Saturday, February 27, 2010


Are we this stupid as a nation that we give a damn what some beauty pageant contestant thinks about her perceptions of the biblical roots regarding same-sex marriage?

View more news videos at:

[Thanks to PopCrunch.]

How far are we willing to tolerate rank ignorance in the name of "free speech," when such "free speech" causes such pain and suffering to most LGBT people and their families?

It was settled a long time ago that shouting fire in a crowded theater does not constitute the right to invoke "free speech," and that is exactly what ignorant and/or hateful homophobes, be they clergy or not, are doing! They help reinforce a climate of hate in the name of free speech and, God help us, in the name of "religious freedom," and also ignorantly do so in the name of God!

When are biblical scholars and theologians who know very well that the Bible does not in any way condemn same-sex love going to take the risk of offending many of their congregations and clerical leaders, take the risk of losing power and/or prestige and/or wealth, and tell the truth that being Gay is just as morally normal and sacred as is being Straight?

We can't afford to have professing Christian clergy play it safe and put their careers, and the financial contributions of their congregations, higher on their agenda than is telling the truth that if one is homophobic he/she can't appeal to the Bible to defend that irrational prejudice!

To the degree that professing Christian clergy remain silent in the face of the oppression of Gay people, they are just as culpable in bearing false witness against Gay people as are those smug clergy and laypeople who ironically and tragically spew hateful rhetoric against Gay people "in the name of God"; do so by appeal to the Bible bereft of accurate translation and bereft of context of the select verses they choose to use to defend their preconceived prejudices!

So, in this bizarre and tragic scenario, we can have contestants in beauty pageants exercise their "free speech," and have clergy and theologians who know better remain silent and allow ignorance to win the day; allow ignorant and even hateful rhetoric from assorted clergy and others to monopolize the marketplace of ideas in both the religious and secular arenas in which the struggle for dignity and equal rights for Gay people is being fought.

The silence of professing Christian clergy, and their tolerance of prejudicial stupidity regarding Gay people by those in the religious and secular arenas, mimics the very same silence of most White clergy and laypeople that existed during the African American civil rights struggle.

Of course, homophobic statements made by clergy and laypeople are no less egregious than were parallel statements made by "religious" and secular White Supremacists in the U.S. not that long ago!

Because of moral cowards within the ranks of clergy within most of the institutional Church, we can tragically expect the institutional Church to, again, just as in the African American civil rights movement, play the caboose in the trajectory that will eventually lead to full and equal civil and sacramental rights for God's LGBT children!
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Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm soon to enter my 70th year of life, and I've been around the block a few times, and I've yet to hear anything as sick as this rant affirming the virulent homophobia in Uganda.

Seeking to rationally sit down and reason with people who express demented reasoning like we see in this video is not only futile, but elevates their hatred to the same moral level as those who seek to live out the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor), faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness.

For years I've advocated that there be coordinated grassroots activism in each and every city or jurisdiction where one homophobic church is chosen to be peacefully and continually picketed during each of its services, where the picketers tell all who pass by, and the media, how the homophobia preached by that church and/or its denomination is antithetical to the Gospel of Christ.

To advocate the exclusion and even the hatred of others in the name of the Prince of Peace is bizarre, to say the least, and shows the bankrupt "reasoning" and vile nature of the oppressor who would advocate discrimination, and punishment of Gay people.

And to allow virulent, or any, homophobia to determine the deprivation of LGBT civil rights is just as bizarre as the message this video conveys:

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This is a very telling interview with Bishop Harry Jackson. His not seeing Gay rights as a civil rights issue every bit as valid as was the African American civil rights struggle not all that long ago, and his desire for same-sex marriage to be put up to a vote of the electorate when, had any or all of the civil rights of African Americans been put up for such a vote, there is a very good chance that we'd still have Segregation and Jim Crow laws, is very disquieting.

His inability or unwillingness to see Gay rights as a civil rights issue; his opposition to same-sex marriage and the "reasons" he uses to justify his position, show that not only is homophobia irrational, but is not amenable to "sweet reason" or to the appeal to "the milk of human kindness" by LGBT rights activists or by anyone who seeks equal rights for Gay people.

