Saturday, December 29, 2007


This article should provoke some thought regarding the need to limit our seemingly cherished "freedom of speech" when it comes to hate speech that can incite violence against any person or any minority group.

No one, particularly any clergy person, has the right to use his/her bully pulpit and whose "religious" credentials gives him/her the ability and the credibility sufficient for parents to take them seriously, even to the point of kicking their Gay children out of the house and forcing them to live on the street; have bullying of students perceived to be Gay; set the stage for countless suicides, bashings, and murders of LGBT people; have Gay people live lives of quiet and sometimes not so quiet desperation.

Why do people, including all too many Gay people, take the rantings of twisted clergy and others seriously? Why do people allow these warped creatures who parade their ignorance and hatred as being evidence of their "morality" and "Godliness" to allow them to define their realities for them?

Why do LGBT people sit still for such indignities? Why aren't these clergy and their churches routinely and continuously picketed by people who are sick and tired of being discriminated against? Why do LGBT people allow themselves to continue to suffer the indignities that are part and parcel of such rhetoric and the consequent deprivation of full and equal civil rights?

Read the full article, but here are two brief snippets of it to give you a flavor of what we're dealing with:

"Evangelical preachers, mostly trained in the US, have been making inroads in mostly Catholic Spain attracting a large number of followers.

"Meanwhile, the Catholic bishop of the Canary island Tenerife is under fire for comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and drug addiction.

"[Bishop Bernardo] Alvarez claimed that many minors seek out adults for sex.

"'If one isn't careful, they could even provoke it,' Alvarez said. 'Sexuality is more complicated than one suspects.'"

Beyond asking how Alverez would know about the complications of sexuality if he were celibate, one additional tactic that might be considered is suing outspoken homophobes in the U.S. whose rhetoric can reasonably be inferred to possibly incite violence and/or who slander or libel LGBT people.

They are able to have such redress of this great wrong in Spain, and I see no reason why we can't have such a provision in this country. Freedom of speech doesn't embrace shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, as Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once ruled.

"The case Brandenburg v. Ohio found that the US government could restrict free speech only if it was 'likely to incite imminent lawless action'." [See here.]

Therefore, if any clergy person, politician, or anyone else, for that matter, engages in rhetoric that can be reasonably construed by the average person as a vehicle to incite violence, and such violence occurs, that person should be brought up on criminal charges!

When homophobic haters and hate mongers spread lies about Gay people, they are slandering (through their speech) and/or libeling (through the written word) Gay people, and there should be provisions to take those liars to court and collect compensatory and punitive damages.

In addition, a good case can be made that such hate speech (albeit often, but not always, couched in sanctimonious rhetoric) can very well be "likely to incite imminent lawless action" as the existence of all too many assaults and murders of LGBT people can attest.

If our LGBT rights organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, lobbied for such legislation, and for the enforcement of existing provisions made possible by the Brandenburg v. Ohio decision, for example, regardless of the expected opposition, a lot of these haters would keep their hatred to themselves; not sully "religion" with their perverse view of Gay people; not use Gay people as fodder for material or any other type of gain; there would be a whole lot less suffering for people who deserve to be treated the same as any other citizen of this country.

When the average person sees that a Bishop Alverez as reported in this article is far more dangerous to the well-being of a society than is the average Gay person; when he is perverse enough to believe (let alone state) that minors can and do invite adults to become sexually involved with them; when the average person comes to see that homophobic clergy are no different than typical hateful thugs with their collars turned around, those clergy will lose credibility and will be finally seen for the dangerous haters that they truly are, and who perversely appeal to the Bible and to God to justify their expressed hatred.

And if they are subject to civil and/or criminal penalties for spreading their slanderous lies, we can expect a much reduced coarsening of this culture, and also enable the acquisition of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people to be much more forthcoming!

When such clergy (and others) can be civilly and/or criminally prosecuted and penalized for their slanderous attacks that can result in suicides, assaults, and murders of Gay people, our society will get that much closer to realizing its boast that we are "the land of the free!"
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Thursday, December 27, 2007


In an article in the Bay Area Reporter, the following was reported:

"[Tobias] Wolff [a gay man who's chair of the national LGBT policy committee for the Obama campaign] also discussed the fallout from Obama's decision to include the anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin on the program for a series of concerts in South Carolina this fall. Obama came under heavy criticism from many in the LGBT community because McClurkin has proclaimed himself 'cured' of homosexuality and now rails against it. In an essay that Obama wrote for members of the National Gay Newspaper Guild, he discussed the McClurkin episode and reiterated his support of the LGBT community.

"'It was a mistake,' Wolff said of the McClurkin episode, but he added that Obama has taken responsibility for it and has worked in coalition 'long before McClurkin' with the goal of bringing about 'real, progressive change.'

"'A lot of people run away ... Senator Obama issued a series of statements on how he intends to take those positions to people,' Wolff said. 'That, to me, is real proof that he is an effective champion for us. Both the senator himself and everyone in the campaign found out four or five days before the concert."

[For the full article, see here.]

It boggles my mind how people, Gay and Straight, are so willing to settle for crumbs of promises that usually mean absolutely nothing, and serve to keep the status quo comfortably in its place.

The old saying, "The more things change the more they stay the same," is solidly hammered home by those who think that there will be any significant changes to the status quo by supporting either Clinton or Obama.

Clinton supported the invasion of Iraq; she voted to give the Bush administration money to continue funding the war with no strings attached; Obama used Gay people as fodder to enhance his base among conservative Black churchgoers by using Donny McClurkin [an "ex-gay" who says that Gay people can change their sexual orientation] in his campaign, and allowed him to speak and perpetuate this lie; neither Clinton nor Obama is for full and equal civil rights for LGBT people! So, why are they gaining the support of anyone who truly seeks change of direction in this country?

Rather than get solidly behind Dennis Kuchinich who, along with Mike Gravel, is the only one who is running for President who is in favor of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people, many, if not most, LGBT people, if they are politically interested at all, are competing whether to support Clinton or Obama, both of whom couldn't care less about Gay people and their rights!

Dennis Kucinich, a true progressive and strong supporter of Gay rights, deserved better than that! He deserved the strong support of Gay people and all people who seek to reclaim our democratic republic!

So many who are victimized by the powers that be are more than willing to drink the Kool Aid for empty promises by the lesser of two evils. And that fact assures the continuing decline of our democratic republic, and the imminent downfall of all of us!
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I posted this essay with its links a week ago. Have a wonderful Christmas!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a most blessed New Year. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and look forward to the coming year, we are called upon to understand the meaning of the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Messiah, our Savior; thereby be empowered to live out His charge to all of us who are His disciples.

It's not an accident that the very first statement Jesus made in His public ministry was taken from the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19)

As His followers, we are to follow Him and do no less! Let's fortify ourselves with Christ's presence in our lives, and have the faith to continue the ministries He has chosen for us.

By so doing, we can truly and meaningfully celebrate Christmas and see to it that, by and through God's grace, the approaching New Year bears fruit in our lives and in our ministries that redound to the benefit of our brothers and sisters who are marginalized; oppressed; imprisoned physically, psychologically, socially, politically, and, yes, "religiously," and that we truly manifest ourselves as the "ecclesia," Christ's "called out ones," set apart for God's use to help fulfill His purposes on this earth.

There is no better way of being Jesus' disciples than by preaching and living out the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to us); faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances); love; peace; reconciliation, and inclusiveness!

There is no other Christianity, as there is no other Gospel!

Let's use this Christmas and coming New Year to fortify ourselves in Christ, and heartily and boldly articulate our God-given ministries, as by so doing we are truly celebrating Jesus' birth and the blessed hope He promises us for the coming year, and what years, if any, lie ahead for each of us who call on His name!

Now, turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Now play this card, clicking in the appropriate places!

And, finally, please read this superb post by Bishop Leland Somers, "Reflections on Christmas 2007," who espouses the genuine meaning of Christmas.
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Saturday, December 22, 2007


"It was a few weeks into the program when [James] Stabile [Pictured} began to question whether he could change his sexual orientation. He said he decided to pray for the answer.

“'I said, "God, am I going to be gay when I come out of here?"'

"And he said, "Yes,"' Stabile said. 'I don’t want to be gay, but I am gay, and because I’m gay, I’m going to have to accept it.'”

