Friday, September 28, 2007


"A taxpayer-supported 'gay' celebration in San Francisco, featuring a poster portraying Jesus Christ and his disciples as 'half-naked homosexual sadomasochists,' has come under heavy fire from major Christian groups demanding that California lawmakers condemn it.

"The poster by organizers of the Folsom Street Fair, sponsored in part by Miller Brewing, replaces the bread and wine representing Christ's blood and body with sadomasochistic sex toys."

[For the full article, see here]

This picture says it all:

For countless generations, Gays have been called all sorts of vile names, from outright "hedonists," to "Godless people," to "immoral," to "degenerates." And these terms uttered with regularity have helped retard the acquisition of civil rights for LGBT people.

Now, this display serves to play into the hands of our enemies who can garner not only more publicity for their cause in fighting against the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people, but makes the work to acquire those rights that much more difficult, as it serves to confirm in the minds of many that all the negative things they have been hearing about Gay people might well be true.

If I were asked how best to sabotage the possibility of LGBT people acquiring full and equal civil rights, I couldn't come up with anything better than a public display of this type that both confirms all the negative stereotypes placed on LGBT people by homophobes, but says, in effect, to all those who are Christians (and all other religious people), "up yours!"

It is a needless slap in the face to so many decent people who are both Straight, as well as Gay, who seek to live lives of dignity and enjoy the rights that accrue to all citizens in this country!

What I am writing has nothing to do with the Leather community! It has to do with the openly hostile display of licentiousness and "otherness" that undoubtedly has the effect of providing some cheap, childish thrills to the participants, all the while serving to distance the perception of Gay people from mainstream society whose good will is certainly needed in the fight for equal rights.

As I've written before regarding so many professing Christian leaders who are homophobic and proud of it, if I were the very devil himself, I could think of no better way of seeking to discredit Christianity than by putting haters front and center claiming to speak for God, for the Bible, for Christianity, and for the Church. Similarly, if I were asked to portray the Gay community, and I wanted to sabotage its getting all the rights that befit all citizens, I would advocate disgusting and hateful displays like that depicted in the above picture.

Make no mistake: Leather, Drag, BDSM, and all other subgroups within the LGBT (and other) communities are not at issue here, as they are valid and viable parts of the community! What is at issue is the public display of those very behaviors that only serve to confirm the stereotypes that have helped retard the acquisition of civil rights for Gay people for far too long; its stereotypes that we can not afford to confirm and reinforce, if we're truly serious about acquiring dignity and full and equal civil rights!

If sex clubs among Straights were so depicted, that wouldn't serve to deny full and equal civil rights for all Straight people, as Straight people are not a demonized minority group! However, when Gay people are in the cross hairs of a host of bigots who get a lot of material, psychological, social, and political mileage out of depicting Gay people as "Godless," and "immoral," to then have such displays, as depicted by and in that Fair, only serves to place the participants, as unforgetably depicted in that picture, in the very same camp as those who demonize all Gay people, as they serve to confirm in the minds of many people who have been sitting on the fence regarding equality for LGBT people that what the homophobes have been saying all along is correct!

People who engage in such public behavior that depicts an "in your face," attitude, along with their confirming the negative stereotypes that have long helped consign LGBT people to an underclass, self-loathing, subterranean underground within society, show me that they really don't want to be integrated as mature and fully participating citizens in society with all the rights that accrue to non-LGBT people!

With friends like these, we certainly don't need enemies!
Share |

Thursday, September 27, 2007


"Many gays within the US branch of Anglicanism are less than pleased with some calling the agreement a sellout.

"Conservatives also are angry accusing the Episcopal leaders of not going far enough.

"The document produced by the bishops affirmed that they will 'exercise restraint' in approving another gay bishop and will not approve prayers to bless same-sex couples. The statement mostly reiterated previous pledges made by church leaders."

[For the full article, see here.]

As I wrote in my September 20th post, "Rowan Williams' Crisis of Conscience," "unity" at the expense of "justice" will result in neither being the outcome! How can selling out Gay people in any way be considered Godly; how can unity at the cost of justice be considered as being "fair," as Gene Robinson [pictured] claims; how can any type of exclusion of Gay people be consistent with the Gospel that demands love, grace, and equality before God?

All bureaucrats have career considerations, particularly when the prospect of change is viewed as threatening. And, when money is involved, all too frequently, the institutional Church, a coalition of bureaucracies if there ever was one, capitulates to "economic realities" rather than to the outworking of God in His casting a wide net to embrace ALL of His children.

That's why I've long advocated that Christians worthy of the name flee these oppressive churches and denominations, and not be in any way tainted by the toxic rhetoric, discriminatory behavior, and deal making that seem to be characterizing the Anglican communion, as it does most denominations in the institutional Church.

The sad irony is that even after their putting justice, the Gospel of grace, and God's will on the back burner in favor of far lesser, and more worldly, criteria, neither side is going to be satisfied, and the Anglican communion will still splinter apart!

And, for Gene Robinson to state that selling out Gay people is "fair," so as to keep the communion together, is both bizarre and will avail not only tremendous discontent on both sides, but will show "fair weather friends," typical "liberals," for the kind of people that they are: people who in a clinch can't be counted upon to stand up for Godly principles and for what is clearly right in terms of the Gospel and in terms of recognizing the equality of all those who seek to live for God!

If the Anglican communion, or any denomination for that matter, splinters, so be it, as long as God's will for His grace to be extended to all of His children is honored! The seeming capitulation of the "liberal" forces in the Anglican communion so as to maintain the same church and denominational structures that have helped make a living hell for Gay Christians within that communion, as well as within other denominations like it that comprise most of the institutional Church, further shows the bankrupt, moribund, and pathetic nature of not only that communion, but most of the institutional Church as well!

For Robinson, the first outwardly Gay Bishop to be ordained in the Anglican communion, to state that selling out Gay people is fair, boggles the mind! For Rowan Williams, and others, to seek unity at the expense of justice is tragic, and just goes to show how anachronistic and unGodly so much of the institutional Church has become.

It seems to me that we are going to quickly enter (if we haven't already entered) a post-denominational era where Christians worthy of the name will leave these moribund structures called "churches" and "denominations," because they won't be able to take the phoniness and hypocrisy any longer, and they will either form their own worship communities, become part of Bible studies and worship services within "house churches," or will choose to worship God alone, absent the barren and sanctimonious rhetoric that has placed bureaucratic, material, political, and career needs over and above the manifestation of the Christian virtues that are plainly demanded by Jesus Himself!

In this connection, you should read the excellent book entitled, Revolution, by George Barna (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2005). It beautifully speaks to this very issue!
Share |

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


My friend, Don Charles, has an excellent three part post entitled, "How to Beat the Bible Beaters," that he just put on his excellent blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr. His three part post deals with the reason that religious homophobes all too frequently seem to be winning the argument regarding same-sex love, and that is largely due to the fact that they rely on simplistic sound bytes that appeal to the conservative or even reactionary bent of their audience, while what LGBT rights activists frequently rely on are long-winded explanations giving arguments that make it appear as if many of them don't even seem to believe in their own arguments.

He also deals with the assorted arguments that professing Christian homophobes use and the quick comebacks that those who would debate them can use in winning the argument, while not offending the intelligence of the audience. He makes it clear that sweet reason will never win over a homophobe, but that that homophobe with whom one is debating can be put in his/her place by asking certain fundamental questions, and/or by making one sentence rebuttals to their arguments that will both capture the essence of their bankrupt views as well as make the argument for the validity of same-sex love clear to all who will listen.

I strongly urge you to read this three part post on his blog so that you can be armed with the ammunition necessary to show to all who will listen the vacuous and untrue one-liners that reactionary forces who argue against the legitimacy of same-sex love all too frequently use to bolster their insupportable positions.
Share |

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers sent me the following email that I wish I had written myself. In his typical fashion, he not only says it like it is, but he expresses the anger and frustration so many of us feel regarding the moribund, pathetic, bureaucratic, and legalistic state of most of the institutional Church, and the frequently hateful manifestations of that tragic state, causing untold harm to others by the needless inculcation of guilt, condemnation, and exclusion and, thereby, having Christians worthy of the name tainted with the same stench of the false gospel most of the institutional Church erroneously and loudly proclaims as representing "Christinity."

