Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Rep. Alan Grayson To Christian Right: What About YOUR Pact With Satan?:
"On the floor of Congress yesterday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) called out the Christian right for the comments about Haiti and asked Pat Robertson, 'What about your own pact with the devil? How's that worked out for you?' Classic Grayson!"
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A Letter to the Editor I wish I'd written::
"[via email -- thanks to Jerry Anderson!]
The 14th Amendment was adopted to ensure the constitutional rights of freed slaves and their descendents after the Civil War. There have been roughly 325 federal court cases relative to this amendment since that time. Nineteen of those cases have actually had anything at all to do with a human being. The remaining 300 or so cases have been part of the ongoing corruption process that grants “personhood” to corporations. “Corporate Personhood” is the legal concept that grants most of the rights of natural living, breathing citizens to corporations.
Under our constitution US corporations are allowed virtually every right of humanbeings including such rights as the right to marry. This “marriage/merger” concept which flies in the face of “traditional marriage” is openly embraced by conservatives who will freely grant to a profit-making business what they flatly refuse to grant to millions of our living, breathing LGBT citizens."
Surf over to read the rest! It's a dilly!
Friday, January 22, 2010
SCOTUS decides to SCREWUS: " I guess SCOTUS forgot about the reasons for some of the legislation around the teapot dome scandal. Now we are really back to the future.
Money from Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and the rest of the Fortune 500 is already corroding the policy making process in Washington, state capitals, and city halls. Today, the Supreme Court tells these corporate giants that they have a constitutional right to trample our democracy.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Catholic Archbishops Launch New Manhattan Declaration Campaign: "The authors of the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration, which calls for the disobedience of any laws granting LGBT rights, want to increase its number of signatories from 370,000 to one million. Working to help them reach that noble goal are Catholic archbishops. Via press release:
Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia (right), Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, DC (left), Archbishop Dolan of New York and Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville reached out to all of their brother Catholic bishops asking them to spread this document throughout their dioceses and encourage their clergy and faithful to study it and join as signatories. The Archbishop of Detroit has planned a grassroots effort throughout his archdiocese. The Bishop of Phoenix has already organized a grassroots effort there. We are also receiving many reports of evangelical gatherings in a number of areas - and many evangelical pastors referring to the Manhattan Declaration in their sermons. This bold and exciting movement needs to reach 100 or 200 cities in America. Why not? Can you help? We are urging you to encourage your pastors and community leaders to do what these other cities are doing. Organize ecumenical meetings organized around the Manhattan Declaration; get other concerned citizens to join the effort. Get on the internet or phone and ask friends to join you.After a raft of suggestions on how to increase the number of signatures (Use Facebook! Twitter! Hair salons! Barbeques!), the authors close with: 'Just think what might happen in our land if one million courageous Christians declared their uncompromising allegiance to Jesus Christ and to biblical faithfulness on some of the most urgent moral issues of our day. May God give us the strength to do what He is so clearly calling us to do. From our perspective, this is a cause worth giving every last ounce of effort and energy we have.'
And once again, the moral and Godly oppression of natural human sexuality is aided by elderly drag queen eunuchs in embroidered gowns, gaily waving their smoking purses all the way to the NAMBLA meeting.
Exporting culture war and ignoring the consequences: "
Here is a recipe for trouble: Go to another country and culture. Take a dreadful and defining historical event grounded in one context, reframe in terms of a battle you are having at home, so can line them up on your side back home. Stir up us-versus-them rhetoric, tell people their children are at risk, and then walk away. When the results are volatile and dangerous, resulting in death and threats of death, be shocked but only after a respectful silence. Or just remain silent.
This is what American conservative Evangelicals have done in Uganda and the result is the anti-gay bill in Uganda.
In the churches in North America, the fight over sexuality has meant divided churches and, probably, disaffected members who are tired of churches who do nothing but argue. In Uganda, American culture wars have become a license to kill, including now a proposal to extend state-sanctioned killing to homosexuals and imprisonment towards those who know gays, interact with gays, or assist gays.
Both NPR and Newsweek reflect on what happens when American culture wars are exported to different cultures and political climates.
Lisa Miller writes in Newsweek.com about the limits of 'Anglican soulmating'. She says that while conservative former-Episcopalians in a rich California suburb may be impressed by the piety and theological purity of their African counterparts, it can be shocking when they see what happens when American culture wars are exported.
American culture wars are kindergarten play compared with those in places like Uganda, where democracy is a sham and tolerance rare. And American conservatives who insist on romanticizing Africans for the purity of their Christian belief must guard against escalating those wars and endangering lives—intentionally or not—by giving support and money to Christian leaders with insufficient regard for human rights. 'The culture war which has been fought in the U.S. has been exported to Africa,' says Ochoro Otunnu, a Ugandan human-rights lawyer based in New York. But, he adds, there's a big difference. 'In America you can have an open debate about homosexuality knowing full well you have an array of legal and constitutional protections. Those protections don't exist in some of the African countries—Uganda being a case in point. When this debate is conducted in public you can actually endanger an entire minority community....'
