Thursday, December 30, 2010


Please read this terrific article in its entirety!

Part of it reads as follows:

Can Gay people really become straight? Only in the imaginations of those who hate Gay people.

And whether it comes from junk-science sources (which are "dishonest and misleading", "unethical" and without real evidence that they work), or junk-Christian sources (which impose human bigotries over the top of God's creation, and proclaim that's what God wanted all along), it's the human idea that Gay people should be different than who and what God created them to be, that needs to change.

Indeed, once the faked and unethical "studies" and mistranslations of the Bible are thrown out, of those who claim to have been "healed" or "brought out" of being Gay, we consistently only ever see:
Bisexual people who have simply decided to not act on one part of their sexual orientation, and,
Gay people who have just decided not to be sexually active, but continue the rest of their lives to have the same emotional and biological same-sex orientation they've always had....

God created you Gay for the same reason He created some people left-handed, and some people brown, and some people female. Because it made Him happy to do so. Because the whole of His creation proves that He loves variety, and that He demonstrates His power and glory in a universe that shows unimaginable diversity of things and life, from all the way down to the submicroscopic to all the way up the meta-universe level. God is an artist like no other.

And who He made you to be, is not only a gift to you, and your friends, and your family -- but also to Himself.

I can't emphasize how important this article really is, and I urge you to please circulate it to as many people and venues as you can.
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Monday, December 27, 2010


UPDATE, 12/29/10. This is the comment I made regarding this cover:

I fail to see how public displays of frivolity, publicly affirming stereotypes that have helped consign Gay people to pariah status devoid of full and equal rights, can do anything but retard the quest for full equality. Anyone who is serious about this civil rights struggle should not be amused!

It seems to me that within the many parts of the LGBT communities there can be culled out two major types: 1. Those for whom being Gay means being ensconced within the mainstream of society, expecting and/or demanding all of the rights and privileges that currently accrue to heterosexuals, and where being Gay is largely based on romantic/sexual affinity; 2. Those who may or may not be content with the status quo, but who see their being Gay as largely, if not solely, based upon their sexuality, often divorced from any romantic attachments.

It is this latter group within the LGBT communities that may be seen to be the major encumbrance to acquiring full and equal civil rights, as all too often they are content with, if not proud of, their being cast as outsiders and sexual outlaws.

The latent conflict between these two groups are seemingly irreconcilable, and it is this latter group that has unwittingly internalized the stereotypes that have been visited upon Gay people for centuries by assorted clergy and others.

Of course, the heterosexual communities also have their hedonists who engage in sexual activity that is divorced from any romantic attachments, but heterosexuals are neither characterized by that fact nor are they denied civil and sacramental rights by appeals to that fact.

On the other hand, the hedonists within the Gay communities can be seen to thwart the quest for civil rights by their seeming contentment with the status quo, and by their often public displays that are virtually guaranteed to prevent the recruitment of potential Straight allies; are also used as seeming justification by strident, often religious, homophobes to engage in rhetoric that seeks to deny all LGBT people full and equal civil and sacramental rights.

I'm delighted that DADT was repealed, but I'm very suspicious that its repeal had far more to do with military needs than it did with any amount of embracing of Gay people or of their civil rights!

The true and only test will be passed when same-sex marriage is nationally recognized and codified into law under the Constitution of the United States!
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Friday, December 24, 2010


A few years ago, I wrote the following post that I'd like to reprint here in a very slightly edited form. I wish you all a very good Christmas and a most blessed New Year:

There is no Resurrection without their first being the Crucifiction! Most of Christendom, particularly in a relatively affluent country like America, focuses on the Resurrected Christ (when they even think about Him at all), and eschew the Crucified Christ and His demonstrated life that required, as it does in all of us, a Crucifiction before our Resurrection!

Our crucifiction can and does take many forms, and occurs in many different forums in, and aspects of, our lives and in our life as a nation that "prides" itself on being a "Christian Nation," without seemingly having the foggiest idea as to what that term really means. Those who bandy this term around, not the least of which are many clergy, evangelists, and their followers, use that term as justification for the enmeshment of most of the organized Church in the polity of society; partaking of the very same political and cultural values of that society (usually the most reactionary values of that society), without acknowledging the essential need to eschew the partaking of "the culture of death," to use the late Pope John Paul ll's telling phrase, by dying to self, and dying to the "death-culture," so as to receive, right here and now, a truly liberated, Resurrected, life!

Embracing the culture of death (or, at least, turning a blind eye to it) by most of the institutional Church has handsomely paid off for it in terms of the world's definition of "success," and has also paid off for its leaders and many of its followers in material, psychological, and political terms. Hence, the very loud silence regarding the institutionalized condemnation of others, particularly those "others" who are viewed as relatively "safe" targets to persecute, God's LGBT children!

When there is far more revulsion exhibited by most of the institutional Church toward those who are "liberals," than toward those who engage in hateful rhetoric, as seen by a lack of "church trials" for the proud, haughty, mean-spirited clergy who virtually make a career out of demonizing LGBT people; when there is virtually complete silence by clergy and most professing Christians when hate is geared toward LGBT people, and their denial of full and equal civil and sacramental rights exist, the presumption of those clergy and their followers that they represent Jesus, the Prince of Peace, not only rings hollow, but is a stench in the very nostrils of God!

Indeed, most of the organized Church mimics not only those in the power structure who have a vested interested in the status-quo from which they quite handsomely profit, but it also mimics the power dynamics of the dispossessed who feel they need others to persecute, particularly if those "others" are seen to be in any way "liberated," or even view themselves as having the right to exist as full human beings.

The tragedy of this state of affairs is of special poignancy when it occurs in the "subculture of violence" that often characterizes the lowest social classes, the classes that Marx characterized as the "lumpenproletariat." The poignancy rests on the fact that the oppressed classes, once (to whatever degree) emancipated, frequently engage in the very same oppressive actions against other minories to which they, themselves, were subject in the not too distant past.

Don Charles kindly suggested that I post my writing to him regarding my take on the fact that there is a great deal of misogyny and homophobia in much of the black community; perhaps unequaled in the black community by those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder; among those who are the subject of the greatest oppression both objectively speaking and/or by their willing embrace of the "victim" role. This is what I wrote that I hope provides some food for thought:

...there is so much self-loathing in the black community, as is represented in much of rap music, that it manifests itself in self-abasement and disrespect to others, creates both a perpetual state of perceived "victimhood," and a permanent subculture and underclass of angry people quick to exact violence against each other and against "the other" (such as Gay people) for merely existing (such as women and Gay people) who would dare threaten their fragility by merely publicly existing and showing themselves to be "liberated": something that threatens those trapped in, and who trap themselves in, the subculture of victimhood and violence. It is not politically incorrect or politically correct to demand that our airwaves and media stop being polluted with terrorist speech, be it in the form of lyrics, art, or any other medium! Beyond the coarsening of the culture, such terrorism creates a climate of violence directed against others, be they women, LGBT people, or anyone who is perceived as "the other," one who can be (and, therefore, perceived as should be) attacked for merely existing. If we are serious about fighting a war against "terror," we begin with the likes of an Imus, a Savage, certain rap music, etc. And we have and enforce laws that terrorist speech directed against any person or group is to be civilly and criminally punished! And that includes clergy! For example, if a clergyperson says that being Gay is sinful, that is not hate speech; it's merely ignorance! However, if a clergyperson says that LGBT people don't deserve full and equal civil rights, that is terrorism, demeaning the legitimacy of LGBT people to fully exist just as any other citizen, and that is not merely hate speech; it's terrorism, and that's what should be recognized, acknowledged, and treated accordingly.
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Monday, December 20, 2010


Obviously, I'm delighted, and also very surprised, that DADT was repealed by Congress, and Obama promises to sign that repeal into law. Now, happily, Gay military personnel can serve openly, and not hide who they are, and not hide their partners or spouses from discussions and from social events.

