Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The following article, originally entitled, Confronting Internalized Homophobia, was written a few years ago, and I'd like to reprint it here:

I know right out of the starting blocks that this article is going to offend a great many people, but I feel very strongly that many LGBT people are seriously sabotaging the cause for full and equal civil rights by referring to themselves by the use of historically and current hateful epithets, using such terms as "Queer," "Dyke," "Fag," and other such demeaning and hateful words that have been historically used by their oppressors, and are still being used by their oppressors. Also, the many behaviors and images that are viewed by most potential allies as offensive, and that become public presentations of self, help reinforce the fallacious stereotype that Gay people are sex-obsessed deviant and abnormal hedonists, and these public images are doing tremendous harm to the struggle for, and the cause of acquiring, full and equal civil rights.

I'm Jewish, and not only have I never considered myself a "Kike," or a "Yid," I would verbally assault anyone who would dare use those epithets in referring to me or to any other Jewish person. It's a matter of honor! It's a matter of dignity! It's a matter of having a healthy self-esteem. It's a matter of self-respect.

And there are some clueless Gay people who use self-denigrating and historically offensive epithets as self-identifiers and who articulate them to the world, and by so doing not only show themselves to be lacking in these characteristics, but they are also unwitting victims of a variation of the Stockholm Syndrome where, in this case, one helps provide the very ammunition that one's abuser can and does use to help maintain the oppression of the individual. By so doing, these clueless Gay people are actually knowingly or unknowingly facilitating and enhancing the rage of the homophobes, the oppressive abusers, many of whom would even kill them if they could get away with it. Indeed, some homophobes do assault and kill LGBT people, all the while using these hateful epithets!

The reason that virtually no one would even think of publicly using words like "Kike" and "Yid" is because they know that all Jewish (and all decent) people and organizations would come down on them like a ton of bricks. (Is it even conceivable that any university in the world would have a course, program, minor, or major entitled, "Kike Studies?" Yet it is very common for faculty and students in universities to routinely use and normalize the word "Queer" when titling courses, programs, minors, and majors dealing with Gay issues.)

However, when people use hateful epithets in reference to LGBT people, they not only know that nothing like that will happen, that there will be absolutely no negative or threatening repercussions awaiting them, but they also see there to be nothing wrong with using these hateful epithets, as many of the people about whom they are publicly talking seem to revel in, and frequently use, those words themselves.

So, for example, universities think they are doing Gay people a favor by using those epithets, such as by entitling courses, programs, minors, or majors "Queer Studies" (apparently not realizing, or perhaps even caring, that a meaning of "queer" means "abnormal.") and think that they are thereby being "progressive."

Jews usually don't have self-loathing; LGBT people all too often do have witting or unwitting self-loathing, and use those historically punishing words on themselves in the name of "liberation," ignorantly (or stupidly) thinking that they are appropriating and neutralizing those words, even when gay bashers use those very words when bashing their victims and, furthermore, they even perpetuate and encourage further use of those words among university students when titling those courses, programs, minors, or majors, and freely use those words within the curricula as they do in other public venues.

Like Jesus says: "Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do." At least on the conscious level!

Sanam Hakim wrote an excellent article entitled, "Words you can't reclaim," on the subject of the use hateful expletives regarding certain minority groups. She concludes her article by saying:

"Words like 'nigger' or 'redneck' or 'bitch' or 'fag' were never words that were originally 'good'. They are words that were created solely out of hatred and it is not our responsibility to add fine print and use them in a different context. It is not our responsibility to convince black people that they actually are 'niggaz,' but that it's a good thing; to convince white working class Americans that they are rednecks, but that it's a good thing; to convince women that they are bitches, but that it's a good thing; to convince homosexuals that they are fags, but that it's a good thing.

"It is our responsibility to make sure when Tim McGraw asks if there are any rednecks in the house, no one cheers. It's our responsibility to stare blankly if DMX asks 'where my niggaz at?' It is our responsibility to make sure our children know these words, the history of where they come from and to make sure they don't ever use them, even if they mean it in a nice way."

She gets it!

As I wrote in my February 21, 2008 post entitled, "On The Need To Grow Up":

"There is a point when one has to own his/her dignity, demand the respect due to any human being, demand full and equal civil and sacramental rights regardless of the negative messages and hostility that have been visited on that person in the past, or even in the present. And those goals will not be realized as long as the minority group accepts its inferior status, and revels in it by referring to its members by the very same terms used by the most virulent homophobes throughout history and in our midst.

"No self respecting person, Gay or Straight, stands for being treated as less than fully human; no self respecting person, Gay or Straight, uses negative self-identifiers that have been historically (and contemporarily) used by their oppressors. The slave mentality is blamed on others, but the fact is that it ultimately resides within each human being whether or not to accept that mentality."

I recently received an email from a good friend of mine who wrote me the following:

"I'm just thinking about some of the horrid monikers we've encountered on the 'Net: 'The Old Dyke.' 'The Angry Fag.' 'Queer Kid Of Color'. "Faggoty-Ass Faggot." Straight people see and hear these vulgar identifiers. What do they make of them? Do they feel they have permission to use them, too? What also occurs to me is that these names don't just speak to a shameful feeling about one's gender and/or sexuality; they speak to an obsession with it! These folks need therapy, Jerry! I've been called the 'b' word, the 'p' word, the 'f' word, and just about every dirty slur you can name. I could never in a million years get my mind around 'reclaiming' that kind of ignorance. Yet, I don't consider myself any different from any other Gay man who's grown up in a homophobic society. Why do I react differently?"

I then wrote him the following response, which I know seems harsh, but this issue is crucial enough to demand such harshness and confrontation if the goal of acquiring full and equal LGBT rights is to be realized, particularly when LGBT rights activists are trying to win the hearts and minds of potential allies, and when the future of civil rights for LGBT people, such as the most pressing and immediate issue of the future of same-sex marriage in California will be put to voters in California in November:

I responded to him with the following: "My answer to your question is that THEY DO NEED THERAPY, but YOU DON'T NEED THERAPY, because you're emotionally intact, and they are not; YOU have integrity and dignity and refuse to be treated as a second-class citizen, and many of THEM revel in being second-class citizens; YOU aren't self-loathing; THEY are self-loathing; THEY love to vent by cursing the candle and loving the darkness; YOU want the light of full freedom, and outspokenly light that candle; THEY are apolitical; YOU see this as a political and religious struggle; THEY usually hate God and the things of God; YOU love God and the things of God; THEY love this world and the things of this world; YOU know that God wants liberation from yokes of bondage for all of His children; THEY frequently suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome; YOU definitely do not; YOU have a healthy self-esteem; THEY feel they deserve to be treated as 'outsiders'; YOU know you're 'normal'; THEY view themselves as 'deviants' and are proud of it. As I've said before, they are traitors and saboteurs to the cause of, and struggle for, full and equal civil rights, and you and I, and I'm sure many others, hate traitors and saboteurs to and of those things that anyone who is emotionally intact seeks for themselves and for others."