To be a Christian is to be an agent of God's grace in the world! "Christianity" is about grace and love! And the only Gospel to be found in Christianity is the Gospel of Grace, Faith, Love, Peace, Reconciliation, and Inclusiveness!

That's why Jesus tells all those who would be His disciples that we are not to judge anyone; we are not to condemn anyone!

Anyone who discriminates through word and/or deed, or who preaches the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion is none of His! That person, like most of the institutional Church, has aligned him/herself with reactionary and oppressive forces that have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity! Indeed, those reactionary and oppressive forces are diametrically opposed to Christianity!

Whenever one does evil, he/she almost always appeals to virtue! So, wolves in sheep's clothing who falsely call themselves "Christians," are not only deluding others, and perhaps even deluding themselves, but are contravening the very Commandments Jesus gave to all who would be His disciples: To love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves!

"Envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways." (Proverbs 3:31)

Hey Jerry -

Here's a good one from "Dispatches from The Culture Wars". (see link below)

This guy is not the first one to notice that industry is doing a far better job on embracing an ethic of inclusion than the church is doing. There are those who predict that the one of the reasons that the Christian Church is in steep decline is that it is not willing to throw off the blinders to injustice that it has worn for
hundreds if not more than a thousand years. I tend to agree. We need to look to Europe for the future of the Christian Church. In Europe, and by that I include the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom and Ireland. (Ireland is a special case where we see the internecine tribalistic Christian blood letting still seething just below the surface.) What we see in Europe is an irrelevant church manifested as what it really is; an institution more concerned about its survival as an institution than in the Gospel of God's Kingdom made manifest in the person, life, ministry death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the same church in this country and I believe that the fundamentalistic evangelistic upheavals are little more than the last gasping for last breath of a religion that has deliberately made itself irrelevant to human strivings, human suffering, and human needs.

When we look to Jesus, particularly as portrayed in the synoptic Gospels, we find a man who is totally committed to the well being of people where they are. That is in their daily lives of struggle against the powers and principalities of this world (not flying demons and dragons of medieval mythologies) but the powers that exploit, demean, diminish, devalue and destroy human life and dignity as the image of God. The Christian Church most particularly since it was subsumed as part and parcel of the Roman Empire, a tragedy from which is has never recovered - not even in the Reformation of the 16th century - which actually cemented the church to earthly rulers and kingdoms - has consistently betrayed the radical nature of the Kingdom of God which was Jesus' Good News. It has instead substituted a kingdom far far away in another time and place - and called it the Kingdom of Heaven in mockery of Jesus own teaching that the Kingdom of Heaven (God) is right here right now but we have to live into it by embracing the values that Jesus showed us in his life. It happens when we live out the values of radical justice and radical love (you can't have one without the other - they are inseparable) here on this earth.

This is the Good News. The Kingdom of God is at hand. What does that mean? It is at the tip of your finger. It is at the end of your arm. It is where your hands do the work of God. That work is the work of Justice. The justice of which Amos and all the Hebrew prophets speak. This is not a mystery hidden in a conundrum. It is plain for all to see. But they will see it only if they choose to see it.

The Gospel of Thomas puts it this way: " Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you."

It is no wonder that Jesus was in such despair on the cross. He had spent his whole ministry trying to get people to actually follow him and live the life he lived. Yet right up to the end when they all ran - except for the women, the really strong disciples - he hoped that they would 'get it'. "My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?" He was so alone and abandoned that he no longer experienced the connection to God that had sustained his ministry and his vision.

Did Jesus at that moment see that the movement he spent his life to nurture would in a few hundred years utterly betray him to the very Empire which executed him as a traitor and rebel? Did he see that the discussion that he had with James and John about sitting in judgment was one where he made his point but lost to the desire for power and place of honor at the table of the Emperor? Did he see that ultimately only a very few would stand up to the Powers and Principalities in his name and for his Father's Kingdom? Did he see that radical justice and unconditional love were not what people really wanted? Did he see that what they really wanted was fame, power and money? Did he see that his church was to be betrayed over and over and over again and again through the centuries and millennia to come?

Jesus wept. The church betrayed him.

Has the torch of radical justice and love and acceptance passed out of the church and into secular societies? Is there any need for the church? Is it just another source of burden for those of us who struggle for the dignity of the children of God?

Bishop Somers also included this excellent article that you should read, to further show the pathetic, indeed frequently hateful, state of the institutional Church.
Share |

Monday, September 24, 2007


I was asked to write a review of an upcoming book by Lambda Award winner, Alex Sanchez. The following is my review of this superb book:

THE GOD BOX, by Alex Sanchez.

A Review by Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

I very strongly urge everyone who is a Christian to buy and read this book! Although this book is largely geared to Gay youth, it is a must-read for all Christians who genuinely seek to live out our faith by both loving and not judging others, as well as “rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (2Timothy 2:15)

First of all, this book is very well written, and easily understandable to people of all ages. It is an engrossing novel about the psychological, social, and spiritual struggles that are all too common among Gay youth.

Moreover, Sanchez deftly integrates within the narrative the critiques of the “clobber passages” erroneously used to condemn Gay people, showing how the Bible is not only misused by self-styld biblical literalists who condemn what they don’t understand, but he also shows how those verses that homophobes are all too fond of using are extrapolated from the Bible text to merely justify their preconceived prejudices, and that the body of Scripture, particularly that of the New Testament, doesn’t justify their conclusions regarding same-sex love as being in any way sinful.

In his naturally flowing and engrossing narrative, that I couldn’t put down, as I read it in one sitting, he shows young (and older) Gay people that there is absolutely no inconsistency between being Gay and being a Christian! Indeed, he not only puts the lie to assertions that state the contrary, but also affirms Gay people in a way that young people need to hear and take to heart, if they are to live the lives of abundance that Jesus promises us.

He shows how in order to live “the abundant life,” we must be authentic, and embrace the gift of our sexuality, as we are to embrace all of our God-given gifts. He also delineates the stigma, the bullying, and the indifference of many teachers and school administrators to that bullying of Gay kids, and how that bullying causes untold damage to vulnerable kids who haven’t been taught the Gospel message of Jesus’ unconditional love for us.

In addition, he beautifully shows many of the destructive manifestations of both homophobia as well as internalized homophobia, and the inner torment of all too many Gay kids. In that connection, he shows how many clergy fuel and seek to justify this inner torment, the psychological and spiritual ravages, and Gay bashing, by appealing to their own prejudices, rather than by seeing the Bible as a Word of a loving God Who created His Gay children, and whom He loves just as they are.

What helps make this book unique is that Sanchez doesn’t preach at us, but integrates within an exciting narrative, the crucial points that every Gay and non-Gay Christian needs to hear. In that context, he also puts the lie to the “ex-gay” myth and refutes much of their rhetoric by showing the aspects of same-sex love that they willfully refuse to acknowledge, usually projecting their own dysfunctions onto other Gay people, and assuming that those dysfunctions are common to all Gay people, a contention that this book deftly refutes and finally lays to rest.

In sum, I couldn’t put this book down, and neither will any reader who seeks an understanding of the many dynamics of being Gay! Moreover, at an already confusing time of life that adolescence provides, it is crucial that Gay adolescents read this book, and come to realize that they can be Christians and be Gay as well, and be free to fulfill healthy intimacy in their lives; realize that they are not alone; realize that they are to understand the Bible as affirming all of God’s children.

“’I think that unless people are told homosexuality and God are in conflict, there is no conflict.’ As I listened to her, I sliced some celery—carefully, so as not to cut myself. ‘But what about what the Bible says’? ‘Pablito, the Bible was meant to be a bridge, not a wedge…. It’s the greatest love story ever told, about God’s enduring and unconditional love for his creation—love beyond all reason. To understand it, you have to read it with love as the standard. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself. Always remember that.’” (p. 171)

All of us, especially Gay kids, need to hear this message, and I have found no better vehicle for hearing this message than in Sanchez’ novel!

Please read this book! And please give this book to a Christian, and even a non-Christian Gay adolescent, friend, relative, or neighbor as a gift that will redound to their benefit, and all others privileged to read it, the rest of their lives!
Share |

Sunday, September 23, 2007


My friend, Don Charles who publishes the blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr, sent me this disturbing article that was also posted on the blog, Pam's House Blend that is entitled, "North Carolina: an anti-gay 'Can you be gay and Christian' forum."