Here is an interview with Bishop Jackson. (Thanks to the Washington Post.):

Now, check this out:

Jackson was an active supporter of anti-gay ballot initiatives in 2008. He took part in conference calls designed to rally conservative pastors to support Proposition 8 in California. And he spent time on the ground in Florida, mobilizing support for Amendment 2. “There is a national agenda by the homosexual lobby to break down and redefine the family,” he said in an Amendment 2 press release. “If we do not protect marriage now, then their agenda will advance and we will face a threat to our religious freedom to preach the full truth of God’s word on issues like this.” On a Larry King Live discussion after the passage of Proposition 8, he said that “There’s been a hijacking of the civil rights movement by the radical gay movement,” and said to a gay activist on the show, “you can’t equate your sin with my skin.”

According to journalist Sarah Posner, Jackson was ordained not by one of the nation’s traditional African American denominations, but by Wellington Boone’s Fellowship of International Churches. Boone is among the most extreme of the anti-gay African Americans that Religious Right groups have embraced for their anti-gay positions. During the Family Research Council’s “Liberty Sunday” event in Massachusetts in 2006, Boone charged gay rights activists with the “rape” of the civil rights movement and spoke approvingly of colonial era laws making homosexual behavior a crime punishable by death.
Jackson insists that he’s not anti-gay, and often works hard to sound reasonable. He repeatedly told reporters last year that his effort to pass anti-marriage initiatives last year was not an attack on gays but based on his concern that “redefining” marriage could make it extinct in the African American community. But it’s awfully hard to square Jackson’s assertions that he’s not anti-gay with his repeated accusations that gays are Satan-inspired enemies of religious freedom who have “hijacked” the civil rights movement and are out to shut down the church in America.

Gays as satanic: Shortly before the 2004 election, Jackson outlined a strategy for defeating the “gay agenda,” writing, “Gays have been at the helm of a fourfold strategy for years, but the wisdom behind their spiritual, cultural, political, and generational tactics is clearly satanic.” In 2007, he blamed the advance of hate crimes legislation on the fact that “the authority of the evil one in the nation has continued to ascend and get stronger and bolder.” And at the Jamestown celebration that year, he said, “And so what we are dealing with is an insidious intrusion of the Devil to try to cut off the voice of the church, and I for one am not going to let that happen.”

[For the full article, please see here.]

It is a profound tragedy when many members of a minority group that was victimized by unspeakable oppression for hundreds of years in the U.S. now become the oppressor of another minority group!

In this connection, the following is a post I wrote a few months ago entitled, "The Irony and Irrationality of Minority Group Homophobia."

This is how Bishop Harry Jackson [Pictured] spent his summer vacation: He hustled back and forth across the District rallying his faithful flock who oppose gay marriage. He leaned into microphones over at the Board of Elections and Ethics, quoting biblical verse, decrying those who would trumpet marriage between man and man, woman and woman.

He continued his protests when the leaves began to fall and the early darkness crawled across the sky. He heard amen this and amen that from the pulpit of his Beltsville church. They sent him out to spread their version of the Gospel, and off he went, hopscotching across the country. Sometimes crowds would gather around him like geese, in Denver, in Los Angeles, sometimes 10,000 at a time. He spoke to swelling groups of people who felt the same way he did about same-sex marriage: No, no, no.

He popped up on national talk shows. The conservative radio commentators ushered him into their studios.

[For the full article, see here.](Thanks to AmericaBlogGay.)

Bishop Harry Jackson is a man who, as an African American, has a legacy of grinding oppression and unimagined suffering relieved only by intensive civil rights agitation by those who endured what Martin Luther King called "a season of suffering." It was this "season of suffering" that enabled the Harry Jacksons of the world to have what credibility they enjoy, but by no means deserve to the degree that they seek to deny the same civil rights of which they were once deprived but that they now enjoy precisely because of that civil rights struggle.

