Reflections on the Orlando Massacre

In a Detroit Free Press op-ed, John calls for nuance in reactions to the Orlando shooting: In Mateen’s case, there’s less evidence of religious extremism inciting murder than of a violent individual reaching for the nearest violent ideology to justify his violent tendencies — tendencies that arose from various causes, both religious and secular .… Continue reading Reflections on the Orlando Massacre

What’s Wrong with Religious Arbitration?

At CU-Boulder’s What’s Wrong? blog, my colleague Katherine Kim and I consider some of the pros and cons of religious arbitration. From the essay: An important feature of liberal (i.e. free) states is to protect citizens’ moral agency, allowing them to align their actions with their moral convictions. Many citizens base their moral convictions on… Continue reading What’s Wrong with Religious Arbitration?

Against Obsessive Celibacy

John replies to Michael Hannon’s startling response to “Thinking Straight” at Commonweal: You don’t have to be a “libertine” to recognize that what the young boy is experiencing is not just a really, really, really strong desire for friendship. More important, you don’t have to be a libertine to acknowledge that willful blindness to what… Continue reading Against Obsessive Celibacy

“Thinking Straight?” at Commonweal

At Commonweal, John explains how a little queer theory (misunderstood and misapplied) can be a dangerous thing: What social conservatives want is nothing less than to dismantle the very vocabulary by which we express and realize our inchoate longings for intimacy. They want to push us back to a time when homosexuality was not merely… Continue reading “Thinking Straight?” at Commonweal

A Papal Surprise: Humility

My first full-length op-ed at the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt: [When he says] “who am I to judge,” surely the pope is not relinquishing the church’s assertion of authority in matters of faith and morals. But he was adopting a tone of humility. And tone matters. Read the full piece here.

Bible Thumpers

It’s certainly true that many people claim that they find all they need to know within the Bible: God said it, I believe it, that settles it! There are at least two major problems with this approach. First, most people don’t know what the Bible actually says. And second, when one examines what it actually… Continue reading Bible Thumpers

Loving the Sinner, Hating the Sin

Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of the gay Catholic group New Ways Ministry, called [Cardinal] Dolan’s remarks “nothing short of an Easter miracle.” Really? Rising from the dead is an Easter miracle. Marshmallow Peeps are an Easter miracle. (You can put them in your pantry for a decade, and they won’t decay. It’s true.) But a… Continue reading Loving the Sinner, Hating the Sin