The following, is my comment on Pam's House Blend that I made in reference to that article, and I thought you'd be interested in reading it:

"The Only People Jesus Excluded"

The only people Jesus ever excluded were the smug, self-righteous, legalistic bigots who placed yokes of bondage on others in the name of their religion! Those who make a veritable career out of judging and condemning others; who have the temerity to view their own interpretation of certain selected biblical passages as their idols; who judge and condemn others in direct contravention of Jesus' directive to never judge or condemn others, are not Christians!
Indeed, by their very rhetoric and discriminatory actions they show themselves not to be Christians, despite what they call themselves! Just because one goes to Church, or is a minister, or wears his/her collar turned around, doesn't necessarily make that person a Christian!

"Love" defines the Christian life! If one doesn't love and embrace others, and who doesn't fight for justice for ALL of God's children, is not a Christian, and it's high time that fact were acknowledged by both Christians and non-Christians alike!

To do "evil" in the name of "love," to hypocritically say they want to build bridges, but it must only be on their terms, is not only a sham, ruining the credibility of their assertions that they are "Christians," but hurts countless numbers of LGBT people and their families, and these "religious" fascists have to be aggressively confronted for being the haters that they really are, and who have absolutely no business calling themselves "Christians!"

Moreover, those who profess to be Christians and who remain silent in the face of the oppression of LGBT people, or anyone else for that matter, are just as guilty of this subterfuge, and they, too, must be confronted for their silence that passively "justifies" the hatred and hate-mongering done by those who spit in the very face of God!
Share |

Friday, September 21, 2007


For many years, I have contended that all too many clergy, evangelists, and other professing Christians are witting or unwitting agents of the devil! If I were the very devil himself, I could think of no better way of seeking to discredit Christianity (and religion in general) than by putting twisted freaks, haters and hate-mongers, front and center, claiming to speak for Christianity, the Church, Jesus, and God!

And, to add insult to injury, the mainstream media feature these rather limited human beings who claim to speak for the things of God who, undoubtedly, do far more harm than good by their rhetoric and/or discriminatory actions and, therefore, undoubtedly help to prevent intelligent, sensitive, and decent people from even taking Christianity seriously, let alone even considering it as "a reasonable faith" by which to navigate their lives.

Now we have some empirical evidence of the truth of this contention in the following article by Wayne Besen.

His article begins as follows:

"The Washington Post had a fascinating series last weekend discussing the rise of a movement representing 'nonbelievers.' The trend is worldwide, but is also taking root "in America, one of the most religious western nations. As radical fundamentalism has spiraled out of control, many people are standing up and loudly declaring that there is simply too much God permeating our society.

"According to the Post, the Atheist Alliance International's membership has almost doubled in the past year to 5,200. Its membership is mushrooming to the point where its national convention in Crystal City later this month has a 500-person waiting list.

"The article also points out that five books promoting atheism have hit the bestseller lists in the past two years, outpacing even The Pope's latest book on Jesus. That is enough to make even an atheist scream 'holy cow.'"

If I defined Christianity by the likes of those who profess to be Christians and yet who preach and live the false gospel of "hate in the name of love," exclusion, legalism, and perfectionism, I wouldn't be a Christian either!
Share |

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, not only has an impossible task in trying to keep the Anglican communion together, but his well-intentioned attempt to mollify both sides in the major issue that has already divided the Anglican communion, the ordination as Bishop of an openly Gay man, V. Eugene Robinson, in the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire, and the Episcopal Church's largely embracing LGBT people, is doomed to failure. As well it should be doomed to failure!

There can be no comprimise with the Gospel of grace, God's unmerited favor to ALL those whom He chose before the worlds were formed (e.g., Ephesians 1:4-5), and there can be no comprimise with haters, or those who preach and practice the exclusion of others, with the commensurate hateful rhetoric and discriminatory actions within and without the organized Church!

Indeed, one shouldn't even attempt to compromise with haters or the preachers of exclusion, or the practitioners of discrimination, as to do so places the spokespeople for exclusion and discrimination on the same elevated par as those who are, in fact, 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!

Moreover, those who seek common ground with those who discriminate against others may not realize that God may be actively working to demolish denominationalism and the institutional Church, and is encouraging and leading Christians to develop new, more authentic, ways to worship Him and live Godly lives, than the traditional church and denominational structures have hitherto afforded them. The attempt to keep together man-made institutions, such as denominations, at any cost, may well ignore God's new ways of designing His Church to be a Church more than in name only, but a Church that embraces ALL of His children who seek to worship Him, and fulfill the ministries He has uniquely ordained for each one of His children.

A tragedy for the attempt by Rowan Williams to mollify the conservative wing of Anglicanism, a wing that is quite formidable, especially due to the pugnacity of Archbishop Peter Akinola, and the many members the Anglican communion has in Africa, is that he will be disliked, if not reviled, by both sides in this fight! And, at the end of this debacle, he may well find himself in a psychologically and spiritually weak position, as he will not have been true to himself, and true to his knowledge that God embraces ALL of His children.

I truly believe that Williams is sensitive enough to know this fact, and if he capitulates on this God-given principle, he will not only be thwarting the will of God, but he will be, undoubtedly, thwarting the will of God for his life, and that can well cause a malaise that, for a man of his sensitivity and gifts, he may never be able to overcome.

He is in a position to make a cold turkey choice: Seek to preserve the Anglican communion at all costs, or advocate for justice for all of God's children, showing that God's tent is big and wide enough to embrace all of His children!

So, if he continues to seek to maintain what "communion" Anglicanism now has, he may well wind up being hated by both sides, and he may well wind up hating himself for not doing the Godly thing, and standing up for what he knows is right!

I wouldn't be as concerned about him as I am if I for one minute felt that he wasn't a Godly man who is attempting the impossible, and is seeking unity at the expense of justice, and, by so doing, he will wind up with neither, and may well, perhaps, wind up a spiritually and psychologically broken man. And he certainly doesn't deserve that fate!
Share |

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Playing the role of "victim" carries along with it many secondary gains! For example, it helps catalyze people to come together to fight a common enemy of their own construction, thereby solidifying in-group cohesion, and a feeling of having a sense of purpose that helps make life more bearable for them.

Moreover, by inventing, not "discerning," one's sense of purpose, rather than giving life true fulfillment as discernment does give, often causes a militant response from gullible followers and those who need such invention to give their rather empty lives some semblance of meaning, and there is no better way of achieving that goal than by inventing a "common enemy" that can both give one a sense of belonging as well as a sense of purpose!

This article by Charles Colson helps accomplish just these goals! It speaks to the need for a sense of purpose on the psychological level; it speaks to a sense of in-group identity and cohesion on the social level!

The stated justification to be wary of Muslims, particularly after 9/11, has many uses, ranging from free-floating xenophobia to the winning of a Presidential election, through the use of such simplistic means as empty rhetoric and the manipulation of colors ostensibly showing various threats of "terror," that miraculously disappeared after Bush won the election; such rhetoric and manipulation shows that playing the victim role pays off politically as well as psychologically and socially.

Therefore, playing the role of "victim" pays off psychologically, socially, and politically! It can even pay off materially, as portraying Christianity as being under siege; portraying Christians as being under attack, can likely add more money into the collection plates handed out in assorted churches and other outlets by those who use tried and true religious differences to both claim moral supremacy as well as having that supremacy, that is said to be justified by its higher morality, validated and continued by supplying sufficient monies to fight for "our religion," and "our religious liberties."

We have seen this tactic work all too well in the so-called religious objections to LGBT people and to same-sex love; now we also see the same dynamic being played out in reference to Muslims.

Colson's article must be seen in the context of the truth of the assertions he, and all too many others, criticizes and condemns!

This article highlights the distortions that Colson and all too many others wittingly or unwittingly use to justify their moral, religious, material, and political hegemony in their constructing "Muslims" as the devilishly clever enemy who is burrowing from within to take over "our" way of life!

Beyond the obvious, what makes this story particularly germane is the fact that the same scenario is played out in the rhetoric and animus directed against LGBT people! They, too, are seen as "the enemy" who is burrowing from within "our" culture, infusing "their immorality" on "us Christians!"

And untold numbers of people listen to this dangerous nonsense, and come to believe it! As Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister, said, "No matter how big the lie, if it's repeated often enough, people will come to believe it!"

