Wednesday, June 30, 2010


In my opinion, a distinction has to be made between "hedonism" and "Gay," and much public persona of Gay people, and the commentators on all too many LGBT-oriented websites, seem to be more hedonistic than Gay. Frivolity, indecency, and use of hateful epithets as self-identifiers tell us far more about them than it does about Gay people.

Those who are hedonistically-oriented are likely to use the oppressor's derogatory terms such as "queer," because they feel "queer" and, unconsciously and/or consciously, don't see being Gay in any other terms than being "indecent" and "abnormal." And many of them content and even pride themselves on being outsiders, and seem to have no meaningful interest in equal rights, even going so far as to reject being a vital part of mainstream society.

This phenomenon of contentment in a Gay ghetto of the mind and/or society reflects their unconscious and/or conscious shame and self-loathing, and many are too dense to accept that fact, let alone change their rhetoric and self-perceptions.

Many of them resent anyone who tells them that they are not "mistakes," and that a dignified presentation of self is essential in living one's life, as well as moving the struggle for equal rights forward; many seem to thrive on lack of such dignity due to their unfounded beliefs that they are neither desirous nor worthy of equality.

I learned a lot from a transgender woman, for example, when she resented the fact that I said that she and anyone who is transgendered wasn't a mistake! She tenaciously hung on to the fact that she is a mistake and resented any other possibility.

The same is true for many Gay people who comment on assorted Gay-oriented websites. Blindly accepting the oppressor's rhetoric and actions has done inordinate harm to many LGBT people, and that's a great deal of what those of us who want full and equal rights for LGBT people must fight against.

The struggle for equal rights must first occur as "a transformation of consciousness," leading to outrage at the indignities of being treated as maligned second-class citizens, and then leading to expressed coordinated grassroots and organizational activism.

The pariah and outlaw mentality of many LGBT people is also reflected in the counterproductive nature of bizarre excesses in many Pride Parades, which can be seen to be akin to African Americans holding minstrel shows during the African American Civil Rights movement!

[Thanks to Towleroad for this photo.]

Burlesquing, trivializing, and sexualizing LGBT identity not only fulfills negative stereotypes, but can only serve to alienate potential Straight allies to the cause of full and equal civil rights for LGBT people; deflects energies and monies that could better be spent in fighting abridgment of civil rights in the streets and in the courts.

Besides, what is being celebrated at these Pride Parades? Lack of equality? The relegation of LGBT people to second-class citizenship and pariah status? The existence and continuation of DADT? The existence and continuation of DOMA?

Moreover, one can only see the extremes in the Pride Parades in California, at the time when Prop. 8 is being adjudicated, as being nothing short of traitorous and/or masochistic.

There are hedonistic Gay people and there are hedonistic Straight people! Just as the public doesn't usually equate hedonism with Straight people, we must not allow the confusion of hedonism with Gay people in the public's mind!

Being Gay is a God-given and dignified sexual orientation, and it's high time that the presentation of self, the public persona, the mind-set, and the rhetoric attached to being Gay reflects that God-given dignity!
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Sunday, June 27, 2010


I just came upon this article entitled, Race Hatred Runs Rampant in Politics These Days, part of which reads as follows:

It's not racist to oppose Obama's policies. And there's plenty for Americans to be angry about - especially since the economy crashed and the federal government has spent trillions of dollars to bail out the fat cats who were responsible. But instead attacking the banksters who nearly destroyed the global economy, we are seeing the familiar scapegoating of non-white, non-male, non-Christian and non-heterosexual Americans as being menaces to our way of life.

There's no shortage of charlatans fanning the flames of extremism without a thought for the consequences. While the worst elements are thankfully small in number, they are given an outsized voice thanks to the need of the cable news channels to fill 24 hours of airtime each day.

The late American diplomat George Kennan once observed that "the counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain. And so the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way: plucking the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of democratic institutions. And until peoples learn to spot the fanning of mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as crimes in themselves - as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done to the cause of popular government - this sort of thing will continue to occur."

Today's America is behaving much like the scenario Kennan describes. The economy is broken, the political system is broken and the public is struggling and angry. The history books are filled with examples of the danger posed by bombastic demagogues who offer both a scapegoat and a solution.

In this connection, I'd like to reprint an edited version of an article that I wrote about two years ago entitled, It's Not About Issues, that seeks to show the role that homophobia plays in serving the Reactionary mind-set of those who align themselves with the Power Elite:

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

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

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

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

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

And the Power Elite also has as a useful tactic the pitting of one minority group against another, having them cannibalize each other, thereby deflecting attention from its self-serving machinations, and having what is called "conservative Christianity" as providing the supposed biblical and moral justifications for the oppression of the minority group du jour.

In addition, 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.

We also have the spectacle of Gay people who are against same-sex marriage, or who align themselves with those who actively discriminate against them, such as Gay people who attend and support homophobic churches and their clergy, and/or who otherwise support and align themselves with their avowed political enemies.

The Power Elite is well able to manipulate the all too frequent shame and self-loathing among Gay people, the shame and self-loathing that they and their reactionary "religious" allies have all too successfully created, fomented, and perpetuated, just as it did among the African Americans during the times of Slavery, and later on, Segregation, of which Malcolm X so brilliantly spoke, most notably in his speech describing the difference between the "House Negro" and the "Field Negro."

The "House Negro" was the one who loved his Master, and couldn't do enough for him. If the Master was sick, he'd say, "What's the matter, Master, we sick?" It was this House Negro who found it remarkable when the "Field Negro" expressed resentment against Slavery and the Master.

It was the "Field Negro" who rebelled and, as Malcolm said, "Felt the sting of the lash." Unfortunately, among Gay people, there is the equivalent of the House Negro who is quite content with being treated as an oppressed, second-class citizen, bereft of full and equal civil and sacramental rights that "the Master" enjoys. So, we not only have the spectacle of some Gay people not favoring the right for loving same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other from marrying, but we also have some Gay people who seemingly willfully stick their finger in the eye of potential allies by deliberately dressing in bizarre ways for public consumption, thus reinforcing many negative stereotypes that many Straight people in their naivety have of Gay people.

The same mind-set that has hostility toward LGBT people and their acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights is the mind-set that used what the "religious" reactionary White Supremacists saw in the Bible, and who then selectively used certain verses (usually without understanding the original Greek or the likely context about which those verses were written) in justifying and expressing their savagery against African Americans, both during the institutionalization of Slavery in the U.S., and in the relatively recent past during the era of Segregation and Jim Crow laws.

The same hatred shown toward African Americans in the justification of White Supremacy is the exact same hatred shown toward LGBT people and the justification of heterosexism! Some of the manifestations of that hatred are, of course, different, but the hatred and the justifications for that hatred are exactly the same!

What is important to haters is to maintain their mind-set of exclusion of "the other," their constructed enemy, be that "other" African Americans, women, LGBT people, or whatever enemy they seek to construct so as to maintain both their hegemony in society, and to help assure that the existing social structure continues to favor them and their ideology, an ideology that has relatively little to do with their "Christian" profession, and certainly nothing to do with Christianity itself!

We may see that the hostility "traditional" clergy in the Church of England have toward LGBT rights, such as the ordination of Gay people and same-sex marriage, is seamlessly related to their hostility toward women becoming Bishops, thereby reinforcing the basic misogyny behind much of the homophobia that exists.

The issues aren't women and Gays, per se but, rather, the desire for control within the social structure(s) in which those with the reactionary mind-set find themselves!

We all want some degree of control over our lives, and we want our ideas to be taken seriously by others. However, there is a reactionary mind-set that requires those who possess it to have control over other people, and who thereby seek to impose their self-serving and naked self-interests on the rest of society and/or their denomination, even at the expense and contradiction of their profession of being "Christians" who trust in God, or any other laudable ideology that they profess.

So, we have the bizarre scenario of some Bishops and clergy in the Anglican Communion seeking possible alignment with the Roman Catholic Church, a Church from which their forebears largely dissociated. It is not unlikely that the self-styled "traditionalists" or "conservatives" will now seek some way of affiliating with an organization quite well-known for its comfort with, and institutionalization of, the reactionary mind-set.

Rather than call themselves "Reactionaries" or worse, homophobic professing "Christians" call themselves "evangelicals" or even "Christians," all the while not seeing the basic contradiction between their love of power and their professed love of God!

They can condone, or turn a blind eye to, the torture and killing of others, all the while portraying themselves as "the victims" of those (whom they derisively call "liberals") who seek to stop that torturing and killing; they seek to take the high ground in public discourse, all the while seeking to deprive others of the full and equal civil and sacramental rights that they, themselves, enjoy; they state that they are "traditional Christians," all the while seeking power within their Church and/or society, and not trusting God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of that Church and in that society; in the name of "Christianity" they perversely bow down to Caesar and aid him in maintaining a status quo from which he mightily benefits!

