Monday, May 31, 2010

DOES "GAYDAR" EXIST? AND THE STUDY OF GAY PEOPLE

I just came upon this article entitled, 'Gaydar' may actually exist: study shows gay people to be more detail-oriented, discerning.

The article begins as follows:

"Gaydar," that innate ability gay people supposedly have to zero in on other gays even in a crowd, may really exist.

When Dutch scientists examined how heterosexual and homosexual people focus their attention, they discovered gays are much more detail-oriented.


This study only used 42 Gay and Straight volunteers! With such a small sample size, it is virtually impossible to generalize any findings to the larger population. Hence, although this study might well show internal validity it lacks external validity.

The original research article on the internet which, I assume, is merely the abstract of the article, in part states the following:

Both homosexuals and heterosexuals showed better performance on global features—the standard global precedence effect. However, this effect was significantly reduced in homosexuals, suggesting a relative preference for detail. Findings are taken to demonstrate chronic, generalized biases in attentional control parameters that reflect the selective reward provided by the respective sexual orientation.

I've been a Sociologist for 40 years, and I don't understand a word of the above conclusion!

In any case, whether or not Gaydar exists, it will require a much larger sample size than 42 people to ascertain that fact. All we can say from the cited study is that Gay people in that particular sample seem to be more detail-oriented than are the Straight people in that study.

Whether or not being detail-oriented translates into having Gaydar is subject to speculation.

And in the Abstract of the article, the level of Statistical Significance should be stated; I suspect with such a small sample size, that level will be quite small to non-existent.

Moreover, in the Abstract, the authors state:

We considered that being a homosexual might rely on systematic practice of processing relatively specific, local perceptual features, which might lead to a corresponding chronic bias of attentional control.

The authors' seem to have had a hypothesis about Gay people that they sought to validate by their study. However, justification for that hypothesis should have been presented. That is, why would Gay people be any more detail-oriented than are Straight people?

In this connection, I'm very leery about studies that put Gay people under a microscope.

My concern about the aforementioned study is akin to my concern about studying what distinguishes Gay people from Straight people, as seen in my article entitled, The Homophobia Behind Studies of the Causes of Homosexuality, reprinted here:

"Gay men and lesbians are more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals. The preference for left-handedness isn’t huge. But it's distinct, and it might have a basis in human biology.

"So says Richard Lippa, a veteran Cal State Fullerton psychologist who has been poring over the sex, gender and behavioral data contained in a BBC Internet survey that involved more than 200,000 people. The 'Beeb' used the data as part of its highly praised 2005 documentary 'Secrets of the Sexes.' And it comes amid growing efforts by scientists to examine everything from the length of a person’s fingers to hair patterns for signs of sexual orientation."

[Reference: CSUF study says gays more likely than straights to be left-handed," article by Gary Robbins, "OC Register," April 6, 2007.]

In response to the above cited article, I wrote the following when it appeared:

"This is a very well written column. However, although I haven’t read the original study and checked the methodology, two factors must be addressed:

"1. There is a big difference between correlation and causation. Just because two variables are correlated doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other.

"2. The author of the study writes, "You have to look at large numbers of people to see statistically significant associations." That’s the real problem, in that, first of all, there is no indication that this is a random sample. Moreover, "statistical significance" is not necessarily the same as "theoretical significance" or "substantive significance." Also, statistical significance increases in proportion to sample size. The larger the sample size, the greater the "statistical significance," if I remember my methodology courses that I took about 45 years ago.

"Moreover, as a sociologist and LGBT rights activist (please see my blog, http://www.christianlgbtrights.org), beyond its academic interest, correlates or causes of being gay or lesbian are irrelevant to vitiating discrimination against LGBT people, as the recent remarks from Albert Mohler, President of a Southern Baptist seminary, attest, when he said that if being Gay was biologically caused, medical intervention on the fetus would be advisable and justified to change that fetus to heterosexual, as homosexuality is a symptom of 'original sin.'

"More mileage would be gained by studying the causes of homophobia, and what motivates people who obsess over condemning others’ love and sex lives, than studying the purported causes of sexual orientation."

I continue to reiterate my objections to such studies, the most recent one appearing in the "Los Angeles Times" Health section entitled, "What does gay look like? Science keeps trying to figure that out."

The article by Regina Nuzzo briefly reviews some of the studies as to why some people are Gay, and she suggests, "Finding common biological traits -- things like hair growth patterns, penis size, family makeup -- might one day shed light on the origins of sexual orientation."

We must again ask why it's so important, beyond the intellectual issues involved, to seek to establish why some people are Gay? Why not study why some people are Straight? Why not study why some people like meat and others don't like meat? Why not study why some people love vegetables and others don't? Why not study why someone's favorite color is different from another person's favorite color? Well, you get the point!

The fact that sexual orientation is felt to be deserving of the appropriation of funds and expenditure of time and energy by scientists, as opposed to such questions as the above that any scientist would hardly deem likely to investigate, has far more to do with people's hang-ups regarding sex and sexual orientation than it has to do with the intrinsic importance of that subject.

I can certainly see the validity of studies as to why some people love war and others love peace; why some people are sadistic and others are not; why some people take advantage of others and others don't; why some people prey on others and others don't; why some people are homophobic and others are not, but I can't understand why studies of the causes of sexual orientation are viewed as being so important.

The only reason that I can see for its perceived importance, beyond the false belief that if one's sexual orientation can be shown to be beyond one's control there will be fewer reasons for discriminating against Gay people, it seems to me that many people (and scientists are by no means exempted) like to put people into neat boxes, and have people meet their expectations and their requirements within the parameters that they feel should comprise those boxes, and if a group of people call into question those assumptions, expectations, and perceived requirements by their very existence, there is seen to be a pressing need to study "them" and find out why "they" are different from "normal" people; why "they" don't conform to "what I expect" and define as "normal."

A good deal of this interest in why some people are Gay has to do with the fact that being Gay has been considered to be part of one's core identity, both by homophobes, by many Straight people, and by many Gay people themselves. I fail to see why such need be the case!

Each of us is multidimensional, and our sexuality and emotional/romantic interests make up only a fraction of who we are as people. However, when one is historically and constantly discriminated against because of this one facet of a human being, that human being is virtually forced to see his or her sexual orientation as a core part of him/herself, if for no other reason than because that facet has been imposed on him/her as his/her essential essence as a human being. And, in order to seek to defend oneself from these attacks or potential attacks, a concept of self that affirms oneself amidst lack of affirmation by many, if not most, within the larger society, encourages the person to view that aspect that is the cause of one's ill treatment to be defended, if not asserted.

And the desire to both defend one's sexuality and to assert the normality of that sexuality is seemingly bolstered by the desired findings of studies that will "hopefully" show that being LGBT is beyond one's control, and is a normal variant that does not deserve to be in any way condemned; such findings will eliminate or greatly reduce externalized and internalized homophobia.

Clearly, heterosexuals who are sexually and emotionally intact will not condemn LGBT people, as same-sex love wouldn't repel them in any way. Why should it? If one is intact and content in his/her sexual life, what would be the motivation to condemn, or even make a veritable career out of condemning, the sexual/affectional life of another?

The fact that it is the sexually and/or emotionally dysfunctional people who condemn another's sexuality is highlighted by the patently specious and foolish reasons given by these self-styled arbiters of "morality" for their blatant hostility and discrimination against LGBT people.

So, appeal to the Bible, when the Bible does not condemn same-sex love and, actually, affirms it. Or the appeal to "tradition," where such an appeal could also be used to justify the institutions of slavery and segregation (which, of course, did, in fact, occur). Or the appeal that Gay people will prey on children, when the statistics clearly show that it is heterosexuals who are far more likely to be pedophiles than are Gay people. Or the appeal that same-sex parents will likely have more homosexual children when, in fact, virtually all Gay kids are raised by heterosexuals. Or the appeal that children do better when raised with both a mother and a father in the home when, in fact, what studies we have show that kids raised in loving homes with two mothers or two fathers do just as well as kids raised when both a mother and a father are present. And, of course, the list goes on!

And encouraging studies that seek to find out why some people are Gay is implying that there is something "abnormal" or "against the natural order" about being Gay, and we should find out why Gay people exist so that we can better understand this "strange" phenomenon. The fact is that many people fail to realize that God made His Gay children, just as He made His Straight children, with the capacity to love another person, and that capacity and the love that ensues from it are priceless gifts from God that He has graciously given to us.

What deserves study, on the other hand, is what makes it possible for so many people to be incapable of loving another human being? What makes it possible for a human being to despise and condemn the love life of another person? What is the source of such hate that resides in all too many hearts, be that hate justified in the name of "religion" or not, that makes one incapable of loving and not judging and not discriminating against others because of their capacity to love another person of the same sex?

