Texas Newspaper Omits Same-Sex Spouse’s Name in Obituary

Texas Newspaper Omits Same-Sex Spouse’s Name in Obituary

The newspaper publisher removed the husband’s name because he believed it was ‘contrary to God’s word.’

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer March 16, 2018, at 3:26 p.m.

A SAME-SEX COUPLE IN Dallas is accusing a newspaper of discrimination after the paper omitted one of their names in a family member’s obituary. After Barry Giles’ mother, Brenda Light, died in February, the local newspaper in Olton, Texas, removed his husband’s name from her obituary, citing “religious and ethical reasons,” Fox 4 News reported.  In the original obituary sent to The Olton Enterprise, Giles wrote, “Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas.” Giles and Gambill have been together for 31 years.  However, when it was published, there was no mention of Gambill.  Read the entire article here.

How Watermelons Became a Racist Trope

How Watermelons Became a Racist Trope

Before its subversion in the Jim Crow era, the fruit symbolized black self-sufficiency.

Courtesy Brown University Library

“But the stereotype that African Americans are excessively fond of watermelon emerged for a specific historical reason and served a specific political purpose. The trope came into full force when slaves won their emancipation during the Civil War. Free black people grew, ate, and sold watermelons, and in doing so made the fruit a symbol of their freedom. Southern whites, threatened by blacks’ newfound freedom, responded by making the fruit a symbol of black people’s perceived uncleanliness, laziness, childishness, and unwanted public presence. This racist trope then exploded in American popular culture, becoming so pervasive that its historical origin became obscure. Few Americans in 1900 would’ve guessed the stereotype was less than half a century old. ”  Read the entire article here.

Anti-Bullying PSA

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A new anti-bullying campaign and PSA called “In Real Life,” spearheaded by Monica Lewinsky, takes actual insults people have said online and brings them into the physical world. While actors portray the bullies and their victims in the video, the reactions of unsuspecting onlookers are genuine. Watch the video “In Real Life” in the sidebar.

Most Americans Oppose White Supremacists, But Many Share Their Views

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Most Americans Oppose White Supremacists, But Many Share Their Views: Poll

A new poll asked Americans about racism after the violence in Charlottesville.

Evangelical Pastor Shunned For Welcoming LGBT People

Evangelical Pastor Has A New, Thriving Congregation

Adam Phillips went from rising evangelical star to outcast to leader of a new, inclusive church.

Antonia Blumberg    Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post

Evangelical pastor Adam Phillips moved to Oregon to start Christ Church: Portland in the spring of 2014. Nine months later, the evangelical denomination Phillips worked for kicked him out and pulled two years of funding from the church.

Phillips’s transgression? Advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the church.

A new short documentary by The Atlantic traces Phillips’s journey from rising evangelical star to outcast to leader of a new, inclusive congregation. It’s been less than two years since the Evangelical Covenant Church dealt Phillips that blow, and in that time the pastor has built up a thriving church community that doesn’t compromise on its convictions. Watch the video here.

Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination

Where the Public Stands on Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination

Two-thirds say employers should provide birth control in insurance plans, but public is split over same-sex wedding services and use of public bathrooms by transgender people

The U.S. public expresses a clear consensus on the contentious question of whether employers who have religious objections to contraception should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for their employees. Fully two-thirds of American adults say such businesses should be required to cover birth control as part of their employees’ insurance plans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, while just three-in-ten say businesses should be allowed to refuse to cover contraception for religious reasons.

When it comes to views about employer-provided birth control, services for same-sex weddings and use of public restrooms by transgender people, there are large differences between some religious groups.

Read more here.

Evangelical Pastor Explains What He Sees As The Root Of Racism

Evangelical Pastor Explains What He Sees As The Root Of Racism

Antonia Blumberg     Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post

“White people can be so defensive about this subject.”
See video in sidebar.

Evangelical pastor Carl Lentz is taking white Americans to task for getting “defensive” when it comes to addressing racism.

In a recent conversation with Oprah Winfrey on SuperSoul Sunday, the television star asked Lentz what he sees as the “root of racism.”

The pastor responded, simply: “Ignorance.”

“Ignorance is a lack of information, which creates insecurity; insecurity creates defensiveness, and defensiveness creates attack,” Lentz, the lead pastor of Hillsong Church NYC, told Oprah. “It frustrates me that people want to act like this isn’t a conversation. White people can be so defensive about this subject.”

Read more here.

Race and Medical Treatment

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Finding Good Medical Treatment Is Hard. If You’re Not White, It’s Even Harder.

According to articles in the New York Times and other sources, people of color tend to receive less treatment for pain than whites. In addition, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and others have documented disparities in recognizing and treating pain among people of color, particularly black patients. Pharmacies in poor white neighborhoods are 54 times as likely in poor neighborhoods of color to have adequate supplies of opioids, and blacks are less likely to have opioids prescribed for them than similarly situated whites.  Read the NYTimes article here.

Medical care, in general, is not offered to people of color at the same level of care as white patients. “Mounting research finds that racial bias and discrimination in health care as well as outside of medicine contribute to poor health for African-American patients and other racial and ethnic minorities.  “I believe that a racist system of health kills people. There is ample evidence to show that,” says Wyatt, who cowrote an opinion piece on racial bias in medicine for the Journal of the American Medical Association in August.”   Even subtle cues – like body language – can differ in patient-doctor interactions, depending on a doctor’s biases and whether a patient is white or black. Dr. Amber Barnato, an associate professor of medicine and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recently led research evaluating these interactions by having actors play caregivers and patients receiving end-of-life care.  But nonverbally the doctors were less likely to do little things that display empathy or built rapport. “For example, they would use more closed posture and they had their arms crossed, or had their hands in their pockets. They would stand further away from the bed,” Barnato says. “They would spend more time looking at the nurse or the monitor and less time touching the patient.”   Read more here.

On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart



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On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart

About four-in-ten blacks are doubtful that the U.S. will ever achieve racial equality

Many blacks are skeptical that the country will eventually make the changes necessary for racial equality

Almost eight years after Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president –an event that engendered a sense of optimism among many Americans about the future of race relations1 – a series of flashpoints around the U.S. has exposed deep racial divides and reignited a national conversation about race. A new Pew Research Center survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change.

Read more here.  For the interactive article, click here.

Conference sends teams to Orlando to offer support, witness…

The Connecticut Conference sent two teams of first responders to Orlando, Florida, to offer care, support and public witness following the mass shooting that left 50 people dead and 53 wounded, most of them part of the gay Latino/a community. The C.A.R.E. (Church Awareness Response Effort) Team is made up of members of three New England Conferences, CTUCC, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The first team of responders, The Rev. Emily Heath of Exeter, NH, and Chris Breen, a seminarian from Cambridge, MA, arrived in Orlando on the morning of June 14th in time to join a gathering with national UCC staff, Florida Conference staff and Florida pastors.

A second team of first responders composed of Connecticut clergy went to Orlando on June 15.  They are: The Rev. Thea Racelis, pastor of the South Congregational Church of Middletown, The Rev. Jack Davidson, Associate Minister of the First Church of Christ Congregational in Redding, and The Rev. Mia Douglas, Director of Discipleship at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford.

Read more here  http://www.ctucc.org/news/20160614_orlando_teams.html

Mia DouglasEmily HeathJack DavidsonChris BreenThea Racelis