Mississippi passes Arizona-style religious freedom bill


Bishop wants to withhold communion from Catholic MPs who vote against doctrine


“There is no more mileage in this issue [same-sex marriage] for the Catholic Church, and the sensible course would be to put it on the backburner with the heat turned low — to make peace with the gay world and move on.”

Editorial, The Tablet

Vatican Says Gay Couples Live In ‘A Different Reality,’ Same-Sex Marriage A False ‘Utopia’


The Vatican is taking issue with the fight for marriage equality in Europe and around the world, saying that same-sex couples live in a “different reality” and continue to chase the “utopia” of equality.

L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See, printed a front-page editorial on Monday titled “Marriage Is Not a Contract,” claiming, according to a Google translation of the text, that same-sex couples live in some sort of “different reality” where they believe the foundations of society will not quake if an “utopia” of equality, which “caused such damage in the twentieth century,” is achieved.

Via Think Progress: 

Saying that marriage between a woman and a man is equal to that between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of the truth that affects one of the basic structures of human society, the family. We cannot base a society on these foundations without then paying a very high price as happened in the past when there was an attempt to achieve total economic and social equality. Why repeat the same mistake and chase after an unattainable utopia?

The Vatican’s editorial condemns same-sex couples adopting children, stating that this will only lead to “new forms of exploitation” in science, according to a Google translation.

The article also criticizes a piece that appeared in the French Catholic weekly Temoignage Chretien, which endorsed the country’s controversial gay marriage bill, according to Queerty. The Vatican says the French article seeks to only promote what is trendy, reports The Hindu Business Line. “Being Catholic is about much more than embracing fashionable cultural standpoints,” writes the Vatican.

The editorial follows Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration that same-sex marriage goes against nature and threatens justice and peace.

"There is…a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union," he said during his World Day of Peace 2013 address Friday. "Such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity."

On Sunday, gay rights activists peacefully picketed in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City during the pope’s weekly prayers to proest his anti-gay comments. An online campaign featuring photos of LGBT people with the phrase “I am a threat to peace” was also launched in Italy and has already posted thousands of images to its Facebook page.

HuffPo

US Radio host: Gays aren’t human so aren’t protected by the US constitution


An American Christian radio host wholast week said that same-sex marriage encourages children to have gay sexhas now said that as she believes humans aren’t naturaly homosexual, gays aren’t ‘people’ and shouldn’t be protected under the definition of a person.

Linda Harvey, a radio host with an Ohio based Christian radio station WRFD asked her Mission America listeners: “Why should the equal protection argument be made in favour of homosexual behavior, which is changeable?  People are not naturally homosexual, so the definition of ‘person’ in the Fourteenth Amendment is being twisted to make this assumption.

“‘Person’ should be understood based on historic, beneficial, or at least neutral and fact-based traits; it should not be twisted to incorporate behavior that most religions and most cultures have said a firm ‘no’ to. 

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Read more at the above linked article.

This woman is making me physically sick with her twisted comments. 

~Mooglets

Bryan Fischer Believes Exorcisms Can Cure Homosexuality


'FISCHER: —that using spiritual weapons of our warfare according to the New Testament can be effective. We know that people can get delivered from homosexual behavior. The former president of the American Psychological Association, Nathan Cummings —he’s seen that happen in his own private clinical practice. He’s seen people get free of homosexual behavior and change their sexual orientation, so it certainly is possible. There may be spiritual factors at work. If there are, then the power of the Gospel, the name of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit can be of enormous help.'

There’s a video of the interview at the link.

~Mooglets

Paul Ryan promises Focus on the Family that he will fight gay equality


' During an interview with Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, Paul Ryan reassured the anti-gay group that a Romney-Ryan administration will fiercely oppose gay rights. Focus on the Family and its founder James Dobson have a long history of promoting anti-gay policies and ex-gay therapy, and earned a shout-out from Romney earlier this week while campaigning in Colorado, where it is headquartered.'

Continue article at above link.

~Mooglets

Christian groups finds gay agenda in an anti-bullying day


On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to.

The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500 schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying.

But this year, the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools” and is urging parents to keep their children home from school Oct. 30, the day most of the schools plan to participate this year.