It is these questions that deserve much study, for it is those who hate, especially those who hate in the name of God, who are the ones who really deserve to be studied. They are the aberration, they are the dangerous forces that wreak havoc on society and in the lives of innumerable LGBT people and their families. They are the ones who are directly responsible for parents kicking their Gay kids out of the house and into the streets and disowning them because their children placed their trust in them and that trust was horribly and sinfully betrayed. They are the ones who pervert the Gospel, if they profess to be "Christians," and who provide "justification" for those on the fringe to even kill LGBT people and do so thinking that they are doing God a favor by so doing.

It is the religious and other homophobes who deserve study! Far more mileage will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of homophobia and homophobic people, especially homophobes who "justify" their homophobia in the name of the Prince of Peace Who makes it crystal clear that to truly be His disciples we must love and not judge others, than will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of same-sex love and attraction!

It is especially the clear disconnect, the clear inconsistency, between homophobic professing Christians who spew hateful rhetoric and engage in discriminatory actions on the one hand, and Jesus' Commandment to those who would be His disciples to love and not judge others on the other hand, that certainly deserves scientific scrutiny for the well-being of society, for the well-being of LGBT people and their families, for the well-being of those who are Christians indeed, and for the well-being of the image of Christianity when seen by many decent, intelligent, and sensitive people!
Share |

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PUSH THAT ROCK: FUNDAMENTALISM AND HOMOPHOBIA

Several years ago, I wrote an article entitled, Push That Rock that I'd like to reprint here, in a slightly edited version:

There is a story told of a young man in a cabin who prays to God and asks God what He wants him to do with his life. God tells him to look at the massive rock that is in a valley beneath him and every day for the rest of his life he is to push that rock. The young man does as he is told by God and does so for about twenty years. After twenty years of frustration, the man then prays to God again and says to God, "I've done what you've told me to do and I haven't even moved that rock one millimeter." God answers him and says, "I didn't tell you to move that rock. I told you to push it. Look at your hands and arms and how strong they are. Look at the strength of your body that you obtained by pushing on that rock all of these years."

As Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker, once said, "God doesn't ask us to be effective. He asks us to be faithful." Unfortunately, in my experience, many "liberal" or "progressive" people lack the passion, the fortitude, the discipline, the "sticktoitiveness," of those who would seek to curtail or eliminate the rights of LGBT people and their families.

Fundamentalists have it all over us because of their zealousness in organizing for a cause they think is right, and they are able to mobilize people to boycott companies that have LGBT friendly policies, and mobilize people to go and vote for those politicians and legislative bills that are consistent with their prejudices. Moreover, most fundamentalists, despite their skewed view of the Bible, are usually far more biblically literate than many progressive Christians and, therefore, have the edge in what discussions, debates, and rhetoric occur that are put forth in the media, over which they have a monopoly.

Progressive Christians, those who seek to apply biblical principles to contemporary social issues, rather than blindly attempt to impose ancient biblical and cultural practices on contemporary society, frequently lack not only the necessary discipline to successfully address the corporate sins that scream out to God for redress, but we frequently fail to get our message defining Christianity across to many people, due to that relative lack of discipline, our relative discomfort in witnessing in the world, as well as to our relative lack of biblical literacy.

Therefore, there has been an upsurge in fundamentalist thinking in professed "Christian" circles; many people equate that fundamentalist thinking with Christianity itself. The Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness has, in many people's minds, been morphed and/or twisted into a false gospel of legalism and perfectionism that is antithetical to the true Gospel of God's grace visited upon those who trust Him over and above seen circumstances, and who love other people. And the seeming success of the transmission of that false gospel can largely be laid at the feet of those Christians who have lacked the discipline, the drive, and the biblical literacy necessary to meaningfully communicate and practice the true Gospel.

One of the main attractions of fundamentalism is people's fear of the unknown, and a desire to have assurance that there is "certainty" in their lives. Fundamentalists, by their selective interpretation of assorted Scriptural passages, frequently devoid of their contexts, promise such certainty, even if that certainty is, in reality, an illusion. Nevertheless, many people who find it impossible to tolerate or cope with ambiguity, with relatively rapid economic, technological, and social changes, and with the many grey and multidimensional aspects of life, find a safe haven in fundamentalism, along with those who have rather malignant reasons for their membership, as well as the seeking after material, psychological, and political gains.

It is therefore most important that progressive Christians, particularly those in the LGBT community, be of a disciplined mind, utilizing their self-discipline that is given to all of God's children, as stated by the Apostle Paul...to push that rock of prejudice, stigma, discrimination, and oppression. It must be remembered that the oppression visited upon the LGBT community serves vital psychological, social, and political needs of the oppressors.

LGBT people are viewed as "safe" targets to persecute, given the fact that at this time in history, it is not deemed politically incorrect or inappropriate to rail against them in the name of "family values," "tradition" and "morality." These specious reasons, these irrational reasons with their equally irrational religious and secular justifications, enable the oppressors, many of whom preach the false gospel of legalism and perfectionism, to reinforce their arrogance and feelings of superiority that are diametrically opposed to the very essence of Christianity itself.

Moreover, beyond the psychological needs that such oppression meet, such oppression meets the social needs of those who feel they need to have their one dimensional views of God, the world, and of people reinforced. If there is a law in social life it is the following, as discovered by the famous nineteenth century sociologist, Emile Durkheim: when you have a threatening out-group, the in-group will unite to protect itself against it. Therefore, those who feel the need to oppress other people must create one or more out-groups in order for their in-group solidarity to be maintained.

In the fundamentalist mind-set, there must be an "us," and for there to be an "us" there must be a "them." Women, African Americans, and immigrants have served this function. Now, particularly among those with a fundamentalist mind-set, that role is served by the LGBT community.

The irrationality of focusing on who loves who and who sleeps with who, to the virtual exclusion of helping the helpless and to the virtual exclusion of addressing those corporate sins and injustices all Christians are called upon to relieve, as seen in our Gospel reading, shows just how desperate fundamentalists are to fill their psychological and social needs to reinforce their rather one dimensional view of life, their arrogance, and their feelings of superiority.

Jesus makes it crystal clear that "love" and "the relieving of others' sufferings" define a Christian as they define the Christian life. We see how fundamentalists are usually incapable of exhibiting or even having such love, so they have perverted the Gospel by the fact that they emphasize one's "theology" as the criterion for being "saved" or "born again." Because people who live in fear must spend virtually all of their psychic energy on oppressing one or more out-groups, they don't have the psychic energy, or even the inclination, to live up to Jesus' command that we love each other.

Therefore, one's theology and Christology become all important in their eyes, because "love" is in short supply when one must spend virtually all of his or her energy "keeping it together." And the way most fundamentalists "keep it together" is their constant need for an out-group against which to discriminate!

These realities, to say nothing of the perversion of the Gospel message to the point that Christianity has been redefined in the minds of many into a legalistic religion, its very antithesis, should embolden LGBT Christians and allies to have the self discipline to continue to fight against this corruption. We must be as faithful, bold, disciplined, and coordinated as those who profit from hate and hate-mongering. We must come to see that our psychological, social, and spiritual needs are congruent with our engaging in that fight!

When about twenty three percent of LGBT people voted for Bush in the [2004] election, when so many LGBT people are rather indolent concerning the oppression of their own community, even as in some cases working for politicians who make political hay out of that oppression, it is high time to take to heart the analogy to African Americans that Malcolm X pointed out during the civil rights era in the 1960's. He made a distinction between the "house Negro" and the "field Negro."

The house Negro ingratiated himself to his master, and sought his favor. The field Negro wished for the destruction of his master and subverted him every chance he had. Malcolm exhorted his listeners to realize that a major enemy fighting against their liberation, the "house Negro," existed in their own community!

As Christians we are called upon to love our enemies! However, that love should not connote or dictate that we emphasize unity, as is most notably now occurring in the Anglican Communion, over and above justice and the relief of oppression of all suffering people. "Love" is expressed precisely in our disciplined quest for such justice and relief! Love and justice should never be sacrificed for a so-called "unity" that hinges on, and is contingent upon, the oppression of any of God's children.

To the degree that we don't rise to the challenge, to the degree that we lack the "sound mind" or the "self discipline" necessary to push the rock off of the oppressed, we have not only failed those who suffer, but we have failed and betrayed Jesus Himself.
Share |

Thursday, May 27, 2010

THE DENIAL OF CIVIL RIGHTS TO LGBT CITIZENS IS A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION

Maj. Peter Kees Hamstra of the Royal Dutch Army; Leif Ohlson, Principle Adm. Officer in the Swedish Armed Forces; and Lt. Com. Craig Jones, retired from the Royal Navy of Britain wrote an op ed piece, part of which contains the following:

...U.S. military power depends, in most cases, on an international coalition of partners. Members of Congress don't always seem to appreciate that America's allies are put off in serious ways by the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

For example, units of our own or other armed forces have refused to deploy in some joint operations with U.S. forces because gay service members would not work with the Americans — for fear of hostile reactions.

In addition to protecting our men and women from enemy combatants, we must also protect them from anti-gay and anti-lesbian discrimination.

Increasingly, this is not a situation we and our personnel will tolerate. So we are less able to help accomplish our collective missions.


[For the full article, see here.] [Also see here.]