Now, Harry Jackson, and those minority group members who agree with him regarding the minority group of LGBT people, is exhibiting what may be seen to be a version of what Vilfredo Pareto, a famous early twentieth century Sociologist called, "the circulation of elites," whereby a deprived group, once it gets some measure of power, then turns around and oppresses another minority group.

Jackson invokes the Bible and God to seek to justify his homophobia, his intense desire to prevent same-sex loving couples from benefitting from the institution of marriage, with all of the civil and sacramental rights that accrue to that institution. (In this connection, please read my October 21, 2009 post, The Danger of the Religious Right.)

The irony of a member of one minority group seeking to prevent full equality of another minority group, beyond invoking the Bible and God to justify that oppression, is seen when we read of many of the "justifications" used by professing "Christian" White Supremacists to maintain the institutions of Slavery, Segregation and Jim Crow laws that once were institutionalized in the U.S. Indeed, "...religious endorsement of Jim Crow went a long way to sanctifying segregation as a widespread social reality." (See here.)

It would be instructive for the Harry Jacksons of the religious world to learn from the following:

For centuries, Christian artwork had depicted Satan and his demons as black. In Christian literature, Satan was described as black, even specifically as an African, such as in Athanasius' Life of Saint Anthony and the medieval best-seller Voyage of Brendan. Not surprisingly, Christians decided that Africans and Indians were a lot closer to Satan than white-skinned Europeans and acted accordingly to protect themselves from the "pollution" of contact with dark-skinned peoples. Read historian Forrest G. Wood's The Arrogance of Faith for an in-depth exploration of the Christian origin of racism, slavery and segregation.

That's why defenders of slavery in the antebellum South repeatedly use the Bible and refer to Christian concepts in their arguments. Read The Ideology of Slavery, which reprints slavery defenses, edited by Drew Gilpin Faust, to see how devoutly Christian the defenders were. Defenders correctly note that the Bible repeatedly condones slavery, even commands it at times, and never condemns it. Even the Tenth Commandment condones slavery; so much for the Commandments as a source of moral virtue. Also read Proslavery, by Larry E. Tise, pages 116-120, for surveys showing the overwhelmingly Christian character of slavery defenses. In one survey of pro-slavery tracts, clergymen wrote more than half.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, it's no surprise that Sunday morning became the most segregated time of the week. Nor is it surprising that it was agnostics and atheists in various liberal movements who spoke out first against segregation and racism. That's one reason that white segregationists--clergy included--labeled the civil-rights workers "communists," a word they considered synonymous with atheism.

[For the full article, see here.]

Part of an Abstract of an article entitled, God, Preachers, And Segregation, reads as follows:

In 1965, transcripts were collected of 72 sermons on the issue of racial integration preached between 1955 and 1965. The sermons, all given by Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Episcopal ministers in the southern United States, were examined to determine the position advocated by the minister. The sermons deemed segregationist were then analyzed for recurring strategies used to defend the segregation viewpoint. The major arguments of the segregationists may be summarized as follows: (1) segregation is the divine will of God as expressed in the Bible; (2) desegregation leads to mixed marriages, which are undesirable; (3) segregation is a universal law of nature...(5) the motives of those who support integration are improper; (6) segregation does not necessarily entail discrimination....

So, the irony of the homophobic pronouncements of the religious Harry Jacksons of the world is that those pronouncements virtually mimic much of the rhetoric of the White Supremacist clergy that was used against their ancestors, and that helped to provide "justification" for the institutions of slavery and segregation in society.

As I wrote in an article, It's Not About Issues:

...we have the irrational and surreal phenomenon where we have people aligning themselves with the Power Elite by directly working against their own interests, so that we see the spectacle of some African American clergy willing to align themselves with the KKK to oppose same-sex marriage, as seen by Rev. Gregory Daniels who is quoted as having said, "If the KKK opposes gay marriage, I would ride with them."

The reactionary mind-set of the Power Elite has even infiltrated many other African American clergy and their gullible followers who should certainly know better, so that they perversely use the very same rhetoric, justifications for, and advocacy of, discrimination against LGBT people and their acquisition of full and equal civil rights that were once used against African Americans by the allies and members of the Power Elite, and they are now willfully blind to the fact that it was those "activist judges," "liberals," and courageous people, Black and White, which and whom they now roundly condemn, that made possible the end of slavery and segregation.

Unfortunately, appeals to rationality and to the essence of the Gospel message seems to have little, if any, influence on deeply prejudiced people, particularly if those people can get their fifteen minutes of fame, and acquire a great deal of power, prestige, and wealth by bearing false witness against Gay people, and preaching exclusionary rhetoric that appeals to people's prejudices and xenophobic feelings and unfounded fears.

It comes down to the fact that the rhetoric of the Harry Jacksons of the religious world are not merely bankrupt, but that there are all too many gullible people who take their rhetoric seriously, and thereby suppress and subvert the "season of suffering" that their ancestors endured; they also renounce the entire Gospel that they falsely say they preach, as well as they renounce the Prince of Peace, the very God, Whom they say they represent!


Unless and until all people realize that we are all brothers and sisters who are equal in the sight of God; God creates both Gay and Straight people; bearing false witness against Gay people (and others) and defaming and stigmatizing them will only lead to increased acts of incivility and even depravity by the oppressors against Gay people and any group that they perceive to be vulnerable and "safe" targets to persecute; as long as those who claim to represent the Prince of Peace contravene the teachings of Jesus and seek to deprive others of dignity and civil rights, we will degenerate from one madness to another until such time that there will be a war of all against all, to the detriment of the oppressors' souls!
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Monday, February 15, 2010


This is a superb talk by Stephen Fry regarding the Roman Catholic Church. If you do nothing else today, please watch this superb video of a talk by the erudite Stephen Fry regarding the Roman Catholic Church and its assorted abuses, including that of its rabid homophobia.

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Friday, February 12, 2010


The following is a post I wrote close to a year ago that I think is worth repeating, particularly given the fact that we must take the offensive and bring this fight for equal rights to the homophobe, rather than being defensive and merely seek to show people why Gay people deserve the same civil rights that heterosexuals enjoy:

In his book, “In Our Time,” Eric Hoffer who was an excellent philosopher, was self-educated, blind for the first fifteen years of his life, and became a migrant worker and then a longshoreman, wrote the following:

“In the alchemy of man’s soul almost all noble attributes—courage, honor, love, hope, faith, duty, loyalty—can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil within us. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: Where there is com-passion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. Thus the survival of the species may well depend on the ability to foster a boundless capacity for compassion.”

So many in the United States (and elsewhere) lack that essential emotion, “compassion,” that will help ensure the survival of the species! Indeed, the hostility visited upon LGBT people is a very strong indicator in our time of that deficiency!

All sorts of rationalizations have been trotted out by the ignorant and/or hatefully homophobic to try and justify discrimination against LGBT people, ranging from “maintaining traditional family values” to linking Gay people with pedophiles to causing all sorts of societal calamities. The very irrationality of their arguments in favor of deprivation of civil rights to LGBT people both bespeaks lack of compassion as it bespeaks gullibility and/or lack of compassion of those who take their rhetoric seriously.

In his book, “The Passionate State of Mind And Other Aphorisms,” Hoffer states:

“Passions usually have their roots in that which is blemished, crippled, incomplete and insecure within us. The passionate attitude is less a response to stimuli from without than an emanation of an inner dissatisfaction.

“A poignant dissatisfaction, whatever be its cause, is at bottom a dissatisfaction with ourselves. It is surprising how much hardship and humiliation a man will endure without bitterness when he has not the least doubt about his worth or when he is so integrated with others that he is not aware of a separate self.”

And it is to this phenomenon every person who possesses both a critical intellect and the necessary emotion of “compassion” must turn to help understand why there are some homophobes who make their homophobia something like a career. So many spend an inordinate amount of time condemning God’s LGBT children, and one must understand that their animus ultimately resides, not in the object of their hatred, but in their own psyches that betrays their blemishes, crippled natures, incompleteness, and insecurities.

