Question: What is a Christian?


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A while ago, I was part of a panel discussion with about the topic of Worldviews.

There was an Atheist,  a Baha’i, more of a conservative Christian, and me a “Progressive” Christian.

On Saturday, I’m going to be part of a panel discussing the future of Christianity. There will be a “Progressive” Christian, an ex-Christian, a new Christian, and a Conservative/Traditional Christian. This should be an interesting conversation.

One of the first questions we are going to discuss is this one. And, I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on this.

If you were asked what a Christian is, how would you respond? You don’t have to be a Christian to answer this question. As a matter of  fact, I welcome those who aren’t.

Agree or Disagree: The Religious Right is fading away.


There is a new book out.

I’m not sure many of you will read it. Well, you might.

The book is called Distortion. It’s basically a book taking shots on how the Progressive Christians are destroying the message of the Gospel. People like Rachel Held Evans,Sarah Bessey, Shane Claiborne, and Benjamin Corey.

Speaking of Covey….

He  notes that the Religious Right is facing a demise. Actually, I apologize, that is somewhat of an understatement. Here’s a portion of his post on this in Patheos.

“They know it, and we know it: the movement of the “Religious Right” has failed. What we’re seeing out of the Religious Right is similar to when a star dies– after the death of a star there’s still some fusion activity going on, the core begins to collapse under the forces of gravity, and the outer layers temporarily heat up as the star undergoes a prolonged death experience. The star is dead– out of fuel– but the actual death process can take a few billion years.”

You can read the rest here.

We can sit and talk about  an endless list of things the Religious Right has been responsible for. For example, speaking out against homosexuality and ignoring the bullying of them.  Or, subtly, or actually not so subtly, telling people to stop supporting Third World children because of “traditional values”.

These things have caused anger to non-Christians and Christians. Particularly from Christians who have a far different view of Scripture than the angry, authoritative and uninformed views some of the Right have represented.

So, two questions

But, is the Religious Right done? Are we watching the slow death or demise of this movement? Or, does it still have the strength to move forward?

The other question is this. Corey thinks there are things we can learn from the apparent demise of the Religious Right.  Things like “taking back the country from the left”. Do you think there are things we can learn from this?

Agree or Disagree: The Mainstream Media does not fully understand Islam


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I’d like to start this conversation by showing this picture.  This was a picture of a rally in Toronto over the summer.

On one side there were Muslims supporting Palestine. The other were Jewish people supporting Israel.

The general feedback of this specific rally was it was peaceful. However, I saw some on the Pro-Israel side call out some insults to Muslim woman. Too rough to mention here.

Now, if I was too make a blanket statement about Jewish people and what their religion promotes, there would be offence taken. And that would be fair. The Jewish faith is generally a beautiful faith.

Often, there are statements about Christians being homophobic, racist etc.. Westboro Baptist Church does not represent Christianity. Other “extreme” actions are often distanced by Christians. And Christians will often state these actions are not fully  what Christianity is. People generally agree with that.

However, what I’m noticing a trend when it comes to the current perception of Islam. There seems too be, and maybe it’s only me noticing this, that we have made some blanket statements about Islam. It seems many try to connect actions from groups like ISIS and Al-Queda to what the Muslim faith teaches.

Reza Aslan has a response to that.

In this  interview with CNN, Aslan argues that the current issues going on in what we have generally called Muslim countries, is not a Muslim problem, but a people problem.

He also states that while people argue that Islam is a religion of violence, he argues that Islam is neither a religion of violence or peace. I’ll let you listen to his explanation on that. You will also notice his anger towards the interviewers at CNN.

Which leads to this question.

Do you think that The Mainstream Media have given a fair representation of what Islam is? Or, are we dealing with some blanket statements about Islam?

Normally I post an Agree or Disagree at this point….But this is a must read.


I typically post a an Agree or Disagree at this point.
However, we have debated and discussed forever about the relationship between Christians and LGBT. We have criticized many Christians behaviour and actions.
However, this is some kudos. Read this response from a Christian Pastor if he found out his kids were gay.

And of course, discuss.

Read here.

Agree or Disagree: You would sign a permission slip so your kid can bring home a Gideon Bible


This is a long title.

However, when you read the story, you will understand.

This is a blog from Susan Goldberg. She is excited about the new school year. New routines.New activities. And a very interesting permission slip.

This one.image

A permission slip from The Gideons! They would like to send Susan’s kid and perhaps your kid with a nice new Gideon Bible.

You can read her concerns in her blog. One of her concerns is that her kids are in a public school. The idea of public school for many is to not have religion in the classroom. This…well…contradicts that.

So, if you were the parent and your kid brought home this permission slip, would you sign it?

Why or why not?

Agree or Disagree: Gay Rights groups should be angered by the ” rugby marriage”


Agree or Disagree: Gay Rights groups should be angered by this “marriage”

Have you heard of the marriage of Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick?

They are in New Zealand they got married!

Isn’t that exciting? Another happy marriage! It is another progress for the LGBT movement right?

Well……..no.

The reason? Travis and Matt are not gay. They are straight.

The other reason? They got married to win rugby tickets. You read that right. Rugby tickets.

McIntosh and McCormick tied the knot got hitched at a rugby stadium. 60 of their closest friends and tens of thousands were listening live.

This has caused anger from some gay rights groups.

In the above article from The Sydney Morning Herald, Alex Greenwich, an independent MP for Sydney and former convenes of Australian Marriage Equality is quoted as saying this.

“It essentially makes a mockery of marriage. Marriage is a really important institution about love and commitment and it’s sad to see that there are people who are making a joke out of that.”

What do you think? Is this something people standing for gay marriage should be upset about?

Agree or Disagree: We need more LGBT exclusive homeless shelters


Do we need more LGBT exclusive homeless shelters?

I hope you had the opportunity to listen to the Agree or Disagree: The Podcast interviewing Terry Lo and I had with Kelly Hofer. He describes himself as the Gay Hutterite Activist. You can hear the conversation here.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/the-story-of-kelly-hofer

When I was thinking about this interview, I did some thinking on a few things. One if the things was the issue of homelessness.In the above CBC article, it is estimated that 25-40% of youth homeless identify themselves as LGBT. I posted a question on this topic on Facebook yesterday. We had a good discussion about it.

The other thing I was thinking about was an article from Rolling Stone.it discusses the rise in the amount LGBT teens being homeless because they were disconnected from a religious family. You can read that below.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-forsaken-a-rising-number-of-homeless-gay-teens-are-being-cast-out-by-religious-families-20140903?page=2&utm_content=bufferf47fa&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

There is a lot of information here, but it leads to the question. Do we need more exclusive LGBT exclusive homeless shelters? Do we have the resources to provide the specific needs around this? Or, are homeless shelters currently able to provide this now?