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In an evangelical perspective influenced many political decisions, as President Donald Trump embraced the key constituency that voted overwhelmingly in his favor. As recently as Dec. Earlier in the year Trump made several other announcements keeping in mind his conservative Christian supporters. He nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch , a conservative judge, to the Supreme Court. He also brought evangelical Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr.

As mainstream media outlets covered how Trump was embracing evangelical politics, at The Conversation we strived to provide historical context to these developments, as the following six articles exemplify. The nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem are crucial for the fulfillment of this prophecy. This is part of a theology considered to be a literal reading of the Bible.

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However, Julie Ingersoll, religious studies professor at University of North Florida, explains that this theology is actually a relatively new interpretation that dates to the 19th century and relates to the work of Bible teacher John Nelson Darby. Darby argued that the Jewish people needed to have control of Jerusalem and build a third Jewish temple on the site where the first and second temples were destroyed.

This would be a precursor to the Battle of Armageddon, when Satan would be defeated and Christ would establish his earthly kingdom. A growing number of young people who have left evangelicalism point to end-times theology as a key component of the subculture they left. Evangelicals have for decades played a prominent role in American politics.

Falwell Jr.

It was his late father, Jerry Falwell Sr. For Eisenhower, faith, patriotism and free enterprise were the fundamentals of a strong nation. But of the three, faith came first. And readers may recall that it was at the 65th National Prayer Breakfast that President Trump made an announcement to repeal the Johnson Amendment and allow religious leaders to endorse candidates from the pulpit, a pledge he made on the campaign trail.

Besides these prominent individual conservative voices, there are other Christian groups trying to shape American politics and the religious landscape. Christerson and Flory believe this to be the fastest-growing Christian group in America and possibly in the world. Between and , Protestant churches shrunk by an average of. Dover Area School District , describing it as "at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard.

Some Christian groups advocate for the removal of sex education literature from public schools, [72] for parental opt-out of comprehensive sex education, or for abstinence-only sex education. Thirty percent of America's sexual-education programs are abstinence based. The Christian right promotes homeschooling and private schooling as a valid alternative to public education for parents who object to the content being taught at school. In recent years, the percentage of children being homeschooled has risen from 1.

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Dover Area School District case established that creationism cannot be taught in public schools, and in response officials have increasingly appropriated public funds for charter schools that teach curricula like Accelerated Christian Education. Supporters of the Christian right have no one unified stance on the role of government since the movement is primarily one that advocates social conservatism ; in fact, "struggles [have] broken out in state party organizations" between supporters of the Christian right and other conservatives. Some members of the Christian right, especially Catholics, accept the Catholic Church's strong support for labor unions.

The Christian right believes that separation of church and state is not explicit in the American Constitution, believing instead that such separation is a creation of what it claims are activist judges in the judicial system. The Christian right points out that the term "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, not from the Constitution itself. Thus, Christian right leaders have argued that the Establishment Clause does not prohibit the display of religion in the public sphere.

Leaders therefore believe that public institutions should be allowed, or even required, to display the Ten Commandments. This interpretation has been repeatedly rejected by the courts, which have found that such displays violate the Establishment Clause. Public officials though are prohibited from using their authority in which the primary effect is "advancing or prohibiting religion", according to the Lemon Supreme Court test, and there cannot be an "excessive entanglement with religion" and the government.

Some, such as Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association , argue that the First Amendment, which specifically restricts Congress, applies only to the Congress and not the states. This position rejects the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Generally, the Christian right supports the presence of religious institutions within government and the public sphere, and advocates for fewer restrictions on government funding for religious charities and schools.

Both Catholics and Protestants, according to a Gallup study, have been supportive of school prayer in public schools. Early American fundamentalists, such as John R. Rice [95] [96] often favored laissez-faire economics and were outspoken critics of the New Deal and later the Great Society. Many evangelical Protestant supporters of the religious right have given very strong support to the state of Israel in recent decades, encouraging support for Israel in the United States government. The Christian right opposes abortion, believing that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder.

Therefore, those in the movement have worked toward the overturning of Roe v. Wade , and have also supported incremental steps to make abortion less available.


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Such efforts include bans on late-term abortion including intact dilation and extraction , [] prohibitions against Medicaid funding and other public funding for elective abortions, removal of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortion services, legislation requiring parental consent or notification for abortions performed on minors , [] legal protections for unborn victims of violence, legal protections for infants born alive following failed abortions, and bans on abortifacient medications.

