Monday, September 29, 2008


During last year's Folsom Street Fair, I posted, on September 28, 2007, the following entitled, "Playing Into The Hands Of The Homophobes" regarding what I thought then as now was a counterproductive phenomenon that our enemies would use against us. This is a comment I made regarding that post:

"The last thing we want to do is enable the oppressor to be able to play the 'victim' who has 'been right all along' in casting Gay people as 'Godless,' and 'hedonistic.' We are out to help convince those on the fence on this issue of full equality that being Gay is just as viable as is being Straight, and to have this kind of 'in your face' poster and what it represents merely plays right into the hands of the homophobes."

Part of that post reads as follows:

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

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

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

Yesterday, the following article entitled, , "Folsom Street Furor - Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom Under Attack by Anti-Gay Groups" appeared that supports my proposition that such a spectacle, and spectacles like them, despite all rationalizations to the contrary, can do nothing but hurt the cause for civil rights for LGBT people and for same-sex marriage in both California and elsewhere.

That article begins as follows:

"San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair, the self-proclaimed 'granddaddy of all leather events,' always attracts a good deal of attention from anti-gay forces, but this year that attention has escalated as some of groups attempt to use the event to promote passage of California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8...."

At a time when the voters of California are going to vote on Proposition 8 during this November's election, we cannot afford to have a repetition of such a spectacle!

From what I've read, the latest polls show that most people in California are not in favor of writing discrimination into California's Constitution. However, I expect that with the well-organized and coordinated "evangelical" movement now backing the McCain/Palin ticket, we can expect many Reactionaries coming to the polls to both vote for that ticket and, at the same time, voting for the mean-spirited and discriminatory Proposition 8.

If we're really trying to win the hearts and minds of people (And I really doubt that many, if not most, of those who affirm such an image as conveyed at the Folsom Street Fair last year really do have that as a goal.), a repeat of such a spectacle as occurred last year can only serve to further embolden homophobes and serve as a further rebuke to potential Straight allies!

Save for self-serving hedonistic and cathartic displays, the images evinced by the Folsom Street Fair last year serve absolutely no useful purpose! And if the participants deliberately seek to do their best to sabotage our hoped for failure of Proposition 8, they couldn't be doing a better job!

As I wrote in my September 28th post last year:

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

Such consignment to an underclass may be wanted by many, if not most, of the participants, but it must be acknowledged that such a public display can do nothing but sabotage the civil rights and well-being of countless LGBT people and same-sex couples, and that makes such participants witting or unwitting allies of those who have historically and continue to oppress LGBT people!
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Friday, September 26, 2008


Please read this article in its entirety. If we haven't been concerned about the enmeshment of reactionary "religion" with the most reactionary elements of civil society, this article should do the trick!

Here is a brief excerpt from this article:

"On Sunday, Pastor Jody Hice of Bethlehem, Ga., a man who takes the Bible literally and has never committed a crime, will stand before God and the 1,300 members of his congregation and willfully break the law.

"Hice is one of 35 religious leaders from 22 states who this weekend will intentionally violate a ban on church leaders making political speeches from their pulpits, in hopes of forcing the issue into the federal courts.

"'On Sunday, I'll be endorsing John McCain. I believe that endorsement will be a religious statement more than a political statement. But, the IRS says that for me to speak Biblical truth is against the law,' Hice told

"Churches and other nonprofit groups such as charities and state-run universities do not have to pay taxes."

Part of what I wrote in my July 7, 2008 post entitled, "It's Not About Issues; It's About The Reactionary Mind-Set Of The Power Elite And Its Allies," reads:

"Hostility toward LGBT people has less to do with such issues as same-sex marriage and full and equal rights than it does with a Reactionary mind-set shared by those who have a tenacious adherence to the status quo, as long it they perceive that it profits them. These people are either members of, or allies with, the Power Elite!

"The Power Elite is comprised of the people who who have a vested interest in the status quo which they control and from which they mightily profit. Moreover, its members, in order to maintain that control, use assorted dupes and those who want to share in that power, even vicariously, in order to support it and its interests, and such dupes and allies include most of the institutional Church and its members, and all others who buy into the self-serving ideology that this Elite purveys through the media which it controls, and through the credibility that it enjoys in society.

"The Power Elite possesses a reactionary mind-set as that mind-set serves its own best economic, political, and material interests. However, what is especially ironic and pathetic is that it uses those who lack critical thinking skills to serve its self-interests, making them think that it is their own interests that are being served. Moreover, most of the institutional Church, by the very fact that it is comprised of bureaucracies, attract and promote into leadership positions those who possess this reactionary-mind set!

"So, we have professing Christians all too often enmeshing what they consider to be "Christianity" with the militarism, capitalism, Americanism, and jingoism that serve the Power Elite well, and they fuse what is frequently called "evangelical Christianity" with the very interests of the Power Elite, in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus!

"And this surreal phenomenon is considered and touted by them to be the hallmark of 'traditional,' 'conservative,' 'evangelical Christianity!'"

It is this warped view of "Christianity," that seeks to align and enmesh itself with the most reactionary forces within secular society that is causing untold harm both to the image of Christianity on the one hand, and to the very fabric of our Democratic Republic on the other. This harm can be seen in many ways, not the least of which is the all too willing embracing of "Fascism" within our Democratic Republic, creating an ignorance of what that Republic really depends on for its very existence.

As one of our Founding Founders (I forget which one.) said, we cannot have a democracy without an enlightened electorate and, I'm afraid, we don't really have an enlightened electorate. This phenomenon has been aided and abetted by most of institutional Christianity's embracing of reactionary politics to justify its single-minded attempt to exert its ungodly will to power within secular society; to justify its rejection of Jesus' admonitions to us to care for the poor and brokenhearted; to lend, and count on, its undeserved credibility in supporting the most reactionary forces within the political arena.

