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Faith & Religion: Is religious faith important to you?

Zachary MaxeyZachary Maxey
24 • Riverdale • Gay

“I used to [attend church], but not any more. I’m a student at Georgia State so I do go to that Catholic Church by Underground for Mass sometimes when I have time. … With me and my religion I try not to allow the organized aspect to concern me from having a relationship with God. I separate it because I know that people aren’t God. They say they know, but they don’t know. I just try to live a good life and do all the right things and not really let that concern me.”

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Guest Editorial: A spiritual call for LGBT unity

We know the LGBTQIA community has made a great deal of progress over the past 40 years. This progress has come because the community as a whole has stepped far out of the closet into the every day world.

There is no place one can go and not find well-adjusted and successful folk. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is about to become a thing of the past. More states are granting rights to same-sex couples. The national polls show we are making great strides to become an accepted part of society.

The more we are honest about who we are and who we love, the more true is Rev. Troy Perry’s proclamation of 30 years ago: “To know us is to love us!”

In every major faith there are affirming congregations who stand proudly for and with us as a whole people of God. We participate in many sports and excel right next to our straight sisters and brothers. We even run for public office and win.

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Faith & Religion issue

From inclusive worship to how to counter anti-gay religious arguments, our new print edition spotlights spirituality

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Religion blog: We must come together now more than ever to obtain full equality

We know the LGBTQIA community has made a great deal of progress over the past 40-plus years. This progress has come about because for the most part the community as a whole has stepped far out of the closet into the every day world.

There is no place one can go and not find well-adjusted and successful folk. Hell, we have even made it into commercials to sell almost every conceivable product and are main characters in the TV and movie world.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is about to become a thing of the past. Every time one looks up there is another state granting either marriage or at minimum “civil unions.”

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Religion blog: Christmas 2010

I want to share this obvious observation: Even if there were some remote chance I could become pope... they would never let me.  The reason is simple and it is not because of my progressive views of Christian theology, or the fact that I am unapologetically gay or even the fact that I do not believe the bible is the inerrant word of God.

Nope, it's because I believe December 25th is one of the biggest frauds ever pulled on humanity.

Those who are pastors know that what I am suggesting is very true. Y’all went to seminary and know saying Jesus was born on December 25th is like saying there is a real living breathing Santa Claus.  This fraudulent claim has made our jobs and life during this time of the year a living nightmare of endless days of no sleep and one crisis on top of another.

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‘Traditional marriage’ group wants Christians to reclaim rainbow symbol from ‘gay lobby’

Christian group aims to reclaim the rainbow symbol

Well, this is just rich. An anti-gay group wants Christians to reclaim the rainbow from the queers because the rainbow symbolizes God's covenant with man. And we all know God doesn't like the gays, especially if we fly a rainbow flag on our front stoop.

In an interview with One News Now, a division of the American Family Network, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute — a project of the National Organization for Marriage, which was recently named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — says supporters of Prop 8, the ones who voted to make gay marriage illegal in California in 2008, are the original "rainbow coalition."

"Proposition 8 was passed by a great grassroots coalition that included people from all across the religious traditions, and also people of every race and color," Morse said in the interview. "We are the real rainbow coalition. The gay lobby does not own the rainbow."

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Religion blog: How about some common decency?

Last week I really found out just how difficult the world has become.  How a couple of bad choices can change one’s life forever.  How being in the wrong place at the wrong time can make it damn near impossible to get a job or find housing.

We had a young man show up at the church looking for help.  For the sake of privacy we will call him Tad.  At the time he came to the church I was out on a hospital call and the church secretary was the one who heard his story first.

Now under normal circumstances the secretary would have given Tad some food, maybe a MARTA pass and let him use the phone to make whatever contacts he needed to make and sent him on his way.

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Gay mega-church pastor draws praise, condemnation

Our coverage of Bishop Jim Swilley’s recent decision to come out, with the support of his wife and family, touched off vigorous debate in comments on our website.

Re: “Swilley’s story: A gay pastor, his wife, and a deeper ministry” (Nov. 12)

"This article is articulate, sensitive and wonderful. Thank you for writing it with the Spirit it deserves. These people are my friends, my church family and leaders and I love them. God bless you."

"Thank you. I miss my church family and my work in youth ministry so much. Since I came out I have felt abandoned by a faith that I proclaimed my whole life. I needed this today. I never doubted that God loved me until a Christian told me that he didn’t anymore."

"Since Jim has memorized scriptures, he thinks that he is ready to “take on” anyone. Sound familiar? The devil quoted “it is written” to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. Problem is, he twisted scripture to obtain his own desire, which was to have Jesus Christ bow the knee to him. The devil hasn’t changed: still doing the same thing today, leading people to twist scripture to justify the desires of the flesh."

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Swilley’s story: A gay pastor, his wife, and a deeper ministry

Bishop Jim Swilley came out to his congregation in Oct.

Bishop Jim Swilley founded Church in the Now, the massive, non-denominational congregation in Conyers, in 1985. But as the church grew over 25 years, and throughout his almost four decades of ministry, Swilley struggled with a secret that he hid from his congregation.

“I am approaching my 39th year in ministry — All I have ever done is preach the gospel,” Swilley told his congregation in an emotional sermon last month, noting that his parents tell stories of him preaching while still in diapers.

“There are two things in my life that are an absolute: I did not ask for either one of them, both of them were imposed upon me, I had no control over either of them,” Swilley said.