The Christian right element in the Reagan coalition strongly supported him in , in the belief that he would appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe V Wade. They worked hard to defeat her confirmation but failed. The Christian right contends that morning-after pills such as Plan B and Ella are possible abortifacients, able to interfere with a fertilized egg 's implantation in the uterine wall.


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  • Food and Drug Administration FDA for Plan B and Ella state that they may interfere with implantation, but according to a June , The New York Times article, many scientists believe that they work only by interfering with ovulation and are arguing to have the implantation language removed from product labels. The Christian right maintains that the chemical properties of morning-after pills make them abortifacients and that the politics of abortion is influencing scientific judgments.

    Jonathan Imbody of the Christian Medical Association says he questions "whether ideological considerations are driving these decisions. According to some social science research, Christians and members of the Christian right are typically less concerned about issues of environmental responsibility than the general public. Due to the Christian right's views regarding ethics and to an extent due to negative views of eugenics common to most ideologies in North America, it has worked for the regulation and restriction of certain applications of biotechnology.

    In particular, the Christian right opposes therapeutic and reproductive human cloning , championing a United Nations ban on the practice, [] and human embryonic stem cell research , which involves the extraction of one or more cells from a human embryo. The Christian right also opposes euthanasia , and, in one highly publicized case, took an active role in seeking governmental intervention to prevent Terri Schiavo from being deprived of nutrition and hydration. The modern roots of the Christian right's views on sexual matters were evident in the s, a period in which many Christian conservatives in the United States viewed sexual promiscuity as not only excessive, but in fact as a threat to their ideal vision of the country.

    The Christian right proceeded to make sexuality issues a priority political cause. The Christian right champions itself as the "self-appointed conscience of American society". During the s, the movement was largely dismissed by political pundits and mainstream religious leaders as "a collection of buffoonish has-beens". Later, it re-emerged, better organized and more focused, taking firm positions against abortion, pornography, sexual deviancy, and extreme feminism.

    As a result, the Christian right has endorsed smaller government, restricting its ability to arbitrate in disputes regarding values and traditions.

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    In this context, gay rights laws have come to symbolize the government's allegedly unconstitutional "[interference] with individual freedom". The central tenets of Focus on the Family and similar organizations, such as the Family Research Council, emphasise issues such as abortion and the necessity of gender roles. A number of organizations, including the New Christian Right, "have in various ways rejected liberal America in favor of the regulation of pornography, anti-abortion legislation, the criminalization of homosexuality, and the virtues of faithfulness and loyalty in sexual partnerships", according to sociologist Bryan Turner.

    A large number of the Christian right view same-sex marriage as a central issue in the culture wars, more so than other gay rights issues and even more significantly than abortion. It also created previously unknown interracial and ecumenical coalitions, and stimulated new electoral activity in pastors and congregations. Criticisms of the Christian right often come from Christians who believe Jesus' message was centered on social responsibility and social justice. Theologian Michael Lerner has summarized: "The unholy alliance of the Political Right and the Religious Right threatens to destroy the America we love.

    It also threatens to generate a revulsion against God and religion by identifying them with militarism, ecological irresponsibility, fundamentalist antagonism to science and rational thought, and insensitivity to the needs of the poor and the powerless.

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    Blow criticized the Christian right for its tolerance and embrace of Donald Trump during the presidential election despite Trump's failure to adhere to any of the principles advocated by the Christian right groups for decades. One argument which questions the legitimacy of the Christian right posits that Jesus Christ may be considered a leftist on the modern political spectrum.

    Jesus' concern with the poor and feeding the hungry, among other things, are argued, by proponents of Christian leftism, to be core attributes of modern-day socialism and social justice. Some criticize what they see as a politicization of Christianity because they say Jesus transcends political concepts. Mikhail Gorbachev referred to Jesus as "the first Socialist". The Christian right has tried to recruit social conservatives in the black church.

    Whilst the Christian right in the United States is making a tough stand against the progression of LGBT rights , other Christian movements have taken a more lenient approach towards the matter, arguing that the biblical texts only oppose specific types of divergent sexual behaviour, such as paederasty i. Some social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to Dominion Theology [] [] [] as well as to the influence in the broader Christian Right of ideas inspired by Dominion Theology. The terms "dominionist" and "dominionism" are rarely used for self-description, and their usage has been attacked from several quarters.

    Journalist Anthony Williams charged that its purpose is "to smear the Republican Party as the party of domestic Theocracy, facts be damned. The notion that conservative Christians want to reinstitute slavery and rule by genocide is not just crazy, it's downright dangerous.