Saturday, November 10, 2012


There has to be a distinction between "religious conservatives," and "religious fascists." Those who seek to deny others basic civil rights, and cast aspersions on assorted minority groups such as gays and illegal immigrants are religious or secular fascists. People like Franklin Graham, Ken Hutcherson, Ralph Reed, and their ilk are not "religious conservatives" but "religious fascists," as I see it. I am a religious conservative, as I believe in the contextual rendering of Scripture, the virgin birth, the Resurrection, etc.  I think that it's crucial that we make that distinction.  True Christian Conservatives do not seek to in any way judge or defame others!
Even non-Christians know that Christians are to address the injustices of society, and care for the poor and unfortunate who are down on their luck; Christians should be able to be counted on to help others, and not to seek to judge or exclude others from good will and good works. Indeed, they well know that Christians are called upon by Jesus to love other people and not to judge them!

Yet, they and we are constantly bombarded in the media and in all too many churches with the propounders of a false gospel of legalism that is no Gospel; with those who show no love, but seem to delight in engaging in faulty biblical exegeses to justify condemning their fellow human beings; with those who would much rather erroneously select some obscure verse out of Leviticus to condemn others and seek to deny LGBT people civil and sacramental rights than do the work of a ministry that seeks social justice for all of God's children; by a gospel that has as its litmus test genital placement rather than the exercise of love toward all of God's creatures; with those who embrace the most reactionary elements in society and do so in the name of God, rather than heed the words of Jesus that we are to care for the least of His children; with those who are haughty, smug, and arrogant, rather than witness the expressions of the meekness and humility Jesus admonishes us to have in dealing with other fellow human beings and with the things of God.

There is a judgment! And the professing Christians who, by their ignorance and/or avarice and/or twisted psyches cast aspersions on the Gospel of grace, the unconditional love of Jesus toward all of God's children, thereby turning away countless intelligent, decent, sensitive people from God, will drink the dregs of that judgment to the very last drop, for, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." (Luke 17:2)

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Saturday, October 6, 2012


 The following article was written a couple of years ago, and I'd like to reprint it here:

As I've often written, many clergy within the institutional Church preach and teach the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion and thereby do immeasurable harm to the emotional and spiritual lives of those who allow themselves to be exposed to that kind of toxic religion.
The only Gospel to be found in Christianity is the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor); faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances); love; peace; reconciliation; inclusiveness. Any other gospel is a false gospel!

If you allow yourself to be subjected to preaching and/or teaching other than the Gospel of Christ (the "Good News" that all of our sins have been forgiven by the Sacrifice of Christ), flee those churches, or other such venues, as fast as your legs can carry you!

Moreover, if you take seriously the rhetoric of those who claim to speak for God and for the Bible, and who teach and preach a false gospel, you are not only being subjected to a warped version of Christianity that is really not "Christianity," but you are making decisions about your spiritual and emotional life that are based on lies and perversions of: the grace of God; the teachings, ministry, and Sacrifice of Jesus; the Bible; Christianity itself.

Unfortunately, those who pervert Scripture and the Gospel, those who deny the full and final Sacrifice that Jesus made to cover over all of our sins, are those who spit in the very face of God and seek to impose their false and perverted gospel onto others, falsely taking on the role of being possessors of moral authority; an authority that they do not deserve and which must be given no credibility.
Needless to say that these perverts have done enormous harm, and caused untold suffering, to so many of God's LGBT children!

I recently received an email from someone who wrote of his and his family's heartbreaking experiences in the church that they attend. He said that the pastor preached his reactionary political positions from the pulpit, and he felt depressed at the state of that church that he and his family have faithfully attended for many years.

I wrote him the following reply that I thought you might be interested in reading:
"Thank you for your heartfelt letter to me. You and I share exactly the same sentiments, save for the fact that you view the institutional Church as being equivalent to Christ's Church and I don't. I feel that most of the institutional Church has defamed the name of Christ and, in many cases, has spit in the very face of God through its proclamation of a false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion.

"You say, 'My family and I have declared a fasting from TV.' I suggest that you declare a fast from that church you attend, as that pastor is most likely reflecting the ungodly and political sentiments of most of the congregation of that "church."

"He and most of the rest of that congregation are more likely to change you than you are likely to change them.

"Run from such a 'church' as fast as you can! If you can't find a church that is truly reflective of the Gospel of Jesus, then worship with other Christians in a home Bible study or, if that is impossible, it is far better for you and your family to stay home and study the Bible and worship together.
"What you describe is toxic religion, about which I've often written, and is terribly harmful to one's spiritual and emotional life. My very best wishes, Jerry."

You, too, have my very best wishes, and I strongly urge you to not be taken in by the smug, self-righteous teachers of a false gospel that puts unnecessary yokes of bondage on you.
Don't be fooled by the seeming urgency and sincerity of their message that they often profess with an air of oracular authority; a message for which many are quite handsomely rewarded materially and/or psychologically and/or socially and/or politically.

The Gospel of Christ is so simple that even a child can understand it: You have been saved, through the grace of God, from the wrath of a righteous and just God by the sacrifice of God's Son, and by having faith in Christ's teachings and Sacrifice for your redemption and for your eternal reconciliation with God.

That's the Gospel, and it is the Gospel for all of God's children, be they Gay, Straight, Bisexual, or Transgender!

You and I have been saved by the Sacrifice of Jesus; there is nothing we can do to win God's approval, as God already approves of us due to the Sacrifice of Jesus. All we have to do is to plug into God's grace by having faith in Jesus' Sacrifice that covers over all of our sins.

That is why the Gospel is called "Good News!" After all, if we have to obey all sorts of rules, regulations, doctrines, etc., what's the good news in that?

Communicating this message has been one of my major goals, and I just hope that this message gets through so that no one feels condemned by the ignorant and/or hateful homophobic rhetoric that emanates from the lips of all too many clergy and other professing "Christians" who erroneously claim to speak for God.
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Saturday, September 22, 2012


The following slighted edited article was posted several years ago, and printed in a couple of other publications under the title, "Why Every Church Must Be Open And Affirming."

