Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Religious change

Current church & societal discrimination
based on race, gender & sex
ual orientation

Sponsored link.

Quotation:

bulletMatthew Fox, Episcopalian priest and theologian: "Evil is the shadow of angel. Just as there are angels of light, support, guidance, healing and defense, so we have experiences of shadow angels. And we have names for them: racism, sexism, homophobia are all demons - but they're not out there."

The level of oppression and discrimination today:

With very few exceptions, Christian denominations have totally abandoned their original beliefs about race, human slavery and racial segregation. Most have abandoned or at least slightly modified their initial beliefs about the role of women. Some have abandoned their original beliefs about the nature of homosexuality and the status of homosexuals in the church and the rest of society.

The history of the United States and Canada contains many instances of groups who were originally oppressed, who organized and demanded equal rights, and who finally achieved at least equality in law. This included: African Americans, Roman Catholics, various waves of immigrants from Ireland, Europe, Asia, etc. Various forms of prejudice still exist at the personal level and in private organizations like the Boy Scouts of America's, discrimination against non-theists, gays, and bisexuals. However at least they are not supported by laws and the government.

Women seem to have followed the same path. They have not yet attained full equal rights, For example, they are currently refused consideration for positions of power and authority in many religious denominations, and in certain roles in the military. However, they seem well on the way towards equality. For example, as the first draft of this essay was being written in 2006-JUN, the Episcopal Church elected Right Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori to be its Presiding Bishop, and the first female Primate of the Anglican Communion -- much to the anger of many of the other primates whose provinces don't even allow women to be consecrated as bishops.

Gays and lesbians were nearly universally considered as sexual perverts and mentally ill until sexual orientation was first seriously studied in the 1950s. Within about one generation afterwards:

bulletThe Stonewall Inn riot in Greenwich Village, New York, NY (1969) had triggered the start of the gay liberation movement (1969).

bullet Canada removed homosexual behavior from its criminal code, thus fulfilling the belief of Prime Minister Trudeau that "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." (1969)

bulletThe American Unitarian Association had become the first organized religion to promote an end to homophobia within their denomination and in society generally. (1970)

bulletThe American Psychiatric Association had removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. (1973)

Within about one more generation:

bulletLaws criminalizing same-sex behavior have been eliminated in the U.S. (2003).

bullet Same-sex couples can marry in the District of Columbia, in a handful of states, throughout Canada, and in some other countries. The current status of same-sex marriage in California is before the state Supreme Court.

bulletMore religious denominations allow the ordination of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in loving, committed same-sex relationships. Most notable among these are the United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and the Episcopal Church, USA.

bulletPublic opinion surveys show that American youths and young adults are far more accepting of equal rights for gays and lesbians than older generations.

It is likely that this trend will continue until sexual minorities achieve equal rights. Religious and social conservatives are investing great effort in passing federal and state constitutional amendments to restrict marriage to one man and one woman -- thus temporarily preventing same-sex couples from marrying. However, support for marriage equality has been steadily increasing.

Debate over ordination of homosexuals and the recognition of their relationships is causing great stress in some mainline denominations and may yet cause major schisms. However, equal rights for homosexuals and bisexuals have greatly advanced over two generations. If past history is any indication, then the U.S. and Canada will continue to stumble in the direction of their often repeated goal of "liberty and justice for all."


Site navigation: Main path

Home page > Religious change > here

There are other paths too numerous to list

Copyright © 2006 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2006-JUN-25
Latest update and review: 2011-JUN-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or to the "Religious change" menu, or choose:

 

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 

Sponsored link: