Archives For intolerance

a moral dilemma.

mjkimpan  —  July 29, 2014 — 8 Comments

gaza

‘we think what we believe is real and valid and what everyone else belives is fearful nonsense and superstition.’ 

during the recent uptick in the outbreak of violence in gaza, i’ve been considering the concerns expressed from both ‘sides’ of the conflict – while acknowledging that where one gets their news, matters.

that said, the moral dilemma surrounding that little plot of land in the middle east transcends the geographical area, and extends to the way in which those of us who are far removed (at least in terms of location) speak about the conflict…and its history.

two significant resources can, i think, help us think more carefully and critically about the ways we talk about who is right and wrong in gaza.

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CNN last year, i wrote a blog post about my experience participating in The Marin Foundation’s I’m Sorry Campaign as we stood in front of these protestors during Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade.

<sidenote :: if you’re unfamiliar with the history of Gay Pride, i highly suggest watching this documentary which outlines the beginning of the LGBT equality movement at the Stonewall Inn in NYC – you can find other helpful documentaries on LGBT history and theology here>

i titled the post LOVE is louder

in spite of the 20 foot tall signs and bullhorns used by the protestors spewing words of hate, our simple sings of love with slogans like ‘I’m Sorry for how the church has treated you’ or ‘God loves you’ spoke volumes.

this year, we brought more people, with bigger signs – and the result was nothing short of extraordinary.

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really, al?

mjkimpan  —  June 4, 2014 — 2 Comments

almohler

here we go again.

in an article on his website entitled, ‘There is No ‘Third Way,’ president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention) al mohler articulated serious doubt that any church, religious organization, or even an individual could engage in conversations surrounding faith and sexuality in a balanced and nuanced way, without coming down firmly as for or against same sex marriage and relationships.

hasn’t al ever heard of The Marin Foundation?

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facepalm

this is beyond embarrassing.

it is un-christlike.

in the following video, ‘christian’ activists briefly disrupted a hindu invocation in the us senate, marring a historic first for the chamber in allowing an actual separation of ‘church’ and ‘state.’

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GAGC

it’s no surprise that as humans we have an inherent propensity to gravitate toward individuals and ways of thinking which reflect our own personal convictions and biases. our ‘comfort zones’ are made up of the familiar – things which reinforce the world as we already interpret it.

this familiarity provides for us the comfort of the similar – we often surround ourselves with like-minded people – reflecting our belief systems, behaviors and preferred philosophies and perspectives.

this ‘sameness’ is indeed part of the human experience; and yet, left unchecked, it can also lend itself toward the sort of dangerous Groupishness i’ve discussed at length here on the blog in the past. creating a cultural norm of us/them || in/out and refusing to generously engage the Other can, in fact, lead us backwards to a sort of tribalism which is inherently inhospitable and ungracious.

striking that balance is an important part of creating space for civil dialogue and disagreement.

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missing the point.

mjkimpan  —  May 1, 2014 — 6 Comments

lethalchair

just moments ago, i stumbled across an Op-Ed piece on CNN’s blog.

unsurprisingly, it was written about the recent controversial execution by lethal injection tuesday in oklahoma – a ‘botched execution’ that went so wrong that the same news agency wrote previously that ‘it will also prompt many Americans across the country to rethink the wisdom, and the morality, of capital punishment.

As it well should.

enter al mohler’s Op-Ed piece.

much to my dismay, the title of the article written by the widely respected president of the flagship school for the largest protestant denomination in our country (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) with 16.2 million members was this ::

Why Christians should support the death penalty

how have we gotten the message of jesus so damned wrong?

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significant

in an earlier post, i mentioned brian mclaren. i’ve blogged a bit here and there about some of his thoughts, and extensively quoted his work ‘A New Kind of Christianity’ in my series on scripture here at the WayWard Follower. in many ways, that book literally changed my life – and saved my faith.

put bluntly – there is no other author, speaker, pastor or friend who has had a more significant influence on my spiritual development than has brian.

i was first given the opportunity to meet brian face to face as he was touring for his (at the time) most recent book, ‘Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? :: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World and had the privilege of sitting down with him afterwards. our discussion crossed over from inter-faith dialogue to the need for a more generous, gracious, hospitable approach to the church’s conversation with the LGBT community (this was mere months before i came to The Marin Foundation).

it was one of the most meaningful and significant conversations i’ve ever had.

it, in conjunction with spending two days later that same week with rob bell, led to me leaving the faith community i had grown to know and love and start out on a grand adventure. Continue Reading…

damage (and) control.

mjkimpan  —  April 1, 2014 — 135 Comments

damagecontrol2

i’m still reeling from last week.

my inboxes have been flooded, my text messages continuous and my face to face conversations with members of both the LGBT and conservative communities have been seemingly endless – and emotionally charged.

one friend said he was saddened by the fact that his (gay) community has been marginalized yet again and treated as not only ‘Other’ but unworthy – another friend used the term ‘useless’ after acknowledging he is a gay christian. Continue Reading…

see more.

mjkimpan  —  March 28, 2014 — 4 Comments

oneonone

‘I think that we all need to start with grace and compassion. Set the issues, beliefs and convictions aside and let’s see one another as we truly are : God’s children in need of His grace. I believe the church and other Christian ministries and organizations like World Vision are being robbed of the incredible contributions that LGBT people can make. There are so many incredible gifts, talents and abilities that were God-given that are being unused and de-valued because of the labels we place on one another.’

see more of my conversation with my friend tim schraeder on why he decided to come out as a gay christian here.

u-turn.

mjkimpan  —  March 26, 2014 — 17 Comments

uturn

less than 48 hours after announcing it would hire gay christians in legal same-sex marriages, World Vision has reversed its decision calling it ‘a mistake’ – no doubt a response to the outcry of many evangelicals resulting in the dropped sponsorship of over 2,000 children. Continue Reading…