Regarding their being witting or unwitting traitors to, and saboteurs of, the struggle for full and equal civil rights, they have become mutual allies with the most reactionary homophobic forces in the religious and secular worlds. The religious
right and other homophobic forces just love them, for they manifest their fear and self-loathing by engaging in rhetoric and behaviors that are wittingly or unwittingly designed to alienate potential allies in the fight for full and equal civil rights, and provide these homophobic leaders with their needed ammunition to shore up their base of homophobes, be they in the "religious" or political arenas.

All a James Dobson, a Ken Hutcherson, a Pete LaBarbera, a Pat Robertson, or any number of other religious homophobes have to do is exhibit one or more of countless images of blatant and public hedonism (fulfilling and reinforcing the ugly stereotype that Gay=Abnormal; Gay=hedonism; Gay=deviant; Gay=immorality; Gay=perverted, etc.) to show those who might be on the fence regarding the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people that their hateful rhetoric has been correct after all. One cannot present public images that are patently and frequently deliberately offensive and even threatening to potential allies and then expect them to embrace and support full and equal civil rights for LGBT people who are all too often solely identified with those images!

In essence, the professional homophobes, many of whom make a veritable career out of homophobia, can then say to our potential allies, while showing them such images, "See, I told you what homosexuals are like. I told you how destructive they are to the very fabric of society and to civilization as we know it. I told you that they are not fit to be around children. They even want, and sometimes even have, the right to adopt and raise children. They seek to destroy Christianity and our Judeo-Christian way of life and will succeed unless we fight against this evil. And they even want their perverted lifestyle sanctified by law by insisting that they be allowed to marry one another. Before you know it, these people will want to marry their own children. Would you put anything past them after looking at these pictures that represent only a fraction of what they do and what they are?"

And we are to make no mistake: that's exactly what religious homophobes do, and continue to do, by proudly presenting blatant exhibitions of hedonism by some Gay people, further exacerbated by the use of pejorative epithets as self-identifiers by many Gay people that merely reinforce the hateful stereotypes and hateful rhetoric of the homophobes in "justifying" to as many as will listen the evidence as to the "deviance," the "otherness," the "abnormality" of LGBT people.

These epithets and images thereby confirm and reinforce the hateful rhetoric that is spewed by powerful religious homophobes in all sorts of venues, from the pulpit to the media, and serves no better purpose than to provide these religious homophobes with further ammunition that they need and use to sway potential allies away from our cause for equal rights.

Hence, the use of these epithets and the projection of these images that are viewed as offensive (many of which are seemingly designed to be offensive) by most people who conceivably make up our pool of potential allies, makes the purveyors of those epithets and images collaborators with the religious reactionary homophobes; making them partners in the goal of preventing the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people and their families.

Of course, confirmed homophobes will not be persuaded to become affirming of LGBT people no matter what we do or what we say! However, our concern must be winning over potential allies, those who might be on the fence and confused about this whole issue of LGBT rights. And the rhetoric and images used and projected for public consumption by self-loathing traitors are sabotaging that goal, by their being witting or unwitting allies with those very influential homophobes, by helping to do the homophobes' work for them.

By portraying Gay people as Godless, hedonistic, sexually obsessed individuals who revel in being "abnormal," and who pridefully display depictions that seem designed to offend all decent and religious people, virtually guarantees that those who engage in these practices are the allies of the avowed enemies of LGBT rights who stupidly feel free to vilify and even ridicule and make jokes about LGBT people, knowing that they will be greeted with hearty applause and laughter by their audiences, be they homophobic or potential allies.

Regarding the dynamics of those who manifest self-loathing and the unwillingness or the inability to directly confront the enemies of full civil rights and civil liberties, I absolutely think that seeing themselves as being forever "outsiders" and who revel in that outsider status by manifesting counter-productive and even risk-taking behaviors gives them a sense of security! It enables them to avoid confronting the horrifying fact that they are viewed by the oppressor as inferior, and in order to anesthetize themselves from that reality, they find a seemingly "legitimate" reason to bond with other like-minded people in a subculture that they wish to make a counterculture so as to both affirm themselves (which is understandable) but also insulate themselves from the insults and, at least at this point in their lives, they don't have the ego strength or the will to directly confront their oppressor in a politically meaningful and constructive way.

Hence, not only the use of denigrating epithets about themselves and their very identities, and their often egregious public displays that are bound to offend potential allies, but their rage at anyone who would dare suggest that by so doing they are helping to destroy themselves and their right to be treated with dignity and respect by those oppressors; telling them that by so doing they are witting or unwitting allies of those oppressors.

Because that would mean coming out of their cocoon, confronting a very harsh and even frightening reality, and having to confront both their own homophobia as well as the homophobia that would be visited upon them in direct proportion to their public and consistent demands that they be treated with full respect and as fully equal to their oppressor, and demand the acquisition of the very same rights that their oppressor enjoys.

That takes guts, and ego strength, and too many feel themselves to be too vulnerable, too wounded, to engage in the necessary fight for full and equal civil rights. Hence, to not confront that reality, and to not admit that they are too cowardly to fight the necessary battles for full and equal rights, they create a world where they demean themselves and create the rationalization for that demeaning of themselves by stating that they are doing so to merely appropriate, reclaim (Although those hateful words have never been renounced by the oppressor in the first place.), and neutralize those hateful words, and thereby claim that they are "liberated."

It's a profound tragedy, no matter how we look at it.

But it's a tragedy that must be confronted, overcome, and renounced so that positive, coordinated grassroots activism can occur, in conjunction with the increased assertiveness needed by major LGBT rights organizations, so that increasing numbers of potential allies can be recruited in the fight for equal rights; other LGBT people can become emboldened to demand that they be treated with dignity and demand nothing less than full and equal civil rights that are enjoyed by every other citizen; political savvy and activism be substituted for the counterproductive use of hateful epithets and the assorted public displays of images that denote and communicate a patently offensive public persona virtually designed to drive away allies and thereby sabotage the movement for full and equal civil rights.

As I've written before, such grassroots activism on the part of LGBT people and allies would take the form of "picketing homophobic churches (and there are plenty to choose from!), writing letters to the editors of their local newspapers, having groups of Gay couples who seek to marry continuously demand the same marriage rights as their heterosexual counterparts, speaking out to neighbors and friends, boycotting businesses that in any way discriminate against Gay people, and other such modes of activism to aid and abet the cause of acquiring full and equal civil rights!"

Only then will the homophobic oppressor be forced back under the rock from which he or she came, and the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights will become a reality!
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Saturday, January 22, 2011


“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33)

To be “justified” by God is one of the many promises given us by God as recorded in Scripture! I want to focus on that word, “justified” in this article, as it’s crucial that we understand the term, as our understanding of the Gospel message and the criteria of our standing with God hangs on that very word.