Those who love to play "victim" have used their tactics on Muslims, and they have used their tactics on LGBT people! And, if we let them have their way and we don't confront them, they will use their tactics on us as well!

When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, our fortunes are inextricably linked! LGBT, Straight, Muslim, Christian, or what have you, we're all in this together, and the sooner we recognize this fundamental truth, the sooner we'll reject the foolishness and danger of condemning "the other" who are constructed by those who frequently psychologically, socially, politically, and materially gain from those constructions.

We must actively confront those who would prevent us from seeing that we are ALL brothers and sisters who have every right to share this planet together in peace!
Share |

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This is a beautiful video that I also see as a condemnation of the cowardice shown by Gov. Arnold Schwazenegger of California who had another chance to go down in history as an authentic hero, rather than as the craven coward he has, again, shown himself to be.

[Thanks to my friend, Bishop Leland Somers who was kind enough to send me this video in another connection.]
Share |

Monday, September 17, 2007


On June 5, 2007, I made the following post:

A questionnaire was submitted by the Human Rights Campaign to Democrats running for President.  The following is part of an article dealing with the responses to that questionnaire:

"Kucinich was the only candidate to support same-sex marriage. 

"Each of the seven said they supported civil unions. They also said they supported the recognition by the federal government of a state's sanction same-sex unions for the purposes of benefits and taxation at both the state and federal levels. And they support extending federal benefits to same-sex couples and their children.

"All seven said they support legislation before Congress that would bar LGBT employment discrimination, and a second bill adding sexuality to the federal hate crime law.

"They said they would support adding same-sex couples to the Family and Medical Leave Act, provide survivor benefits. and amending the Uniting Americans Family Act to allow American citizens to bring their foreign national partners into the country.

"The respondents also were unanimous in supporting repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and continued support for the Ryan White Act which funds AIDS treatment."

It might well be argued that incrementalism of this sort is a necessary first step toward full equality of Gay people in the U.S.  I don't agree!

My view is that to the degree that LGBT people settle for short-term, though by no means insignificant, gains (to the degree that these politicians can be believed), it's to that degree that the fire in the belly for full and equal civil rights will become extinguished for the foreseeable future.  Full rights of citizenship means just that: full and equal civil rights, and the dignity that the acquisition of those rights affords.

I'm under no illusion that most Gay people aren't necessarily interested in getting married!  However, marriage as an institution confers a legitimacy to a relationship that no other living arrangements afford, even in contemporary United States and elsewhere. 

With marriage will come all other civil rights!  It is the penultimate right that finally serves to put Gay people on an equal footing with all other citizens; finally attests to the fact that being Gay is just as "normal" as is being Straight; obliterates the tacit belief among many that being Gay is "immoral" which, in my opinion, is the major reason LGBT people have yet to win the rights of full and equal citizenship in the U.S. and in other countries as well.

It is only when the fact is realized that LGBT people are "normal" and are not "immoral," a reality that will only come about with the acquisition of the right to marry, will full equality be achieved; full civil and sacramental rights, and the dignity attached to their acquisition, being coterminous with the institution of marriage, will become a reality!

By settling for second best; by settling for the lesser of two evils, short-term gains will certainly be won.  But I fear they will be won at the expense of the most important gain possible: being justifiably treated as equal with all the dignity that the acquisition of full and equal civil rights affords.

An example of how tenuous such designations as Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions are can be seen here:

"The city of Kalamazoo became the first public employer in the state to strip health benefits from the domestic partners of its gay and lesbian employees.

"City Manager Kenneth Collard cited a decision last month by the Michigan supreme Court.

"The high court agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that said the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage blocks the state, local governments and public institutions from providing benefits to the same-sex partners of employees."

For the full article, see here.

Beyond what I wrote above about not settling for second best, this article provides another reason why nothing less than "marriage" must be settled for.  Anything less than marriage can have what rights accrue to them nullified by the mere stroke of a pen! 

A love relationship between two people that has any other designation than "married" can not only have its rights removed, but is not viewed by others as legitimately as is marriage.  Moreover, to designate such a relationship as anything other than partaking of the same institution of marriage as exists between heterosexuals, consigns that relationship to a lesser, "deviant," "inferior" standing in society.

Settling for short-term gains can result in many long-term losses!  This article should be a wake-up call to that fact!


September 14th's article from the N.Y. Times further highlights the fact that settling for anything less than same-sex marriage falls far short of conferring the dignity and legally recognized features that only come with full marriage rights! Even in New Jersey, where Civil Unions are now the law, and where those unions are to carry all of the same rights and obligations that are given to opposite-sex married people, we see that assorted deprivation of rights and dignity have occurred in just the short time that that law was passed.

It is only when same-sex marriage becomes a reality that the encumbrances, and the prejudices dealt with in this article will be things of the past!

To settle for short-term gains will continue the humiliation of Gay couples and families being viewed as second-class citizens; will further retard the time when same-sex marriage becomes a reality, due in no small part to the fact that same-sex couples will be lulled into a false sense of security and the false belief that they, too, have acquired the same civil rights regarding the respect of their commitment to each other as have married couples.

[Video thanks to AmericaBlog.]

Share |

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Please read this article; then read this article, and then watch the following clip.

The vilification of Gay people, directly or indirectly, must be seen to be embedded in the increasingly fascistic bent of the U.S. as, in part, depicted in this unprovoked assault upon a minister who dared wear a button opposing the war in Iraq.

It cannot be repeated enough times: the fight for LGBT civil and sacramental rights is inextricably enmeshed in the fight for the future of our Democratic Republic! If it is not seen in this light, there will be a continuing "circulation of elites," where there will continue to be the need for scapegoats, further causing the persecution of those deemed "the other," that will lead us from one madness to another to our eventual collective doom!

If the color "pink," with its historic connotations singling out Gay men in Nazi Germany (that hitherto had a vibrant Gay culture, much as we have in today's America), can be used to "humiliate" prisoners, despite protestations to the contrary (See here, regarding the color "pink," for a beautiful, collective, act of decency and heroism.); when a minister seeks to enter a public hearing relating to the War in Iraq and is assaulted by six police officers; when Gay people are denied full and equal civil and sacramental rights; when closeted Gay politicians can build their careers on demonizing Gay people with relative impunity from their cohorts and most of the mainstream media, until a public scandal forces their hands; when there is a dramatic polarization of people in this country, most of whom turn a blind eye to egregious political and social events that they erroneously perceive don't directly affect them; when professing Christians can feel free to engage in hate-mongering in the name of "love"; when most people, including many, if not most, Gay people, come to believe the often repeated lie that there is something "wrong", "sinful," and "abnormal" about being Gay, often resulting in the suicides, assaults, and murders of people perceived to be Gay; when leading Presidential contenders seek to outdo each other in engaging in mealy-mouthed inanities that never address the crucial questions facing this country, including the issue of the acquisition of full equality for all of our citizens, we have to ask ourselves what our respective roles are in encouraging and even allowing these actions to exist that are anathema to any society that presumes upon itself the designation of being "civilized" and of being a truly "Democratic Republic."
Share |

Saturday, September 15, 2007


On August 3, 2007, I was asked to give an interview on a listener sponsored radio station on the subject of "Christianity and Gay Rights." The following article encompassing that interview appears in the current issue of the excellent website, Whosoever that is a Christian site edited by my friend Rev. Candace Chellew Hodge that is primarily geared to LGBT people and allies.

This is the substance of the interview that I gave, and that I thought you might want to read here.

I want to reiterate my position in this context, that there is complete consistency between being a Christian and being Gay! As my friend, Rev. Troy Perry beautifully said, "Jesus came to take away our sins. Not our sexuality!"

The distortions that have been promulgated from assorted pulpits and media outlets by professing Christians condeming Gay people are not only dead wrong, but are unbiblical and unGodly!

We are to never allow their ignorance and/or desire for material and/or political and/or psychological and/or social and/or career gains to trump the truth of the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: The Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness!

The following is the article:

"Christianity and LGBT People: A Teaching Summary"
By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker

Recently, I was asked to give an interview on a public listener sponsored radio station that largely has as its audience rather politically progressive people, most of whom can be expected to have an understandable disdain for anything "Christian."