The seduction of Fascism can be traced in large part to the desire for certainty in a very uncertain world; to the desire to absolve oneself from responsibility for the consequences of our personal and corporate actions; for its appeal to our Reptilian Brains that are engaged by fascistic, black and white, thinking and rhetoric that construct "an enemy" against which that Reptilian Brain can either fight or flee.

In an article I wrote on the day that George Bush was re-elected President, entitled, "The Roots of Fascism: Its Homophobic and Other Religious and Political Manifestations", I stated the following, and I have not had any occasion to change my mind:

"When there is a nation largely composed of people with uncritical intellects; people who are trained by assorted advertisers and other media savvy people to be gullible and develop 'false needs,' there is no need to impose fascism on them. They willingly, gladly, embrace fascism as a salve, an antidote to their fears and perceived needs that are inculcated and reinforced by those who seek to gain and maintain power over them.

"Some of this embracing of fascism is neurobiological, as the author, Arianna Huffington, pointed out in her article, 'Appealing To Our Lizard Brains: Why Bush is Still Standing,' published before the 2004 Presidential election. [AlterNet, October 13, 2004.] She stated: 'Deep in the brain lies the amygdala, an almond sized region that generates fear. When this fear state is activated, the amygdala springs into action. Before you are even consciously aware that you are afraid, your lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode. No time to assess the situation, no time to look at the facts, just: fight, flight or freeze.' 'The strutting, winking, pointing and near-shouting that marked Bush's town hall debate performance all sent the same subconscious message to our fear-fogged brains: "I'm your daddy…I've got your back. So just go to sleep and stop thinking. About anything."'....

"'s in the interests of those who want to obtain or maintain power to create out-groups so that in-group cohesion can develop around them. Even though they themselves created the out-group(s), the uncritical, gullible, self-interested, fearful public bonds with them if they, either verbally and/or non-verbally, promise them deliverance from their fears. Hence, by creating gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as 'out-groups' to be feared in that they are made to be seen as seeking to 'destroy the sanctity of marriage' by wanting the same rights as any other citizens, many people were motivated to vote for the person in the 2004 Presidential election who was seen as 'standing in the gap' between heterosexist supremacy and the 'danger' of same-sex marriage. The same phenomenon can now be seen in the infamous Proposition 8 in California that will appear on the November ballot, seeking to overturn the California Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry within the state of California.

"'Fundamentalism' of all stripes capitalizes on this phenomenon! When the imprimatur of 'Christianity' is placed upon a person, rhetoric, and deeds, that person and his or her acts become not merely credible, but seen as righteous, and even biblical and Godly.

"Rhetoric is crucial in this endeavor! Coupling what is implied or stated as the equivalent of 'God's will' by a person in power or by a person who seeks power to a citizenry that is fearful and seeks, even if irrationally, a person who promises them deliverance from their fears, with an agenda that, to a rational person, even contradicts his or her statements and policies, lends credence and respectability to that person's agenda, regardless of how irrational and horrific that agenda is."

The Alliance Defense Fund organized "Pulpit Freedom Sunday." This is an organization allegedly founded to counter the work of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Most of the reactionary forces within the institutional Church, and most of those churches that would likely participate in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," identify the issue of abortion as the litmus test for "morality" and for one's standing as a "Christian," in the minds of many professing Christians and others. Such as stance seeks to justify their already likely affinity with the politics of McCain/Palin, and they feel free to endorse that ticket by appeal to their interpretation of the Bible, and use their view of Christianity as their stated justification for that endorsement.

Such a concentration might well be seen as a diversion from examining far more destructive practices institutionalized within our society, the addressing of which would not serve their Reactionary mind-sets at all well!

Indeed, such immorality as initiating an unprovoked war against Iraq; about forty five million Americans without needed health insurance; corporate heads making multi-millions of dollars in salaries and perquisites, and given multi-million dollar golden parachutes even when their companies default, letting investors hold the bag upon which they frequently relied for their economic security in their older age; increases in unemployment and underemployment; the falling Dollar that puts us at the mercy of other countries, and represents an economy that is going into the tank as we speak, due to machinations of fiat money backed by no intrinsic wealth and the greed of assorted institutions and individuals, seem to hold no interest for Reactionaries.

Rather, the construction of "enemies," reinforced by simplistic sound bites, designed to engage the Reptilian Brains of people who desire certainty in a very uncertain world, who have a great intolerance for ambiguity in life, make it possible for most of the institutional Church to unembarrassingly seek to enmesh itself with, and exert its ideological influence within the rubric of, the most reactionary elements within the political and social institutions in secular society.

The Gospel of grace, or God's ummerited favor, and faith in God's sovereignty, have been perversely replaced with most of the institutional Church's desire to support reactionary politics either through rhetoric and/or action or silence and inaction; have it serve as a handmaiden to the Power Elite and, even more perversely, the most reactionary aspects of that Elite.

Hopefully, there will be sufficient revulsion expressed because of "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," and other such likely Sundays to come, to give the IRS the guts to revoke all tax exemptions for all religious institutions and ministries in the very near future!
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008



My good friend, Don Charles, who blogs over at "Christ, The Gay Martyr," sent me the following email asking that I elaborate on it, and I’m very pleased to do so because I, too, share these beliefs!