When we talk of LGBT rights it's almost always within the context of it being a Civil Rights issue and, of course, that context is correct.

However, we must also see the denial of dignity and equal civil rights to LGBT people as being a Human Rights issue!

We all intuitively know what "Human Rights" means: It means enjoying the dignity, and the full equality under the law, of all people due to the simple fact that all of us are fellow human beings deserving of the same rights and responsibilities enjoyed by the dominant group in society.

There can be no second-class citizenship in any society that presumes to call itself "civilized!"


Malcolm XPictured] is quoted as having said:

I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being. (See here.)

As was and is true of African Americans (or any other minority group) in regard to Human Rights, the same is true in regard to the Human Rights of LGBT people!

When we have other civilized countries that are reluctant, or even refuse, to have their military personnel work with our own that are under the onus of DADT, a demeaning and odious law on its face, it must force us to see that any rights denied to LGBT people that are enjoyed by heterosexuals is a direct violation of LGBT people's Human Rights in the military and, by extension, within civil society as well!

In other words, the U.S. is committing Human Right violations (DADT, ENDA, DOMA) toward its LGBT citizens!

When we deal with the lack of equal rights for LGBT people we are hitting a very raw nerve! So raw, in fact, that it is my belief that Malcolm X was assassinated because he was going to take the U.S. in front of the United Nations for Human Rights violations regarding African Americans.

The struggle, the fight, for equality for LGBT people is just as valid, and validly seen as a Human Rights violation, as was the fight for equality for the United States' African American people who were denied dignity and Human Rights for so many centuries in the United States!

And, it must be understood, that that denial for both groups was and is based on the same type of "religious" and secular thinking, be it the mind-set of White Supremacy or Heterosexual Supremacy, that was and/or has been allowed to become institutionalized in both the military and in civil society!

Malcolm X was right at that time, and it is right at this time to see the results of the evil of homophobia, the institutionalization of homophobia in the military and in civil society, to be seen as violations of Human Rights of the United States' LGBT citizens!

Should the Human Rights violations visited against LGBT people in the United States not be fully eradicated under law within our own judicial system within the foreseeable future, there may well come a time, most likely in a subsequent generation, when serious thought should, and may well, be given to bringing the United States before the World Court to address these violations in a way that the U.S. will have shown itself to have been unable to do of its own accord.
Share |

Monday, May 24, 2010

"CHRISTIAN" HATE IN ACTION

Below, are two audio clips from two sermons delivered by Pastor Jeff Owens of the Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

That church's website states the following:

Welcome to the website of the great Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church of Martinsburg, West Virginia. We are thrilled that you have visited our site, and we hope that the information provided will be of help to you. It is the desire of our pastor, staff and congregation to serve you in whatever way we can. Our church is an old-fashioned Bible-believing, people-loving, patriotic church. Our congregation is made up of a group of very sincere Christians who have a goal of growing in the Lord and helping others do so as well. It is our sincere desire that you enjoy getting to know us through this website.

As you'll see, or should see, there is nothing "Bible-believing" or "people-loving" about that church!



[See here.]

UPDATE 5/24/10: "In less than 48 hours that Vimeo clip was reposted on more than 100 sites, including the Huffington Post. I imagine that Owens forced Vimeo to take it down. But don't worry, I'll find private hosting for the clip shortly and ensure that it continues to live in infamy." The following is that clip that is now privately hosted, and I think you'll see why the original clip was removed:

UPDATE, 5/25/10: I just found out that the reposted clip was removed from the site I got it from, linked below. If that onerous clip can be retrieved, I'll repost it both here and on the Sidebar:

[See here.]

UPDATE, 5/25/10: The following is the reposted audio link:



It is sermons like these, that are by no means unique in rhetoric and/or in feelings, in right wing professing "Christian" congregations, that have caused untold suffering to LGBT people and their families; can be seen to have helped cause suicides, harassments, assaults, and murders of LGBT people or those perceived to be LGBT; the use of pejorative epithets in regard to Gay people can be seen to reflect, feed on, and exacerbate the hateful animus felt and expressed.

Moreover, the tragic fact is that such professing "Christian" rhetoric has tremendous, and perverse, impact on how people perceive the Bible, Christianity, the Gospel, Jesus, and God; can be seen to be a major factor in the denial of full equality to LGBT people and same-sex couples!

A major reason I have this ministry is to help counteract the evil forces that would enable people who call themselves "Christians" to spew such venomous rhetoric about other people, as we see in the above two audio clips!

Reading such eminently readable yet scholarly books as Gay Christian 101, by Rick Brentlinger; The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart, by Rev. Peter J. Gomes; Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse, by Rembert Truluck, will lay to rest any scintilla of doubt about the Bible's condemning "homosexuality."

If you are only going to choose to read just one of these books, I recommend the one by Rick Brentlinger. It deals with virtually every single question one can have concerning the fact that being Gay is not a sin, and is completely "normal." This is not a book you will ever want to be without!

For LGBT people who want to strengthen their armor against homophobes, be they religious or otherwise, I urge you to read Bulletproof Faith, by Candace Chellew-Hodge. This book is one of a kind and deals with how to emotionally and spiritually strengthen yourself when confronted by homophobia.

Being Gay is a gift from God, and all the venomous lies in the world will never change that fact!

UPDATE: 5/25/10: Undoubtedly after the expression of a great deal of revulsion against the second audio clip linked above, Pastor Jeff Owens gave the following apology that appears on Youtube:

Share |

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A SUPERB ARTICLE ABOUT THE MYTH OF EQUATING "SEXUAL ORIENTATION" WITH "SEX LIFE"

There is a superb article I read yesterday entitled, Equating sexual orientation with "sex life", by Glenn Greenwald, part of which reads as follows:

The fact that someone would equate "are you gay?" to "do you download a lot of porn from the internet?" is astonishing to me. The latter question really is about someone's "sex life," while the former is about who they are. The premise that being gay is about one's "sex life" has long been the foundation of the dictate that gay people remain closeted (we don't need to have your "sex lives" rubbed in our faces; keep that to yourself). I don't mean to single out Kevin here; the point he's making -- being gay is about your "sex life" and thus should be deemed off-limits unless the person voluntarily raises it -- has been repeated over and over during the last month by countless people who fancy themselves quite progressive on gay issues.

Indeed, the very notion that it is "outrageous" or "despicable" to inquire into a public figure's sexual orientation -- adjectives I heard repeatedly applied to those raising questions about Kagan -- is completely inconsistent with the belief that sexual orientation is value-neutral. If being straight and gay are precise moral equivalents, then what possible harm can come from asking someone, especially one who seeks high political office: "are you gay?" If one really believes that they are equivalent, then that question would be no different than asking someone where they grew up, whether they are married, or how many children they have. That's what made the White House's response to the initial claims that Kagan was gay so revealing and infuriating: by angrily rejecting those claims as "false charges," they were -- as Alex Pareene put it -- "treating lesbian rumors like allegations of vampiric necrophilia."


Please read the full article, as it's one of the best on this subject that I have ever read.

The justification of the closet, particularly in such situations as the confirmation hearings of Elena Kagan, or any public or political figure for that matter, hinges on the myth that when one states his/her sexual orientation he/she is divulging "private" and "intimate" information about his or her sex life. That belief is a myth because being Gay or Straight tells us nothing about favorite sexual positions, frequency of sex, existence or degree of promiscuity, etc.

When one asks about one's sexual orientation the person being asked is not being asked about his/her sex life!

The above article shows the fallacy of equating one's sexual orientation with one's sex life, and does so in a concise and insightful manner.

This article by Greenwald deserves to be as widely distributed as possible, and I urge you to please do so.
Share |

Saturday, May 22, 2010

TODAY IS "HARVEY MILK DAY" IN CALIFORNIA

UPDATE: Don Charles (Also see here.) sent a comment on this post that deserves as wide distribution as possible, so I'm posting it as an update to my original post:

Here is what people should do to honor Harvey Milk:

1) Reject sex and gender slurs and crude stereotypes of LGBT folk.

2) Denounce and protest verbal genocide emanating from the Pope and other religious institutions.

3) Police the media for disrespectful and demeaning portrayals of LGBT folk.

4) Realize that equality means equality! No haggling over whether or not we should want to be married, adopt children, serve in the military, etcetera.

5) Realize that the closet and closetedness must be eliminated. Maintaining or helping to maintain a heterosexual/binary gender facade is inexcusable (mind you, I'm not saying your LGBT status must needs be volunteered! I'm simply saying it's wrong to lie.)

6) Commit yourself sincerely to the equality struggle. Nothing is more despicable than someone who uses the struggle as a vehicle for publicity or careerism.

7) Familarize yourself with the US Consititution. Know your citizenship rights and be prepared to demand their enforcement anywhere and anytime!




Today is Harvey Milk Day in California.

It is to be hoped that one day in the not too distant future, Harvey Milk Day will be a National holiday.

Please click on this link, and on the above link, to see the Harvey Milk Day actions in a variety of states, as well as in the state of California.