We must finally come to realize that the enemy we are fighting, the enemy that oppresses us does so, not especially because we are women, Black, Italian, Jewish, Mexican, poor, immigrants, or Gay but, rather, that "oppression" is what that enemy, the possessor of that reactionary mind-set, routinely does, and has historically done, to gain and maintain power within society and/or the institutional Church!

Once we understand this phenomenon and how we all have a personal stake in the acquisition of equal rights for members of each and every non-predatory minority group, it will be at that point that all of us who are members of minority groups (and that's most of us in the U.S.) will see our commonality with each other and begin to work together in the fight against our common enemy: the Power Elite (and its allies), comprised of those who possess the Reactionary mind-set and who ferociously seek to maintain their control over others at any cost in order to keep their privileged positions!
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Saturday, June 26, 2010


Please take this brief video of Sister Paula to heart, and know that what she says is absolutely true: God creates God's LGBT children, and we are to each fulfill the ministries that God has called us to fulfill, regardless of what mere human beings think, say, or do.

Hear what Scripture says to all of God's children: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17)

Also, hear the Apostle Paul: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

We have not been put on this earth by God to be mere people-pleasers, but we are to be ourselves in this world, and fight against injustice that in any way demeans or causes the suffering of others. To fight this good fight of faith is an inextricable part of the Christian life!

No one with even an ounce of spiritual discernment can doubt that Sister Paula is God's woman who is fulfilling her calling; teaching each and every one of us what commitment and courage are all about:
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Friday, June 25, 2010


Please hear one of my favorite preachers of the Gospel, Sister Paula:

Now, hear her explain how the Bible in no way condemns LGBT people.

[For a deeper study of this fact, see Gay Christian 101.]

As I wrote in an article entitled, Fundamentalism and Homophobia:

There is no "other side" to LGBT rights! Fundamentalism is based on fear and on myth that helps frightened people navigate their way in this uncertain world! Hence, there is no antidote to fundamentalism that meets certain crucial needs to psychologically fragile people!

Rather, meaningful activism must occur for full and equal civil rights to occur, and for that to occur there must be a "transformation of consciousness" whereby LGBT people and allies demand equal, Constitutionally guaranteed, rights, and don't seek some level playing field with fundamentalists, because there can be no such level playing field that doesn't diminish the dignity and rights of Gay people.

It is Gay people who have the dignity to demand full and equal rights who have the moral high ground; it is the fundamentalists who operate from a position of weakness because of their fearfulness! And this fact must never be forgotten by Gay people if full and equal civil and sacramental rights are to become a reality in the foreseeable future!
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Thursday, June 24, 2010


Three years ago, I wrote an article entitled, All Christians Are Called To Be Activists, a very slightly edited version of which I'd like to reprint here:

"He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8)

All Christians are called upon to be activists for the Gospel of grace. We can be activists in a number of ways, such as being prayer warriors, engage in marches for civil rights, write letters to the editor regarding assorted Christian and civic issues, and so on.

A couple of months ago, an author who is engaged in writing a book on activism asked me to write a brief essay on why I became an activist, and a Christian activist at that. This is what I wrote for inclusion in his book:

As a Christian, I have increasingly had revulsion regarding most of the organized Church that has been in the vanguard of providing justification for the denial of civil and sacramental rights to so many minority groups. It has played the caboose to the train of civil rights and civil liberties in regard to such minority groups as women and Afro-Americans.

Now that it is no longer politically correct or financially profitable to discriminate against these two groups, and now that the specter of Communism is no longer good sermon material, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are now in the cross hairs of much, if not most, of the organized Church. And the clerical and evangelistic proponents of such discrimination are frequently quite handsomely rewarded materially and/or psychologically for their hateful rhetoric directed against people who they feel are "safe" targets to persecute.

The Church, Christ's Church, the ecclesia, 'the called out ones,' are to obey the only Commandments Jesus gave us: to love God by trusting Him over and above seen circumstances; to love others and not to judge them. That's it! The only Gospel to be found in Christianity is the Gospel of grace, "the good news," the fact that through Jesus God has bestowed upon us His unmerited favor!

The proponents of the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion, which is certainly not "good news," and certainly doesn't represent the commandment Jesus gave us to love others, is diametrically opposed to the Gospel, and its proponents have, unfortunately, virtually taken over most of the organized Church. Most of the organized Church has aligned itself with the most reactionary forces in secular society, which is also diametrically opposed to the Christian mandate that we love others by also fighting for justice for all of God's children.

Therefore, my passion is two fold: 1. To help reclaim Christianity from those who have substituted their own prejudices and mind-sets for the Gospel, and have sought to impose those prejudices and mind-sets on others; 2. Fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

There is absolutely no Godly, biblical, or constitutional reason why lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should not enjoy every single civil and sacramental right that accrues to every other citizen! The specious arguments presented by all too many clergy and their followers don't stand up to biblical, logical, empirical, or constitutional scrutiny; those arguments betray the very Gospel that Christians are called upon to preach and to live!

All Christians are called upon to live, not in 'time' but to live in 'eternity!' We are to be agents of God's love in this sin-cursed world, and if we're not such agents we are betraying both the Gospel and Jesus Himself!

The failure of many, if not most, professing Christians in being such agents; the hateful rhetoric against LGBT people by many clergy and evangelists; the failure of most clergy to condemn hateful rhetoric against LGBT people; the enmeshment of much of the organized Church with reactionary secular forces that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo from which they are frequently quite handsomely rewarded; the bureaucratization of most of the organized Church that is all too often obsessed with hierarchy, patriarchy, incestuous socialization, and building beautification, over and above addressing such burning issues as war and poverty; the failure of most of the organized Church to be in the vanguard of seeking full and equal civil rights and civil liberties for LGBT people; the suffering of so many LGBT people and their families at the hands of both religious and political forces, have spurred me to expend as much energy as possible in confronting these perversions of the Gospel.

In my endeavor to fight for these principles, beyond this blog, I have long had a weekly newspaper column entitled, 'Christianity and Society,' that appears in the 'Sacramento Valley Mirror.'

So many professing Christians seem to misunderstand Jesus' call to His disciples to love others. Many think that they show love by keeping a peaceful attitude in all circumstances and not ever confronting those who hurt others, even those who hurt others in God's name.

We certainly don't show love when we are silent in the face of others' oppression. Christians are not expected to be peaceful in this world. Jesus says to us, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

This world does not give us peace and, as Christians, it's not supposed to give us peace. We are in "enemy territory" and we are to fight the demonic forces in this world as soldiers sent "behind the lines" to stand for the principles of love, respect, decency, mercy, compassion, and justice for all of God's children.

Clearly, this world is not based on these values! Quite the contrary! Most of this world lives in the materialist realm where money is usually god, selfishness and self-absorption rules the day, success is measured in terms of the acquisition of wealth, and God is looked upon (if He is looked upon at all) as Someone we tip our hats to on Sunday mornings and then go about the "real business" of living the other six days of the week.

As warriors for Christ in enemy territory, we are called upon to fight injustice wherever and whenever we can. We are not called upon to remain silent in the face of injustice, and we're not called upon to adopt a milquetoast persona to appeal to others' definitions of the criteria that, to them, defines a "Christian."

We are called upon to listen to God's voice in our hearts to stand for righteousness and fight for others' dignity and civil and sacramental rights as befit all of God's children. And this task isn't designed for wimps!

Let's face it: which of God's heroes in the Bible were happy or peaceful people? I can't think of anyone. Just read the eleventh Chapter of the Book of Hebrews, the major chapter that extols the kind of person who really belongs to God, His heroes of faith. They suffered affliction; they saw themselves as strangers and pilgrims on this earth; they had "…trial of cruel mockings and scourgings…moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and in caves of the earth." (Hebrews 11:36-38)

Do these people sound like typical churchgoers to you? Do you think they looked for peace and happiness in this world? Do they sound like typical clergy and evangelists of the organized Church to you?

It profoundly hurts the cause of Christ, and the image of Christianity, when most of the organized Church aligns itself with the things of this world, the mammon of this world, and the accoutrements of "success" as defined by this world; when it all too frequently aligns itself with the most reactionary forces within secular society and is among the vanguard of oppressing assorted minority groups, such as women, Afro-Americans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Moreover, when most of the organized Church, either through rhetoric or action and/or silence and inaction, seeks to deprive others of full and equal civil and sacramental rights, that is an indictment of both the organized Church and the culpable professing Christians that makes nothing short of a mockery of Jesus' call to His disciples to trust Him over and above seen circumstances, and to exhibit love toward others. And, it certainly doesn't show love to either attack others or remain silent when others are attacked and demonized as "the other" who is not worthy of the civil and sacramental rights that we enjoy.