“For the better part of 20 years now, the media has been filled with images of 'gangsta' rappers . . . street thugs with gold chains, saggy pants and foul language, identifying themselves as 'niggers' and spewing sexism, heterosexism and glorification of violence. There are still a significant number White people in this country who don’t know any Black people personally. All they know is what they see and hear in the media. So who wants to see Niggaz With Attitude in the White House, or somebody who comes from a culture that would produce Niggaz With Attitude? It’s what we’ve been saying to LGBT folk all along . . . if you don’t show a respectable image to your fellow citizens, you won’t be respected! You cannot empower yourself by embracing stereotypes and inviting people to speak and/or think of you as a 'nigger', a 'bitch', 'a dyke', a 'faggot' or a 'queer.' You can disenfranchise yourself pretty good, though, and in the process, you can disenfranchise others in your same group!” He also wrote me about the "...destructive images in Black entertainment media: The tacky 'pimp' aesthetic, the street whore look, the loud, aggressive, obscene and uncouth behavior, the love of flashy jewelry and ostentatious automobiles, the prevalence of drugs and alcohol, the glorification of promiscuity and having babies out of wedlock."

My best guess is that Obama’s candidacy was doomed from the very beginning, aided and abetted by his not choosing Hilary Clinton as his VP running mate, and further abetted by his choosing a long-time Senate member, Joe Biden. Obama, if he really wants to become President, is his own worst enemy!

I say that Obama’s candidacy was doomed from the very beginning because of Race, and nothing else! And a good deal of that irrational racism, albeit by no means all of it, is due to the stereotypes that have been held by all too many white people; those stereotypes have been “lived up to,” and reinforced by the very conditions concisely stated by Don Charles. Stereotypes are often held and reinforced by one’s image of the person about whom they are held, and the image held by many white people is gained by the presentation of self of many Black people in assorted, frequently entertainment, venues.

In any case, racism is alive and well in the U.S. in 2008, and the irrationality of racism is aided and abetted by self-destructive epithets used as self-identifiers, and frequently used with abandon, by a visible segment of African Americans themselves. This racism, this elephant in the room, is likely to come back and cost Obama a victory that should otherwise be a slam dunk! We have a chance to replace a defective President, in a defective economy that is clearly going into the tank as we speak, during a time of a very unpopular, uncalled for war. Moreover, we have a chance as a nation to finally put racism behind us and look for the only opportunity we really have to change things for the better, and yet it’s very likely that that chance will be lost to us largely because of racism!

As Jacob Weisberg states:

“Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race. (See his August 28, 2008 article in "Slate," here.)

In the following news item that appeared on September 20, 2008 on "Comcast News," stated:

“Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word ‘violent’ strongly applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with ‘boastful,’ 29 percent ‘complaining,’ 13 percent ‘lazy’ and 11 percent ‘irresponsible.’ When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment.

“Among white Democrats, one-third cited a negative adjective and, of those, 58 percent said they planned to back Obama.

“The poll sought to measure latent prejudices among whites by asking about factors contributing to the state of black America. One finding: More than a quarter of white Democrats agree that ‘if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites.’

“Those who agreed with that statement were much less likely to back Obama than those who didn't.

“Among white independents, racial stereotyping is not uncommon. For example, while about 20 percent of independent voters called blacks ‘intelligent’ or ‘smart,’ more than one third latched on the adjective ‘complaining’ and 24 percent said blacks were ‘violent.’

“Nearly four in 10 white independents agreed that blacks would be better off if they ‘try harder.’"

A large part of these stereotypes, falsehoods based on perceived images, definitions of the situation, can be directly traced to the presentation of self that exists in assorted public venues, that both nurture and reinforce the already preconceived prejudices of those who will look for any reason, any justification, to not vote for Obama purely because of his race. Moreover, those who use such reasons for not voting for Obama as “lack of experience,” don’t seem to apply that criterion as a negative to Sarah Palin who is likely to be the next President after McCain. Rather, they often make excuses for her, even going so far as the ridiculous claim that has been stated to me that she has foreign policy experience because Alaska, of which she’s been Governor for the past two years, is near Russia.

Just as with White Supremacists, many people who don’t view themselves in that light use the same kind of “logic” in order to justify in their own minds, and in the minds of others, that they are not racists, after all, but are really making a principled decision not to vote for Obama. The same dynamic can be seen to be playing out regarding civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people!

The use of pejorative epithets by many visible Black people that is likely to result in Obama’s not becoming President bespeaks the same self-destructive language and images portrayed by all too many LGBT people who are similarly visible in not only the media, but in most all institutions of higher education. The words “queer,” “fag,” and “dyke,” are common parlance even among most academics who view themselves as “liberal,” who use those words, those historically and still currently used hateful epithets, with aplomb, and with the lack of recognition of the self-destructiveness of the use of those words, both to one’s concept of self as well as to one’s projection of self-image and others’ “definition of the situation” regarding the normality of LGBT status.

"Definition of the situation” is a term coined by the late Sociologist, W.I. Thomas and it basically states that “If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” That is, people don’t merely react to the objective features of a situation, but primarily to their perceptions of that situation. Their perceptions clearly override the objective features of that situation when they are called to act on their perceptions.

It’s because of the erroneous, but nevertheless tenaciously held, definition of the situation that many white people have that would create the stereotypes that would inhibit or prevent them from voting for a Black man for President. Similarly, it is because of the erroneous, but nevertheless tenaciously held, definition of the situation that many Straight people have (Strongly reinforced by all too many clergy within the institutional Church.) that many would not believe that LGBT people deserve full and equal civil and sacramental rights because of the stereotypes they hold concerning LGBT people.

