1. Greg Boyd offers a thoroughly biblical refutation to the fundamentalistic notion that God uses natural disasters to punish "immorality." Not that the fundamentalists who make such claims would ever allow a well-reasoned argument, no matter how biblically supported, to get in the way of their latest crusade, but we can at least try to limit the amount of damage that such people routinely do to the church's reputation.
2. Doorman-Priest weighs in on the ELCA's recent decision to allow member churches to fully include GLBT individuals in the life of the congregation, and the ways that conservatives use the Bible to argue against inclusion. Key quote:
The situation we face is one where people believe they know their Bibles: after all they can quote verses at the drop of a hat as if that were somehow evidence. That is not the same as understanding their Bibles and without understanding there is not knowledge. Without understanding and knowledge there can not be evaluation.
3. Groups like Exodus and Focus on the Family would flatly deny that they in any way support miscarriages of justice like this one. And I believe that, from their perspective, they sincerely believe in the goodness of their own cause. Yet it's precisely because of their tireless efforts to pathologize and stigmatize homosexuality in the public arena (couched in plenty of talk about "compassion," but still geared toward equating "gay" with mental illness and sin of the worst sort) that an innocent man could be presumed guilty simply because he was gay.
Granted, much has changed since the late '80s when Bernard Baran was imprisoned on false charges, but the attitude of the court that convicted him was fully in line with what one still hears from the religious right during public policy debates.
4. Peterson offers some more thoughts on mixed-orientation marriages. While such unions can occasionally work, I'm very thankful that I never entered into one myself - as much for the sake of the woman I might have loved but would have never truly desired as for myself.