"…O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." (Isaiah 3:12)
"…he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." (Isaiah 5:7) 

Many years ago, I was asked by a pastor of a Presbyterian Church to speak to the congregation and community members who would attend as to why gay people should not be ordained to the ministry. Conventionally reading the Bible, I saw such words as “abomination” and “against nature” ostensibly associated with homosexuality, and I thought it was a no-brainer. To my current embarrassment, I gave that speech. 

Subsequent to giving that speech, I started to think more deeply about the issue and asked myself the question, “Why would someone voluntarily choose to become part of a despised minority group?” I started searching the Scriptures, looking up the original languages to see what they meant and, more importantly, what they didn’t mean. I also read extra-biblical sources on the subject and finally decided that the Bible not only did not condemn same-sex loving relationships but, in fact, tacitly affirmed them.

I examined the relationship between David and Jonathan and saw that even a cursory reading of the biblical account of their relationship showed King David, called a man after God’s own heart (1Samuel 13:14), to have been at the very least a bisexual. (1Sam. 20:30-31; 41-42; 2Sam. 1:26; 9:1) Moreover, in Matthew 8, a centurion beseeches Jesus to heal his servant. The typical Greek word that is translated “servant,” although a more accurate translation is “slave,” is doulos. However, in Matthew 8, the Greek word that is translated in the King James Version of the Bible as “servant” is pais and, given this account as recorded in Luke 7 that says that this slave (doulos) was “dear unto him” (Luke 7:2), it may very well be translated “slave boy.” 

The term “slave boy” was a term that was commonly used to describe one who was in a homosexual relationship in those times. That may well be why the centurion was so concerned about this particular slave. (If he was a young boy, this would be considered pedophilia, and not condoned by the Bible.) This being a reasonable and probable translation in Matthew 8 given the context (Such as seen in Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People.), it is interesting that Jesus never condemned the centurion’s relationship with his slave boy, and He had the perfect opportunity to do so if He felt that their relationship was in any way sinful or inappropriate. Jesus merely commended the centurion on his faith and promptly proceeded to heal the man’s slave boy. 

The legalists and the self-righteous, smug fundamentalist professing Christians, who seem to monopolize the media, don’t speak for Christianity—at least not the Christianity that I know. These purveyors of a false Gospel impose their prejudices on the Bible, selectively picking certain verses that they feel affirm those prejudices, and preach a message of legalism and perfectionism that is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. 

The Apostle Paul, who adamantly fought legalism (Acts 15; Ephesians 2:8-9), saved his harshest words for those who preach a false Gospel. He said in Galatians 1:8 concerning those who preach a false Gospel, “…let him be accursed.” He felt so strongly about those who preach legalism rather than the Gospel of grace that he repeated himself in the very next verse. 

To be “accursed” is to be damned by God! In other words, he wrote, “God damn them.” (Galatians 1:8-9) Once can’t use any stronger language than that!
These preachers of a false Gospel have wittingly or unwittingly attempted to hijack the true Gospel and redefine Christianity in their own twisted image of God, the Bible, the world, and of themselves. They make Christians look like a pack of hate-mongering, harsh, judgmental freaks and I terribly resent it! 

Every single church and denomination is obligated to embrace and welcome into its fellowship everyone who worships Christ as his or her savior, and afford each such person full rights of inclusion, including the partaking of every sacrament of the Church, as befit members of the Body of Christ! Yet, many denominations are struggling with issues surrounding the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (hereafter to be called GLBT) people. The struggle is said to largely center on biblical interpretation regarding gay people and their relationships, as well as Christian tradition, despite the fact that Jesus says we make void the Word of God by our traditions. (Matthew 15:3) 

Many people who seek to deny GLBT people rights of ordination, marriage, and other rights and privileges that accrue to others, may be well-intentioned, but they are misinformed. The root of this misinformation is largely the religious leadership that seeks to impose their world-views that bespeak ignorance and insensitivity upon not only other people, but upon the Bible and upon God Himself. 

Just as Peter’s experience of Cornelius in Acts 10 showed him that even Gentiles were receiving God’s Spirit, we must realize that GLBT Christians can receive, and many have received, God’s Spirit as well, as the reception of God’s Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation. Many people in the Church still think of GLBT people as Peter and Paul once thought of Gentiles. Yet God told them, and us, “…What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:15) 

Peter and Paul called the Jewish Christian church in their day to not merely tolerate Gentile Christians, but welcome their full inclusion. Similarly, in our day we are being called by God to not merely tolerate GLBT Christians, but welcome their full inclusion in every aspect of the Church and society. 

Had it not been for adherence to God’s revelation concerning inclusiveness, Paul would not have had a ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47), and had it not been for Paul and his ministry, Christianity would likely be but a mere sect of Judaism, rather than its fulfillment! We must obey God; not man-made dogmas, rules, regulations, and traditions! 

On June 17, 2004, Reuters reported, “The Roman Catholic Church in Massachusetts is considering firing gay employees who marry their same-sex partners in the only American state where such unions are legal, a church official said on Thursday.” Hence, even though the law in Massachusetts permits same-sex marriage, the Roman Catholic Church, viewing gay relationships as “intrinsically disordered,” may seek to discriminate against those who take advantage of that law. 

Given the extensive sex abuse scandals that have rocked that denomination, it would seem prudent for it to take the beam out of its own eye before tackling what isn’t even a speck in another’s eye. Yet, sexuality and sexual orientation are such highly charged topics for them, and most others, that they may feel free to disregard the law and discriminate against people who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other before God and the community through the sacrament of marriage. 

Marriage is a matter of love, but also a matter of legal and property rights! Just ask anyone who has gone through a divorce! As citizens, GLBT people have every right to partake of the same rights and privileges, as well as the responsibilities, as other citizens. 

