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Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Season for Nonviolence: 64 Ways in 64 Days – Day 2

by @ 3:03 pm. Filed under Season for Nonviolence

In the Season of Nonviolence each day, people are ask to help promote nonviolence and peace. The idea is 64 ways in 64-days to create peace.To celebrate this event, I would ask fellow bloggers, both pro-gay and anti-gay to mark each day of the 64-days by stepping out of the box and posting one idea of how to create peace, especially with our adversaries in the gay/anti-gay conflict.

Day 2 of 64:  Today, I have really been busy and my patience was tested by way of interuption city all day.   So, today I am practicing my patience.  I vow that today, I will empathize and be patient with others.

 What will you do for peace in these 64-days?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

February Get Magazine Article

by @ 9:55 pm. Filed under Nonviolence, Nonviolent Communication

Peace Starts at Home

By Joe Brummer

Conflict is necessary for our relationships and our families to grow both emotionally and spiritually.  How we handle those conflicts in life is a choice. We can make the choice to connect with our loved ones and ourselves in ways that create an atmosphere of peace in our homes.   I would ask that you consider these ten ideas to bringing peace into your home this Valentine’s Day.

1. Create a peace room: Thich Nhat Hahn, a Buddhist monk nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967, suggests that each of us have one room that is a safe haven. A place that the family has agreed is a no-stress zone, where children can go and be safe from punishment, judgment or anger, a place where parents can go to seek refuge from a stressful day or cool off before tying to solve a conflict.

2. Create a Safety Phrase: Even the best of us say things in a heated moment that we will later regret. To avoid these unpleasant moments, I would suggest you create a safety phrase that can indicate someone needs time to cool off. This is especially valuable for couples who want to avoid screaming matches, but also handy for teaching young ones how to recognize and react when they are angry.

3. Make an Anger Plan: Use the time when you don’t have a conflict to discuss how you will deal with the times when you do. Relationships take lots of communication. Talk about how each of you responds to anger and what you can do to support each other in healthy ways.

4. Turn off the TV (or at least choose TV shows wisely): Studies indicate that 60% of all television shows contain some level of violence. Ample research has been done to show that watching positive themed TV or movies (love, comedy, inspirational) has positive effects on the mind and body. Watching negative themed TV or movies (war, violence, or destruction) has negative effects on the mind and body. Spending time filling your soul with the good stuff is good for you.

5. Institute Game Night: Whether you are a couple or a family, deciding that one night is to play cards or board games, encourages families to talk and communicate. Studies also indicate that the more positive interactions a couple has in a day the higher they rank on relationship satisfaction surveys. Why not create some positive interactions?

6. Volunteer: Mohandas Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others.” As a family or just as a couple, volunteer your time. Such experiences can strengthen the bond you share and enrich others’ lives at the same time.

7. Criticism is a gift: Each time someone criticizes you, they are really expressing a need they hope you will meet. If they say you’re “smothering them,” it really means they have a need for space. If they say you’re “too bossy,” then they are expressing a need for autonomy. Listen to your family’s needs, not the words they say.

8. Forgive: The baggage we carry with us in old resentments and revenge eats at us. It takes more energy to carry those bags around then it does to put them down. Forgiveness is a power far greater than any medicine your doctor can prescribe. It has the power to transform lives.

9. Value Dinner: The power of a good meal is peace. You get to cook it together, eat it together and clean up together. This is communication time. Skip the dishwasher, you wash while they dry and you both talk. Make dinner an important daily ritual that holds value in your home.

10. Exercise: As well as making your body healthy, research shows that physical activity will make your mind healthy. It aides spiritual growth and mental sharpness. These are the qualities of true peacemakers.

WordPress Upgrade

by @ 9:40 pm. Filed under Gay News

Well, I have upgraded word-press, but I think it has made the site very slow.   So I apologize for the speed of things, they seem slow and delayed.  Hopefully I will be able to speed things up.

The new WordPress has some nice features I will need to learn, but I love the spellcheck feature the best!

I will keep you all posted!

