At its national assembly in Minneapolis, the country's largest Lutheran denomination permitted the ordination and hiring of homosexual clergy who are in “lifelong, monogamous” relationships.
"We must return to the values that made the black church a true success," says Rev. Mark Whitlock, director of community initiatives at USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture, where a mentoring program trains African-American clergy in community organizing, economic development, and church leadership strategies.
Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter says evangelicalism is changing, strong interfaith relationships are important, and faith communities should support a broad public policy agenda.
"People think the church can save the country, when really some types of political responsibility can save the church," says megachurch pastor Joel Hunter
We’re segregated in housing. The job market is segregated, and we end up going to churches with people who look like us. Experts say US churches are ten times less diverse than the neighborhoods they sit in.
Watch additional excerpts from our interview about same-sex marriage with Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, an advocacy group that supports conservative positions within mainline denominations.
Watch additional excerpts from our interview with Reverend Mary Holder Naegeli, who is among those urging the Presbyterian Church (USA) to resist changing its policies on same-sex marriage. "Homosexual practice is not God’s design for humanity," she says.
Read more of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly’s July 1, 2009 interview in New York City with Riverside Church senior minister, the Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton, who resigned two months after his installation.