[For the full article, see here.]

I pray that one day the James Stabiles of the world will no longer grudgingly "have to accept" their God-given sexuality, but will embrace their sexuality, as all healthy adults should embrace theirs, as one of God's most precious gifts to us.

The self-loathing that infuses so much of the Gay community, that is born of numerous negative, hateful, ignorant, and erroneous messages spewed from assorted pulpits throughout the world, and capitalized on by "religious" and secular haters for material and/or psychological and/or social and/or political gain, is the major culprit in the dearth of meaningful activism that will help move the cause of the acquisition of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people forward.

Moreover, that self-loathing is also responsible for numerous and untold suicides of LGBT people, as well as for countless lives lived as merely incomplete existences; lives lived in quiet and sometimes not so quiet desperation.

And those relatively barren lives, and that lack of the dignity necessary to have a fire in the belly to meaningfully fight for the dignity and rights that accrue to other citizens in the U.S. and elsewhere, are lived by people who are shouldering often unspoken, often unacknowledged, deeply held guilt in their false belief that ignorant and/or mendacious homophobes have really been promulgating the truth about their very lives and sexuality. Hence, the frequent glorification of being "the other," with the commensurate frivolity and use of derogatory self-identifiers that all too often masks this self-loathing as "liberation."

Hear this, and hear it loudly and clearly: There is not only nothing wrong about being Gay, but being Gay is a wonderful gift from God! And to let anyone tell you any differently is to reject God's precious gift to you, to have you throw His precious gift back in His face, and to thwart God's will for your life and ministry that He has ordained for you from the foundation of the world. (See, for example, Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:4)

And read Romans 8:31: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Once the great number of James Stabiles of the world, and the great number of LGBT people of the world, come to recognize that their very lives, their gifts, their talents, their sexuality, and their capacity to love another human being are precious God-given gifts, they will finally come to embrace themselves as children of God who will insist on being treated accordingly by others, whether those others like it or not!

We will never find common ground with the haters in our midst! But we will achieve full and equal civil and sacramental rights when we finally realize that God made us with all of our many facets and complexities, and that He takes delight in His children.

And with that realization, when that spiritual fact finally hits home, LGBT people will no longer settle for the crumbs of incrementalism; will no longer cooperate with, or accommodate themselves to, the homophobes by believing their lies; will no longer go through the hell of so many who have suffered the distortions and pains of the "ex-gay" industry; will no longer have any self-loathing; will no longer allow themselves to be treated as second class citizens.

Remember: "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
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Friday, December 21, 2007


Wayne Besen has written a superb commentary on the pathetic, anemic, and in many ways clueless, Archbishop of Canterbury [Pictured], Rowan Williams. Besen speaks to the cowardly, clueless "liberals" who are as much of an impediment to equal rights for LGBT people as are the outright homophobes, as they help enable the latter to do as they will.

"Serving as apologists for Williams' inexcusable lack of leadership by hiding behind the 'rules' is why church liberals often end up as losers. While our side is endlessly debating and deliberating about what Williams can't officially do, the conservatives are brazenly and creatively rewriting the rules (or twisting them) and seizing church property - in some cases, the court may find illegally. I, for one, am tired of namby-pamby liberal church defenders who won't stand up to such conservative bullying and provocations. If you cower behind technicalities and church minutiae - while the other side is in the throes of a hostile takeover - you deserve to lose your church. They simply want it more than you do - so maybe they deserve it."

[For the full article, see here.]
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Thursday, December 20, 2007


Archbishop Desmond Tutu again forcefully spoke out about the shameful and disgraceful way most of the institutional Church has treated our LGBT sisters and brothers.

“'I want to apologise to you and to all those who we in the church have persecuted,'Archbishop Tutu says in the interview.

“'I’m sorry that we have been part of the persecution of a particular group. For me that is quite un-Christ like and, for that reason, it is unacceptable.'"

The two clips of his interview can be heard here.

Every Christian worthy of the name must be profoundly embarrassed and outraged at the way Gay people have been demonized from assorted pulpits throughout the world due to sheer ignorance and/or material gain and/or political gain and/or perverted psychological needs and/or social solidarity and/or sheer mendacity.

In any event, for any clergy and their followers to in any way discriminate against LGBT people, either through rhetoric and/or actions, or silence and inaction in the face of the oppression of LGBT people, is an indictment both of most of the institutional Church as well as an indictment of the thugs and cowards who claim to be both clergy and "Christian!"

These homophobic thugs and cowards contravene the very essence of the Gospel message, and they spit in the very face of God!
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


In her essay, "10 Books That Every Transperson Should Read, Rebecca Juro briefly discusses each of them, and many of the comments to her post suggest other books as well. Unfortunately, I haven't read any of those on her list, so I can't comment on them. However, you might want to check out some or all of these books.

The books she suggests are: True Selves; Transgender Warriors; Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender; How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States; The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male; Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer; Gender Outlaw; Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink and Blue; My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely; Becoming a Visible Man.

In her article, she also has links of books geared to gay men and also books of relevance to lesbians. See here and here.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a most blessed New Year. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and look forward to the coming year, we are called upon to understand the meaning of the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Messiah, our Savior; thereby be empowered to live out His charge to all of us who are His disciples.

It's not an accident that the very first statement Jesus made in His public ministry was taken from the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19)

As His followers, we are to follow Him and do no less! Let's fortify ourselves with Christ's presence in our lives, and have the faith to continue the ministries He has chosen for us.

By so doing, we can truly and meaningfully celebrate Christmas and see to it that, by and through God's grace, the approaching New Year bears fruit in our lives and in our ministries that redound to the benefit of our brothers and sisters who are marginalized; oppressed; imprisoned physically, psychologically, socially, politically, and, yes, "religiously," and that we truly manifest ourselves as the "ecclesia," Christ's "called out ones," set apart for God's use to help fulfill His purposes on this earth.

There is no better way of being Jesus' disciples than by preaching and living out the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to us); faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances); love; peace; reconciliation, and inclusiveness!

There is no other Christianity, as there is no other Gospel!

Let's use this Christmas and coming New Year to fortify ourselves in Christ, and heartily and boldly articulate our God-given ministries, as by so doing we are truly celebrating Jesus' birth and the blessed hope He promises us for the coming year, and what years, if any, lie ahead for each of us who call on His name!

Now, turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Now play this card, clicking in the appropriate places!

And, finally, please read this superb post by Bishop Leland Somers, "Reflections on Christmas 2007," who espouses the genuine meaning of Christmas.
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Monday, December 17, 2007


There seems to be the beginnings of a grassroots movement to push the candidacy of Ron Paul for President of the U.S.

Ron Paul's web site indicates that in one day he raised $6 Million. He appears to be speaking to the problems that many Americans view as major ones:

"'There is an unprecedented outpouring of grassroots support for Dr. Paul. The message of freedom is powerful and uniting people across America. And, Dr. Paul is the only candidate offering real solutions to the issues Americans care about, with the record to back it up.'" [Read the whole statement here.]

What is of interest to me, and should be of interest to every American, and those who will vote in this upcoming Presidential election, is that if you scroll to the very bottom of its web page, Stormfront, that bills itself as a "white nationalist community," supports Ron Paul.

"The Stormfront White Nationalist Community is a white nationalist[1][2][3] Internet forum. Many organizations describe it as a neo-Nazi organization and accuse it of promoting racism, hate speech, and violence.[4][5][6] It has been listed as a hate site, and a number of Internet content filters prevent access to it.[7][8] In Germany, access to Stormfront is blocked by some ISPs in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.[9][10]

"Stormfront is owned by Don Black, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who was a member of the American Nazi Party in the 1970s.[2][1]In 1981, Black was arrested as he prepared to board a boat stocked with weapons and ammunition to invade Dominica in what he and his accomplices dubbed Operation Red Dog. Black was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the attempted invasion. He created the website after receiving his first computer training in prison.[3]"

[For the full article, see here.]

All LGBT people and allies; all people of good will, should take this endorsement by Stormfront to heart, as there may well be a whole lot more to Ron Paul than most of us know!