The charges, raised in an email to supporters this month, have caused a handful of schools to cancel this year’s event and has caught organizers off guard.

"I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is," said Maureen Costello, the director of the center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program. "It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic."

The swirl around Mix It Up at Lunch Day reflects a deeper battle between the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights group founded 41 years ago in Montgomery, Ala., and the American Family Association, a Bible-based cultural watchdog organization in Tupelo, Miss. The association says its mission is to fight what it calls the “increasing ungodliness” in America.

The law center recently added the group to its national list of active hate groups, which also includes neo-Nazis, black separatists and Holocaust deniers.

Association leaders, in return, have gone on the offensive, calling the law center a hate group for oppressing Christian students and claiming its aim is to shut down groups that oppose homosexuality.

"The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group," said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the association. "We tell the truth about homosexual behavior."

Although the suggested activities for Mix It Up at Lunch Day do not expressly address gay and lesbian students, the law center itself promotes equal treatment for gays and lesbians and that philosophy then informs the school program, he said.

"Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same," Fischer said. "It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized."

The program is not about sexual orientation but rather about breaking up social cliques, which are especially evident in a school cafeteria, Costello said.

In some schools, cliques are socio-economic. In others they are ethnic or religious or based on sexual orientation. By giving students a way to mix with other students, self-imposed social barriers can be broken down and bullying can be curbed, she said.

"Many of the targets of bullying are kids who are either gay or are perceived as gay," she said.

But the idea that the program is intended as homosexual indoctrination is simply wrong, she added.

"We’ve become used to the idea of lunatic fringe attacks," she said, "but this one was complete misrepresentation."

Parents who are on the American Family Association email list were encouraged to keep their children home on that day and to call school administrators to tell them why.

By Friday, about 200 schools had canceled, Costello said. But exactly why was unclear. Of 20 schools that had canceled and were contacted by The , only one chose to comment.

The Chattahoochee County Education Center in Cusseta, Ga., canceled because teachers were too busy trying to meet basic state teaching requirements, Principal Tabatha Walton said.

"The decision had nothing to do with taking a position on gay rights," she said. "We support diversity."

Although parents did complain to Kevin Brady, the head of the Avon Grove Charter School in rural Pennsylvania, the school is still planning to hold Mix it Up at Lunch Day for its 1,600 students.

Students will each be assigned a number and then paired up by school officials. The school has a large population of special-needs students who can feel isolated and thus benefit greatly from the program, Brady said.

The school started it a few years ago, inspired, in part, by the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and examples of bully-related violence that surfaced in schools around the country.

He said the email sent by the association described a program that had “absolutely no resemblance to what we do.” Once parents understood how the program worked, they decided not keep their children home that day, he said.

"I think they feel they have been taken for a bit of a ride," he said.

StarAdvertiser

What a load of horse shit. 

~Mooglets

Calif. bans ‘praying away the gay’ or reparative therapies for minors


California became the first state toban the use for minors of disputed therapies to “overcome” homosexuality, a step hailed by gay rights groups across the country that say the therapies have caused dangerous emotional harm to gay and lesbian teenagers. In a statement,California Gov. Jerry Brownsaid, “This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

This law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, will prohibit attempts by mental health providers to perform therapy on minors intended to change their sexual orientation, including efforts to “change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and director of its LGBT rights project,commented on the significance of this law:

This is a great day for youth in California who have been subjected to incredibly harmful therapy based on junk science. Conversion therapy has brought nothing but pain and devastation for many who have endured it. Sadly, the conversion therapy movement has pushed its message for decades — despite the dangers of this practice — and has increasingly targeted LGBT youth across the country. Passing this law is an important step for California and the nation to raise awareness about the lies behind conversion therapy and put an end to this junk science.

Emphasis here on the phrase “junk science.”The American Psychological Association denounced the use of ex-gay therapies. Furthermore, in 2012Dr. Robert Spitzerrefuted his earlier infamous claims touted by the ex-gay movement as gospel that “highly motivated” gay people could reach their “heterosexual potential” through prayer and therapy. Even theex-gay group Exodus Internationalbacked away from promising a cure for “homosexuality” though they and other like minded groups still maintain that “homosexuality” represents a sin that one must overcome.

