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Transgender Priest is First to Preach at National Cathedral: VIDEO

Screenshot 2014-06-23 14.14.26The first openly transgender to preach at D.C.’s National Cathedral spoke from the Canterbury Pulpit this past Sunday in celebration of the Cathedral’s National Pride Month. A lecturer at Harvard University Divinity School and an Episcopal chaplain at Boston University, The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge is one of seven currently open trans clergy members in the Episcopal Church.

“As we behold one another in these days of celebration may we honor the way we sustain each other,” Partridge said to congregants. “I am moved by how our decisions are calling us into deeper awareness of the mystery of the human person.”

As a part of the Cathedral’s efforts to further promote acceptance and openness, Sunday’s service also included prayers and readings from members of the LGBT community. Reverend Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, presided over the service.

“The message that indeed God loves God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children is desperate needed to be heard,” he said after the ceremony. “The most important person to hear the message of inclusion is that person who has been told for years at a time that God abhors them.”

Listen to an excerpt of The Rev. Dr. Partridge’s ceremony AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Transgender Priest is First to Preach at National Cathedral: VIDEO" »


Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson to Divorce

Gay Episocopal Bishop Gene Robinson is divorcing his husband of more than two decades, he announced today in a statement to the Diocese of New Hampshire and an accompany piece in The Daily Beast.

RobinsonSaid Robinson in a statement:

“As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for us — not a decision entered into lightly or without much counseling,” Robinson wrote in a letter. “We ask for your prayers, that the love and care for each other that has characterized our relationship for a quarter century will continue in the difficult days ahead.”

He added, in the Daily Beast:

As my marriage to Mark ends, I believe him to be one of the kindest, most generous and loyal human beings on earth. There is no way I could ever repay the debt I owe him for his standing by me through the challenges of the last decade. I will be forever grateful to him, and as I tell couples in pre-marital counseling, “Marriage is forever, and your relationship will endure—whether positively or negatively—even if the marriage formally ends.”

Robinson adds that marriages face many difficulties, and both parties shoulder the burdens:

It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples. All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of “til death do us part.” But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us.

My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate. Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot. It will take a lot of work, a lot of grieving, and a large measure of hope to see it through. And that’s where my faith comes in.


Rush Limbaugh: 'If You Believe In God, You Can't Believe In Global Warming'

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During a recent speech which announced the creation of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, John Kerry described "global climate change" as "a challenge to our responsibilities as the guardians--safe guarders of God's creation." Those comments apparently didn't sit well with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, who spoke out against Kerry's remarks on his soon-to-be-dropped radio show earlier this week:

"See, in my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming … You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create."

Thankfully, ThinkProgress presented overwhelming evidence to the contrary in their report, stating that:

"In reality, millions of church-goers in the United States already recognize that the evidence for climate change is undeniable. A December 2012 survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that strong majorities of most American faith traditions agreed that the recent string of natural disasters were the result of climate change, especially among mainline protestants (65 percent) and Catholics (60 percent)."

Of course, those attempting to support Limbaugh's assertion may argue that popular opinion does not necessarily dictate the rules and teachings of any particular church. Luckily, ThinkProgress goes on:

"What’s more, scores of religious institutions have responded to our shifting environment in ways that fully acknowledge humanity’s role in creating the crisis. The United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have all issued statements or launched initiatives aimed at acting on global warming, and the United States Council of Catholic Bishops has an entire section of their website dedicated to combating climate change and its disproportionate impact on the world’s poor." 

Praying-in-churchApparently, Pope Francis even recognizes the existance of the phenomenon, and made it apparent as part of a prayer earler this year:

"Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of good will: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment."

Unfortunately, according to ThinkProgress, Limbaugh isn't alone in expressing this erroneous sentiment, and chronicled similar statements made by members of Congress:

"On Tuesday, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) told constituents that 'It wasn’t just a few years ago, what was the problem that existed? It wasn’t global warming, we were gonna all be an ice cube. We’re not ice cubes. Our climate will continue to change because of the way God formed the earth.' North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx lamented that some environmentalists 'think that we, human beings, have more impact on the climate and the world than God does.' Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) told a congressional hearing: 'The earth will end only when God declares it is time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.'"

Perhaps all of these public figures should consult those sitting next to them on Sunday before speaking on behalf of their entire congregations (or religion). 

 


Pro-Gay Episcopal Priest Chosen to Replace Louie Giglio for Inauguration Benediction

The Rev. Luis León, an Episcopal priest whose church is near the White House, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration of Barack Obama, CNN reports:

LeonThe Rev. Luis León told CNN on Tuesday the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee invited him last week to deliver the closing prayer at the 57th Presidential Inauguration.

León pastors Saint John's Church, an Episcopal parish just across Lafayette Park from the White House, dubbed the "Church of the Presidents."

"I found out last week," he told CNN in an interview on Tuesday.

A source close to the inaugural committee confirmed León would be delivering the benediction and said a formal announcement would be coming later in the week.

The Obamas are frequent worshipers at León's church. Leon also delivered the invocation at George W. Bush's inauguration in 2005.

The HuffPost adds:

León's own parish is known for welcoming openly gay members. The church, which has openly gay, non-celibate priests and has had a gay bishop, announced this summer that it would bless same-sex partnerships and ordain transgender priests. This month, the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal church, announced that it would also begin same-sex marriage ceremonies.


NOM Chair John Eastman Blasts Episcopal Church for Allowing Gay Marriages: VIDEO

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Reacting to the National Cathedral's decision to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies, NOM Chair John Eastman calls the Episcopal Church "cavalier" and compares it to living Constitutionalists who choose to interpret the Constitution in a dynamic manner.

The step that [the National Cathedral] has taken ... is directly in violation of international Anglican law and the Book of Common Prayer. So they can do this if they want but redefining marriage to be something it was never understood to be is going to have dramatic consequences both in this country and in their church...They should realize that their own doctrine says this is not proper. "

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, NPR has a major interview with retired gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.

Continue reading "NOM Chair John Eastman Blasts Episcopal Church for Allowing Gay Marriages: VIDEO" »


Jon Stewart Interviews Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson: VIDEO

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Jon Stewart and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson discuss the Supreme Court's consideration of same-sex marriage, the "religious hunger" to find a way forward on the issue, Jesus and gay people, Robinson's coming out, Sodom and Gomorrah, sodomy in Washington, and the history of marriage.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Interviews Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson: VIDEO" »


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