As I've written before, when one hates one minority group, it is very rare that they confine that hate to that one minority group, but usually hate other groups as well. So, if someone is prejudiced against Afro-Americans, for example, there is a good chance that he/she is also prejudiced against Gay people and/or Jews and/or Mexicans and/or immigrants, etc.

When a group like Stormfront supports Ron Paul, it should give all of us pause!

I do believe in the old adage that the enemy of my friend is my enemy!
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Thursday, December 13, 2007


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers just sent out this email containing a report that deserves to be read by every thinking person, by every Gay person, and by everyone who claims to be a Christian.
December 12, 2007

Dear Friends,

From time to time a report comes across my desk that is so important
that I want to share it with my readers. That is the case with this
report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom.
It is not that their thought is new, it is that they have undertaken
to report it systematically and with the full scholarship and
authority of their offices. They have also included a bibliography,
which is attached.

When a prejudice is being debated there is a necessity for both sides
of the debate to possess facts not just opinions. That is what is so
often missing when religious people debate homosexuality. This report
was issued because of the raging argument and dislocation going on in
my church and in many others about homosexuality. The time has come
for people to realize that pious homophobia is not a substitute for
truth. The time has also come for Church leaders at every level to be
confronted by competent scholarship, and for weak and fearful
bishops, who believe that unity in ignorance is a legitimate goal for
the Christian Church, to be told that it is not.

I commend this report to your study and hope that you will help to
distribute it widely. For any part of the Christian Church to break
apart over the use of outdated and thoroughly discredited ideas about
homosexuality is a tragedy. For any part of the Christian Church to
be as woefully uninformed on this subject as so many ecclesiastical
leaders seem to be is a sign of incompetent leadership.

John Shelby Spong

Royal College of Psychiatrists
Submission to the Church of England's Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality

This report is prepared by a Special Interest Group in the Royal
College of Psychiatrists. We have limited our comments to areas that
pertain to the origins of sexuality and the psychological and social
well being of lesbian, gay and bisexual people (LGB), which we
believe will inform the Church of England's listening exercise.


The Royal College of Psychiatrists holds the view that LGB people
should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly
similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This
includes equal access to health care, the rights and responsibilities
involved in a civil partnership, the rights and responsibilities
involved in procreating and bringing up children, freedom to practice
a religion as a lay person or religious leader, freedom from
harassment or discrimination in any sphere and a right to protection
from therapies that are potentially damaging, particularly those that
purport to change sexual orientation.

We shall address a number of issues that arise from our expertise in
this area with the aim of informing the debate within the Church of
England about homosexual people. These concern the history of the
relationship between psychiatry and LGB people, determinants of
sexual orientation, the mental health and well being of LGB people,
their access to psychotherapy and the kinds of psychotherapy that can
be harmful.

"This report is prepared by a Special Interest Group in the Royal College of Psychiatrists. We have limited our comments to areas that pertain to the origins of sexuality and the psychological and social well being of lesbian, gay and bisexual people (LGB), which we believe will inform the Church of England's listening exercise.


"The Royal College of Psychiatrists holds the view that LGB people should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This includes equal access to health care, the rights and responsibilities involved in a civil partnership, the rights and responsibilities involved in procreating and bringing up children, freedom to practice a religion as a lay person or religious leader, freedom from harassment or discrimination in any sphere and a right to protection from therapies that are potentially damaging, particularly those that purport to change sexual orientation.

"We shall address a number of issues that arise from our expertise in this area with the aim of informing the debate within the Church of England about homosexual people. These concern the history of the relationship between psychiatry and LGB people, determinants of sexual orientation, the mental health and well being of LGB people, their access to psychotherapy and the kinds of psychotherapy that can be harmful."

[Submission to the Church of England's Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality. For the full report, see here.]

[After reading the above email and report, please read this interview regarding the destructiveness of the "ex-gay" industry."]
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


"DESMOND MORRIS, who became a bestselling author by applying zoology to explain human behaviour, has now utilised the techniques to put forward an explanation for homosexuality.

"In his latest book, The Naked Man, he concludes that men are 'made gay' because they retain infantile or juvenile characteristics into adulthood – a phenomenon known as neoteny.

"According to this theory, gay men also tend to be more inventive and creative than heterosexuals because they are more likely to retain the mental agility and playfulness of childhood."

[For the full article, see here.]

To stereotype any group of people is foolish on its face, given the tremendous diversity that exists in the human condition. Moreover, such stereotyping, regardless of motive, is offensive to anyone with any sense at all!

In the 1950's, Afro-Americans were stereotyped as being lazy, needing care, childlike, and rather dull witted. These stereotypes served many functions, not the least of which was to justify "the otherness," to say nothing of "the inferiority" of Black people, and the further "justification" as to why segregation should exist, along with white privilege.

Such an attempt at justification for segregation doesn't seem to exist in this case put forth by Morris, but the consequences of labeling a group of people as "the other," especially when that group does not have full and equal civil rights, and the commensurate dignity accorded others in society, still remains, as that "other" is still being seen as being "not one of us," and, as "inferior" to "us," and that's why "they're not entitled to full and equal civil rights that we enjoy."

"Gays are more creative, more 'artsy,' more 'child-like,' than 'us!'" That's the message, and it's offensive, regardless of the motive for this contention!

The fact is that Gay people are just like everyone else, and what creativity that emanates from Gay people is likely due to the creativity that comes from the suffering, the torment, the joys, and the life-experiences of most every creative person, be he or she Gay or Straight.

Just as I'm offended by studies that seek to show why some people are Gay (as it would be just as legitimate to do studies as to why some people are Straight, and do studies as to why so many people are homophobic and/or interested in why some people are Gay), I'm offended by stereotyping of any kind, and Morris has lent his acumen and credibility to a thesis not worthy of him or of any scholar of the human condition.
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Monday, December 10, 2007


I never heard of the ManKind Project, until my friend, Don Charles, sent me an article by Wayne Besen on it. Its website certainly aspires to laudable goals, yet some of the means used, as articulated by Besen, are a bit disconcerting to me, to say the least.

This current article by Besen is disturbing to me on a number of levels, not the least of which is the seeming emotional/sexual immaturity, and general lack of intactness, that seems to characterize many, if not most, of those who would become part of such a group that uses means such as the following in order to achieve its stated goals.

Besen writes:

"In my previous column, I also discussed how the organization had some unorthodox activities. This includes:

"Blindfolded walking tours in the nude

"Men sitting in a circle discussing their sexual histories while passing a wooden dildo called “The Cock”

"Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammer

"While this may seem bizarre to outsiders, [Journalist] Kort and [Executive Director of the ManKind Project] Griesser defended the activities as helping men accept their bodies.

“'There is so much shame about the body,' said Griesser. 'The nudity put me and others in an honest space to deal with the shame…the goal is to take men’s sexuality out of the shadows.'

"Critics also point to the harsher aspects of the program, such as meeting participants with men in dark clothing and painted faces.

“'We want to shake men up,' said Griesser. 'They can only be awakened if we shake them out of their routine.'”

When I read some posts, and many comments, regarding Gay issues on assorted blogs, I'm struck by the immaturity that characterizes them, and the amnesia that has occurred since the 1970's regarding the sophistication, maturity, and activism that then characterized many out of the closet Gay people.

When "blindfold walking tours in the nude," and other such nonsense, has come to replace grassroots activism, pride in one's God-given sexuality, and emotional intactness that characterizes a Troy Perry, a Barbara Gittings, a Franklin Kameny, and those like them, I can only wonder why these people are not considered role models by those who are pathetic and/or desperate enough to be involved with such nonsense as the above activities that the ManKind Project seems to embody.

Until and unless we all come to understand that our sexuality is a gift from God, and that the best gift God has given us, besides Oxygen, is our ability to love another human being, we will witness the pathetic and downright embarrassing actions of and by those who are emotionally immature and fragile, having seemingly bought into the homophobia of those who lack this understanding themselves.

Moreover, the very existence of such nonsense, impedes the psychological and political gains that are necessary for LGBT people to finally gain full and equal civil rights, as it plays into the hands of those who condemn Gay people as being "mentally unstable," and who are really "the other" who are merely rationalizing when they say that they are fulfilled as Gay men and women.

As harsh as it sounds, I say to all those involved in the "ex-gay" industry, and who are involved in such activities as the above in groups such as ManKind, or who in any way feel guilty about their God-given sexuality, "Grow Up!"