While we bask in this win for Gay rights, we must recognize that the most important struggle yet lies ahead: the repeal of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act! And this struggle is going to make the fight for repeal of DADT look like a cakewalk!

As I've long contended, same-sex marriage, recognized by the federal government, is crucial, in that virtually all other rights that accrue to citizenship in the U.S. will ride on its coattails; the necessary recognition that same-sex love is just as valid as is heterosexual love; same-sex partners who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other will have their commitment fulfilled civilly and, eventually, sacramentally; the demand for religious institutions to follow the law will mandate that they perform same-sex marriages, if they perform or witness any heterosexual marriages.

President Obama has gone on record as not favoring same-sex marriage, and the likelihood of his successors favoring such marriages is not a cause for optimism.

And the artificial construct of "Civil Unions" is no substitute for the institution of "Marriage," even if all of the civil rights that accrue to "marriage" are enmeshed with this construct. "Civil Unions" connote that same-sex love is somehow inferior or different or deviant, and that connotation must not exist! We must fight for "Marriage" in its truest contemporary form for same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other!

If there is strong, coordinated, and viable grassroots and organizational demand for same-sex marriage, the institution of same-sex marriage will also, one day, become recognized as an entitlement regarding "the pursuit of happiness" for Gay couples, just as heterosexual marriage is currently viewed.
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Friday, December 17, 2010


I wrote this post a few years ago and would like to reprint it at this time:

The following excerpt is taken from Michelangelo Signorile's Sirius radio program, where he interviewed former Gay rights activist Michael Glatze who says he renounced, and now denounces, homosexuality, having become a professing Christian. Part of what he said is as follows:

"Every time I was tempted to lust, I noticed it, caught it, dealt with it. I called it what it was, and then just let it disappear on its own. A huge and vital difference exists between superficial admiration -- of yourself, or others -- and integral admiration. In loving ourselves fully, we no longer need anything from the 'outside' world of lustful desire, recognition from others, or physical satisfaction. Our drives become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions...Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one."

Although he's quite young, he is doing great violence to himself and to so many other Gay people, by spouting the same lies that the "ex-gay" industry has been spouting for years, garnering psychological and/or material gain based on a discredited ideology that does immeasurable harm to countless numbers of Gay people and their families.

First of all, denying one's sexuality is not the same thing as transforming oneself from being Gay to being Straight! So many "ex-gays" have appealed to their celibacy, and their love of Jesus, when asked about such alleged change. I've rarely heard of a case where when one is asked about his/her apparent transformation regarding his/her sexual orientation, who said that his/her erotic and emotional attachments have become deeper with members of the opposite gender than with people of his/her own gender.

Glatze epitomizes this fact when he says, "In loving ourselves fully, we no longer need anything from the 'outside' world of lustful desire, recognition from others, or physical satisfaction." I didn't hear him say here that his primary affectional/sexual interests have shifted from men to women!

Not needing "anything from the outside world" doesn't even come close to even hinting at such a transformation! No longer needing "lustful desire" or "physical satisfaction," is certainly not very healthy in and of itself, to say nothing of them being indicative of anything other than the expressions of one who loathes himself for being who he is, Gay, and substituting renunciation of that label into one, not of becoming "heterosexual," but into one of self-denial, which is a far cry from transformation from being Gay to being heterosexual!

Moreover, he says, when one loves him/herself fully, "Our drives become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions." The implication here is that Gay people can't possibly love themselves fully; only heterosexuals can do that, which, of course, is foolish on its face. And, if many Gay people don't "love themselves fully," it's because of the Glatzes of the world who distort the reality of being Gay, and publicly demean and condemn it every chance they get.

No! When we love ourselves fully, and are emotionally/sexually healthy, be we Gay or Straight, our drives don't "become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions," but we recognize that our drives ARE intrinsic to our very essence, and they are, indeed, unbridled by "neurotic distractions," as such drives are healthy and normal, and should be celebrated as gifts from God!

Finally, he says, "Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one." As if heterosexuality isn't frequently just that! Gay people have no more of a corner in their interest in pornography than do Straight people! If anyone doesn't believe this basic fact of life, I have a bridge to sell them!

Healthy heterosexuality and healthy homosexuality and their expression is good for us! It expresses the deepest intimacy possible between two people who love each other. It nurtures the other person and, as such, nurtures ourselves! Expression of our sexuality in the context of love between two adults, be they same gender or opposite gender, is healthy and good, and is truly a gift from God!

Indeed, the expression of healthy sexuality is a profoundly spiritual act! But the confused or twisted Glatzes of the world, not only are deprived of this ability, but impose their own distorted views of love and sex onto others, claiming that they are living godly lives by so doing, when all the while they are denying the very gift that God has given to all of his children, so that in both heterosexuality and in homosexuality loving physical union represents the deep intimacy that God has with each and every one of His children.

There is absolutely NOTHING in a vibrant and healthy expression of one's sexuality that is in any way inconsistent with one's spirituality! Indeed, such expression is a wonderful, fulfilling, manifestation of that spirituality!

If we just stopped listening to the rhetoric of emotionally/sexually warped or confused people who are, unfortunately, given so much media attention, and listened to our own deepest desires placed there by God Himself, we would learn that we are not only expressing emotional/sexual health, but we are listening to God and are to become very grateful for His gift of sexuality (as we are for all the other wonderful gifts He has given us) with which He blesses us, whether we be Gay or Straight!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The following article is reprinted from my weekly column, "Christianity and Society," that appears in the Sacramento Valley Mirror:

Even Sigmund Freud, no stranger to the unconscious drives fraught with all sorts of conflicts and repressed wishes, was shaken to his core during World War l. Not only were his three sons in danger from combat, but he was amazed at the aggressive ferocity of all of the combatants in that war, and the political encouragement of that ferocity that, at the war’s very beginning Freud, himself, had even supported.

He later came to the conclusion that our desire for the preservation of our lives was met with a counter-force that sought death and destruction. Indeed, the Pleasure Principle that impelled us to affirm life and meet our libidinal needs, not only had to be harnessed through the Reality Principle so that civilization could exist, but that Eros, our need for love and socialization with others, had as its counter-force Thanatos, the desire for death and destruction.