Given the fact that most of the organized Church has been so enmeshed with the interests of the State, tenaciously adhering to the status quo, and has embarrassingly been in the vanguard of historically providing "justification" for the oppression of all sorts of minority groups, such as women and, in the not too distant past, Afro-Americans, I very much welcomed this invitation, and sought to show how Christianity has been perverted by its all too frequent identification with Americanism, militarism, and capitalism; how there was absolutely nothing in the Bible that condemns same-sex love and, in fact, the Bible actually affirms same-sex love. I clearly wanted to dispel the false notion held by many that Christians are a bunch of harsh, censorious, judgmental people, and sought to credibly present the Gospel, both in and of itself, as well as present it in the context of the lives of LGBT people and same-sex love.

I made the distinction, first suggested to me by my friend Bishop Leland Somers, between the Christian Church and the Constantinian Church, the latter initiated when Constantine, in the fourth Century, made Christianity a State religion. We have yet to recover from that debacle.

The Christian Church extols the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace, and those who are Christians indeed seek to be agents of God's grace in this world to try to make the earth, in the words of St. Augustine, "a colony of heaven." The Constantinian Church, on the other hand, has historically aligned itself with Empire and the oppression of others for assorted psychological and/or social and/or political and/or material gain.

The Christian Church, comprised of the world wide body of believers who seek to live out the Gospel, should have no affinity with the Constantinian Church; to the degree that Christians who belong to Christ find themselves within its clutches, I strongly urge that they flee those churches and/or denominations, and either find a Christian church that reinforces our need and Godly mandate to live 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 or, absent that option, form their own worship communities, or even, if necessary, worship God alone "in spirit and in truth," thereby avoiding the toxic, soul-destroying, churches that have aligned themselves with Empire and oppression that are diametrically opposed to Jesus' Commandments for us to love God and to love others, including our enemies, as much as we love ourselves.

The following, although not a literal rendering of my responses to the questions asked of me, which followed a conversational style, reflect what I said on that program, and I thought you might find them of interest, and might want to adopt some or all of them in your interaction with others who feel that God can't possibly love LGBT people, and who have a distorted view of Christianity, tragically given how it has been portrayed in the mainstream media, and how much, if not most, of the organized Church has been "infiltrated" by the influence of those who really belong, and are best consigned, to the Constantinian Church.

How do you define Christianity?

The Gospel means: Good News! The good news is that we are God's children by God's grace alone (unmerited favor) and we appropriate that grace through our abiding faith (implacable trust) in God (i.e. trusting God over and above seen circumstances), love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness! That's the only Gospel to be found in Christianity.

Unfortunately, we are primarily exposed to the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion, a false gospel that is diametrically opposed to the good news, to Christianity itself. Far too many propound the gospel of genital placement, rather than the Gospel of Christ; ignore such egregious sins as unjust war, poverty, and disease.

That's undoubtedly why so many intelligent, sensitive, and decent people want nothing to do with Christianity, and even resent it (and who can blame them?), because so many have never been exposed to it, either by word or by deed, and relate it to a harsh, censorious religion which is diametrically opposed to what Christianity really is. In Christianity, all of the Commandments are fulfilled by loving God and by loving others! These are the only Commandments Jesus gives us! We are to never judge or condemn others! (Mt. 7:1; Romans 2:1)

What are some of the basic Bible quotes you've heard used by religious leaders to demonize LGBT people?

First of all, a tribal society, living on the edge, and surrounded by enemies must be "fruitful and multiply" if it is going to survive! Therefore, under those conditions, there is no premium placed on homosexual activity! However, we are no longer a tribal society living on the edge; it's inappropriate to blindly translate the cultural practices of ancient societies to contemporary society as to do so cheapens the Bible; is intellectually and spiritually dishonest; the Bible never makes such a claim for itself. Biblical principle of freedom from yokes of bondage must always trump biblical practice!

Gen. 19-The Sin of Sodom: It has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. It has to do with attempted gang rape! One would have to assume that all the men of Sodom were gay, which is foolish on its face; if the 2 angels that visited Lot had been women, I doubt that the homophobic religious leaders would be condemning heterosexuality. Whenever Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in the Bible, homosexuality is never mentioned as its sin. Inhospitality and not taking care of the poor were its major sins! In Jude, in the NT, in referring to Sodom and Gomorrah, "giving themselves over to fornication" and going after "strange flesh" are mentioned, but "strange flesh" probably meant the men seeking to gang rape angels and not human beings.

Lev. 18:22-"Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination." If homosexuality were being condemned here, beyond the fact that women would have also likely been included in the prohibition, all that the writer would have had to write is, "Thou shalt not lie with a man. It's an abomination." Everyone knows what "to lie with" means, and they certainly knew its meaning.

To add, "as with a woman," only makes sense if we understand the inferior status of women in that society, so that it was viewed as shameful, an abomination, for a man to act like a woman. Also, these laws in Leviticus are part of the purity laws in the OT that don't apply to Christians. If we really want to follow the OT law, we couldn't play football, as we couldn't touch the skin of a dead pig; we couldn't wear mixed fibers in our clothes; we couldn't be near a menstruating woman; we couldn't eat shell fish; we would stone adulterers to death; we would stone to death those who work on the Sabbath etc. I don't hear homophobic religious leaders seeking to impose these laws on others! At least, not yet!

Romans 1:27-32--- But they never read Romans 2:1 that provides the context for the above passages. Also, in Rom. 1:26-27, "against nature" (para physin in the Greek) is also used when God brought the Gentiles into the fold (Romans 11:21-24). This term is probably best translated as "unexpected," or "something not done in the usual way."

Also, you'll notice that the men and women spoken of here "gave up" the natural use of the member of the opposite sex. They "gave up" what was natural for them and then engaged in sexual behavior that was unnatural for them. Paul is not talking here of homosexuals, but of heterosexuals who gave it up and acted in ways that were not natural to them so as to worship pagan deities, after they had first turned their backs on God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-'Malakoi" is frequently mistranslated "effeminate," as it means "soft," and is used elsewhere in the Bible (in Luke) to denote soft clothing. In this context it probably means "people with soft morals" or "people who lack courage." There is no warrant to translate it as effeminate.

It's important in this context to point out that the word, "homosexual," never appears in any biblical manuscript, as it is a term coined in the late 19th Century. The first time it appeared in an English translation of the Bible was in the 1946 RSV. It is translated from the Greek word, "arsenokoitai," which is an obscure word that does not seem to be found in other Ancient literature, and that seems to only have been used by the Apostle Paul. It literally means, "male beds."

In the context Paul uses that term it seems to be where male cult prostitution is practiced-e.g. heterosexual and homosexual sex in homage to assorted pagan deities, such as those related to fertility, to have the crops grow. Paul undoubtedly wrote the Book of Romans from Corinth where there were many pagan religions, such as the fertility cult of Aphrodite, where such pagan deities were worshipped in this fashion, so it's most likely that it is to that practice that he's referring, and is not in any way condemning same-sex love, or even dealing with sexual orientation.

Nowhere is same-sex love condemned in the Bible! In fact, it is affirmed, most notably in the case of King David (called "a man after God's own heart") and Jonathan. Even a cursory reading of their relationship in 1Samuel shows David to have been either bisexual or a gay man!

Moreover, if homosexuality was so important, why is it not mentioned in the Ten Commandments; why did the prophets never write about it; why didn't Jesus ever condemn it? If it were that important, don't you think that it would have been mentioned in at least one of these contexts?

Why are most organized Christian church members not accepting LGBT people at their services, while other organized Christian church members are leaving when their church does accept LGBT people?

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister said something that is, unfortunately, all too true. He said that no matter how big the lie, if it's repeated often enough, people will come to believe it!

Most professing Christians, and others, have been sold a bill of goods by most clergy and their followers in most of the organized Church. The lie that same-sex love is condemned by God because it's in the Bible has been repeated so often, that it has become a virtual axiom that has erroneously come to determine in the minds of many one's standing with God, and has also come to be defined as "immoral," and people have come to believe that lie.

All too many clergy use their pulpits to distort the Bible to be in accord with their own prejudices, and neither they nor their followers seem to see any contradiction between their demonizing Gay people, and presenting and living the Gospel of Jesus, which is diametrically opposed to their hateful and discriminatory rhetoric and/or actions.