God made us as we are, and as long as we don't prey on others, as long as our emotional/sexual feelings and actions are loving and life-affirming, we are in the will of God, as we are acting in accordance with the way God made us!

And also know that for the man or woman of God, it is far harder to get out of God's will than it is to remain in it!
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Sunday, December 9, 2007


This article detailing the split between the San Joaquin Diocese and the Episcopal Church in the U.S., may well likely be the first such defection based on the ordination of V. Gene Robinson, an openly Gay man. Now, we'll have seats in seeing these gladiators fight for control and ownership of church property, and in civil court, no less, which contradicts biblical teachings! (1Corinthians 6:1-8)

"The Diocese of San Joaquin voted Saturday to cut ties with the Episcopal Church, the first time in church history a diocese has done so over theological issues and the biggest leap so far by dissident Episcopalians hoping to form a rival national church in the United States.

"Fissures have moved through the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members, and through the communion itself, since the church ordained V. Gene Robinson, a gay man in a long-term relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

"In the past four years, several dozen individual U.S. congregations of nearly 7,700 have split with the Episcopal Church. But Saturday's vote was the first time an entire diocese chose to secede.

"Clergy and lay members of the San Joaquin Diocese voted 173-22 at their annual convention to remove all references to the national church from the diocese's constitution, said the Rev. Van McCalister, a diocesan spokesman."

[For the full article, see here.]

As a friend of mine who pastors a rather large church recently said to me, frequently going to church inoculates many people with a little bit of Christianity so that they then are subsequently immune to the real thing, the fullness of Christianity. I never thought of that but, given my experience, I certainly concur with his assessment.

They "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel" (Matthew 23:24), and they miss the whole message of Christ!

This is but one more example of the pathetic, moribund, and toxic state of most of the institutionalized Church!
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Thursday, December 6, 2007


I know some of you may well be angry at me for saying that many LGBT people brought this debacle about.

When there is no overwhelming, uniform, consistent expression of revulsion when Transgenders are removed from ENDA by politicos hung up on expediency rather than justice, foolishly thinking that the passage of such a bill would be an advance which, after fracturing the LGBT community, would certainly be vetoed by Bush; when hedonism and frivolity are confused by so many LGBT people with "liberation"; when self-absorption has replaced an esprit de corps, a sense of community, in much of the LGBT community, save for social affairs; when there is a studied apathy to any type of meaningful social and political activism among LGBT people and their "allies"; when "liberation" is considered certified by participation in Pride Parades, rather than in holding assorted clergy and politicians' feet to the fire in demanding the dignity and civil rights that accrue to all citizens in the U.S.; when it is considered "progressive" to refer to oneself and to other LGBT people by derogatory labels that serve to both further reinforce and express the internalized homophobia, not yet sufficiently overcome, due to the hateful messages spewed from pulpits and other assorted venues throughout the world, why should Democrats, or anyone else for that matter, particularly care what LGBT people think in the first place?

Indeed, why should any non-Gay person take Gay people seriously, when so many Gay people don't appear to take themselves seriously, or even care enough about their second-class citizenship and status, and the denial of their dignity, to stridently demand full and equal civil rights?

As I wrote in my comment to Don Charles in the previous post, who asked me, "Do you think LGBT folk will ever gain the courage to face their internalized shame?":

"Delighting in being 'the other,' in being perceived as 'sexual outlaws,' (In part due to internalized homophobia.) and as reinforcing the stereotype that being Gay equals being solely sexual, and equating hedonism with 'liberation,' is playing right into the hands of the strident homophobes, justifying in the minds of many in the middle that those homophobes are correct in their negative assessment of Gay people, and that Gay people are 'not like us,' and don't deserve the same consideration, the same civil rights, as do "people like us.'"

It may have to come to the point where more insults such as removing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime bill from defense authorization legislation, from the funding for the immoral and deceitful war in Iraq showing that, in the minds of most politicians, including "liberals," supporting an immoral war trumps the interests and safety of LGBT people) by those who are viewed as "liberal," and who are naively counted on to "deliver the goods" when LGBT people and allies have not presented a united, aggressive, front in demanding those "goods," that will finally motivate all LGBT people and allies to have a fire in the belly to organize and coordinate efforts to demand full and equal civil rights that will not be gained in any way save through consistent and continuous grassroots and organizational demands and coordinated activism.

We have a lot to learn from the activists of the 1950's, 60's, 70's, and early 80's, such as Barbara Gittings, Franklin Kameny, Troy Perry, Harry Hay, and Harvey Milk, and those lessons won't be learned at circuit parties or Pride Parades.

I just hope that they don't have to be learned by the further erosion of the dignity, and the commensurate humiliation, of LGBT people, as seen at this latest of many salvos directed against LGBT people, and against all those who believe in full equality for all citizens.
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I strongly urge you to read the latest post from my friend Don Charles entitled, "Gay Pride: The Place We've Never Been." It's not only provocative, but forces all LGBT people to think about the toxic effects of discrimination, the frequent confusion of "liberation" with hedonism, and the internalized homophobia that has one view oneself as "the other," that further segregates Gay people from both the larger society, from themselves, and from their self-worth, as well; how that internalized homophobia is marketed to Gay people, further reinforcing that segregation.

Here's an excerpt from that post that I hope will whet your appetite to read it in its entirety:

"As I surf the Gay blogosphere and sample Gay media, I find that a majority of us write and say denigrating things about ourselves and each another without thinking. Isn't it high time we started thinking? Thinking seriously about the poisonous language we love to use. Thinking seriously about the consequences of clinging to stereotypes. Thinking seriously about rising above juvenile obsessions with sex. Thinking seriously about assuming our rightful place in mainstream society. A person who answers to names like "queer" and "dyke" is marginalized in his or her own mind, and a person who calls his or her LGBT brethren by such names is identifying with the oppressor. Neither person has liberation as a goal. Both people have shame as an underlying motivator."
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Tuesday, December 4, 2007


If this isn't hateful and pathetic, please tell me what is?

"A Fort Worth church has quite the internal struggle. Broadway Baptist Church remains split on whether or not to include gay people in their 125th anniversary celebratory directory."

The very fact that this issue is even being debated, shows how moribund, sick, and demented this and other such "churches" are in dealing with their Gay members.

Of course, the question must be asked as to why in the world any self-respecting Gay person would even think of attending such a "church" in the first place?

For that matter, how could any Christian worthy of the name attend such a "church?"

Unfortunately, most of the institutional Church is comprised of such "churches," and the only way to take away their credibility, their teeth, is to avoid such institutions like the plague that they are.

Godly people have nothing to do with such discrimination, as to do so spits in the very face of God!
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Monday, December 3, 2007


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams [Pictured], met with and shared Communion with some lesbian and gay clergy. In reaction to this meeting, the following was reported:

"In a joint statement Dr Richard Turnbull, chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council, and Dr Philip Giddings, convener of the evangelical group Anglican Mainstream, said: 'Every occasion for listening pastorally to people is to be welcomed. However, the Holy Communion is a fundamental symbol of fellowship and an expression of our unity in Christ.' To offer this to those in gay relationships was contrary to biblical teaching and to the teaching by the bishops themselves in their document Issues in Human Sexuality, they said."

[For the full article, see here.]

Further evidence of the bankrupt nature of professing Christian homophobes, and their distortion of the Bible, can be seen when its reported that representatives of the Church of England Evangelical Council and an "evangelical" group called "Anglican Mainstream" state that, "...the Holy Communion is a fundamental symbol of fellowship and an expression of our unity in Christ. To offer this to those in gay relationships was contrary to biblical teaching...."

Nonsense! Show us even one passage in the Bible that prohibits the sharing of Comnmunion with any Christian! There isn't any such passage!

Jesus accepted and welcomed everybody, save the smug, self-satisfied, self-righteous self-proclaimed "evangelicals" who distort the things of God, and seek to place yokes of bondage on others. The Bible never condemns "gay relationships," and these two so-called "evangelical" groups had to reduce themselves to distorting the Bible in order to support their false gospel of exclusion.

Everyone should take serious note of this not insignificant issue. Every time you hear a clergyperson say that the Bible condemns same-sex love, he or she is lying to you, and such clergy, and their followers, are merely imposing their preconceived prejudices on the Bible in order to lend support to the insupportable, and seek to "justify" their own sinful exclusion of others!

Again, they are lying to you! There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that condemns same-sex love! And to indicate their level of desperation in "making their case," representatives of these two groups, and all other homophobic groups within the institutional Church, see fit to downright distort the Bible, falsely claiming that it supports their ungodly stance on same-sex love!

By their distortion of the Bible, the knot of their prejudices can be seen to be slowly but surely unravelling, just as is the Anglican Communion itself!

And what an ironic indictment of the bankrupt nature of the Anglican communion (and most of the institutional Church), if the issue of same-sex love is the cause for its splintering apart!
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Friday, November 30, 2007


This article just appeared, and it deals with Gay Republicans trashing Mitt Romney. Unless the recent revelations concerning Giuliani gain considerably more traction, Romney is sure to lose the nomination but, as I've said for the past year and a half, I believe Giuliani will be the next President of the U.S.

This is a frightening prospect for me, but so would Clinton's election to that office be frightening to me. As far as I'm concerned, the only person of substance, and the only person, besides Mike Gravel who, unfortunately, is not a household name, who truly favors and vocally supports full and equal civil rights for LGBT people, and is not a two bit political hack, is Dennis Kucinich, and it is a testament to the obtuseness of all Americans, particularly LGBT Americans, that they have not strongly supported his candidacy, and have relegated him to an "also ran."

He doesn't deserve that kind of treatment from those whom he supports, and for whose sake he staked his political future! Frankly, I seriously question many, if not most, LGBT people's commitment to full and equal civil rights!

I'm taking this opportunity to reprint a post I made on my blog and on Pam's House Blend last May entitled, "The Pathology of the Gay Conservative," that I think is appropriate in this context.

The post is here.
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Monday, November 26, 2007


I'm honored to have Rev. Troy Perry as a friend! He began the Metropolitan Community Church in his living room in 1968, with only 12 people in attendance, a year before the Stonewall uprising that is credited with beginning the Gay Rights movement.

It would take guts to begin such a church today in many parts of the U.S. It's inconceivable the kind of courage it took for him to begin a church that reaches out to God's LGBT people and to all people who see the Church as being inclusive of all of God's children. The book, TROY PERRY: PASTOR AND PROPHET is the latest book to come out about him and it details the history of the denomination he began, the United Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Churches, and it includes copious statements from a variety of people about his God-given ministry and what it has meant to them, to the world, and to Christianity.

Also, the film, CALL ME TROY, is being shown in Los Angeles on Friday, December 7th. For the trailer for the movie, see here.
Rev. Troy Perry retired as Moderator of the UFMCC two years ago, but he is still active in traveling all over the world, encouraging others and spreading the truth that God loves ALL of His LGBT children, and we are to never listen or succumb to those who would tell anyone anything differently.

This is a brief video of this charismatic speaker, extraordinary organizer, prophet, and pastor who, I firmly believe, has been anointed and sent by God to do a mighty work for Him, and who has done more for contemporary Christianity and for LGBT rights than anyone else I can think of. He revolutionized the Gay Rights movement; he affirms people; he preaches the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness; he revolutionized Christianity itself!

You owe it to yourself, whether you're a Christian or not, to read as much as you can about this remarkable man of God, in such books of his as: THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD AND HE KNOWS I'M GAY; DON'T BE AFRAID ANYMORE; 10 SPIRITUAL TRUTHS FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS,(AND EVERYONE ELSE!), as well as the aforementioned book, TROY PERRY: PASTOR AND PROPHET.
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Saturday, November 24, 2007


In an excellent and refreshing video that has Gary Wills speak with great felicity on the subject, "What Paul Meant," many hitherto held assumptions about the Bible, Christianity, the Church, and the Apostle Paul are discussed and questioned from someone whom I consider to be a first-rate Bible scholar. Although it's about 37 minutes into the video that Wills somewhat deals with Paul's view of homosexuality, his brief discussion of this subject, combined with his analysis of Paul, will make it worth your while to watch the whole video from beginning to end.

Wills talks about the error of legalism; the exclusion of women from the "priesthood"; the Church as an institution; being a "Christian" as opposed to being a "follower of Jesus"; the egalitarian nature of the early Church versus the institutional Church; Jesus' embracing what was considered by many in His day as people who were viewed as "unclean."

I think you will very much enjoy this video, and get a lot out of it, not the least being the distortion of what once was the "ecclesia," the called out ones, who formed Jesus' Church, held in people's homes by those who listened to the Spirit, into what is now the institutional Church.

Although Wills doesn't deal with this issue, I know that I'm not the only one who contends that the institutional Church does, indeed, include some of the ecclesia; many of the ecclesia do not go to "church," and many people who do go to church are not among the ecclesia!
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Friday, November 23, 2007


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers, suggested I read the book by the famous Jacques Ellul [Pictured], entitled, "Anarchy and Christianity." (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1991.) And I'm very glad I took his advice!

In this book, Ellul shows the commonalities of interest that exist between "anarchy" and "Christianity" as they confront assorted social issues. Although he's not in any way trying to convert anarchists into Christians, he's engaged in showing the dynamics of our shared struggles against the oppression of the State; how the Christian perspective, collectively articulated and lived prior to the Synod of Arles in 314, before the institutional Church's co-optation by the State that has caused it to become its handmaiden ever since, saw the State, power, and all political institutions as essentially corrupt, regardless of whether they were "left" or "right."

Ellul correctly distinguishes Christianity from religion; shows through logic and dissection of certain biblical texts that have hitherto been used to justify "respect for authority," how subservience to secular authority was never meant to trump God's call on our individual lives; all political authority is, at its very core, corrupt, setting the stage where the rubber meets the road in our taking to heart Jesus' telling us that we must be willing to lose our lives for His sake.

Here is a brief excerpt from this excellent book that I hope will whet your appetite to read it:

"All the churches have scrupulously respected and often supported the state authorities. They have made of conformity a major virtue. They have tolerated social injustices and the exploitation of some people by others, explaining that it is God's will that some should be masters and others servants, and that socioeconomic success is an outward sign of divine blessing. They have thus transformed the free and liberating Word into morality, the most astonishing thing being that there can be no Christian morality if we truly follow evangelical thinking. The fact is that it is much easier to judge faults according to an established moralilty than to view people as living wholes and to understand why they act as they do. Finally, all the churches have set up a clergy furnished with knowledge and power, though this is contrary to evangelical thinking, as was initially realized when the clergy were called ministers, ministerium being service and the minister a servant of others." (pp. 6-7)

Although the institutional Church is largely a handmaiden of the State, and has adopted its values of power and control; frequently adapts its theology to be in accordance with conventionally defined "morality" and the status quo from which the powers that be are quite handsomely rewarded, "Christianity" is its exact opposite!

Jesus was a non-violent revolutionary, Who saw secular power as more of an object of ridicule than anything to be taken seriously, and Ellul hammers this point home in a very refreshing way, given his inimitable insights into hitherto distorted biblical exegeses that have historically served the State quite well, and have all too tragically supported the truth of Marx' statement that "religion is the opiate of the masses."

Although Ellul doesn't deal with LGBT rights in this book, the matters with which he deals are very much relevant to the struggle for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for everyone; we are not to let religious and secular institutions be voices to be taken seriously when the Great Liberator has set all of the captives free!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This article shows that a few churches within the institutional Church are beginning to see the injustice of witnessing the marriage of heterosexuals and refusing to witness the marriage of Gay people!

"'We are looking at the function of our church in marriage ceremonies,' says Anita Hill, a pastor at Saint Paul-Reformation. 'Is it just to get it done in a pretty place? We're not in the wedding business; we're in the blessing business.'"

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all clergy and professing Christians saw their role as being a blessing to people; being agents of God's grace in this world? Wouldn't it be wonderful if churches were truly houses of worship that welcomed everyone as they are, without hateful and exclusionary rhetoric and/or actions in any way considered appropriate or Godly?