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, notes that while the California law might be a milestone, it should be seen as a first step. He said that “the ideas in reparative therapy have been widely adopted by church ministries and others promoting the idea that homosexual urges can be banished .”

As expected organizations like theLiberty Counseland theNational Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)who advance the view that “homosexuality is a choice” took to the airwaves and Internet to justify their use of debunked medical practices under the guise of “religious freedom” and “parental rights.”

These “pro-family” activists conveniently ignore the glaring reality that this law does not force any religious entity or individual to go against their individual conscience. Within the confines of their church or home school scenarios, clergy and parents have considerable latitude when it comes to teaching the doctrines of their particular faith tradition. (In a similar vein, no law supporting marriage equality will force anyone to perform a same sex wedding. Ordained clergy have the right to refuse to marry anyone for any reason, a simple fact lost on those determined to legislate their view of Americana Christianity on to an ever increasing pluralistic public square.)

Under this law, unlicensed “Christian” counselors can continue their practice of “praying away the gay.” Hence, parents can still find resources should they wish to “cure” their children from the “sin of homosexuality” provided they can pay for the cost of these treatments. However, this law denies those mental health professionals who hold licenses issued by the state of California from engaging in practices deemed to be harmful to minor children. Should they continue to practice ex-gay therapies, they will risk censure and loss of their license. Simply put, if one wants the benefits that comes with having a state issued license such as insurance reimbursement, then one has to follow the civil laws issued by that state.

This law continues in the spirit of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bob Jones University vs. United States (1983) where the SCOTUS decreed that those faith-based organizations who choose to avail themselves to financial incentives offered by the U.S. government like tax-exempt status and federal funding must abide by civil laws or risk losing said financial incentives.

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WashingtonPost

Good. Not the end point, but definitely an important step along the way. 

~Mooglets

Atheism+ forum


Atheism+ is a safe space for people to discuss how religion affects everyone and to apply skepticism and critical thinking to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, GLBT issues, politics, poverty, and crime.

New Truro faith school will not teach gay ‘nonsense’


DEFENDERS of Cornwall’s new faith secondary school have hit back at critics’ “orchestrated attack to undermine” it.

Supporters and representatives argued there was a need for St Michael’s Catholic free school as a place to teach moral values.

Wallace Simmons, the grandfather of a former student, called a meeting with governor Joyce Sanderson, Father Chris Findlay, priest at the church associated with the school at Camborne, and the West Briton in response to criticism over its funding from the Government as it prepares to open next week.

Formerly St Michael’s Catholic Small School in Truro, it is now the UK’s first Catholic free secondary, funded directly from the Government, rather than through the local education authority.

The school was dubbed an “ideological gimmick” by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and local politicians and a head teacher criticised the £4.5 million being spent to extend it, despite 600 available places at secondaries in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth area.

This week Mr Wallace called the criticism an “orchestrated attack to undermine the school”.

"The whole population is taught that homosexuality is fine and children should accept they can have two mums or dads but they should not be taught that nonsense. It is not right," Mr Simmons said.

"Schools are not teaching basic family values and that mum and dad are the heads of the family and that’s how it should be.

"There are so many problems in schools today where basic family values are not taught and it is OK for Jack to marry Jack and not Jill.

"The morals of this country should not be dragged down."

Mrs Sanderson was quick to reassure that the school would not discriminate over sexuality, but said those students from homosexual backgrounds were expected to respect Catholic values on family life.

"Gays would be welcome to this school," she said, "but we would not encourage it.

"We want to know they (children) are happy to follow our teaching and that’s crucial. We do not wish to make children unhappy and refer to their home circumstances.

"I think those people who declare their views are entitled to express them as much as I am entitled to do so.

"The school follows the teaching of Catholic values and treatment (of children) is charitable.

"We lay down what you should try to follow but how people follow it is their business."

The school also assured it had a good track record and something positive to offer to the community.

Father Findlay said Catholic education was not a gimmick but a “strong brand” and “something many people value”.

He added: “We have our own ethos and approach to school. We have a clear understanding about the human person and how a person fits into the society including everything from marriage, work- place, family life, self-discipline and clarity of moral values.”

thisiscornwall

Excuse me. Government funding. GOVERNMENT FUNDING. WTF. 

Also, fuck you, Catholicism. Fuck. You.

~Mooglets