The anti-homosexuality bill now before the Ugandan parliament is a case in point. NPR's Barbara Bradley Haggerty reports on what happened how American conservative evangelicals encouraged the bills and only half-heartedly back away from its deadlier consequences:
To understand how this bill came to be, one needs to know the story of King Mwanga. In 1886, Uganda's king ordered some two dozen male pages to have sex with him, and when they refused because of their Christian faith, he ordered that they be burned to death. Every year on June 3, Ugandans celebrate a national holiday honoring the Christian martyrs and deploring the pedophile king.
Into this climate stepped Scott Lively, an American evangelical and president of Defend The Family International. In March 2009, Lively traveled to Uganda to speak, along with two other Americans from 'ex-gay communities,' about the 'gay agenda.'
'The gay movement is an evil institution,' he told Uganda's Family Life Network. 'The goal of the gay movement is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.'
Then Lively, who has authored a book called The Pink Swastika, played into the fears raised by Uganda's history.
'Male homosexuality has historically been, not adult to adult; it's been adult to teenager,' he said. 'It's called pederasty — adults sodomizing teenage boys.'
Lively went on to talk to the Ugandan parliament, but says he never intended for the bill to include the death penalty, but he admires the line in the sand the Ugandan politicians are drawing. He told NPR: 'But the fact that they're willing to stand up and say, 'No, we are not going let you homosexualize our country!' — that is a step in the right direction, and I would hope that it would spread to other countries.'
Martin Minns, of CANA whose boss is Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola, calls the lobbying and pressure from the West to stop the legislation 'megaphone diplomacy' and he says it doesn't work. He claims that his groups has been working quietly behind the scenes to change the legislation.
'It's hard for any of us who have not lived under colonial rule to realize how offensive it is for people who have won that freedom to now basically be told, 'You're fools. You're ignorant. One day you'll grow up and be like us,' ' Minns says. 'That comes across in a very patronizing way.'
Nigeria had a similar law come before their parliament a few years back, with the open support of Minns' boss, Archbishop Peter Akinola. It was withdrawn after a lot of megaphone diplomacy which included consistent international condemnation from governments and foreign ministers.
NPR interviewed Episcopal Cafe's Jim Naughton, who said he doesn't buy the stated shock and dismay of some evangelical leaders about the bill. He says that they should have known that their message, which plays one way in the USA, would play another way in Uganda:
'If you go to countries where there's already a great deal of suspicion and maybe animosity towards homosexuals, and begin to tell people there, 'Well, actually these people are child abusers, they're coming for their children, that they're the scourge that is being deposited on you by the secular West,' you're gonna get a backlash.' Naughton says it's like 'showing up in rooms filled with gasoline, and throwing lighted matches around and saying, 'Well, I never intended fire .' '
Lisa Miller talked to human rights activists and others who point to this law as the consequence of a policy of exporting American religious and political ideologies to Africa, Latin American and Asia.
Otunnu and other human-rights activists believe the political war against homosexuals in Uganda is a direct result of the legions of evangelists who landed in his country during the Bush administration, determined to fight HIV/AIDS with Christian rhetoric about abstinence and marital fidelity. 'Africa, like Latin America and parts of Asia, is culturally very conservative. But within Uganda there has never been an ideology on how to criminalize this act. This is the impact of the evangelical movement.'"
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Gay Teen Worried He Might Be Christian: "
This just in from the deliciously reliable “news” source–The Onion:
LOUISVILLE, KY—At first glance, high school senior Lucas Faber, 18, seems
like any ordinary gay teen. He’s a member of his school’s swing choir, enjoys
shopping at the mall, and has sex with other males his age. But lately, a
growing worry has begun to plague this young gay man. A gnawing feeling that,
deep down, he may be a fundamentalist, right-wing Christian.
“I don’t know what’s happening to me,” Faber admitted to reporters Monday.
“It’s like I get these weird urges sometimes, and suddenly I’m tempted to go
behind my friends’ backs and attend a megachurch service, or censor books in the
school library in some way. Even just the thought of organizing a CD-burning
turns me on.”
Added Faber, “I feel so confused.”
The openly gay teen, who came out to his parents at age 14 and has had a
steady boyfriend for the past seven months, said he first began to suspect he
might be different last year, when he started feeling an odd stirring within
himself every time he passed a church. The more conservative the church, Faber
claimed, the stronger his desire was to enter it.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
As a distinction, the centurion’s other servants are designated ‘duloi’. Helminiak also indicates that the ‘son’ interpretation is out because Luke’s account also designates the pais as a dulos. In other words, he was definitely a slave. Entimos indicates that the boy is very dear to the centurion. Some might say that he wanted simply to protect his investment, but centurions were wealthy. They could go buy other slaves. Perhaps this pais held a key position in the household, but the wording indicates that this slave is also young, and given his age, the most probable interpretation is that this ‘dear slave’ had an emotional bond with the Centurion. This story is significant because Jesus did not condemn the Centurion. Rather, he marveled at his faith, and declared him an example of it.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Look, we get it. It's January. You're freezing your arse off. Going back to work at all is tough enough, much less taking on any new assignments.
