When shopping our film around, we were asked to cut Trevor and his entire storyline. Major studio players and sales agents at big agencies all the way down to smaller distribution houses all said they "loved the film" but needed Trevor to be cut simply because he was gay, as the "core Christian audience will not accept a gay character." It wasn't a discussion but an ultimatum.
In trying times, it is important to listen for the lesson and hear the voice of God within it. The task for those of us who are attracted to such thoughts is not to see God in our stories but to imagine our story in God's, learning somehow to see our humanity in divinity.
I don't want anyone to ever believe that just because a certain individual has access to a Twitter account it means that she is a spokesperson for the Christian faith. Mocking people of other faith traditions is not Christian. Neither is it Christian to worship the gun culture in America that has done so much damage to our society.
With convening of the 114th Congress and the swearing in this week of new governors and state representatives, the GOP on paper is sitting very pretty in the Capitol and the nation's statehouses.
Lebanese caricaturists felt solidarity with French colleagues targeted in a terrorist attack on the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo this week, but admitted they're hamstrung by threats against them, terrorism, sectarianism, and political instability in their country.
Under delicate snowflakes crocheted by the town mayor, beneath a grand chandelier imported from Russia, a Yup'ik priest in a remote Southwest Alaska village led parishioners in song, prayer and praise day and night this week for Orthodox Christmas, or Slaviq.
I believe that religion can be comforting and enlightening and bring order to a world that feels chaotic. However, that only works when all people feel welcomed. It works when the basic principle is love and finding community through kindness and acceptance. In cases when acceptance is not offered, religion can scar a person's soul.
In The Constant Choice, I talked with a couple of celebrated Biblical scholars about my view of Jesus, and whether or not my simple views were consistent with Christianity itself. I believe that the life of Jesus and his actual sayings matter far more than the churches founded in his name.
Fernando Ortega is a profoundly gifted musician, singer and songwriter, who grew up in New Mexico near the Rio Grande, and spent time in Ecuador and Barbados due to his father's work with the U.S. Department of State.
What happened in Paris surely reminds us of one thing: Pictures move us in ways that language cannot, and no matter how sophisticated we think we are, we will never fully control their impact.
As long as we cling onto our indoctrinated identities, this world will be racked with the most insufferable pain, for these identities will forever demarcate our differences when what we need most is to find our common aspirations.
There is a lot of hurt on all sides that boils to the surface when we learn of the suicide of a teen who was desperate for clarity, for acceptance, for love, and for inner peace. But instead of doing the challenging work of finding entry points for discussion that can lead to understanding and eventually acceptance and healing, so often we're reinforcing this "us vs. them" dichotomy.
I have concluded that America's Evangelical church covers up America's structural racism, helps to hide it, and is thereby complicit in the abuse.
You have talked it out with church leaders and maybe even the congregation, and you have decided that you would like your church to be more welcoming to transgender people.
The Creator seems to be making a serious comeback. Although non-believing cultural elites in media, academia, and entertainment may be the loudest voices in the room, a new study indicates they're becoming the smallest group in the room.
In his Dec. 30 Wall Street Journal column, William Galston makes a point that is appropriate to recall in this season and at a time when, as often before, some probably well-intentioned republican people and movements want to counter and destroy our unstable but creative covenant that makes room for secular and religious appeals and agencies alike.