My wife was a student of Harvey's when she was in High School in Hewlett, New York. She was in his Algebra class, and loved him as a teacher and as a person. Her recollections of him still bring tears to her eyes even after more than 50 years have elapsed since she last saw him.

He was a very kind, caring, compassionate human being who gave much of himself to others, as I'm sure can be attested to by so many people who had the pleasure and honor to know and work with Harvey during his years of activism. He was intact as a human being, and that persona radiated out to others who had the emotional maturity and the wit to grasp his message, given by him both verbally and non-verbally.

I have no doubt that one day Harvey Milk will go down in history as one of the group of martyrs for human rights that contain such luminaries as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Oscar Romero.

Like all martyrs for the cause of human rights, God gave us Harvey to shine forth his light on us, and then God took him back all too soon! But for those of us who caught the vision of the martyrs for human rights, the engagement in meaningful activism will eventually yield equality, and will eventually bring forth the understanding that all of God's children are members of one human family.

May Harvey rest in peace, and may we never rest until his vision is accomplished!

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)
Share |

Friday, May 21, 2010

THE PATHOLOGY OF THE GAY CONSERVATIVE

I just finished reading an article that appears in the Washington Blade, entitled, Can you be a good gay and conservative?, by Jessica Lee, who is a new board member of GOPROUD.

I agree with the author's contention regarding the dismal record Obama and the Democratic Congress have regarding LGBT rights, yet I feel that anyone who seeks equal rights cannot afford to be "conservative" as we currently understand that term.

Moreover, I don't know anything about Jessica Lee, so nothing in the following article should be construed to in any way necessarily refer to her.

In reference to the above linked article, I'd like to reprint an article I wrote in 2007 entitled, The Pathology of the Gay Conservative, recognizing, with the gift of hindsight, that the terms "liberal" and "conservative" need not have anything to do with one's party affiliation, as we have seen with the foot dragging of a Democratic President and largely Democratic Congress regarding DADT, ENDA, and DOMA; Obama's Justice Department actively arguing in federal court the merits of DADT and DOMA:

To "conserve" in the political sense, means to adhere to traditions of fiscal responsibility and seek to minimizie the government's intrusion or encroachment on individual rights! If that is what we meant in today's U.S. by "conservative," that would be a perfectly understandable political position for a rational Gay person to take.
However, the unfortunate reality is that what passes for "conservatism" today is diametrically opposed to those very traditional principles! President Bush inherited an economic surplus and in just a few short years we have come to the point where we have the largest debt that this nation has ever seen. We invaded a sovereign country based on lies and deceit, having 9/11 cynically used as a pretext to enter a war that I believe was planned before Bush even took office.

Moreover, with the initiation of the Patriot Act, suspension of habeus corpus for those viewed as "enemy combatants," and a whole host of other encroachments on our civil liberties, this Administration is anything but "conservative," and has done a great deal to encroach upon our individual liberties, more than ably and willingly abetted by most of the mainstream media that has both uncritically accepted the sound bytes emanating from the self-serving White House, acting as mere stenographers of the political spin of the day, and airing hitherto unthinkable hateful rhetoric from assorted talk show hosts.

However, one of the consequences of all of this relatively rapid change in our society is the demonization of LGBT people by the self-described "conservative" forces in this country, and the cowardly capitulation to those forces of the opposing, the Democratic, party that has to appeal to an electorate inundated with what is purported to be "conservative" ideas that are really pure naked hatred dressed in the drag of "conservatism." So we even have political opponents adopting many of the "ideas" of those who garner votes and market share of audience by frequently hateful rhetoric and the playing of the politics of exclusion, and who feel the need to intrude on others' private lives, deny them dignity and full and equal civil rights, and frame our political sport as one where one can't tell the players without a scorecard and, unfortunately, when it comes to LGBT rights, the scorecard doesn't show either side in a very favorable light. So, the reality becomes that every decent person who wants to partake of the political process in the U.S. has to support/choose the least of two evils, go into the voting booth, hold his/her nose, and vote!

However, when a Gay person aligns him/herself with the political party that runs on a platform of writing an Amendment into the Constitution that would seek to prevent same-sex marriage, that largely demonizes LGBT people, that is quite comfortable with the fact that there are absolutely no federal civil rights protections for LGBT people, assiduously fights "hate crime" legislation (more accurately viewed as legislation against "terrorism," as I have written before), and where LGBT people are viewed as fodder for the purpose of garnering votes, it calls into question what manifestation of self-loathing or self-denigration would foster such an alliance and, even, an allegiance.

As I have previously written, "Being Gay need not be one's top priority, just as being straight is not to be one's top priority. However, when a Gay person aligns him/herself with a political party that has as its platform to prevent same-sex marriage, supports the fact that there are no federal civil rights protections for LGBT people, and is generally hostile to LGBT people, supporting that political party reeks of masochism in my book, and shows that person to be "ignorant and/or mendacious and/or traitorous'."

I want to try to delve into the dynamics of Gay people aligning themselves with today's Republican party, a party that has fostered an anti-Gay agenda that is quite extraordinary from a number of perspectives, not the least being the fact that it regards itself as "conservative," all the while it seeks to limit the human freedom to legally relate to another whom one loves and to whom one seeks to make a lifetime commitment. Why would a Gay person seek to align him/herself with a politcal party and its allies that view same-sex marriage as an assault on "traditional family values," ruining "the sanctity of marriage" (posited by people many of whom have been married more than once or even twice), and who apparently feel no compunction about ridiculing Gay people?

I've heard more than one such Republican Gay person say that, although they were Gay, that isn't all they were. They were not one issue voters, and that their being Gay wasn't the major part of their lives or identities. Fair enough! However, let's consider another scenario.

If I lived on welfare and food stamps, would it make any sense if I aligned myself with the Democratic Party, for example, if it had as its platform that it was going to do away with welfare and food stamps, and deny those who were on those programs its benefits? Even though I might not consider my economic situation to be the most important "identity" I had, or the fact that I didn't consider myself to be a one issue voter, would it make any rational sense if I voted for the Democratic ticket if it largely ran on such a platform? I doubt many would answer, "yes," to this rhetorical question.

I really believe that the bombardment of anti-Gay messages throughout our lives in assorted venues, not the least of which is most of the organized Church, has taken hold on many LGBT people's lives and psyches and, even though many are "out," they still harbor a visceral self-loathing that manifests itself by many identifying with their oppressors. This phenomenon is quite common in a variety of arenas, and it's called "the Stockholm Syndrome", where the oppressed become emotionally attached to their oppressors.

Succumbing to this phenomenon doesn't denote any necessary intentional malice (although the subsequent consequence of that decision can provoke maliciousness) on the part of the victim. It seems to me that it merely denotes that in order to maintain one's "ego integrity," and one's inner sense of "dignity," one feels that he/she must identify with his/her oppressors (though not consciously acknowledging them as such), so as to consciously reject the role of "victim" and embrace the role as being one of their comrades. Indeed, in this case, "comrades in arms." (This phenomenon is seemingly quite widespread, as I remember reading a poll shortly after the last Presidential election that about 23% of LGBT people voted for President Bush who largely ran on the platform of placing an amendment into the Constitution preventing same-sex marriage.)

Of course, Gay people, like many of the rest of the population, care about higher taxes (though it could be viewed as irrational to support a political party that has virtually guaranteed higher taxes to pay for the profligate spending that has occurred in these past several years), limited government (though that, too, is irrational, if one is supporting a party that has grossly intruded on many of the bulwarks of our judicial system, such as habeus corpus, and wiretapping without judicial oversight or even prior approval), and would want to vote accordingly. However, the reality of today's "conservatives," of today's Republican party, does not address these concerns, and it doesn't take a Democrat or an Independent to point out that fact.

Basically, I believe that when one supports a political party that works against that person's very dignity, personhood, and right to pursue happiness that is the right of every human being to enjoy in the U.S., he/she is manifesting his/her conscious and/or unconscious self-loathing in a "Stockholm Syndrome" that not only affirms the party that largely institutionalizes that oppression, but devalues the dignity of the person succumbing to that syndrome and casts him or her as one who is "ignorant and/or mendacious and/or traitorous'."
Share |

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

REKERS' 'RENT BOY' SCANDAL CASTS CLOUD OVER ANTI-GAY 'EXPERT' TESTIMONY

UPDATE, MAY 20th: PLEASE READ THIS COMMENTARY ON THE DAMAGE THE REKERS OF THE WORLD DO TO OSTENSIBLY GAY CHILDREN.

This is an interesting article entitled, Rekers ’Rent Boy’ Scandal Casts Cloud Over Anti-Gay ’Expert’ Testimony, that highlights at least two important points related to hypocrisy regarding a professing Christian condemning homosexuality on the one hand and also hiring a rent boy on the other.

There are primary and secondary ramifications to the European trip taken by anti-gay leader George Rekers in the company of a 20-year-old male escort who described the sexual massages he said he gave Rekers on a daily basis.

