Married lesbian Baptist co-pastors say all are ‘beloved’

The Rev. Maria Swearingen, center left, and the Rev. Sally Sarratt, center right, are welcomed into membership at Calgary Baptist Church by other clergy during a service on Feb. 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks
The Rev. Maria Swearingen, center left, and the Rev. Sally Sarratt, center right, are welcomed into membership at Calgary Baptist Church by other clergy during a service on Feb. 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

WASHINGTON (RNS) In her sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the Rev. Maria Swearingen preached about her belief that black lives, “queer lives” and immigrant lives matter.

And since it also was Transfiguration Sunday, she pointed to the story in the Gospel of Matthew where God declared Jesus “beloved.” That is a term, she said, that can be used for everyone.

Swearingen stood in the pulpit for the first time as the lesbian co-pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, her wife and fellow co-pastor, the Rev. Sally Sarratt, smiling over her left shoulder as they began their new joint roles.   Continue reading

Prominent Jesuit priest tweets support for transgender bathrooms to 100k followers

P1110320_810_500_55_s_c1One of the most well-known Jesuit priests in the United States tweeted his support of boys using the girls’ bathroom and vice versa.

Father James Martin is the editor-at-large of America magazine and has a large social media presence. In November, he accepted an award from New Ways Ministry, a dissident group that has been condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the U.S. Catholic bishops. During his lengthy acceptance speech, he said the Church should embrace homosexuality’s “special gifts.”   Continue reading

Trump retains LGBT State Department official, frustrating Christian conservatives

Randy Berry, the first U.S. special envoy for the rights of LGBTI persons, is shown at a gay pride rally in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in June 2015. Berry says the U.S. is supporting activists worldwide but recognizes the risks they face in many countries. Photo courtesy U.S. State Department
Randy Berry, the first U.S. special envoy for the rights of LGBTI persons, is shown at a gay pride rally in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in June 2015. Berry says the U.S. is supporting activists worldwide but recognizes the risks they face in many countries. Photo courtesy U.S. State Department

(RNS) President for less than a month, Donald Trump has come through for the overwhelming numbers of religious conservatives who helped put him in office — but not so much on LGBT issues.

Conservative Christians in particular cheered his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and Trump’s promised “fix” for the Johnson Amendment, which restricts pastors’ ability to politick in the pulpit.

But for the second time since his inauguration, Trump has decided to preserve an Obama-era initiative to protect sexual minorities.

The State Department announced Monday (Feb. 13) that it would retain Randy Berry, the special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons. In 2014, the Obama administration created Berry’s position to support efforts abroad to protect gay people from violence and death.

The conservative Family Research Council had made removing such “activists” a priority and as recently as December called on the State Department to rid itself of employees who promote an “anti-family, anti-life agenda.”   Continue reading

‘Inclusive Globalism’ Means Embracing LGBT Rights, Davos Attendees Told

GettyImages-631801550-640x427Corporations should be encouraged to support gay rights as a means to further economic gain, attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos will hear this week.

World leaders gather this week at the Swiss ski resort to discuss how to make globalism more inclusive in response to the rising tide of populism.

As part of that agenda Chief Operating Officer of the Thomson Reuters Foundation Antonio Zappulla has suggested private and public sector leaders be encouraged to be more “inclusive” of LGBT staff.

Singling out organisations who have been leading on that agenda for praise, Zappulla cited the British intelligence agency, MI5, as an example of the “progress” made over the last decade.   Continue reading

Religious freedom advocates are divided over how to address LGBT rights

thumbRNS-MARRIAGE-MISSISSIPPIMajor players in the ongoing battle over religious freedom and LGBT rights will meet at Yale University this weekend to discuss conscience rights, LGBT protections and legislation needed to balance those competing interests.

Faith leaders and LGBT activists attending the event aren’t the only ones in search of consensus since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage a year and a half ago.

The meeting is a response to in-fighting within the community of scholars, lawyers and policymakers who once worked together as religious freedom advocates.

“We all think … the view that nondiscrimination protections must crowd out every other value is wrong, but we have different visions of the right,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, director of the family law and policy program at the University of Illinois College of Law and one of the meeting’s organizers.   Continue reading

Black Lives Matter: We Will Destroy the Nuclear Family

Supporters of the UK branch of "Black Lives Matter" take part in a demonstration in London, Britain August 5, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Supporters of the UK branch of “Black Lives Matter” take part in a demonstration in London, Britain August 5, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The Black Lives Matter movement has declared its opposition to the traditional biblical family.

On the “Guiding Principles” page of its website, the Black Lives Matter movement makes the stunning statement that it stands in opposition to the traditional—biblical—”nuclear family.”

Under the tab “Black Villages,” it makes the following statement:

We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable. Continue reading

Montel Williams Implores Christians to Accept LGBT Community: ‘We Are All Equal In the Eyes of the Lord’

Television host Montel Williams addresses those gathered for a brunch in Cleveland to promote LGBT inclusivity in the GOP. (Image provided to TheBlaze)CLEVELAND — Following television personality Montel Williams’ address to a conservative LGBT brunch, Colorado Attorney Gen. Cynthia Coffman said she felt like she was at church.

Coffman’s speculation wasn’t far off. As Williams addressed the brunch held to promote inclusion of the LGBT community among the Republican Party less than a mile from the GOP convention, he admonished Christians to repel discrimination against anyone — especially discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.

“Too often we hear religious liberty used as a justification for legislative ideas that marginalize the LGBT community,” Williams, an ardent opponent of the so-called bathroom bills, said. Continue reading

Baptist Pastor Continues ‘Hate Speech’ Campaign, Despite Multiple Pentecostal Leaders Begging Him to Stop

reuters-pulse-vigil-flowers-scarfA Baptist pastor refuses to recant his hateful comments about the Orlando tragedy, despite several prominent Christian leaders publicly standing against him.

YouTube removed Verity Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jimenez’s sermon where he claimed the Orlando massacre was “great news.”

He later told the Sacramento Bee, “The point of the sermon is that the Bible teaches us that homosexuality, God put a death penalty on it. …

“All I’m saying is that when people die who deserve to die, it’s not a tragedy.”

Meanwhile, prominent Christian leaders, including Dr. Michael Brown and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, publicly condemned any comments calling the Pulse shooting anything but horrific.   Continue reading…

Perverted Professor Admittedly Using Target Restrooms for Sexual Purposes

ari-nagel-1024x613A perverted CUNY professor is admitting to using Target and other store restrooms for sexual purposes for lesbians and others who are seeking his “services” to become impregnated, and now, as a result, is the father of 22 children.

In the graphic front page interview with the New York Post, Ari Nagel, who is a math professor at Kingsborough Community College that is part of City University of New York (CUNY), proudly admitted that he often has been using the restroom at the Target at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, as well as other public store restrooms, including Starbucks, to view pornography and provide seminal specimens to women. His buyers then use the ladies’ restroom for self-insemination.  Continue reading…

 

Bible verse prompts GOP walkout after LGBT vote labeled a ‘sin’

rickallenA House conservative went after dozens of fellow Republicans on Thursday with suggestions that they’d sinned for backing an anti-discrimination proposal against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Rep. Rick Allen, a Georgia freshman, launched the GOP’s regular policy meeting in the Capitol basement by reading a Bible passage condemning homosexuality and suggesting that supporters of the LGBT provision, which passed the House the night before, were defying Christian tenets, attendees said.  Continue reading…