After all, if someone is emotionally and sexually intact, why would there be a need for their obsessive condemnation of other consenting adults’ emotional/sexual orientations?

How is same-sex marriage, for example, going to adversely affect anyone’s heterosexual marriage? Is there anyone who can give a reasonable answer to that question?

Clearly, there can be no rational answer to that rhetorical question! If anything, same-sex marriage will enhance the institution of marriage!

Indeed, increasing legitimacy will accrue to the institution of marriage the more people partake of its rights, privileges, and responsibilities. So, people who are genuinely concerned with the future of the institution of marriage should be working to minimize divorce and encourage same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other to marry!

Yet, we have many religious (and secular) people who try and prevent same-sex couples from partaking of the very institution from which they benefit, thereby encouraging fornication as one of their prejudices’ byproducts, and they even have the temerity to claim the right to discriminate in the name of God. So, would they have us believe that God would prefer fornication over marriage among Gay people?

Can they be that clueless that they could reasonably expect that Gay people can, should, and must lead celibate lives while only heterosexuals can and should fulfill one of human beings’ most primal urges?

The irrationality of homophobic rhetoric shows a clear deficiency on the part of homophobes regarding their level of “compassion,” as it does their clear dissatisfaction with their own lot in life! Why else spend such an inordinate amount of time thinking about and condemning the emotional/sexual lives of others?

Emotionally and sexually intact people aren’t particularly concerned with the emotional and sexual lives of other adults! They are likely to have a “live and let live” approach to such matters!

However, when someone has an inordinate fascination with condemning others, that condemnation betrays an emotional deficiency that makes compassion very difficult, if not impossible, to have or sustain.

And if a Christian (or any other decent person) can be characterized by any one characteristic, that characteristic is “compassion!”

Christians are to be agents of God’s grace in this world; we are to preach and live out the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness! And those who condemn others, those who seek to deprive others of civil rights, those who help create a climate of fear and hatred of others, have shown by their words and/or deeds that they are neither Christians nor even decent people!

We are to make no mistake: homophobes are absolutely no different in their mind-set and in their emotional deficiencies than were and are White Supremacists! Both groups partake of the need to discriminate and hate in order for the awareness of their own emotional deficiencies to be overridden by their condemnation of others!

“Condemnation” acts as an imperfect and temporary band-aid to help heal the haters’ own emotional woundedness, a woundedness that they don’t have the courage to bring themselves to face, confront, and overcome! So, they take the coward’s way out and, rather than deal with “the beam in their own eye,” they feel the need to manufacture a beam in a minority group whom they perceive it is safe to persecute.

And when that particular minority group is no longer considered safe to persecute, they will search for another minority group upon which to vent their anger, an anger borne of their own emotional deficiencies that they cloak in religious trappings, so that they can try and stake a claim on “godliness,” “virtue” and “morality” when, in fact, their own rhetoric and actions show them to manifest the greatest form of ungodliness, lack of virtue, and immorality: the sin of pride in their oppression of others!

Jesus never condemned Gay people, but He sure spent quite a bit of time condemning the proud, the haughty, the legalists who condemned and discriminated against others and put yokes of bondage onto others, all the while claiming to impose those yokes in the name of God.

If haters didn’t have an object to hate, they would be forced to confront their own emotional blemishes, crippled natures, incompleteness, insecurities, deficiencies and frailties. And that is the last thing a moral coward feels he/she can afford to do!
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Thursday, February 11, 2010


This article entitled, Rowan's Backhanded 'Apology' to Gays, is one that deserves to be read.

Part of it reads as follows:

So, while Williams is so, so sorry for how he has undervalued the lives of gays and lesbians, he continues to oppose a new law that would recognize the value of that same slighted group - and dare to cloak his objection in religious doubletalk.

It's high time that we recognized that most of the institutional Church, including many professed "liberal" denominations, churches, and clergy, are homophobic and can't be counted upon to set the moral tone in society to affirm Gay people and LGBT civil and sacramental rights. This was true in regard to the African American civil rights struggle, and it's no less true in the LGBT civil rights struggle!