The most obvious effect of the story has been an outcry of hypocrisy: after all, Rekers--a longtime foe of GLBT equality who co-founded the anti-gay religious group Family Research Council in 1983 and sat on the board of NARTH, a group that claims gays can be "cured" and turned heterosexual--has testified in court on more than one occasion as an "expert witness" on gays, declaring to courts in Arkansas and Florida that gay and lesbian prospective parents should not be allowed to adopt children (tellingly, he said the same about Native Americans).

But a second, potentially wider-reaching effect may resonate long after the sensation and controversy fades from the media: the Rekers scandal may put a pall on so-called "expert testimony" used against gays in courtrooms where cases involving family parity are underway. Indeed, though Rekers did not testify in the court challenge to California’s anti-gay voter initiative Proposition 8, his testimony from an earlier case in another state was still cited, the New York Times reported in a May 18 article....

"Each lawyer must tell the court if he comes to know that one of his witnesses has given ’false’ testimony," New York University legal ethics scholar Stephen Gillers told the New York Times. Added Gillers, "It is not enough for the attorney general simply to refrain from relying on the testimony in his brief and argument. He has an affirmative duty to speak up."....

Rekers added, "If you talk with my travel assistant... you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail."....


The first point can be handled with dispatch: the louder someone condemns another or a behavior, that condemnation tells us a lot more about them than it does about what he or she is condemning. I know of no credible social scientist who would testify that the sexual orientation of parents is deleterious to the raising of children. What studies have been done show, rather, that it's the love in the home that creates a good, nurturing, environment for the child. This Rekers incident rightfully must call into question all "expert testimony" that alleges that same-sex couples must be denied equal rights that accrue to heterosexual couples!

The second point, however, is also very important. Notice the phrase Rekers used, "... I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse...." Rekers might well have convinced himself that one is not Gay if there is no anal intercourse. So, when Rekers talks of "homosexual intercourse" he is making that designation the very definition of one's being Gay or not. If no such activity occurs, he may well have convinced himself, as well as he is trying to convince others, that he is not Gay.

For a man to get a hand job from another man, of course, does not necessarily denote that that person is Gay. Being gay has to do with more than sexual activity, usually must also denote an emotional attachment on some level that Rekers may or may not have had, unless that activity is a central part of the person's life, in which case the designation of "Gay" is appropriate.

However, notice the self-loathing that Rekers undoubtedly has by his vociferously denying being Gay, and also considering the term "Gay" as referring to him as being defamatory. By so doing, it seems that Rekers, and many others like him who stridently condemn what they, themselves, are, engage in Reaction Formation to try to convince others as well as themselves that they couldn't possibly be what they are condemning. So, it seems that in his mind, since he allegedly never engaged in anal intercourse, he is not Gay.

People like Rekers, if he is in fact Gay, who deny to themselves and to others a core part of who they are, live terrible lives! They deny a core part of their identity, and of their very selves, do so publicly and, as in the case of many strident homophobes, cause the suffering of countless numbers of people and families, all in the name of denying to themselves who they really are.

Clearly, by Rekers' definition he is not Gay, even if he did get a sexual massage from another man, since he allegedly didn't engage in "homosexual intercourse," which he allegedly uses to determine whether or not he is Gay. This is a convenient operational definition for him, and an easy way out of a label that he terribly resents as applied to him when a bright light is shined on his hypocrisy.

The ultimate tragedy, beyond the suffering that the Rekers' of the world endure, is both the suffering they visit on other people, and their undoubted shame and self-loathing that usually comes to the fore when they are labelled with a label that should have no more of a negative connotation than having brown eyes would have.

God is a God of variety; God specializes in diversity! If Rekers really wanted to share "the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail," he would have told that young man, Jo-vanni Roman, and all people who would listen, that very fact!
Share |

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A MUST READ POST REGARDING ANDY TOBIAS' PATHETIC LIST OF OBAMA'S "ACCOMPLISHMENTS" FOR LGBT PEOPLE

This is a very important post entitled, Dissecting Andy Tobias' official list of Obama's gay 'accomplishments'

As I wrote on Facebook: How many different ways of saying that Obama is a loser, and has betrayed his campaign promises to LGBT people?

Please read the post by John Aravosis in its entirety as it shows how Obama has betrayed his promises to LGBT people.

The post begins as follows:

DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias has compiled a list of President Obama's 30 biggest gay accomplishments during his presidency. Let's take a walk through that list. And make sure you keep a running tally of how much political capital the President has spent to make these "accomplishments" happen - the total amount is zero.
Share |

Monday, May 17, 2010

RELIGION CAN BE A DANGEROUS THING

I just read this article entitled, Making Homophobia a Thing of the Past, part of which reads as follows:

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland says discrimination based on sexual orientation should be consigned to the pages of history....

In March, the representatives of the 47 member countries of the oldest European organization, the Council of Europe, agreed that all individuals must be able to enjoy their rights and freedoms without discrimination — including on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. They also recognized that nondiscriminatory treatment by state actors, and, where appropriate, positive state measures for protection against discriminatory treatment, including by non-state actors, are fundamental components of the international system protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms....

In April this year, whilst debating a major report on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, parliamentarians from all over Europe coming together at the Council of Europe voiced serious concerns about violations of the freedom of association and of expression of LGBT persons. They also referred to worrying occurrences of "hate speech by certain politicians, religious leaders and other civil society representatives."

European identity is as much about values as it is about geography. It is not just where we live, it is how we live together that defines us as Europeans....


As I wrote on Facebook in regard to this article: It would be great if the U.S. could catch up to Europe on this issue, and make homophobia a thing of the past. However, with the enmeshment of politics and reactionary forms of religion in the U.S., it is likely to take some time before the U.S. does catch up to Europe, and even to Argentina.

We can't afford to underestimate the enmeshing of a reactionary form of what is called "Christianity" (a so-called "Christianity" that is, in and of itself, a perversion of all of Jesus' teachings, as well as a perversion of the point of His very life and ministry) with both politics and our culture; that perversion of Christianity has largely created and now fosters the negative and distorted perceptions held about LGBT people by all too many people within secular society.

When clergy and other professing Christians bear false witness against LGBT people, degrade them, engage in hostile rhetoric against them, discriminate against them, and seek to deprive them of the very same civil rights that they enjoy, they are not preaching the Gospel of Christ!

Indeed, willfully or not, knowingly or not, they are preaching and doing the devil's work!

And, the unfortunate fact is that these wolves in sheep's clothing seem to have a monopoly of media attention, and are given a level of credibility by those who listen to them that they do not deserve. They are probably given such media exposure because they serve as lightening rods that garner consumer attention, so clergy who do preach and seek to live out the Gospel of grace are virtually unseen by the average person, whether or not he/she is a Christian.

Therefore, most frequently it is the perversion of Christianity that is seen, and the real Christianity is buried under layers of doctrines, dogma, prejudices, rules, regulations, and even hypocrisy and secrecy as we are now seeing in regard to the Vatican.

In this context, in 2001, I wrote an article entitled, Religion Can Be A Dangerous Thing that I'd like to reprint here:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
-John 6:37

The Taliban took the Muslim religion and twisted it into its own projection of God's justice. They took their own prejudices and imposed them on the Koran to justify the killing and maiming of innocent civilians. They use religion as a cloak with which to clothe themselves, and thereby assuage their consciences that what they are doing is not only good and noble, but is consistent with God's will.

September 11th and the ensuing anthrax cases are designed to create terror in one's heart and that terror is seen as justified by the appeal to God. Otherwise intelligent people can take the God of peace and turn Him into a warmonger against the innocent in our midst.

Unfortunately, Islam isn't the only religion that has its haters, its hate mongers, its perverts. Christianity also has its perverts who preach a false gospel that excludes, discriminates, and demonizes certain classes of people. Via many televangelists, and through many pulpits throughout the world, gay and lesbian people are castigated by an appeal to the Bible and to these perverts' sense of "God's will."

These perverts take their preconceived prejudices and impose them on the Bible and make it say what it doesn't say, when seen in context. As the excellent author, Peter J. Gomes says in his book, The Good Book: Reading The Bible With Mind And Heart, when we read the Bible we must seek to understand what it says, what it means, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text.

The Bible has historically been used to affirm slavery, segregation, and the subjugation of women. Indeed, in the Catholic Church women aren't allowed to become priests, and in some Protestant churches women aren't allowed to vote on congregational matters. The Bible has historically been used as a hammer to oppress certain classes of people; the justification for such oppression is "God's will."

What made many Abolitionists and others such as Martin Luther King unique is that they took the very same Bible that was used to disenfranchise and demonize certain people and saw in it certain principles that overrode biblical practice. Indeed, they saw that biblical principle must override biblical practice. Just because certain institutions were put into place in Ancient Israel and Rome doesn't necessarily make them relevant to the twenty first century in the United States.

