Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

August 19th, 2015

Coalitions and slippery slopes: The same-sex marriage debate continues

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Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court of the United States confirmed the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry. Unsurprisingly, debates on the meaning and future of marriage have not subsided, but have taken on new directions. Among the hottest topics of debate are how American Muslims should respond to the ruling and whether polygamy will be the next battleground.


November 7th, 2014

David Gushee shifts on homosexuality

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On November 8, David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor at Mercer University, leading evangelical ethicist, and TIF contributor, will give the keynote speech at The Reformation Project Conference (which “seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity”) and affirm his support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.

October 17th, 2014

A “pastoral earthquake” in Rome?

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On October 13th, the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, an assembly convened by Pope Francis, released a relatio post disceptationem—a snapshot of the discussion thus far—that has triggered much coverage and debate across the media landscape. The document seems to signal a softening stance on, among others things, divorce, homosexuality, and unmarried cohabitation.

August 24th, 2012

Encountering the archive

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Where on earth to begin with the rich but deeply disturbing material presented to us on (For an example, see the documents relating to the Province of St. Barbara.) How to confront the archive’s huge volume but also the extent of its moral charge?

I also have a number of questions about what we are, or should be, looking at—the proper boundaries of the object of our inquiry.

August 3rd, 2012

The curious case of Paul Richard Shanley

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In the discursive regime of sexual abuse, the operative silence is the victim’s. This silence stems from shame and intimidation. The speech that would overcome it is courageous, a precious gift that provides access to truth. This account of silence assumes a theory of power as repressive: abusers—who have power—silence their victims by exercising power over them; victims reclaim power through speech. As Michel Foucault reminds us, when critiquing such unidirectional conceptions of power and such optimistic assessments of speech, “There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses.” I want to consider—briefly and provisionally—the silences operating in the public discourse concerning Paul Richard Shanley. I am particularly interested in how “sex abuse” discourses intertwine with and occlude “gay” discourses. Or, to state it more forcefully, I want to use Shanley’s case to suggest that any account of religion or gay politics in America that fails to provide a rich, nuanced description of both is an inadequate examination of either.

July 17th, 2012

AIDS and LGBT equality

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In honor of the International AIDS Conference that will take place in Washington, D.C. later this month, Diane Winston, a member of the SSRC New Directions in the Study of Prayer Advisory Committee) contributed an essay to Religion Dispatches on the change in mainstream attitudes towards the LGBT community in response to the AIDS epidemic.

July 11th, 2012

Exodus International renounces gay “cure”

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Recently, the President of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, made statements renouncing some of his organization’s beliefs, such as the ability to “cure” homosexuality by Christian prayer and psychotherapy.

June 12th, 2012

Sexuality and the Catholic Church

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This past week the Catholic church denounced Sister Margaret A. Farley, an American nun and professor of Christian Ethics at Yale Divinity School, for her book Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.

May 4th, 2012

Catholic doctrine and universities

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In a recent article, Libby A. Nelson discusses the role of faith in Catholic universities and puts forth the question, how Catholic are these institutions?

December 13th, 2010

An alternate reading of David Wojnarowicz’s ant-covered Christ

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David Wojnarowicz’s “Fire in My Belly” is an expression not of hostility to the Christian faith but of a deep, and profoundly agonized, spirituality, argues S. Brent Plate, contra the Catholic League (and 0thers), who successfully lobbied last month to have the piece removed from the National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” exhibit, ostensibly because of its depiction of Jesus’ crucified body encroached upon by ants. “In the midst of the hoopla,” says Plate, “is a deeply religious artwork made by an artist struggling with and through the embodied life of the spirit.”

August 2nd, 2010

U. of I. to renew controversial adjunct professor’s contract

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The AP reports that Dr. Kenneth Howell, the recently scandalized adjunct instructor of religion at the University of Illinois, has been offered a position teaching a class on Catholicism this semester.

July 15th, 2010

Teaching Catholicism and sexual morality

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The dismissal of Kenneth Howell, a University of Illinois adjunct professor of Catholic history and thought, has generated much discussion and commentary in the last week, most of it focusing upon the appropriateness, tone, and argumentative validity of an email that he sent to students prior to their Spring semester exam.

June 30th, 2010

Democrats and evangelicals try to forge coalition for immigration reform

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The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) was introduced in 2009 to close a loophole in immigration law that discriminated against homosexuals. As Sarah Posner documents at Religion Dispatches, this provision has become more controversial as the democrats have reached out to religious organizations to help in their fight for immigration reform.

