Friday, February 29, 2008


This is a very touching video by Ellen DeGeneris that deserves to be watched by all people. It speaks for itself!
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My friend Ven. Dr. Francis-Maria Salvato sent out the following email and I wanted to share it with you. It speaks a wonderful truth that we would do well to meditate on every day of our lives. Also, check out his website The Contemplative Monks of the Eightfold Path:

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

--anonymous author

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your spiritual path, your family, your loved ones, prayer, your health, your friends and your favourite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your loved ones. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take someone you love out to dinner. Feed a homeless person. Smile at someone who is alone.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, "I'm glad you asked."

The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Please share this with someone you care about... I JUST DID.
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Thursday, February 28, 2008


This brief video is painful to watch for all reasonably intelligent people who care about each other and about the country. The dumbing down of this country and the coarsening of the culture of this country can be no better encapsulated than in this video.

To bring in the Bible as a major factor in assessing Presidential candidates when we are to be under the Constitution; to use one's "Christianity" as a litmus test for the Presidency; to have the temerity to say that this country was founded on Christian principles when it was founded by the virtual genocide of Native Americans, built on the backs of African-Americans and immigrants working under sweatshop conditions (For an excellent book read, "For just one example, read "Christ in Concrete," by Pietro di Donato which, although a novel, depicts the plight of all too many Italian immigrants to this country.), is surreal to me; to see the prostituting of Christianity in its being reduced to some bumper sticker mentality in the face of our having invaded another country, the Dollar falling, unemployment and underemployment rising, and when there has been a grievous erosion of civil liberties, is remarkable; to listen to politicians' unctuous and sanctimonious drivel to pander to the limited human beings who take these questions and their answers seriously, shows that this country has not only seen its hey day, but is on a precipitous decline.

On top of all this, is there anyone naive enough to believe that any of these limited human beings are going to willingly confer full and equal civil rights to LGBT people?

[Thanks to my friend, Bishop Leland Somers for alerting me to this video.]
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


"[TYRA] BANKS: Do you want the gay vote?

"HUCKABEE: Sure, I want every vote. Seriously, I want to be president of everybody. And I can disagree with people over a choice they make in their life or over a lifestyle and still be their president and still say I want to keep you free....

[Huckabee says] "I think people will respect my views on that; I respect theirs. The great thing about America is, we can have totally different viewpoints and we can do it without having animosity and hatred. This is one of the great countries where you can have sharp disagreements without killing each other over it."

[For the full interview of Huckabee by Tyra Banks see here.]

Of course, Mike Huckabee wants the Gay vote. I doubt he (or any politician) would turn away a vote from the National Man-Boy Love Association if it meant them winning the Presidency. The point is that politicians want votes and they want them from any and all people who are willing to give it to them.

Let's make it clear: Huckabee and his ilk don't merely "disagree" with Gay people, but disagree "over a choice they make in their life or over a lifestyle." He's too dense to realize what an insult that remark is to all thinking people.

So, Gay people make a "choice" to be Gay, just as Straight people make a "choice" to be Straight? Tyra Banks would have done well to ask Huckabee about this nonsensical statement.

Moreover, since when is being Gay a "lifestyle" choice? Like being Straight, being Gay is not a "lifestyle" but a life!

It doesn't define anyone any more than being Straight defines a person! When someone is obsessed with sex, one's sexual orientation and gender identity trump all other aspects of that person in the homophobe's eyes and, unfortunately, and all too frequently, in the eyes of many Gay people themselves.

Because of the Mike Huckabees of the world, when one is Gay, that becomes his or her "master status," that feature of the person by which he or she is defined. No one defines a Straight person in that way!

Being Straight is never one's master status, that feature that is paramount in our assessments of him or her. However, when one is defined as Gay, all other features of that person are usually placed in the background and his or her sexual orientation usually becomes the paramount criterion by which that person is assessed, and all other behaviors exhibited by that person are seen by many in the light of that person's sexual orientation. And we have the likes of the Mike Huckabees of the world to thank for this disgrace!

Moreover, Huckabee says that "I want to keep you free," all the while he and his other homophobic comrades seek to deprive Gay people of civil rights that accrue to heterosexuals, such as marriage rights. Indeed, they heap indignities upon Gay people, yet seek to come off as "reasonable" people who have mere disagreements with others but want those disagreements to be such that no one is "killing each other over it."

Tell that to the many LGBT people who have been disowned by their families because they came out to them, who have committed suicide, who have been assaulted, who have been murdered, and who have lived their lives riddled with guilt because of the Mike Huckabees and most all of the other clergy in the institutional Church!
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


"With one week to go until the California Supreme Court hears arguments for and against same-sex marriage gay and lesbian couples throughout the state are making plans to attend the landmark hearing.

"The court has scheduled three hours for oral arguments on March 4. The justices then have 90 days to issue a ruling. If the case is successful it would make California the second state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to legally marry and likely lead to a rush for June weddings."

[See here for the full article.]

With Massachusetts legalizing same-sex marriage several years ago, and with New York currently recognizing same-sex marriages validly contracted in other jurisdictions (See here), I have no doubt that the California Supreme Court will acknowledge that basic fairness and equality before the law mandates that same-sex marriage become legal within the state of California.

To do otherwise would cast them as embarrassing anachronisms, much as the U.S. Supreme Court was so cast when Plessey v Ferguson, in 1896, legitimized racial segregation and ruling that the doctrine "separate but equal" was constitutional, and then having that decision overturned by a subsequent Supreme Court decision, Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, in 1954, which ruled that "separate is not equal," and that integration is mandated in all public schools, which greatly aided in paving the way for integration in all public accommodations, and the eventual triumph of the Civil Rights movement for African-Americans.

I don't think it takes a prophet to recognize that the whole house of cards of treating Gay couples who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other as second-class citizens is soon to become a thing of the past! I doubt it will occur in my lifetime, but I'm absolutely convinced that within a maximum of 20 years, same-sex marriage will be a reality in every state of the union.

And, as I've so often written, the crucial advantage of same-sex marriage, beyond recognizing the equality, legitimacy, and dignity of same-sex love, finally acknowledging that same-sex love is in no way inferior to heterosexual love, will be the one civil right that will usher in virtually all other civil rights that accrue to all other citizens in this society.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers, sent me this beautiful message that all people need to hear and internalize. See here to watch the video.
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Saturday, February 23, 2008


"When I read or hear of militant homosexuals trying to use the word of God to justify their own deviancy by saying fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah because of their 'lack of hospitality,' I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

"Ezekiel 16:49-50 is explicitly clear about why they were destroyed and it had nothing to do with hospitality. You see, the inhabitants there weren't just depraved — they were proud of their depravity and couldn't wait to force it on others. And it is that pride in their perversion that earned them the wrath of God."

[For the full article, see here.}

Paul Proctor of Franklin, Tennessee, who wrote an article that contained the above sentences, is a retired musician and free-lance writer who feels free to pontificate about a subject about which he presumably knows nothing. When it comes to "religion" and "politics" everyone presumes to be an expert!

My concern, however, is neither about Proctor's knowledge nor the thesis of his commentary which is, in some ways, provocative. My concern is that one might read his commentary, and other commentaries, articles, sermons, and statements like it, and automatically assume the veracity of the homophobic statements and claims made without checking out the facts for him/herself.

Since the Bible is used, and misused, to justify all sorts of points of view when it particularly comes to aspects of "morality," it is important to read the Bible for oneself, not only because it is instructive concerning the human condition and God's relations, and the perception of His relations, with assorted nations and people, but to see whether a given appeal to the Bible to justify the creation of an enemy, an object of rejection and, indeed, even of hate, is justified.

First of all, no Christian is obliged to observe any of the laws of the Old Testament, as Jesus makes it perfectly clear that He has fulfilled the law! (Matthew 5:17) Through Jesus, we are reckoned as being sinless, holy, righteous, justified, and reconciled to God by the grace (the free gift) of God that is only appropriated by one's faith (Trusting God over and above seen circumstances.).

That is why the Gospel means "good news." It's "good news" precisely because we are saved by God's grace and by His grace alone, and that we are no longer under yokes of bondage to the assorted rules, regulations, rituals, and laws of the Old Testament; nor are we to be under yokes of bondage to any other mere fallible human being or his/her attempts to define our reality for us. God and God alone is our Compass Point; He made us; He knows our frame better than we do ourselves; He calls each of His children to be authentic and thereby fulfill the lives and ministries He has ordained for each one of them!

However, even if we are to take Ezekiel 16:49-50 that Proctor cites as being relevant to the Christian, what he and a whole host of homophobic people just like him who appeal to the Bible to justify their homophobia do to justify their position, we can see that they are imposing their own preconceived prejudices on the texts they cite when anyone, Christian or not, can see that those texts do not in any way condemn homosexuality as we currently understand the term.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 reads as follows: "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."

That's it! Now, tell me where homosexuality is condemned in those verses of Scripture that Proctor cites to justify his prejudices against homosexuality?

If one were careless and didn't think enough of his/her mind and heart to check out the facts, and blindly accepted the assertions of the Proctors of the world, one would automatically think that those assertions were based upon knowledge, and were accurate. However, if one checks out the Bible for him/herself, one can easily see that the passages cited here have absolutely nothing to do, and are not even remotely connected, with homosexuality.

[Moreover, beyond the fact that God decided to destroy Sodom BEFORE the Sodom story in Genesis 19, if one reads the account of Sodom in Genesis 19, one would have to believe that ALL the men of Sodom were Gay; if they were Gay, it would have been ludicrous for Lot to have offered them his virgin daughters, as they would certainly have been no inducement to the men. The Sodom story deals with gang rape, and gang rape is no more indicative of homosexuality than it is of heterosexuality!]

So, when a professing Christian pastor like Ken Hutcherson, a strident homophobe who, of course, uses the Bible to justify his hatred of LGBT people, says the following from the pulpit, "God hates soft men" and "God hates effeminate men," and then goes on to say, "If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I'd rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end" [See here for the full article.], he does so with the unfortunately accurate expectation that his hateful diatribe will be met with hearty approval by most, if not all, who attend the church he pastors; will be taken seriously by others because he (and others of his ilk) makes it seem as if he is accurately basing his prejudices against LGBT people on the Bible.

The fact is that ample material [See the Links section of this blog for many of them.] has been written showing that there is absolutely no inconsistency between being LGBT and being a Christian! But one wouldn't know that unless he/she reads and studies the Bible for him/herself! Besides, the Christian doesn't worship the Bible! The Christian worships God! (Please see the piece in my Sidebar under the heading, "The Bible Is Not God.")

I strongly urge everyone, particularly anyone who is at all interested in Christianity and homosexuality, to read the Bible with an open mind. "The New Oxford Annotated Bible"(Oxford University Press) is an excellent Bible! It uses the New Revised Standard Version, and is eminently readable and makes use of the most recent biblical scholarship.

In any case, just because someone speaks with seemingly oracular authority, with a lot of passion that frequently hides a lot of venom, doesn't make his/her assertions true. Whenever possible, check out the facts for yourself!

You owe that much to both yourself, and to the many people whose lives are maligned, damaged, and even taken, because of the hatefulness that is spewed in the name of the Bible, of Christianity, and even of God!
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Thursday, February 21, 2008


As I've written before, I would have my class think of the first word that occurred to them when I said the word "Gay." All of them said that the first thing that occurred to them was the word "sex."

As I told them, let's assume that the average couple has sex three times a week, each session lasting about 15 minutes. That means that only about 45 minutes a week is devoted to sexual activity. Clearly all of us, Gay or Straight, are awake for far more than 45 minutes a week. All of our lives encompass far more than the engaging in sexual activity!

Being Gay, just like being Straight, is about one's whole being: his/her perceptions, sensibilities, and emotional/affectional/sexual preferences. We are all multifaceted, and to restrict oneself or others to being a mere one-dimensional sexual animal does a grave injustice to both logic as well as to Gay people themselves.

The unfortunate fact is that many Gay people, too, have bought into the false notion, inculcated by religious and secular homophobes, their very oppressors, that they are merely sexual beings who are mere "selfish hedonists", and who then, therefore, portray themselves, and view themselves, as just that: one-dimensional people who focus on sexual activity, and who define themselves by their sexuality and by little or nothing else.

Moreover, the appropriation and use of pejorative and hateful self-identifiers, as well as the engagement in frivolous activities that also mark one as an "outsider," as a "deviant," as "the other," and even as "the enemy" to what is considered to be "normal" and "moral," tells us far more about the given person than it tells us about anything else.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being into BDSM or being a member of the Leather community, for example, but the blatant hostility of the latest Folsom Street Fair, for example, was consciously and/or unconsciously designed to keep LGBT people in their place of being viewed by most of society as justifiable victims to persecute; reinforce LGBT people in taking pride in being in an "outsider" status, as "sexual outlaws," who have no desire to be part of mainstream society.

This activity and its consequences was done by conscious and/or unconscious design! It seemed to me to be far less a celebration of the Leather community than it was a statement telling others, particularly religious people, "F***k You."

One can blame centuries of discrimination for the unconscious and/or conscious self-loathing that prompts the appropriation of the hateful epithets of the oppressors by which many LGBT people identify themselves, and the sexualization of the self as the major component of one's very being that is held by many LGBT people, but that explanation only goes so far, and gives such LGBT people too much slack when any of us put the onus of self-hate solely on those who discriminate against the oppressed.

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

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

On one progressive, LGBT-friendly site, Don Charles and I tried to convince others of that fact. It was remarkable how the venom against our contentions (and sometimes against us) started pouring out from most of those who chose to comment. Deep down I'm convinced that they knew we were right, but they didn't have the guts to overcome and transcend the big lie that they deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.

They really believe that they are "sinners," regardless of whether or not they are religious and, in the case of those who had that message constantly reinforced by "ex-gay therapists," it may well have insinuated itself in their unconscious that drives them to continuous, life-long self hate. With psyches like these, there can be no meaningful activism.

When we throw into the mix political expediency, as seen, for example, with Barney Frank and the ENDA debacle; being grateful for the crumbs of incrementalism in the name of "progress"; "liberals" who go whichever way the wind is blowing; inertia where people are self-satisfied if they perceive their immediate needs are being met, regardless of the cost to their dignity and humanity, meaningful activism falls on deaf ears.

Moreover, such psyches and political anemia only serve to further embolden the homophobes, as they see these factors as signs of weakness, and the tragic conclusion is that they are right about that perception.

So, I say to those who revel in using pejorative and hateful self-identifiers, who are content with being treated as second-class citizens, who are delighted with crumbs of incrementalism, who are self-satisfied as long as their immediate perceived self-interests are being met, who tolerate the indignities attendant upon being treated as "the other," and "the deviant," who allow homophobic clergy and others to demean them with impunity: Grow Up!

When we were children we usually, and for some of us all too frequently, allowed adults to define our realities for us. Now that we're grown, we have an obligation to act our ages and demand to be treated with the same dignity and have the same civil and sacramental rights as anyone else! And not settle for anything less!

Listen to the Apostle Paul: "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)

To the degree we act like children, either by centering our lives on frivolous and self-destructive activities, or by allowing others to define our realities for us, or by not demanding full and equal civil and sacramental rights, or by using negative and hostile self-identifiers that serve to perpetuate "outsider," "deviant," "abnormal," and "inferior" status, it is to that degree that homophobes are further emboldened; what rights that are currently enjoyed are threatened or may even be rescinded; increasing numbers of decent people will find "justification" for considering LGBT people as "not one of us," and the fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights will be greatly harmed.

Moreover, such harmful behaviors and self-concepts are inimical to the fire in the belly that is needed to acquire the dignity and civil and sacramental rights that are enjoyed by all other citizens in the U.S.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


My friend, Don Charles whose excellent blog is Christ, The Gay Martyr, sent me this disturbing article by Wayne Besen.