The biblical principle that overrode biblical practice was the call to equality, freedom, and liberation of all people from the boot of their oppressors, even those oppressors who wear clerical collars. They took the Apostle Paul literally when he wrote, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:28-29)

What helps make the perverts in the Church world so dangerous is that their message of exclusion is not consistent with the Gospel message of inclusion as seen in the words of Jesus that began this article. Many people, some of whom never set foot inside of a church, feel free to discriminate, shame, bash and even kill gay people and feel no remorse, as they feel they are doing God's will. Organized religion has helped marginalize and shame gay people as seen in the fact that the suicide rate for gay youth is three times that of non-gay youth. And the burden of this atrocity must be laid squarely at the feet of organized religion!

Some may argue that the Bible condemns homosexuality! The fact is that the word "homosexual" is not to be found in the biblical manuscripts, as it was coined in the late nineteenth century and didn't appear in our English Bibles until 1946.

In the Old Testament people were called upon to be fruitful and multiply and, hence, any sexual act that didn't have the possibility of procreation was taboo. That was the sin of Onan! We are not a tribal society living on the edge that must procreate in order to maintain our ability to survive, as it is now well acknowledged that sexual activity need not always be justified by the possibility of procreation. Therefore, it is permissible for barren women and sterile men to be intimate with each other.

It must be acknowledged that regarding homosexuality it does not appear in the Ten Commandments; Jesus never talked about it; the prophets never wrote about it. If it were of great importance, one would think that it would be mentioned in at least one of these contexts.

In the New Testament, one must look long and hard to find verses of Scripture that ostensibly deal with homosexuality. Romans 1:20-32 does not deal with loving relationships between people of the same gender who are constitutionally homosexual. It deals with people who turn their backs on God and worship the creature more than the Creator; are likely heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts to pagan deities. The book of Romans was undoubtedly written from Corinth, which had about one thousand religions, the most popular one being the fertility cult of Aphrodite.

1 Corinthians 6:9 says that the "effeminate" will not inherit the kingdom of God. The Greek word that is translated "effeminate" is "malakoi," and it means "soft." It is used elsewhere in Scripture to denote soft clothing and illness. In this context, it may denote people who have soft morals or who lack courage. There is no warrant for translating it as "effeminate," and it contradicts Paul's assertions in Galatians 3:28-29.

1 Timothy 1:10 deals with "them that defile themselves with mankind." In the New American Standard translation, that term is translated as "immoral men and homosexuals." The latter term, as previously indicated, doesn't appear in any biblical manuscript. Paul's reference to homosexuality was undoubtedly seen in the context of idolatry and exploitation, not in reference to the constitutional homosexual.

And that's it! No other references to homosexuality exist in the New Testament. The Law was fulfilled in Christ, so we are now free from its strictures. Hence, the Gospel is good news indeed to those who trust in God's grace in having a big enough tent to house all of His children.

Don't let the perverts hijack Christianity as the Taliban hijacked the Muslim religion!
Share |

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A CHURCH FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

I just came upon an article entitled, Lutherans split over gay clergy issue, part of which reads as follows:

Until a few weeks ago, the Rev. Gail Sowell was pastor at two Lutheran churches in the small Wisconsin town of Edgar. That was before members of both congregations jumped headfirst into the simmering debate over gay clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
"It was pretty gruesome," Sowell said, recalling shouting matches inside the sanctuary; the mass resignation of one church's council, save one member; even whispers around town that she was a lesbian. "For the record, I'm not," she said.


That article, which highlights the mind-set of, and tensions within, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, which is the “liberal” wing of the Lutheran Church, and all too many other mainline churches within the institutional Church, prompts me to reprint an article I wrote a few years ago entitled, A Church For The 21st Century:

“And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:25)

Particularly in the last several years we have seen the Church increasingly fractured by polarization attendant upon such variables as differences in biblical interpretation, degree of inclusivity allowed
of its members, gender roles in the Church, and mandatory celibacy of Roman Catholic clergy. The relatively simplistic conclusion is that there is a bifurcation of the Church between “liberals” (those
who seek to keep up with changes in society) and “conservatives” (those who strictly adhere to traditional biblical interpretation in regard to a variety of social issues).

Actually, I think the polarization is far more fundamental than that mere distinction! I think the polarization is primarily based on the degree of tenderness of the hearts of those who claim to
comprise the Church. We are to ask such questions as: “Is our biblical interpretation more important than God?” “Does the Bible advocate the exclusion of some people called by God to join
Him at His Table?” “Do many traditional biblical interpretations stand up to biblical scholarship?” “Do many biblical interpretations stand up to God’s call for those who belong to Him and call on His
name to seek justice, love and not judge others?” “Are Christians to stand with the oppressed or with the oppressors?” “Does God seek to exclude women from any phase of ministry to which they
are called?” “Do we take Jesus seriously when He says we make void the Word of God by man made traditions (Matthew 15:3)?”

Currently we are a divided House! Indeed, there are many divisions within this House! We can see such divisions within virtually every mainstream denomination; we can see such divisions in the
plethora of denominations comprising the Church, many of which feel they have a corner on the Truth.

These divisions, this divided House, which seems to be a current liability to the Church and to its members, may actually be God’s design in allowing the Church to reach a critical mass that is
designed by God to create and re-create spiritual sensibilities that existed in the early Church, and that were temporarily reintroduced by the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Indeed, these
divisions may actually be a positive development in the Church and in the lives of many of its members in that it may well usher in a new conception and structure of God’s Church that He
intended from the foundation of the world.

We may well be at the crossroads that ushers in a New Reformation of the Church that is no less healthy than the Reformation in the sixteenth century for which such luminaries as Martin Luther and
John Calvin were the catalysts, and of which God was the Architect. It seems to me that just as the two angels asked the women who went to the empty tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, Jesus Himself asks
each of us, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? “ (Luke 24:5) Many of us have ceased to look for the living and vibrant Christian life of faith in increasingly moribund structures “manned”
by those who extol as virtues hierarchy, patriarchy, selective exclusion, legalistic biblical interpretation, and authoritarianism.

Many quickly forget Jesus’ call for humility, in spite of the fact that He says such things as: “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) “For all
who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) Also, we read in the Psalms, “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and
contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) Humility and brokenness seem to be in short supply in the current state of the Church and much of its leadership who seem to be much
more concerned with man-made traditions, the politics of exclusion, doctrines, creeds, and dogmas, than with the inculcation of tender hearts that come from the nurturing of the Holy Spirit Who
indwells each person who has yielded him/herself to Christ !

It must be acknowledged that doctrines, dogmas, and creeds certainly have their place, and they were very much needed by the early, fledgling Church, to defend itself from the many heresies with
which it had to contend. We still need a framework, an anchor, to not only defend the Church from heresies, but to help insulate each one of us from “…every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by
their craftiness in deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14) However, we are not to use this framework, this anchor, to define our relationship with God, or use it as the focus of our worship, which is the sin
of idolatry. Rather, we are to worship God by looking to Him and His call on our lives to fulfill the ministries He has ordained for us, and to love other people regardless of how loveable we think they
are.

The New Reformation, like the previous one that occurred in the sixteenth century, is not so much comprised of anything new as it is comprised of recapturing the biblical and Godly mandate to focus
on God as our Object of worship, and not let the false gospel of legalism and perfectionism continue to trump the Gospel of grace that Jesus embodies and which the Apostle Paul so beautifully
elucidated. We are to allow no institution or mere human being falsely espousing doctrinal and prejudicial conditions to come between the grace that God has bestowed on us, and our reception
of this free, unconditional, gift that enables us to live a truly liberated, free, and abundant life!

Martin Luther said he was married to the Book of Galatians, and I can certainly understand why! Hear Paul, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? ...Did you receive the Spirit by doing
the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was
for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by you doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? Just as Abraham ‘believed God,
and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the
gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.’ For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.” (Galatians 3:1-9)

The need for a New Reformation can’t be made clearer! We as Christians are to hearken back to the biblical truth that God is a God of grace that we appropriate through our abiding trust, or faith, in
Him, and that faith will yield the outworking by the Holy Spirit Who indwells all those who trust Him to show love, mercy, and compassion to others. There is no room for exclusion, patriarchy,
authoritarianism, man-made tradition, and the false gospel of legalism and perfectionism here!

No! The New Reformation has been, and will continue to be, enacted by those who heed God’s call 
to be His agents of mercy and grace, unencumbered by fealty to hierarchical and authoritarian 
structures and those who seek to exalt themselves by adhering to the status quo that frequently 
handsomely rewards them positionally, psychologically, materially, socially, politically, and 
cognitively by artificially reinforcing their one dimensional view of our multidimensional world.



Sooner or later, all of God’s children, those called out by God from the foundation of the world 
(Ephesians 1:4), will stop seeking the living among the dead. When any of us make that spiritually 
necessary leap of faith, we have partaken in the New Reformation designed by God!
Share |

Friday, May 14, 2010

STUPID COMMENTATORS SPECULATING ON ELENA KAGAN'S SEXUALITY

Frederich Schiller said, "Against stupidity even the gods contend in vain."

Please see the following brief video:



The very fact that Kagan's sexuality is being questioned, and being speculated upon using crass stereotypes, is akin to questioning and speculating upon her eye color vis a vis her suitability for the job of Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court!