The fact that "Minneapolis has the country's third-largest concentration of same-sex couples, according to census data" certainly puts pressure on surrounding churches to at the very least come to grips with the profound injustice visited upon Gay couples who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other; who deserve the same civil and sacramental rights that accrue to heterosexual couples. This state of affairs shows how much visibility of same-sex couples' desire for the right to marry can impact churches and other houses of worship; shows how same-sex couples demanding from churches the right to be married in those churches, even without state sanctioned approval, can go a long way in making same-sex marriage a reality in both religious and secular society.

Even "liberal" churches within the institutional Church are usually quite conservative by most standards of assessment and, as I wrote in last Tuesday's post, they are usually handmaidens of the State, whereby most support and justify the status quo, whether or not that status quo entails the oppression of others. However, when same-sex couples, whether by their numbers, as occurs in Minneapolis, or by their continuous insistence on being treated equally in the area of marriage rights, the churches are, and will be, forced to at the very least discuss and confront the issue of same-sex marriage.

Imagine the impact same-sex couples and allies would have on churches if they continuously insisted, through speaking out, picketing, and writing letters, that they be married in those churches! Imagine the impact same-sex couples would have if they and their allies continuously picketed marriage license bureaus insisting that they be given the same right to marry as heterosexual citizens.

As I've written many times before, marriage is crucial for full and equal civil rights to accrue to Gay people, as once that right is approved, virtually all other civil and sacramental rights will be won; the legitimacy of Gay people will be recognized, with the conferring of dignity and full equality being part and parcel of that legitimacy.

So, whether or not any Gay person wants to get married, it is imperative that all Gay people and allies demand marriage rights, both for the well-being of those who do want to marry, as well as for the realization of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all Gay people!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007



I believe that the Church should use its pastoral and teaching functions to minister Jesus' admonitions to us and to representatives of the State to love other people, do them no harm, and never tire of doing good, as the Apostle Paul enjoins us to do (Galatians 6:9); seek to apply Jesus' teachings to contemporary issues and concerns.

However, the Church's influence in matters of the State has not only been an abject failure when it comes to applying Jesus' life, ministry, and teachings to contemporary issues, but it has all too often been diametrically opposed to Jesus' teachings in secular matters (and often in religious matters as well) and has helped enable the State to roll over the most vulnerable in society by justifying both the status quo and by mouthing the shibboleths of those in power who share its bureaucratic and political concerns to remain in power and continue exercising control over others.

The institutional Church has become enmeshed with the State and beholden to the State for assorted reasons, not the least of which is its tax-exempt status! Denominational and church leaders certainly don't want to bite the hand that feeds them, so the myth of separation of Church and State certainly rings hollow!

It is only when the Church, in fact, speaks truth to power; fights for, and insists upon, full and equal civil rights for all of God's children; speaks out for the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, and the downhearted (For one recent and an egregious attempt at "unity" at the expense of "justice" and the relief of oppression, see here.); fights people's natural inclination to be aggressive to their fellow human beings, and who, out of their selfishness and greed, literally and figuratively rape others, the land, and their environment, that the Church will deserve the respect it should have by being both the repository of faith as well as the vehicle to authentically teach and live out Jesus' life, work, and teachings in the public square.

The following state of affairs of some of the Episcopal churches seeking to align themselves with the homophobic elements of the Anglican Communion, as seen in this article, despite at least one very highly credible voice condemning the rampant homophobia that has infected the Anglican Communion, depicts one Denomination's struggle, representative of the "struggle" of most of the institutionalized Church, that is hurtling the institutional Church toward irrelevance and increasing loss of credibility (For a recent example, see here.), not only for those who are Christians in fact, but also for increasing numbers of intelligent, sensitive, decent non-Christians who are becoming sick and tired of having the Church be seen as being coterminous with homophobia, judgmentalism, exclusion, and hostility, all the while also justifying the homophobia that runs rampant in secular society; providing a significant basis of homophobia's perceived justification.

It is, therefore, a profound tragedy that a presumed minister of the Gospel and an institutional Church leader can be designated "bigot of the year" by anyone or any group in Britain, or anywhere else for that matter!

"In a night of mixed awards, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, the 104th Bishop of Hereford, was named bigot of the year by Stonewall. An employment tribunal in Cardiff in April heard how youth worker John Reaney, 42, was left feeling humiliated after a two-hour interview during which the bishop grilled him about a previous gay relationship. The tribunal decided Mr Reaney had been a victim of unfair dismissal and awarded damages against the Church of England." [For the full article, see here.]

Most of the institutional Church in the U.S. is against legal sanctioning of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people because its homophobic clergy will no longer be able to discriminate against them with impunity! Moreover, these homophobic clergy are frightened that after their homophobic rants, there might be some wack job who will then, after hearing those rants, go out and assault or murder a Gay person and the clergyperson will then be held liable for civil, and perhaps criminal, damages and prosecution.

Clergy who publicly defame LGBT people must be held civilly and, if appropriate, criminally liable for their words and acts of discrimination! There is absolutely no reason why clergy should be given a pass to condemn others and, after helping to create and reinforce a climate of hate, wash their hands, much as did Pontius Pilate, and say that the consequences of their hateful speech and actions are none of their concern, and for which they should be held immune.

Nonsense! The fight for LGBT rights must begin with the homophobic churches and homophobic clergy who vent their prejudices in the name of God, thereby giving those prejudices a biblical justification which they don't deserve, and who contravene the very admonitions Jesus gives His followers!

If organized, orchestrated activism is to occur, it should begin by being directed against homophobic churches and clergy, for it is they that largely provide "justification" for political, social, and individual acts of hate and discrimination directed against God's LGBT children! Boycotts, picketing, letters to the editor of local, regional, and national newspapers, and other such coordinated activism must begin and continue until homophobic clergy and churches come to the point where they either manifest Jesus' teachings, or close up shop, which all too many of them should do!

It did my heart good to read in this article that "The tribunal decided Mr Reaney had been a victim of unfair dismissal and awarded damages against the Church of England." We have got to come to the point in the U.S. where the equivalent occurs and where no clergy or other "religious" representative can discriminate against anyone with impunity!

Most of the institutional Church feels comfortable being enmeshed with the State? Good! Hopefully, one day soon it will be forced to live up, under penalty of secular law, to the mandate of "equality for all" that is part and parcel of what we say the U.S. is supposed to embrace!

For this state of affairs to occur, meaningful activism directed against homophobic churches and clergy is one of the first, and most important, places to start!
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Sunday, November 18, 2007


The following is an edited and expanded version of an email I wrote to a friend of mine regarding my perception of the appalling lack of the desire for meaningful activism, or even its very discussion, by LGBT people; my take on some of the reasons why there is this state of affairs where so many LGBT people seem quite content to be treated as second-class citizens, bereft of full and equal civil rights as well as the dignity that is conferred by those rights.

Even for many, if not most, "liberal" professing Christians,"unity" of the institutional Church even trumps the quest for "justice" and the fight for equal rights! We see this state of affairs with virtually all denominations within the institutional Church, save for the United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ and, of course, the Metropolitan Community Churches that has a specific outreach to LGBT people, and all those who believe in inclusiveness within the Church.

With friends like liberals and others who will sell out the oppressed for purposes of "getting along," or for purposes of "unity," or for purposes of "expediency," who needs enemies?

The only current exceptions to the indolence regarding meaningful activism of whom I can think are those activists from the 60's like Rev. Troy Perry and Franklin Kameny. There may be others, like Larry Kramer, but I don't think that many people listen to him as much as they credit him for being a "force" in the LGBT community, particularly as it relates to the AIDS crisis. And I certainly will not neglect the wonderful activists, Andy Humm and Ann Northrop, of Gay USA.

Of course, I can be wrong in this contention, but I see no evidence of the desire for meaningful activism galvanizing itself behind any current LGBT rights "leader(s)"; I see that "meaningful activism" as anemically being identified, as I stated in my November 15th post, with marching in Pride parades and referring to oneself and to others in the LGBT community with demeaning labels.

Self-loathing only goes so far as to explain this phenomenon! I think the lion's share of the blame for the political apathy and disdain for, and/or the desire for distraction from, discussions of meaningful activism, as seen by comments on assorted progressive LGBT blogs, is pure, unadulterated, selfishness ("I've got mine!") and with one's being content with not even thinking or, worse, even caring, that he/she is still a second-class citizen; frivolity; hedonism; self-indulgence that has characterized America, and much if not most of the LGBT community, since the 1980's.