"Dr. Warren Throckmorton, the shamelessly self-promoting ex-gay therapist, has stepped up his holy war against gay people. This week, he organized a pack of fundamentalist quacks to file a formal written complaint with the American Counseling Association. Throckmorton's crew is upset because they believe the ACA is inhibiting their ability to destroy the mental health of gay and lesbian people in the name of religion. They also believe that they have the special right as fundamentalists to use bizarre techniques and ignore normal therapy guidelines.

"What is so morally distasteful and ethically disgraceful about Throckmorton is that he is taking this measure without offering a shred of evidence that his shame-based therapy model works. What Chutzpah! How can he credibly complain to the ACA without offering multiple "success" stories by people other than those who get paid to say they have gone from gay to straight?"

[For the full article, see here.]

In this vein, Peterson Toscano presents a seldom regarded feature of the bankrupt "ex-gay" industry by poignantly showing how such "therapies" can do untold damage not only to the person, but also to his/her parents as well.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The following is a beautiful rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," sung by elementary and high school students. What is of particular interest to me is the marrying of Christianity with Americanism; the Bible with war; the Prince of Peace with militarism; God with patriotism.

Homophobia among professing Christians is largely born and justified by these "marriages," this enmeshment, of the sacred and the profane, whereby the "macho warrior" is seen as a symbol representing the Prince of Peace, and is considered a role model for all who would follow Jesus.

And the stereotype of the gay man being effeminate and weak is clearly antithetical to the "macho warrior" role that has become fused with Christianity itself in the eyes of all too many people, many, if not most, of them being professing Christians themselves.

Turn on your speakers and link here. It will take about 20 seconds for the video to begin.
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Monday, February 18, 2008


I want to call your attention to an excellent webcast that appears weekly. It is hosted by Andy Humm and Ann Northrop, two veteran LGBT activists. They deal with assorted news items of the week, personalities, and even review some plays that might be of interest to their viewers.

Their latest webcast, as well as some prior ones, is located here, and their website is located here from where you can download their program as a Podcast.

They are both very intelligent, articulate, witty, and delightful people, and the hour-long program literally flies by. I think you'll like it.

Besides, it comes from New York City, my old stomping ground, so I have to admit that I do have a bias! But I'm convinced you'll thoroughly like the show.
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Sunday, February 17, 2008


The following statement has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

No better example of this truism can be found than in Rowan Williams [Pictured] seeking to find common ground between the homophobes who appeal to "orthodoxy" and those who appeal to the Gospel of grace within the Anglican communion of which he is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"Leaders from five Anglican provinces said Friday they will boycott a once-a-decade world Anglican summit because the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained a gay bishop.

"The five leaders from Africa and South America said they could not share communion with Episcopal bishops who in 2003 consecrated V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

"The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the U.S.

"Friday's announcement came from Archbishops Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Henry Orombi of Uganda and Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, which is in South America.

"'There is no serious space for those of an orthodox persuasion ... to be themselves or to be taken seriously,' the archbishops said in a statement. They lead some of the largest or fastest-growing Anglican provinces in the world."

[See here for the full article.]

Seeking common ground between religious haters and those who believe in the Gospel of inclusion puts both sides on a level playing field, thereby elevating those who allow "tradition," "pseudo-science," and "faulty biblical exegeses" to be considered on a par with those within the Anglican communion, as well as in other denominations (For example, see here.) who understand, and seek to put into practice, Jesus' teachings about loving others and neither judging nor condemning others.

Moreover, Rowan Williams makes the mistake of many intellectuals who find themselves in positions of political power: they seek to conciliate, even in the face of the discrimination against, and grinding oppression of, LGBT people that are largely fostered and cultivated by most within the institutional Church.

Those who attempt such conciliation thereby show themselves to be "weak," and not really committed to justice for all of God's children.

By so doing, these attempts at conciliation under these circumstances further emboldens the homophobes such as Akinola and his ilk as they see such attempts at conciliation much as sharks smelling blood and they then gain even further strength to go in for the kill.

If one truly believes in "justice for all," and if one finally understands that Jesus tells all who would follow Him that love trumps legalism, he/she will not seek common ground, or attempt sweet reason, with the enemies of justice, equality, Jesus Great Commandments to His followers, and with Jesus Himself, regardless of his/her position within any church or denomination.

To the degree that both sides are placed on a par with each other, thereby giving credence to both the false gospel of exclusion and the Gospel of grace, that denomination or church will not only not get conciliation, but will show itself to be lukewarm or ignorant regarding the Gospel, embolden the bullies, and show itself to be ripe for the picking by those who have substituted their own prejudices and mind-sets in the name of "orthodoxy" for Jesus' plain, unmistakable Commandments to us to love God and to love our fellow human beings!

When such an attempt to reconcile the Gospel with a false gospel is undertaken, that church or denomination will not only fail in this endeavor, but deserves to fail in this endeavor, and deserves to splinter as the Anglican communion is sure to do.

There can be no attempt to reconcile the Gospel of grace with the false gospel of legalism, and what we see playing out in the Anglican communion is just one example of that fact; a fact that is increasingly being seen in most other denominations within the institutional Church.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Articles such as this one, and books such as "God, Gays, and the Church" as seen on Pam's House Blend, call attention to a very disturbing fact: Most of the institutional Church is not only doing inestimable harm to the cause of Christ, but is antithetical to that very cause for which He lived and died!

I truly believe that LGBT people are not only God's gift to society, but are God's gift to His Church! Beyond their inherent worth, LGBT people are the canaries in the mine shaft who are the first to succumb to the poison of the demonic as expressed both in secular society as well as in institutions that call themselves "denominations" and "churches," and by people who smugly refer to themselves as "Bible-believing Christians" who haven't got a clue as to what constitutes a Christian life.

The convening of "church trials" to decide whether or not a Gay person is "worthy" enough to be ordained; denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other, thereby endorsing fornication in its self-righteousness and smug assurance that they are "Bible-believing Christians"; relying on discredited pseudo-science to justify their unGodly exclusion of Gay people from "their" churches; invoking the God of grace, and their flawed interpretation of selected biblical passages, to demean and discredit the sexuality and love of Gay people; seeking to use their influence to prevent LGBT people from enjoying all of the civil rights that accrue to all heterosexual citizens; aligning themselves with the most reactionary secular forces in society; remaining silent in the face of the oppression of others and, by so doing, giving credence and comfort to those who do the oppression; justifying discrimination and oppression of others in the name of God; using twisted "logic" to defend their perverse oppression of others in the names of "tradition" and "family values"; helping to cause untold numbers of suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people; helping to cause gullible and callous parents to throw their LGBT kids out of their homes and onto the streets; using Gay people as scapegoats for their own egregious and criminal conduct of engaging in ephebophilia, and/or coverups, and sending the offending priests and ministers to other parishes, thereby enabling them to prey on other youngsters; portraying Christians as a bunch of smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous, judgmental freaks, devoid of love for others.

How anyone, Gay or Straight, can take such institutions, their leaders, and their inhabitants, seriously, is a mystery! They should also be a cause of embarrassment and outrage to all Christians worthy of the name!
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Sunday, February 10, 2008


I first heard about the book, "Gay Christian 101: Spiritual Self-Defense" in a teleconference with Candace Chellew-Hodge who publishes the superb web site, Whosoever. The book is written by Rick Brentlinger and, although I haven't yet read it, I have read reviews of it, seen testimonies to its excellence, and have heard Rick Brentlinger interviewed on Candace Chellew-Hodge's Godcast, that I strongly urge you to listen to, as well as I strongly urge you to read her web site that has new issues appearing every two months. The next issue is due out March 1st.

Although numerous books, blogs, and web sites have been dedicated to the reality that there is absolutely no inconsistency between being Gay and being Christian, this book copiously investigates the "clobber passages" that have been traditionally used against Gay people and shows what they were originally intended to mean and what ancient commentators said about those passages, and the results show that same-sex love and homosexuality as we understand that term were never condemned in Scripture, be it in the Old Testament or in the New Testament.

The book's description reads as follows: "Presents strong scriptural proof that God loves and affirms gay Christians. GC101 is written in clear, understandable language. Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay Christians, defends gay Christians and gay relationships which are within the Biblical moral framework, committed, faithful, noncultic. Reasonable, scriptural, thoughtful, this book offers cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious proof that the same sex relationships condemned in the Bible are linked to ancient fertility goddess worship. Strongly Christian and evangelical, Brentlinger honors God and the written scriptures of truth in this powerful book." [See here]

From what I know about this book from secondary sources, I wanted to urge you to read it before I get a chance to read it myself. Rev. Troy Perry, Founder and 37 year Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches says:

"Rick Brentlinger's new book, Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense for Gay Christians, is a must-have book for any person who is seriously interested in what the Bible really says about homosexuality.

"It is a wonderful intelligent book for any person who is seeking answers to the continued debate around the Bible and human sexuality. Rick knocks the ball out of the park with his knowledge of Scripture and his love for the Bible.

"If I could only afford to purchase one book this year, this would be it! Rick, you've done an incredible job.”

[See here for Rev. Perry's endorsement as well as for other information on this book. Moreover, this web site, offers many links dealing with Christianity and homosexuality that are of inestimable use for "spiritual self-defense" by LGBT people and allies.]

The ignorance and distortion of selected biblical passages have for far too long been used to erroneously condemn LGBT people, and this book should go a long way to remove any vestiges of doubt that anyone might have regarding the harmony between Christianity and homosexuality.

Another book that I have read and do strongly recommend is the book, "Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse by Rev. Rembert Truluck. It is similarly superb!

The book's description is as follows:

"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse," says Dr. Truluck, "is over 550 pages of information and encouragement to equip gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people and all others who have been abused and oppressed by religion to learn the truth and to rejoice and grow in their God-given worth as individuals."

"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" is organized in 18 chapters. The first five chapters contain introductory material, including essays on "Why this Book is Here," "My Story" by Dr. Truluck, "Jesus Heals Sick Religion," "Guidelines for Small Groups," and "How to Use this Book." The next 13 chapters are the Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse. Each of the 13 Steps contains four Bible Study Lessons, suitable for personal study or small group use. As a result there are 52 Lessons, one for each week of the year.

Any doubts any Gay Christian, any Gay non-Christian, and any spiritually and intellectually honest Straight person may currently have concerning the fact that one can be both Christian and Gay will be eradicated when they read these books!
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Saturday, February 9, 2008


"On the surface, the 71-year-old Mr. McCain would seem an ideal candidate in evangelical eyes. He has long opposed abortion rights -- the litmus test for many conservative Christians --and as a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war is regarded as a national war hero.

"His tough guy persona and unflinching support for the Iraq war also resonate with many evangelicals, who see the 'war on terrorism' as part of a broader "clash of civilizations" and Middle East events as unfolding Biblical prophecy."