June 28th, 2010

Ruling against discrimination

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The Supreme Court ruled against the Christian Legal Society at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law, which claimed that the First Amendment protected its right to refuse membership to gay and lesbian students. The Court upheld the college’s decision to prohibit such action, ruling “5-4 that the college’s decision did not violate the group’s First Amendment rights of association, free speech, and free exercise.”

June 28th, 2010

Carrying the blank banner

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For the first time in over a decade, reports CNN, members of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church marched in NYC’s Gay Pride Parade under a blank banner.

June 23rd, 2010

8: The Mormon Proposition

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Joanna Brooks, a scholar of religion who grew up in a conservative Mormon household, writes about Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage, which she argues is regularly ignored by progressive Americans as fringe politics.

June 17th, 2010

A gay veteran’s lament

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Serena Hayden, a veteran of the United States military, speaks of her experience serving as a gay soldier under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and of its ramifications with regard to American values.

June 16th, 2010

Recent episodes on religion and sexuality

posted by has recently put up two “diavlogs” on issues related to religion and sexuality.

February 17th, 2010

Haggling over Ted Haggard’s identity

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Ever since revelations of his tryst with a male prostitute became public in 2006, Ted Haggard has been a visible focal point for the evangelical community’s encounter with homosexuality. In an interview with Kathryn Joyce at Religion Dispatches, Haggard’s wife Gayle describes how the incident and its fallout has affected her thinking about sexual identity and, as she repeatedly puts it, the spiritual “journey.”

August 4th, 2009

Homosexuality and the Anglican debate

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<br />Off the cuff is a new feature at The Immanent Frame, in which we pose a question to a handful of leading thinkers and ask for a brief response. Our question today concerns the issue of homosexuality in debates about the Anglican Communion, with responses from Mary Anne Case, Eric Fassin, Siobhán Garrigan, Jimmy Casas Klausen, Mary-Jane Rubenstein and Emilie M. Townes.

July 22nd, 2009

Religious and sexual freedoms are not opposed

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On June 1st, President Barack Obama proclaimed June 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month and called “upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.” If President Obama expected to be showered in lavender love in return for this proclamation, he was sorely disappointed. During June, grumbling about the Obama administration’s public stance on such issues as gays in the military, same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) reached a crescendo. Candidate Obama had expressed his determination to overturn the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy and DOMA; now-President Obama is taking a decidedly more muted tack—in the name of pragmatism. At a White House reception for invited gay and lesbian leaders on June 30th, with wife Michelle prominently at his side, the President implicitly acknowledged the slow pace of change (critics might say the no-pace of change) and counseled patience: “I know that many in this room don’t believe progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It’s not for me to tell you to be patient any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half-century ago. We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration.”

September 22nd, 2008

The ruse of “secular humanism”

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Discussions of the secular can often be peculiarly remote.  Whenever secularism is imagined as unbelief, or political neutrality, or an empty social space to be filled up with religious pluralism, it can be difficult to remember how it can also serve as a framework of corporeal experience and struggle.  We are used to associating corporeal discipline and affect with religion, but not with the secular.  So it might be excusable to begin with some personal reflection, not for the sake of autobiography but in order to tether analysis in some awareness of how the problem comes to have stakes. […]

July 15th, 2008

Polyandry now!

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I wonder about those Lost Boys of fundamentalist Mormonism, the boys ejected as teenagers from their families and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS): how do they make their lives intelligible to themselves?

January 9th, 2008

Practicing sex, practicing democracy

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secular_age.jpgWhy is it that sex is such a central part of American political life anyway? Why, when The New York Times reported on the influence of “values” voters on the 2004 Presidential election, did the Times name only two “values,” both of them reflecting a conservative sexual ethic: opposition to abortion and opposition to “recognition of lesbian and gay couples”?

January 8th, 2008

Marriage plots

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sex-in-a-secular-age.jpgDespite the putative separation of church and state, one of the major places in the U.S. where religion and the state remained entwined is around sexuality, specifically at the point of marriage, where religious officials are actually empowered to act on behalf of the state. And whenever politicians talk about marriage laws, they nearly always do so with reference to religious commitments—and the political affiliation or philosophy of the policymaker doesn’t much matter in terms of this outcome.

December 13th, 2007

Can sex be a minor form of spitting?

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secular_age.jpgSo what’s the problem? What’s the ethical crisis? For Taylor it is this: sexuality cannot carry the burden of the enormous demands placed on it by those who would see its flourishing or repression as the foundation of all ethical, social, spiritual, and subjective goods.