Why would we allow a bunch of celibate men, men who seemingly choose to deny a core part of the self, a deep primal urge and vehicle for the _expression of deepest intimacy between two people, be allowed to define romantic and sexual reality for us? In this vein, we must ask, “Why are so many ‘religious’ people, clergy and non-clergy alike, so obsessed with others’ love and sexual lives that they read into Scripture, taking a few passages out of context and without regard to the original languages, justification for discriminating, stigmatizing, demonizing, and oppressing GLBT people, which judgment and discrimination is clearly un-Scriptural?” Their prejudices have clearly blinded them to the biblical mandate to love others and not judge or oppress them! 

The Gospel of love trumps any particular verse or verses of Scripture, particularly those taken out of context and interpreted without regard to the original languages. In Leviticus, the men who sought to gang rape the two angels weren't gay, as Lot wouldn't have offered his virgin daughters to them. If they were gay, young women certainly would have been no inducement to them. The issue was gang rape, abusing others, not sexual orientation or gay relationships. 

Indeed, whenever Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in Scripture, homosexuality is never mentioned as its sin. Rather, the sins that are dealt with are inhospitality and not taking care of the poor. Moreover, if the two angels who visited Lot’s house had been women, it is unlikely that those professing Christians who discriminate against GLBT people would be condemning heterosexuality! 

The word translated "homosexual" in some translations (Such as the New English Bible: New Testament.) is arsenekoitai, an obscure Greek word, which actually means "male bed." It probably refers to male cult prostitution (See the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.) that was not uncommon in much of the ancient world, where sex was sometimes a worshipful act to various pagan deities and to have the crops grow. Paul was most likely talking about the use of sex for these purposes. In this connection, it is important to note that the word “homosexual” does not appear in any of the biblical manuscripts, as the term was coined in the late 19th century, and first appeared in an English Bible translation in the 1946 edition of the Revised Standard Version.

Moreover, prohibitions against homosexual activity in ancient Israel was done in the context of a tribal society living on the edge, surrounded by enemies, that had to "be fruitful and multiply" in order for it to survive. Therefore, all types of sexual activity had to be geared to procreation. The sin of Onan, coitus interruptus, was to do otherwise. (Genesis 38:9-10) 

Romans 1:21-32 that is erroneously used to condemn gay people talks about those who turned their backs on God. Even though many professing Christians and clergy have turned GLBT people away from the church, many of these people still worship God. Many of them have long, fulfilling relationships. For example, one gay couple who attend our church has been together for 40 years. 

In any case, what those who quote from the first chapter of Romans to erroneously condemn gay people apparently don't read is the very next verse: "Therefore Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." (Romans 2:1) 

The word "abomination" frequently refers to anything the Gentiles did. For example, eating fish without scales was an abomination. Also, the Greek words that are translated "against nature," para physin, are also used in reference to God when He brought the Gentiles into the covenant relationship with Him. (Romans 11:24) Hence, the term “against nature” is not necessarily meant to be pejorative; may well refer in Romans 1:26-27 to heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts as seen in cult prostitution. 

In 1Corinthians 6:9 the word "effeminate" is used. The Greek word is malakoi, and it means "soft." It's used elsewhere in Scripture to denote soft clothing. In this connection, it probably means people of soft morals or people who lack courage. 

It is important to realize that homosexuality is never mentioned in the Ten Commandments, never written about by the prophets, and never discussed by Jesus. If it were that important, it would have likely been dealt with in at least one of these contexts! 

Yet these facts, and many others that have been put forth, are not likely to change the minds and hearts of those who actively discriminate against GLBT people. Those who spend a great deal of their time condemning other people “in the name of God,” by picking and choosing selected verses of Scripture without seeming regard to context and original languages, may well be materially and psychologically gaining a great deal from these endeavors, all the while claiming that they are being faithful to the Bible. 

Just one example as to how these people don't seem to be as ‘Bible believing’ as they would have us believe: Jesus specifically condemned divorce and remarriage, saying that those who did so, absent fornication, were themselves committing adultery. (Matthew 19:9) I don't hear many homophobic clergy condemning these people and telling them that they should leave their current spouse and either reunite with their previous spouse or remain single. Nor should they! My point is that many of their constituents are made up of these people who give them tithes, offerings, and contributions and they don't want to bite the hands that feed them. They have, however, helped drive many GLBT people away from the church, so these people become viewed as “safe” targets to persecute. 

The Gospel of love negates any attempt to misrepresent, stigmatize, demonize, or oppress other people. Those who seek to exclude GLBT people from partaking fully in the life of the Church and society have missed the message of the Gospel! 

In any case, it's inappropriate to blindly apply the cultural practices of ancient societies to contemporary society, as it does not do justice to the Bible; the Bible makes no such claims for itself; to do so cheapens the Bible. As Peter J. Gomes wrote in his superb book, The Good Book: Reading The Bible With Mind And Heart, when we read the Bible we must take account of what it says, what it means, the text, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text. Without such examination, we have the egregious example of many Black churches, ministers and lay people, aligning themselves with the KKK to fight against same-sex marriage. 

What is interesting in this context is that the KKK has demonstrated against same-sex marriage. So, the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (that, even with its checkered sexual history, talks of traditional family values) and others who oppose equal rights for gay people are aligning themselves with the KKK that opposes equality for all citizens. And these professing Christians have the temerity to do so "in the name of God." 

For far too long we have listened to people who just uncritically assume that what they heard from the pulpit or Sunday school, as ignorant and hateful as it may be, regarding GLBT people is true. Being gay is not a lifestyle! It's a life! It's not a choice, any more than being straight is a choice! 

Moreover, although each minority group has its own particular history, each has suffered from misinformation, discrimination, stigma, and oppression. Unfortunately, the Church has been the last institution in society to accept the disenfranchised and "least among us." As has been noted for many years, the Church has been, and continues to be, the most racially segregated institution that exists on Sunday mornings in our society. In addition, the major justification for oppressing minority groups has been appeal to the Bible. Witness the subjugation of women, slavery, and segregation. 

Even the most "Bible believing" Christian would not condone such biblical practices as stoning to death adulterers, stoning to death those who work on the Sabbath, requiring all women to wear long hair, women not talking in church, women not teaching men, not wearing mixed fibers in our clothes, etc. Yet these are all taught in the Bible! 

