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We’ve all been taught (in anecdote or in practice) that discussing religion, politics and baseball is a fast way to ruin friendships, or at least offend polite company. But, if this is true, then what do we talk about on a first date?

Favored sports teams might be a suitable topic that inspires playful rivalry (especially if one of you doesn’t really care about sports), but, to some, the religious and political beliefs of your potential mate are defining characteristics in the calculations of your potential for success.

Religion »

As a Southern Baptist, I was naturally led to believe that through God and prayer all things are possible. The power of prayer was indisputable, and great things could be achieved by simply dropping to your knees, closing your eyes and begging ( sometimes the jokes just write themselves.) I never took prayer all that lightly. After all, asking God for some sort of favor is serious business. To request something so frivolous as a nice car or a cute boyfriend would be insulting. I would always start out by thanking God for all that he had done for me. I didn’t want to seem unappreciative. And, I really only remember praying for two things: to not be gay, and to not be harassed at school. These weren’t just a couple of requests made in passing; these were heartfelt, earnest pleas. I didn’t want to be gay, under any circumstances, and I wanted to “fit in” with my peers – not to be popular per se, just to be accepted. Of course, neither of these prayers was ever answered. I don’t think they were even on the table for consideration.

Religion »

You know those questions that just kind of smack you in the face? Not because they make you realize something about the way that you think, but because they make you realize something about the ways other people don’t think. It took a moment to sink in that my friend saw these three categories –Judaism, feminism, and queerness — as separate and independent entities, and believed that my combining them was a chosen path, one I could just as easily eschew.

Religion »

Sunday morning, I woke up early, packed up my bag with water and granola bars, and hopped on the subway toward Manhattan to fulfill an obligation commanded by my God and my religion.

I exited at City Hall and started walking toward Worth Street. It was about 8:30 in the morning, and already muggy. Turning the corner and walking toward the NYC clerk’s office, I soon saw the telltale signs of what was happening where I was heading.

Religion »

My motivation for conversion is simple: I want to serve and worship SHAME FREE. I have come to the conclusion over the past five years that I will never be able to do that in a Christian congregation, even one as amazing as Foundry. This is not their short coming, it is my own.

Religion »

I am a Jewish queer woman. Or maybe I am a queer Jewish woman. Or a woman who is Jewish and queer. Labels and definitions are always difficult when applied to holistic human beings, and become even more problematic when they seem to be pitted against one another within the same person. I’ve been observant and engaged in my Jewish identity since earliest childhood. My Judaism has always been one of the most essential elements of whom I understand myself to be. I was a public school kid, but attended Hebrew school from kindergarten through my senior year of high school. I was Jewish. I am Jewish. And then I realized I was bisexual.

Religion »

Three days before, I broke up with my first long-term boyfriend in what would prove to be the most difficult experience of my life. When she came out to me as a Pentecostal, we were at the dinner table with her handlebar-mustached fiancé, whom I assumed was the source of her decision. I looked up with swollen eyes, ruby slipper red from days of crying, and said nothing. I never would.

Religion »

How an “asexual” Jesus makes room for sexual diversity and challenges today’s “romantic” myths.

Religion »

Some Christians claim that same-sex couples cannot fulfill the procreative purpose of marriage, even when they adopt, because children do best when they are raised by both biological parents. Does this explain why Jesus, who was born of the Virgin Mary and had no biological father, lived such a troubled life?

Religion »

The goal was to have a civil discussion on the question of marriage from a Catholic perspective. Though in a case like this where neither side is likely to be convinced of much by any argument it is ultimately an exercise in circular talking points