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04/19/2007


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). 

 


Lutheran Church Elects First Openly Gay Bishop

Rev. Dr. R. Guy ErwinThe Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elected the Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin to a six-year term as bishop of Southwest California Synod, which covers the greater Los Angeles area. It is the first time the church has elected an openly gay bishop. 

GLAAD reports

This is a significant step for the ELCA, who, until 2009, had banned clergy in same-gender relationships. Prior to 2009, hundreds of gay and lesbian clergy were forced out of congregations or served under secrecy. Hundreds of seminary students were not granted ordination, simply for being gay. Many left the denomination to more welcoming denominations or to join a roster of Lutheran pastors who refused to comply with the policy.

Dr. Erwin is a native of Oklahoma and an active member of the Osage Tribe of Indians. Dr. Erwin also sits on the board of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, which expands ministry opportunities for publicly-identified LGBTQ people called to leadership in the Lutheran church as ordained pastors and rostered lay leaders.

"I know that many will see my election as a significant milestone for both LGBT people and Native Americans, and I pray that I can be a positive representation for both communities," said Erwin about his election. "There was a time when I believed that I would not be able to serve as a pastor in the ELCA. Our church has now recognized the God-given gifts and abilities that LGBT people can bring to the denomination."

In 2009 the ELCA voted to allow gay people living in committed relationships to work for the church. Prior to this they had been banned. 


News: Sarah Palin, Mr. Gay USA, Lea T, Nascar

 road Mr. Gay USA descends upon Philadelphia this weekend.

Sarah  road A slew of promo pictures for Sarah Palin's new television show have hit the Web. One question: isn't holding little pups supposed to make you more likable?

 road Openly gay Congressman Jared Polis on yesterday's decision by the Supreme Court: "While I'm disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision today, the silver lining is that it gives Congress another chance to change the policy in an orderly way that incorporates the concerns of the military."

 road A vote to ban circumcision on newborn baby boys in San Francisco may end up in the hands of the city's voters.

 road Lutheran Church in Illinois ditches its affiliation due to gay pastors.

Upright Citizen's Brigade make Justin Bieber's life story a lot more interesting.

Lea2  road Transgender model Lea T graces her first magazine cover.

 road NY Times profiles gay NASCAR fans: “Nascar has more fans who are accepting of me being gay than gays have been accepting of me being a Nascar fan.”

 road Who wears a tank top better: Channing Tatum or Kellan Lutz?

 road Another hate crime investigated at the University of Wisconsin.

 road David Beckham and his boys craft an early Mother's Day gift for mom.

 road Bill Maher re-titles some romantic comedies, Tea Party style.

 road First people were successfully sending iPhones and cameras into space. Now they're sending paper planes.


Finland's State Church to Sanction Prayer for Gay Marriages

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland's General Synod has approved, by a vote of 78-30, the creation of a prayer for registered same-sex partnerships.

AFP reports: Lutheran

"After years of debate, Finland's state church took a step towards accepting gay relationships with an announcement Friday it would create a "prayer moment" for registered partnerships. 'The proposal offers a positive opportunity to minister to church members who are sexual minorities,' the General Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church's highest administrative body, said in a statement. The General Synod must now draw up a formula for a prayer that walks a fine doctrinal line, observers said. Lutheran ministers will have the choice of performing the prayer with gay couples in a church, but it will not actually constitute a church's blessing of the union itself, synod spokesman Marko Kailasmaa told AFP...The vote can be seen as a concession of sorts to a groundswell of popular support within the church community for Christian gays, lesbians and bisexuals. 'A prayer moment is part of pastoral care ... It's not an official sacrament, but you can't say that a prayer is less important,' Kailasmaa said."

In October, the Church reportedly saw an exodus of tens of thousands of people over remarks it made at a gay rights panel on the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

In related news, here's Finland's "It Gets Better" video, if you missed it.


Watch: Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Speaks Out for Bullied Gay Teens

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Bishop Mark Hanson, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, lends his voice to the "It Gets Better" project in a new video.

Says Hanson: "Sometimes the words of my Christian brothers and sisters have hurt you. I also know that our silence causes you pain...You are a beloved child of God. Your life carries the beauty and dignity of God's creation...There is a place for you in this world, and in this Church."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Speaks Out for Bullied Gay Teens" »


New Denomination to Rise in Lutheran Church Due to Gay Rift

Church leaders unhappy with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's decision to allow non-celibate gay and lesbian pastors into its ranks are expected to come together and vote this week to create a separate denomination.

Lutheran The AP reports:

"Leaders of 18 former ELCA churches are expected to vote Friday to create a brand new Lutheran denomination that they claim will follow the Scriptures more faithfully: the North American Lutheran Church. 'The issue is departure from the word of God,' [Richard] Mahan [lead pastor at St. Timothy in Charleston, W.Va.] said. His church has already voted twice to end its longtime identity as a ELCA church, also ending an annual $36,000 in tithing to the denomination...As of early August, 199 congregations had cleared the hurdles to leave the ELCA for good, while another 136 awaited the second vote needed to make it official. In all there are 10,239 ELCA churches with about 4.5 million members, making it still by far the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. And the breakaway members gathering in Ohio will face their own challenges if they vote to start another denomination at a time when attendance at mainline Protestant churches is falling and denominational distinctions appear irrelevant to a growing number of churchgoers."


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