When Jesus' followers decided to align themselves with Constantine in the Fourth Century, thereby officially aligning Christianity with the State, with secular society, making Christianity the State religion, they made a tragic decision that haunts us to this very day. Jesus' followers were never meant to align themselves with the State! Quite the contrary! We are called to be God's representatives, speaking God's admonitions and injunctions to love others, even our "enemies," and to seek to conform this world, to the degree possible, to God's standards, and not to seek to conform Christ's Church to the world's standards.

All Christians are called upon to be "heroes of faith," and, if we're not, we're really none of His. As the writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us: "…without faith it is impossible to please him…." (Hebrews 11:6) And we demonstrate our faith by trusting God and what He says over and above the mind-sets and prejudices that the world seeks to shove down our throats, and that all too many "religious leaders" are all too willing to swallow and force their blind followers to swallow as well.

All Christians worthy of the name are "in" but not "of" the world; seek to conform this world to Godly principles and fight to the death, if necessary, the precipitous decline of so many professing Christians, and so much of the organized Church itself, into the jaws of Moloch, a false god to whom children are sacrificed, or to the very devil himself!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I just came upon this article entitled, Activists protest "pray out the gay" effort, an "effort" that is due to occur this week.

Part of the article reads as follows:

The Christian conference [of Exodus International] attracts about 1,000 people for a week for worship, teaching, life stories and ministry support to become "better equipped in ministering grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality," according to its website.

Featured speakers include Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International who "has shared his own story of breaking free from the unwanted same-sex attraction with audiences around the world" and written "God's Grace & the Homosexual Next Door and Leaving Homosexuality."

Last year, I wrote the following article entitled, What We Can Learn From Exodus' Alan Chambers that I think is appropriate to reprint in this context:

The president of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, recently published a book entitled, "Leaving Homosexuality," and the interview he gave to CitizenLink, that appears in its July 24, 2009 edition, regarding his "leaving homosexuality" is instructive.

This is part of what Alan Chambers said:

"For so long I've heard gay activists say to me, 'You're just in denial. You're not grasping the reality of the situation. You're just denying who you really are.' The truth is, I am in denial, but it is self-denial. I'm not in denial of who I used to be. I'm not in denial of the temptations that I could still experience. I am denying the power that sin has over me.

"Sin does not have any power that we don't give it, and what I've found is that my freedom - and the freedom of others I've known who've left homosexuality - was centered around denying what might come naturally to us regardless of how it got there. And once you deny sin's power, you can live a free life.

"The most authentic part of my life is first and foremost my relationship with Christ, but sitting here where I'm doing this interview in my back yard - with my kids and with my wife - this is who I am. This is who I want to be. This is the truth of my life. This is who I was created to be. And this is what brings me happiness."

Moreover, in his April 20th blog post he wrote the following:

"I'm a follower of Christ and believe every word of the Bible is true and infallible . . . [I say] to the gay community: it is my great hope that we as a Christian church will give you no more reasons to justifiably doubt God's love for you. I am sorry for the times when I have contributed to that."

Jesus does tell us to deny ourselves and pick up our respective crosses and follow Him! However, to view same-sex love as a "cross" is merely internalizing the oppressor's mind-set, rhetoric, and presumed values rather than seeing same-sex love as one of God's many gifts!

In that post, Chambers also says that he believes that "every word in the Bible is true and infallible," and that statement is both specious and tautological (Not even the Bible makes that claim for itself!); he presumes that his interpretation of the Bible is the only possible one; he presumes that his exegeses of certain biblical passages are true, undoubtedly because homophobic clergy have been interpreting those passages for him, and he has internalized their erroneous views of both the Bible and of those passages.

He seems to have allowed Gay people's oppressors to create an identity for him that is divorced from his "temptations" and "denying what might come naturally" to him, and replacing them "with my kids and with my wife." About the latter he alleges: "this is who I am. This is who I want to be. This is the truth of my life. This is who I was created to be. And this is what brings me happiness."

By creating an identity consistent with what he undoubtedly feels is the world-view of most of the secular world, and with the world-view of most of the institutional Church (and certainly of virtually all of the fundamentalist wing of the institutional Church with which he seems to identify), his manufactured identity and place in life "brings me happiness," not necessarily because he is living in accordance with his true identity as a gay man, but because he is conforming to both the expectations of most people in society and with the professing Christians with whom he identifies - those who believe that "every word in the Bible is true and infallible"; living as a Gay man or woman is a sin. Hence, he has made himself believe that he was "created to be" something that does not come naturally to him, as he himself says that he is daily struggling with his perceived need for "self-denial" in this crucial area of his life.

He feels that he has "left homosexuality" because he is now married and has children! However, Jesus says that one's true identity is based on one's thoughts and not merely on how one acts! (Matthew 5:21-22; 27-28) Indeed, Proverbs 23: states: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . ." Chambers, along with many others, seems to feel that being Gay is what you do! However, being Gay is what one is!

Chambers or anyone else can be heterosexually married and have numerous children and yet still be Gay, because that's how God created them, and no amount of self-denial or, more accurately in this area, self-torture, can or should change that fact.

It doesn't seem to appear to Chambers and others in or out of the "ex-gay" movement that by seeking to deny this emotional/sexual primal part of their very selves, their souls, that they are throwing one of God's precious gifts back in God's face, and that they are preventing themselves from living "abundant" lives that Jesus promises His disciples so that they can fulfill the ministries that God has given each of them to do.

By viewing as an axiom that living as a gay man or woman is a sin, Chambers sets himself and many other Gay people up for seeing their sexual orientation and the thoughts, "temptations," behaviors, and relationships that go along with that sexual orientation as being inherently sinful! He doesn't seem to ask himself why God would create Gay people if God didn't approve of Gay people and their faithful relationships in the first place?

He seems to feel that the Bible condemns as sinful one's living life as a gay man or woman, which it clearly doesn't, despite repeated homophobic messages from assorted clergy and others who ignorantly think that one can "leave homosexuality"; tellingly, he omits consideration of the passage in Matthew 19:12 where Jesus is clearly talking about Gay people: "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb. . . "

"Eunuchs" who are born that way are undoubtedly God's Gay children! I'm not surprised that Chambers and so many others who are fundamentalist professing Christians never refer to this verse, as their homophobic assumptions and commensurate reading of the Bible hide this important truth from them.

I have genuine compassion for the Alan Chambers' of the world! And I have even greater compassion for all of God's Gay children who have been cruelly victimized by the mind-set that would in any way bear false witness against them!
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Monday, June 21, 2010


On his post of Saturday, June 19th, entitled, Watching the Defectives Joe, of Joe.My.God, wrote a post that he has often written before, and that I suggest you read in its entirety, affirming his support of the current state of Pride Parades.

Part of what he wrote is as follows:

...even if Pride doesn't change many minds in the outside world, it's our PARTY, darlings. It's our Christmas, our New Year's, our Carnival. It's the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other "Happy Pride!" Saying "Happy Pride!" is really just a shorter, easier way of saying "Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Way to go for not taking a rifle into a tower and taking out half the town! Well done, being YOURSELF!"

I'm not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers, or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It's OUR party, bitches. If you think that straight America would finally pull its homokinder to its star-spangled bosom once we put down that glitter gun, then you are seriously deluding yourself. Next year, if one of the Christian camera crews that show up to film our "debauched" celebrations happen to train their cameras on you, stop dancing. And start PRANCING.

All you suburban, lawn mowing, corpo-droid homos out there, hiding behind your picket fences, the ones wringing your hands and worrying that Pride ruins YOUR personal rep, listen up. Do you think that straight Americans worry that Mardi Gras damages international perception of American culture? America, land of the free, home of "Show Us Your Tits!"? They don't and neither should we. Our Pride celebrations are just our own unique version of Mardi Gras, only instead of throwing beads, we throw shade. No one has to ask US to show our tits. We've already got 'em out there, baby. And some of them are real.

Unlike Joe, I am absolutely convinced that Pride Parades have not only outlived their usefulness, but are downright counterproductive toward our achieving equal rights for LGBT people!

Shortly after Stonewall, I believe Pride Parades were necessary to both affirm the identity of LGBT people as well as to help provide a sense of community, of belonging, to so many LGBT people who often lived lives of isolation, aided and abetted by LGBT people being viewed as mentally ill and even criminals. These onerous constraints still exist, but not as acutely and savagely as they did in that era in the U.S.!