God’s promise of salvation to us is made out of His unconditional love for those whom He has chosen before the worlds were formed. (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:29) And out of His love, He has promised us salvation in a legal or forensic sense that all of us who have even the most superficial knowledge of jurisprudence can understand.

The term “justify” is a forensic term that means “to acquit!” Justification, mentioned so often by the Apostle Paul, means, “God’s act of remitting the sins of guilty men, and accounting them righteous, freely, by his grace, through faith in Christ, on the ground, not of their own works, but of the representative law-keeping and redemptive blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus Christ on their behalf.” (New Bible Dictionary, 1987, p. 647) As Paul succinctly wrote, “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5:18)

So, our justification, our imputed righteousness, is a free gift bestowed upon us by God through Jesus’ sacrificial work on the Cross! There can be no further work on our or anyone else’s part to confer that gift, because the gift is “free,” and if it’s free, it doesn’t require any work on our part to achieve that gift. We are viewed as meritorious, the apple of God’s eye, because of God’s sovereign choice of us. We didn’t do anything to earn it, we didn’t possess any special discernible talents or qualities to merit it, and there is nothing we can ever do to insure our keeping it, because we’re promised by Jesus Himself, “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 conferring of this free gift of salvation follows our being justified, reckoned as righteous, as God has justified us in the strictest legal sense. We are told in our “contract with God” that He will forever keep us, regardless of what we do, because He has chosen us from the foundation of the world, and His sheep hear His voice, and He calls to them because it was He Who placed the “receiver” (for want of a better word) in His children, so that they could hear His voice, His call to them. Clearly, we don’t have to go around the block more than a couple of times to realize that Christianity is viewed as so much foolishness to so many people who, at least until further notice, do not seem to have that receiver implanted in the core or soul of their very being.

Paul also tells us that there is absolutely nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love! He recites a litany of what is meant to embrace all possibilities that might be viewed by mere mortals as separating us from God, and He disputes them all! (See Romans 8:35-39) It must be remembered that in all religions, human beings seek after God! As far as I know, it is only in Christianity that God seeks after human beings! And when He seeks them, those who have implacable trust in Him, He holds them to his bosom throughout eternity! That is His promise, and that is part of His commitment to us in our contract with God!

Put forensically, let me use a very well-known example. Although O.J. Simpson was recently convicted of assorted felony counts and sentenced to a long prison term, I also truly believe that O.J. Simpson killed Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman on June 12, 1994. In my view, the evidence (although poorly presented) at his criminal trial for those murders was incontrovertible and, had I been on that jury, given the evidence presented as I saw it on TV, I would have found him guilty. However, the jury found Simpson to be “not guilty,” and so in the eyes of the law, he has been declared “not guilty,” and he’s now a free man who can come and go as he pleases.

In the same vein, we are guilty and most of us know it! We not only have sin in our lives, but our very nature is that of sin! Adam saw to that! We don’t have any further to look than within our own hearts to know what our “old man” is like, and how little it takes for that old man to surface. Human evil knows no bounds, as we’ve seen throughout the course of human history, and as we can see if we unflinchingly examine our own hearts. Yes, we are guilty!

However, God has declared us as “not guilty!” Therefore, although we “committed the crime,” God, our only Judge, has handed down the verdict that sets us free! We are not guilty in His eyes, the only eyes that matter. That’s why Paul wrote the verse of Scripture that prefaces this article! God justified us, declared us as being not guilty, so who is a mere mortal, you or anyone else, to say otherwise about you?

When Paul rhetorically asks, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” he is stating that not only does no one have the right to judge you, but you are not even qualified to judge yourself! As he wrote, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself: yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” (1Corinthians 4:3-4)

Paul knew he was a sinner! Indeed, in his letter to Timothy he said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”(1Timothy 1:15) Moreover, he confessed to the Romans that he was constantly wrestling with his sin nature (Romans 7:14-25) to the point that he knew that only the free gift of God’s justification of him through Jesus, by reckoning him as righteous although he was a rank sinner, was his only hope of salvation. Indeed, he was so confident of that fact, that he made a most remarkable, startling, statement to the council who sought to have him killed, “…Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” (Acts 23:1) Clearly a most remarkable statement!

Yet, Paul knew about the reality of God’s imputation of righteousness to all those whom He chose to be His disciples, and he sold out to God, didn’t care what others thought of him (also see Galatians 1:10), didn’t even judge himself or even feel guilty for any sin in any part of his life at any time of his life, and knew that he was justified, reckoned as righteous, a righteousness imputed to him as a free gift from God! And, as he concluded in his confession of his struggle with sin in his life in Romans 7, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)

It is this mind-set that I want you to have as well! If you carry any baggage of guilt, shake it off, as did Paul; if people misunderstand or judge you in any way, realize that God is the supreme Judge and He has already declared you to be “not guilty!” Our justification, the free gift of God as being reckoned as righteous and free from sin, is part of God’s many promises to us who put our trust in Him, knowing full well that no matter the struggle, no matter the suffering, no matter the situation, He is there, is not silent (at least not for long), and clutches us to His bosom now and throughout eternity!

That’s some free gift!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


New Alabama governor Robert Bentley, who touted his conservative Christian beliefs during his campaign, says only Christians are his “brothers and sisters,” The Birmingham News reports. [For the full article, see here.]

Please also watch the following video:

Many people might be surprised to learn that I am a conservative Christian; that I'm theologically conservative and that I'm also evangelical, in that I seek to spread the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace, or God's unmerited favor visited upon those whom God has chosen from the foundation of the world.

I also believe in the devil!

I'm absolutely convinced that the demonic has taken over much, if not most, of the institutional Church, as evidenced by hatred touted as "love," and by the false gospels of legalism, perfectionism, exclusion, and genital placement being substituted for the Gospel of grace!

When we fight for full and equal LGBT rights, we are not only seeking to gain those rights, but also portray an accurate view of Christianity!

The two are inextricably linked, as God made LGBT people in God's very image! Once people, LGBT and Straight, see that all of us have been made in God's image, that there are no "queers" or freaks in God's creation, the appeal to God by rank haters will increasingly fall on deaf ears!

You are not a "queer"; you are not a "tranny"; you are not in any way abnormal! You are God's child, made in the exact way and image God wanted to create you, and to in any way despise what God has created is a tragedy and, indeed, sinful, as you are then taking God's gift and throwing it back in God's face!

Moreover, all too many people, LGBT and Straight are, to one degree or another, taking seriously the venom spewed from hatefully ignorant professing Christians, especially pastors, and are continuing to listen to them and even attend homophobic "churches."

Flee homophobic pastors and churches as fast as your legs can carry you!

By attending those churches you are being exposed to the demonic, and thereby terribly hurting your spiritual and emotional lives!