The basic problem of civilization hinged on the need to frustrate and thwart the most basic instincts in human beings, our inherent desire for seeking after pleasure and our inherent aggression, with the repression on the unconscious level of all sorts of wishes and desires, and with suppression of conscious wishes and desires that would be condemned by the current norms of that society. Since those norms were ostensibly designed to protect society from the inclination toward unfettered sexuality, and the natural aggression of individuals, those norms had at the very least to be obeyed on the conscious level so that the individual could avoid punishment and shame.

World War l and, of course, the rise of the Nazis in the 1930’s in Austria where Freud lived, brought into sharp relief the very thin veneer of civilization that most people, then as now, took and take for granted. What Freud viewed as particularly remarkable was how fast anti-Semitism grew, not only in Germany but more particularly in Austria that had before the Nazi arrival far less of it than existed in Germany and France.

People who were hitherto “friends” and neighbors almost immediately turned anti-Semitic and engaged in the most hateful acts once the Nazis came into Austria. It’s like that hate appeared almost instantaneously among people whom no one would have guessed housed that hatred, that aggression, that venom.

Although that venom, and those atrocious acts, were largely, although by no mean solely, directed toward Jewish people, it is very likely that had Hitler or any other leader chosen a different scapegoat, that group would have been the target of similar ferocious attitudes and behaviors by those who were led to believe that they were “superior” to those whom they were repeatedly told were the enemy. The logic of the argument was irrelevant! The only thing that seemed relevant was the permission given by the leadership to release aggression and hostility against a group deemed to be “outsiders,” “the enemy,” “the other,” “the deviants,” “the undesirables.”

So, the veneer of civilization, and of civility itself, were brushed away by mere rhetoric, and irrational rhetoric at that, and man’s basic aggression was all too willingly ferociously and assiduously released because the social structure’s leaders, and thereby the social structure itself, permitted and encouraged that release. And liberation from adherence to norms of civility was even evident among the highly educated. So, university students were largely the instigators of the burnings of books written by Jewish scholars and scientists, and they were active participants, along with many faculty, not the least of which was the famous philosopher Martin Heidegger, in removing Jewish and other “undesirable” faculty from their positions in Universities.

Jewish people were taunted and humiliated by such acts as roving bands of people beating them, having the beards of Rabbis and other Jews shaved off, destroying synagogues and Jewish businesses. The conclusion that one can draw from these, and other atrocities that have occurred throughout the course of human history, is that we can’t count on “the goodness of man” and “the milk of human kindness” to insulate us from the worst aspects of man, from man’s basic aggressive and pleasure-seeking nature.

Moreover, the Holocaust and other historical atrocities teach us that we can’t count on the seemingly civilized norms of a society to not give way to those aggressive and pleasure-seeking impulses or instincts when a charismatic leader and his henchmen are able to use mass communication and other venues to convince the populace that they are fighting for some noble cause, regardless of how irrational and ignoble that cause really is.

As Giovanni Costigan, in his excellent book, Sigmund Freud: A Short Biography, wrote: “Taking as his starting point Gustave Le Bon’s ‘deservedly famous work’ The Psychology of Crowds (1895), Freud accepted that author’s analysis of mass psychology: the lowering of the intellectual and the heightening of the emotional temperature; the abdication of reason and the surrender to instinct; the loss of individuality and the welcoming of anonymity; the abandonment of self-restraint and the license to commit violence….” (p. 230)

The veneer of civilization is, indeed, very thin, and all of us must guard against the fiction that any of us as individuals, or we as a society, are immune from this tragic and frightening fact of social life when we allow any social or political leader to define our realities for us, and/or seek to create “enemies” for their own and/or others’ psychological and/or social and/or economic and/or political and/or “religious” gain.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010


UPDATE, 2/12/10.

In my previous post there is referenced an article dealing with 10 myths used by strident homophobes to seek to justify their disdain for Gay people and their desire to prevent Gay people from acquiring full and equal rights. Homophobes adhere to these myths, despite ample evidence showing their assertions to be false, and one must examine why one would tenaciously adhere to his/her belief system despite ample contradictory evidence.

It seems to me that making a virtual career out of condemning others meets certain psychological needs that must be addressed to show the bankrupt nature of homophobia on the one hand and also highlight the envy that may well lie behind the tenacious adherence to the myths that are shared by so many homophobes.

A mentally healthy person doesn't ridicule or condemn other non-predatory people, nor does he/she obsess over what other people do in bed! Hence, the mere existence of homophobia shows us a psyche that lacks health! Indeed, when one does engage in these activities, it tells us far more about him/her than it does about the people he/she is purporting to describe!

For example, one of the justifications for denying Gay people equal rights is that Gay people recruit others into being Gay. Now, when one says such a thing, he/she is intimating that same-sex activity is seductive and attractive!

After all, these homophobes don't suggest that one can be recruited into eating feces, or standing in front of a truck that is barreling down a highway. Obviously, very few people would see these activities as being seductive or desirable.

However, when one speaks of people being "recruited" into being Gay, they are unwittingly intimating that being Gay is desirable and attractive, and that they, deep down in their psyches, may well view being Gay as desirable and attractive as well.

For example, Alan Keyes, whose daughter is a lesbian, is quoted as having said that homosexuality is "selfish hedonism." "Hedonism" connotes pleasure-seeking!

When one uses "pleasure-seeking" in the same context as homosexuality, it seems to me that that person must at some level view being Gay as pleasurable! Whether or not Alan Keyes feels same-sex activity to be pleasurable, I don't know. However, it is curious to me that he would link homosexuality with pleasure!

Carefully listening to the rhetoric of homophobes can be very instructive regarding the psychological dynamics that lie behind homophobia, and the nature of envy, and the defense mechanism of denial, may not be all that far off the mark, especially when one considers strident homophobes' tenacious adherence to the spewing of rhetoric concerning Gay people that have been shown to be mere myths!

Homophobia tells us far more about the homophobe than it does about anything else! In part, it likely tells us about his or her need to use bankrupt justifications for what envious psychological needs are being repressed or suppressed; envious needs that their homophobic rhetoric and/or actions may well be meeting!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010



The following hateful myths are systematically debunked in the following article, that begins as follows:

Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize homosexuals — or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gays and lesbians to “recruit” in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade. But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that homosexuality is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gays molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at homosexuals, who are more targeted for such attacks than any other minority in America. What follows are 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda.

[Please read the full article by clicking this link.]
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Friday, December 3, 2010


It seems to me that there are two major types of Gay people: 1. Those who seek, in one way or another, to adapt to the existing social structure and its oppressive demands; 2. Those who seek to change that oppressive social structure and eliminate its homophobic demands.

The first group is largely made up of sexual hedonists who equate being Gay with sexual activity and with acting out according to their self-defined labels of "queer," "fag," "dyke," etc. They are seemingly content with making the best out of their oppression, even to the point of denying the reality of that oppression, and engaging in all sorts of diversionary activities that remove them from having to confront the reality of their own oppression, and their active participation in that very oppression.

The second group evince dignity, demand to be treated as first class citizens, and meaningfully fight to overturn the ignorant and hateful rhetoric and actions of homophobes. Moreover, they see being Gay, like being Straight, as involving romantic love that is inextricably related to their sexual lives.

