria “became a religious war.”

CT has previously reported on Syria as well as just-war theory, especially related to debate over the Iraq War and how it called for some “serious rethinking” by Christians.

[US Congresswoman] Barbara Lee says more diplomacy needed in Syrian matters: here.

Nearly 5000 sign “petition” with teeth: Tell Congress – Vote for war – we’ll show you the door! #Peace Voter Pledge: here.

Martin Luther writings, new discovery


Lucas Cranach (the Elder), Martin Luther, 1532. Oil on panel (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Monday 19 Aug 2013, 18:23

In a library in Wolfenbüttel [in Germany] hitherto unknown notes by the church reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) have been found. The comments by Luther are in the margin of a chronicle and a Latin poem, with other works bound together in one volume.

The comments are from the time when Luther studied in Erfurt (1501-1505). Thus they are among the oldest known texts by him. These are notes on the texts, such as about difficult Latin words and about Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia.

Reformation

The discoverer of the notes, the Heidelberg theologian Ulrich Bubenheimer, says there is no doubt that the notes are by Luther because his handwriting is known from numerous later texts.

Luther became a monk after his studies in Erfurt. In 1517 he wrote 95 theses against the abuses in the church, such as the trade in indulgences – papers which, according to the church, could shorten the faithful’s sentences in purgatory after their deaths. With his theses Luther was at the beginning of the Reformation, after which Christendom was torn in two.

See also here. And here. And here.