[See here for the full article.]

All too often, "evangelical Christians" have been identified with the most reactionary, fascistic, elements in society and, unfortunately, that identification has currently become a valid one!

The tragedy is that the term "evangelical" (The term in the Greek is "evangelion," which means "the good news," or the "Gospel."), just as the term "Christian," has become what we call 'nominally" defined. That is, these terms are whatever one says they are and, unfortunately, the fascistic among us have appropriated otherwise, and historically, good and noble terms and have perverted them into terms that seek to justify their own often fascistic, imperialistic, and war-mongering mind-sets.

And, of course, they do so "in the name of God," and as "Bible-believing Christians."

To equate any part of Christianity with militarism and jingoism is such a perversion that it defies logic to even discuss it! And when gleeful and grinning idiots who profess to be "Christians" can talk about, and anticipate, Armageddon with delight, and seek to usher it in, we have come to a tragic state of affairs.

The fact is that the Prince of Peace and His followers have absolutely nothing in common with militarism, war-mongering, capitalism, homophobia, and jingoism that are manifested by these self-styled "evangelical Christians."

The crying shame is that clergy and other professing Christians don't make this fact clear to all who will listen, and help reclaim "evangelical Christianity" to promote peace and good will on earth; make it abundantly clear that Christians are those who act as God's agents of grace, love, and compassion in this world, trusting God over and above seen circumstances!

Legalism, perfectionism, exclusion, and one-dimensional thinking that often equates with rank stupidity have no place within any meaningful definition of "Christianity," just as they have no place within the Church of Jesus Christ!

They never have and, despite the efforts of ignorant and/or hateful self-styled "evangelicals," they never will!
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Thursday, February 7, 2008


One of the most erudite contemporary Christian voices to grace our world is Rev. Peter J. Gomes. Rev. Gomes, since 1974, has been at Harvard University, serving as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. I have enormously enjoyed all of his books, and I especially recommend "The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart"; "Strength for the Journey"; his most recent book, "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About The Good News?" I urge you to read them all, as I am sure you will greatly benefit from his many and wonderful insights into both the Bible and into the essence of the Christian life.

The following is an interview with Rev. Gomes conducted by Charlie Rose that I think you'll enjoy.
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I received this wonderful email the other day and Andrew Wilson kindly gave me permission to post it. To say that I'm grateful for his kindness is an understatement, but the most important thing is his trenchant explication of the Christian life and how far most of the institutional Church falls short of our obligation to be agents of God's grace in this world. As St. Augustine wrote, one of the mandates of a Christian is to help make earth "a colony of heaven." The unfortunate fact is that most of the institutional Church has historically made this earth a veritable hell for assorted minority groups such as women, Afro-Americans and, of course, LGBT people. The following is Andrew Wilson's email:


I stumbled across your website [Radical Christianity] while looking for alternative Christian views upon the internet. I just wanted to thank you for addressing some core concerns I have with many strands of "mainstream" Christianity. Thank you for pointing out that Jesus was a man of peace, preached pacificism, and would be horrified by the war mongers that have appeared from the pulpit of Christianity and politics. I've even heard someone tell me that it is okay to go to war with Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries as well as bomb them because they have rejected the US (which some Christians view as a magical Christian/Church/body of Christ). One guy told me that the violence is okay because the Jesus told the apostles that if any town or city rejects your message, then you should
shake the dust of your feet towards them or something!

Similarly, it is clear in the gospels that Jesus clearly told people to re-distribute their wealth to the poor and the first church had a communal structure with all property held in common so that those in need were taken care of. This is again in opposition to the majority of christians, especially those who follow certain hyper conservative political policies which help the
rich, not poor.

Third, many times throughout the gospels Jesus presents "counter-cultural" and "radical" views, admonishing the bondage of empty tradition people of his time were in, which completely has parallels today. Similarly, he told people not to worry about what they wore or the future, or money. This has applications for a focus on money, careers, being well dressed, "professional," and many of things our society focuses on. Basically, I have found out time and time again that the vast majority of Christians, and other religions, not only do not follow any of these things, but also have will argue with me that this is not the message in part of Jesus' ethics or the spiritual part of religion.

It is humorous to me that many people I know who are not Christians at all but are hippies or total free-spirits often embody the ethics described far more than those who follow the man who explicated them. For example, many of my "hippie" or counter culture friends are pacifists, dedicate their education and careers to social justice, civil rights, and helping others, do not focus on "looking good" or stylish, and try to live in the present moment! It is a strange paradox and one that has serious implications because I believe it shows that the "organized" church as it stands does not always effect by itself the transformation of consciousness that is outlined in the bible, meaning that something is missing. Instead, it seems that individuals inside and outside the church realize these truths from within or from god.

Thank you,

Andrew Wilson
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I just received this email from Equality California:

California High Court to Hear Oral Arguments
in Historic Marriage Case on March 4

Same-sex Couples Ask California Supreme Court to Strike Down Marriage Ban

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments on March 4 in the marriage cases challenging the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

Fifteen same-sex couples, Equality California, and Our Family Coalition will be represented at oral arguments by Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is serving as co-counsel with Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, Heller Ehrman LLP and the Law Office of David C. Codell.

The marriage cases were filed in March, 2004. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage violates the California Constitution. In a 2-1 vote, the California Court of Appeal reversed Judge Kramer’s ruling. Shortly after the Court of Appeal’s decision, the California Supreme Court granted review of the cases in order to consider the constitutional questions itself.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger highlighted that the California Supreme Court should decide the constitutional questions posed by the marriage statutes when he vetoed two measures passed by the California Legislature in 2005 and 2007 that would have permitted same-sex couples to marry.

