In the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, bisexual author Jennifer Baumgardner touts her ability to love women and/or men. The article, “From dating a woman to marrying a man”, is teased in the subhead as providing an explanation of “why gender doesn’t matter.” In other words, the next frontier in our culture wars is not simply about gays having more rights: There is now a tacit declaration of war on gender categories altogether. Let us remake the universe in our image, argue the sexual renegades of our day.
The great moral revolution on the issue of homosexuality collides with the total surrender of a liberal denomination, and the result is the church’s apology for having once stood on biblical grounds. That was the picture just a few days ago, when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America welcomed three lesbian ministers into the clergy roster through a “Rite of Reception” ceremony held last Saturday at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Animal lovers worldwide now have access to more than a decade’s worth of evidence showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) kills thousands of defenseless pets at its Virginia headquarters. Since 1998, PETA has opted to “put down” 25,840 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens instead of finding them “forever homes.”
It’s depressing to see Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant minds in his field, trying to speak as an expert on things he sadly seems to know rather less about than many averagely intelligent Christians. Of course there are people who think of ‘heaven’ as a kind of pie-in-the-sky dream of an afterlife to make the thought of dying less awful. No doubt that’s a problem as old as the human race. But in the Bible ‘heaven’ isn’t ‘the place where people go when they die.’ In the Bible heaven is God’s space while earth (or, if you like, ‘the cosmos’ or ‘creation’) is our space. And the Bible makes it clear that the two overlap and interlock. For the ancient Jews, the place where this happened was the temple; for the Christians, the place where this happened was Jesus himself, and then, astonishingly, the persons of Christians because they, too, were ‘temples’ of God’s own spirit.
After years of stonewalling and fighting in court to keep his long-form birth certificate under wraps, President Barack Obama has publicized an image of the document he claims should resolve his birthplace once and for all. But is it the real deal?
Here’s a revealing snapshot of religion in America. On Easter Sunday, two of the top three books on Amazon.com’s Religion and Spirituality best-seller list mapped the geography of the afterlife. One was “Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back,” an account of a 4-year-old’s near-death experience as dictated to his pastor father. The other was “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived,” in which the evangelical preacher Rob Bell argues that hell might not exist.