Wonderful World of Wanzie: By all means – LET’S GO TO WAR!

By : Michael Wanzie
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Much of what I have to say here I’ve said before, from many podiums and in many written diatribes.It bears repeating. Especially with all that is happening presently, including the recent unseemly situation where the Christian right was willing to send Roy Moore—a probable pedophile—to Washington. Why? Because he insisted he would put God above country and Christianity back into government while exposing his hatred of homosexuals and his fervent goal to reverse our advances and disenfranchise us by every possible means. Yes, my “viewpoint” has to do with a “war” for which I have become an advocate.

It is an egregious waste of the people’s time and money when elected officials engage in arguing matters of law and government policy by referencing the Bible and invoking the name of Jesus or God. Heed the words of our founding fathers and the cherished documents that established this nation, which so clearly set forth the framework for how our government is meant to function: “…shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That is crystal clear. There is no room for argument or debate. An absolute mandate for every legislative body in this county is that they “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Period!

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Retired bishops say Church of England ignores gay Christians

By : Wire Report
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LONDON (AP)- Fourteen retired Anglican bishops are criticizing the Church of England’s attitude to homosexuality, saying the church is not listening to the voices of gay Christians.

They are responding to a report from the church’s House of Bishops, which calls for a “fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for gays and lesbians, but says the church should not lift its opposition to same-sex marriage.

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Fire engulfs century-old LGBT church; no injuries

By : Wire Report
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A massive fire engulfed a century-old Gothic church that hosted many programs for young children and gay worshipers, but no injuries were reported.

The fire was reported Aug. 29 at a Presbyterian church in the city’s Overbrook neighborhood. Firefighters were on the scene in two minutes and needed about two hours to bring the fire under control.

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Pope Francis addresses gay issues in his first book

By : Wire Report
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Vatican City (AP) – Pope Francis lays out his case for emphasizing the merciful face of the Catholic Church in his first book as pontiff, saying God never tires of forgiving and actually prefers the sinners who repent over self-righteous moralizers who don’t.

“The Name of God Is Mercy,” a 100-page conversation with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, is being published this week in 86 countries to help kick-start Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy. A copy was provided in advance to The Associated Press.

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Chik-fil-Gay?: Controversial fast-food restaurant said to be sponsoring LGBT film fest

By : Billy Manes
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You should probably take this with a grain of salt (and a pickle, and some waffle fries), but the conservative Christian web aggregators are exhibiting distinct signs of heartburn over Chik-fil-A again, this time because some franchisees from the fry-hole are leaning a little too closely into fairness territory. The latest fracas comes with an holy-rolling context, though: Level Ground, “the world’s first film festival connecting lesbian, gay and transgender sexuality with faith and evangelical Christianity,” according to its website, hosts six events nationwide. It’s almost like a liberal chicken conspiracy!

Locally, Chik-fil-A was caught up in a controversy early this year for its association with the enormously popular Orlando City Soccer Club. The company – or one of its franchises – also partnered with Orlando’s own Come Out With Pride festival not too long ago, which was a bit of bone of contention for both organizations. Other franchises in other areas have similarly aligned with pride events. Is the pickle sweetening? Probably not. From the WND piece: 

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Anti-gay Oregon bakery sends cakes to LGBTQ groups

By : Wire Report
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cakePORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The owners of a Portland-area bakery who were fined for denying service to a same-sex couple have sent cakes and copies of a Christian film to 10 LGBT groups on the West Coast.

Melissa and Aaron Klein, of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told The Oregonian they sent the custom-designed cakes and copies of the movie Audacity to the groups as “an expression of love.”

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Gee Golly, It’s Dolly: Legend talks boobs, drag and Christianity

By : Chris Azzopardi
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When Dolly Parton calls you, greeting you by name with her unmistakable Tennessee twang, it’s a good idea to immediately establish that the lady on the line is the actual legend herself.

“Am I talking to the real Dolly or is this an impersonator?” I ask, just to be sure.

