The Week: Most Recent Religion Posts recent posts.en-usSun, 27 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Religion Posts from THE WEEKSun, 27 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400A gay Mormon's complicated journey<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Alasdair Ekpenyong had never heard of a gay Mormon before. It seemed like a paradox, an oxymoron. "What is a gay Mormon?" he asked.</p><p>"It's someone who stays in the Mormon community," Rick replied, "even while dating someone of the same gender."</p><p>Rick was recounting his life for Alasdair and a group of visitors. He was not a gay Mormon anymore &mdash; he'd left the faith years ago, fed up with feeling unwelcome in his own religion. So now Rick was just a gay man with a towering stature and a scraggly beard. On this day he was also wearing a dress, a detail that made Alasdair squirm in his slacks...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Daniel A. GrossSun, 27 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400What progressives fundamentally don't get about traditional Christians<img src="" /></P><p>From Christian colleges challenging ObamaCare's contraception mandate to the Catholic bishops protesting gay marriage, Christians are among the most unyielding opponents of sexual liberation. Progressives working towards greater public acceptance and support of LGBT rights would no doubt like to see Christians with traditionalist views abandon their old-fashioned doctrines on these matters. Or just go away.</p><p>Neither will happen.</p><p>These Christians are bound to their idea of human sexuality because it is fundamentally inseparable from their understanding of God. Put another way: if they're wrong...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kyle-cupp" ><span class="byline">Kyle Cupp</span></a>Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:07:00 -0400The greatest threat to traditional churches isn't liberalism -- it's the men who run them<img src="" /></P><p>Have you heard the news about Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis? It seems he's been accused of making numerous sexual advances towards men while also leading his archdiocese's fight against same-sex marriage and regularly denouncing homosexuality in the most uncompromising terms possible. Nienstedt and his predecessor, Archbishop Harry Flynn, have also been credibly accused of covering up and showing indifference toward the sexual abuse of children by priests in the archdiocese.</p><p>I heard about both charges from blog posts by Rod Dreher, a conservative Christian friend, who...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/damon-linker" ><span class="byline">Damon Linker</span></a>Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:01:00 -0400The Tea Party might be fundamentalist. But it isn't Christian.<img src="" /></P><p>At <em>The Daily Beast, </em>Jack Schwartz has a sharp analysis of the Tea Party movement. With a keen observation of Tea Party symbols, rhetoric, and fall-back texts, Schwartz concludes that the movement has the shape of a faith, with all relevant signals, rituals, and shibboleths:</p><p >Given the confusions of a secular world being rapidly transformed by technology, demography, and globalization, this movement has assumed a spiritual aspect whose adepts have undergone a religious experience that, if not in name, then in virtually every other aspect, can be considered a faith. [<em>The Daily Beast</em>]</p><p>Schwartz's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elizabeth-stoker-bruenig" ><span class="byline">Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig</span></a>Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:09:00 -0400ENDA: The next front in the religious liberty war<img src="" /></P><p>The American Civil Liberties Union recently joined with gay rights groups in withdrawing their support from a major piece of legislation aimed at ending workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians.</p><p>Why would gay rights advocates back out of a bill that fights anti-gay discrimination? Because the Employment Non-Discrimination Act also contains religious liberty protections.</p><p>"The provision in the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity has long been a source of significant...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/w-james-antle-iii" ><span class="byline">W. James Antle III</span></a>Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:11:00 -0400Christian bookstores are the next gay-marriage battleground<img src="" /></P><p>The battle over gay marriage is being fought in nearly every corner of American society &mdash; from public schools to the highest courts, and from television sitcoms to neighborhood barbecues.</p><p>Religious Americans &mdash; particularly evangelical Christians &mdash; have often been at the center of these debates, attempting to hold the line on traditional understandings of marriage. But as support for same-sex marriage grows (a clear majority of Americans now favor same-sex marriage), many Christians are starting to shift. Indeed, the majority of white mainline Protestants, white Catholics, and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jonathan-merritt" ><span class="byline">Jonathan Merritt</span></a>Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:13:00 -0400In defense of Pope Benedict and the Latin Mass<img src="" /></P><p>Twelve summers ago I entered a dusty little church in a Polish neighborhood in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., that Poles had abandoned long ago. It was a 45-minute drive from my home. The old, wooden high altar and the sanctuary it sat in had not been renovated, marked as they were by New York state as too historically important to endure the trendy changes of church architecture in the 1960s, &rsquo;<span data-scayt_word="70s" data-scaytid="2">70s</span>, and &rsquo;<span data-scayt_word="80s" data-scaytid="3">80s</span>. The people there were a crusty lot, hardened by years of struggle between their own bishops and priests. Some were made saintly by this. Others were conspiracists, and grouchy. A few seemed...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:07:00 -0400A new low for liberals: Attacking Catholic nuns over Hobby Lobby<img src="" /></P><p>I'm a big fan of absurdity in politics. But even absurdity has its limits, and the National Organization for Women has surpassed it in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in <em>Burwell v. Hobby Lobby</em>.</p><p>As part of its full-throated defense of ObamaCare's contraception mandate, NOW has a list of what it calls "The Dirty 100" &mdash; entities that have sued the Department of Health and Human Services and demanded exemptions on the basis of their First Amendment right to religious expression and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, the two firms...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/edward-morrissey" ><span class="byline">Edward Morrissey</span></a>Tue, 08 Jul 2014 06:06:00 -0400Meet the millennial who is a serpent-handling pastor<img src="" /></P><p>The first snake-handling worship service photographer Lauren Pond attended wasn't at all what she expected. In photos of other services, she had seen snakes, fire, and poison-drinking. But this one, just outside of Jolo, West Virginia, was much calmer. The pastor handled the snakes peacefully, the congregation prayed, and she didn't feel any danger.</p><p>"It was mesmerizing to watch him, really," she said. "I left wanting to know more."</p><p ><br />From left: Pentecostal serpent-handling pastors Micah Golden, 21, and Andrew Hamblin, 20, handle venomous snakes during a special New Year&rsquo;s service at Andrew...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:12:00 -0400Everything you need to know about Ireland's disaffected Catholics<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> How Catholic was Ireland?</strong><br /> It used to be easily the most Catholic country in the world. The church's connection to the island nation dates to St. Patrick's conversion in the 5th century, and the modern Irish state is explicitly bound up with the church. The constitution opens with the words, "In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority..." and continues with reference to "obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial." In Ireland, the church, not the state, runs almost the entire education system. Until recently, social life...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 28 Jun 2014 09:00:00 -0400