22 October 2010

What does it take to get a red hat these days?

Pope Benedict XVI announced on Wednesday the election of 24 new cardinals, including two Americans: Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington DC and Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority of the Catholic Church. Their appointments to cardinal necessitate a forthright examination of their respective paths to the red hat - paths filled with discrimination, abuse of power, and staunch efforts to preserve the patriarchy. Click here to read Mary E. Hunt's article "Vatican Pitbulls Make Cardinal" for a look into the Vatican's election (read: reward) system and see just what it takes to get a red hat these days. The article appears in the online magazine Religion Dispatches.

20 October 2010

WATER's Feminist Conversations in Religion Series Presents-

An Hour-Long Teleconference
"Trans Gifts: A Conversation with Virginia Ramey Mollenkott"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
1:00PM-2:00PM EST

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott is professor emerita in English at William Paterson University of New Jersey. She is the author or co-author of 13 books, including several on women and religion. Perhaps the best known of her books, written with Letha Scanzoni, Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? A Positive Christian Response (HarperCollins Publishers, 1994) remains a classic in the field.

She is a longtime member of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus and a leading Christian feminist voice on transgender issues.

Virginia’s focus in this WATER conversation will be on the specific gifts that trans people can offer to religious congregations and other groups. Virginia will share her extensive experience on the topic, which readers will find in her book Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach (Pilgrim Press, 2001). She will also reference her chapter “Trans-forming Feminist Christianity” in New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views (edited by Mary E. Hunt and Diann L. Neu, SkyLight Paths, 2010). Order your copy of the book here.

Virginia is a stalwart proponent of women and LGBTQ people, a longtime friend and supporter of WATER. We are delighted to share her with a wider group of colleagues! Gather some friends for lunch and take this special opportunity to learn and speak with one of our pioneers.

How to Register
Email with the words "register me" and you will receive dial-in information. Please register by November 8. We encourage you to make a donation to WATER. Thank you!

The Feminist Conversations in Religion are open to all. These hour-long live teleconferences highlight the latest issues addressed by WATER. In addition to the teleconferences, you can go to our website to listen to an audio version at your convenience.
The Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
8121 Georgia Avenue, Suite 310
Silver Spring MD 20910
301-589-2509; Fax 301-589-3150

18 October 2010

Faith leaders respond to Carl Paladino's divisive remarks

On October 11, 2010, a response to Carl Paladino's tumultuous comments about homosexuality was issued by the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Paladino stated that children should not be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is as equally valid or successful an option [as heterosexuality]." He continued on to criticize his opponent Andrew Cuomo for marching in New York's gay pride parade with his daughters. The Task Force blog has more information, including a video from Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, faith work director.

Mary E. Hunt of WATER contributed the following:
The last thing the governor's race in New York State needs is homophobic comments from anyone. While the Roman Catholic hierarchy will not step up to the plate on this one, let it be known that many Catholics consider homosexuality "an equally valid and successful opetion" for loving, committed, and generative relationship. Suggestions to the contrary reveal either ignorance of contemporary theological work, homo hatred, or both. Ample resources from Catholic social justice teachings prove that disrespect for human persons and their choices has no place in Catholic circles. The work of groups like Dignity, New Ways Ministry, Fortunate Families, Call to Action, and Women-Church Convergence is testimony to the fact that Catholicism can and should be inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of the variety of ways people choose to love, partner and generate families.
Mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation
From their website
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all.

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