In The News: #LoveWins, #TakeItDown, #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

Searching Herman Cain’s Soul. In Iowa.

By Andy Kopsa 

Standing before a crowd of reporters at the Friar’s Club in New York, Sharon Bialek told her story.  With her lawyer Gloria Allred at her side, Bialek painted a picture of an unwanted sexual encounter in a parked car in Washington DC: what she was wearing – pleated skirt, suit jacket; a pleasurable dinner and cocktails; and to her surprise, an upgrade to a suite at her hotel, courtesy of her host for the evening, Herman Cain.

Bialek shockingly revealed that Cain “reached for my genitals” and then pulled her head toward his crotch.  She resisted and asked, “What are you doing you know I have a boyfriend?” Cain’s reply was simply, ‘You want a job, right?’

For a man who has likened himself to Moses, claims God* told him to run for presidency and is a registered minister at Antioch Church in Atlanta, these charges should be troubling.  Instead Cain’s personal response has been indignant, his campaign’s ham-handed and somewhat juvenile.  Cain’s lawyer recently cautioned that women considering going public with claims of harassment by Cain should “think twice,” a threat like that of a playground bully.

What Bialek has described is sexual assault.  While sexual harassment is serious, sexual assault is, criminally speaking, a whole other level.  In Washington DC, where the alleged Bialek – Cain incident occurred, a misdemeanor sexual abuse charge carries a $1000 fine plus up to 180 days in jail.  If a case reaches into 3rd or 4th degree assault territory fines can reach $100,000 and jail time soars to 10 years in prison. Continue Reading →

Searching Herman Cain's Soul. In Iowa.

By Andy Kopsa 

Standing before a crowd of reporters at the Friar’s Club in New York, Sharon Bialek told her story.  With her lawyer Gloria Allred at her side, Bialek painted a picture of an unwanted sexual encounter in a parked car in Washington DC: what she was wearing – pleated skirt, suit jacket; a pleasurable dinner and cocktails; and to her surprise, an upgrade to a suite at her hotel, courtesy of her host for the evening, Herman Cain.

Bialek shockingly revealed that Cain “reached for my genitals” and then pulled her head toward his crotch.  She resisted and asked, “What are you doing you know I have a boyfriend?” Cain’s reply was simply, ‘You want a job, right?’

For a man who has likened himself to Moses, claims God* told him to run for presidency and is a registered minister at Antioch Church in Atlanta, these charges should be troubling.  Instead Cain’s personal response has been indignant, his campaign’s ham-handed and somewhat juvenile.  Cain’s lawyer recently cautioned that women considering going public with claims of harassment by Cain should “think twice,” a threat like that of a playground bully.

What Bialek has described is sexual assault.  While sexual harassment is serious, sexual assault is, criminally speaking, a whole other level.  In Washington DC, where the alleged Bialek – Cain incident occurred, a misdemeanor sexual abuse charge carries a $1000 fine plus up to 180 days in jail.  If a case reaches into 3rd or 4th degree assault territory fines can reach $100,000 and jail time soars to 10 years in prison. Continue Reading →

Evangelicals and The Gay

Jay Bakker’s going out on a limb for The Gays.  In his new book,  Fall to Grace:  A Revolution of God, Self and Society, Bakker proclaims that homosexuality is not a sin.

While this may be a revelation (Bakker’s church is called Revelation NYC) for Cathleen Falsani, who reviews the book at Sojourners, and other evangelicals with gay friends, one can’t help but match up Bakker’s proclamation of tolerance and love to the rather all-male-all-straight-all-white leadership at his church and be disappointed. Continue Reading →

Brown is Brown

Far be it from us to support gay-bashing, censorship or breaking the law, ahem, but this little piece from the increasingly paranoid Examiner does a fine job of equating all travelers from Mexico to San Diego as terrorists of one kind or another:

The Los Angeles Times reported on January 27, 2011 that Tunisian-born imam Said Jaziri was arrested earlier this month near San Diego while trying to illegally enter the country.

Jaziri is known for leading protests in Canada against the famous Danish Mohammed cartoons; for proclaiming homosexuality a disease; and for spending time in a French prison for assaulting another Muslim.

News reports do not indicate that Jaziri is a proponent of violent Islamism; but his arrest reminds us that porous borders are dangerous, because not only Mexicans just seeking work are illegal aliens. (See “Hezbollah smuggling people into U.S. through Mexico.”

(h/t Abby Ohlheiser) Continue Reading →

By Association

An excerpt from a letter written by Justin Lee, Executive Director of The Gay Christian Network.  (Read more about Philip Yancey here.)

Since we announced that bestselling Christian author Philip Yancey would be addressing the GCN conference in 2011, questions have been flying, online and offline. “Is Philip Yancey pro-gay?” some have asked. “What are his views on homosexuality?” “Why would he agree to speak to this conference?” “Why would GCN invite him in the first place?”

Some have criticized me for extending the invitation, thinking an evangelical author like Philip is surely far too conservative to speak to a group like ours. Others have strongly condemned him for accepting the invitation, saying he’s condoning sin. Some have even called for other Christians to disassociate with him.

Continue Reading →

Hate Groups: Notes from SPLC's Web Conference

Becky Garrison: Effective next year, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit civil rights organization, will add The Family Research Council (FRC)  and 12 other anti-gay organizations to the list of hate groups they monitor.  On December 7, 2010, SPLC President Richard Cohen and SPLC’s Intelligence Project Director Mark Potok held a half-hour web conference to discuss these recent additions.

Following are some of the highlights from this conversation: Continue Reading →