Some of this week’s religion and gender news:
Four women have become the first nuns to be ordained in the Western Hemisphere in the Buddhist Theravada tradition, which until recently had excluded women from full participation in monastic orders.
Beyond Adam and Eve: Becky Garrison discusses how transgender people are so often been left out of discussions of gay and lesbian civil rights, and what some Christians are doing to address the failure of the church to take transgender issues seriously.
The Human Rights Campaign’s Summer Institute hosted graduate students working on queer studies in religion this summer.
At a recent meeting of “Bible believing Christians” against the screening of an LGBT documentary at the Coudersport public library, local Robert Wagner promoted violence against transgender people (trigger warning). The film, Out in the Silence, documents the isolation of and discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in small town PA.
Rev. Jane Spahr has been found guilty of misconduct by the Presbyterian Church (USA) for violating church rules that “Presbyterian ministers may bless same-sex unions as long as they do ‘not state, imply, or represent that a same-sex ceremony is a marriage.'” So basically, she’s guilty of thinking same sex couples are equal to straight couples. How dare she!
Allah is not He or She: Great post by Amina Wadud arguing that God transcends gender.
Since we as human beings have been affected by patriarchy, then we reflect that onto God/Allah. The divine cannot have gender . . . . Patriarchy is a kind of istikbar, with one gender, male, considered better then the other, female. Plus when one has the power to assert this sense of different values because of different genders, it turns into zulm, or oppression.
Some of this week’s religion, gender, and sexuality news, starting with some international news:
Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to be executed for allegedly committing adultery, has “confessed” to being an accomplice in her late husband’s death. The likely coerced confession has led Human Rights Watch to sound the alarm that Iran may be planning to execute her shortly. An interview with Ashtiani’s former lawyer, now seeking asylum in Norway, is here. A petition to free Ashtiani can be found here. (Via Elizabeth Esther.)
Mexico’s Supreme Court has upheld Mexico City laws allowing gay marriages and adoptions by gay and lesbian couples. Gay marriages and adoptions are legal only in Mexico City, but must be recognized throughout the country. Mexico mayor Marcelo Ebrard has filed a lawsuit claiming defamation against Guadalajara Cardinal Juan Sandoval refused to retract accusations that Mexican Supreme court took bribes to make these rulings. Sandoval is also under fire for using the Spanish equivalent of “fa**ot” in decrying the Court’s decision to uphold the adoption law. Meanwhile, an archdiocesan spokesman claims the mayor has caused harm to Mexico City than the drug cartels and has compared him to Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet in being a “fascist . . . [with] an undeniable desire to persecute the church.” Unsurprisingly, he is also being sued for defamation by the mayor. Good heavens. Stay classy, Mexican Catholic officials!
Closer to home, 10 year old Will Phillips is putting marriage equality opponents on notice. This kid must scare the pants off the NOM crowd.
Laura at The Redheaded Skeptic has a great four-post series on how Focus on the Family ruins families, starting with a post on Dobson’s book The Strong Willed Child.
Vyckie at No Longer Quivering on how women get lured into and stuck in the patriarchy trap: Husbands love your wives: the peanut butter in the patriarchy trap.
Excellent post by Rita Nakashima Brock on marriage in the Bible that carefully picks apart marriage equality opponents’ claims that the Bible unanimously supports their definition of “traditional marriage”:
The Bible presents multiple views of marriage, and most actual marriages it depicts are terrible by modern standards. “Traditional marriages” in ancient biblical times were arranged as transfers of the ownership of daughters. The tenth commandment lists wives among properties like houses and slaves: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17, also found in Deuteronomy 5:21). Marriages occurred via deception, kidnapping, adulterous seductions, theft, rape, and murder, and were often in multiples so that the pater familias could amass land, flocks, and progeny and cement political alliances. Abraham, David, and Solomon had marriages that would be illegal today. The book of Hosea likens the mercy of God to a husband who has the right to beat or kill his adulterous wife, but spares her — for this, she was supposed to be grateful. When women seek marriages, such as Naomi arranged for Ruth, it was to avoid an even worse fate such as destitution.
GLAAD also has a great weekly LGBT religion news roundup.