Better to not attend any church, which is what I'm doing, than to attend homophobic churches, or any church that preaches the false gospel of exclusion!
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I wrote this article a few years ago, and I'd like to reprint it here:

"He hath shown 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)

All Christians are called upon to be activists for the Gospel of grace. We can be activists in a number of ways, such as being prayer warriors, engage in marches for civil rights, write letters to the editor regarding assorted Christian and civic issues, and so on.

A couple of months ago, an author who is engaged in writing a book on activism asked me to write a brief essay on why I became an activist, and a Christian activist at that. This is what I wrote for inclusion in his book:

As a Christian, I have increasingly had revulsion regarding most of the organized Church that has been in the vanguard of providing justification for the denial of civil and sacramental rights to so many minority groups. It has played the caboose to the train of civil rights and civil liberties in regard to such minority groups as women and Afro-Americans.

Now that it is no longer politically correct or financially profitable to discriminate against these two groups, and now that the specter of Communism is no longer good sermon material, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are now in the cross hairs of much, if not most, of the organized Church. And the clerical and evangelistic proponents of such discrimination are frequently quite handsomely rewarded materially and/or psychologically for their hateful rhetoric directed against people who they feel are "safe" targets to persecute.

The Church, Christ's Church, the ecclesia, 'the called out ones,' are to obey the only Commandments Jesus gave us: to love God by trusting Him over and above seen circumstances; to love others and not to judge them. That's it! The only Gospel to be found in Christianity is the Gospel of grace, "the good news," the fact that through Jesus God has bestowed upon us His unmerited favor!

The proponents of the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion, which is certainly not "good news," and certainly doesn't represent the commandment Jesus gave us to love others, is diametrically opposed to the Gospel, and its proponents have, unfortunately, virtually taken over most of the organized Church. Most of the organized Church has aligned itself with the most reactionary forces in secular society, which is also diametrically opposed to the Christian mandate that we love others by also fighting for justice for all of God's children.

Therefore, my passion is two fold: 1. To help reclaim Christianity from those who have substituted their own prejudices and mind-sets for the Gospel, and have sought to impose those prejudices and mind-sets on others; 2. Fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

There is absolutely no Godly, biblical, or constitutional reason why lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should not enjoy every single civil and sacramental right that accrues to every other citizen! The specious arguments presented by all too many clergy and their followers don't stand up to biblical, logical, empirical, or constitutional scrutiny; those arguments betray the very Gospel that Christians are called upon to preach and to live!

All Christians are called upon to live, not in 'time' but to live in 'eternity!' We are to be agents of God's love in this sin-cursed world, and if we're not such agents we are betraying both the Gospel and Jesus Himself!

The failure of many, if not most, professing Christians in being such agents; the hateful rhetoric against LGBT people by many clergy and evangelists; the failure of most clergy to condemn hateful rhetoric against LGBT people; the enmeshment of much of the organized Church with reactionary secular forces that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo from which they are frequently quite handsomely rewarded; the bureaucratization of most of the organized Church that is all too often obsessed with hierarchy, patriarchy, incestuous socialization, and building beautification, over and above addressing such burning issues as war and poverty; the failure of most of the organized Church to be in the vanguard of seeking full and equal civil rights and civil liberties for LGBT people; the suffering of so many LGBT people and their families at the hands of both religious and political forces, have spurred me to expend as much energy as possible in confronting these perversions of the Gospel.

In my endeavor to fight for these principles, I have a blog entitled, "A Christian Voice For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Rights," located at; I have long had a weekly newspaper column entitled, 'Christianity and Society,' that appears in the 'Sacramento Valley Mirror.'

So many professing Christians seem to misunderstand Jesus' call to His disciples to love others. Many think that they show love by keeping a peaceful attitude in all circumstances and not ever confronting those who hurt others, even those who hurt others in God's name.

We certainly don't show love when we are silent in the face of others' oppression. Christians are not expected to be peaceful in this world. Jesus says to us, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

This world does not give us peace and, as Christians, it's not supposed to give us peace. We are in "enemy territory" and we are to fight the demonic forces in this world as soldiers sent "behind the lines" to stand for the principles of love, respect, decency, mercy, compassion, and justice for all of God's children.

Clearly, this world is not based on these values! Quite the contrary! Most of this world lives in the materialist realm where money is usually god, selfishness and self-absorption rules the day, success is measured in terms of the acquisition of wealth, and God is looked upon (if He is looked upon at all) as Someone we tip our hats to on Sunday mornings and then go about the "real business" of living the other six days of the week.

As warriors for Christ in enemy territory, we are called upon to fight injustice wherever and whenever we can. We are not called upon to remain silent in the face of injustice, and we're not called upon to adopt a milquetoast persona to appeal to others' definitions of the criteria that, to them, defines a "Christian."

We are called upon to listen to God's voice in our hearts to stand for righteousness and fight for others' dignity and civil and sacramental rights as befit all of God's children. And this task isn't designed for wimps!

Let's face it: which of God's heroes in the Bible were happy or peaceful people? I can't think of anyone. Just read the eleventh Chapter of the Book of Hebrews, the major chapter that extols the kind of person who really belongs to God, His heroes of faith. They suffered affliction; they saw themselves as strangers and pilgrims on this earth; they had "…trial of cruel mockings and scourgings…moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and in caves of the earth." (Hebrews 11:36-38)

Do these people sound like typical churchgoers to you? Do you think they looked for peace and happiness in this world? Do they sound like typical clergy and evangelists of the organized Church to you?

It profoundly hurts the cause of Christ, and the image of Christianity, when most of the organized Church aligns itself with the things of this world, the mammon of this world, and the accoutrements of "success" as defined by this world; when it all too frequently aligns itself with the most reactionary forces within secular society and is among the vanguard of oppressing assorted minority groups, such as women, Afro-Americans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Moreover, when most of the organized Church, either through rhetoric or action and/or silence and inaction, seeks to deprive others of full and equal civil and sacramental rights, that is an indictment of both the organized Church and the culpable professing Christians that makes nothing short of a mockery of Jesus' call to His disciples to trust Him over and above seen circumstances, and to exhibit love toward others. And, it certainly doesn't show love to either attack others or remain silent when others are attacked and demonized as "the other" who is not worthy of the civil and sacramental rights that we enjoy.

When Jesus' followers decided to align themselves with Constantine in the Fourth Century, thereby officially aligning Christianity with the State, with secular society, making Christianity the State religion, they made a tragic decision that haunts us to this very day. Jesus' followers were never meant to align themselves with the State! Quite the contrary! We are called to be God's representatives, speaking God's admonitions and injunctions to love others, even our "enemies," and to seek to conform this world, to the degree possible, to God's standards, and not to seek to conform Christ's Church to the world's standards.

All Christians are called upon to be "heroes of faith," and, if we're not, we're really none of His. As the writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us: "…without faith it is impossible to please him…." (Hebrews 11:6) And we demonstrate our faith by trusting God and what He says over and above the mind-sets and prejudices that the world seeks to shove down our throats, and that all too many "religious leaders" are all too willing to swallow and force their blind followers to swallow as well.