The Bible is part of God's revelation to us. It gives us a glimpse into a small part of God's heart and a few of His many dimensions. God didn't stop talking to His children 2,000 years ago! He still speaks to us regarding His will for our lives, and to proclaim in each generation, in and for His name, the cause of justice, and to manifest Jesus’ love toward others. 

God bless the work of Soulforce that seeks justice for GLBT people, the United Federation of the Metropolitan Community Churches that largely minister to GLBT Christians, the Online magazine, "Whosoever," for which I have written a great deal, that is primarily geared to GLBT Christians, and to the work of the late Rembert Truluck (Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse) and Rick Brentlinger (Gay Christian 101) who point out the destructive aspects of Bible abuse and how misuse of the Bible has caused the untold suffering of GLBT people. It is these, and other such ministries, that have undoubtedly saved, and immeasurably enriched, the lives of countless GLBT people, Christian and non-Christian alike, who were previously wracked by feelings of guilt, shame, self-loathing, and condemnation, hitherto believing the lies and ignorant pronouncements emanating from much of the Church. 

The seemingly oracular pronouncements regarding GLBT people and their relationships by those who parade their ignorance as “Godliness” have helped lead to the suicides, bashings, and murders of countless GLBT people. Indeed, in this connection, it is estimated that gay youth have at least three times the suicide rate of non-gay youth. 

Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep’s clothing take the Bible, God’s love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society. 

The tradition-bound parts of the Church have so indoctrinated people, many of whom have never even set foot in a house of worship, that many people even disown their own children when they “come out” and divulge their sexual orientation to those whom they thought unconditionally loved and cherished them. There are many children living on the streets because their own parents trusted ignorant clergy and their followers over their God-given duty and privilege to nurture and embrace their own children! 

The Church should concentrate on the real sins that deserve our attention and that cry out to God for redress, such as invading another country on false pretenses; the working poor who can't afford medical insurance; the Supreme Court ruling that people can't sue their insurance company in state court for denying needed medical services; many elderly people having to decide whether to buy food or medicine; the gigantic rip off perpetrated by drug companies, hospitals, and the medical establishment on sick and vulnerable people. Why not focus on and address issues such as these, instead of obsessing on who loves who and who sleeps with whom? Such obsession tells us much more about the pathetic and moribund state of much of the Church than it does about the reality of the lives of GLBT people. 

Indeed, those who seek to exclude others from full fellowship in church, and in secular society, commit the greatest sin of all: the sin of pride. Jesus “…spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14) 

Through out our lives, we have been bombarded with ignorant, homophobic messages from much of the Church world that don’t resonate with, and do contradict, the revelation of God in the Person and words of Jesus! Let’s not let the ignorant, the haters and hate-mongers, many of whom gain psychological, social, and financial advantages by their condemnation and exclusion of GLBT people, define Christianity for us. 

We must rise above their ignorant and hateful pronouncements, cynically made "in the name of God," "tradition," "church law," and "family values," and finally practice Christianity. Hear Jesus' call for inclusion of all of His people, and let's fulfill His mandate for us to love our neighbor by embracing in every facet of our lives His GLBT children, whom He gave as a gift to the church and society to be cherished every bit as much as He cherishes us.
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Sunday, September 2, 2012


This post is an article I wrote about two years ago, and I feel it's appropriate to reprint:

In his book, "In Our Time," Eric Hoffer who was an excellent philosopher, was self-educated, blind for the first fifteen years of his life, and became a migrant worker and then a longshoreman, wrote the following: "In the alchemy of man's soul almost all noble attributes - courage, honor, love, hope, faith, duty, loyalty - can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil within us. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: Where there is com-passion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. Thus the survival of the species may well depend on the ability to foster a boundless capacity for compassion."

So many in the United States (and elsewhere) lack that essential emotion, "compassion," that will help ensure the survival of the species! Indeed, the hostility visited upon LGBT people is a very strong indicator in our time of that deficiency!

All sorts of rationalizations have been trotted out by the ignorant and/or hatefully homophobic to try and justify discrimination against LGBT people, ranging from "maintaining traditional family values" to linking Gay people with pedophiles to causing all sorts of societal calamities. The very irrationality of their arguments in favor of deprivation of civil rights to LGBT people both bespeaks lack of compassion as it bespeaks gullibility and/or lack of compassion of those who take their rhetoric seriously.

In his book, "The Passionate State of Mind And Other Aphorisms," Hoffer states: "Passions usually have their roots in that which is blemished, crippled, incomplete and insecure within us. The passionate attitude is less a response to stimuli from without than an emanation of an inner dissatisfaction. "A poignant dissatisfaction, whatever be its cause, is at bottom a dissatisfaction with ourselves. It is surprising how much hardship and humiliation a man will endure without bitterness when he has not the least doubt about his worth or when he is so integrated with others that he is not aware of a separate self."

And it is to this phenomenon every person who possesses both a critical intellect and the necessary emotion of "compassion" must turn to help understand why there are some homophobes who make their homophobia something like a career. So many spend an inordinate amount of time condemning God's LGBT children, and one must understand that their animus ultimately resides, not in the object of their hatred, but in their own psyches that betrays their blemishes, crippled natures, incompleteness, and insecurities.

After all, if someone is emotionally and sexually intact, why would there be a need for their obsessive condemnation of other consenting adults' emotional/sexual orientations?

How is same-sex marriage, for example, going to adversely affect anyone's heterosexual marriage? Is there anyone who can give a reasonable answer to that question?

Clearly, there can be no rational answer to that rhetorical question! If anything, same-sex marriage will enhance the institution of marriage! Indeed, increasing legitimacy will accrue to the institution of marriage the more people partake of its rights, privileges, and responsibilities. So, people who are genuinely concerned with the future of the institution of marriage should be working to minimize divorce and encourage same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other to marry!

Yet, we have many religious (and secular) people who try and prevent same-sex couples from partaking of the very institution from which they benefit, thereby encouraging fornication as one of their prejudices' byproducts, and they even have the temerity to claim the right to discriminate in the name of God. So, would they have us believe that God would prefer fornication over marriage among Gay people?