Moreover, many fail to realize that even if the Bible condemned LGBT people and same-sex love, which it most definitely does not, civil society in America lives under the U.S. Constitution and not the Bible! Since when do we let others' interpretation of selected biblical passages determine what civil rights accrue to others? There is absolutely no justification for denial of full and equal civil rights, including the right to be civilly (and sacramentally) married, to LGBT people, either constitutionally or even biblically!

In addition, black and white thinking, having an "us against them" mentality, gives many people certain psychological, social, and material benefits. Creating out-groups helps bring members of the in-group together; it gives many people who are uncomfortable with ambiguity and the many grey areas of life "the illusion of certainty" in life; homophobic rhetoric is likely to make members of the in-group feel morally superior at others' expense; such rhetoric may well garner more money in the collection plates. (I would really love to know how much money is garnered each time a mailer is sent out by religious homophobic leaders to their constituents soliciting contributions to "fight against the homosexual agenda." I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's in the millions of dollars.)

Since it's no longer politically correct or socially acceptable to any longer publicly discriminate against women, or Afro-Americans as occurred by many clergy and other professing Christians in the not too distant past, LGBT people have become the enemy de jour, and are blamed by certain professing Christians for everything from "the breakdown of the family" to Hurricane Katrina.

It's very important for professing Christians and all others to realize that just because one attends church, or just because one is called "Reverend," and has his or her collar turned around, doesn't necessarily make that person a Christian! Just because I go into a garage doesn't make me a car!

I truly hope that some or all of these points, although perhaps familiar to many of us, can be of use to you as you witness to others the truth of the Christian life as it relates to the living out of the Gospel, and as it relates to the fact that God makes LGBT people whom, like His other children, He chose before the worlds were formed (Ephesians 1:4-5) to be His own possession, and whom He loves like crazy!
Share |

Friday, September 14, 2007


The faction of the Episcopal Church that broke away, and then aligned itself with with the Anglican Church in Uganda, due to its rabid homophobia, is conveniently overlooking the biblical mandate to not take one's fellow Christian to court!

"The California Supreme Court is about to weigh in on the feud between factions in the Episcopal Church over gay clergy.

"At issue is who owns the property when a parish breaks away from the Church.

"Three churches that split from the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles asked the high court to examine an appeals court ruling that said the churches and property had to be turned over to the diocese.

"The Supreme Court announced late Wednesday it would take on the case."

[For the full article, see here.]

This is what the Bible clearly has to say about what this breakaway faction, those who pride themselves on being faithful to the Bible regarding this faction's condemnation of same-sex love, is doing: "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers." (1Corinthians 6:7)

As I've often written, when smug biblical literalists condemn Gay people in the name of God, they are not only liars, but they use the Bible selectively, as they erroneously view themselves as "literalists" when it comes to meeting the needs of their own prejudices and/or material gains, but when the Bible clearly condemns what they do, such as judging other people or taking a fellow Christian to a non-Christian court, they seem to overlook those pesky, inconvenient, passages!

When one hates, or condemns, or demonizes anyone or any group, he/she in so doing is NEVER being faithful to God!
Share |

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Pam Spaulding, of Pam's House Blend, gave an audio interview on Mike Signorile's Radio program that deals with the conservative Republican Patrick McHenry and his assorted connections that may well relate to the murder-suicide that recently occurred and that she seeks to untangle here.

The reason that this is important, beyond the obvious, is the fact that it may well be that there is quite a large Gay cabal in the Republican Party that engages in demonizing Gay people for politically motivated sordid gain. This issue, and those like it, such as how Jeff Gannon/James Guckert had seeimingly unfettered access to the White House, and was a regular participant in the Washington Press Corps at White House Press briefings, deserve to be thoroughly investigated by the mainstream media.

It must always be kept in mind that those who demonize Gay people are liars! And those who condemn and demonize others must be exposed not only for the liars that they are but, if they are Gay themselves, for the hypocrites they are, so that the whole stench of the politics of exclusion that has infested most of the institutional Church as well as possible cabals of Gay advocates who cynically proclaim their fealty to belief in "traditional family values," within both political parties, can finally be brought into the light of day.
Share |

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Don Charles who publishes the excellent blog, Christ, The Gay Martyr, wrote the following comment in regard to my previous post, "The Outs and Ins of Outing."

"I've heard Mike Rogers state his position on the radio. He feels that the hypocrisy of anti-Gay politicians who are secretly Gay should be exposed. I understand where he's coming from, but I think there are larger issues to consider.

"Although well-intentioned, what Mike does is akin to blackmail. He's saying "if you legislate discrimination against LGBT folk, I'll publicize your secrets." He uses disclosure of homosexual status as a bludgeon, a punishment. In the long run, that's harmful. It reinforces the widespread notion that homosexuality is shameful, and that people are justified in wanting to hide it.

"In our society, there are both openly Gay people and closeted Gay people. That sends a mixed message, which is bad enough, but when we use disclosure of Gay identity as punishment while simultaneously guarding the secrets of closet cases who behave the way we want them to, that's worse. It validates the stigma.

"Just the other day, I heard someone say: "Being Gay is like having a fatal disease; it's a private matter, and nobody should be forced to talk about it openly!" Is that really what we think about our sexual orientation? Is that what we want Straight people to think? If so, that doesn't exactly encourage the advancement of our equality struggle.

"I think Mike Rogers should reveal everything he knows about Gay politicians, regardless of party affilation or voting record! The objective shouldn't be to expose hypocrisy (although there's certainly nothing wrong with that; the Savior did it all the time). The objective should be to present a picture of society as it really exists, with LGBT folk thoroughly interspersed throughout. In order to advance our struggle, we must end this deep conspiracy of silence around Gay identity!

"If you have good reason to believe a public figure is Gay, there's nothing wrong with saying so. That's not "outing". Nobody can "out" anybody else; the person in question is free to acknowledge the truth, or continue concealing it. Look what's happened with actors Kevin Spacey and John Travolta! Both were "outed" years ago, both men have denied being bisexual, and the media has taken them at their word.

"Some would say those were "failed outings", but I don't agree. I think it's a victory whenever the conspiracy of silence around Gay identity is breached. Neither Kevin Spacey nor John Travolta ever swore Gay Americans to secrecy! We're under no obligation to perpetuate their lies. Refusing to lie for each other is a painful step to take in some cases, but nonetheless, it's step in the right direction.

"As I said in my recent essay, "Potty Training", we who strive for equality must pay a price for the benefits we hope to gain. We have responsibilities to fulfill. We must give up this idea that lying about Gay identity can ever be justified. We must begin speaking casually about our sexual orientation, just like Straight people speak casually about theirs. Those of us who are Christian must remember what Jesus Christ said about hiding a light beneath a bushel basket. We are His lights! The existence of androgynous human beings speaks to the power of God.

"I've said it before, and it's worth repeating: If there's nothing wrong with being Gay, there's nothing wrong with talking about it. However, if there's something wrong with talking about it, there's something wrong with being it! What are your thoughts on this matter, Jerry?"


"Hi Don Charles: First of all, I absolutely agree with your premise and contentions! However, unfortunately, we're not there yet.

"We have to let people feel comfortable coming out when they think the time is right for them. You're absolutely right when you say that only when Gay people can feel free enough to talk about their sexuality and treat it as casually in the public square as Straight people do all the time, will we move the struggle for civil rights significantly forward. However, I feel that the fight for civil rights is going to have to somewhat accelerate before such coming out is viewed as feasible for many closeted Gay people; these two actions have to occur more coterminously than now exists.

"What Rogers is doing, however, is not outing Gays but he is outing hypocrites! I understand the need for all people to see Gay people and their relationships as being fully equal in validity as are Straight people and their relationships. However, I also understand that by "coming out," there are many who would sacrifice jobs, economic life chances, and even family relations; they must come out, if they ever do, in their own time.

"So, I don't agree with forcibly outing Gay people, given the current homophobic climate in this countriy (although I certainly agree with you that by being closeted reaffirms and reinforces a good deal of the current homophobia), even acknowledging the truth of what you say.

"However, I absolutely do agree with outing hypocrites who are Gay or bisexual themselves and who do everything they can to sabatoge and deny the acquisition of basic rights and dignity to LGBT people! And their behavior is even more egregious given the fact that they do such a damnable thing in order to gain votes or for financial and career gains.

