Friday, August 26, 2016

The Churches and Gay Folks: Three Statements To Read Side by Side

Three statements from religious news sites today that should be read and discussed side by side, I think:

When We Already Know That Every Zygote Is a Baby, Why Waste Time Looking at Scientific Evidence? A Footnote

I have a few more things to say about about the dishonesty of those who want to use natural law theology to argue that a zygote has unique genetic material indicating its ontological status as a full human person, but who simultaneously want to pretend that the fact that the majority of zygotes are aborted naturally has no importance in the natural law discussion of abortion. I'm adding to what I wrote yesterday about these matters. You'll encounter this morally dishonest argument frequently among right-wing "pro-life" Christians, and notably among right-wing Catholic ones, precisely because natural law theology appeals to nature and the Creator of the natural world as it builds its moral arguments.

The Alt-Right and Donald Trump's Campaign: A Brief Primer

As Charles Pierce wrote yesterday, this is "the week everyone in America started saying 'alt-right.' " As a service to you readers, here's a list of article I've read in the past two days about the alt-right and its mainstreaming via Trump's campaign, which have struck me as helpful. I don't by any means pretend that this is an exhaustive list of articles commenting on these themes. They're only ones I happen to have read in my daily scanning of the news, which I'd like to share with you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: When We Already Know That Every Zygote Is a Baby, Why Waste Time Looking at Scientific Evidence?

In a just-published essay, National Catholic Reporter regular Phyllis Zagano, who was recently appointed to the papal commission to study ordination of women to the diaconate, writes that embryo destruction is the great moral shortcoming of IVF. Phyllis Zagano takes for granted — this is not questioned or questionable, in her theological worldview — that magisterial teaching holding that a conceptus is a human person, a baby, from the moment egg and sperm unite, is true and binding on all Catholic consciences. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"We've Got to Get Past the Fact That Sexual Orientation Is a Reason to Discriminate": Video Resources

I continue working on the writing project I've been commissioned to write about Garrard Conley's painful, beautiful memoir Boy Erased, a story of growing up gay in a conservative evangelical Missionary Baptist preacher's family in Arkansas, and being sent to Love in Action in Memphis in 2004 for "reparative" "therapy." I mentioned this project early this month, and wrote a review of the book in July.

On Wrecking of Online Conversation Spaces by Trolls: Recent Commentary

Because I happen to have run across two very good pieces of commentary in the past day or so, about how trolls are trashing open discussion spaces online and causing some news sites to shut down their commentary threads, I commented on this topic on Facebook today. I thought some readers of Bilgrimage might be interested in what I had to say.

Footnote to Commentary on Bishop Vincent Long's Ann D. Clark Lecture: Link Is Now Back Up

A footnote to what I posted yesterday about the disappearing link to Bishop Vincent Long's Ann D. Clark lecture, which had been uploaded to the website of his diocesan newspaper, Catholic Outlook, on 19 August, and then vanished from that website after the lecture began to be discussed and circulated online on 20 August: