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.
Share |

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.
Share |

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!
Share |

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!
Share |

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!
Share |

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!
Share |

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!
Share |

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?
Share |

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!
Share |

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!
Share |

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!
Share |

Saturday, November 10, 2007


"'Today, we witnessed the making of civil rights history in the U.S. House of Representatives by the passing of ENDA,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. 'This vote by Congress is an important step at ensuring that millions of gay and lesbian Americans will never again have to go to work in fear of losing their jobs because of who they are.'" [For the full comment from the HRC, see here.]

If I didn't think Solomnese was serious, I'd think it was some kind of a sick joke! Our Transgendered sisters and brothers are betrayed, thrown to the wolves, excluded from the "community" of LGBT people, and the President of the HRC, an organization that is supposed to be committed to acquiring civil rights for LGBT people (Notice, when it solicits donations on its website, it states: "Make your contribution today and join a grassroots force of over 700,000 members and supporters standing together for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality."), calls the passing of a non-inclusive ENDA "...the making of civil rights history...."?

And what makes this whole bizarre scenario surreal is the fact that this bill that has so many holes in it, as well as its exclusion of Transgendered people, will be surely vetoed by Bush and, believe me, his veto will not be over-ridden by Congress!

And to state that, "This vote by Congress is an important step at ensuring that millions of gay and lesbian Americans will never again have to go to work in fear of losing their jobs because of who they are," is absolute nonsense! This bill, as I understand it, would allow religious organizations to fire and/or not hire anyone who is Gay; would allow all organizations and employers to discriminate against any employee who is perceived to act in a way not culturally or personally defined as being in accord with that person's gender.

The HRC and assorted "liberals" have shown themselves to be the kind of people who will not only sell out others for the sake of political expediency and/or rank selfishness, but will also sell others' out for mere crumbs of incrementalism that Massah may provide them!

As evidence for this contention, the poll results, sponsored by the HRC, regarding attitudes toward the non-inclusive ENDA bill of 514 LGBT people, as reported on Towle Road, shows that 67.7% of the respondents agreed with the following statement: "National gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organizations should support this proposal because it helps gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers and is a step toward transgender employment rights." I have no reason to assume that this is by any means a random or representative sample of LGBT people, yet I wouldn't be at all surprised if similar findings weren't obtained if a representative random sample of Gay people were polled!

As I wrote to a friend of mine the other day regarding this issue, "I think far more than internalized homophobia is the culprit here. I think it's basic satisfaction with crumbs, and as long as that attitude prevails (and it seems to me it is prevailing), not only will there be no meaningful civil rights accruing to LGBT people, but their disdainful attitude toward meaningful activism will further embolden the haters to retard, prevent, and even erase what current semblance of civil rights and respect that LGBT people now enjoy."

If we're going to count on sellouts, politicians and organizations who will betray others and throw them under the bus, those who will betray the principle of full and equal acquisition of civil rights, LGBT people will not only continue to remain second-class citizens, but will find that they will lose many of the civil rights protections they already have; irrevocably fracture the LGBT "community" in the process. Talk about playing into the hands of the homophobes!

When dealing with a school yard bully, one quickly learns that by trying to be nice, by trying to accommodate that bully, that bully ups the ante and escalates his/her attacks. The same holds true regarding the bullies who seek to keep LGBT people "in their place" as second class citizens! If we don't demand full and equal civil rights, and nothing less, for everyone, and continue to agitate for those rights until they are obtained, this ordeal, if for many it is, indeed, an ordeal, will last interminably.

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!
Share |

Friday, November 9, 2007


"This understanding of church as an exclusive country club with a set of rules that everyone's got to follow - I don't think that's reflective of the type of community that Jesus was all about...." [For the full article, see here.]

In that above article, part of it reads:

"A book discussion at a Roman Catholic parish that was to be led by a lesbian Catholic and her father was canceled after objections from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis."

In another RC debacle, that occurred in Rome:

"An Italian couple has been told the bride's cousin cannot attend the wedding because she is transsexual, supports gay rights and is a critic of the Catholic Church.