"So, I don't see Rogers as outing Gay people, as much as I see him outing hypocrites! This distinction might be considered inconsequential, but given the realities of the tremendous hurt that would be entailed in outing all Gay people, even by merely asking the question in this sex-obsessed homophobic society, can terribly hurt some people, and there is no sense in doing that when they are not working against the interests of the Gay community.

"I think that by continuing the work that Gay rights activists, especially Christian Gay rights activists are doing in seeking to destigmatize same-sex love, and even show its consistency with Godly values, increasing numbers of closeted Gay people will be motivated to finally come to the decision that we must all be authentic (and realize it's by that very authenticity that people can live lives as opposed to merely having an existence, and a miserable existence at that), and appreciate and embrace our authenticity and uniqueness that is made in the very image and design of God.

"I trust currently closeted Gay people of good will to eventually come to that conclusion. However, when it comes to hypocrisy of any kind, be it by closeted Gay collaborators with the reactionary forces that hurt LGBT people, or any other hypocritical public figures, their hypocrisy must be widely exposed to show them for the immoral, decadent, deceitful creatures that they truly are!"

UPDATE: Don Charles elaborated on his point in the following comment he made, and I want to post it here:

"Certainly, hypocrisy should be exposed, Jerry. I think my problem with what Mike Rogers does isn't so much his exposing hypocrites; it's his helping closeted officials he doesn't consider hypocrites to maintain their secrets. That's where he makes his mistake: He turns the closet into a reward for good behavior. What message does that send?

"If public officials desperately don't want to be known as Gay, then they should do everything they can to ensure that nobody suspects. (A neat trick if you can pull it off.) However, the sexual orientation of the folks Mike Rogers is protecting is evidently an open secret inside the Washington beltway. He's not reporting on it, and neither is the Washington press corps. To me, that amounts to a conspiracy of silence, and that's not healthy. Any way you look at it, silence and secrecy about Gay identity reinforces stigma, and stigma works to the direct advantage of anti-Gay Dominionists.

"As I said before, I don't believe anybody can be forcibly "outed." It's a personal decision for every LGBT person when and where to acknowledge their truth publicly. I don't think we have the right, though, to demand that others not acknowledge our truth if they know it. It's presumptuous to think that people you've never sworn to secrecy . . . people you've never even met . . . should keep your secrets.

"As for the painful consequences of speaking the truth about sexual orientation, well, Jesus Christ spoke the truth, and He endured painful consequences, didn't he? Doing the right thing often isn't easy. It wasn't easy for Ghandi. It wasn't easy for Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King. It wasn't easy for birth control advocate for Margaret Sanger. Integrity costs! Sometimes it even costs lives, but those of us who seek to follow the example of the Savior must be willing to pay that price!

"I might add that, if you're in a dangerously heterosexist environment, it's not disclosure that threatens you. It's the ignorant attitudes that pose the threat, and it's there hanging over you whether you disclose or not. Those attitudes must be challenged if they're ever going to change. There's no challenge that's more effective than the truth.

"I'm not saying we should go off running down the street screaming "I'M GAY" at the top of our lungs. I'm saying that we must have the courage not to construct heterosexual facades. When questions are posed, we mustn't bristle or dodge or lie. That goes for public figures, clergy, military personnel, educators . . . every LGBT adult."



Although, of course, I agree with what I replied to Don Charles' first comment, I also find myself agreeing with both of his comments as well, and would very much value your inputs regarding this important topic. For LGBT rights to move forward, Gay people must be acknowledged as being in the mainstream of society and who are our neighbors, our co-workers, actors, physicians, teachers, truck drivers, and who occupy all positions in society, and that fact must be made obvious and acknowledged, which will go a long way to moving forward the acquisition of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people.

The reply I made to his excellent first comment, although, in my opinion, true as far as it goes, the more I think about it may not adequately address the larger issue that Don Charles is raising in both of his comments. I'm usually quite certain about what I write, but in this case I'm somewhat ambivalent and, therefore, I would especially very much value your expressing your thoughts on this matter, that I view as being crucial for producing the best strategy for achieving the goal of acquiring full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people, and for recognizing the dignity and equality, both societally and legally, of same-sex relationships.
Share |

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This 30 minute audio, that features Mike Rogers of, has him and others speaking about "outing," and answering questions from those who call in, and is very interesting and provocative.

Mike has been at the forefront of outing Gay politicians who are more or less deeply closeted, and who stridently speak out against LGBT people and vote against the interests of the LGBT communities. Some closeted Gay men and women work for politicians who are vehemently homophobic and who speak out against LGBT people and actively seek to deny them full and equal civil rights, or any civil rights whatsoever.

The question being discussed is whether or not it is fair and ethical for anyone to out a closeted Gay person if that person is actively working against the interests and acquisition of civil rights of the Gay community.

The audio can be heard here.

Wayne Besen has an excellent commentary on Mike Rogers here.
Share |

Monday, September 10, 2007


This brief video on "The Shock Doctrine," was just sent to me by a friend of mine and, although it is not explicitly related to the plight of LGBT people, it has many and significant implications for their civil rights as well as for the future of this Democratic Republic.

There are people in power in a variety of institutions, not the least of which are the religious and political institutions, who have a vested interest in stimulating the "fight or flight response" that is part of the Reptilian Brain, so that certain types of people will become submissive to their dictates and hegemony of those institutions. For example, by portraying Christianity as being "under siege" by "radical homosexuals," a great deal of money and power accrues to those clergy and evangelists who seek to foist their prejudices on to others, all the while claiming the mantle of righteousness, morality, and decency, in the name of the Bible, and in the name of God, to gain and solidify their positions of power.

Many politicians also use "the shock doctrine" to stimulate the fight or flight response in the electorate, as was seen in the varying colors depicted, ostensibly showing the level of threats of terrorism, prior to the last Presidential election. Once the election was completed, I no longer saw those colors being displayed in the media, and I doubt you did either. The manipulation of those colors was, in my opinion, used to capitalize on the threat posed by the 9/11 attacks, so as to justify the existing policies of the Administration, and to, therefore, win the election by the votes of many who constantly had their Reptilian Brains bombarded with perceived threats from "the enemy," that only the existing Administration and its policies could be adjudged to successfully confront.

As I've so often written, the fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people is inextricably related to the fight for the future of our Democratic Republic, and for the reclaiming of the Gospel of grace and love from those who have perverted it, and imposed it, for their own naked self-interests. To merely see "Gay liberation" as being an end in and of itself is to be as short-sighted as those who are beneficiaries of the Civil Rights movement for Afro-Americans being unwilling and/or unable to see the connection between their own ancestors' struggles with grinding oppression with the grinding oppression historically and currently visited upon God's LGBT children.

This type of perversion of the Gospel message has become so acute, that there are clergy and professing Christians in the Episcopal Church, for example, who would rather align themselves with the rabidly homophobic clergy in Uganda and Nigeria, than even consider that God loves ALL of His children, and that our God who specializes in diversity commands us to love everybody and to seek to help remove yokes of bondage from others.

They, and those like them, have missed the message of grace which is the fundamental nugget, the very core, of the Gospel and, by so doing, they have tragically portrayed Christianity as a warped characature of their own legalistic and/or perverted psyches that are diametrically opposed to Godliness!

Share |

Sunday, September 9, 2007


My friend, Don Charles, wrote a post entitled, "Potty Training," on his excellent blog Christ, The Gay Martyr. It deals with the nature of same-sex love and Gay identity, and the need to have that love and identity be viewed as fully equal and respectable as is opposite-sex love and heterosexual identity.

Don Charles says that attempts to justify the trysts that occur in public places by those who either do or don't consider themselves "Gay" not only mitigates against this long sought after goal for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for Gay people, but also mitigates against a true understanding of the dynamics and legitimacy of what it means to be Gay. Such attempted justification that often takes the form of talking about the "fluidity of sexuality," consigns one's status of being Gay to merely being a matter of "choice," that is all too frequently believed by those who would love to show one's sexual identity as being a "choice," thereby reaffirming their homophobia and all the stereotypes that are part and parcel of that homophobia.