This new version lets me upload pics write from my post, very cool!  I couldn’t do that before so I am posting a pic of the snow I had a few weeks ago!

dscf1747.jpg

A Season for Nonviolence: January 30th to April 4th

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under Gay News, Season for Nonviolence

Today marks the anniversary of the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi and with it the start of 64-days fittingly called a “Season for Nonviolence“. April 4th marks the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the Season of Nonviolence each day, people are ask to help promote nonviolence and peace. The idea is 64 ways in 64-days to create peace.

To celebrate this event, I would ask fellow bloggers, both pro-gay and anti-gay to mark each day of the 64-days by stepping out of the box and posting one idea of how to create peace, especially with our adversaries in the gay/anti-gay conflict.

Day 1 of 64: I suggest that I will walk in the shoes of a pro-traditional family advocate for one day to understand and empathize with their views.
What will you do for peace in these 64-days?

Friday, January 25, 2008

MRSA UPdates!

by @ 3:34 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, Gay News, hate speech

This editorial appears in the Minnesotta Daily today.   It sheds some light on the MRSA controversy. (Bold print mine)

______________________________

A new study issued by the Annals of Internal Medicine linked a highly drug-resistant strain of the bacteria MRSA to gay men in San Francisco and Boston, The New York Times reported last week. The study and the news report unsurprisingly have become a new platform for many anti-gay organizations to spur anti-gay sentiment.

The study was grossly misinterpreted by the news media and anti-gay organizations who wish to peg the gay community for fostering another sinful “gay disease” that will pass to the general population.

The study found that gay men living in San Francisco’s Castro district were 13 times more likely to have the relatively new strain of bacteria than the general population of the city.

MRSA bacteria is spread by skin-to-skin contact, and it thrives in areas with a concentrated population, such as hospitals or gay ghettos. It isn’t surprising then that anyone who has sex with anyone living in a concentrated area would be able to easily transfer the bacteria. This new strain emerged around 2002, and is found in 38 states. It doesn’t have a sexual preference, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Continue reading

Phags For Phelps Updates!

by @ 2:00 pm. Filed under hate speech, Nonviolence

Josh Kilmer-Purcell, the Out columist who started the website Phags for Phelps has an interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of anti-gay preacher, Fred Phelps of God Hates Fags fame.  Kilmer-Purcell, in a great display of the mind frame behind all nonviolence, has this to say about the interview with anti-gay crusaders known has the Westboro Bapist Church, Phelps-Roper:

“i’ve been so eager to listen to this interview. strange, but i forgot almost completely all of it after we spoke. it was sort of like a first date for me. i was nervous to meet shirley…i enjoy our email exchanges, but was worried that she would be different once we began speaking. RcktMan, you’re absolutely correct…almost everyone, if treated with respect, will treat others with respect. if we write people off as kooks, then they’ll react like we’re kooks.

shirley honestly believes that we’re going to hell, and i think this interview shows that she’s actually kind hearted enough to not want that to happen. she believes what she says, and says what she believes. and doesn’t profit from any of it.

that’s a lot more than you can for almost all other fundamentalists.

thanks M & F for making this happen. i don’t know who else could have done it as well.”

Phelps-Roper states in the interview that there are only two choices, either we kill off gay people as the bible states or we give them full equality.   There is no gray area.  SHe claims, “this is black and white”.   Shocking, but interesting to hear just how sincere her reasoning is.  She isn’t really motivated by hate but by love.  I think her methods are the problem.  I think she could do the same thing without the coldness and disrespect for fallen soldiers, but I am seeing her in a different light. 

What I love about Josh is that he is seeing Shirley’s humanity before seeing her actions.  I think that is the opposite of most of us.  We tend to see what people have done, then see they are human.  By seeing their humanity, we can have empathy, respect and love.  There is much to learn from Josh and Shirley even when we disagree on words, we cannot disagree on one another’s humanity.  I think Josh is teaching all of us what it means to love your enemies.