It also must be recognized that much of this homophobia stems the financial gains that are accrued by "playing to the audience" of those who have been erroneously taught that homosexuality is a sin and contravenes "biblical principles." To maintain and increase church membership, and keep money coming into the collection plates, people like Williams don't want to rock the boat and risk losing even more members than they already have.

Moreover, as long as churches are tax-exempt, taxpayers (you and I) are subsidizing their homophobic rhetoric and actions that have caused untold suffering, suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people. If they want to be a private club and discriminate, I suppose that's their business. But they must not be allowed to do it with our money, as we thereby become culpable in the spreading of their homophobia!

If they want to retain their tax-exempt status, it's not unreasonable that we require professing Christians to live up to Jesus' teachings of loving and not judging people. If they refuse to do that, they are presumably contravening the very reason for their tax-exempt status in society, and should have that exemption removed, so that they are free to preach and act in ways that are really diametrically opposed to Jesus' teachings.
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This is a terrific article entitled, Asking and Telling In Israel, that puts the lie to any stated fears and/or problems that the U.S. military would have if DADT were repealed. All the fears and lies about "unit cohesion" and "national security" are debunked in this one article.

Part of the article reads as follows:

As Israelis, we are taught from a young age to admire the United States. The American dream offers an alternative to the somewhat harsh reality of life in the Middle East. But that dream has been betrayed by the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that governs gay and lesbian service in the U.S. military. Repealing it will help America fall in line with what many other countries have already accepted—that, in the 21st century, sexual preferences should not be a matter of shame or secrecy, not even in the military. The thought of living a lie while serving—of not being able to share one's personal life with fellow fighters and commanders—is hard to bear. (And it's ridiculous: if Israel, a nation that is forever on high alert, can defend itself just fine with open homosexuals in its defense forces, then any other nation's army should also be able to integrate.)
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This is a fascinating article entitled, Gay, lesbian, bisexual higher suicide risk discussing a study that shows that sexual "identity" is the major factor leading to suicide risk, rather than sexual behavior or sexual attraction.

This study deserves repeating among different teen population groups, because if this finding is borne out, the hateful and discriminatory rhetoric leveled against Gay people will be seen to be far more dangerous regarding risk of suicide than is anything that has to do with same-sex attraction and/or sexual behavior. Indeed, the devastation visited upon Gay youth by religious and other homophobes may inculcate such shame and self-loathing that the very term "Gay" is renounced in favor of "heterosexual," despite same-sex attraction and same-sex sexual activity.

So, suicides among Gay youth, or attempted suicides among Gay youth, may well be seen to be due to self-identification with a concept that has been defamed (often by homophobic clergy and their gullible followers), rather than same-sex attraction and/or same-sex activity that objectively would consign a person to the status of "Gay."

Indeed, self-loathing and other factors borne of homophobia that lead to suicide risk among teens may be seen to come from one's very self-identification with the term "Gay," rather than being Gay, in and of itself. Regardless of sexual attraction and sexual behavior, if a teen self-identifies as "heterosexual," suicide risk is no different than is the risk for the general population of teens.

As the article states: "The majority of teens with same-sex sexual attraction or experience considered themselves to be heterosexual, the researchers said." And why not? Given the taunting, the defamation, the bearing of false witness, the lies and distortions made by homophobic clergy, all too many professing "Christians," and assorted politicians, appropriation of a term viewed as credible ("heterosexual") is an unfortunately understandable defense and coping mechanism that trumps one's actual status as being "Gay" when sexual attraction and sexual behavior are used as indicators of one's true sexual orientation.

This phenomenon further highlights the great need for LGBT rights activists to take the position that rather than be on the defensive, and merely try to show homophobic people why LGBT people deserve equal rights, it's high time that LGBT people and allies take the offensive and expose and confront the many psychological, social, political, and financial factors that create the ignorant and/or hateful rhetoric and actions of those, many of whom profess to be "Christians," who would demean, defame, and seek to prevent and/or rescind the civil and sacramental rights of their fellow Gay citizens, often ironically doing so in the name of God; use patently irrational arguments as justifications for their homophobia.