Can they be that clueless that they could reasonably expect that Gay people can, should, and must lead celibate lives while only heterosexuals can and should fulfill one of human beings' most primal urges?

The irrationality of homophobic rhetoric shows a clear deficiency on the part of homophobes regarding their level of "compassion," as it does their clear dissatisfaction with their own lot in life! Why else spend such an inordinate amount of time thinking about and condemning the emotional/sexual lives of others?

Emotionally and sexually intact people aren't particularly concerned with the emotional and sexual lives of other adults! They are likely to have a "live and let live" approach to such matters!
However, when someone has an inordinate fascination with condemning others, that condemnation betrays an emotional deficiency that makes compassion very difficult, if not impossible, to have or sustain.

And if a Christian (or any other decent person) can be characterized by any one characteristic, that characteristic is "compassion!"

Christians are to be agents of God's grace in this world; we are to preach and live out the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness! And those who condemn others, those who seek to deprive others of civil rights, those who help create a climate of fear and hatred of others, have shown by their words and/or deeds that they are neither Christians nor even decent people!

We are to make no mistake: homophobes are absolutely no different in their mind-set and in their emotional deficiencies than were and are White Supremacists! Both groups partake of the need to discriminate and hate in order for the awareness of their own emotional deficiencies to be overridden by their condemnation of others!

"Condemnation" acts as an imperfect and temporary band-aid to help heal the haters' own emotional woundedness, a woundedness that they don't have the courage to bring themselves to face, confront, and overcome! So, they take the coward's way out and, rather than deal with "the beam in their own eye," they feel the need to manufacture a beam in a minority group whom they perceive it is safe to persecute.

And when that particular minority group is no longer considered safe to persecute, they will search for another minority group upon which to vent their anger, an anger borne of their own emotional deficiencies that they cloak in religious trappings, so that they can try and stake a claim on "godliness," "virtue" and "morality" when, in fact, their own rhetoric and actions show them to manifest the greatest form of ungodliness, lack of virtue, and immorality: the sin of pride in their oppression of others!

Jesus never condemned Gay people, but He sure spent quite a bit of time condemning the proud, the haughty, the legalists who condemned and discriminated against others and put yokes of bondage onto others, all the while claiming to impose those yokes in the name of God.

If haters didn't have an object to hate, they would be forced to confront their own emotional blemishes, crippled natures, incompleteness, insecurities, deficiencies and frailties. And that is the last thing a moral coward feels he/she can afford to do!
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


All things considered, many gay and bisexual men are undeniably knowledgeable about HIV and AIDS but still participate in risk-taking activities. Our participants were certainly clear: Men do not like condoms, and men are led by powerful and deep cognitive factors....

Generations of HIV/AIDS workers have been distributing condoms to men who clearly do not like how condoms feel.... The hurdle isn’t necessarily a lack of knowledge. The hurdle is facing complicated variables that come into play during sexual encounters, which appear to be primarily emotional experiences rather then mechanical behaviors.

[For the full article, see here.]

Anyone who doesn't use condoms is a masochist, and this nonsense about "emotional experiences," and not liking "how condoms feel," in encouraging barebacking is a load of crap!  Condoms are so thin that it's very hard to tell the difference, so there's more to the desire for barebacking than mere "inconvenience" and "emotional" considerations. 

Some gay men are bug chasers, and show their self-loathing by engaging in that practice.  With all the discrimination visited upon Gay people, it is natural that self-loathing overrides potential emotional intactness and  logic for many people, so that they manufacture rationalizations for engaging in life-threatening behaviors, ranging from alcoholism, drug abuse, sticking fingers in the eyes of potential Straight allies, hedonism being interchangeably used for being Gay, and barebacking.

Indeed, there is a significant market for bareback porn among gay men.

The glorification of bareback porn is a dangerous development and is killing our youth. They're being taught that bareback is sexy, it is the norm, and it is how to behave. In turn, they are contracting HIV/AIDS at a staggering rate.

[For the full article, see here.]

It is crucial that Gay people override the hatred that has been visited on them from "religious" and secular sources, and develop an emotional intactness that affirms their self-worth, and would prevent the psychological need to hurt oneself by engaging in all sorts of risk-taking behaviors, including that of barebacking.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


A person is Gay or Straight whether or not he/she can engage in sexual activity! Most Gay people engage in sexual activity just as most Straight people engage in sexual activity, but those activities don't define whether or not they are Gay or Straight.   There are many people who engage in same-sex sexual activity who are not Gay, as often seen in prisons and in boarding schools; there are many people who engage in heterosexual activity who are not Straight, as seen by many people who are in the closet.

What makes a person Gay is not basically his/her sexual orientation but his/her affectional orientation!  The distinction between sexual orientation and affectional orientation is crucial to underscore to all people, particularly potential Straight allies of whom there are many.

When I was teaching in the university, when dealing with this subject, I would ask my class what is the first thing that came into their minds when I said two different words.  I would say "Heterosexual," and the words that they said were such words as "marriage," "family," and "children."

I would then say the word "Gay," and almost everyone said, "Sex."  Many people, when they think of Gay people think primarily of sex and sexual activities in which many Gay people engage.  It's relatively rare in my experience to have people first think of sex when, for example, a heterosexual couple get married, or when a Straight person is characterized.

I suggest that the term, "Sexual orientation" may be retarding the Gay Civil Rights movement, and it might be far better to discard that term in favor of "Affectional Orientation."  Of course, sexual orientation is part and parcel of what make us Gay or Straight, but it is primarily the affectional orientation that we possess that ultimately define us as one or the other.

Being Gay, just like being Straight, is primarily about love!  It's about our emotional connection to people of the same or opposite sex respectively!