"Vladimir Luxuria was to have been a bridesmaid at the wedding, to take place this weekend at an ancient chapel in Foggia, in southern Italy.

"Italian media report that the chapel's priest told the couple that it has a choice to make: either they disinvite Luxuria or they do not marry.

"The priest, identified as a Fr Francesco, said Luxuria does not represent 'family values'."

[For the full article, see here.]

In the last article, there is the appeal to "family values" as part of the justification for what I perceive to be extortion by a priest of the RC Church; in the first article, a discussion of a book written by a lesbian and her father is forbidden to be discussed in a RC Church. Don't the father and his daughter have "family values?"

Rather than focus on its priest ephebophilia scandals, and the assorted coverups by Bishops and other clergy, of those who sexually prey on young people, and who, thereby, allow those priests to be moved about without consequence so that they are then free to emotionally and sexually prey on other young people, the representatives of the RC Church are into extorting a young couple and their families, and preventing a father and daughter from talking about their struggles and relationship in an RC church.

It is no accident that the sex scandals, costing assorted diocese hundreds of millions of dollars, within the RC Church have provoked it to seek to divert attention from those scandals by demonizing LGBT people (Remember the witch hunts in seminaries to weed out those who might be Gay and who support 'Gay culture'?), and seeking to further assert its "moral" authority amidst the wreckage of lives and the serious compromise of the RC Church's reputation by all thinking, decent, and sensitive people.

Those in the RC Church, and in the institutional Church at large, who show disdain and spew hatred against LGBT people for living their lives as fully as possible, and for being true to the souls that God has given them, seek to fool others and, perhaps, themselves by thinking that they are taking the "moral" high ground by so doing. But don't believe it for a second!

They are committing grievous offenses against others and against God!

No, "I don't think that's reflective of the type of community that Jesus was all about...."
Share |

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


The banner headline of this article comes as no surprise: "Pat Robertson Backs Giuliani."

Professing "Bible-believing Christians" who are rabidly homophobic betray their true colors when they endorse given politicians for office. This is particularly the case when that office is President of the United States!

Here we have Rudy Giuliani, having multiple marriages under his belt (pardon the expression); who had a blatant affair with a woman while he was still married; who dressed in drag on one or more occasions; who stayed with a Gay couple after one of his divorces, and who now betrays them by condemning Gay people, who is being endorsed by a professing Christian.

When you scratch the surface just a little bit, we see that those professing Christians who identify "Christianity" with jingoism, Americanism, Capitalism, and homophobia are just mere reactionaries who have carried their hate to the other side of the street in the form of speaking from pulpits, and/or speaking from their own TV or assorted radio stations.

How can Christianity have any credibility with any decent, sensitive, or intelligent human being when Christians allow Christianity's identification with hateful and/or unChristian values to be met by mere silence? When are Christians worthy of the name going to stand up and say, "Enough is enough? You don't speak for me or for any person who truly seeks to follow Christ?"

What the professing Christian homophobes do is both destructive to countless numbers of people and their families; destructive to the United States itself; destructive to Christians and to Christianity.

I very rarely talk about the Devil, but I'm under no illusion that its representatives, its spokespeople, occupy the major institutions of this and other countries, particularly within the institutional Church. And it's high time that that fact was acknowledged and confronted both by Christians worthy of the name, and by decent people everywhere.

As I've so often written, LGBT people are the canaries in the mine shaft! Their treatment by assorted religious leaders and politicians is a warning to all of us that we could easily be the next ones to be in their crosshairs!

Therefore, we are to fight for full and equal civil rights for LGBT people, not only because it's the right thing to do, because it's commanded us by Jesus to love and embrace others, but also because if we don't fight for their rights, there will be fewer people to fight for our rights when they are systematically taken from us, as is now occurring, and as can be seen in this very important article.
Share |

Monday, November 5, 2007


My friend, Don Charles, blogmaster of Christ, The Gay Martyr, just put up a new four part post entitled: "The Miseducation of Donnie McClurkin." Here is an excerpt from part of his four part post that will hopefully whet your appetite to read his post in its entirety.