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A conversation with Christian music legend Amy Grant

By : Chris Azzopardi
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A call from Amy Grant started as these promo chats usually do. Hellos were exchanged, small talk was made and questions about her first studio album of all-new material in 10 years, How Mercy Looks From Here, were answered.

Then we shifted into territory the most successful Christian music artist of all time, now 52, has never spoken about publicly since hitting the scene in the ’70s with her spiritual pop, before Heart in Motion turned her into a crossover success.

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Screened Out: A Long List of Leading Men

By : Stephen Miller
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Robert Downey Jr. starts it all with a voice-over monologue while Iron Man suits blow up in slow motion. The speech is only mostly serious-because, c’mon, this is Tony Stark-but it’s still a bit of a downer.

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Sundance 2013: Q&A with Roger Ross Williams, Christopher Senyonjo “God Loves Uganda”

By : Mark Cady
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Why Uganda, Why homosexuality, Why now?
During the government of Idi Amin, Christian missionaries and Christian worship were outlawed. After his government collapsed in the 1990’s, Uganda served as a fertile ground for the spread of evangelicals who took the opportunity to advance the conversion and spread of conservative Christian beliefs to a population both hungry for food and faith. This combined with the youngest median age on the continent of Africa (15 years old due to AIDS and years of civil war), has made the population extremely attractive for fundamentalists to spread their message and make a more permanent mark. Americans missionaries were then welcomed and the money flowed in from conservative evangelical Christian churches, predominantly from IHOP (International House of Prayer in St. Louis, Missouri). Homosexuality has always been a critical message for these ultra-conservative Christians and since the ordination of gay Bishops by different denominations; their homophobic message has found a turning point and a heightened rhetoric. What could not be accomplished in any Western and educated society is being thrust upon the young and impressionable citizens and government of Uganda.

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Sundance movie review: God Loves Uganda

By : Mark Cady
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4 out of 4 stars

Christianity is the only religion that calls on its people to apostatize and convert.

Most of us have heard about the battle raging in East Africa, where crosses replace guns and shouts of prayer roar louder than missiles. If you are gay or support gay rights, your life is in jeopardy.  Many have already been killed.  Parliament is considering making it a crime punishable by death for having gay sex.

Uganda is a country in poverty, with high illiteracy rates and a young impressionable population and government which American conservative evangelical Christians have ceased upon to spread their theological and political agenda, an agenda that could not be achieved in any Western society.

In God Loves Uganda, filmmaker Roger Ross Williams exposes the missionary movement in Uganda largely supporting by International House of Prayer Ministries (IHOP) based out of Kansas City, Missouri.  This organization of extreme Christian fundamentalists is on a crusade to create a continent of people in the image and likeness of their extremism.  As I watched the film I couldn’t help by think about the fanaticism of Jim Jones and his crusade.

One of the most disturbing elements brought through the film is the church’s emphasis on expanding its influence to more countries. Presently there are more than 100 countries with IHOP churches and their goal is to expand their reach globally.  This is a disturbing fact that should mobilize people of every faith.

God Loves Uganda will take you on an emotional journey that will terrify you.  And it is a necessary call to action for those of us who are people of faith who define Christianity as being of love and acceptance of all.

Why Uganda?  Why homosexuality?  Why today?  These are questions we’ll get answered at our one-on-one interview with the filmmaker later this week.

1.19.12 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshotWhy do you feel he is a Christian Taliban? He has a genuine relationship with the Lord and is pro-family.

That was part of the argument shared with me by a straight, married, Christian friend of mine when I mentioned my increasing fears of Rick Santorum. I referred to the former senator as promoting a Christian Taliban after his ongoing campaign speeches endorsed Judeo-Christian values based on Biblical truth. Of course, the notoriously anti-gay Republican candidate was referring to his opposition to same-sex marriage and its un-biblical place in society. His anti gay fodder is no longer just fuel for Weekend Update segments and commentary on The Daily Show. It has gained more momentum thanks to his virtual tie with Mitt Romney in the Iowa Caucus. The walking, talking version of the satirical Onion and ChristWire is now gaining serious attention.

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