And why shouldn't we categorize and refer to people, when appropriate, by one's affectional orientation when dealing with Gay and Straight people?  It is far more accurate a description of Gay and Straight people than is the emphasis upon sex and sexual activity that seems to currently falsely embody the public's major perception and defining of Gay people as distinct from their major perception and defining of Straight people.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When Carrol Grady received a phone call telling her that her organization, Someone To Talk To, was being disinvited from having a booth at this week's North American Gathering of Seventh-Day Adventist Teachers because "this convention is not the right venue for your group," she was shocked and distressed. With only one week before the start of the convention this was painful news to absorb, to say nothing of the expense already incurred personally by her and her volunteers.
Someone To Talk To is a ministry to Adventist families and friends of gays and lesbians. Grady is the 76-year-old founder. "I found it difficult to understand how this venue was not right for our group," she says, "when we are a ministry directed toward young people who are often the target of bullying in our schools and one of the themes of this convention is bullying and harassment in schools. What students and teachers often need is simply someone to talk to." Grady wrote a book, "My Son, Beloved Stranger," and ultimately founded this ministry after walking with her own gay son through the challenges of being gay and an Adventist Christian....

The Seventh-day Adventist Church's official position is that, "sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman." This places Someone To Talk To's viewpoint outside the official church doctrine. Other Adventist leaders wonder whether every booth is being submitted to the same scrutiny.

[For the full article, see here.] 

I can virtually guarantee that if every single Christian worthy of the name, and all decent people, refused to give one red cent to any church or secular institution that discriminates against LGBT people, such discrimination and exclusionary/hateful rhetoric and actions would largely disappear.

In churches, just like in virtually all secular institutions, money talks!  Indeed, as the late attorney Melvin Belli once quipped, "Money doesn't talk!  It screams!"

Put these hateful clergy and institutions at risk by not enabling them to continue to spew their venom by withholding all monies from them, whether or not you attend those churches; putting no money in their collection plates, and they will quickly change their tune.  As I wrote a long time ago, if there were more money to be made by supporting LGBT people and equal rights, as opposed to preaching homophobic lies and hate, most strident homophobic "Christian" clergy who make money from their ignorant and hateful rhetoric would be proudly marching in Pride Parades!

The best way to neutralize verbalized homophobia is by withholding funds, and that is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful activism to help move the LGBT civil rights movement forward.  In addition, taking just one homophobic church in each city or jurisdiction, and continually picketing that church every time they are holding their services, carrying signs that state that what goes on in that church violates Gospel teachings, can do a lot to mitigate homophobia in churches.

As I've written before:

Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep's clothing take the Bible, God's love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.  
[For the full article, see here.]

By withholding funds from all homophobic churches, churches that don't embrace all of God's LGBT children, you will be saving lives!
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Regarding the Chic-Fil-A fiasco, and to all others who show animosity toward Gay people in the name of God, and who profess themselves to be "Christians":

Disciples of Christ do not show animosity to other people. Those who would demean and seek to exclude Gay people from acquiring full and equal civil rights are not Christians, but mere haters who may actually believe that they are "Christians," but they are deluded, and seek to delude others. God loves His Gay children, and those who would dare to declare otherwise are tools of the devil, whether they recognize that fact or not.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012



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 Straight allies.

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, July 14, 2012


I'm a disciple of Christ first and foremost!  Actually, I'm very theologically conservative in that I believe in the virgin birth, that Jesus is God incarnate, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (if seen contextually and accurately translated), and in virtually all theological and Christological contentions that conservative theologians support.

Of course, I vehemently disagree with homophobic clergy, be they evangelical or mere haters who seek to frame their hate in the name of "Christianity."  And, it must be acknowledged, that there are many self-defined and self-deluded evangelical Christians who speak from the hateful preconceived prejudices that exist in their hearts!

However, secondarily, I am also a Marxist, save for his dismissal of God.  As much of organized religion does serve as "the opiate of the masses," and that many people create God in their own image, Marx was unfortunately correct.  He was dead wrong, however,  when he proffered that there is no God and that God is a mere fiction created by the gullible.

However, I don't want to deal with this particular issue here, but I do want to deal with the role of Capitalism that Marx correctly said "contains the seeds of its own destruction."  Some of those seeds can be seen by the fact that capitalism requires many workers to live lives of exploitation, and that exploitation has as one of its results the need for affirmation that often comes by creating one or more out-groups, constructed enemies, so that one can feel better about him/herself and feel morally superior, as well as cement in-group solidarity that hate can bring to those who are exploited.

Wealthy people can, of course, be homophobic, but that homophobia may in great part be used to influence the exploited workers to cast as the enemy groups other than those who are, in fact, exploiting them.  Workers are needed in order for capitalists to be successful, so they must be lulled into believing that they have a stake in capital property, as well as a stake in the values of the capitalists, the power elite; what better way of deflecting workers' animus against capitalists who are exploiting them than to manipulate the media, monopolize the media, to get many Straight people to think that Gay people are somehow a threat to the well-being of children, families, "our American way of life," and religion?

The capitalists, the owners of the means of production and the media, have a vested interest in having workers fighting against each other rather than direct their resentment where it should belong.  Outsourcing, diminishing of workers' salaries in proportion to the economic gains of the corporate elite must be subordinated in workers' psyches by encouraging a war of all against all, be it against Gay people, Jews, African Americans, immigrants, women, etc.

This is not to say that homophobia doesn't occur in the absence of capitalism!  It is to say that in developed countries such as in the U.S., where survival of the fittest, the hallmark of Social Darwinism without which it is impossible to understand much of the values and fabric of the U.S., and in the ideology of many workers who have no vested interest in believing this sociopathic axiom, an axiom that can be heard on a daily basis on most of talk radio, leads to the seeking out of scapegoats against whom to vent their frustrations borne of their own economic oppression.

Marx called this phenomenon, "false consciousness," where people act against their own best interests because they are misdirected by the media and other institutions ruled by the capitalists.  Homophobia is one such manifestation of false consciousness!

Let's face it, why would anyone care if two adult people of the same sex love each other?  Why would there be people making a veritable career out of condemning Gay people unless there was money to be made by doing so, and/or unless they were fearful of being Gay themselves?  Why would most churches have such animus against Gay people unless they were acting as agents of the power elite and/or were comprised of clergy many of whom are self-loathing Gay people?