"This is the method organized religion uses to manufacture fundie closet cases, a procedure that no doubt goes back many centuries. So effective is this method, it's miraculous that anybody escapes its cruel indoctrination. God, the architect of Gay identity, makes such miracles possible. He inspires us to burst the bonds of self-loathing that Satan's trickery places on our souls. Every day, millions of LGBT Christians are breaking free from shame, challenging lies told from the pulpit, seeking and finding their true identities through prayer and research and therapy (the legitimate kind), and the evidence of their own life experience. Some of these newly enlightened folks are even preachers!"

Putting the lie to professions of being "ex-gay," and also putting the lie to homophobia, wherever it's found, particularly in most of the institutional Church, is essential, and Don Charles, again, does a wonderful job in addressing the goals of all decent people, and all Christians worthy of the name, to help bring down the lies that have caused untold damage to LGBT people and their families, and to the spiritual lives of countless numbers of people.
Share |

Thursday, November 1, 2007


My friend, Don Charles sent me the following article entitled, "EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Donnie McClurkin's Ex-Lover."

This is a revealing interview, not merely because of the obvious, but because I truly believe that McClurkin, on the basis of this interviw, thinks that being Gay by "his definition" is a choice. He seems to solely identify one's choosing to be Gay as one's choosing to have sex!

According to this article, McClurkin said, as reported in "...The New York Times in 2002: 'Love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another and your relationship with Jesus is tearing you, tearing you,' said Mr. McClurkin, who now counsels adolescent boys that homosexuality is a choice they can overcome."

To him, and to so many other homophobic people, both Straight and Gay, whether or not to have sex is a choice, and so, since they seem to equate being Gay solely with having sex, McClurkin and those who think like him can with a straight (pardon the pun) face say that being Gay is a choice.

So many are unable to see that having sex is usually a manifestation, or a culmination, of a more or less loving relationship, and emotional sensibility, or affectional desire, and McClurkin seems convinced that same-sex loving relationships (the idea of which may well scare the hell out of him, and of which he might very well be incapable at this point in his life) is also antithetical to being a Christian, so his "relationship with Jesus is tearing you, tearing you."

He sees the choice to be not only between being Gay (as he seems to define the term) and being a Christian, but sees, in his case, that "love is pulling you one way and lust is pulling you another."

He has, according to his reported statement, divested "sex" from "love," and so, since he equates being Gay with sex, and he sees "sex" as distinct from "love," he can believe that being Gay (which he equates with lust and sex) is a choice by his definition of what "Gay" means. And if he's incapable and/or fearful of same-sex "love," which I believe may very well be the case, he doesn't see, and certainly doesn't want to see, being Gay as embracing one's whole being, including feelings as well as actions.

It is not only many, if not most, straight people who can only see one's being Gay in terms of one's sexual activities; many Gay people themselves define the term "Gay" in this way, so that rather than one's seeing their being Gay as encompassing the whole person, body, mind, and soul, they see the term "Gay" the way that they have been taught in or by churches, and other instutions, largely, if not solely, run by homophobes.

Hence, many Gay people themselves don't realize that they are Gay until they have had one or more satisfying same-sex sexual encounters and retrospectively understand that they were Gay long before they engaged in sexual activity. It's only when a Gay (or Straight) person is able to integrate love and affection with those encounters, that they then are better able to become emotionally and spiritually intact as human beings. But to be given institutional, interpersonal, and psychological permission to integrate the emotional and sexual parts of one's nature is made very difficult in a rabidly homophobic society, largely aided and abeted by those who have yet to healthfully integrate these two facets of their humanity.

So, in this context, a Donny McClurkin and other "ex-gay" spokespeople can actually believe that he/she is not, or is no longer, Gay because he/she no longer has sex (at least on a regular basis) with another person of the same sex or is celibate, despite his/her emotional and affectional desires for intimacy with a member of the same sex.