Don Charles writes this post with his inimitable style and great insights and it certainly deserves serious consideration by all people, be they Gay, Gay and Gay rights activists, or Straight people who seek further understanding of this subjct. The following is a snippet of his excellent post, that can be found here:

"I seriously doubt that early Gay Rights activists put their lives and livelihoods on the line so that Gay men could claim a "right" to tryst in the potty. I damn sure don't write this blog for that reason! I write it so that LGBT folk will gain the courage to ignore self-destructive compulsions. I write it so that we'll stop thinking of ourselves in purely sexual terms. I write it so that Gay identity will become as respectable in the public mind as Straight identity is. Some folks, Straight and Gay, don't like those reasons. They've told me so. They can go kiss where the sun don't shine! A few of 'em are probably in the habit of doing that, anyway. I want Gay couples to kiss in the sunshine, the way all loving couples should. I want them to feel entitled to the sunshine! No more hiding. No more sneaking around in the dark. No more hanging around in toilets as if we were waste products. We must leave that kind of degrading behavior behind us. We don't belong in the potty, and neither does our love."
Share |

Saturday, September 8, 2007


"A coalition of Broward County ministers gathered Tuesday to outline their plans to support Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle's recent criticism of gay sex in restrooms, parks and other public places.

"The predominantly black coalition of about 10 says its ultimate vision is to 'transform Fort Lauderdale and Broward County into the Bible Belt of South Florida.'

"In hopes of reclaiming the ''city's Biblical heritage,'' the group's leaders say they plan to undertake measures 'to ensure immoral behavior is not tolerated in the city or throughout the county.'

'''We as a body of Christ support the mayor because he is addressing a moral crisis,' said Mathis Guice, director of the men's ministry at Koinonia Worship Center. 'People have to understand we're in a spiritual war with Satan.''

'''We're not bashing homosexuals. We love them but they need to repent and we're here to help them,' said Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of The Worldwide Christian Center."

[See here for the full article.]

Most of these ministers were Black! What these ministers fail to realize is that they would have absolutely no credible voice outside of "their" churches, had it not been for the tremendous sacrifices made, including shed blood, to acquire the civil and sacramental rights that they now enjoy.

However, it seems that that was then and this is now! They're are, in effect, saying, "I've got mine, and I'm not like 'you people!'"

What these limited human beings fail to realize, or even don't seem to care about, is that White Supremecists were spewing the same kind of hateful, exclusionary poison against their ancestors that these malignant creatures are now spewing about LGBT people! This phenomenon is called by Sociologists, "the circulation of elites." That is, when one minority group finally gets to sit at the table along side the dominant group, the hitherto oppressed minority group will then turn around and find another minority group against which to discriminate, and seek to deny it the same rights and benefits that it now enjoys.

For anyone to demonize any group of people is hateful and bizzare! For Afro-Americans to forget their all too recent history of being victims of grinding oppression and indignities and play the same role as White Supremecists used to play, and still play, in respect to them, is pathetic and especially hateful.

It's pathetic, because they are aligning themselves with many reactionary people who likely wouldn't want their daughters to marry one of "them." And it's especially hateful because they are working to both deny full and equal civil and sacramental rights to LGBT people and, in the process, subjecting them to gross indignities by their rhetoric and consigning them to being both second class citizens and as being not worthy human beings.

And, just as the White Supremecists spewed their invective against their Black ancestors in the name of God and "love" of country, these Afro-American ministers are spewing their invective against LGBT people in the name of God and in the name of "love." And Rev. Dozier has the gall to say, "We're not bashing homosexuals. We love them but they need to repent and we're here to help them." Yeah! Right!

Any professing Christian who demonizes LGBT people makes a mockery of Christianity, using it as a hammer to tremendously hurt other human beings and their families; makes a mockery of God, by both consigning Him to the role of oppressor, and by seeking to demean and terribly hurt His children whom He, Himself, created.

Clergy and other professing Christians, who spew this type of venom, are no less than ravenous wolves who erroneously claim to speak for God, and who must be actively and consistently confronted for their demonic rhetoric and discriminatory actions that foment hate and self-loathing; foment suicides, assaults, and murders. And any Christian worthy of the name will confront them and their lies!

And any professing Christians who remain silent in the face of this verbal violence and oppression, or in any way support homophobic clergy by their attendance in the churches they pastor, are equally as culpable in this egregious sin committed by these haters, and puts the lie to their designating themselves to be "Christians!"
Share |

Friday, September 7, 2007


A clergy friend of mine who no longer considers himself a "Christian," wrote the following that I wanted to share with you. He wrote: "My job is to be the loving arms that hold, comfort and protect the person longing for God. My job is to be the hands of the God who feeds the hungry. My job is to be the ear of the God who hears the cries of the marginalised and disparaged. My job is to be the heart that welcomes everyone to the Banquet of Love."

I responded with the following:

"If this isn't the very definition of the "Christian Life," I don't know what is! Rules, regulations, do's, don'ts, creeds, dogmas, doctrines, etc. have, unfortunately, become stumbling blocks to the the living out of the Gospel of grace, which has been replaced by the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion that has come to characterize most of the institutional Church. Those things, coupled with the preoccupation with incestuous socialization and building beautification programs, have caused most churches and denominations to align themselves with the State, taking their cues from those in political power; thereby, merely being handmaidens to those who oppress others.

"Christians worthy of the name must, and do, flee those oppressive institutions that are toxic to the spirit, and spit in the very face of God!"

Fighting for LGBT equality is enmeshed in fighting for the very soul of Christianity as it is also enmeshed in fighting for the future of our Democratic Republic. Only when we see this fight as of one piece, will we be able to truly have, and maintain, the fire in the belly to remove yokes of bondage, of oppression, from others, as we, ourselves, are quickly becoming "the other," and can very easily become "the other," if the quick and increasing embrace of one-dimensional fascistic thinking gains any more traction, and is not confronted for the menace that it truly is.
Share |

Thursday, September 6, 2007


"A video used to teach junior school students about diverse families will no longer be shown after some parents mounted an aggressive campaign against it for including a depiction of same-sex couples.

"The Evesham Township School District, in southern New Jersey, voted 7-1 to discontinue using the video, 'That's A Family,' because had so divided the community.

"The tape was shown last school year to third grade students at J. Howard Van Zant School. It included various types of parents and families - divorced, bilingual, mixed race, parents who have adopted, and step-parents.

"But it was the same-sex couple featured that angered parents."

[See here to read the full article.]

I've written before why constructions labeled, "Civil Unions," will never be equated with "Marriage" in the eyes of most people, and that that designation confers same-sex committed love to a lesser, an inferior, a deviant status; only the designation "Married," will confer the dignity and all of the civil and sacramental rights that accrue to that institution.

Here we have a case in New Jersey, that the court and Legislature mandated have Civil Unions for that state that must be given the same rights as does Marriage. Clearly, in just the short time that Civil Unions have existed in New Jersey, we have seen how far short the dignity and rights of committed Gay couples falls compared to the dignity and rights accorded married same-sex couples in Massachusetts.

Had Marriage been institutionalized for same-sex couples, I seriously doubt that the School Board would have capitulated to a vocal group complaining about the depiction of same-sex headed households. Indeed, the incidence of such complaints would also have likely been far fewer than the incidence expected in places like New Jersey where, despite the existence of Civil Unions, there is still vocalized revulsion against the very idea that same-sex headed households can be included in a film that seeks to educate children about the diversity that exists in a pluralistic society.

Moreover, as long as Gay people settle for Civil Unions, and not demand full marriage rights, they are not only settling for second best, but are worse off than if Civil Unions didn't exist, in that the short-term gains of Civil Unions are far outweighed by the retarding they bring to the acquisition of Marriage; those who so capitulate, are tacitly affirming that their love is somehow inferior to, lesser than, and different from the committed love of Straight people.

As long as Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are viewed as acceptable by both the Gay community and by the larger society, there is the tacit, and not so tacit, affirmation that same-sex love is inherently of a different order than opposite-sex love, and that designation and belief in it being of a different order translates to the word, "deviant," that further encourages the self-righteous to get away with complaining that they don't want their children or grandchildren exposed to "those people."

Only when Gay people, and Gay couples, are both "mainstreamed," and consequently viewed by others as being "mainstreamed" in the larger society, with all of the civil rights and liberties attendant to being fully equal to others, will there be increasingly fewer such strident complaints, and far less cowardly capitulation to those complaints. Then, and only then, will such complaints, and viewing LGBT people as "deviants," become things of the past, and not before!

That's why I view the designation of "Marriage" to be crucial, beyond the above points, because along with that institution and designation will flow all other civil and sacramental rights, as it is that very institution that confers a "legitimacy" that no other designation can or will afford!
Share |