We are now, and for a long time have been, in a position to get beyond that phase of the struggle, and meaningfully organize at the grassroots and organizational levels; take what monies and energies are directed to Pride Parades and put them to use in street and organizational activism, and in civil suits against those institutions that discriminate against full equality for LGBT people.

Straight people have their Mardi Gras, but Straight people are not usually defined by their sexuality. Unfortunately, the fiction still persists that Gay=Sex, and salacious and indecent exhibitions that often exist in Pride Parades merely serve to confirm that myth, furthering the alienation of potential Straight allies, not all of whom are homophobic.

To put a finer point on it, for many potential Straight allies, the only face of Gay people that they often see is what they see in media coverage of Pride Parades; seeing what many consider to be indecent images as solely defining Gay people, merely reinforces the fiction that Gay=Sex, a fiction that has done a great deal to hamper the struggle for full and equal civil rights! Indeed, that fiction has provided a lot of fodder for professional homophobes, many of whom have made quite a handsome living off of showing those images.

On Joe's post, I wrote the following comment that I feel must be taken to heart by all LGBT people and allies who are truly concerned with the fight for equal rights:

I understand where you're coming from, Joe, but you neglect the crucial role of potential Straight allies who are not homophobic, but who genuinely don't know, and can't relate to, what they see as being typical of LGBT people when they see many Pride Parades. Parading in chaps and sequins isn't likely to win over potential Straight allies who are very much needed in the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people.

In your post you neglect the role of potential Straight allies who are shocked when people like me tell them that most Gay people are not typically represented in those parades. One man who works for the Navigators, a Conservative Christian organization, was actually and visibly shocked when I told him that. He didn't realize that Gay people were "normal" and lived "normal" lives like anyone else; they were no different than are Straight people, save for sexual orientation. And he's in his 70s!

You state: "Those straight people love our freaks, bless them...I'm not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers, or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It's OUR party, bitches."

We have to be very concerned about that outside world because LGBT people live in that outside world, and discussions in the political and judicial arenas are occurring as we speak, and those discussions and deliberations will have tremendous consequences for LGBT people's civil rights (And no LGBT person is a "freak!".) Right now, Prop. 8, DOMA, DADT, and ENDA are up for grabs, and many Pride Parades merely act as exhibitions that might as well be paid for by Focus on the Family.

It would be great, and far more productive, if we took that money and energy that are put in Pride Parades and directed them at political street and judicial activism.

I gave a talk a couple of years ago to a friend's class on "Gay Studies," and I rhetorically asked the following in regard to Pride Parades: "What are you proud of? What are you celebrating? Are you celebrating the fact that you are viewed as second-class citizens? Are you celebrating the fact that you do not enjoy the same civil rights that heterosexuals enjoy? Are you celebrating the fact that you are viewed as perverted heterosexuals? Are you celebrating the fact that ENDA, DADT, and DOMA are still legal? It's time to stop the frivolity and start getting serious about this struggle, this fight, for full and equal rights! All Pride Parades now do is help confirm the negative stereotypes potential Straight allies have about LGBT people! Pride Parades have now outlived their usefulness as we are well beyond Stonewall! Instead of putting money and energy into such displays, let's, for example, select one homophobic church in each city or jurisdiction and continually picket it each and every time they have church services, telling all who will hear that that church bears false witness against Gay people and preaches a false gospel of hate and exclusion. Let's also put our energies and money into meaningful and coordinated grassroots and organizational activism, as well as into civil litigation against any and all oppressors of LGBT people."
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Saturday, June 19, 2010


Last year, I wrote an article entitled, On Officiating A Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony, that I'd like to re-print here, especially given my previous post:

Before the passage of Proposition 8 in California that removed the State Constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, I was asked to officiate at a woman's marriage to her partner of 10 years. Her mother and stepfather were there, as was her Great Aunt. Her partner didn't have any family there, which might have been due to their geographical distance from California.

There were about 15 people in attendance, and the ceremony took place in the backyard by the gazebo of a rest home in which her Great Aunt, about 90 years old, lives. The couple exchanged rings and, as part of their vows, together read their "ketubah," a Jewish document that in this case spelled out their love and commitment to each other, as well as their commitment to peace and love in their home for themselves and for anyone who would visit them.

It was a beautiful ceremony, and lasted about 15 minutes. I was honored that I was asked to do the ceremony.

Both the mother and stepfather of one of the women were so happy for the couple and for their being able to witness the marriage between these two devoted people! It was so beautiful to see the radiance on their faces, as well as the radiance and profound happiness on the faces of the two women whose marriage all of us were privileged to witness.

This marriage, along with all other same-sex marriages, highlights the downright foolishness and evil that would allow a Britney Spears' 55-hour marriage to have more dignity, more credibility, and legal protections than the marriage of this same-sex couple and all same-sex couples.

"Breaking the silence that has enshrouded her since her Jan. 3 [2004] Las Vegas wedding and ensuing 55-hour marriage, Britney Spears told MTV's 'Total Request Live' in a telephone interview Wednesday 'I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, I totally do.' "But, she confessed, 'I was in Vegas, and it took over me, and, you know, things got out of hand." ["Bride Britney: Vegas 'Took Over Me'," People Magazine, January 15, 2004.]

Spears, also 22, and Alexander wouldn't be the first couple to have an instant marriage followed by an instant divorce.

"Dennis Hopper and the Mamas and Papas' Michelle Phillips were married for eight days in 1970. Zsa Zsa Gabor was apparently married to Felipe de Alba -- her eighth husband -- for one day in 1982. […] "Other short-lived marriages include Janet Jackson and James Debarge (three months), Tom Green and Drew Barrymore (five months) and Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd (15 months)." ["What was Britney thinking?", January 6, 2004.]

And, of course, there are many other short-term marriages among heterosexual couples of which nothing is heard from the arrogant “arbiters of morality" and those who foolishly or cynically claim to be defending "traditional marriage" when they bend every effort to rescind and/or prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage.

When it's alleged by assorted ignorant and/or hateful homophobes that same-sex marriage is a threat to the institution of marriage, one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry! How can same-sex marriage be a threat to the institution of marriage, when such a marriage as that of Britney Spears', the other ridiculously short-term heterosexual marriages, and the roughly fifty percent divorce rate in the U.S., and the higher divorce rate in California are not even seriously emphasized as such a threat by all too many homophobes?

If those who oppose same-sex marriage were really concerned about the threats to heterosexual marriage, they would be spending their money and energy, taking out all sorts of advertisements, calling attention to these alarming phenomena. But, actually, their rhetoric concerning the so-called "threat" to the institution of marriage is a mere smoke screen to try to sanitize and "religiously justify" their basic hostility to both same-sex marriage and to Gay people as well.

The "religious" homophobes take pains to say that they "love" Gay people, and one at a "Yes on 8" rally even had the temerity to tell me that his best friend was a lesbian who had helped him when his home was destroyed by a fire not too long ago; who often went fishing with him and had him over to her home on many occasions.

Yet, he was vociferously and publicly fighting against California's Proposition 8 that sought to strip away the right to marriage of same-sex couples, and he apparently saw no contradiction between his profession of "friendship" toward this woman on the one hand, and his mean-spirited and hateful stance toward what same-sex relationships she might have now or in the future on the other; feeling free to carry signs and spewing rhetoric designed to prevent her and all committed same-sex couples from living fulfilling lives under the protection of law as accrues to him and his spouse and to all heterosexual married couples.

What can possibly threaten the institution of marriage when a loving same-sex couple such as the one at whose marriage I was privileged to officiate is married? Are heterosexuals going to divorce their spouses so that they can now marry a person of the same sex? Is a child better off being raised by a single parent than by two loving parents of the same sex? How is any same-sex marriage going to in any way adversely affect someone's heterosexual marriage? Clearly, the answers to these questions are patently obvious, save to those who lack sufficient intelligence and/or decency!

During the ceremony in which I officiated, both women had a combination of smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes. Indeed, during a part when I spoke at the ceremony even I choked up.

This marriage probably meant as much to me as it did to the other witnesses to this happy event! In my small way, I was able to help make two wonderful people happy; publicly affirm their dignity; publicly affirm that their love and marriage were every bit as valid as the love and marriage of any loving heterosexual couple; take part in, now hopefully, legalizing their union as spouses for life that would be validated by the force of law. Moreover, it also helped potentiate my fervent desire that all same-sex couples who wish to make a lifetime commitment to each other be allowed to marry, as part of same-sex couples and Gay people one day obtaining all of the civil and sacramental rights that are currently enjoyed by heterosexual people and couples.