All Christians worthy of the name are "in" but not "of" the world; seek to conform this world to Godly principles and fight to the death, if necessary, the precipitous decline of so many professing Christians, and so much of the organized Church itself, into the jaws of Moloch, a false god to whom children are sacrificed, or to the very devil himself!
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Friday, January 14, 2011


The following is an edited article of a few years ago that I'd like to reprint here:

The Bible tells us that "pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18), and no better is this truth seen than in most of the institutional church's attitudes, rhetoric, and actions regarding the civil and sacramental rights, and the bearing of false witness, against Gay people.

The "pride" and "haughty spirit" that characterizes recent Administrations, with the all too willing complicity of the sycophants of the Democratic and Republican parties, have caused a conflagration in Iraq and Afghanistan that will never be resolved in the forseeable future. And that pride and haughty spirit characterizes the treatment of LGBT people both here and abroad as well!

Oppression is of one piece! As I've written so many times, when one group is oppressed, all other groups are at risk of being oppressed, and the oppression of women and LGBT people in Iraq and Afghanistan is inextricably interwoven with the oppression of LGBT people in the U.S. and elsewhere, as it is inextricably interwoven with sexism, racism, and homophobia both here and elsewhere. All of us, by our actions and/or by our silence, are complicit in this conflagration, in this horror, in this unspeakable evil, in this unspeakable sin!

This country voted for the cowardly politicians who roll over for it, and choose to give a blank check that furthers the humiliation and annihilation of people. We are the murderers, and our collective hands are bloodied by what is being done in Iraq and Afghanistan in our name, just as they are being bloodied by the horrors visited upon LGBT people both in the U.S., Uganda, Jamaica, and elsewhere when we remain silent in the face of such outrages!

While most of the institutional Church focuses on the theology of genital placement, and remains silent in the face of such outrages as seen in the above cited article, and as seen in the treatment of LGBT people, it is not only irrelevant to the issues of the day, but it is also complicit in those corporate and personal sins that cry out to God for vengeance, and for which it is largely responsible, due to its actions and/or silence in the face of such oppression, through its often destructive and hateful rhetoric, and through its enmeshment with the most reactionary forces in society.

So, sing your pious hymns, continue to raise money for building beautification, continue to concentrate and hammer on others' personal weaknesses, continue on in your incestuous socialization, continue to keep the juices flowing with sanctimonious and fiery rhetoric, continue to ignore and/or encourage the corporate evil done in our name and, frequently, in the name of God, and continue to preach the false gospel of exclusion through the often hateful rhetoric that garners even more money for the collection plate.

And, falsely continue to call yourselves "Christians!"
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This January webcast is a wonderful sermon by Sister Paula, transgender preacher and activist, on having inner peace. It will be a blessing to you!
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Sunday, January 9, 2011


The following article that I wrote a couple of years ago appears in the current issue of "Whosoever":

Over many years, ample evidence has been presented that homophobia that is linked with many clergy's interpretation of selected Bible verses that has been enmeshed, if not fused, with their views of Christianity and "morality," is not going to be swayed or altered by appeals to emotion or to reason. Indeed, their homophobia is not even going to be swayed by biblical exegeses refuting the interpretation of those same passages that homophobic clergy use to bear false witness and discriminate against LGBT people!

It's high time that LGBT Christians make a cold turkey choice, if they haven't done so already! Stay in denominations and churches that view you as objects of disdain and ridicule OR flee those toxic denominations and churches and not subject yourselves to such gross indignities visited upon you "in the name of God."

This choice hinges on at least two criteria:

1. The degree of self-loathing/masochism that you possess.

2. The degree of loyalty you have to an institution that disparages you and seeks to deny you full and equal civil and sacramental rights.

Bishop John Spong of the Episcopal Church, in his article entitled, "A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!," in part wrote the following:

"I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression. There isn't. Justice postponed is justice denied. That can be a resting place no longer for anyone. An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to "Roll on over or we'll roll on over you!" Time waits for no one.

"I will particularly ignore those members of my own Episcopal Church who seek to break away from this body to form a "new church," claiming that this new and bigoted instrument alone now represents the Anglican Communion. Such a new ecclesiastical body is designed to allow these pathetic human beings, who are so deeply locked into a world that no longer exists, to form a community in which they can continue to hate gay people, distort gay people with their hopeless rhetoric and to be part of a religious fellowship in which they can continue to feel justified in their homophobic prejudices for the rest of their tortured lives. Church unity can never be a virtue that is preserved by allowing injustice, oppression and psychological tyranny to go unchallenged."

LGBT people who choose to remain in homophobic denominations and churches must dig deep into their psyches and seek to discern why they choose to remain in those toxic institutions!

The spurious canard that "It's my church too," as I heard one Roman Catholic say on TV, and another said the same thing directly to me, is embarrassing on its face! You don't make the doctrines, you don't make the dogmas, you can't preach from the pulpit, you have no voice in the formal dimensions of that denomination or church to get your own theological and/or personal views across, you have no right to excommunicate anybody. It is clearly not your church too!

Professing Christians, particularly clergy, who misuse Scripture and thereby distort people's perceptions of the lives of LGBT people as part of their theology and rhetoric; who raise countless millions of dollars to deny one or more civil rights to Gay people; who discriminate against Gay people, have no right to be treated with any degree of deference. And they have no right to be given credibility by your presence and/or by your money, or the presence and money of any decent person who professes to be a Christian.

All decent people and LGBT people who attend homophobic churches must examine their hearts and try and discern whether inertia should overcome anger; whether loyalty to one's tradition should overcome exposing oneself to lies and hateful rhetoric; whether any degree or even vestige of self-loathing should overcome giving credibility to institutions that misuse the Bible; whether any taint of masochistic needs should overcome discrimination and oppression visited upon LGBT people "in the name of God."

To all LGBT people, and all decent people who call themselves "Christians," I ask that you examine your psyches and ask yourselves why you choose to attend toxic institutions that demean and hurt others, and that cause untold suffering by their rhetoric and oppression of others in both the religious and civic arenas.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011


This article appears in the current issue of Whosoever, and was originally written a couple of years ago:

We must study homophobes rather than Gay people! As I have previously written:

"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."

Here, I want to address what I consider to be some of the major psychological and social dynamics that provide the roots as well as the payoffs of homophobia and its expressions.

"Phobia," of course, means "fear!" So when we speak of "homophobia," we are essentially speaking about fear of Gay people and/or fear of one's being Gay.

Externalized and internalized homophobia ["At his new church, Ted Haggard said he will teach that God intended marriage to be a monogamous union of a man and a woman."] are manifestations of a basic fear, often deeply rooted in one's unconscious mind, that one is what he/she has been trained by all too many clergy and others to view as something loathsome; so, to counteract and neutralize that feeling, anger and even rhetorical and/or physical aggression are often used as defense mechanisms.