The only possible speculative issue concerning her sexuality is that if she is a lesbian and is in the closet, she might well vote against LGBT rights, as do so many self-loathing closet cases, to keep herself more firmly ensconced in that closet. If she is not a lesbian, she is a wild card who might well vote against LGBT rights, feeling no affinity for LGBT people.

Indeed, she has stated: "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage," (See here..) she also stated in memos to faculty and students at Harvard that the military's policy of excluding openly gay men and women from serving is "a profound wrong — a moral injustice of the first order." (See here.)

So, if she's consistent in her views on these matters, we can expect her to approve the repeal of DADT, but follow the lead of Obama's Justice Department and affirm the constitutionality of DOMA.

And if she is a lesbian and comes out of the closet, she could well vote against LGBT rights in an attempt to show "impartiality."

So, really, her sexuality is largely irrelevant, especially for purposes of speculation, save for whether or not she is being honest and living an honest life, which relates to her character, the most important feature of any human being, especially one in the capacity of Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

So, in any case, especially not knowing much about her, she can be seen as a wild card on the Court, her sexuality notwithstanding.

In other words, her sexuality really tells us nothing about how she will vote on LGBT rights issues anymore than it will tell us about her judicial philosophy, about which we know absolutely nothing, as she has never served in any judicial capacity.

It is this latter fact which should be of concern to all thinking people, well over and above what her sexuality may be as speculated upon and targeted by some idiot pundits who are featured in the media, and in such foolishness as seen in the above video.
Share |

Monday, May 10, 2010

THE ROOTS OF FASCISM: ITS HOMOPHOBIC AND OTHER RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL MANIFESTATIONS

Yesterday, I came upon an article entitled, Prayer Crusade - A Platform For Gay Insult about which I wrote on Facebook: The Apostle Paul, in referring to those who preach a false gospel, said: "God damn them!" (Galatians 1:8,9) Those clergy and other professing Christians who condemn and bear false witness against LGBT people, and seek to deprive them of civil rights; seek to punish or even execute them, are nothing short of demonic!

Given the role of most of the institutional Church, and all those clergy and others who preach, teach, and even seek to impose a false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion onto others, even to the point of encouraging the draconian punishments of LGBT people, I feel it is appropriate to reprint, with very slight editing, the following article that I wrote about two years ago.

The article is entitled, The Roots of Fascism: Its Homophobic and Other Religious and Political Manifestations:

"…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Perhaps the best, most generic definition of "fascism" was stated by Laura Dawn Lewis in a piece that I found on the Internet. She states: "The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems. Simply stated, a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior (good) to another (bad) based upon race, creed or origin. It is possible to be both a republic and a fascist state. The preferred class lives in a republic while the oppressed class lives in a fascist state." [Dissident Defense Network, August 17, 2005.]

In 1932 Benito Mussolini, the founder of "fascism," wrote the following for the Italian Encyclopedia: "…The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone…."

When there is a nation largely composed of people with uncritical intellects; people who are trained by assorted advertisers and other media savvy people to be gullible and develop "false needs," there is no need to impose fascism on them. They willingly, gladly, embrace fascism as a salve, an antidote to their fears and perceived needs that are inculcated and reinforced by those who seek to gain and maintain power over them.

Some of this embracing of fascism is neurobiological, as the author, Arianna Huffington, pointed out in her article, "Appealing To Our Lizard Brains: Why Bush is Still Standing," published before the 2004 Presidential election. [AlterNet, October 13, 2004.] She stated: "Deep in the brain lies the amygdala, an almond sized region that generates fear. When this fear state is activated, the amygdala springs into action. Before you are even consciously aware that you are afraid, your lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode. No time to assess the situation, no time to look at the facts, just: fight, flight or freeze." "The strutting, winking, pointing and near-shouting that marked Bush's town hall debate performance all sent the same subconscious message to our fear-fogged brains: 'I'm your daddy…I've got your back. So just go to sleep and stop thinking. About anything.'"

LGBT people, therefore, can see in this discussion of the roots of fascism, and its embracing by many people whose fight or flight response has been successfully engaged by their puppet-masters, some of the dynamics behind their grinding oppression, as their oppressors have succumbed to the fiction of LGBT people being constructed by religious and secular homophobes as "enemies" who are a direct threat to heterosexuals, the sanctity of the family, tradition, children, the way of life as we know it, and who are sinful, and whom God condemns!

Of course, these assertions are clearly and patently false and represent gross distortions and misrepresentations of the Bible, which professing Christian oppressors equate with God, thereby committing the sin of idolatry; they equate their own fallible interpretation of certain selected Bible passages that are based upon their own preconceived prejudices as being "the word of God," and they thereby seek to impose those prejudices upon both the Bible and upon others, having the consequence of helping to deny LGBT people the dignity and civil and sacramental rights that they, themselves, enjoy.

However, when the Reptilian Brain is engaged, when the fight or flight response is triggered, rationality and "truth" fly out the window, and simplistic answers given by people who are in unjustified authority positions and who are given a credibility that they certainly don't deserve, are given relatively free rein to turn the truth into a lie, and to purvey all sorts of lies and distortions so as to both trigger people's fight or flight response so that they will look to the puppet-master to provide the simplistic answers that they crave to assuage the fears that those puppet-masters have, themselves, created!

When in a condition of fear or uncertainty, we seek to bond with a person to whom we ascribe "charisma"; we tend to ascribe charisma to that person who promises to deliver us from our fears and uncertainties even when he or she has created and reinforced those very fears and uncertainties. Hence, the frequent successes of one-dimensional politicians who impose simplistic thinking on complex issues, and of "fundamentalists" of any religion!

And what better way to attain and maintain "religious" and political power and moral hegemony in the public square than by claiming to speak for God, all the while having the temerity to elevate their prejudices and studied ignorance as being equivalent with the word of God and with the protection of "good, moral, and decent folks," so as to maintain "America's Judeo-Christian principles." So, the best way to "justify" homophobia is to manufacture LGBT people as "the enemy," and then "come to the rescue" so as to rid society of the "scourge" of "the homosexual agenda!"

These puppet-masters promise us surety in a world fraught with danger; they promise us deliverance when we feel trapped; they promise us clarity when we are confused; they promise us protection when we feel threatened; they promise us peace when we are in turmoil. They seek to force us to see the world as they do, thereby making many, if not most, people "Stepford Wives," in a scenario that they have themselves created.

They play upon most people's short sighted self-interests that guide most of their choices in life. I remember when I was President of the local faculty union, I was amazed at how most faculty members only cared about their own paychecks and work lives, and didn't care one bit about anyone else.

I sought to remind them that we couldn't have "collective bargaining" unless we were a "collective." It made no difference! Their short-sighted self-interest ruled the day for them and, consequently, for the rest of us.

Fascism is also enmeshed with what the sociologist Emile Durkheim defined as "ingroup-outgroup dynamics." Basically, this thesis states that when you have a threatening out-group, the in-group unites to protect itself against it. That is why one of the most dangerous calls the police receive is the domestic disturbance. Frequently, even though the husband may be savagely beating his wife, when the police enter the situation both spouses frequently unite and attack the officer.

Therefore, it's in the interests of those who want to obtain or maintain power to create out-groups so that in-group cohesion can develop around them. Even though they themselves created the out-group(s), the uncritical, gullible, self-interested, fearful public bonds with them if they, either verbally and/or non-verbally, promise them deliverance from their fears. Hence, by creating gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as "out-groups" to be feared in that they are made to be seen as seeking to "destroy the sanctity of marriage" by wanting the same rights as any other citizens, many people were motivated to vote for the person in the 2004 Presidential election who was seen as "standing in the gap" between heterosexist supremacy and the "danger" of same-sex marriage.

The same phenomenon, which heavily partakes of heterosexism, can now be seen in the infamous Proposition 8, the foot dragging by the "liberal" President Obama who enjoys a Democratic Congress, the assiduous affirmation of DADT and DOMA in federal court by the Obama Justice Department, and Obama's betrayal of his LGBT constituents by his refusing to issue a stop/loss Executive Order preventing the removal of out Gay military personnel.

"Fundamentalism" of all stripes capitalizes on this phenomenon! And when the imprimatur of "Christianity" is placed upon a person, rhetoric, and deeds, that person and his or her acts become not merely credible, but seen as "righteous," and even "biblical" and "Godly." Hence, the undeserved credibility that is afforded many clerical homophobes!

Rhetoric is crucial in this endeavor! Coupling what is implied or stated as the equivalent of "God's will" by a person in power or by a person who seeks power to a citizenry that is fearful and seeks, even if irrationally, a person who promises them deliverance from their fears, with an agenda that, to a rational person, even contradicts his or her statements and policies, lends credence and respectability to that person's agenda, regardless of how irrational and horrific that agenda is.

Witness the following statement: "The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." (Adolph Hitler, My New World Order, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933.)

By using such buzzwords as "duty," "revive," "spirit of unity and cooperation," "preserve and defend," "basic principles on which our nation has been built," "Christianity as the foundation of our national morality," "the family as the basis of national life," uncritical and gullible people who are fearful will look favorably upon such sentiments and upon the person promising their deliverance, regardless of the means utilized to achieve the goals of promised deliverance.

