When enough is enough:
Holding aloft ancient flags and young children, hundreds of thousands of people converged Sunday on the Eiffel Tower to protest the French president’s plan to legalize gay marriage and thus allow same-sex couples to adopt and conceive children.
That’s the French mind you – the French. The article only quotes native French, which I find fascinating. Serious Christian French are pretty hard to find. I’d love to know how much of the crowd was Islamic. But I think my basic point is it is pretty hard to make the case that such protests in Paris are religiously motivated. Heterosexual monogamy is one of the chief cornerstones of western civilization. The pro same-sex marriage crowd has trivialized something deeply fundamental. This could get interesting.
When you have Richard Land and Jim Wallis on the same side of an issue, you have to know something very interesting is afoot. Coverage from CNN and Christianity Today. From CT:
More than 150 evangelical leaders have renewed their calls for comprehensive immigration reform by signing on to the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), a relatively new initiative that unites, among others, unlikely partners such as Sojourners and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. According to CNN, a new video launched today will serve as the campaign’s “first concerted push on immigration, with the goal of getting meaningful immigration reform through Congress in 2013.”
I am grateful to see Christians of every political stripe united, on anything. What this really is an effort to bring compassion to the debate and compassion is a good thing. But this is an enormously complex issue involving not just immigration, but things like national defense and simply making sure that the law is respected. I agree, illegals that have been here and been productive members of our society are worthy of compassion, and perhaps salvation from the ultimate consequences of their actions. But all consequences? I am not so sure. By the way, no matter how carefully the laws and regulations are drafted, much injustice will occur because in the end it justice is administered by people in a most frustrating bureaucratic setting. If justice is the goal, the best thing Christians can do is make sure good, sound Christian people of intellect, compassion and good judgement are in the positions where the decisions are being made. Both in the drafting of the laws and regulations and in their administration.
Meanwhile, back in Europe:
British Airways violated the article of the European Convention on Human Rights that guarantees freedom of religion when it stopped employee Nadia Eweida from wearing her cross openly, the court said….
In its ruling, the court weighed Eweida’s desire to show her religious belief against the airline’s wish to project a certain corporate image….
However, the court found that three other British Christians who argued they’d been unfairly dismissed from their jobs had not been subjected to religious discrimination.
They are nurse Shirley Chaplin, who also wanted to wear a cross at work, registrar Lilian Ladele, who declined to register gay civil partnerships, and Gary MacFarlane, a relationship counselor who did not want to give sex therapy to same-sex couples.
In the case of Chaplin, the court ruled that the concerns of hospital managers for health and safety outweighed the nurse’s desire to wear a cross visibly in the workplace.
The cases of the registrar and the relationship counselor had been fairly considered in the national courts, the court said.
“Fascinating Captain.” The article does not present enough of the legal technicalities to form an opinion on the last two cases, and health and safety concerns are real. I have personally had to admonish people on the wearing of lose jewelery in machine settings. In the nurse’s case there are other concerns like lifting patients, cleanliness, etc. However, when I have done so, I have encouraged the employee to find a more safety suitable means of religious expression. Be curious about this case…
Food for thought:
One of the most important lessons President Barack Obama and his minions must learn as they bask in political success is that humiliation follows hubris – sometimes quickly.
I am wondering if that is not the lesson for we conservative Republicans. I think it is clear we assumed the nation was with us and it was not. We took for granted that which we need to earn. Isn;t that a form of hubris?
Finally, Dan Gilgoff reflects on editing CNN’s belief blog:
3.) Religion reporting shouldn’t be an inside game. “We believe that understanding the role of faith in today’s world isn’t optional or nice to know,” we wrote in our inaugural Belief Blog post, in May 2010. “It’s need to know.” That was true again for many of 2012’s biggest stories, for which understanding forces of faith and faithlessness were crucial to understanding the nominees for president, reactions to July’s deadly Aurora, Colorado, shooting and Whitney Houston’s funeral. You don’t have to be religious to think religion stories matter; you just have to be curious about the way the world works. I believe that more now than I did when we launched the Belief Blog.
4.) The news media isn’t anti-religion. You hear that from some religious people, particularly those on the political right. Truth is, news organizations such as CNN are fascinated by religion because it yields stories brimming with meaning, controversy and powerful characters. But the religion beat can scare off reporters because it can be so daunting (if you’re a non-Mormon, try wrapping your mind around the Mormon practice of posthumous proxy baptism in time to meet a 5 o’clock deadline). And yet so many CNN Belief stories were born when CNNers across the organization asked basic questions such as, “Will the Catholic presidential candidates don ashes for an Ash Wednesday debate?” and “Why don’t we explain why some American Muslim women wear the hijab?” Many other religion stories came from CNNers who volunteered ideas from their own religious subcultures. CNN forces working against religion coverage? I never encountered any.
“Not an inside game,” and yet the questions that he praises in the very next point are questions that would only be asked by outsiders and for which insiders have ready answers. I’m a outsider to Mormonism, but I do not find proxy baptism that hard to understand. It is controversial only in an cross-religious aspect and then only when people of other faiths fail to understand that it is something substantively different than baptism is in other faiths. (For most Christians, baptism ushers someone into the faith, for Mormons, posthumous proxy baptism invites others to the faith – big, big difference.) There I did it in one parenthetical sentence.
The problem is that the perspective that Gilgoff is upholding here is one that treats religious folk as fundamentally different, even “weird.” It objectifies the religious as odd specimens for study rather than as people with a different, but worthy, perspective.
To bring this full circle, I think much of the animus towards the religious community felt by the LGBT community is because they have been objectified rather than humanized. That is a sin of the religious community. However, the corrective is not to return the favor.