That anger and aggression can be directed at Gay people themselves or, in the case of one who is Gay or "fears" he/she is Gay, that anger can and often is inwardly directed (And can also often be outwardly directed at Gay people as well.), in many cases culminating in counterproductive and risk-taking behavior, and even suicide among those who are internally homophobic.

Moreover, the all-too-frequent use of hateful epithets (queer, dyke, fag, tranny, etc.) as self-identifiers is another manifestation of recognized or unrecognized internalized homophobia! Hence, it is no surprise that in the case where internalized homophobia exists, actions counterproductive to the struggle for LGBT equality can be seen to exist, and even occur at precisely those times when equal rights are before the courts and in the public eye.

In this connection, I don't think that it's any accident that such phenomena as the Folsom Street Fair, the Million Fag March, and the seeming increase of frivolous, if not onerous, content in assorted Gay-themed media, occurs at this particular juncture in American history when DADT, DOMA, ENDA, and Prop. 8 are being discussed and adjudicated in both the political and judicial arenas. Such counterproductive, if not traitorous, behavior are signs of often unrecognized internalized homophobia!

Internalized and externalized homophobia are both congruent with fear, and are caused by fear; that homophobia (and its manifestations) is, in itself, an instrument or defense mechanism that one uses to minimize the fear and/or shame of one's being Gay, or even used to minimize the generalized fear of the unknown, that resides in the homophobe's own psyche.

As Sigmund Freud asserted, the unconscious is not merely a passive part of our personality. Rather, it is comprised of all sorts of tempestuous forces, often "unspeakable" drives and urges, that one cannot afford to bring to consciousness in order to maintain his/her ego-integrity his/her sense of self.

"In Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, the unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences."

These "unacceptable" and "unpleasant" feelings, conflicts, and anxieties that reside in the "Id," the "unconscious," are usually repressed by the psyche. However, when those unpleasant feelings, conflicts, and anxieties threaten to come to consciousness, all sorts of defense mechanisms are used to keep those feelings suppressed, not the least of which is denial; when denial is impossible, anger and aggression (externalized and/or internalized) usually become manifest.

When one's unconscious anxieties and fears are threatened to be manifested in their nakedness, the result is often anger and aggression so as to repress and suppress those anxieties and fears; that repression and suppression cause homophobes to both live inauthentic and self-defeating lives on the one hand, and also fool themselves into believing that they are intact human beings on the other hand.

And, of course, nothing could be further from the truth! One cannot live an inauthentic and/or self-defeating life and also be emotionally intact!

Repression and suppression of sexuality as a price we all pay to live in civil society, as alleged by Freud, is dramatically fueled by religion that seeks to maintain the status quo, and maintain its moral hegemony over others; even over people's self-concept that in reality is not usually in line with the truth of one's tempestuous psyche that screams to get out of its repressed state.

And, tragically, it is often "homophobia" (and its manifestations) that is used as a defense mechanism that helps keep the person's frustrations, urges, and other tempestuous forces that reside in the unconscious repressed and suppressed. Hence, the virtual impossibility of educating the strident homophobe into seeing that being Gay is a normal sexual orientation.

It seems to me that among many people there is an inordinate need for certainty in this uncertain world, and this phenomenon is no less true when we speak of one's psychic world. Hence, the seduction of "fundamentalism," be it in religious life or in secular life.

As I wrote in an article entitled, "The Illusion of Certainty" ("Whosoever," March/April 2009):

"When one is afraid, one usually doesn't have the psychic energy to empathize with another person, particularly when it is felt that the other person might conceivably be a "burden" in one way or another. Chronic fear, like any other type of neurosis, breeds self-absorption and, therefore, makes it rather unlikely that that person will seek to help out another person, since virtually all of that person's psychic energy is being spent on "keeping it together." And, fundamentalism's success is that is does, in fact, help those who are fearful of life, of ambiguity, of the unknown, and of the complex multidimensional aspects of life and of God, ‘keep it together.'

For many people, fundamentalism is a desperately needed form of psychotherapy! This fact is not all bad! Most of us want safe places, safe havens, in which to rest, even if it means having our complex and existential problems addressed by a simple Bible verse, or by a rather trite remark such as, "God doesn't give us any more than we can handle."

This illusion of certainty, although it serves a needed psychological and social purpose for many of those who seek out fundamentalism, has another, much more dangerous, downside. Fundamentalism, by its very nature, requires that there be scapegoats! In the fundamentalist frame of mind, there has to be an "us," and for there to be an "us" there has to be a "them." And the current "them," the enemy de jour, is LGBT people!

The psychological need for certainty morphs over to the social need for bonding with like-minded believers. Therefore, it's "us" against "them!" Anyone who is viewed as not seeing God, the Bible, or the world as that person does is viewed as the outsider, the enemy. In my experience, many people in fundamentalist churches don't even see those who go to "progressive" (Seeking to apply biblical principles, rather than apply every biblical and cultural practice, to contemporary social problems and issues.) churches as being 'Christian.'"

So, homophobia, beyond reflecting one's often unconscious anxieties and fears, being an attempt to neutralize those anxieties and fears, repressing and suppressing one's own often sexual anxieties and fears, also serves a vital social function, as homophobic rhetoric and/or actions is often a powerful medium that brings like-minded people together into an in-group, such as exists in much of the institutionalized Church that is often characterized by incestuous socialization.

And that in-group's cohesion is increased in proportion to the homophobic rhetoric that addresses that level of fear provoked by Gay people; fear of the tempestuous forces in one's unconscious mind. Hence, strident homophobia cements in-group solidarity which is another powerful payoff for insecure one-dimensional thinkers who seek to impose their own prejudices onto others, and often fallaciously do so in the name of God!

Homophobia is a fear inculcated largely by religious forces in society that are undeservedly given credibility as having the right to take the moral high ground when dealing with love and sex but, ironically, not given that same level of credibility when dealing with poverty and war. This very phenomenon shows both the selectivity used when adhering to religious sentiments, as well as the intensity of the unconscious (and sometimes conscious) drives that create and exacerbate homophobia, as well as the role that religion itself plays, and is allowed to play, in facilitating homophobia and its expression.

So, in addition to psychological payoffs provided by homophobia and its expression, social payoffs are provided by homophobia and its expression, as when creating an out-group, in-group solidarity is increased. Hence, deeply felt needs to belong, to be liked, to feel in control when the unconscious tells the fearful homophobe that he/she is really not in control, are deeply felt needs that the expression of homophobia seeks to address, even if it causes untold amounts of suffering to countless numbers of LGBT people and their families.

And, to add insult to injury, showing the level of desperation of homophobes in attempts to justify their position, all sorts of irrational and false "justifications" for homophobia are presented, such as same-sex marriage being "a threat to the family," "Gay people being a threat to our children," "same-sex couples not being able to raise emotionally healthy children," "being Gay is a sin," etc. These types of "justifications" for homophobia show just how much homophobia and its expression is needed by emotionally needy people who need to repress and suppress tempestuous forces within their psyches to which xenophobia provides an easy, albeit false, remedy.

