Methodists reaffirm ban on homosexual ordination, marriages

"By margins of 2-1 or better, the denomination's 992 elected delegates voted over and over to reaffirm church laws banning gay-union ceremonies, prohibiting the ordination of homosexual clergy and declaring homosexual behavior incompatible with Christian teaching," reports the Chicago Tribune's religion reporter, Steve Kloehn. But despite the overwhelming vote, protesters rushed the stage and refused to let the United Methodist General Convention continue. They were arrested. (See more coverage from the Associated Press, Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. The Tribune's Kloehn also has an excellent supplementary column on the protests.

Wall between church and state is four feet high

An earlier ChristianityToday.com Weblog noted that Marshfield, Wisconsin, had been ordered by the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to "construct some defining structure, such as a permanent gated fence or wall, to separate City property from [a 15-foot statue of Jesus], accompanied by a clearly visible disclaimer." Since that February ruling, secularists and the city have been warring over what kind of "defining structure" it should be. The man who sued the city over the statue wanted "a wall 12 feet high and razor wire on the top, a wall of cement block, not something you can see through." The Freedom From Religion Foundation wanted a 10-foot cement wall. Marshfield officials pushed for a 3-foot fence. On Tuesday U.S. District Judge John Shabaz ruled the structure should be a 4-foot wrought-iron fence. But don't sigh yet: the Freedom From Religion Foundation says it may appeal.

Keep religious counseling out of schools

The Freedom From Religion ...

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