And it must be acknowledged that those stereotypes are reinforced by the self-defeating, self-destructive usage of words and images that do nothing but help reinforce the “otherness,” the “deviance,” the “danger” of LGBT people as “the other,” “the enemy,” who are “abnormal” and must be “kept in their place.” We as a country are likely to pay a very dear price for the racism that we possess; we as a country are similarly likely to pay a dear price for the homophobia that we possess!

Both racism and homophobia are aided and abetted by language that frames people’s thoughts! Indeed, the late linguist, Benjamin Whorf suggested this very compelling hypothesis: “The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis proposed that language affects thought. Also sometimes called the Whorfian hypothesis, this claims that the language a person speaks affects the way that he or she thinks, meaning that the structure of the language itself affects cognition.” (See here.)

The very language any minority group (or majority group, for that matter) uses concerning itself “affects cognition!” That is, others will think of us as we think of ourselves and/or what we give them permission to think of us! As many of us were told by our parents, “If you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect others to respect you?” And whether or not we respect ourselves, if we communicate in the language of others that we are not deserving of respect, we are not likely to get that respect from them, and we should not be surprised at the hypothesis that we will be respected commensurate to the degree that we communicate that self-respect to others.

If we denigrate ourselves, show lack of dignity and self-respect by our use of self-destructive language according to the majority group’s definition of the situation, why would we expect them to accord us any respect? Why would we expect to be treated with dignity and have the same rights as others, when we, through our very language concerning our concept of self and presentation of self, present a negative self-image as seen through the lenses of potential allies in the fight for full and equal LGBT rights?

Next time we hear “gangsta rap” or hear Gay people refer to themselves with stereotypical hateful epithets, let’s remember that, as we might well rue the day when negative stereotypes failed to help save the United States in 2008, we might well be significantly and unnecessarily retarding the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for LGBT people.
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Monday, September 22, 2008


This is the trailer for the film, "Milk," starring Sean Penn. Harvey Milk is very personal to my wife as he was her Math teacher in New York. She remembers him as not only being a great teacher, but as being a fine, decent human being. Now, millions can attest to those facts as well!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008


Equality California sent out the following news item:

ACTION ALERT For those living in California, please call the number and register your vote to have Gov. Schwezanneger sign the Harvy Milk Bill.

Tell him to sign the Harvey Milk Bill.

The right wing has turned up the heat, flooding Gov. Schwarzenegger's office with an overwhelming number of calls opposing our bill that would honor LGBT hero Harvey Milk with a special day of remembrance.

We need to match their calls NOW if we want the bill to be signed.

Press 1 for English
(or 2 for Spanish)
Press 2
Press 1 for AB 2567
Press 1 again to voice support.

AB 2567 would have no fiscal impact to the state and would honor an important figure in the civil rights movement, in the same way that we honor other great leaders with state days of special significance. CALL NOW!

Also, for those who live in California, please click on this link to participate in the "No On 8 Action Weekend.
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Friday, September 19, 2008


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a video is worth 100,000 words. I can write and talk incessantly about the hateful rhetoric that emanates from all too many professing "Christian" clergy and laypeople, but this video puts a reality to that claim that no amount of words on my part could do justice. Why would anyone be intimidated by such a hater like this, and what does it say about those who would attend any church, or listen to any sermon, that he or those like him preached?

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Thursday, September 18, 2008


On Tuesday, I received an email from Stephanie Higgins, Director of the film, THE GAY MARRIAGE THING who has just released her independent film on DVD. I strongly urge you to download this film, as it puts a human face on the issue of same-sex marriage that is particularly crucial as we approach votes that threaten already existing same-sex marriage rights in California embodied in the mean-spirited Proposition 8; the issue of same-sex marriage that will most definitely be increasingly discussed in other states as well.

As Ms. Higgins wrote me:

"The film presents the politics, the piety, and the people embroiled in and affected by the heated debate over same-sex marriage. Using Massachusetts as a back-drop, we follow one lesbian couple through the political and emotional roller coaster ride of getting their marriage license and planning their wedding while church leaders, citizens and politicians’ voices swirl around them.

"THE GAY MARRIAGE THING was made for LGBT people to bring home and watch with their families to aid the sometimes difficult dialog about gay marriage. With California set to make history, one way or another, this November, it’s important that we all continue this conversation with family, friends and co-workers.

"It is distributed by The Cinema Guild and is available for purchase and is available for download through TLA Video."

More information about the film can be found through this link.

Please click on this link to download this film.

Here is the trailer to the film that shows it to be one well worth seeing:

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


In the article entitled,"Evangelicals Weigh Election Issues," there is an interesting section regarding people's views of "evangelicals," that is both predictable and disquieting.

"One of the surprises of a new Ellison study [Ellison Research of Phoenix] is 'how much abuse is aimed at evangelicals,' noted company president Ron Sellers. 'Evangelicals were called illiterate, greedy, psychos, racist, stupid, narrow-minded, bigots, idiots, fanatics, nut cases, screaming loons, delusional, simpletons, pompous, morons, cruel, nitwits, and freaks, and that’s just a partial list. ...'"

“'Many Americans are convinced that evangelicals are some kind of a political bloc,' said Kinnaman. 'If you look at things that way, then this really is all about politics instead of religious beliefs and doctrines. ... Some people think evangelicals are part of a political movement that is held together with religious rhetoric and that’s that.'”

[For the full article, see here.]

The reason that people think that "evangelicals" are "illiterate, greedy, psychos, racist," and all the rest is that so many of those who purport to be "evangelical Christians" have monopolized the media and all too many pulpits, and have portrayed "evangelical Christians" as being a bunch of harsh, censorious, judgmental bunch of freaks.