The first group is largely made up of traitors to the LGBT civil rights struggle, and it is the second group that is largely made up of those who take this civil rights struggle seriously, and don't restrict their activities to self-indulgent displays and self-absorbed feel-good rhetoric as does the first group. It is the first group that is seemingly oblivious to the harm those displays and that rhetoric have on others, on their own psyches, and on the LGBT civil rights struggle.

About three years ago, I wrote the following article entitled, On The Need To Grow Up, that I'd like to reprint here:

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 unconscious 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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Thursday, December 2, 2010


In an article that appeared today entitled, Mercury ‘turns birds gay’, the following is suggested by the referenced study: Consuming high doses of the chemical mercury makes some birds appear to turn gay, scientists say.

It is known that mercury reduces breeding rates in white ibises but scientists in Florida and Sri Lanka were surprised to discover that the higher the dose given to male birds, the more likely they were to try to mate with another male.

[For the full article, see here.]

In reference to another such article, seeking to determine why some people are Gay, I wrote an article a couple of years ago, reprinted below, entitled, The Homophobia That Lies Behind Studies of the Causes of Homosexuality. To directly or indirectly study the causes of homosexuality, by definition, consigns that orientation and behavior to a deviant category.

Why don't we study why some people are heterosexual? Why do we view being Gay to be a subject of interest and study, and not see anything worthwhile in studying why some people are heterosexual?

I am dead set against studying the causes of homosexuality for the above and for the following reasons as seen in the following article:

"Gay men and lesbians are more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals. The preference for left-handedness isn’t huge. But it's distinct, and it might have a basis in human biology.

"So says Richard Lippa, a veteran Cal State Fullerton psychologist who has been poring over the sex, gender and behavioral data contained in a BBC Internet survey that involved more than 200,000 people. The 'Beeb' used the data as part of its highly praised 2005 documentary 'Secrets of the Sexes.' And it comes amid growing efforts by scientists to examine everything from the length of a person’s fingers to hair patterns for signs of sexual orientation."

[Reference: CSUF study says gays more likely than straights to be left-handed," article by Gary Robbins, "OC Register," April 6, 2007.]

In response to the above cited article, I wrote the following when it appeared:

"This is a very well written column. However, although I haven’t read the original study and checked the methodology, two factors must be addressed:

"1. There is a big difference between correlation and causation. Just because two variables are correlated doesn’t necessarily mean that one causes the other.

"2. The author of the study writes, "You have to look at large numbers of people to see statistically significant associations." That’s the real problem, in that, first of all, there is no indication that this is a random sample. Moreover, "statistical significance" is not necessarily the same as "theoretical significance" or "substantive significance." Also, statistical significance increases in proportion to sample size. The larger the sample size, the greater the "statistical significance," if I remember my methodology courses that I took about 45 years ago.

"Moreover, as a sociologist and LGBT rights activist (please see my blog,, beyond its academic interest, correlates or causes of being gay or lesbian are irrelevant to vitiating discrimination against LGBT people, as the recent remarks from Albert Mohler, President of a Southern Baptist seminary, attest, when he said that if being Gay was biologically caused, medical intervention on the fetus would be advisable and justified to change that fetus to heterosexual, as homosexuality is a symptom of 'original sin.'

"More mileage would be gained by studying the causes of homophobia, and what motivates people who obsess over condemning others’ love and sex lives, than studying the purported causes of sexual orientation."

I continue to reiterate my objections to such studies, the most recent one appearing in the "Los Angeles Times" Health section entitled, "What does gay look like? Science keeps trying to figure that out."

The article by Regina Nuzzo briefly reviews some of the studies as to why some people are Gay, and she suggests, "Finding common biological traits -- things like hair growth patterns, penis size, family makeup -- might one day shed light on the origins of sexual orientation."

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.

The only reason that I can see for its perceived importance, beyond the false belief that if one's sexual orientation can be shown to be beyond one's control there will be fewer reasons for discriminating against Gay people, it seems to me that many people (and scientists are by no means exempted) like to put people into neat boxes, and have people meet their expectations and their requirements within the parameters that they feel should comprise those boxes, and if a group of people call into question those assumptions, expectations, and perceived requirements by their very existence, there is seen to be a pressing need to study "them" and find out why "they" are different from "normal" people; why "they" don't conform to "what I expect" and define as "normal."

A good deal of this interest in why some people are Gay has to do with the fact that being Gay has been considered to be part of one's core identity, both by homophobes, by many Straight people, and by many Gay people themselves. I fail to see why such need be the case!

Each of us is multidimensional, and our sexuality and emotional/romantic interests make up only a fraction of who we are as people. However, when one is historically and constantly discriminated against because of this one facet of a human being, that human being is virtually forced to see his or her sexual orientation as a core part of him/herself, if for no other reason than because that facet has been imposed on him/her as his/her essential essence as a human being. And, in order to seek to defend oneself from these attacks or potential attacks, a concept of self that affirms oneself amidst lack of affirmation by many, if not most, within the larger society, encourages the person to view that aspect that is the cause of one's ill treatment to be defended, if not asserted.

And the desire to both defend one's sexuality and to assert the normality of that sexuality is seemingly bolstered by the desired findings of studies that will "hopefully" show that being LGBT is beyond one's control, and is a normal variant that does not deserve to be in any way condemned; such findings will eliminate or greatly reduce externalized and internalized homophobia.

Clearly, heterosexuals who are sexually and emotionally intact will not condemn LGBT people, as same-sex love wouldn't repel them in any way. Why should it? If one is intact and content in his/her sexual life, what would be the motivation to condemn, or even make a veritable career out of condemning, the sexual/affectional life of another?

The fact that it is the sexually and/or emotionally dysfunctional people who condemn another's sexuality is highlighted by the patently specious and foolish reasons given by these self-styled arbiters of "morality" for their blatant hostility and discrimination against LGBT people.

So, appeal to the Bible, when the Bible does not condemn same-sex love and, actually, affirms it. Or the appeal to "tradition," where such an appeal could also be used to justify the institutions of slavery and segregation (which, of course, did, in fact, occur). Or the appeal that Gay people will prey on children, when the statistics clearly show that it is heterosexuals who are far more likely to be pedophiles than are Gay people. Or the appeal that same-sex parents will likely have more homosexual children when, in fact, virtually all Gay kids are raised by heterosexuals. Or the appeal that children do better when raised with both a mother and a father in the home when, in fact, what studies we have show that kids raised in loving homes with two mothers or two fathers do just as well as kids raised when both a mother and a father are present. And, of course, the list goes on!

And encouraging studies that seek to find out why some people are Gay is implying that there is something "abnormal" or "against the natural order" about being Gay, and we should find out why Gay people exist so that we can better understand this "strange" phenomenon. The fact is that many people fail to realize that God made His Gay children, just as He made His Straight children, with the capacity to love another person, and that capacity and the love that ensues from it are priceless gifts from God that He has graciously given to us.

What deserves study, on the other hand, is what makes it possible for so many people to be incapable of loving another human being? What makes it possible for a human being to despise and condemn the love life of another person? What is the source of such hate that resides in all too many hearts, be that hate justified in the name of "religion" or not, that makes one incapable of loving and not judging and not discriminating against others because of their capacity to love another person of the same sex?