When there is relative scarcity of goods and services that capitalism demands for the owners of the means of production to maximize their profits, workers become frustrated and angry, and they find all sorts of "enemies," whom they define as such, against which to direct their anger so that they can remain safer than they would if they directed their frustration against those creating their exploitation; direct their anger against groups that they feel are safe to persecute and lie about.

Now, the major scapegoats that serve to assuage the frustrations and consequent aggression of the exploited are LGBT people!

Carl Jung once said that only the tortured are torturers!  And one doesn't have to be a Marxist to understand this truth!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Trouble The Waters:
My Annual Gay Pride Month Manifesto
Trolling Google Image for blog photos, as I often do, I stumbled across a stunning piece of art. You can see it yourself over the opening paragraph of this essay. It's a sculpture by the legendary male physique artist George Quaintance, completed in 1936. You're looking at two Art Deco masks fused together to make one: One mask is female, and the other male. I adore Art Deco design, and at first, all I did was admire this beautiful piece of craftsmanship. As I kept looking at it, though, a strange thrill began to course through me.
Suddenly, I realized that this wasn't just a good-looking sculpture. This was a representation of Transgender humanity: Masculinity and femininity occupying the same space, blended so as to form a separate gender all its own. Knowing something about George Quaintance's approach to art, I think that's exactly what he intended it to symbolize. If I'm right, then he did so magnificently; he totally captured the essence of inborn androgyny.
Are you an LGBT person? Then take a good look at that Quaintance sculpture. It's a visualization of your inner self. What do you think? Are you amazed? Are you repelled? Can you handle confronting the truth about what you are? Or can you only see yourself through the eyes of your oppressors?
There's an idea: Let's look at ourselves through their eyes for a moment. Most of the time when LesBiGay people are discriminated against, it isn't because of their sexual orientation. Most Straight people never see us have sex, and most of us aren't in the habit of discussing our sexual partners with them! We are bullied, threatened, ostracized and assaulted because of our gender expression.
Our voices are too high, or too low. Our hair is too long, or too short, or the wrong color. We don't wear clothing that's masculine or feminine enough. We don't have interests that are considered appropriate for "real men" or "real women". We don't carry ourselves in the way "real men" and "real women" are expected to. We just don't fit comfortably into binary gender concepts! We are people who transcend gender (which is why all of us have a right to identify as Transgender), and that makes people who don't transcend it very uncomfortable in our presence.
Fighting anti-Gay bias in this world necessarily involves challenging narrow concepts of gender. Binary gender is like a book you've only read two-thirds of the way through and put down: The story isn't complete until you've read the final chapters! Those unread pages tell of a world that's populated by more than just male and female life forms. Transgender life forms also exist! We always have, we always will, and it's time for us to insist that the world acknowledge our existence.
Scientists like Simon LeVay have recently uncovered biological markers for Transgender status, but I didn't need their findings to discover who I am. I came to know my true gender from studying the Bible and Gnostic texts. Christian scripture, widely believed to condemn Gay people, gave me the key that unlocked the truth about same-gender sexuality. The Gospel of Philip describes how Jesus Christ gifts a chosen few with "male and female power" before birth, causing them to be born with the blended gender of God. As I've written before, parallel doctrine exists in the annals of many, if not most of the world's religions.
Carrying both male and female gender in the same body was, at one time, widely viewed as a blessed state. We should endeavor to reclaim that blessed status, and begin to feel the pride in our uniqueness that we merely pretend to feel now. When Gay Pride becomes more than just a popular concept, I bet we'll feel less of an urge to strip down, booze up, get strung out and/or clown around in the streets under the guise of celebration. We'll no longer need to camouflage our internalized shame that way!
This thing I describe as blended gender is called Fullness in Scripture. It exists within all LGBT folk. So, you may ask, why doesn't it make us all Gay, or all Bisexual, or all Transsexual? Why is there variation? I think variation occurs because different people respond to its presence in different ways. Or, it may be a question of degree, with some of us possessing more of the blend, and others possessing less.
Whatever the case, Fullness is inborn; all this bullsh*t speculating about "environmental factors" and "outside influences" should've ended long ago! You can't "learn" how to become Gay or Transsexual; core identity can't be taught to or imposed on a person! The negative experiences of intersex individuals, forced as children into gender roles that violated their self-concept, tells us as much.
By the way, when I talk about blended gender, I am not referring to intersex genitalia. I'm not talking about genitalia at all. I'm speaking of something that exists on a spiritual level. As gender-transcending human beings, the form our genitalia takes is of very little significance. It matters in our sexual relations, and it matters if we want to produce offspring, but that's about it. The bodies our Transgender souls are born into don't define us in the same way the bodies of binary gender folk define them; one way or another, an LGBT person will always challenge conventional notions about masculinity and femininity. We can't help but do it; it's our nature!
Fullness trumps (s)expectations; it has its own unalterable norms. Cultural pressure can't change them. Punitive laws can't change them. Religious belief can't change them. Psychotherapy can't change them. Surgery and hormone treatments can only create the illusion of change. Fullness is a gift from God that can't be returned, no matter how much we may want to!
But why should we want to? The thing to never forget is that Transgender status is completely normal. It's God's balance of nature. The sexual union of men with women is meant to approximate the Fullness that we received as a birthright; that's why the Savior excluded our kind from heterosexual marriage. To me, it's logical: If people can be born with blended racial background, why can't they be born with blended gender, too?
I see LGBT humanity as just another aspect of the tremendous natural diversity that God loves. Millennia have passed since life began on Earth, but every so often, we still hear about a previously unknown species of plant or animal. The Lord's imagination and creative ability knows no bounds! It makes a skilled artisan like George Quaintance look like a caveman carving stones; and we who possess God’s "male and female power" number among His finest creations. Let me say this one last time:
Nothing that God creates is queer!