So why shouldn't most people view Christians in that light? And, as I've often rhetorically asked, "Why would any intelligent, decent, sensitive person even want to explore Christianity as a viable way of living his or her life, and view it as, as in the words of C.S. Lewis, 'a reasonable faith'?"

There have been many Christians over the last 2,000 years, not all of whom were stupid! Some very fine minds have embraced the Christian faith, and have trusted in the Resurrected Jesus in their living life on this earth and in ushering us into the world to come! We wouldn't know that fact, however, given the nonsense, often hateful nonsense, emanating from so many professing Christian clergy and others, relating as facts what are mere self-serving prejudices and means of getting more money from their gullible followers.

Such nonsense as "God wants you rich," "name it and claim it," being Gay is out of the will of God," "one's Christological belief system determines if one is going to heaven or hell," and all sorts of other mind-boggling heresies are weekly fare in so many churches and other venues that so many people staunchly believe one or more of them, and so many others who hear them are rightly revolted when they are proclaimed.

In an article I wrote entitled, The Essence of Christianity, that I wrote for my weekly newspaper column entitled, "Christianity and Society," that appears in the newspaper, the "Sacramento Valley Mirror," I stated the following, with which I'll conclude this post:

"Although I assume most people reading my column are Christians, there are undoubtedly many who aren't. I want to
assure them that vituperation, smugness, arrogance, legalism, hostility, and spiritual pride have absolutely nothing to do
with Christianity. Indeed, these traits and behaviors are antithetical to Christianity!"

"[The professing Christians who are] haters and hate-mongers make Christians look like a pack of freaks and I terribly resent it, as do all Christians. Everyone must discern for himself or herself what comprises Christianity and the Christian life and recognize the phonies when they see them. This task is not easy as the phonies frequently get all the media attention.

"After looking at these media types on TV, why would any intelligent and sensitive person even consider Christianity as
the way to God, or even consider being a Christian in the first place? These censorious, judgmental phonies are not
Christians and that must be acknowledged! I refuse to allow these people and their ilk to speak for God, the Church,
and the Prince of Peace Who is the embodiment of love!

"They are to be called what they are: phonies, non-Christians, haters, and hate-mongers who do more than the devil
himself to turn people away from the cause of Christ! Indeed, if I were the devil, I'd put these people up front and center
stage to define Christianity to Christians and non-Christians alike. That would assure that some professing Christians
would become legalistic, judgmental haters and hate-mongers, and that non-Christians would look upon Christianity as
foolishness and a source of spiritual suffocation.

"Moreover, many people who as children were exposed to this perverted version of "Christianity" have left the Church
and many have even turned their backs on God because of these phonies. What they may not as yet realize is that
God has not turned His back on them!"

"Make no mistake! There is an eternal judgment and reckoning with God! It may well be that these phonies, these
hypocrites, these fascists who cloak their hatred of people under the mantle of "Christianity," will reap the harshest
eternal judgment from God."
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Sunday, September 14, 2008


Several months ago, I wrote an article entitled, The Homophobia Behind Studies of the Causes of Homosexuality that tried to show the homophobic ramifications of the existence of such studies.

Part of that article reads as follows:

"We must again ask why it's so important, beyond the intellectual issues involved, to seek to establish why some people are Gay? Why not study why some people are Straight? Why not study why some people like meat and others don't like meat? Why not study why some people love vegetables and others don't? Why not study why someone's favorite color is different from another person's favorite color? Well, you get the point!

"The fact that sexual orientation is felt to be deserving of the appropriation of funds and expenditure of time and energy by scientists, as opposed to such questions as the above that any scientist would hardly deem likely to investigate, has far more to do with people's hang-ups regarding sex and sexual orientation than it has to do with the intrinsic importance of that subject.

"I can certainly see the validity of studies as to why some people love war and others love peace; why some people are sadistic and others are not; why some people take advantage of others and others don't; why some people prey on others and others don't; why some people are homophobic and others are not, but I can't understand why studies of the causes of sexual orientation are viewed as being so important."

However, the other day, my good friend Don Charles sent me the following article entitled, Born that gay that cogently shows how sexual orientation is largely determined by neurobiological and mother's hormonal in utero factors before the baby is even born.

Moreover, what makes this study, beyond its scientific sophistication, additionally compelling is that it is a study that was not written with the intention of proving that homosexuality was biologically determined, although that is its conclusion that is largely based on advanced brain imaging technology.

I have no illusion that this excellent, truly scientific study, conducted by neuroscientists with no ax to grind, will in any way dissuade "religious" [For example, see here.] and secular homophobes from banging their drums of hate and exclusion.

However, I'm suggesting that you read the entire article as it should help remove any sense of shame, or even any vestige of shame, that a Gay person may feel because of internalized homophobia born of the inundation of vilification by homophobes, ranging from the Pope to, in many cases, one's very own family.

Here is an excerpt from that article, entitled, Born that gay that I hope whets your appetite to read this article in full:

"As the accuracy and resolution of brain imaging improve, we can expect virtually all behavior to be shown to be associated with demonstrable brain changes. It shouldn't come as a surprise that imaging studies of sexual orientation are increasingly revealing anatomic and functional differences between "straight" and "gay" brains. But demonstrating such changes doesn't answer the age-old question of how much our sexual preferences are innate and how much they are fueled by environmental exposure, cultural norms and conscious personal choices.

