Whether or not you think the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a joke, the stakes are quite serious. Indeed, they go right to the heart of two essential questions: What is nature of religion, and what is the role of government?
Before social justice became trendy among evangelicals, people of all denominations, faiths, and philosophies had already been steadily working in the trenches without fanfare, caring for the least of these with a quiet strength.
With the Supreme Court's Holly Lobby decision, an ugly piece of history is being repeated. Religion is being used as a tool to take away freedom. Discrimination is not Christian. Discrimination is sin.
Where education and "dialogue" with lukewarm Christian "allies" continues to be a one-sided effort to which only LGBTQ Christians and a handful of outspoken allies contribute, perhaps it's time to recognize what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower.
After the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, conservative religionists tried seizing the opportunity to exclude people from their midst whose non-heterosexuality troubles them. The president of my own alma mater was one of them.
People of faith tend to do themselves very little service by condemning non-believers as closed-minded. As an educated, thinking Christian I cringe more at the comments of other Christians than I do at the comments of atheists.
When I was eight years old, my family started going to church. There I discovered something that changed my life. I was immediately smitten -- head over heels captivated. What I found there, I love now more than ever.
I was expecting a backlash from the sort of people I'd worked with. I was only half joking when I told my wife Genie, "Pat Robertson will have me killed." Instead I got (literally thousands) of emails thanking me for "telling my story" as many people put it.