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« January 2014 | Main | March 2014 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » February 2014

By Angelo Lopez on February 26, 2014

One of the most insightful blogs is written by Joel Rieves. Joel was raised in the North Carolina Piedmont, where he acquired a sense of humor, a healthy disrespect for authority and sense of duty toward others. During his 23 years as a fireman, Joel saw firsthand the large numbers of people living poverty in this country. In 2012, he quit the fire department to pursue his dream of being a writer. His views have been formed by his work with non-profit ministries such as Love Wins, years in the church and incessant reading. He writes a blog on religion and spirituality called "But Not Yet".

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By Angelo Lopez on February 21, 2014

Thank you for your insightful comments, Ken. Very perceptive analysis. I've learned a lot from reading Charles Dickens. Dickens criticized the economic and political system of Victorian England, but his main focus was human nature. Dickens explored in books like Great Expectations, Little Dorrit and Tale of Two Cities how vulnerable human nature was to the corrupting influence of power, money, dogma and status. Churches, corporations, governments, or any other group will be imperfect because the humans inhabiting those groups will always be imperfect.

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By Ken Poland on February 18, 2014

Angelo, you are almost like a voice crying in the wilderness. You've done a pretty good job of filling our menu with very timely and interesting research.

As you can see, the corporate "Christian Church" has many sins and failures to admit to. We have had many courageous leaders who have stood up and spoken out and admitted to the world that the corporate "Christian Church" is too often ruled by selfish men, who are as much interested in maintaining their position of authority as they are to yielding to the leadership of the true spirit that reflects the Love of God. The Perfect Love of God is beyond the ability of finite men to understand or deliver.

Man's natural instinct for survival in an environment that threatens his position in the chain of command, either animal or human, prevents perfect love. God is not threatened, in spite of the corruption of mankind. If the corporate bodies of religious groups think they are protecting God, they are dissolutioned in a major way.

We have those who contend that God has been kicked out of our schools and the branches of our government. Some of those same folks decry the threat for our environment, by man. Now wait a minute! If man can't destroy Gods dominion over the environment, how can man throw Him out of society? The truth is that God is not a finite object or thing. He exists in the heart and soul of man. He is present in the man's heart that may be surrounded by a multitude of men who deny His existence. History is replete with instances of the faith of one man or a remnant of faithful men who have withstood unimaginable odds of those who defied God's existence and influence in the world.

By Angelo Lopez on February 15, 2014

Over the past five years, many Christians are going through a profound change in their views on LGBT issues. More and more Christians are coming around to supporting the civil rights of LGBT individuals, and many are changing their views on whether homosexuality is a sin. As one sign of this, Evangelical Christian groups like The Marin Foundation and Str8 Apology have attended LGBT Pride Parades across the nation to apologize to LGBT individuals for the way the Christian Church has harshly treated them. This is not a unique thing for Christians. In the recent past, Christians have apologized for the Church's past support of racism, sexism, antisemitism, islamophobia and other prejudices that have done great harm to a minority group. These Christians realize that whenever the Church has supported unfair prejudices that cause bigotry against a group, it does great long term harm to the Christian religion. In the same way some Christians today use the Bible to justify homophobia, many Christians in the past used the Bible to justify racism, antisemitism, sexism, among other bigotries. This had the effect of demeaning the Bible and to overshadow the many good things that the Bible has to offer. To make amends for these past actions, Christians have issued formal apologies to the targeted group of people and attempted to build relationships and learn about the things that bind different people together.

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By Angelo Lopez on February 9, 2014

When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is go on my Facebook and look up the latest cartoons of Brad Diller. Brad's first cartoons appeared in 1992 and ran continuously until 2000 when he left the newspaper business to pursue a career as a freelance illustrator. His comics have appeared in Funny Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, WV), the now-defunct Nashville Banner, and the Reno Gazette Journal, as well as various other smaller papers. Brad has also been a bartender, baker, carpet layer, and a writer. Currently, Brad lives in Reno, NV with his wife and cat. He is a partner in a printing company that specializes in backstage passes, media and security credentials and pretty much any event that needs ID tags. You can look at more of his cartoons at Fundaymorning.com.

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By Angelo Lopez on February 7, 2014

Many people have a stereotype that all Christians are homophobes who are against any laws that protect the rights of LGBT individuals. In 2008, for instance, the Evangelical, Roman Catholic and Mormon Church lobbied strongly for the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which outlawed same-sex marriages in the state. In spite of this impression, though, in reality many Christians do support LGBT rights and marriage equality. Since 2008 I have occasionally written blogs that highlight Christians who fight for LGBT rights. Even in the three denominations that had lobbied for Proposition 8 in 2008, more of its members are supporting the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. Today 58% of American Catholics support LGBT rights and marriage equality. Though 70% of older white Evangelicals are still against LGBT rights, around 50% of younger Evangelicals support LGBT rights and marriage equality. In this blog I will highlight some of the latest news that I've encountered about Christians who fight for LGBT rights within their churches.

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By Angelo Lopez on February 1, 2014

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