Should this exposure and confrontation be undertaken and be successful, there will no longer be a felt need for many young people to divorce their sexual orientation from their self-identification as the Gay people God created them to be.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010


Notice how North uses such buzz words as "NAMBLA," "youngsters," and "national security" in his brief argument as to why DADT should not be repealed:

Now, please read the following article entitled, Buried Truths About Gays in the Military its entirety.

Part of the article reads as follows:

A couple of dozen countries already allow gays in uniform -- including allies that have fought alongside our troops, such as Britain, Canada and Australia. Just as there is plenty of opposition in the U.S. ranks, there was plenty of opposition when they changed their policies.

In Canada, 45 percent of service members said they would not work with gay colleagues, and a majority of British soldiers and sailors rejected the idea. There were warnings that hordes of military personnel would quit and promising youngsters would refuse to enlist.

But when the new day arrived, it turned out to be a big, fat non-event. The Canadian government reported "no effect." The British government observed "a marked lack of reaction." An Australian veterans group that opposed admitting gays later admitted that the services "have not had a lot of difficulty in this area."

Israel, being small, surrounded by hostile powers and obsessed with security, can't afford to jeopardize its military strength for the sake of prissy ventures in political correctness. But its military not only accepts gays, it provides benefits to their same-sex partners, as it does with spouses. Has that policy sapped Israel's military might? Its enemies don't seem eager to test the proposition.

I'm sorry to say that I'm not optimistic about DADT being rescinded any time soon; we don't even hear much about rescinding DOMA.

There are, unfortunately, far too many gullible people who are willing to believe assorted lies and distortions concerning Gay people.

Many people are all too willing to foolishly and falsely believe that Gay people are some sort of menacing threat when, in fact, it is strident homophobes who are the real menacing threat to our children, to our national security, to most of the institutional Church, and to the very fabric of our society!
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010


My pal, Don Charles [Pictured], who blogs at "Christ The Gay Martyr," posted this superb essay to the comments section of, and he kindly gave me permission to reprint it here.

His comment is essential reading for all people who are truly desirous of obtaining full and equal civil rights for LGBT people:

It's February 2010, and we're upset that the Obama administration has once again kicked us to the curb. The President is still renegeing on his promise to repeal the US military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy (DADT). The anger is justified, but there's an elephant in the room that needs to be acknowledged. It's a question: Why isn't the LGBT rights movement taken seriously by mainstream society? Why do Democrats and Republicans find it so easy to play us? What can we do to lessen the stigma that's attached like a barnacle to LGBT status?

Late last year, the Nation's Laura Flanders hosted a roundtable discussion on this very topic on her show "Grit Radio". One of her guests posed the question this way:

"Why aren't queers taken seriously?"

One answer could be found in the very phrasing of the question. Typically, nobody on the panel picked up on it. Can you?

I think it's time for the Gay "community" to decide what it really wants: To be seen as a radical counterculture that defines itself primarily by sexual behavior, or to be seen as fully entitled American citizens who, like the heterosexual population, are not defined primarily by sexual behavior. That decision has not been taken.

When gayAmericablog staff cite people like Dan Savage as leaders, who cheerfully refers to himself as a "faggot" when he appears on TV, I know that decision has not been taken. When San Francisco assemblyman Tom Ammiano publicly refers to himself as a "queen" and the Gay media adores it, I know that decision has not been taken. When activists cheer after a Lesbian biker club wins a copyright for the name "Dykes on Bikes", I know that decision has not been taken. When Pride parades thrive on frivolty, intoxication, exhibitionism and shock value, and fail to communicate the gravity of living as a Gay person in this world, I know that decision has not been taken.

Do we really think that kind of retrograde language and display works to the benefit of a Victor Fehrenbach or a Dan Choi? There has long been a profound lack of dignity and seriousness in our public presentation. And we wonder why it's so easy for our enemies to get anti-Gay amendments passed. I'll tell you one big reason why: We make it easy for them!