It is so important for same-sex marriage to be instituted in every state of the union, and recognized by both civil and religious authorities as being legal and binding; its spouses deserving of all of the rights, responsibilities, and credibility of heterosexual marriage!

If there had been music at their reception, we all would have danced! As it was, we were all so happy for them, and for the fact that we could participate in helping make their marriage both legitimate (which I have no doubt existed in the eyes of God 10 years before this ceremony when they committed themselves to each other) and legal.

If any decent person had been fortunate to witness and participate in this happy and dignified occasion, and seen the looks of happiness on the faces of both women, and seen the joy and reverence with which the couple and participants saw this marriage, he or she would want same-sex marriages to be legal in every state of the union, and properly respected and revered within secular and religious society that have for far too long horribly abused LGBT people as well as the love that same-sex couples have enjoyed for millennia.
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Friday, June 18, 2010


A six-month trial on whether to overturn a California ban on gay marriage ended dramatically on Wednesday when a lawyer defending the prohibition said he did not need evidence to prove the purpose of marriage....

Conservative Charles Cooper led the defense, arguing that it is reasonable to fear that allowing same-sex marriage would undermine heterosexual marriage and self-evident that the purpose of marriage was procreating and raising children.

[For the full article, see here.]

The reason that the attorney advocating for Prop. 8 "said he did not need evidence to prove the purpose of marriage" as we currently define it in most states in the U.S. is because there is no such evidence that can be presented! The purpose of marriage, be it heterosexual or same-sex, is to legalize (and solemnize) the committed love between two people, and there is absolutely no reason why heterosexuals should have a monopoly over that institution.

Despite the attorney's assertion, it is not at all "reasonable to fear that allowing same-sex marriage would undermine heterosexual marriage." My wife and I just celebrated our 48th Anniversary yesterday, and I can assure you that same-sex marriage will in no way impact our marriage!

Same-sex couples who wish to make a life-time commitment to one another should have no fewer rights than do my wife and I. Their love is no less valuable or deserving of legitimacy than is the love between my wife and I!

Moreover, it is not at all "self-evident that the purpose of marriage was procreating and raising children," as a lot of heterosexually married couples have no interest in having children and many older people who wish to get married are not able to have children. Yet, we don't prevent these heterosexual couples from getting married!

In sum, there is no rational reason to prevent same-sex marriage, and repeating inanities, and not giving substantial (or any) evidence to prohibit same-sex marriage, shows the level of desperation, and the bankruptcy of the arguments, of those affirming Prop. 8, and also shows the blind prejudice that lies behind the facade of appealing to "tradition" that seeks to affirm Prop. 8.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010


UPDATE: The following is an email I received from Don Charles in reference to his excellent article:


Here is one of the revisions I made to "The Gender Monologues":

"If you take nothing else away from this essay, please take this advice: Ignore the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. It has nothing to do with you! Forget what you've been told about the book of Leviticus. It's irrelevant! Stop fretting over the Apostle Paul's condemnation of same-gender hedonism. He wasn't talking about you! The Bible's gender-specific laws never applied to (those the Savior called) born eunuchs."

This really is, in a nutshell, what I want people to glean from my thesis on Transgender status, which I sincerely believe is a gift from God almighty!

My pal, Don Charles [Pictured], just wrote a superb two-part post entitled, Gender Monologues, part of which reads as follows:

Among the many gifts the Lord has bestowed upon humankind, gender may be the greatest one. In its (at least) three manifestations, gender is nothing less than the reflection of God's Image within us! What a priceless treasure it is; but predictably, wicked humankind has chosen to squander much of it. We celebrate the male, tolerate the female, and loathe the transgender! We despise Fullness so much, we try like Hell to stamp it out of existence.

We (and I do include LGBT folk in "we") attack it in every way we know how: With dehumanizing labels! With demonizing doctrine! With institutional discrimination, intellectual stigmatization, punitive legislation, coercive imprisonment, and genocidal violence! We try to torture it out of people of faith, using bogus exorcisms, forced heterosexual marriage, and "ex-Gay" brainwashing. We even target Fullness with scalpels, pressuring vulnerable transfolk to undergo radical "gender reassignment" surgery. As if their gender identity isn't valid unless the biology is made to match! We all but shove born eunuchs into the closet, consigning them to the dark recesses of shame and despair. Humankind is relentless in its crusade to preserve the illusion of binary gender and destroy the mirror image of God. Could there be any sin more unpardonable?


I strongly urge you to read both parts of his post in the above two links, as his discussion will not only elucidate for you the nature of "fullness" that exists within LGBT people, but will also serve to liberate so many LGBT people from the cultural, and self-imposed, bonds that have caused untold psychological, spiritual, and physical damage to so many LGBT people.

God gave the special gift of "fullness" to certain of God's children, and it's high time that that fact was recognized! And that recognition must first begin in the hearts and minds of LGBT people!
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The warring sides in the 2008 battle over same-sex marriage in California may have spent a combined $83 million for nothing, according to an academic study released Tuesday.

The study by Patrick Egan of New York University looked at polling on gay marriage and domestic partner elections in 33 states since 1998 and found that no minds were changed despite millions in spending, hard-hitting advertising such as the much-quoted "like it or not" TV spot with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and emotional pleas from both sides.

By election day, voters who opposed same-sex marriage before the campaign still opposed it, and those who backed it continued to back it.

[For the full article, see here.]

Monies that are futilely spent trying to convince the electorate that Gay people are deserving of equal rights must be spent in fighting for those rights in the courts!

It is demeaning and irrational to determine any group's civil rights status by a vote of the majority of the electorate! Would it be rational to vote on whether or not Jews can marry each other? If not, then why is it rational to vote on whether or not Gay people can marry each other? I see no difference between these two examples!

In fact, if the civil rights status of LGBT people can be determined by a majority of the electorate, then all minority group civil rights are up for grabs!

Closing arguments in the Prop. 8 suit in federal court are due to begin today, and all future demands for each and every civil right that accrues to heterosexual citizens must also be fought in the courts.

Proposition 8 Live Trial Twitter Feed
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Monday, June 14, 2010


The following is an article I wrote several years ago entitled, GLBT People and the Battle for the Bible, that I would like to reprint here:

There is nothing in Scripture that prohibits full acceptance of GLBT people, and ordaining their unions as sacraments in the Church. Since the Bible is used to justify homophobia, I want to deal with this issue from a biblical perspective, fully recognizing, as with the civil rights issue for Afro-Americans, that the battle, though partly political, is primarily religious and will eventually prevail on that ground.

It is inappropriate to translate many ancient customs to contemporary times. For example, we don't discriminate against women wearing slacks; this practice was quite unusual, and considered as "cross-dressing," as recently as 50 years ago.

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?

The Vatican decreed that homosexual relations were "intrinsically evil." Nowhere in Scripture are monogamous homosexual relations condemned. Jesus specifically condemned divorce and remarriage, calling it adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32) Yet, there are ministries to divorced Catholics in the Church. However, Jesus never spoke about homosexuality; homosexuality isn't even mentioned in the Ten Commandments, although bearing false witness is, yet the Church has demonized it.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are viewed as easy and safe targets to persecute! What the Catholic Church and much of the church world have done, enmeshing their prejudices on selected parts of the Bible, is help further exacerbate a climate of hate throughout the world against these already persecuted minorities. Scripture must always trump "natural law" and tradition, if Christians are to live up to the commandments Jesus taught: to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. All people are our neighbors, who must be embraced, not merely tolerated or, worse, demonized.

I am ashamed and angered at what the Vatican and much of the rest of the organized Church have done in oppressing GLBT people, as they seemingly utilize their view of "sin," born of cultural and personal prejudices to, in effect, tell GLBT people that they have no place in the Church. Rather than take the lead in living the law of love, much of the organized Church world has become culpable in the demonization of GLBT people.

In a society living on the edge, where people were to "be fruitful and multiply," homosexual relations, regardless of motive, were condemned. However, if we bring back that condemnation then, to be consistent, we would have to stone to death those caught in adultery, stone to death recalcitrant children, and even offer our virgin daughters to a howling mob to protect strange visitors, if need be.

The Church is obligated to come down on the side of love, mercy, compassion, grace, and inclusiveness, rather than on the side of being judgmental and excluding GLBT people and their relationships from full fellowship in the Church. The misuse of the Bible as a hammer to oppress others is diametrically opposed to Jesus' life, ministry, and commandments to us to love and embrace each other.