The AIDS epidemic can only go so far as to explain that apathy as well! If anything, ACT UP and the bringing together of LGBT people in the face of this epidemic should have galvanized the outrage (of which there seems to be very little) against being treated as being inferior both civilly and religiously!

The tragedy, it seems to me, is that it's a combination of self-indulgence; hedonism (see here, for example); addiction to frivolity; selfishness; with a touch of self-loathing that consciously and unconsciously "justifies" the feeling that the homophobes "might have something there" in their condemnation and denying Gay people the same civil and sacramental rights as Straight people enjoy.

I wish more progressive people were out there, especially Christians who understand the message of Jesus, and not the ones who, if they are Christians at all, seek unity over and above justice; who want peace when there must be "war" (the "season of suffering") to acquire equal rights; who see "love" as being equivalent to acquiescence to the status quo as well as to the appeasement of the rabidly homophobic professing Christians who cause untold destruction of countless lives.

There can be no meeting of the minds between Christ and the demonic! And, we are to make no mistake: To be homophobic is to be demonic, be it through ignorance and/or mendacity!

All the complaining in the world by LGBT people (and I hear very little of that) is not going to move the ball of full and equal civil and sacramental rights down the field. It's going to take grassroots, coordinated activism, and that activism must begin with serious discussion (And the Internet, among other places, is a great place for that discussion.) of tactics and strategies by which to acquire those rights.

But first and foremost, LGBT people must want equality in every sense of the word, and there is very little evidence that I can see that shows that desire!

I know that one can't underestimate the psychological impact of all the negative, hateful, messages that have emanated from pulpits, politicians, professing "religious" people, and others. However, there comes a time in one's life that he or she must forcibly shed the shackles of those yokes of bondage, grow up, act like self-respecting adults, and demand full equality that accrues to every other citizen.

As the Apostle Paul wrote, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1Corinthians 13:11)

So, I say this to my LGBT brothers and sisters, and to those who consider themselves allies in the cause for equal rights: Grow up! Forget the foolishness of such questions as to who is "Mr Gay," as discussed in the above linked article; stop equating marching in Pride parades as being equivalent to meaningful activism; stop equating being Gay solely with sexuality in the public square; never refer to yourself or to others in the LGBT community with derogatory names and labels, foolishly thinking that by so doing you are being "progressive," when you are merely demeaning yourself and "justifying" further contempt from many Straights and many LGBT people alike; stop being content with being viewed and treated as second-class citizens, and demand the rights that every self-respecting person would demand; don't worry about being "liked" or "accepted" but, rather, realize that it doesn't matter what people think of you, but they damn well better show you respect by treating you as any other person of worth, including the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights; never allow homophobic rhetoric and/or actions to go unchallenged, be it manifested in churches, places of employment, neighborhoods, or in any other venue.

It is only when such self-respect is manifested, and that discussion of meaningful activism leading to coordinated tactics and strategies comprising that meaningful activism are realized, that the rights currently belonging to Straight people will be acquired by LGBT people, and not one minute before!
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Friday, November 16, 2007


Rev. Ken Hutcherson [Pictured] said, "'I consider myself a warrior for Christ. Microsoft don't scare me. I got God with me.

"'I told them that you need to work with me or we will put a firestorm on you like you have never seen in you life because I am your worst nightmare. I am a black man with a righteous cause with a whole host of powerful white people behind me.'

"Mr Hutcherson's office is decorated with the heads of deer, elk and a buffalo – 'when I run into animals, I kill them and bring them home and eat them' – as well as invitations to the White House and signed pictures of himself with President George W. Bush."

[For the full article, see here.]

This is an example of what my friend, Bishop Leland Somers refers to as "thug Christianity." People like Hutcherson is aligning himself with those who exhibit the same kind of thinking that supported (and in some circles still supports) White Supremacy; many of his presumed allies, that "whole host of powerful white people behind me," would probably not even associate with him if he didn't support their homophobic agenda.

And he and other homophobic Black pastors may not be intelligent or sensitive enough to realize the fact that racism and homophobia partake of the same hate and exclusion that created, and still creates, the grinding oppression and humiliation of Afro-Americans and LGBT people in this country!

And don't be fooled by those homophobic Black pastors, and some others in the Black community, who argue that there is no similarity between White Supremacy and homophobia! They both partake of hate, oppression, exclusion and, to put a finer and more tragic point on it, both appealed (and still appeal) to the Bible to justify that oppression, humiliation, and the lack of the conferring of dignity to Afro-Americans and LGBT people that befits all human beings made in the image of God!

I had occasion to make the following comment in regard to a post on Bishop Somers' excellent blog, entitled, Musings of a Progressive Bishop, that seems appropriate to place here as well:

"This rapidly encroaching fascism, imperialistism, and jingoism is supported by many people who call themselves, 'Christian'; much of the American electorate suffer from what Marx called, 'false conscousness,' where they act and vote against their own rational best interests; most of the American electorate lack critical thinking skills, where they vote into office those who tickle their ears the best and are well-groomed; statements regarding God are frequently uttered in the service of naked self-interest; much, if not most, of people’s spirituality is circumscribed by churches that have aligned themselves with the State and with the status-quo that favors the wealthy; a watered down gospel which is no Gospel is frequently preached, that is designed to not offend any church member, has gained ascendancy lest church membership and money dwindle that maintain careers and edifices that frequently hinge on deficit spending; Christianity being identified with the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion and, therefore, not taken seriously (and even resented) by many intelligent, sensitive, and decent people; many professing Christians equating 'love' with silence against others’ oppression and against the corporate sins with which we are dealing, have helped fuel this pathetic and dangerous state of affairs in which we find ourselves in the U.S. And I don’t see anything changing anytime soon!"

Rev. Hutcherson, and those who profess to be Christians and preach against and vilify LGBT people are no different from the White Supremacists against whom the Civil Rights movement for Afro-Americans was directed! How many white clergy, do you think, preached in favor of Segregation in the 1950's South? Put another way, "How many white Southern Clergy in the 1950's preached that whether we be Black of white, we are all children of God and must be treated equally, have full integration, and share full and equal civil rights?" Unfortunately, to ask the question is to answer it!

Rev. Hutcherson and others like him are suffering from "false consciousness" and a seemingly willful amnesia, not recognizing that their vitriol, their preaching of the false gospel of exclusion, partakes of the very same dynamics that caused untold grief, humiliation, indignities, and oppression to their ancestors. And the same would be now occurring to them were it not for those who fought for civil rights for Afro-Americans!

Yet, the Ken Hutchersons of the world are not willing to fight for the civil rights of LGBT people and, instead, vilify them, and do so in the name of God, no less!

When will they ever learn?
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Thursday, November 15, 2007


Given much of what I do, I have the occasion to read quite a few blogs on any given day, along with many of the comments given for the assorted posts on those blogs. I'm struck by at least three things in regard to the nature of those comments: 1. The seeming unwillingness of many LGBT people to even discuss meaningful, coordinated activism that can have a social and political impact; 2. The willingness of many LGBT people to settle for incrementalism in the acquisition of full and equal civil rights; 3. The rhetorical venting of anger against homophobes as a seeming substitute for meaningful activism that insists on full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people.

None of us like to have our comfort zones disturbed, nor do we like to speak truth to power that can easily alienate us from those whom we have considered "friends." Many people seem to be afraid to become truly active in insisting on being treated as any other citizen, including the right to marry. This phenomenon is seen in both secular society and in most churches as well.

Most people want to be liked, and that is the Achilles Heel that prevents so many LGBT people and allies from actively confronting the subtle and not so subtle discrimination that Gay people face each and every day, in virtually every institution in society. Moreover, the desire to be liked, to "get along," is seen in the settling for incrementalism in the seeming quest for civil rights, even to the point where those who were hitherto considered part of the community can and will be thrown under the bus for the sake of political expediency and/or selfishness, as was most recently seen in the House's passage of the non-inclusive ENDA.

Tragically, what makes this betrayal of our Transgender brothers and sisters even more pathetic and alarming is the fact that ENDA is sure to be vetoed, and I wonder to what further egregious lengths some would go in selling out others if the passage of ENDA was considered to be a viable outcome.