And when that desire for such intimacy, although frequently consciously repressed by the homophobic Gay person, builds to such a crecendo that it can no longer be repressed, and then that person is likely to act out that desire in surreptitious, sometimes illegal, ways that can lead to profound embarrassment and the risk of losing one's very family, reputation, and career.

The tension brought by that crescendo brings a demanding, overwhelming, need for release and that will bring a brief respite from their conflict, their inner turmoil, between "who they really are" and "what they desperately desire to do," yet usually bring a profound guilt upon them that frequently impels them to condemn "homosexuality" both as a denial to themselves and/or to others of who they really are, and as a way of expiating their guilt and trying to believe that they are no longer or really not like "those people."

So, according to the person interviewed in this article, McClurkin sees conflict between love and lust, and between same-sex love and being a Christian, and between sex and being a Christian. So, he seems to have at least three manifestations of inner turmoil. And people are seeking out his advice?

Being Gay is as much about solely being about "sex" as is being Straight solely about sex! Sexual activity represents relatively few hours a week or month of our lives, be we Gay or Straight! Moreover, even if one never engages in sexual activity, he/she is still Gay or Straight!

The status of being Gay, just as the status of being Straight, has mainly to do with one's affectional and emotional sensibilities and feelings, encompassing the whole human being in all of his/her complexity and humanity. Indeed, these sensibilities and feelings and their romantic/sexual manifestations are largely representative of our very souls!

There is no "on" and "off" switch on our souls! When one seeks to deny a good portion of one's very soul, under any conditions, let alone by the condition of misinformation so as to be duped into believing a lie, he/she is not only committing a grievous offense against him/herself, but is committing a grievous offense against God!

God made our souls and how dare anyone throw that wonderful gift, or any part of that gift, back in God's face! And to do so because he/she chooses to believe the lie that being Gay is solely about sex, that same-sex sexual expression is unGodly, and that homosexuality is anything lesser in value to oneself, another human being, and to God than is heterosexuality, places the judgments of frequently ignorant and tortured human beings over the will of God!

To sell one's soul, or any part of one's soul, on the word of ignorant and tortured people, or on the word of anyone else for that matter, is a grievous sin!

One can only imagine the turmoil infusing the lives of virtually all "ex-gay" gurus and spokespeople, and those whom they have duped into believing that God condemns same-sex love and its expression; that being Gay is a "choice." If they weren't so destructive of others' lives by their often using the defense mechanism of Reaction Formation, and venting their inner turmoil and conflicts through their strident homophobia, I'd have even more pity for them than I, in fact, do.

But, most of all, I have pity for those who are gullible and/or desperate enough, having been duped into believing the lie that being Gay is not moral and Godly, to trust these "counselors" and "therapists" and "spokespeople" who seek to re-define their reality and the very nature of their lives and loves, having the result of further consigning those who take them seriously to the outer darkness of believing and living a lie and, thereby, renouncing a good deal of their souls!

And to give ignorant, confused, and twisted people, be they clergy, entertainers, counselors, therapists, or politicians, a platform and a credibility they do not deserve, through and by which they can spew their frequently ignorant and hateful rhetoric that has the effect of "recruiting" others into their warped views of love and sex, of righteousness and morality, of Christianity, and of God, further aids and abets the self-loathing and the hatred that so many Gay people suffer and confront every day of their lives.

And in the twisted mind set that reflects the "ex-gay" industry and its spokespeople, their advocacy of the suppression of one's God-given affectional/sexual orientation, much of the essence of one's very soul, is equated with "morality," with "Godliness," and with mental health!

Lewis Carol's "Alice in Wonderland" has nothing on this surreal farce, save that this surreal farce is tremendously destructive to Gay people, their psyches, their mental health, their families, and to Straight people who, along with many Gay people, have all too often come to believe the lies that one can be best intact by throwing God's gift of one's affectional/sexual orientation, part of the very essence of his/her soul, back in God's face and call that "morality," "mental health," and "Christianity."

And that's just a damn lie!
Share |