Through a lens darkly

On January 14, the Anglican Communion sent U.S. and LGBTQ Episcopalians into the corner for a time-out. They did it because they don’t know how to bring a large part of the Communion into the 21st century. They did it because too many church leaders are trying to read their scripture through a dark lens.

This time-out consists of three years’ worth of the United States Episcopal church having no say in any internal matters pertaining to doctrine, and U.S. church members cannot be appointed to any committees, and anyone on committees already must participate no more than a fly on the wall, and (if that’s not enough) U.S. members can no longer represent the Communion to any organization or effort outside the Communion. U.S. church leaders must sit in the corner with their thumbs up their proverbial bums. Oh—except that might be a “gay” thing to do. Very well, then, they must sit there and suck their thumbs.

Islam: Beauty or Beast?

In my research for my stories about gay teens, I see rant after rant by people who are obviously stark-raving terrified of homosexuality. And when I look up from the question of sex, I see a very similar fear concerning religion and, most specifically, fear by Christians in the U.S. of Islam. Fear can often be mitigated through education. I've seen it reduce homophobia in many cases. However, in my own efforts to educate myself about Islam, I'm not learning much that would mitigate fear. (Please note: I am talking about the religion of Islam and its scripture, not about Muslims. The scripture itself is immutable, but its interpretation by individual Muslims can vary a great deal.)

Rana Elmir*, deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan, is an American Muslim tired of being expected to apologize for the actions of Islamic terrorists. In her words, “…terrorism is not mine. I will not claim it, not even through an apology.”