 

Just Admit it, YOU Indoctrinate Children NOT Us.

by @ 10:54 am. Filed under Atheism, Joe's Rants

One claim religious folks make against gays and lesbians that I find not only absurd, but hypocritical is the idea that we can indoctrinate kids into a “gay lifesyle” or even futher, we can make kids gay.   This idea gets me on two points.  The first being the idea that someone can be made into a homosexual goes against what scientific facts we do have.   The science around the causes of sexual orientation support the fact that sexual orientation is not a choice, nor can any individual be “turned” into a homosexual by simply exposing them to homosexuality as healthy via school, TV or movies. 

The second point that disturbs me about the whole indoctrination claim is that it is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.  Children are indoctrinated into religion from the time of birth.  Most people believe in the religion they do because of their location and family.   If you are born in the United States, chances are you are a Christian.  If you were born in India, chances are you are a Hindu.   If you are born in China, chances are you are a Buddhist.   If you were born in the middle east, chances are you either Jewish or Muslim.   It has more to do with where you were born and what your parents indoctrinated you into than belief based on actual facts.

In the USA, most children are indoctrinated into Christianity from birth.  I wouldn’t think this is a bad thing, except I can see that religion, even in moderate forms requires faith.   Faith is the process of believing something exists or will be despite the evidence against it or lack of evidence to prove it.  I take issue with this because of the damage that is causing society both here in this Country and the world around us.   I am sometimes just as horrified to see the tactics used by Christian groups to indoctrinate kids into their reliigion as they are to see schools teaching pro-gay lessons.   I can empathize with their feelings, but it hasn’t changed mine.   Hell Houses, Letters from Hell, and fear tactics are very manipulative methods of gettng people to believe in god.   These are the only tactics left to use when the facts are not good enough.

I know the critics read this and think that indoctrinating kids into religion is good while gay is bad.  I can empathize with the idea that this is what they have been taught, but they have also been taught snakes and burning bushes can talk.  Reliious folks, especially Christians in the United States have been programed that gays are evil, sex obesessed monsters after the children despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Anti-gay Christians like Peter LaBarbera, Stephen Bennett, Stacy Harp or even James Dobson have worked hard to teach others that being gay is dangerous and that children should not be “indoctrinated” into a pro-gay stance on homosexuality.   They bring up HIV/AIDS and other negative things that affect the gay community and try to paint the picture that all gays are like “this”, but they fail to realize the same could be said about indoctrinating children into religion.   Planes fyling into buildings, war, riots over teddy bears, extremism are all examples of religion’s dangers. 

What I do understand and try my best to empathize with is the fact religious folks truly believe what they are doing is, in their eyes, whats best for people.  What I would love to see is religious foks, especially American Christians showing that same level of empathy to GLBT folks who also believe they are doing what is best for folks when they ask that GLBT folks be treated equally to heterosexuals.   The bottom line is that the tone of this cultural conflict needs to change, and the demonizing must stop.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

World Net Daily Goes Overboard

by @ 8:00 pm. Filed under Gay News, hate speech

Jeremy over at Good As You pointed this little crazy line in the obit for Heath Ledger posted at World Net Daily:

“Ledger played the eldest son in “The Patriot,” the innocent but brave fair-haired boy-man who struggles for justice among his fellow southern colonialists.

“Brokeback Mountain,” the story of two homosexual cowboys, was called “groundbreaking” by homosexual activists for the amount of “gay” sex shown on screen.

To start with, Brokeback had one sex seen and it was about 60 seconds and was not graphic in anyway. So what exactly does this World Net Daily writer mean by this? Someone please explain to me why these anti-gay crusaders are so blind as to think that being gay is all about sex? Here are my quick thoughts:

If I never have sex again, I will still be gay!

If I never have sex again, I will still be in love with my partner of 8 years!

If I never have sex again, I will still be attracted to men.

See there you have it, being gay is not about sex. It is about who you are attracted to sexually and more importantly, romantically.  I think it is so sad that World Net Daily has again reduced our lived down to nothing but sex.  As if there is nothing else to us but sex.

Stephen Bennett, Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barbera: Please apologize! Misinformation leads to Fear, Fear leads to Violence, Do the Math!

by @ 4:23 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, Gay News, hate speech, Nonviolence, Stephen Bennett

Peter LaBarbera, Stephen Bennett and Matt Barber are all anti-gay rights advocates who have jumped on a story about a very disputed report claiming GLBT folks are 13 times more likely to be infected with what is commonly known as “Flesh eating bacteria” or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).    Since the release of the study done by the University of California there has been much controversey over the findings, but that hasn’t stopped the anti-gay folks from making new comparisons to the days when AIDS was first discovered.

Peter LaBarbera was first to jump on the story releasing an article on his Americans for Truth website, proclaiming:

“More evidence that homosexuality is a public health hazard”

LaBarbera went on in the article to make all sorts of demonizing statements about homosexuality including (blod print is Peter’s):

“Wake up, medical and political establishment: homosexual behavior is unhealthy — no matter how many secular sermons you preach against “homophobia.”  Due to liberal political correctness, which insists on treating aberrant — even deadly — behaviors and lifestyles as a “civil right,” we as a society don’t seem to have learned much from the AIDS pandemic. ” 

Peter goes on to use this story as a platform to dennouce all sorts of pro-gay things, making even further claims that homosexuality is being promoted in schools and that the news media is covering up the dark side of homosexuality.  LaBarbera goes on to paint the picture of all gays and lesbians as sexually promiscuos and sex obsessed. 

Matt Barber and Stephen Bennett have also jumped onto this story using it in similar ways to demonize gays and lesbians.   Both of these men are making the claims that gays are more proned to disease.  Bennett says:

“Sorry… the “answer” is not to throw homosexuals “more condoms.” The answer is for these “men” who are hell-bent on having anonymous sex and/or multiple partners — TO STOP.” 

The problem with Bennett’s comments is that the CDC and the Authors of the study have made it well known that this is spread through skin to skin contact.  It is not a sexually transmitted disease, oh but wait…Bennett knows that beause just before this he says, in the same article:

“Skin to skin contact is all one needs to be infected. Homosexuals are being infected “at the point of skin to skin contact” according to the reports.”

So, let me get this straight, no pun intended, Bennett knew this was not a sexual disease but is calling for an end to public sex to stop it?  Perhaps Stephen doesn’t realize what he has said or can he see that he is a bit more transparent then he thinks. 

Matt Barber is also calling for bath houses and such to be closed, even though this is not a sexual disease.   In an attempt to create the picture that gays are all sex obsessed monsters, He says:

“In light of this behaviorally related MRSA outbreak,” said Barber, “we additionally ask HRC and other groups to call on local health agencies to shut down the many bathhouses and sex clubs around the country where men meet for anonymous sex with other men, often multiple partners, on a daily basis.  These places create the ‘perfect storm’ for infectious disease, including MRSA.”

My question is, why hasn’t Matt or Stephen called on Heterosexual Bath Houses to close?  Like this one?  Why are we only focused on gays?    That wouldn’t be because that is the type of rhetoric that fuels donations of money to your organizations is it?

Even the CDC has come out questioning the findings of the study saying in fact:

“It is important to note that the groups of MSM in which these isolates have been described are not representative of all MSM, so conclusions can not be drawn about the prevalence of these strains among all MSM,” the CDC statement said. 

“The groups studied in this report may share other characteristics or behaviors that facilitate spread of MRSA, such as frequent skin-to-skin contact … There is no evidence at this time to suggest that it MRSA is a sexually-transmitted infection in the classical sense.”

It shouls also be noted that MRSA is also common in schools.  Does Mr. Bennett, Mr. Barber and Mr. LaBabera also  demand we close the schools?  Do they think since this bacteria is also common with 6th graders that we should assume they are having sex?   Of course not, that would be making some irrational assumptions based on little facts.  Right?

From the website Education Portal:

Each day, there are new reports of students being infected with MRSA. Schools in California, New York, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, New Jersey and nearly every other state in the nation have been forced to respond to the outbreak.