Indeed, homophobia and its expressions can be seen as being perversely "therapeutic" for those who lack emotional/sexual intactness. Rather than courageously try to understand what prompts their need to denigrate and bear false witness against LGBT people, and even seek to prevent the acquisition of equal rights for LGBT people, homophobes attempt to address and treat their emotional and social neediness by taking the coward's way out by expressing derision and even hate toward LGBT people as a catharsis for their own internal turmoil.

It seems to me that all emotionally healthy people recognize Freud's assertion that, "The Ego is not master in its own house!" (Sigmund Freud, "A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis," 1917.)

That is, we contain unconscious forces within us that we can barely, if at all, understand; we do not have the degree of control over our thoughts and behaviors that we often, though falsely, think we have!

One of the indicators of emotional intactness, and also intelligence, is the ability to handle the many uncertainties and ambiguities of life! Homophobes, and xenophobes of all types, those who feel the need to denigrate and exclude others, seem to lack that ability and, hence, they show themselves fearful of the many gray areas that exist in society, exist in what and who they perceive to be "the other," and exist in what often unknown forces reside within themselves as well.

After all, as I've often written, emotionally healthy people don't really care about the love and sex lives of others, let alone compulsively focus on, and condemn, Gay people, to the degree that some people even make careers (and sometimes a handsome living) as professional homophobes!

So, simply put, people do what they perceive to be rewarding for them! And there can be no doubt that there are psychological and social payoffs provided by homophobia and its rhetorical and/or behavioral expressions!

Both externalized and internalized homophobia are largely used as defense mechanisms to repress and/or suppress often sexually tempestuous forces that threaten to come to consciousness, often when provoked by the mere existence of LGBT people; the objects of one's fear, be it others and/or him/herself, become objects of derision, and even hate, that reflects, and futilely seeks to eradicate, the very derision and hate that one feels toward him/herself.
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Saturday, January 1, 2011



A couple of years ago, I wrote an article entitled, It's Not About Issues that I'd like to reprint here:

Hostility toward LGBT people has less to do with such issues as same-sex marriage and full and equal rights than it does with a Reactionary mind-set shared by those who have a tenacious adherence to the status quo, as long it they perceive that it profits them. These people are either members of, or allies of, the Power Elite.

The Power Elite is comprised of the people who have a vested interest in the status quo that they control and from which they mightily profit. Moreover, its members, in order to maintain that control, use assorted dupes and those who want to share in that power, even vicariously, in order to support it and its interests, and such dupes and allies include most of the institutional Church and its members, and all others who buy into the self-serving ideology that this Elite purveys through the media which it controls, and through the credibility that it enjoys in society.

The Power Elite possesses a reactionary mind-set as that mind-set serves its own best economic, political, and material interests. However, what is especially ironic and pathetic is that it uses those who lack critical thinking skills to serve its self-interests, making them think that it is their own interests that are being served. Moreover, most of the institutional Church, by the very fact that it is comprised of bureaucracies, attract and promote into leadership positions those who possess this reactionary-mind set!

So, we have professing Christians all too often enmeshing what they consider to be "Christianity" with the militarism, capitalism, Americanism, and jingoism that serve the Power Elite well, and they fuse what is frequently called "evangelical Christianity" with the very interests of the Power Elite, in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus!

And this surreal phenomenon is considered and touted by them to be the hallmark of "traditional," "conservative," "evangelical Christianity!"

And the Power Elite also has as a useful tactic the pitting of one minority group against another, having them cannibalize each other, thereby deflecting attention from its self-serving machinations, and having what is called "conservative Christianity" as providing the supposed biblical and moral justifications for the oppression of the minority group du jour.

In addition, we have the irrational and surreal phenomenon where we have people aligning themselves with the Power Elite by directly working against their own interests, so that we see the spectacle of some African American clergy willing to align themselves with the KKK to oppose same-sex marriage, as seen by Rev. Gregory Daniels who is quoted as having said, "If the KKK opposes gay marriage, I would ride with them."

The reactionary mind-set of the Power Elite has even infiltrated many other African American clergy and their gullible followers who should certainly know better, so that they perversely use the very same rhetoric, justifications for, and advocacy of, discrimination against LGBT people and their acquisition of full and equal civil rights that were once used against African Americans by the allies and members of the Power Elite, and they are now willfully blind to the fact that it was those "activist judges," "liberals," and courageous people, Black and White, which and whom they now roundly condemn, that made possible the end of slavery and segregation.

We also have the spectacle of Gay people who are against same-sex marriage, or who align themselves with those who actively discriminate against them, such as Gay people who attend and support homophobic churches and their clergy, and/or who otherwise support and align themselves with their avowed political enemies.

The Power Elite is well able to manipulate the all too frequent shame and self-loathing among Gay people, the shame and self-loathing that they and their reactionary "religious" allies have all too successfully created, fomented, and perpetuated, just as it did among the African Americans during the times of Slavery, and later on, Segregation, of which Malcolm X so brilliantly spoke, most notably in his speech describing the difference between the "House Negro" and the "Field Negro."

The "House Negro" was the one who loved his Master, and couldn't do enough for him. If the Master was sick, he'd say, "What's the matter, Master, we sick?" It was this House Negro who found it remarkable when the "Field Negro" expressed resentment against Slavery and the Master.

It was the "Field Negro" who rebelled and, as Malcolm said, "Felt the sting of the lash." Unfortunately, among Gay people, there is the equivalent of the House Negro who is quite content with being treated as an oppressed, second-class citizen, bereft of full and equal civil and sacramental rights that "the Master" enjoys. So, we not only have the spectacle of some Gay people not favoring the right for loving same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other from marrying, but we also have some Gay people who seemingly willfully stick their finger in the eye of potential allies by deliberately dressing in bizarre ways for public consumption, thus reinforcing many negative stereotypes that many Straight people in their naivety have of Gay people.

The same mind-set that has hostility toward LGBT people and their acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights is the mind-set that used what the "religious" reactionary White Supremacists saw in the Bible, and who then selectively used certain verses (usually without understanding the original Greek or the likely context about which those verses were written) in justifying and expressing their savagery against African Americans, both during the institutionalization of Slavery in the U.S., and in the relatively recent past during the era of Segregation and Jim Crow laws.

The same hatred shown toward African Americans in the justification of White Supremacy is the exact same hatred shown toward LGBT people and the justification of heterosexism! Some of the manifestations of that hatred are, of course, different, but the hatred and the justifications for that hatred are exactly the same!

No better most recent examples can be shown to highlight the machinations of the Power Elite by "religious" reactionaries than are contained in these two articles: See: "Evangelicals say McCain's the one, Meeting consensus: Obama has sold out to 'gay' marriage, abortion" (World Net Daily, July 8, 2008) and "Church of England refuses to comment on Vatican secret talks," Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent, June 7, 2008.

