The Rev. Cary K. Gordon
has a prayer he recites as he campaigns against the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who are up for retention in next month’s election.
“Dear God,” he says
, “please allow the IRS to attack my church
, so I can take them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Gordon, an associate pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach
in Sioux City, says he will defy federal law this month when he urges the congregation to vote to not retain the three justices, who participated in a unanimous ruling that allowed same-sex couples to wed
. His mass mailing to 1,000 church leaders in September prompted one national religious liberty group to file a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service.
Advocates of the separation of church and state and some religious leaders say Gordon’s plan is illegal, immoral and an attempt to falsely frame his dispute as a freedom-of-speech violation. The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
in Washington, D.C., called Gordon’s actions one of the most outrageous attempts to politicize a church that he has ever seen.
Others, such as Jeff Mullen, senior pastor of Point of Grace Church in Waukee, are urging Iowa pastors to communicate to their congregations the “biblical mandate for involvement in local and national elections
Seems to us at Religion News Blog that some other, more important Biblical mandates
are being skipped in the process.
A U.S. Christian organization will stop
sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to “counter the promotion of homosexual behavior
” because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group’s president told CNN on Wednesday.
“All the recent attention to bullying
helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace
while treating their neighbors as they’d like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International
, the group that sponsored the event this year.
A Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis who opposes homosexuals
being allowed to lead congregations said Monday he is attracted to men, but that he’s not a hypocrite because he never acted on his urges.
The Rev. Tom Brock told The Associated Press
he has known for years he is sexually attracted to men, but doesn’t consider himself gay because he never acted on it.
The Twin Cities Pride Festival cannot prevent
an evangelical Christian
from passing out Bibles and discussing his views against homosexuality at this weekend’s event, a federal judge ruled
Twin Cities Pride argued that its rights should take precedence because it’s paying $36,000 to lease Loring Park on the edge of downtown Minneapolis for the two-day event. The group also said Johnson contradicts the festival’s “message of celebration and pride in being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
But the judge ruled that the 42-acre park is a public forum, so Johnson’s free-speech rights must be honored. Tunheim said Johnson is entitled to go ahead with his plans as long as he remains undisruptive.
Organizers of a gay pride festival
in Minnesota have asked
for a court order barring evangelist Brian Johnson from distributing Christian literature construed as anti-gay.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board refused to bar Johnson from handing out materials at the festival, saying it was his right under the First Amendment. Pride organizers say they barred Johnson from last year’s festival because in previous years he misled attendees and tried to entice them to repent for the “sin of homosexuality
While the LDS church did all it could to make sure Prop 8 passed, one group of Mormons worked for LGBT rights.
In many religious circles, the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay members is considered practically a done deal. But Southern Baptists, who have many more active-duty military chaplains than any other denomination, are not giving up without a fight. See also Get Religion‘s take on the story.
Dale Mcalpine was charged with a public order offence
after speaking to a community support officer (PCSO) in Workington, Cumbria, in April.
The charge was later dropped
by Cumbria Police, which said it respected freedom of expression.
Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships.
Christian campaigners have expressed alarm that the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans, is being used to curb religious free speech.
Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived in Uganda to give a series of talks.
Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.
In most Islamic countries, gay men and women are ostracized, persecuted and in some cases even murdered. Repressive regimes are often fanning the flames of hatred in a bid to outdo Islamists when it comes to spreading “moral panic.”
More than 30 Islamic countries have laws on the books that prohibit homosexuality and make it a criminal offense.
Today’s Religion News Roundup includes stories about elves, a ship operated by a religious sect, mosques facing the wrong direction, and mosques possibly spied upon by the FBI.
Also: “I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed.” Yes, it’s about Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Further, the definitive book on the Columbine High School massacre. Germany’s main Neo-Nazi party faces collapse, and according to the Vatican the Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin.
A gay couple is suing the Christian owners of a Cornish hotel for discrimination after being denied access to a double bed.
The owners of the hotel state clearly on their website that double rooms are not available to unmarried couples, gay or straight.
The Christian Institute is funding the hotel owners’ defence costs.
The Westboro, Kansas hate group that masquerades as a church has threatened to picket a sixth form college in England during a staging of The Laramie Project, a play about an American youth murdered because of his sexuality.
Details of the group’s first picket in Britain was posted on their website with the slogan “God Hates England; Your Queen Is A W—-“.
In today’s RNB Roundup: Geert Wilders and more religion-motivated political correctness in England What happened between a Mormon film maker and a lesbian priest Church on fire (but not the right kind) Religious Broadcasters (including the give-me-money-so-God-will-give-you-money-to-give-to-me scammers) tightening their belts Church’s faith healing advertisement branded ‘irresponsible’ The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail. A source guide to the Bahá’í Faith
Plus: Holocaust denier Richard Williamson on the subjects of Pink Floyd, women’s trousers and ‘The Sound of Music’
Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard
‘s former church disclosed Friday that the gay sex scandal that caused his downfall extends to a young male church volunteer who reported having a sexual relationship with Haggard – a revelation that comes as Haggard tries to repair his public image.
The disclosure comes as Haggard, 52, is about to give a series of high-profile interviews
to promote the cable documentary about his time in exile. He is scheduled to appear on CNN’s Larry King Live on Thursday, the date of the documentary’s premiere, and already has taped “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” [video]
Amsterdam played host Sunday to a Christmas celebration for its gay community that featured a Nativity tableau with a man in drag playing the part of Mary.
Frank van Dalen, chairman of the advocacy group Pro Gay that organized the event, known as Pink Christmas, said that it sought to raise Amsterdam’s profile as a capital for gays.
In news forums, countless homosexuals condemned the display.
In an HBO documentary set to air Jan. 29, disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard
says he never claimed to be heterosexual, as was once reported, and he continues to struggle with same-sex attraction.
But he’s committed to living a heterosexual life because he believes it’s better for children to be raised by a mother and a father.