It is these questions that deserve much study, for it is those who hate, especially those who hate in the name of God, who are the ones who really deserve to be studied. They are the aberration, they are the dangerous forces that wreak havoc on society and in the lives of innumerable LGBT people and their families. They are the ones who are directly responsible for parents kicking their Gay kids out of the house and into the streets and disowning them because their children placed their trust in them and that trust was horribly and sinfully betrayed. They are the ones who pervert the Gospel, if they profess to be "Christians," and who provide "justification" for those on the fringe to even kill LGBT people and do so thinking that they are doing God a favor by so doing.

It is the religious and other homophobes who deserve study! Far more mileage will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of homophobia and homophobic people, especially homophobes who "justify" their homophobia in the name of the Prince of Peace Who makes it crystal clear that to truly be His disciples we must love and not judge others, than will be gotten by studying the causes and dynamics of same-sex love and attraction!

It is especially the clear disconnect, the clear inconsistency, between homophobic professing Christians who spew hateful rhetoric and engage in discriminatory actions on the one hand, and Jesus' Commandment to those who would be His disciples to love and not judge others on the other hand, that certainly deserves scientific scrutiny for the well-being of society, for the well-being of LGBT people and their families, for the well-being of those who are Christians indeed, and for the well-being of the image of Christianity when seen by many decent, intelligent, and sensitive people!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This vote at the United Nations is horrific, and some professing "Christians" have played their part in what could well turn out to be the genocide of Gay people in Africa:

Last week, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted on a special resolution addressing extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions. The resolution affirms the duties of member countries to protect the right to life of all people with a special emphasis on a call to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. The resolution highlights particular groups historically subject to executions including street children, human rights defenders, members of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority communities, and, for the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation as a basis on which some individuals are targeted for death.

The tiny West African nation of Benin (on behalf of the UN's African Group) proposed an amendment to strike sexual minorities from the resolution. The amendment was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.... was American evangelical preachers in Uganda who fanned the flames of what could turn into mass executions in a continent that has seen genocidal murder occur numerous times in the last two decades on the basis of religious belief, ethnicity, and membership in a linguistic minority (Burundi, Darfur, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Zimbabwe...).

[For the full article, see here.]
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Sunday, November 28, 2010


Three years ago, I wrote the following article that I want to reprint here:

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

I responded with the following:

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

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

Fighting for LGBT equality is enmeshed in fighting for the very soul of Christianity as it is also enmeshed in fighting for the future of our Democratic Republic. Only when we see this fight as of one piece, will we be able to truly have, and maintain, the fire in the belly to remove yokes of bondage, of oppression, from others, as we, ourselves, are quickly becoming "the other," and can very easily become "the other," if the quick and increasing embrace of one-dimensional fascistic thinking gains any more traction, and is not confronted for the menace that it truly is.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


When one suppresses his or her sexual appetites, one of the psychological consequences of that suppression is anger directed against others, usually those who are perceived to be a "safe" minority group to persecute. Often, that anger is falsely portrayed and seen as being "righteous" because the Bible is erroneously invoked to justify that anger; an anger that often paves the way to denying that minority group both civil and sacramental rights.

Therefore, it's no surprise when we read:

A German theologian says that much of the homophobia in the Catholic Church can be traced to the large number of gay priests who are attempting to suppress their sexual orientation.... "The worst homophobia in the Catholic Church comes from homophile priests, who are desperately fighting their own sexuality. Obviously, those who follow their urges are repudiated more fiercely when one is so painfully repressing that disposition oneself.”

[For the full article, see here.]

The German theologian, David Berger, says that he spent time in "conservative" Catholic circles where the imprisonment and murders of Gay people in concentration camps was praised. This scenario should come as no surprise to us, as the defense mechanism of Reaction Formation is a quite common occurrence in social life.

Whether it be a pastor who has had a checkered sexual background condemning Facebook for provoking what he views as inappropriate sexual relationships; a gay Roman Catholic priest condemning same-sex love and marriage; a virulent religious homophobe found to consort with a male prostitute, or any number of other hypocritical occurrences, we see that we have to focus our attention not on the homophobic rhetoric, but on the person who is virulently homophobic and using that rhetoric.

These hypocrites who engage in Reaction Formation are very dangerous people for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that they are given credibility by gullible people, and they help set the stage for the suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people. Moreover, their rhetoric frames the argument that compels many Gay people to be on the defensive in their struggle to acquire all of the civil rights that heterosexuals enjoy.

There are people, some of whom are likely to be Gay, in positions of leadership in religious (and secular) circles who, if they knew they could get away with it, would countenance the murders of Gay people, as we see in Uganda.

When Berger heard approval of the imprisonment and murders of Gay people by the Nazis by "conservative" Roman Catholics, he was hearing the inner workings of those whose psychological health must be examined first and foremost, just as we must examine the psyches of homophobic clergy, and other clergy and professing Christians who are encouraging the draconian treatment of Gay people in Uganda and elsewhere; those professing Christians whose rhetoric and actions regarding LGBT people are diametrically opposed to Jesus' teachings.

Therefore, whenever we hear any homophobe condemning LGBT people, we must first and foremost question and examine the mental health of that homophobe, for only a mentally unhealthy person would bother him/herself with the love and sex lives of other consenting adults!
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Sunday, November 21, 2010


The following is an article I wrote last year that I'd like to reprint here:

On the Question and Answer section of his blog, Donny Osmond, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was asked the following question.

"Here is my question. How do you think Christians should respond to Gay friends who consider themselves 'Married'?"

Part of his response to that question is the following:

"There are many gay individuals that are members of our church. I know many of them. In fact, some of my best friends are gay. You ask how I react regarding their marriages. Well, I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations. Everyone has tenancies [sic] to succumb to temptation, but we all have the same standard given to us by our Father in Heaven. Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well."

Although Mormonism is not within the mainstream of Christianity, this one response sums up the "justifications" for a lot of the revulsion, despite all the sanctimonious rhetoric in the world, which many professing Christians have toward Gay people! I want to comment on significant parts of his response, as I think that his response gets at the very heart of what we're fighting against when we engage in the struggle for full and equal rights for Gay people; certainly including the right to marry.

"There are many gay individuals that are members of our church." Why any self-respecting Gay person would be a member of any organization, church or not, that discriminates against him/her and preaches that being Gay is in any way immoral, disordered, evil, a threat to the "sanctity of marriage," a threat to children, etc., is a mystery to me. He/she must have a tremendous degree of self-loathing that is superficially masked by proclaiming, "It's my church too."

Really? Can you preach from the pulpit that being Gay is healthy; faithful same-sex love is just as sacred as is opposite-sex love? Can you feel free to live as a Gay person within that church and among its members? Do you have the right to excommunicate people from “your” church? Get it clear: It's not your church too!