In the first article, it shows how "evangelical Christians" (I put the term "evangelical" in quotation marks because that term has, unfortunately, been perverted.) are starting to organize and mobilize to support McCain for President. Clearly, they didn't like him in the beginning of the campaign but, when the rubber hits the road, they are going to support him, and they are now providing to themselves as well as to others their justifications in so doing.

Part of the article, reads as follows: "'Our shared conservative evangelical values and our concern about judicial activism compelled us to unite around the presidential candidate who most closely aligns with us,' [Matthew] Staver [President of Liberty Council] said. 'That candidate is obviously Sen. John McCain. United we will move forward to advance our values in the short- and long-term. We are committed to a trans-generational, multiethnic and multiracial conservative movement.'

"The report said some of the Christian leaders were irked by the fact 'Obama has reached out to evangelical leaders more than McCain.' But it confirmed others expressed support for McCain, 'because an Obama presidency would mean passage of highly liberal policies that would probably allow "same-sex marriage," severely hurt religious freedom and ensure the appointment of only judges who would keep abortion on demand as the law of the land.'

"'Rick Scarborough, founder and president of Vision America, predicted that laws would be passed that would essentially criminalize basic Christian beliefs,' Strang's report said."

By portraying Christianity as being under attack, they are using the same rationale and tactics as was used by White Supremacists in creating an "enemy" so that they could portray themselves as victims of a grave threat that only by electing someone who had a mind-set like theirs, regardless of religious or spiritual commitment, could help remedy. Such a portrayal not only garners increased revenue for religious reactionaries, the handmaidens of the Power Elite, but helps enable them to ensure the status quo that they perceive will keep them in control and help keep the minority group(s) they despise under their thumb, so as to maintain their influence and control of most of the institutional Church, maintain what they tout as the moral high ground, and maintain their definition of "Christianity" in the public's mind.

Flagrant disregard of life and limb lost in an unjust and immoral war doesn't seem to bother these public advocates for the rights of the unborn! The irony of their seeming to care for pre-born babies doesn't seem to carry over to their caring for the countless thousands who have already been killed and maimed in the Iraq war, and the many yet likely to be killed and maimed if John McCain becomes President.

What is important to them is to maintain their mind-set of exclusion of "the other," their constructed enemy, be that "other" African Americans, women, LGBT people, or whatever enemy they seek to construct so as to maintain both their hegemony in society, and to help assure that the existing social structure continues to favor them and their ideology, an ideology that has relatively little to do with their "Christian" profession, and certainly nothing to do with Christianity itself!

The contradiction of their professed "Christianity" with their politics has been seen throughout history, so it should come as no surprise that in the article entitled, "Church of England refuses to comment on Vatican secret talks," by Jonathan Wynne-Jones, that appeared in the July 11, 2008 edition of "The Telegraph," we read:

"Senior Church of England bishops have held secret talks with Vatican officials to discuss the crisis in the Anglican communion over gays and women bishops.

"They met senior advisers of the Pope in an attempt to build closer ties with the Roman Catholic Church, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

"Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not told of the talks and the disclosure will be a fresh blow to his efforts to prevent a major split in the Church of England.

"In highly confidential discussions, a group of conservative bishops expressed their dismay at the liberal direction of the Church of England and their fear for its future.

"They met members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most powerful of the Vatican's departments, the successor to the medieval Inquisition, which enforces doctrine and was headed by Pope Benedict XVI before his election.

"The names of the bishops are known to The Sunday Telegraph, but they have asked for anonymity because the talks are of such a sensitive and potentially explosive nature.

"The disclosure comes on the eve of a critical vote as members of the General Synod – the Church's parliament – prepare to decide whether to allow women to be bishops without giving concessions to staunch opponents.

"Up to 600 clergy gave warning in a letter to Dr Williams that they may leave the Church unless they receive a legal right to havens within the Church free of women bishops.

"In separate developments, three diocesan bishops wrote to the archbishop supporting the threat and two other bishops have said they are preparing to leave the Church. The letter from the Bishops of Chichester, Blackburn and Europe - seen by The Sunday Telegraph - argues that traditionalist clergy will not be able to "maintain an honoured place" in the Church without sufficient legislation."

So the hostility "traditional" clergy in the Church of England have toward LGBT rights, such as the ordination of Gay people and same-sex marriage, is seamlessly related to their hostility toward women becoming Bishops, thereby reinforcing the basic misogyny behind much of the homophobia that exists.

The issues aren't women and Gays, per se but, rather, the desire for control within the social structure(s) in which those with the reactionary mind-set find themselves!

We all want some degree of control over our lives, and we want our ideas to be taken seriously by others. However, there is a reactionary mind-set that requires those who possess it to have control over other people, and who thereby seek to impose their self-serving and naked self-interests on the rest of society and/or their denomination, even at the expense and contradiction of their profession of being "Christians" who trust in God, or any other laudable ideology that they profess.

So, just as "evangelicals" largely getting behind McCain for President, self-styled "conservative" Bishops and clergy in the Anglican Communion are seeking possible alignment with the Roman Catholic Church, a Church from which their forebears largely dissociated. It is not unlikely that the self-styled "traditionalists" or "conservatives" will now seek some way of affiliating with an organization quite well-known for its comfort with, and institutionalization of, the reactionary mind-set.

Rather than call themselves "Reactionaries" or worse, they call themselves "evangelicals" or even "Christians," all the while not seeing the basic contradiction between their love of power and their professed love of God!

They can condone, or turn a blind eye to, the torture and killing of others, all the while portraying themselves as "the victims" of those [whom they derisively call "liberals"] who seek to stop that torturing and killing; they seek to take the high ground in public discourse, all the while seeking to deprive others of the full and equal civil and sacramental rights that they, themselves, enjoy; they state that they are "traditional Christians," all the while seeking power within their Church and/or society, and not trusting God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of that Church and in that society; in the name of "Christianity" they perversely bow down to Caesar and aid him in maintaining a status quo from which he mightily benefits!

We must finally come to realize that the enemy we are fighting, the enemy that oppresses us does so, not especially because we are women, Black, Italian, Jewish, Mexican, poor, immigrants, or Gay but, rather, that "oppression" is what that enemy, the possessor of that reactionary mind-set, routinely does, and has historically done, to gain and maintain power within society and/or the institutional Church!

Once we understand this phenomenon and how we all have a personal stake in the acquisition of equal rights for members of each and every non-predatory minority group, it will be at that point that all of us who are members of minority groups (and that's most of us in the U.S.) will see our commonality with each other and begin to work together in the fight against our common enemy: the Power Elite (and its allies), comprised of those who possess the Reactionary mind-set and who ferociously seek to maintain their control over others at any cost in order to keep their privileged positions!
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