The Gay Scapegoat is a convenient and safe target to persecute from both outside and within the Church! His or her very existence is condemned deep within the psyche of many, given the self-righteous legalists and perfectionists in our midst, many of whom have ascended to leadership positions within much of the organized Church, and whose utterances against GLBT people are diametrically opposed to the biblical mandates to love others and seek to remove yokes of bondage put upon others by the modern-day Pharaohs and Pharisees who seem to monopolize the media and pulpits throughout America and the rest of the world.

The legalists, who have always been in the Church, are still trying to vitiate the grace (unmerited favor) of God by substituting in its place their own idols of self-righteousness, laws, and assorted do's and don'ts that have had the impact of having many GLBT people living lives filled with self-loathing, guilt, and self-condemnation. These legalists have caused untold suffering to people who have been viewed as "safe" targets to persecute. It's the legalists, not members of the GLBT communities who put their trust in God over and above their trust in others and life-circumstances, who are out of the will of God and misuse the Bible to oppress others to our collective shame! They must be withstood to their faces! (Galatians 2:11)

What many GLBT people don't realize is that their being excluded from much of the Church and from mainstream society serves a vital psychological and social function. First of all, hate is a great energizer! It enables one to feel superior to another and thereby feel more affirmed in a world that he or she seeks to twist to be in accordance with his or her own perceived self-interests. Moreover, marginalizing and demonizing certain groups of people amplifies in-group cohesion, and the embracing of established ways of doing things that are, again, perceived to be in the in-group's self-interest.

Emile Durkheim, a famous nineteenth century sociologist, said that when you have a threatening "out-group," the "in-group" unites to protect itself against it. There are people who have a vested interest in creating out-groups, because by so doing they cement in-group solidarity, even based on such banal slogans as "family values," "recapturing the soul of America," and "preserving the sanctity of marriage." The in-group, safely representing between ninety and ninety-eight percent of the population, can share emotions and fellowship being bonded by this one, and perhaps only, common bond: their stated sexual orientation.

Creating out-groups becomes for many within the in-group their god, and many are unwitting worshippers of this god which they created out of their psychological and social self-interests and perceived needs. Most people who marginalize and demonize gay people are xenophobic in that they reject people with whom they feel they cannot relate, as they don't see gay (or Black, or Mexican, or immigrant, etc.) people as their brothers and sisters.

Those who refer to the Bible to worship their god of exclusiveness misread Scripture to fit their own prejudices. These people listen to "lying prophets," as they did with the issues of slavery, segregation, and the subjugation of women, who bring themselves and their followers to ruin and perhaps spiritual death. (1Kings 13) Many GLBT people have either committed suicide, or commit suicide on the installment plan through guilt, self-condemnation, alcohol and drugs, due to those who do precisely what Jesus told Christians not to do. It should come as no surprise that gay youth suicide is estimated to be significantly higher than non-gay youth suicide!

Once it is recognized that stereotyping, marginalizing, demonizing, and excluding people and groups is non-biblical, but serves a very useful social function by creating greater solidarity among the in-group, and serves the psychological function of falsely-based self-affirmation, Christians will be likely to finally heed the counsel of God. No person or ideology is to supplant the God of inclusiveness, unconditional love, and salvation to those whom He has, by His unmerited favor, chosen out of the world, before the worlds were formed (Ephesians 1:4), to be His own possession.

One even can't appeal to tradition to justify exclusion of gays and their marital unions. In a fascinating book entitled, Same-Sex Unions In Premodern Europe, by the historian John Boswell (Vintage Books, Random House, 1995), he delineates how some same sex unions were even blessed by clergy in the Church. There are many same sex unions that are delineated in this book, but I'll just quote one passage to give you a flavor of the topic.

"…the church of Saint John of the Latin Gate, in which some Portuguese some years before had entered into a strange 'brotherhood'. Two males married each other at Mass, with the same ceremonies we use for our marriages, taking Communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together. Roman experts said that since sex between male and female could be legitimate only within marriage, it had seemed equally fair to them to authorize these ceremonies and mysteries of the church." (p. 265)

The context of prohibition against homosexual behavior in the Old Testament was that people were to be fruitful and multiply; the Messiah would come through the fruit of procreation, though be born of a virgin. In the New Testament, the context of prohibition is against any behavior that supplants God as an object of worship.

The Apostle Paul was most likely addressing male cult prostitution and sexual intercourse as homage to various pagan deities that existed in the Roman world at that time. There is no evidence to indicate that he was referring to loving, monogamous relationships between people of the same sex or that he was even referring to, or cognizant of, sexual orientation. (As is well known, there is no word in any of the biblical manuscripts that can be translated "homosexual" as the word wasn't coined until the late nineteenth century.) Moreover, even in the Old Testament, the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality but idolatry, mistreatment of others, and inhospitality.

In our era, we don't see the importance of hospitality. However, in the harsh environments that existed in the ancient world, hospitality was essential, as it could be a matter of life and death, and if it was denied, it was a grievous matter.

Moreover, when Sodom is discussed in Scripture, homosexuality is never mentioned as its sin. Here is the evidence of that fact, for which I'm indebted to the web site

Old Testament References The Sins of Sodom Mentioned
Deuteronomy 29:17-26 Idolatry and images to false gods
Deuteronomy 32:32-38 Idolatry
Isaiah 1:9-23 Murder, greed, theft, rebellion, covetousness
Isaiah 3:8-15 Mistreating the poor
Isaiah 3:11-19 Arrogance
Jeremiah 23:10-14 Adultery, lying by priests and prophets
Jeremiah 49:16-18 Pride of the heart
Jeremiah 50:2-40 Idolatry and pride
Lamentations 4:3-6 Cruelty and failure to care for the young and poor
Ezekiel 16:49-50 "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."
Amos 4:1-11 Oppression and mistreating the poor
Zephaniah 2:8 Pride

New Testament Reference The Sins of Sodom Mentioned
Luke 17:26-29 No specific sins mentioned
2 Peter 2:6 Living after ungodliness
Jude 1:7-8 Fornication after strange ("other") flesh. (Could be related to Genesis 6:1-2)

"Jesus declared that He hadn't come to do away with a portion of the Law but to fulfill all the Law (Matthew 5:17-18). Paul in Romans 10:4 says that 'Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to all who believe' and in Romans 7:6 tells us that we have been released from the Law and are dead to that which had us bound. If a portion of the Law remains in effect then all the Law must remain in effect." (

Paul was writing to the believing Jews of Rome and in Chapter One of the book of Romans he is describing the progressive descent into sin of the unbelieving Gentiles. You can't look at Chapter One without relating it to Chapter Two where Paul admonishes the Jews that if they pass judgment on even these behaviors, they are in fact condemning themselves. Paul's purpose was to show us all from which Christ redeemed Christians!

As Professor Peter J. Gomes wrote in his excellent book, The Good Book: Reading The Bible With Mind And Heart, in reading Scripture we must take account of what it says, what it means, its subtext, its context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text; biblical principle must always trump biblical practice. Our cultural lenses and personal prejudices frequently blind us to what Scripture is saying, much as they blinded those who used Scripture to justify slavery, segregation, and subjugation of women inside and outside of the Church. It is essential to realize that text without context is error!

Although GLBT inclusiveness is in part a political matter, it is primarily a religious one, in that even homophobes who have never even set foot inside of a church frequently claim to speak for God on this matter. One may be a homophobe, but he or she cannot appeal to the Bible to justify his or her prejudices.

It's high time that Christians actively stand up to the legalists, the haters, and hate-mongers both in and out of the Church, as perverters of the Gospel message of love, grace, faith, mercy, compassion, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. There is not to be, nor can there be, "unity" at the expense of social justice! There cannot be a meeting of the minds when those who have a tenacious and vested interest in misusing the Bible, God's love letter to His children, stridently condemn others, thereby helping to create and foment a climate of hate that results in the suicides and killings of GLBT people, many of whom, due to this hateful rhetoric, lead lives consumed with shame and self-loathing.

Christians must reclaim the Gospel of grace and the Bible of forgiveness, to show forth the God of love. And we must use every venue possible to show others that Christianity is antithetical to ignorant, erroneous, oppressive, and hateful biblical exegeses.

In reclaiming the Bible from those who would seek to hijack it, and who have distorted it, for their own religious, materialistic, and political agendas, we must all battle for full civil and sacramental rights for GLBT people, as by so doing we are battling for the very soul of the Church. And, therefore, we are ultimately engaging in this battle for God's sake!
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Saturday, June 12, 2010


I once thought and taught the common belief that a transgender person suffered from a birth defect, as they were one gender trapped in the body of another gender; surgery would be a desirable corrective, just as surgery correcting a cleft palate would be corrective of that birth defect.

