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Catholic Leaders Disagree with Pope's Support of Civil Unions
It's turned into a real papacy measuring contest.
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We hate to say we told you so, John MacArthur.
The California pastor who has been praising his packed church for ignoring pandemic safety restrictions with comments like, “The good news is you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks,” is now facing a coronavirus outbreak at his church. (He’s not a fan of the “O” word.) I went back in the Friendly Atheist archives and counted 10 stories we’ve covered on MacArthur’s COVID-denying antics.
Public health officials are investigating the outbreak and said they will work closely with the church to help limit transmission of the coronavirus in the church, which has an estimated attendance of 7,000. The county did not provide any further details about whether the cases were confirmed among staff or worshipers. Attorneys for Grace Community Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MacArthur is not a leader, he is a showman. He encouraged a preventable train wreck and it’s very possible people will die because of it. In a rational world this would be a lesson to Grace Community Church and others— but something tells me we’ll be back next week with more of the same.
A church we didn’t have our eyes on is also in the midst on an outbreak. The United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte, North Carolina hosted a multi-day event earlier this month that led to 82 positive cases (and rising) and 3 deaths. Masks were said to have been worn, but they’re not much of a lifeline for a crowded indoor event.
Napp Nazworth, a former writer and political editor for the Christian Post, said this week that the reason he resigned from his position involved the site’s desire to write an editorial in support of Donald Trump. Nazworth couldn’t join such an editorial and it became the last straw.
What were the other straws? Apparently criticisms of Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell, Jr. were also taboo. You can read Nazworth’s fascinating full account of his struggle for journalistic integrity at the Christian Post in his op-ed piece for Arc Digital, “How The Christian Post Sold Its Soul For Trump.”
Whenever Pope Francis says something even mildly progressive-seeming, like gay couples should be permitted to have legal civil unions, even if the Church won’t recognize them, we’re just sitting over here waiting for the other shoe to drop.
As expected, an assortment of other Catholic Church leaders were quick to step up and clarify, no, actually, the Church is still pretty bigoted.
“The particular and sometimes deep-seated tendencies of persons, men and women, in the homosexual condition, which are for them a trial, although they may not in themselves constitute a sin, represent nonetheless an objectively disordered inclination…” —Cardinal Raymond Burke
How’d that word salad taste? Translation: It’s not their fault they are broken, but they shouldn’t act on it.
“The Pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the Church about same-sex unions. The Church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and must have their personal human rights and civil rights recognized and protected by law. However, the legalization of their civil unions, which seek to simulate holy matrimony, is not admissible.” —Bishop Thomas Tobin
Translation: The Pope isn’t Pope-y enough.
“I would add that a civil union of this type (one which is not equated to marriage) should be as inclusive as possible, and not be restricted to two people of the same sex in a presumed sexual relationship. There is no reason, for example, why a brother and a sister, both of whom are unmarried and support each other, should not have access to these kinds of benefits.” —Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Translation: If the gays get it, it’s not special anymore. So we might as well give it to siblings and maybe even people who have sex with cows.
For Pope Francis to attempt to normalize homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false, that our sins really don’t matter, and that we can continue living in them. If that were true, then Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection wouldn’t have been needed. The cross would have been for nothing. No one has the right or the authority to trivialize Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. —Franklin Graham
Translation: I’m not even Catholic, but my bigotry refuses to mind its own denomination.
Christian activist and preacher Dr. Steve Hotze is calling on his Christian followers to pray that God “destroys” his Democratic “enemies” if they “refuse to turn to Christ.” I guess some of us just have healthier standards in our relationships than to “love someone or else.”
Donald Trump is “toxic for our nation,” but Christian author John Piper won’t say he’s NOT voting for him. The explanation goes back to the Public Religion Research Institute survey we shared last week: White evangelical Protestants rank abortion as their #1 critical issue. So even if Piper won’t back Trump, he explained why he wouldn’t be voting the other way either:
I think Roe is an evil decision. I think Planned Parenthood is a code name for baby-killing and (historically at least) ethnic cleansing. And I think it is baffling and presumptuous to assume that pro-abortion policies kill more people than a culture-saturating, pro-self pride.
We’ve heard this again and again throughout the election—many conservative Christians dislike Trump, but they are so strongly “pro-life”, they’re paralyzed in the ballot box. Fortunately “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden” launched earlier this month and are bringing some semblance of “pro-life” to the term by also caring about lives post-birth.
A taxpayer-funded school in Florida fired a sixth-grade teacher after it was revealed he was gay. Steven Arauz gave an interview for an online publication titled “Gays with Kids,” where he talked about the importance of helping kids through becoming a foster parent. That’s when his employer, the Seventh-Day Adventist-run Forest Lake Education Center, caught wind of kind-hearted Arauz’s sexuality — and the fact that he was dating another man — and dismissed him. Discrimination under the guise of religious sensibilities is nothing new— but discrimination while accepting public funding is an area of the law that needs swifter attention than it’s been given.
Because Trump “cried out to God” while he had COVID, God will now grant him re-election, according to preacher Hank Kunneman:
Finally, a preview of a story we’ll cover tomorrow: Donald Trump has a new religion (really).Congratulations, Presbyterians.EXCLUSIVE: In an unusual written exchange w/@RNS, Donald Trump says he no longer identifies as a Presbyterian — the faith tradition in which he was confirmed and has claimed for years. "I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian," he said. https://t.co/LzgsmtFcPrJack Jenkins @jackmjenkins