"One way to distinguish the effects of nature from nurture would be to look at brain regions believed by neuro-anatomists to be fully formed at birth and impervious to subsequent environmental effects, both physical and psychological. Focusing on such brain regions, a research team at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, headed by neuroscientist Ivanka Savic, obtained MRIs for 90 adult volunteers -- 25 straight men, 25 straight women, 20 gay men and 20 lesbians. Using the latest quantitative techniques for assessing cerebral symmetry and functional connections between various areas of brain, Savic was able to demonstrate highly statistically significant differences between straight and gay brains. Gay and lesbian brains more closely resembled the brains of straight volunteers of the opposite sex than the brains of heterosexual members of the same sex.

"In their study, reported in the June 16, 2008, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Savic said, "This is the most robust measure so far of cerebral differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects." Although Savic admits that her study cannot distinguish between genetic or prenatal intrauterine environmental changes, such as relative differences in sex hormone levels, her studies do suggest that our sexual preferences are, at least in large part, determined by the time of birth."

As one neurologist stated, "There are obvious-to-the-naked-eye differences in cerebral symmetry and in the functional connections in various portions of the limbic system, including the differing degrees of connectivity between amygdala and other brain regions critical for emotional responsiveness. It's as though you can actually see the brain changes that most gays have always suspected; and, believe me, it's a great relief to realize that these findings are clearly present at birth and aren't anyone's 'fault.' They simply are [present] in the same way that one has blue eyes or red hair. No more and no less."

I again urge you to read the full article, as it might well lift the weight, the unnecessary burden, of internalized homophobia and consequent shame and self-loathing, with all of its many self-destructive consequences, from so many LGBT people's hearts; even go a long way toward healing family relationships, frequently fractured by ignorant and/or hateful clergy and their blind followers.

Moreover, sophisticated studies such as this one may further help to convince Gay people, their loved ones, and all others that they have been told one gigantic lie over and over again, perpetrated by the "religious" and secular haters in our midst who claim a mantle of ecclesiastical and moral authority that their often strident homophobia proves comes neither from objective and sophisticated scientific findings, intelligent reading of the Bible, nor from God Himself!
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Friday, September 12, 2008


" [Maurice] Sendak, who had a five-decade partnership with another man, psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn, who died last year, 'I just didn’t think it was anybody’s business.'

"The article also cited Sendak as saying that early in his career--50 or 60 years ago--being openly gay was not an option for a writer and artist who wanted to make a career for himself, particularly not when he specialized in children’s books.

"But Sendak’s closet went deeper still; the article said that he kept his secret from his parents, and quoted Sendak as saying, 'All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy.'

"Added Sendak, 'They never, never, never knew.'"

[For the full article, see here.]

This is a very tragic story on a number of fronts. Mr. Sendak's self-loathing for all those years, keeping "the secret" from his parents until they died, and resenting the fact most of his eighty years that he wasn't Straight. Most all of this self-loathing can be directly laid at the feet of organized "religion!"

Even for one who espouses no religion, as does Mr. Sendak, the pervasive influence of "religion" (as it's conventionally defined) cannot help but serve to "justify" homophobia and, whether or not one believes in God, provides a claim for the "immorality" of being Gay that cannot be avoided, even by atheists, in a country where most of its clergy and their followers largely extol and preach a perverse view of God.

Whereas God is loving and inclusive, most all of organized religion identifies God with condemnation of who they, the clergy, define as "sinners" (all the while appealing to their interpretations of selected verses of the Bible, devoid of nuance of translation and context) and, therefore, lay people blindly accept that definition whether or not they view themselves as "religious."

Grace, faith, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness have no influence on these purveyors of a false god, their false god, their own very deification of their prejudices and, frequently, hate filled hearts.

They show themselves to know nothing about the very rudiments of the Gospel, and they take their ignorance, adorn it with the trappings of assorted modes of dress and titles, claim moral hegemony over others, often claim a direct and sometimes exclusive pipeline to God, and convince others as to the accuracy of their definitions of reality and their definitions and claims of God Himself.

So many clergy and their blind followers are wittingly or unwittingly wolves in sheep's clothing, and have a pervasive influence on secular society that cannot be denied, and that influence even unwittingly extends to many professed atheists as well. Clearly, one can be sincere, but sincerely wrong!

In order for the Maurice Sendak's of the world, and there are many of them, now and in future generations, to never be afraid or to never live their lives wishing to be other than who and what God made them, all people who care about equality for all people, and who realize that to deprive one group of dignity and full and equal civil and sacramental rights threatens all of us, I believe all of us must engage in the struggle for full equality for LGBT people on three fronts: 1. Fighting misconceptions about sexuality and sexual orientation and identity; 2. Fighting the self-loathing and consequent destructive attitudes and behaviors among all too many Gay people that are inhibiting getting full and equal rights; 3. Fighting the perversion of Christianity, where the "fundamentalists" (for want of a better term) monopolize the media and the pulpits so as to show Christianity to be equivalent to a judgmental, genitally obsessed, religion.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The danger of reinforcing the false stereotypes by such utterances as that made by Kylie Minogue can never be minimized.

"Kylie Minogue has considered becoming a lesbian." Speaking of the late actress Talullah Bankhead, Minogue is quoted as saying, "I'd go gay for her." "..God knows I can't get a man - so maybe I should cross over."

Whether she was "joking" or not, her making such statements reinforces in the minds of homophobes that being Gay is a choice, and that one can either be with a man or a woman, and if one makes "the wrong choice" he or she is a "sinner," and/or a deviant who does not deserve equal civil rights.