I no longer believe that assertion! Rather, I believe that the sex we are anatomically born with determines our sex, though our gender feelings and performances can run the full gamut. In other words, a boy can express his gender as a boy and also as a girl, yet he is sexually still a boy. Expressing his gender as a girl doesn't nullify his sexually being a boy.

Many transgender people, like so many others, have bought into the notion, the myth, that gender expression is binary, whereas such expression can profitably be seen to exist on a continuum just as we see with sexual expression. And one's feelings often associated with such expression can also be seen to exist on a continuum, so that no transgender person is a "mistake."

Just as a male loving another male doesn't change his status as a male, or a female loving another female doesn't change her status as a female, being transgender also doesn't change the status of one's being a male or a female.

Rather, transgender people are still sexually male or female, the determinant of which is seen at birth (save for intersex babies), and one's feelings don't determine or change that fact, nor does any surgery or other accoutrements.

Men can act like the cultural definition of "male" in a society, or act like the cultural definition of "female" in a society, yet they are still sexually males, regardless of whether or not they feel like females. The same phenomenon holds true for women.

Acting and feeling feminine or masculine doesn't mean the person was born in the "right" or "wrong" body. Rather, it shows that there is a very wide range of gender perception and expression, and that range does not in any way infer or determine that one is a biological mistake.

Being transgender is not being abnormal! What is abnormal is the desire for so many people to see human beings as having dichotomous traits and expressions of those traits, many of which are culturally determined in the first place.

So, whether or not one has surgery to bring one's anatomy into line with his/her gender-feelings and gender expression, one's sex is still what one's anatomy at birth dictates.

To put it simply: not all men feel or are macho; not all women feel or are feminine! Some men feel like women and act like women, but if they were born with a penis, they are sexually still men. Some women feel like men, but if they were born with a vagina, they are sexually still women.

By not buying into the fiction that gender perceptions must be dichotomous, and that the body must be brought into line with those perceptions, one can then feel comfortable in knowing that one is feminine even if he has a penis, and one is masculine even if she has a vagina.

Blended gender exists, and when that blended gender exceeds one's comfort zones and/or society's comfort zones, many transgender (and other) people are led to believe that they are one gender trapped in the body of the opposite gender when, in fact, they are not trapped at all, but are created just as they are meant to be by God Who also transcends gender.

Hence, it's up to all of us, transgender or not, to recognize transgenderism as a gift, as transgender people can be seen to more fully represent the nature of God Who also transcends gender!
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Thursday, June 10, 2010


When people are frustrated with their condition in life, be it economically, emotionally, relationally, or sexually, there is the great temptation, if not a perceived downright need, to act out that frustration through aggression visited upon one or more people or groups that is or are felt to be safe to persecute.

So, for example, if a person is frustrated by his/her boss, that person might well displace that frustration and act aggressively toward his/her spouse and/or children and/or some minority group.

Similarly, when any of one's expectations exceed what is actually received, that frustration, that hurt, can and often is directed to others who often have nothing to do with the cause of that person's frustrations due to his/her unfulfilled expectations.

Strident homophobia can be seen to be a result of assorted frustrations people feel! As I've often written, emotionally and sexually intact people don't obsess over and/or condemn the love and sex lives of others!

Moreover, the torturing of logic to justify one's homophobia ("for the good of the children"; "maintain traditional family values"; "for purposes of national security"; "it's against the Bible," etc.) clearly shows how much the frustrations of life cause the emotional need for the strident homophobe to hang on to his/her homophobia so as to in some measure seek the release of the anxieties provoked by his/her frustrations.

Two relatively recent examples highlight the Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: The cases of Ted Haggard and George Rekers.

Both of these strident homophobes clearly had emotional/sexual frustrations that manifested themselves in condemning what they, themselves, were unsuccessfully trying to suppress. And those frustrations manifested themselves in the form of rhetorical aggression against that part (or those parts) of themselves that were the cause of their undoubted psychic pain; that caused undoubted tremendous psychic, and perhaps even physical, pain onto numerous LGBT people.

Moreover, to the degree the economy gets worse, and expectations of financial reward exceed the reality, we can expect there to be more scapegoats sought by those who can't healthfully handle the frustrations of life, and who thereby seek a target on which to vent those frustrations. And that venting often takes the form of aggression, be it verbal and/or behavioral.

So it should come as no surprise when many Roman Catholic priests, for example, who have made a commitment to be celibate in order to be priests in the Roman Catholic Church, handle what sexual frustrations many of them are likely to have by showing some level of rhetorical aggression toward Gay people, especially when it is estimated, albeit by necessity anecdotally, that a relatively large proportion of RC priests might well be Gay themselves.

So, any frustration, be it sexual or otherwise, sets the stage for aggression to follow. And, to the degree that homophobic rhetoric is allowed to continue, especially continue by appeal to the Bible and to God by clergy and their followers, we can expect a continuation, or even an increase, in aggression directed against LGBT people.

Emotionally intact and mature people learn to handle life's inevitable frustrations in healthy ways.

Strident homophobes, on the other hand, those who bear false witness and castigate LGBT people, take the coward's way out in dealing with life's inevitable frustrations, and thereby show themselves to lack the emotional and/or sexual intactness necessary to both live an abundant life, as well as contribute to a healthy and civil society.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests

This article entitled, Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests is excellent, and the study is to be published in the July issue of the esteemed journal Pediatrics.

Part of the above linked article reads as follows:

A nearly 25-year study concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers....

Children from lesbian families rated higher in social, academic and total competence. They also showed lower rates in social, rule-breaking, aggressive problem behavior.

"This study shows that the 17-year-old adolescents who have been reared by lesbian families are psychologically happy and high functioning," said Gartrell, a Williams distinguished scholar at the UCLA School of Law. Restrictions of child custody and reproductive technologies based on sexual orientation are not justified, she said.

Of course, homophobes won't accept any scientific findings, regardless of how sound the methodology and statistical analysis, that fly in the face of their preconceived prejudices.

Therefore, it is important to realize that such studies, and all rational arguments showing the normality of LGBT identity and expression, and LGBT-themed websites and blogs such as this one, and the many positive outcomes of the results of same-sex love and relationships, should affirm and embolden LGBT people, and not be seen as avenues to change any strident homophobe's mind!

Their is no reasoning with blind prejudice!
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This article confirms some of the destructive stereotypes about Gay people: that Gay people are predators, that one isn't naturally Gay, and that being Gay is a perversion of the "normality" of being Straight.

Those are the arguments that most religious and other homophobes use to justify their venom against same-sex marriage and Gay people generally.

Here's an excerpt from the above linked post:

In a dramatic twist to the tale of Malawi’s convicted but pardoned gay lovebirds, the man, Steven Monjeza, has dumped his homosexual ‘wife’ Tiwonge Chimbalanga to marry a Blantyre-based woman. Twenty-four-year old Dorothy Gulo on Monday confessed her love for Monjeza whom she described as “a real man capable of doing to women what other men ably do in bed.” She was explicit about the issue and said she had nothing to hide....

According to The Nation, Monjeza now claims that he was never gay, and that his recent press conference came about because he was kidnapped by three unidentified men and forced to attend a “drinking orgy.”

Obviously I don't know what machinations occurred to cause this turn of events. It might well have been a deal struck between one of more of the men in that couple with the government of Malawi. Or, it could well be that Monzenga couldn't take the venom and social and legal threats visited upon him anymore.

But this is a tragic state of affairs when a woman has to state that Monzenga is "a real man capable of doing to women what other men ably do in bed."

Just this statement alone shows the culture of machoism and misogyny (Yes, even by a woman!) that reins both in Malawi and in all cultures, including that of the United States, that see LGBT people as pejoratively "deviant."
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Thursday, June 3, 2010


On this past Monday's post (May 31st), I wrote, in part, about the need to study homophobes rather than study Gay people. Part of that post reads as follows:

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.

In this post, I want to address what I consider to be some of the major psychological and social dynamics that provide the roots as well as the payoffs of homophobia and its expressions.

"Phobia," of course, means "fear!" So when we speak of "homophobia," we are essentially speaking about fear of Gay people and/or fear of one's being Gay.

Externalized and internalized homophobia ["At his new church, Haggard said he will teach that God intended marriage to be a monogamous union of a man and a woman."] are manifestations of a basic fear, often deeply rooted in one's unconscious mind, that one is what he/she has been trained by all too many clergy and others to view as something loathsome; so, to counteract and neutralize that feeling, anger and even rhetorical and/or physical aggression are often used as defense mechanisms.

That anger and aggression can be directed at Gay people themselves or, in the case of one who is Gay or "fears" he/she is Gay, that anger can and often is inwardly directed (And can also often be outwardly directed at Gay people as well.), in many cases culminating in counterproductive and risk-taking behavior, and even suicide among those who are internally homophobic.