The appeal to virtue, as seen in the 2004 Presidential election, where "faith" and "morality" were made to be centerpieces in one's choice of candidate, also resonates with the imposition of a mind-set by political and religious "leaders" who have nefarious motives. Hear this: "Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth...Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea." (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 10)

Whenever evil is done, there is almost always an appeal to virtue! This phenomenon is especially true in politics and in religion. Some of the most horrific abuses have occurred in the name of religion, such as the justification of slavery; segregation; subjugation of women; condemnation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people; capital punishment; religious imperialism, as occurred in the Crusades; in this country's invasion of Iraq, and in the attempt to overturn the California Supreme Court's decision affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry.

There is a gigantic difference between "the Spirit of the Lord" and "religion!" One of the definitions of "religion" is the following: "A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects." (Random House Webster's College Dictionary)

As the verse of Scripture that preceded this article states: "…Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." In "religion," there are doctrines and creeds that seek to restrict, not only a person's thoughts and behaviors, but have the consequence of frequently quenching the Spirit of God at work in people's lives. In many ways, "religion" inhibits and is actually antithetical to the "freedom" that God seeks for us.

Creeds and doctrines certainly have their place! Indeed, they were largely instituted to prevent "heresy," and that was a worthwhile institution, since the fledgling Church was inundated with false doctrines that could have had the effect of destroying Christianity before it even got off the ground. Unfortunately, many Christians confuse the recitation and intellectual adherence to doctrines and creeds with living out the Christian life, a life that is characterized by faith in God over and above seen circumstances and manifesting love toward others.

Doctrines and creeds can never usurp the work of God's Spirit; the work of God's Spirit is to bring freedom to those who are bound by encumbrances that prevent them from living as fulfilling a Godly life as possible. Frequently, those encumbrances are imposed by religious denominations and institutions that, in recent times, have also aligned themselves with the political aspirations of those who seek to inculcate fear and, appealing to our Reptilian Brains, thereby gain and/or maintain power.

Hence, for increasing numbers of Christians, we may be entering a post-denominational era, where Christians gather in worship communities not beholden to the rules, regulations, and strictures that have been traditionally and institutionally imposed on us by most of the institutional Church. Many Christians may well come to realize that the "ecclesia," the "called out ones," are those throughout the world chosen by God to be agents of His grace in the world; institutional religion has increasingly become antithetical to fulfilling that ministry and mission.

That is one of the reasons that I have long maintained that LGBT people are God's gift to His Church and to society, and they are the canaries in the mine shaft who are there to let the miners know if there is poison gas in that mine that will kill them. The more strident and homophobic the professing "Christian" leaders and their blind followers to the demand for full equality of LGBT people in regard to the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights, the more those who are Christians in fact will flee these oppressive structures that sow the seeds of fascism and that all too often align themselves with the most reactionary political and secular forces, and their hateful and exclusionary ideologies, within society.

As we see in regard to most of the denominations in the institutional Church, God is separating the wheat from the tares (Matthew 13:30,38,40), the tares being those who talk the God-talk with aplomb, and who exude all the sanctimoniousness that they falsely think defines a "Christian," but are plainly seen to be the poison of all Christians who are Christians in fact, the members of Christ's Church, and who know that the Gospel is defined by Jesus Whose life, ministry, and work epitomized grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. Moreover, these tares, these "ravening wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15), are also poison to society as a whole!

And these purveyors of a false gospel, these one-dimensional legalists who "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel," who arrogantly presume to know the mind of God and seek to impose their own preconceived prejudices both onto the Bible as well as onto others, seeking to deny their demonically constructed "enemies" the same civil and sacramental rights that they enjoy, show themselves to be none of His, and that they are surely as poisonous to the Christian life and to Christ's Church as the Kool Aid that was drunk by Jim Jones' followers!

They have the temerity, the sheer arrogance, to commit the sin of idolatry by equating the Bible with God Himself, and by equating their own fallible, often false, interpretations of selected passages of Scripture based on their own prejudices, with what they falsely call "God's will," thereby elevating themselves, their prejudices, and their own fallible interpretations of selected texts of Scripture, above God Himself.

They also contravene Jesus' Great Commandments that Jesus says encapsulates "all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:36-40), and is to characterize and be manifested by all those who truly follow Him. Those two Great Commandments are to love God and to love and not judge others!

These pretentious and ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing, these purveyors of the false gospel of legalism and perfectionism, these who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, these advocates of the exclusion of others in the name of God, pose a horrific and poisonous danger to all Christians, to Christ's Church, and to the struggle to have a truly civil society!

In no uncertain terms, Jesus condemns these ravenous wolves: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." (Matthew 23:27)

Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that the institutions of "education" and "bureaucracy" have also been catalysts to make possible the emergence of fascism, by their encouraging of both uncritical intellects and by subordination of the interests of individuals to the interests of the bureaucracy. The sociologist, Max Weber, wrote concerning bureaucracy that, although it subordinated the individual to the codified rules, "having no respect of persons," bureaucracy was "the most rational and efficient way of coordinating complex tasks."

Hence, bureaucracy was seen by him to be a necessary evil; it is functional. It does what it's supposed to do. Even though individual interests are subordinated to the needs of the bureaucracy, he stated that bureaucracy will nevertheless endure.

The sociologist, Robert Merton, in his article, "Bureaucratic Structure and Personality," highlighted the dysfunctional aspects of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy, he argued, made people "methodical, prudent, disciplined," in their actions and ways of thinking. This phenomenon is no less true in the corporate secular world than it is in the corporate "religious" world!

To be "methodical, prudent, disciplined" is not necessarily to be "logical!" Within the confines of an organization that elevates rules over people's needs, such traits may well mitigate against "logic," and yield a slavish respect for the rules and for actual or perceived authority figures. Since most people spend most of their waking hours in such organizations, bureaucracies, this mind-set tends to become a way of life, and taken as a legitimate way of thinking, even in situations where such a mind-set is both illogical and even irrational.

So, for example, it is not uncommon to hear leaders of assorted denominations condemn same-sex love by appealing to "church law" that trumps pastoral considerations and the call of Jesus to love and not judge others! Here, bureaucratic leaders and their strictures needn't appeal to the Reptilian Brain to keep their followers in line but, rather, merely allow man-made rules and regulations to trump the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness; allow man-made traditions make void the Word of God, a sin that Jesus roundly warned against. (Matthew 15:3)

Such a bureaucratic mind-set tends to yield a slavish conformity to the status quo; respect for authority figures; the placing of organizational and societal needs over the needs of individuals; subordination of sensitivity to the dictates of authorities; short-term thinking as ways to solve problems rather than looking beyond the immediate circumstances.

Educational institutions are bureaucracies! Despite their rhetoric of encouraging critical and eclectic thinking, they actually encourage docility and a lock-step rigidity in one's thinking, so that many, if not most, students are only concerned with the question, "Will this be on the exam?" Just as this phenomenon all too frequently appears in secular society it all too frequently appears within most of the institutional Church.

Educational institutions are bureaucracies after all and, therefore, encourage their members, both students and faculty, to be "methodical, prudent, disciplined," those very qualities that lead to short-sighted self-interest in not only confronting fear and uncertainties, but in dealing with life itself. Such qualities, largely spawned by bureaucratic institutions, are tailor-made for encouraging the yearning after gurus, and by those who count on an uncritical intellect to institutionalize their own self-serving, sometimes believed to be God-ordained, agendas.

That is why Hitler was able to galvanize overwhelming support, not only from the masses, but from the "intellectuals," the professors, the physicians, corporate heads, the clergy. By engaging the Reptilian Brain, creating out-groups, promising deliverance, counting on people's gullibility and their short-sighted self-interests, he was able to mobilize people to support and do the most horrific things to men, women, children, and babies. We have seen this phenomenon applied in the United States in the subordination of women, the institutionalization of slavery and, later on, segregation and Jim Crow laws, all of which were actively encouraged and supported by most all clergy from assorted pulpits, citing selected Bible verses to "justify" White Supremacy and the grinding oppression and lynchings that emanated from that "justification."

Most of the electorate actively seek to deny some of their fellow citizens the civil liberties and rights that they themselves enjoy; many working class and middle class people have embraced domestic and foreign policies that are diametrically opposed to their rational self-interests; most of the electorate supported foreign policies that virtually guaranteed more death and destruction; many have embraced the limitations placed upon their own freedoms in the name of "the war on terror," largely constructed by those who sought to retain power over them and have thereby succeeded in so doing; many people have been duped by the purveyors of "religious" fascism into believing the big lie that LGBT people are a threat to society and are immoral, thereby gaining materially and/or psychologically and/or socially and/or politically by so doing.

May God open our eyes to see what's happened to this country by "religious" and secular fascists, and what they have unleashed on assorted minority groups throughout America's history, as well as on the rest of the world! May God have mercy on us all!
Share |