Now, I'm not saying this to excuse the behavior of the Obama administration, the HRC or any agency that isn't living up to its promises or stated mission. I'm just saying that when I compare the desegregation movement of the 1950s and '60s with today's equality struggle for LGBT Americans, one of them I can clearly identify as a Civil Rights crusade undertaken by a dignified and noble people, and one of them I can't identify as such. Guess which is which?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his marchers would not have earned the international respect they had if they'd come across in the media like Butterfly McQueen and Stepin Fetchit. With all due respect to Marc Shaiman and his Prop 8 musical on YouTube, a Civil Rights movement is not a comedy skit. If we want respect, our presentation has got to indicate as much. Even more to the point: if we want respect, it's got to start with our own self-perception.

Too many of us truly believe we are "queers", "faggots", "queens", "dykes", etc. The oppressor tells us who we are, and we fail to challenge his definition. We don't even have the ambition to challenge his terminology. We've got some work to do, and it begins by taking a hard look in the mirror.

In this connection, a couple of years ago, I wrote an article entitled, On The Need To Grow Up, that generated a lot of revulsion by ostensibly Gay people; part of that article reads as follows:

...I say to those who revel in using pejorative and hateful self-identifiers [like Queer, Dyke, Fag, etc.], 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.

It's time that many LGBT people, including professional "activists," fish or cut bait: either embrace the role of "sexual outlaws" that pride themselves as being countercultural, OR see being Gay as being just as normal as is being heterosexual, present a dignified self-image that demands that one be treated with dignity and respect; demand full equality in every single aspect of life.

The publicly expressed persona of the former virtually guarantees the retardation or denial of the latter!

And we are to make no mistake: those who insist on using pejorative and hateful epithets as self-identifiers, have wittingly or unwittingly internalized the hateful messages of the homophobic oppressor; ironically often do so in the name of "liberation" or "empowerment."

To put it in context, it is inconceivable that any university would have a course or program entitled, "Kike Studies," yet "Queer Studies" courses and programs abound in many of our universities. I have yet to hear any Jewish person refer to him/herself or other Jewish people as "kikes." It's a matter of honor, dignity, and the refusal to appropriate and articulate such a hateful word used by many anti-Semites.

Why should Gay people view themselves any differently? It should be a matter of honor and dignity to never use such hateful words when referring to oneself and/or other Gay people!

As I've written in an article entitled, Confronting Internalized Homophobia, that I hope you will read in its entirety:

I know right out of the starting blocks that this article is going to offend a great many people, but I feel very strongly that many LGBT people are seriously sabotaging the cause for full and equal civil rights by referring to themselves by the use of historically and current hateful epithets, using such terms as "Queer," "Dyke," "Fag," and other such demeaning and hateful words that have been historically used by their oppressors, and are still being used by their oppressors. Also, the many behaviors and images that are viewed by most potential allies as offensive, and that become public presentations of self, help reinforce the fallacious stereotype that Gay people are sex-obsessed deviant and abnormal hedonists, and these public images are doing tremendous harm to the struggle for, and the cause of acquiring, full and equal civil rights....

Jews usually don't have self-loathing; LGBT people all too often do have witting or unwitting self-loathing, and use those historically punishing words on themselves in the name of "liberation," ignorantly (or stupidly) thinking that they are appropriating and neutralizing those words, even when gay bashers use those very words when bashing their victims and, furthermore, they even perpetuate and encourage further use of those words among university students when titling those courses, programs, minors, or majors, and freely use those words within the curricula as they do in other public venues.

Please take Don Charles' insights and all of these words to heart, and understand that as long as hateful words are used as self-identifiers, as long as being Gay is projected and seen to be solely sexual and devoid of the same romantic emotions held by heterosexuals, that presentation of self bespeaks self-loathing (recognized or not) and bespeaks lack of the dignity necessary to fully feel worthy to fight for the same rights and privileges that heterosexuals enjoy; be taken seriously by potential Straight allies, as well as by politicians and jurists when they deal with the unconstitutionality of denying LGBT people the same rights and privileges held by every other citizen in society.
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