Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

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 BishopAccountability.org? (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.