Gay people should flee those homophobic churches as fast as they can, lest those churches wreak more havoc with your psyches than they may have already done. It's not healthy for you, and just gives that church credibility through your very presence and through the monies you contribute so that they can turn around and use that credibility and money to continue to proclaim that your lives are "immoral" and "sinful" and that you deserve to be deprived of full and equal civil rights. Just get out of those churches, and either go to a church that is worthy of you and that embraces you as it does anyone else, or you're far better off not going to church at all!

"...some of my best friends are gay." Yeah! Right! With the feelings toward Gay people that he holds and expresses, how in the world could any self-respecting Gay person be his "best friend" or believe that he is their "best friend?" He's either deluding himself and/or others, or has as Gay "best friends" terribly self-loathing people who lack self-respect.

"...I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations." Saying "gay tendencies" is equivalent to saying "straight tendencies." We don't have sexual "tendencies," but our emotional/sexual orientation and stimulation exist at the very core, the very heart, of our beings, be we Straight or Gay. He would never talk about "heterosexual tendencies," but feels free to talk about being Gay as being a "tendency."

He represents most professing Christians who are homophobic in that they feel that homosexuality is merely engaged in by perverted heterosexuals. They fail to see that homosexuality is as much a part of one's core being as is heterosexuality, and that mere suppression of those "tendencies" is not only doomed to failure, but even if one can suppress those "tendencies," the warped creature that emanates from all that suppression can cause, and frequently does cause, inestimable harm to him/herself and/or to others.

The emotional/sexual urge is so primal, so fierce within one's very soul, that to talk of "Gay tendencies" shows a woeful ignorance of both Gay sexuality and Straight sexuality. Both partake of the very soul within a person; each is just as integral a part of one's soul as is the other.

So, it's just as foolish to ask why a person is Gay as to ask why a person is Straight! Gay people are not perverted Straight people! And that fact must be hammered home to those who insist with oracular authority that that fiction is the case; that very fiction demonstrates their woeful ignorance of sexuality.

"...I do support our Church leaders who say that we can accept those with gay tendencies in our church as long as they do not act upon their temptations." That's not at all true! Just as in life, in the Christian life, one size doesn't fit all. God made each of us unique, and it's that very uniqueness that not only defines our humanity, but enables each of us to express the different gifts God has given us in ways that help others and glorify Him.

The only standard of following Jesus was given to us by Jesus, when He was asked, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus then answered, "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40)

Nowhere did Jesus ever advocate shunning another; depriving anyone of full and equal civil rights; denying anyone a seat at the Lord's table, save for the self-righteous legalists who in any way distort, through ignorance and/or malice, the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace or unmerited favor God freely gives to us through our faith in Him.

Hear the Apostle Paul: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) Elsewhere Paul asserts, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)

The homophobic professing Christians fail to realize that they commit a grievous sin: they "frustrate the grace of God," and see themselves as "righteous" because they seek to articulate and impose on others God's "law," as they see it, a "law" that coincidentally matches their preconceived prejudices. However, when that "law" threatens their own interests, they "miraculously" receive "another revelation," as occurred when the Mormon Church in 1978 gave up its institutional racism; when the Mormon Church officially gave up the preaching and the practice of polygamy.

"Whether we may be tempted to be immoral with members of our own sex or of the opposite sex, we are expected to live chaste lives. This is very well explained not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible as well." Many people view being Gay as being equivalent to being "immoral!" And that perverse view, of course, is learned largely from homophobic clergy and other religious leaders who rail from assorted pulpits throughout the world concerning the identification of being "Gay" with being "immoral," and with being "hedonistic." It is equivalent to defining heterosexuality by focusing on adultery and spouse swapping.

Homophobes have a vested interest in dealing with what they refer to as a seemingly "seamy" side of being Gay while at the same time focusing on the seemingly "healthy, family oriented" side of being Straight. It doesn't matter that it's Straight people who have put the myth to the oft used phrase, "sanctity of marriage," given rampant divorce rates. In order to maintain the fiction that Gay people are "immoral" and "hedonistic," homophobes have to engage in the irrational by blaming Gay people for the downfall of the institution of marriage.

If we are truly consistent in the mandate for Christians to live "chaste lives," it would do well to have them read Jesus' words in Matthew 6:27-28, as by that standard virtually every church would be empty. Moreover, such a personal moral sin as divorce is deliberately avoided by most clergy, as most clergy are not likely to condemn divorced people, lest their church membership dwindles and the financial contributions dry up!

Moreover, to say, "It's in the Bible," seeks to elevate and justify one's prejudicial mind-set that actually contradicts much of what is, in fact, in the Bible. In an article entitled, “Our Judgments of Morality,” that appeared in the November/December 1999 issue of "Whosoever," I wrote the following:

"Jesus as human was the consequence of fornication and whoredom, and He had in His lineage a murderer. The prophet Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute. (Hosea 1:2) The prophet Isaiah was told by God to walk around naked for three years. (Isaiah 20:3) Can you imagine what the Church world, the Vatican, and we ourselves would make of all these events today? It is important to remember that God's purposes will be fulfilled despite the judgments of man, our traditions, culture, mind-set, and prejudices."

Things in the Bible, as in life, are not as simple and one-dimensional as the legalists would have us believe!

The more Straight people have occasion to know that members of their families, neighbors, friends, and co-workers are Gay, the more likely it will be that the fiction that Gay people are inherently immoral and hedonistic will be seen for the big lie that it is. However, to the degree that Gay people can be seen as "the other," even as "the enemy," it's to that degree that all sorts of irrational rhetoric, with the discriminatory actions that follow that rhetoric, will hold ascendancy in the psyches and actions of many professing Christians and others.

The attempt to impose such irrational views on civil society, and seek to deprive Gay people of basic civil rights, is seen as "justified" by the belief in the myth that Gay people and what Gay people do sexually is "immoral." However, knowledge of the truth must gain ascendancy, and that is currently very unlikely among many, if not most, professing Christians given the mind-sets of people who choose to blindly follow their homophobic clergy-leaders in both thinking and in actions; among those who lack a discerning and critical intellect, especially when it suits their own prejudices.

The definition of "Chaste" is as follows: "refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous." Being Gay and having faithful same-sex relationships is, indeed, contrary to a great deal of religious rhetoric, but the fact is that faithful same-sex love and relationships are every bit as moral and virtuous as are faithful opposite-sex love and relationships!

So many professing Christians and others miss this truth, and it must be continuously proclaimed to those who are not blinded by mere institutionally religious loyalties to homophobic clergy who insistently proclaim in their ignorance, and thereby show their ignorance, the very opposite of this truth!

Being Gay like being Straight is normal, healthy, life-affirming, Godly, and sacred! And all the homophobic religious leaders and their blind followers in the world can continue to spout their lies but will ultimately never successfully overcome these truths!

And in the not too distant future, all decent and intelligent people, Christians and non-Christians, will come to see the basic depravity of homophobic thinking, much as they now do with its cousin, White Supremacy, that was in ascendancy in this country not all that long ago!
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Friday, November 19, 2010


The excellent writer, James Baldwin, wrote that we must come to “…the realization that civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.” (The Fire Next Time, Dell Publishing Company, 1964, p. 77) God’s apostles are not to be “spineless!”