I've noticed that even when the issue of meaningful activism has been broached, that issue is usually met with silence, or is sidestepped, or is trivialized by comments that usually devolve into castigating homophobes and very little else. It seems to me that the LGBT rights movement has devolved as a movement from the meaningful activism in the 1950's, 60's, 70's and 80's that had a tremendous impact in gaining some civil rights, to an amorphous, anemic, self-indulgent "movement" that seems to feel that by marching in Pride parades and referring to other LGBT people in the "community" by derogatory, defamatory names is somehow equivalent to "activism," or "progressive politics."

I've previously discussed (See, for example, "Why The Lack of Expressed Outrage?") some of what I feel are the psychological and social dynamics behind this evasion of meaningful, coordinated activism, and even its discussion, but there is no substitute for such discussion and activism if the cause of LGBT civil rights is to be moved forward in the foreseeable future. (In this connection, please see Don Charles' five part post, "Some of Them Want to Be Abused.")

And relying on political apathy; political expediency; betrayal; bureaucracy's "business as usual," as seen with the non-inclusive ENDA; venting as being seen as a replacement for meaningful activism, is certain to only garner further disrespect, and even contempt, from those who already have the civil rights that must also be won for LGBT people.

As I wrote in last Saturday's, November 10th, post, POGO: "WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US" :

"As long as all too many Gay people, assorted politicians, and assorted Gay Rights organizations can be seen to be willing to settle for incrementalism, such as Domestic Partnerships, Civil Unions, and a non-inclusive ENDA, it is to that degree that the bullies will become emboldened to up the ante and fight that much more ferociously to preserve their stake in the status quo that promises to further retard the acquisition of full and equal civil rights!

"If we don't stand up to the bullies and demand full and equal civil rights for everyone, the bullies not only win, but LGBT people will lose, and lose by their own willingness to settle for what crumbs are offered them to keep them quiet and keep them in their place!

"Self-respect demands that all LGBT people and people of good will never settle for the crumbs of incrementalism; never settle for being viewed and treated as second-class citizens; never sell out the principles of fairness and "equal justice for all"; never sell out our Transgender brothers and sisters or anyone else, as by such actions full and equal civil rights and respect will never be obtained, and further contempt will be heaped upon LGBT people.

"And no one with an ounce of self-respect can stand for such treatment!"

And self-respect demands that one not be content with venting one's rage from the safe vantage point of an anonymous comment on a blog, or by referring to oneself or others in his/her community by derogatory names, but by not supporting politicians who are not fully in favor of equal rights for Gay people; by not settling for, or being content with, incrementalism in the form of such constructions as Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions; by not settling for being treated with anything but the utmost respect and dignity befitting a person of worth.

And it is only by grassroots activism, such as boycotting and picketing homophobic churches; speaking out against politicians and organizations who in any way seek to limit access to civil rights; writing letters to the editor of one's local newspaper; speaking out about the need to treat all people with dignity, and the commensurate demand for full equality, to one's neighbors and coworkers; working with others to coordinate such activities, that the realization of full and equal civil and sacramental rights will become a reality in the foreseeable future!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007


"Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has been named Economic Advisor to the Clinton campaign....The other gay member of Congress, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) endorsed Clinton early in the campaign....'I have from the beginning of this campaign believed that Hillary Clinton was the candidate best qualified to serve as President,' Frank said in a statement."

[For the full article, see here]

What's wrong with these people? Dennis Kucinich is not only in favor of turning this country around from the Bush debacle, but is in favor of same-sex marriage, and has been vociferous in his denunciation of having LGBT people treated as second-class citizens, yet Frank and Baldwin are supporting Hilary Clinton who has stated that she is against same-sex marriage.

I understand that one may not want to use same-sex marriage as a litmus test for one whom he or she chooses to support for President, yet when Kucinich is a definite progressive, one who doesn't mince words, one who not only supports economic reform but also strongly supports same-sex marriage, it boggles my mind why Frank and Baldwin would support Clinton, and not support Kucinich.

Early on in the campaign, it was said that Kucinich didn't have a chance to win! Where did that nonsense come from?

What has now happened is that a self-fulfilling prophecy has occurred where people will not vote for Kucinich because they falsely believe that he doesn't have a chance to win the nomination. And now, with Frank and Baldwin solidly behind Clinton, Kucinich, a breath of fresh air, has been left out in the cold, so that we can now get another political hack who has supported the Iraq war from the beginning, has voted to continue funding the war, and who is against the right to same-sex marriage.

And those whom we count on to move LGBT rights forward in the political arena, are supporting Clinton and leaving Kucinich out in the cold.

I don't get it!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Please see the following post on Pam's House Blend, entitled, "Black pastor, comes out, is tossed out, and moves on," that brings into sharp relief the malignant hatred in most of the institutional Church and, in this case, the "Black Church," that shows the trememdous disconnect between claiming to be an agent of Christ's love and the figurative stoning to death of a heroic pastor who came out to his congregation.

It is noteworthy that the main reason for the founding and continued existence of the Black Church is the racism that has historically and continually been visited upon Afro-Americans and, in turn, those very same Afro-Americans, claiming to be Christians, turn around and discriminate against Gay people.

I wrote the following comment on my friend Don Charles' blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr in regard to his post entitled, "The Miseducation of Donny McClurkin," that I commended to you on my post of November 5th. The following is an edited version of my comment that I think speaks to much of the strident homophobia that infects the Black Community.

Most of the institutional Church not only inculcates shame, but handsomely profits from it as it is that very shame, that very feeling of unworthiness, that it promises to expiate if it deems appropriate (as occurs in the RC Church), and that shame enables most of the institutional Church to control the very thoughts and self-worth of people, linking them with their "spirituality" as they define that term, thereby helping to maintain its own control over the "spiritual" and emotional lives of people.

I think a large part of the reason for the perceived (and the need for their perceiving) gender polarity and their discrimination against those who exhibit, or are thought to exhibit, some elements of both genders as (although not exclusively) seen among many Gay people, is that due to a history of discrimination and a history of humiliation visited upon Black men in the U.S., there is an excruciating sensitivity to the belief that those who have been so humiliated and discriminated against must assert that they are, in fact, "real men," and not in any way Gay, which in their minds can vicariously feminize them in their own minds and in the minds of others (so they fear); that mind-set, born of their history of humiliation, and their often current unappealing life-circumstances, further feeds into the reality of their actual and perceived humiliation, and, thereby, feeds into their belief that to be Gay (for males), or even affirming Gay people, is to not be a "real man."

Since so many homophobic Black men can't vent their rage against those who have humiliated, and are humiliating, them they vent it on those who hammer home to them and to others, by their very existence and by their being "out of the closet," the fact that many Black (and other) men can be "real men" and still have aspects of both "male" and "female" within them, which is certainly not restrlcted to Gay people, although from most people's point of view those obvious traits are brought into sharp relief by Gay men (and Gay women, although lesbians aren't perceived as much of a threat to one's masculinity).

Hence, Reaction Formation occurs where those who are the most insecure about their own masculinity, and anything that they perceive poses a threat to it, are the ones who are the most homophobic, as Gay men bring to their consciousness their lack of feeling like "a real man" who can have control over his and his family's life and life-chances in society; their history of being the recipients of discrimination, humiliation, and oppression has left them a legacy where they must prove themselves to be "real men" and affirm to others and to themselves that they are, in fact, "real men," and not like "those people" who aren't "real men" like they are.

Hence, their need to vilify Gay people! And, that vilification is provided "justification," as in most of the institutional Church, by appeal to the Bible; an appeal that rings hollow when one, in fact, reads and understands the Bible!

Most of the institutional Church, and most Black churches, feed into the need to be "a real man" so as to affirm one's dignity as a Black man in a society that has shown African-Americans appallingly little of that dignity in both the socioeconomic and the personal aspects of many of their lives.

And since it is in the Black churches that such affirmation is largely received, and is expected to be received, their rampant homophobia is seen as being consistent with that affirmation; their blindness to the fact that homophobia is diametrically opposed to Jesus' life, work, teachings, and ministry serves them all too well.

Anyone who is a professing Christian and puts Jesus on the back burner by his/her condemnation of LGBT people, or anyone else for that matter, has truly shown what god he/she actually worships!
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