Moreover, the all-too-frequent use of hateful epithets (queer, dyke, fag, tranny, etc.) as self-identifiers is another manifestation of recognized or unrecognized internalized homophobia! Hence, it is no surprise that in the case where internalized homophobia exists, actions counterproductive to the struggle for LGBT equality can be seen to exist, and even occur at precisely those times when equal rights are before the courts and in the public eye.

In this connection, I don't think that it's any accident that such phenomena as the Folsom Street Fair, the Million Fag March, and the seeming increase of frivolous, if not onerous, content in assorted Gay-themed media, occurs at this particular juncture in American history when DADT, DOMA, ENDA, and Prop. 8 are being discussed and adjudicated in both the political and judicial arenas. Such counterproductive, if not traitorous, behavior are signs of often unrecognized internalized homophobia!

Internalized and externalized homophobia are both congruent with fear, and are caused by fear; that homophobia (and its manifestations) is, in itself, an instrument or defense mechanism that one uses to minimize the fear and/or shame of one's being Gay, or even used to minimize the generalized fear of the unknown, that resides in the homophobe's own psyche.

As Sigmund Freud asserted, the unconscious is not merely a passive part of our personality. Rather, it is comprised of all sorts of tempestuous forces, often "unspeakable" drives and urges, that one cannot afford to bring to consciousness in order to maintain his/her ego integrity, his/her sense of self.

In Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, the unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences. (See here.)

These "unacceptable" and "unpleasant" feelings, conflicts, and anxieties that reside in the "Id," the "unconscious," are usually repressed by the psyche. However, when those unpleasant feelings, conflicts, and anxieties threaten to come to consciousness, all sorts of defense mechanisms are resorted to to keep those feelings suppressed, not the least of which is "denial"; when denial is impossible, anger and aggression (externalized and/or internalized) usually become manifest.

When one's unconscious anxieties and fears are threatened to be manifested in their nakedness, the result is often anger and aggression so as to repress and suppress those anxieties and fears; that repression and suppression cause homophobes to both live inauthentic and self-defeating lives on the one hand, and also fool themselves into believing that they are intact human beings on the other hand.

And, of course, nothing could be further from the truth! One cannot live an inauthentic and/or self-defeating life and also be emotionally intact!

Repression and suppression of sexuality as a price we all pay to live in civil society, as alleged by Freud, is dramatically fueled by religion that seeks to maintain the status quo, and maintain its moral hegemony over others; even over people's self-concept that in reality is not usually in line with the truth of one's tempestuous psyche that screams to get out of its repressed state.

And, tragically, it is often "homophobia" (and its manifestations) that is used as a defense mechanism that helps keep the person's frustrations, urges, and other tempestuous forces that reside in the unconscious repressed and suppressed. Hence, the virtual impossibility of educating the homophobe into seeing that being Gay is a normal sexual orientation.

It seems to me that among many people there is an inordinate need for certainty in this uncertain world, and this phenomenon is no less true when we speak of one's psychic world. Hence, the seduction of "fundamentalism," be it in religious life or in secular life.

As I wrote in an article entitled, The Illusion of Certainty:

When one is afraid, one usually doesn’t have the psychic energy to empathize with another person, particularly when it is felt that the other person might conceivably be a "burden" in one way or another. Chronic fear, like any other type of neurosis, breeds self-absorption and, therefore, makes it rather unlikely that that person will seek to help out another person, since virtually all of that person’s psychic energy is being spent on "keeping it together." And, fundamentalism’s success is that is does, in fact, help those who are fearful of life, of ambiguity, of the unknown, and of the complex multidimensional aspects of life and of God, "keep it together."

For many people, fundamentalism is a desperately needed form of psychotherapy! This fact is not all bad! Most of us want safe places, safe havens, in which to rest, even if it means having our complex and existential problems addressed by a simple Bible verse, or by a rather trite remark such as, "God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle."

This illusion of certainty, although it serves a needed psychological and social purpose for many of those who seek out fundamentalism, has another, much more dangerous, downside. Fundamentalism, by its very nature, requires that there be scapegoats! In the fundamentalist frame of mind, there has to be an "us," and for there to be an "us" there has to be a "them." And the current "them," the enemy de jour, is LGBT people!

The psychological need for certainty morphs over to the social need for bonding with like-minded believers. Therefore, it’s "us" against "them!" Anyone who is viewed as not seeing God, the Bible, or the world as that person does is viewed as the outsider, the enemy. In my experience, many people in fundamentalist churches don’t even see those who go to "progressive" (Seeking to apply biblical principles, rather than apply every biblical and cultural practice, to contemporary social problems and issues.) churches as being "Christian."

So, homophobia, beyond reflecting one's often unconscious anxieties and fears, being an attempt to neutralize those anxieties and fears, repressing and suppressing one's own often sexual anxieties and fears, also serves a vital social function, as homophobic rhetoric and/or actions is often a powerful medium that brings like-minded people together into an in-group, such as exists in much of the institutionalized Church that is often characterized by incestuous socialization.

And that in-group's cohesion is increased in proportion to the homophobic rhetoric that addresses that level of fear provoked by Gay people; fear of the tempestuous forces in one's unconscious mind. Hence, strident homophobia cements in-group solidarity which is another powerful payoff for insecure one-dimensional thinkers who seek to impose their own prejudices onto others, and often fallaciously do so in the name of God!

Homophobia is a fear inculcated largely by religious forces in society that are undeservedly given credibility as having the right to take the moral high ground when dealing with love and sex but, ironically, not given that same level of credibility when dealing with poverty and war. This very phenomenon shows both the selectivity used when adhering to religious sentiments, as well as the intensity of the unconscious (and sometimes conscious) drives that create and exacerbate homophobia, as well as the role that religion itself plays, and is allowed to play, in facilitating homophobia and its expression.

So, in addition to psychological payoffs provided by homophobia and its expression, social payoffs are provided by homophobia and its expression, as when creating an out-group, in-group solidarity is increased. Hence, deeply felt needs to belong, to be liked, to feel in control when the unconscious tells the fearful homophobe that he/she is really not in control, are deeply felt needs that the expression of homophobia seeks to address, even if it causes untold amounts of suffering to countless numbers of LGBT people and their families.

And, to add insult to injury, showing the level of desperation of homophobes in attempts to justify their position, all sorts of irrational and false "justifications" for homophobia are presented, such as same-sex marriage being "a threat to the family," "Gay people being a threat to our children," "same-sex couples not being able to raise emotionally healthy children," "being Gay is a sin," etc. These types of "justifications" for homophobia show just how much homophobia and its expression is needed by emotionally needy people who need to repress and suppress tempestuous forces within their psyches to which xenophobia provides an easy, albeit false, remedy.

Indeed, homophobia and its expressions can be seen as being perversely "therapeutic" for those who lack emotional/sexual intactness. Rather than courageously try to understand what prompts their need to denigrate and bear false witness against LGBT people, and even seek to prevent the acquisition of equal rights for LGBT people, homophobes attempt to address and treat their emotional and social neediness by taking the coward's way out by expressing derision and even hate toward LGBT people as a catharsis for their own internal turmoil.

It seems to me that all emotionally healthy people recognize Freud's assertion that, "The Ego is not master in its own house!" (Sigmund Freud, "A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis," 1917.)

That is, we contain unconscious forces within us that we can barely, if at all, understand; we do not have the degree of control over our thoughts and behaviors that we often, though falsely, think we have!

One of the indicators of emotional intactness, and also intelligence, is the ability to handle the many uncertainties and ambiguities of life! Homophobes, and xenophobes of all types, those who feel the need to denigrate and exclude others, seem to lack that ability and, hence, they show themselves fearful of the many gray areas that exist in society, exist in what and who they perceive to be "the other," and exist in what often unknown forces reside within themselves as well.

After all, as I've often written, emotionally healthy people don't really care about the love and sex lives of others, let alone compulsively focus on, and condemn, Gay people, to the degree that some people even make careers (and sometimes a handsome living) as professional homophobes!

So, simply put, people do what they perceive to be rewarding for them! And there can be no doubt that there are psychological and social payoffs provided by homophobia and its rhetorical and/or behavioral expressions!

Both externalized and internalized homophobia are largely used as defense mechanisms to repress and/or suppress often sexually tempestuous forces that threaten to come to consciousness, often when provoked by the mere existence of LGBT people; the objects of one's fear, be it others and/or him/herself, become objects of derision, and even hate, that reflects, and futilely seeks to eradicate, the very derision and hate that one feels toward him/herself.
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