The distorting frivolity evidenced in Minogue's reported statements, coupled with the apolitical frivolity and/or stance by all too many Gay people, who have translated the ground breaking work of a Barbara Gittings, a Troy Perry, a Frank Kameny, and so many other LGBT rights activists in the 1950's to the 1980's into the frivolous perversion of these and other such heroes' lives and work into the Alice in Wonderland "right" to use hateful epithets as self-identifiers; celebratory events that for the life of me I can't see what's being "celebrated," save for satisfaction with second-class citizenship, bereft of dignity and equal rights; being grateful for mere crumbs of incrementalism, so that the pathetic outcome is that even the very mention of "Gay" in Obama's nomination acceptance speech [Even though Obama has stated from the outset that he is against same-sex marriage.] causes great optimism among Gay people who should certainly know better.

As long as frivolity and apolitical positions are taken by LGBT people; as long as there is a settling for crumbs of incrementalism and mere rhetorical acknowledgment by politicians who care nothing about Gay people but in merely getting their votes; as long as people are more concerned about such "issues" as the lifestyles of other Gay entertainers rather than spend that energy caring about and actively working to get full and equal rights; as long as the demand for dignity by LGBT people is put on the back burner by LGBT people themselves, the more we can be sure that no significant movement toward acquiring full and equal civil rights will occur in the foreseeable future.

Indeed, for a Kiley Minogue, whether or not she was "joking," to explicitly state that she might become Gay because she says she "can't get a man," or because she says she fantasizes about Tallulah Bankhead, seriously demeans and trivializes the sufferings of countless Gay people at the hands of homophobes who have incessantly chanted that same mantra that "homosexuality is a choice"; have thereby, through the inundation of their ignorant and hateful messages, reinforced the hate of others, and have hitherto prevented many otherwise intelligent and decent people from becoming potential allies.

Whether Minogue was "joking" or not, it's absolutely no joke, as so many lives have been hurt and even ruined because of the fiction that such possible "jokes" have helped reinforce by facilitating the work of homophobes who, especially with the very possible ascendancy of McCain and Palin to the Executive Office, will likely be able to make homophobia even more popular in terms of its expression in the culture, and in the consequent climate of hate, even including the possible removal of some of the few civil rights for LGBT people that currently exist.
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Monday, September 8, 2008


Apropos of nothing having to do with LGBT rights, especially during this election year, I wanted to share with you this brief, clever, and very funny video that pretty much says it all.

And, after we stop smiling, we see that it highlights the pathetic state of political affairs in this year's Presidential nomination and election process, and in this country, that is certainly anything but a laughing matter.

Click here for the video.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008


Words fail me!

"For 24 hours, the message board outside Havens Corners Church, 6696 Havens Corner Rd., read, 'I kissed a girl and I liked it, then I went to Hell.'"

"'If anyone's seen the video and understands how lewd and suggestive the video is for this song, that is not something young people should go toward,' [Pastor David] Allison said.

"He thought the message would be a loving way to remind teenagers that the Bible denounces homosexuality."

[For the full article, see here.]

So, this is love! Thank God many other people (and the article doesn't mention any of them were Christians), took offense, and the sign has been removed, but this Pastor, and all too many like him, spew this type of prejudicial and hateful rhetoric that causes untold damage to young people, both Gay and Straight, and helps further coarsen and poison the society. And these smug, self-righteous haters have the temerity to do so in the name of God; actually believe that they are in God's will by so doing.

One can only wonder how many Gay youth commit suicide because of written or spoken words like this coming from a "church," and from pastors of such churches. And the crying shame is that these pastors really don't know what indescribable harm they do, most particularly to impressionable Gay youth who feel condemned by God, whether or not they even believe in God.

When the preconceived and often self-serving prejudices of people are read into the Bible, and then falsely attributed to God, all sorts of destructive effects ensue, not the least of which are lives lived in desperation; fractured families; LGBT kids kicked out of the house and even forced to live on the streets; suicides; assaults; murders.

And such professing Christians as this pastor, and so many clergy and their followers like him, honestly believe that by spewing hateful rhetoric such as existed on that sign, they are actually showing "love" to young people.

It is known by anyone with even a very rudimentary knowledge of the Gospel, that such Mystification of Experience truly epitomizes both falsehood and perversion!
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Thursday, September 4, 2008


"The annual Pew Religion and Public Life Survey recently reported that after voters gauged how liberal McCain and Obama were, 'the average voter places themselves much closer to McCain than to Obama.'

"Forty-nine percent of Americans say their “moral values” are conservative, while only 20 percent say they are liberal. About half of voters, when asked to assess the moral values of the candidates, described Obama as liberal while nearly six in 10 said McCain was conservative."

[For the full article that deserves to be fully read, please see here.]

By selecting Palin to be one breath away from being President, McCain has cleverly chosen a stalking horse to attract and energize the fundamentalist, conservative base that held the Republican party in good stead during the last Presidential election. Rather than prevent "conservatives" from voting for Obama, something that would be unlikely to happen, he has made it possible for Palin to appeal to this not insignificant demographic, while he concentrates on hammering home issues of domestic and foreign policy.

Because of the tremendous influence of Social Darwinism in the U.S., a political and social theory developed by the sociologist Herbert Spencer in England, and largely institutionalized in the U.S. thanks to the sociologist William Graham Sumner, we still have a very strong "conservative" bent among most people, even among those who clearly do not profit from "conservatism" as it is currently defined.

Social Darwinism extols the virtues of capitalism, survival of the fittest, and laissez faire which are its major components. Social Darwinism has been so internalized within the American psyche that even many poor people blame themselves, and are blamed by others, for their plight, despite the fact that most poor people work very hard, frequently at two or more jobs, to barely eek out an existence.