But here's the thing: We are still a loooooong way from marriage equality in this country. Sure, some of us have joyously crawled through the window in the handful of areas where we can legally marry. But none of us have federal recognition. None of us have the ability to transport our unions to the majority of other U.S. jurisidictions. Plus states like Maine and California have shown us how fragile even our state-level freedoms can be when thrown in front of a fervently faith-based firing squad. So really not a one of us (of any orientation) are ever going to be free until we are ALL truly free.
So here's what we need you to do: First, thaw out of your post-holiday ennui and warm up your typing fingers. Next, pinpoint a local newspaper that runs opinion pieces. Then let your heart and mind pour out into a passionate pro-peace piece that demonstrates why, exactly, gays and lesbians are in fact human beings who deserve basic human freedoms. The purpose: To show the country that when homo-hostile bias is relegated to the historical dustbin that it deserves, love will then take over.
NEWSPAPER TAKEOVER FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY
One week. One unified voice.
NEW YORK - Love Takes Over is a nationwide initiative calling on citizens to write to their local newspapers about marriage equality during the week of January 3rd-January 9th. Love Takes Over seeks to promote and foster dialogue about marriage equality on a local level.
The idea behind Love Takes Over is simple: One week. One unified voice. Everyone take over America’s local newspapers and get people talking about marriage equality across the entire country at the same time.
Love Takes Over encourages American citizens to open up dialogue on a variety of issues pertaining to marriage equality. These issues include why civil marriage is a civil rights issue, why Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are not equal to marriage, how inequality affects the families and children of same-sex couples, and why the issue of marriage equality is personally important to the author of each article.
“We believe in the power of small,” say the activists behind Love Takes Over, “We believe that the small steps people take everyday to educate their families, friends, and local communities are a vital part of any social justice movement.”
Articles are to be published during the week of January 3rd-January 9th. College students on Winter Break are encouraged to write to their hometown newspapers and submit a piece to their campus newspaper at the start of the new semester.
For more information, please contact Jen Dugan at (201) 247-6419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at Love Takes Over’s official project blog: lovetakesover.tumblr.com.
NEWSPAPER TAKEOVER FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY [Love Takes Over]
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Top Republicans support lawsuit pushing vote to strip rights from same-sex couples in DC:
There are some Republicans who never miss a chance to do some rhetorical
gay-bashing. Today, we learn that 39 Republicans on Capitol Hill have joined a
lawsuit filed by noted homophobe Harry Jackson to force a vote on DC's
new marriage law:Thirty-nine congressional Republicans, including House MinorityJust leave it to Republicans to think a public vote to strip away the
Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), have filed an
amicus brief in D.C. Superior Court calling for a voter referendum on whether to
legalize same-sex marriage in the District.
In the filing, U.S. senators
James Inhofe (Okla.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) and 37 House Republicans align
with Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church, in asking the court
to reverse a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics decision prohibiting the
same-sex marriage question to be put before voters.
rights of citizens is a good idea. Funny, in a hypocritical way, how Republicans
are always bashing lawyers and lawsuits, but run to the courts when they can
thwart equality. It shouldn't be a surprise that the top GOP House leaders are
engaged in gay-bashing. After all, their press spokesperson, Andy Seré, spends
his time gay-baiting (that is, when he's not attending GOB
parties or getting 'tail.')
here's the rest of the list of GOP homophobes who got on board with the amicus
In addition to the two senators and Boehner and Cantor, the brief
was signed by U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (Ala.), Todd Akin (Mo.), Michele
Bachmann (Minn.), J. Gresham Barrett (S.C.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Marsha
Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), John Fleming
(La.), J. Randy Forbes (Va.), Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Phil
Gingrey (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), Jeb Hensarling (Tex.), Wally Herger
(Calif.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Steve King (Iowa), Jack
Kingston (Ga.), John Kline (Minn.) Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Robert Latta (Ohio),
Don Manzullo (Ill.), Michael McCaul (Tex.), Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Patrick
McHenry (N.C.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Jeff Miller (Fla.), Jerry Moran
(Kan.), Randy Neugebauer (Tex.), Mike Pence (Ind.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Mark Souder
(Ind.) and Todd Tiahrt (Kan.)
Saturday, January 2, 2010
But Ruth said,
"Do not press me to leave youRuth’s vow to Naomi has been used as a definition and illustration of the marriage covenant. Modern readers seem to overlook the fact that it was originally a promise made from one woman to another.
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
And your God my God.
Where you die, I will die—
there will I be buried.
May the LORD do thus and so to me,
and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!"