Fit for Print: Stop weaponizing religion

By : Steve Blanchard
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From a very young age it was drummed into me that there was a right way to act and a wrong way to act. I’m talking, of course, about my days in church.

Fortunately, the church I attended wasn’t a fire and brimstone kind of place. There were plenty of messages about kindness, doing unto others and helping those who are less fortunate. But every message had the same footnote: “By the way, stay on the straight and narrow and avoid an eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Do what you’re told to do and the big man in the sky who spends all of his time spying on you won’t have a reason to punish you forever.”

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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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The Other Side of Life: Our Sunday Problem

By : Jason Leclerc
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It’s no accident that this new generation of American national populists looks to a time when America was better. During few instances in the history of mankind has a confluence of institutions come together with such force as in post-WWII America.

GIs returned, buoyed by the pride of defeating evil in the world. They made babies and industries; they sterilized myths about the ideals they fought for. The middle class expanded along with waistlines and wallets. They built malls and suburbs and mega-churches and gas-guzzling automobiles. Americans raced across the continent to sightsee, they spread across the globe to protect democracy and they zoomed into space. They built a binary world: America and everybody else.

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Italy church defends ordaining seminarian in gay sex probe

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – An Italian diocese is defending its decision to ordain a seminarian accused in a book and an investigative TV report of having engaged in gay sex with a fellow teenager while both studied at the Vatican’s youth seminary.

A statement from the diocese of Como Nov. 14 said church superiors had investigated claims against the seminarian and determined that he was worthy of being ordained a priest. It said church authorities in Rome had given him a “positive” evaluation.

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Blessing of the Animals at Historic Ybor Church

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On Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 10 AM Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be hosting the 4th annual Blessing of the Animals.  In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, we host this event where we welcome everyone to bring pets (leashed or in a carrier).  Our Pastor, Father Hector Cruz, will have a short message and bless each pet.  Since our pets are a blessing, we want to return the favor! The event is also to raise the community’s awareness of OLPH.  We encourage all to take a peek inside the church to see one of Ybor City’s jewels while visiting.  There is NO fee or charge for attending the Blessing of the Animals, and parking is also free while it lasts across the street from the church.

 

Here are the specific details:

 

Anyone with a well-behaved pet is welcome to bring that pet to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 1711 East 11th Avenue, Tampa, FL  33605 at 10 AM, Saturday, September 30, 2017 for a special blessing in honor of St Francis of Assisi.  Dog treats and kitty treats will be provided to owners, and water dishes will be placed around the property to be available for those pups who get thirsty. Any pet spiders are on their own. 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church is situated on land in Ybor City, standing on the site where the original church, Our Lady of Mercy, was completed in 1891. In 1937, a new Romanesque style church was constructed on the site of the original wooden church, Our Lady of Mercy. The new church was named Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) at that time.

12-year-old girl comes out as a lesbian to Mormon church

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Savannah Ward boldly came out as a lesbian to her Mormon church in Utah before she was asked to leave the stage in a moment captured on video.

“I believe I am a child of heavenly parents. I don’t know if they talk to us, but I feel in my heart that they made me and that they love me. I believe I was made the way I am, all parts of me, by my heavenly parents,” Ward begins her testimony.

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Transgender people search for acceptance in church

By : Wire Report
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

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Pope taps new cardinal for Newark as he remakes US church

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pressing his campaign to remake the U.S. Catholic church, Pope Francis Nov. 8 tapped one of his new cardinals, Joseph Tobin, to replace the Newark, New Jersey, archbishop who has been criticized for allegedly mishandling sex-abuse cases and spending lavishly on his retirement home.

The Vatican announced that Tobin would succeed Archbishop John Myers, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis, is one of three American prelates whom Francis will formally elevate as cardinals on Nov. 19 at the Vatican.

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4 Massachusetts churches sue over transgender bathroom law

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – A new state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms is “punishing” the protected religious speech of churches and pastors, a conservative Christian organization claims in a federal lawsuit filed Oct. 11.

Alliance Defending Freedom, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, said it sued on behalf of four Massachusetts churches to protect their right to operate their facilities “in a manner that doesn’t violate their core religious beliefs.” The lawsuit names Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey and members of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination as defendants.

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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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Gay music director allowed to continue with lawsuit

By : Wire Report
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Chicago (AP) – A gay music director fired after he publicized his same-sex marriage engagement can continue his lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago and the parish where he worked, after a federal judge declined to dismiss the complaint.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that the judge issued the ruling July 29.

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“Satan made gays & transgender’ sign defaced at church

By : Wire Report
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Buford, Ga. (AP) – Members of a metro Atlanta church say their sign outside proclaiming that “Satan made gays & transgender” has been covered in black paint by vandals.

Gwinnett County police Cpl. Michele Pihera said officers were called to the Back To The Bible Holiness Church in Buford after the paint was discovered June 20.

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