Many of those who are "social conservatives," therefore, are those very people who are most abused by the system that has mainly elite segments of this society profiting from Social Darwinism, and yet even many poor people nevertheless feel more of a kinship with "conservatism," adherence and fealty to the status quo, than they do with any attempt to change the odds in their favor.

The issue of universal health care is merely one example, where in the U.S. health care, despite what rhetoric exists to the contrary, is viewed as a privilege rather than a right! In virtually every other developed country, there is some form of universal health care, some safety net, except in the U.S., and that fact can be seen to be directly traced to the internalizing of the Social Darwinist ethic within many, if not most Americans.

So, it is not all that surprising that "Forty-nine percent of Americans say their “moral values” are conservative, while only 20 percent say they are liberal." And McCain, by selecting Palin, has tapped into this "silent majority" and, again, is giving permission for Social Darwinism, with its war of all against all philosophy and assumptions, to rear its ugly head.

And along with the internalizing of the Social Darwinist ethic comes the unnecessary, undesirable, and specious coupling of LGBT rights with all sorts of other hot button issues and values such as abortion, stem cell research, Americanism, militarism, capitalism, greed, basic contempt for the poor and underprivileged, along with overt hostility to LGBT people who "threaten the basic fabric of our society" and "are attempting to destroy traditional family values" by seeking to marry.

By elevating Palin with her clearly "conservative" values, the Social Darwinist ethic can be seen to gain enormous traction, if she is able to gain and maintain credibility throughout the campaign process, and it will gain traction to the enormous detriment of "the have nots," particularly LGBT people who are one of the last remaining minority groups where people can feel free to publicly advocate depriving them full and equal civil and sacramental rights.

Palin's candidacy has energized Social Darwinism, much as did the "war on terror" in the last Presidential election, where the constructed "enemy" made possible the cementing of in-group solidarity so that Bush, by appealing to the Reptilian Brains of the electorate [In this connection, see an excellent article by Arianna Huffington.], managed to win that office, despite the incongruities of his explanations as to why we had to initiate the war in Iraq in the first place.

Rationality plays no part when our Reptilian Brains are engaged, and Social Darwinism is certainly conducive to engaging that most primal part of our brains, as it justifies and engages our most basic instincts of self-preservation, so that "the other," any "other," becomes a valuable "enemy" against which to discriminate and is viewed as ripe for oppresson.

That "other," that "constructed enemy," serves the basic interests of the Power Elite; Social Darwinism serves the basic interests of the Power Elite and those who carry its water; false consciousness among those who clearly don't directly profit from the status quo enables Social Darwinism to still be viewed as viable, despite its war of all against all assumptions and destructiveness.

In order to keep its power, its hegemony, within society, the Power elite encourages the engaging of the Social Darwinist ethos by the needed construction of enemies that are then reinforced as enemies by most of the mainstream media so that false consciousness is created in those who clearly don't profit from the status quo. And, the oppression of others, the poor and the LGBT communities, for example, is then given permission to rear its ugly head.

This phenomenon of "false consciousness" and the carrying of the water for one's oppressor can be acutely seen among the Log Cabin Republicans who have given their endorsement of the homophobic McCain/Palin candidacy, thus acting in traitorous opposition to the welfare of other LGBT people; by many African American clergy and others who see no relationship between their own oppression and that of their LGBT sisters and brothers.

Palin's candidacy has brought the culture wars to a critical mass that is again galvanizing the Religious Right and the Social Darwinist proclivities of others in the electorate as well.

And should the McCain-Palin ticket win the election, we can expect the long-term continuing second class citizenship of LGBT people, and even the removal of some of what civil rights that now exist, in an Administration that will give permission for the Reptilian Brain of the Power Elite and the falsely conscious to become elevated and, thereby, hold sway in both the social and political arenas over the next two decades.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This revealing and incisive article highlights some of the issues that would put any thinking conservative in a dilemma. [Also, check this article and audio out for more about the kind of character Palin has, and what kind of person she really is.]

What rationalizations can Log Cabin Republicans come up with to justify in any way a McCain candidacy for President? How can they support Palin, given her views regarding Gay rights as well as her other views that call into question both her judgment and values, as well as McCain's judgment and values in selecting her to be Vice President and possible President of the U.S?

Part of the above article reads as follows:

"Palin’s support of [Pat] Buchanan should not be overlooked. It isn’t as if Buchanan was running a run-of-the-mill conservative Republican campaign — he positioned himself as a fire-breathing, far-right ideologue. Buchanan didn’t just participate in the culture wars of the 1990s, he single-handedly escalated them.

"The stands he took then were ones that would be anathema to today’s conventional wisdom — against multiculturalism, in favor of public morality laws eradicating homosexual conduct and in support of displays of the Confederate flag on public property. He called the 1992 Democratic convention 'the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history,' and spoke of the need for social conservatives to retake the nation 'block by block,' in the mold of the Army troopers who quelled the Los Angeles riots, in order to prevent the proliferation of the “militant-homosexual” and “radical-environmentalist” agenda."

Unbelievably (or perhaps not), Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon has this to say about Sarah Palin:

“Alaska Governor Sarah Palin can help Sen. McCain win this election by appealing to independent and young voters. She’s a mainstream Republican who will unite the Party and serve John McCain well as Vice President. Gov. Palin is an inclusive Republican who will help Sen. McCain appeal to gay and lesbian voters.” [See here.]

It seems to me that any Gay person would have to be a self-loathing traitor to LGBT rights to support this Republican ticket and to support Sarah Palin! And any rationalizations and presumed justifications for so doing ring very hollow in light of revelations concerning her views concerning the inherent dignity of LGBT people as well as the quest for full and equal LGBT civil rights.
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