The marriage cases are among the most heavily briefed cases in the history of the California Supreme Court. Late last year, more than 20 counties and municipalities filed a friend-of-the court brief in support of marriage for same-sex couples, including some of the most populous cities in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Long Beach, Sacramento, and Oakland. Also registering their support for marriage equality were numerous legal and bar associations, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In addition, many of the state’s leading constitutional law scholars and family law professors filed briefs urging the court to permit same-sex couples to marry. More than 250 religious and civil rights leaders and organizations, including the California NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, California Council of Churches, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and National Black Justice Coalition, also filed briefs supporting same-sex couples seeking the right to marry.

The California Supreme Court typically issues its decisions within 90 days following oral arguments.

2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the California Supreme Court’s historic 1948 ruling that found it unconstitutional for the state to restrict access to marriage based on the race of the spouses. That ruling was the first of its kind in the nation’s history, and is now the law of the land across the country. The California NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc., and Howard Law School Civil Rights Clinic have urged the court to apply the reasoning from its 1948 decision to the present marriage cases.
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Wouldn't it be wonderful if were mature enough to live in this way? This brief video is the best metaphor I can think of as to how to live the Christian life.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2008


In a post I wrote on May 10, 2007, entitled, The Pathology of the Gay Conservative, I began with the following statement:

"To "conserve" in the political sense, means to adhere to traditions of fiscal responsibility and seek to minimizie the government's intrusion or encroachment on individual rights!"

As I discussed in that post, the definition of "conservative" has in relatively recent years undergone a tremendous change in its being currently identified with traditional conservatism's exact opposite: the increasing encroachment of government into individual private lives; the incurring of tremendous, record-breaking fiscal deficits; the lack of hesitation in invading another country without any provocation whatsoever; the loss of individual civil rights and civil liberties under the guise of "the war on terror," and other assorted assaults on our individual freedoms and on our collective rights as citizens of the United States.

The irony of this dramatic divergence from traditional "conservatism" is part and parcel of what made conservatism so popular in this country in the first place. We can probably best trace the popularity of "conservatism," regardless of the form it takes, to the 19th Century Sociologist William Graham Sumner.

Sumner took the English Sociologist Herbert Spencer's views that competition, conflict, and survival of the fittest were necessary for inherently progressive evolution of societies to occur, and evolve toward ever increasing perfection. They argued that if societies were to "make the mistake" of providing for the poor, have assorted social legislation to help the "weak," allow government to interfere with the liberties of business, evolution would not be progressive, and the future of such a society would be bleak, as it would contain inferior, weak, people who would be of little or no benefit to that society; such social legislation could and probably would well doom a society.

To Spencer, and to the American Sociologist Sumner who made Spencer's views popular in America to the point that it's in America that Spencer's ideas tenaciously took root, and it is Sumner's influence that has allowed this situation to prevail even in 2008, that can be seen to largely account for the fact that we are the only developed country in the world that doesn't have universal health care.

Spencer and Sumner felt that evolution was inherently progressive as long as that evolution was not interfered with by government helping the poor and the dispossessed, and was not in any way influenced by the expansion of government which, they maintained (and which was embraced by many people in the U.S. largely thanks to Sumner), would inhibit, if not prevent, the increasing perfection of American society. In other words, if the poor and the unhealthy had to die, so be it, as America would thereby become ever stronger due to the inherently progressive nature of naturally occurring evolution devoid of any human or governmental interference.

Here was born the ideas of the benefits of competition, conflict, survival of the fittest, capitalism unfettered by any limitations placed upon it by government, and rugged individualism. It is out of this milieu, this mind-set, that grew the acceptance of the ideology that embodies these characteristics that have largely overtaken our society, and that are consciously and/or unconsciously accepted by most every one; embraced by those who know full well (and those who falsely believe) that their best, usually economic, interests are best served by maintaining the status quo. The appeal to the legitimacy and desirability of the status quo is expressed in terms of appealing to "tradition," a tradition that really never existed for most of the American people and from which very few have ever profited.

So, in the race for the Presidency of the U.S., even in 2008, each candidate, be he/she Democrat or Republican, to one degree or another, has to placate that "conservative" Social Darwinist streak that runs throughout this country, even among those who do not profit from that conservatism, that Social Darwinism, and from what it represents.

This reality is what Marx called "false consciousness," where people truly believed in a constructed reality by the elites of that society that only profited and profits those elites, but since "the ruling class has the ruling ideas," the average person comes to believe that he/she is profiting from a political economy that is costing him/her dearly, and yet he/she still tenaciously holds on to the fiction that that "tradition," that "economic organization," that "individualistic ethic" is both desirable and is profitable to him/her. That embracing of the status quo by those who clearly don't profit from it is called "false consciousness," and that consciousness characterizes all too many people in this country.

To deal with this "false consciousness," this disconnect of one's embracing what is in reality only profiting the "ruling class" and is hurting him or her, is frequently managed by creating an "other," a constructed "enemy," against which to discriminate, so as to enable that "other" to serve as a target whereby there can be an outlet, a "safety valve" for the thwarted ambitions, hopes, and the frustrations inherent in believing a lie; in believing in an ideology and way of life that is clearly damaging to one's psyche and economic life. Hence, the "value" of LGBT people (and all sorts of other constructed "enemies") serving as targets of hatred and discrimination.