I call for an end to the lies heterosexual folk tell about us! Enough of these accusations of "recruitment"! No more vilification! No more pretending that we prey on Straight people like Dracula preys on virgins! No more pretending that Bible scripture justifies excluding us from church sacraments! No more claims that we contaminate any environment we become part of!  No more equating us with pedophiles and polygamists and bestialists!
No more falsehoods about our relationships "threatening" the traditional family! No more equating our love to rape and ancient temple prostitution! No more papal pronouncements that our existence throws nature out of balance! No more demagoguery to the effect that God is punishing humankind because of our presence!
I also call for an end to the many delusions LGBT folk entertain. No more facetious claims of having "chosen" our sexual orientation! No more accepting stereotypes as truth! No more calling sex in public restrooms an expression of "Gay culture"!  No more pretending that unprotected sexual activity won't result in serious consequences!
No more thinking of ourselves as men trapped inside women's bodies, or vice-versa! No more pretending that surgery can remove a person's Transgender status! No more insisting that Transsexual status is an illness while finding no fault with the sick society that rejects its validity!
No more pretending that we're exactly the same as heterosexual folk except for who we sleep with! No more arguments that we don't "need" certain rights that heterosexual folk enjoy! No more lying to LGBT kids about bullying getting "better" when all that happens most of the time is a change in the type of bullying and who's doing it!
No more believing that Scripture condemns our unique gender expression (it doesn't)! No more accepting religious bigots as doctrinal authorities!  And please! No more pretending that heterosexist and transphobic slurs can be "reclaimed" and made empowering!
The word "queer" must go! It connotes defectiveness and perversion. It stigmatizes God’s blessing of Fullness!  It belongs to an ignorant past that we must break free of. If you're in the habit of dropping this dehumanizing label into casual conversation, wash out your mouth and mind; gargle twice and spit!
Gargle And Spit
I'm on a crusade to replace "queer" with "gender-neutral". If an umbrella term is needed, as many of us seem to believe, then this is a far more accurate one. It defines more precisely who we are and what we have in common as Lesbians, Gay men, Bisexual and Transsexual persons. Most important, it's refreshingly free of denigrating connotations!
We need to stop wearing the oppressor's hand-me-down hate speech! Dignity looks so much better on us. We must force ourselves and others to speak of blended gender with respect, and get used to hearing it spoken of in that way.
Respecting yourself is about more than just the language you use. It also has to do with the way you treat yourself, and how you let others treat you. There are a bunch of Gay activists around nowadays; all you have to do is turn over a rock, and one is sure to crawl out from under it! Yet I find that relatively few of them want to change conditions for LesBiGay people in any substantive way.
Too many of us have made our peace with the demeaning jokes, the ugly slurs, the outrageous stereotypes. We've resigned ourselves to the persecution, the stigmatization, the lack of security in our persons. Most of us haven't got the stomach for taking the fight against bigotry to the oppressor's door, so in a pinch, phony political posturing suffices! We're content to stay walled off in a little corner of the world set aside for misfits, a place devoid of dignity that doesn't even provide us with safe harbor.
We crave distractions from the injustices we suffer. We escape into pageants, parties and cliques, campy humor, mindless celebrity worship and reckless sexual excess. Numbing our pain with drink, drugs and booty, we can barely feel that boot on the back of our necks . . . why, our necks could snap and we wouldn't even notice!
We'd never admit it, but we've adapted ourselves to a discriminatory status quo. Within our myriad social classes and cultural traditions, we've learned how to accommodate heterosexism, and God forbid we should trouble the waters too much!
Lord knows how much I want to trouble those waters!
I want to trouble them so bad sometimes, I can hardly stand it! I want a Category Five hurricane, global warming crisis, multi-funnel tornado and tsunami all rolled into one! I want to see all the complacency and compromise and corruption swept away. I want to see the cleansing rain come down, and then I want to see the sunshine after the rain. I'm so ready!
I want this social upheaval so passionately because of the way I grew up: An effeminate boy all but crippled by shame, repeatedly beaten down by ignorance, terrified of the world outside his door. It was an intolerable way to grow up, and I can't stand to think about anyone else suffering that way. How can we settle for business as usual when we know a new LGBT generation is falling victim to hate crimes every day (those they commit against themselves as well as those perpetrated by others)?
Oh, we're making a big militant noise right now, but it's still business as usual: Begging polticians for favors; nibbling around the edges of mass protest; letting the religious Right Wing wipe its filthy feet on our backs; talking revolution whenever we get the chance, but never walking the talk. It's nothing but a lot of pussyfooting around, and I'm sick to death of it!
Stuffed Animal
When we finally get serious about Gay Rights, we'll be waging the fight against discrimination in six key arenas: In religious institutions; in educational institutions; in the courts; in the streets; in the media; and in our own hearts! (Take note that I didn't mention the political arena. That was deliberate! Let's chill out with the Washington lobbying until we have some real power to wield there.)
We'll be turning up the temperature in our churches, mosques and synagogues until they become boiling pools of unrest! We'll be condemning "faith-based" opposition to Gay Rights and correcting religious doctrine that calls Transgender expression sinful! We'll be banishing "Queer Studies" from the classroom, mandating comprehensive sex education and anti-bullying measures, and promoting genuine scholarship on Transgender identity! We'll be ripping the blindfold off of Lady Justice so that her eyes can perceive the abusive excesses of unchecked religious freedom!
We'll be making mass protest a reality, filling the public square to demand tax relief as compensation for institutional heterosexism and transphobia! We'll be demanding accurate, consistent and respectful media representation (especially in ads and entertainment media), and blowing the damn roof off if we don't see it! We'll finally have realized that a distorted portrayal can be as bad or worse than invisibility; and when it comes to rooting out the entrenched shame that comes between us and our dignity, we'll be as relentless as the Red Chinese rooting out counter-revolutionary influences! That's what serious Gay activism will look like.
I believe what the old Negro spiritual says: God's gonna trouble the waters! And just like the runaway slaves who originally sang that song, we LGBT folk will have to wade in troubled waters before we can set foot on the dry land of liberation.
Read my “Militant Gay Christian Credo” @ Christ, The Gay Martyr:
This Manifesto is dedicated to the memory of Haitian-American poet, editor and performance artist Assotto Saint, who showed me the path when I was not yet ready to walk it.
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