It is spineless people, limited human beings, those who remain silent amidst the oppression of others, who take seriously someone like Joel Osteen, and other such "religious" homophobes who use smarmy God-talk to seem accepting of others while at the same time demeaning them. To equate being Gay with such behaviors as alcoholism is a terrible, ungodly, thing to do!

And why "The View" would have Osteen on their show in the first place is a mystery, and merely serves to confer a credibility upon him that neither he nor others of his homophobic ilk deserve.

Despite Osteen's contention, being Gay is God's best for Gay people! His and many other pastors' ignorance has them condemn others, and yet hypocritically preach "love" and "acceptance," so as to feather their nests, making them seem loving to those who gullibly take them seriously.

Osteen and others like him are wolves in sheep's clothing who do inordinate damage to LGBT people, and also to Straight people, who are inundated with exclusionary messages regarding LGBT people, helping to set the stage for Gay suicides; harassment, bashings, and even murders, by those, and other presumably Straight people, who think they are doing God a favor by so doing.

As the Apostle Paul wrote regarding those who preach any other Gospel than the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor): God damn them! (Galatians 1:8-9)

Please watch this brief clip:

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


An organization of American Catholic nuns has denounced the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for reiterating its opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage at its annual meeting in Baltimore this week while remaining silent on anti-gay bullying and gay teen suicide.

In a statement released Tuesday, the National Coalition of American Nuns accused the bishops of acting like “blinded Pharisees” for waging a fight against marriage equality while failing to speak out on gay teen suicides brought about by school bullying and harassment.

“More than a month has gone by since the media broke the news about a series of gay suicides,” the nuns’ statement says. “During that time, the U.S. Catholic Bishops failed to make a single statement regarding these tragic, preventable deaths.”

[See here for the full article.]
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Monday, November 15, 2010


The following article is one I wrote several years ago, and I want to reprint it here:

“…he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” (Isaiah 5:7)

The above verse of Scripture shows us that God wants justice and righteousness in the world; He wants mercy and compassion to go forth from those who claim Him to be their Lord and Master. Yet, what all too frequently ensues is oppression and torment visited upon others in His name.

If I was the very Devil himself, I would seek to bring down Christianity by placing vocal spokespersons in key positions so that they could have access to the media, such as TV, to not only make Christians look like a pack of harsh, judgmental freaks, but seek to demonize the underdog and the marginalized in our society. Unfortunately, this tactic has been working all too well! Intelligent, sensitive people are frequently turned-off from even exploring the Christian message and the evidence for the Resurrection because of some professing Christians who are hate-mongers!

By selectively picking out certain verses of Scripture, they cause a climate of hate that all too frequently redounds to the disadvantage of marginalized and hurting people. Historically, these people have been people of color, women, gays, and the poor.

The ignorance and biases of the haters and hate-mongers who claim to speak for God, the Bible, and Christians hammer home God’s plea to each and every one of His children, “O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

Not only do many followers of these haters and hate-mongers have their walk with God and with their fellow man or woman destroyed but they themselves can become destroyed in the process. “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” (Isaiah 9:16)

It is easy to hate! The famous nineteenth century sociologist, Emile Durkheim, posited the closest thing we have to a law about social life, which in essence says, “If there is a threatening out-group, the in-group unites to protect itself against it.” Indeed, we have a vested interest in creating out-groups so that we can cement in-group cohesion, thereby giving us a sense of belonging and a feeling of superiority. Moreover, “hate” is a great energizer that can give one a sense of purpose and meaning in his or her life, particularly when it is done in the name of God and in the name of “love.”

By not showing mercy and compassion to all people who are made in the image of God we profane God to them and, most importantly, to Him. These professing Christians, these false prophets, these haters and hate-mongers who hate in the name of God are the people who God talks about when He says, “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Isaiah 1:15)

They are arrogant, haughty, and proud in their veneer of civility and in their feeling of superiority. They help create a climate of hate where people on the edge can kill and maim and actually believe they are doing it in the name of God.

When a black man is dragged almost three miles to his death, when a person who performs abortions is killed, when a gay man or woman is taunted or killed, when a person of color is disparaged or lynched, when immigrants are discriminated against, when people who think and/or act differently from us are viewed as the “other,” the “stranger,” we set up the climate of hate.

Anyone with even a nodding acquaintance of Scripture knows that we are obligated to love and embrace all other people; show forth mercy and compassion. When I see a professing Christian disparage TV (a medium for which I am certainly no apologist) because it allegedly has twenty-five gay characters out of the thousands portrayed, and who wants programs rated for “gay content,” it makes me sick. When I see another professing Christian, who is frequently
on TV talk-shows, sees a doll meant for babies projecting his homophobia on that object by seeing it as a gay doll that, too, makes me sick.

When I heard a popular TV evangelist say, to loud applause, that the reason some women are lesbians is because they are “too ugly to get a man,” or when another influential “Christian” says that the anti-Christ is now alive and is a Jewish male, that is also profoundly offensive. Hate-mongering, of course, is usually done under the guise of “love” and “values.” It is rarely done in the name of what it is, “hatred!”

Christians must stand up to haters and hate-mongers in our midst who practice the politics of exclusion and seek to deny civil rights to others, particularly when they do so in the name of God. They are purveyors of a false gospel of legalism and perfectionism that reflect their own prejudices which they impose upon Scripture, and they have the temerity to seek to redefine the Gospel of grace, faith, peace, love, reconciliation, and inclusiveness to be consistent with their own prejudices for which they are frequently handsomely rewarded.

If we don’t actively confront these wolves in sheep’s clothing and the injustices that these purveyors of a false gospel perpetrate upon others, upon our society, upon the name of Christ, upon the Church, upon Christianity, and upon each and every Christian, we are not only condoning their false gospel of legalism that has galloped into the Church, and that has frequently been fused with the most reactionary forces in secular society, but we are tacitly condoning the very
hatred and politics of exclusion done in God’s name that these very limited human beings espouse and represent.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010


The International Transgender Day of Remembrance remembers all those who have been murdered due to hate crime. It offers a moment for the transgender community and the world to pause for thought and remember.

Every year since 1998 a web project “Remembering our Dead” has recorded as many deaths as they can that have transphobic motives. The site makes shocking reading and reminds us just how dangerous it can be to live as a transgender person in society. Although primarily a US site it has now spread across the world and more are recording deaths on an international scale.

[Click on this link for the full article with links.]

This day of remembrance usually occurs any time from November 13th through November 20th.

Hear the discussion of Sister Paula and Rev. Troy Perry, Founder and Past Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches that he founded in 1968:

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.” (Psalm 131)

All of us, to one degree or another, suffer from emotional discontents and problems that are largely and frequently caused by our perceptions and/or our distorted expectations of what this world has to offer. This phenomenon is especially acute for LGBT people who have been the victims of strident homophobia from virtually all quarters of society: the religious, the family, from politicians, and from assorted verbal and physical bashings that have resulted in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for so many.

The consequences of grinding oppression, hateful epithets, denigration, prejudice and discrimination, fear of being "outed" and the possible negative consequences of coming out, are often seen in internalized homophobia, shame and self-loathing that often result in destructive and risk-taking behavior; sexual excesses that come to define one by his/her sexual orientation, rather than in seeing oneself as a full human being made in the very image of God.