So, when a Bush, a Cheney, a Huckabee, a Clinton, an Obama, a McCain, and the rest who are also inexplicably considered worthy for the office of the President engage in political rhetoric, they correctly feel that they must pay homage to the great strain of "exclusionary conservatism" that runs through the political economy, the social structure, and the psyches of most of the American people.

And if anyone wants to win that election, he/she knows that full and equal rights for LGBT people can't be expressed (any more than could advocating integration in the 1940's South), and to one degree or another must be fought; the manufactured "external threat," be it in the name of the "war on terror" or in the name of "family values" and "tradition," must be made palpable to the electorate, so that the Social Darwinism that infects this society can still be reinforced, still be justified, still be encouraged, still be made believable, and still be deified so that the false consciousness that exists, and upon which the ruling class and the politicians count, can be kept in place, as can the people who are falsely conscious be kept "in their place."

In this way, the "ruling class" as represented by the economic and political elites, and for which virtually all politicians, along with much of the "religious" establishment, are more than willing spokespeople, can continue to profit from the status quo; fooling the falsely conscious into believing in the legitimacy of their rhetoric and its underpinnings of Social Darwinism, and all the while laugh their way to the bank, to the halls of Congress, and to the office of President.
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Monday, February 4, 2008


"A state lawmaker wants to ban restaurants from serving food to obese customers — but please, don't be offended. He says he never even expected his plan to become law.

"'I was trying to shed a little light on the number one problem in Mississippi,' said Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he'd probably have a tough time under his own bill."

[For the full article, see here.]

It's women; Afro-Americans; Italians; Irish; Roman Catholics; illegal immigrants; Latinos; LGBT people, any others I have inadvertently left out, and now, "obese" people.

The reactionaries who seek to limit the freedoms that they and others enjoy, and who seem to take relish in heaping indignities onto others, and limiting the civil rights and civil liberties of others, will never stop unless they are confronted for the haters that they are!

To remain silent in the face of this kind of persecution, be it done in a self-defined "humorous" way or not, is to be complicit in reactionary activities, and with reactionary forces, and being allies with those who heap indignities and denial, and attempted denial, of civil rights and civil liberties onto others.

Only when all people of good will, Straight and Gay, confront the haters, the secular and "religious" one-dimensional vessels of wrath, will there be a turnaround in our steady descent into the dark ages!
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My friend, Bishop Francis Salvato, has written a new book that combines the teachings of Jesus and that of Buddha, that seeks to give insight into how we can free ourselves from so much unnecessary baggage that we carry, and that mitigate against us living an abundant life. To order the printed book, or downloadable book, please see here.

Also, there is a new site by LGBT rights activist Keith Boykin called The Daily Voice that is "designed to become Black America's daily news source."
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Saturday, February 2, 2008


"Students say that instead of addressing the harassment itself, Principal David Davis personally targeted and questioned students showing pro-gay sentiment, claiming they were part of a 'secret organization.' Davis is said to have actively suppressed speech, such as rainbow-themed insignias and pro-gay statements on clothing, on the grounds that such expressions were disruptive. Part of Davis' course of action was a five-day suspension of Gillman and her unnamed classmate, which was upheld by the school board. Davis was said to have personally admonished Gillman's unnamed classmate, in particular, for her homosexuality, and called homosexuality 'against the Bible' in front of at least one other student." [For the full article, see here.]

The ACLU has taken this case!

"The ACLU sent a letter in November to the school board's attorney on behalf of Gillman, asking for clarification as to whether a variety of symbols and slogans, such as the rainbow flag or 'I support my gay friends,' would be allowed at the school. The school district replied that it would not allow any expressions of support for gay rights at all because such speech would 'likely be disruptive.' The district then went even further, claiming that such symbols and slogans were signs that students were part of a 'secret/illegal organization.'" [For the full article, see here.]

The reactionary forces that censor and intimidate young Gay people, and all Gay people for that matter, are doing more to cause a backlash against their fascistic ways of thinking and acting than the Gay Rights organizations are able to do on their own.

Notice that Gillman is reported to have said that homosexuality was "against the Bible," thereby seeking to use the Bible as one justification of that censorship and intimidation. Beyond the fact that "his interpretation" of the Bible is flat out wrong when it comes to "homosexuality" as we understand the term, we are under the Constitution of the United States, and not the Bible.

We don't allow a given person's or group's interpretation of the Bible to determine the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of citizens of the U.S! Moreover, the very fact that the principal allegedly appealed to the Bible as one justification for his censorship and intimidation of the Gay and Gay-friendly students again shows how the ignorant and hateful rhetoric that has been spewed from so many pulpits throughout the nation has infused the psyches of so many people, both Straight and Gay.

By moronic actions such as these school officials have demonstrated, the cause of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people will that much more readily likely move forward.

It would be nice, however, if LGBT people and allies would engage in grassroots activism, such as picketing homophobic churches (And there are plenty to choose from.), writing letters to the editor of their local newspapers, having groups of Gay couples who seek to marry continuously go to marriage license bureaus demanding the same marriage rights as their heterosexual counterparts, speaking out to neighbors and friends, boycotting businesses that in any way discriminate against Gay people, and other such modes of activism to aid and abet the cause of acquiring those full and equal civil rights!

Let's not leave it up to the reactionaries to do all the LGBT civil rights work!
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