Unfortunately, many Gay people equate their being Gay with sexual hedonism, much like homophobes do, so their emotional pain and its consequences put them in the same camp as the oppressor!

As I recently wrote to a friend of mine in this connection: "I think we have to keep underscoring the fact that being Gay, like being Straight, has little or nothing to do with sex. One is Gay even if he/she can't have sex. One is Straight even if he/she can't have sex. Those LGBT 'activists' who are actually sexual hedonists do what the homophobic religious right does: portray Gay people as being nothing more than sexual creatures, thereby they both suffer from the same malady of ignorance; retard the struggle for equal rights."

So, the issue of emotional health has major implications and consequences for LGBT people as well as the future of the LGBT Civil Rights movement!

In this article, I seek to address psychological and spiritual ways all of us, LGBT and Straight, can minimize, if not obliterate, many of our emotional discontents.

So much of our emotional problems, our existential discontents, come from what Sociologists call “Anomie.” Anomie occurs when one’s expectations exceed what the person, situation, or society can deliver.

For example, if I believe that working hard will make me rich, and I find out that when I’ve worked hard others who were “team players,” and who worked far less than I did, have gotten most of the rewards from our employer, I become understandably hurt and angry. My expectations exceeded the reality of what justice I thought would accrue to me because of my hard work.

Hence, my hurt, anger, and basic discontent with both my work and, frequently, with life itself. It is only when we learn how to neutralize our expectations of others, and of life itself, that we are on the way to achieving some level of inner peace to the degree that this sin-cursed world can afford us.

Similarly, if I enter marriage with the idea that there will always be harmony between my spouse and myself, and I later find out that we often argue or differ on certain matters and, therefore, become disillusioned with both my spouse and even with the institution of marriage itself, it is due to “anomie.” My expectations exceeded the reality of what constitutes marriage, and I must come to the point where I realize that we can’t take two different people with two different sets of genetics, different backgrounds, different interests, and different priorities and put them together and always expect “two hearts to beat as one.”

The gaining of “maturity” or, in the above context of Scripture, the status of being “weaned” from our illusions and facing life and our particular situations as they are, and not necessarily as we want them to be, helps confer a certain level of peace that our anomie certainly didn’t afford us. We come to the knowledge, sooner or later, of the truth of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement, when he was asked about the secret of his success, “A long time ago I realized that I was not God.”

In other words, what Oliver Wendell Holmes, former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was saying was that he came to recognize that there are many things in life, and in his life in particular, that he couldn’t “fix” or “control,” and that he had to separate what he could “fix” and “control” from those things which he couldn’t change. Clearly, this understanding resonates with the well known “Serenity Prayer,” often used by people who are fighting an addiction of one sort or another, and it is attributed to the famous theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Just as the incorporation of this prayer is crucial in the life of any addict, it is crucial in the life of every person, addict or not, Christian or not!

The above Psalm of David that precedes this article begins with the basic stance toward one’s life and toward life itself as one of humility, in that David recognizes that he can’t control many things in his life, and he stands humbled before the sovereignty of an omniscient, omnipotent God, the Alpha and the Omega of life, and of David’s life, and he recognizes the importance of maintaining this lowliness of mind.

David’s eyes are not “lofty,” and he doesn’t suffer from the mistake of “anomie” where his expectations exceed what God allows, and what God has ordained for him. This is a man who is content in all of his life circumstances, and resonates well with the stance of the Apostle Paul who wrote, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

Paul was not saying that he was not necessarily content “with” the circumstances, but he was content “in” whatever circumstances he found himself, because he trusted in the sovereignty of God in his life and in this world, and that rock-like faith was going to carry him through whatever hills and valleys he was called upon to traverse. And, as we know, Paul had many hills and valleys to travel before God called him home via a chopping block!

It is no accident that in Proverbs 6, concerning the things that the Lord hates, “A proud look” is the first thing mentioned. (v. 17) When we’re proud of “our accomplishments” we fail to realize that God made those accomplishments possible; when we’re proud of our talents, we fail to realize that God gave us those talents; when we’re proud of our wealth, we fail to realize that God not only allowed us to acquire that wealth, but like our accomplishments, talents, and all other gifts from God on this earth, all of these accoutrements of what we call “success” are mere straw for the fire. In this connection, it is interesting to note that the noted and prolific theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, stated that compared to the great glory of God, all of his writings were “like straw.”

The above Psalm continues with David’s understanding that he doesn’t try to deal with matters beyond his control or to those things to which his talents and abilities are not equal. Given this understanding, he asserts in verse 2, “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself.” In other words, he’s not going to worry about things over which he has no control; he’s going to leave those things, and all other things that he can’t even understand, in the hands of almighty God.

After getting his fill of the many blessings of God in his life, David asserts that his soul is in a state of being content and at peace in his knowledge of the sovereignty of God, and “as a child that is weaned of his mother,” his “soul is even as a weaned child.” Just as a weaned child has filled himself on his mother’s milk and is now contented and at rest, so is David’s soul in his knowledge of all that has been given to him by God in his life, and he has the sure and certain knowledge that God will never let him down.

David concludes, “Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and forever.” In other words, David is telling all of Israel, and now all disciples of Christ, the “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16), that we are to have the same kind of confidence in God as does David.

This Psalm is biblical faith put into action in one’s life! We cannot live a fulfilling life if we are perpetually worried about life-circumstances or potential life-circumstances; by actual threats or the fear of threats. By our worrying, we accomplish nothing of any value, and we blind ourselves to God’s making a way where there is no way in our lives, and we show that we do not profit from understanding all of the seeming insurmountable hurdles that God enabled us to overcome in our past.

Psalm 37 puts a finer point on this matter when David writes, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity…Trust in the Lord, and do good…Delight thyself also in the Lord…Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him: and he shall bring it to pass…Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil…Wait on the Lord and keep his way…And the Lord shall help [the righteous] and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”

Once we truly understand, not only intellectually but emotionally, that we are not God, and that there are so many things beyond our control, and so many things that our feeble brains are not able to understand, we are put in the position of casting all our cares upon God (1Peter 5:7) with the firm assurance that He knows the beginning from the end; He knows us better than we know ourselves; He and He alone knows the big picture and we can’t possibly know or comprehend that picture; He knows what we are going to say before we say it; He knows what we think; He has our best interests at heart, regardless of what life-circumstances seem to exist.

Once we come to the place where we exercise this biblical faith every moment of our lives, we have achieved the emotional health that most all of us desire. Make no mistake: I am very far from that place, but it is a place worth pursuing, for it is the ultimate expression of our trust in our sovereign God who saved us, who keeps us, who enables us to overcome our enemies, be they people or events, and who, in the not too distant future, delivers us unto Himself forever.

It is this knowledge, this mind-set, and its practice in our daily lives that denotes spiritual maturity and confers emotional health!
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Sunday, November 7, 2010


The following is an article I wrote a few years ago that I'd like to reprint here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey Jerry -

Here's a good one from "Dispatches from The Culture Wars".

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus wept. The church betrayed him.

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