So, let me summerize this for ya.   Bennett, LaBarbera and Barber have all jumped on a band wagon demonizing gays as diseased (much like the Nazi’s did to the jews, I would add).   They have used this story to paint enemy images of gays as a threat to the general populations health, therfore invoking fear of gays as they may be carring some disease that is easy to spread.  This is just wrong and Bennett, LaBarbera and Barbera need to publically apologize and set the facts correct so as not to cause people to fear gays and lesbians as diseased.  Such fears instilled by groups like Bennetts, LaBarbera, and Barber are the types of fears that lead people to want to defend themselves and could well lead to violence.  

Information is the safest and best way to combat fear and violence, but the information needs to be accurate.  In this case Bennett, Barber and LaBarbera are spreading lots of misinformation that needs to be corrected as it is already doing harm.   They need to come clean.

Many times people will refuse to admit they have made a mistake because they want to save face.  I would suggest to these men that saving face in light of misinformation is dangerous for others.   You have put GLBT folks in harm’s way with your misinformation and you should correct that immediately.

Additional Coverage:

Good As You  

CDC Statement on MRSA

Box Turtle Bulletin

Friday, January 18, 2008

Celebrate the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Living Out His Dream

by @ 3:51 pm. Filed under Nonviolence

It is no secret on this website that I am a fan of Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream of the “Beloved Community.”  Several years ago, I had the pleasure and honor of being trained to be an instructor of Kingian Nonviolence at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence, RI.  I have read several books on Dr. King’s vision and wish more people would sign to living their lives under the principles of nonviolence enspoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his role model, Gandhi.

I have no doubts that if Dr. King were alive today, he would be outspokenly against the war in Iraq and calling for peaceful protests not only to end the war, but calling for ways to end the need for war.   He would also be a supporter of the US Department of Peace. I also have no doubt he would be sad to see the violence that continues in the name of gods.

I have no doubt that if King were alive today, he would be a supporter of teaching children from a young age to respect each other’s points of view, but he would also be demanding we teach kids conflict resolution skills in kindergarden.  King, on more than one occassion borrowed the lines from Gandhi that the only reason kids are not illiterate is because we teach them to read.  Next, ask yourself why kids today cannot solve their differences without violence.  The answer is simple, we failed them by not teaching them better ways than attacks, charector assassination, fights and guns.   Kids are capable of what we teach them to be capable of doing which is the reason we must teach them from early ages to reject violence of every kind.

If King were alive today, he would have supported full civil rights for gays and lesbians.   His wife, Corretta Scott King spoke on many occassions about Dr. King’s views on GLBT rights.  Contrary to what some anti-gay forces might tell you about Dr. King, his wife, the women who knew him best is who I believe when it comes to wondering what he would support if he were alive today.  I have read “Stride towards Freedom” and one of the profound lessons I learned about Dr. King is that he believed in a society where everyone could have their view, but respect and treat with dignity those whose views differed from yours.   I also understand, that holding a different view cannot mean that you hold the view that anyone is less than you.  That includes viewing same-sex couples as less worthy of marriage.

I believe if King were alive today he would support inclusive measures to deal with the issue of immigration.   I believe he would agree with me when I say building fences on our borders seeks to make problems not solve them.   Anything that divides us in conflict rather than unites us as humans is a form of violence in the most subtle form.  Our conflicts no matter how large or small are a part of life, conflict is not a choice but violence as a way to handle conflict is a choice.  We either choose violent means or we choose peace.  To truly celebrate Dr. King’s vision, we need to choose peace.

There is no greater way to celebrate Dr. King’s life than to live out his dream of building the “Beloved Community.”   Dr. King described the vision he had of a community that lived not only void of violence, but full of justice.  King taught that nonviolence is not the opposite of violence but that justice is the opposite of violence.  He knew their would be conflict in this community, but he envisioned a community where people faced conflict in nonviolent means.  He envisioned a community where every child is taught how to solve conflict from a young age and every adult is concerned about what we will leave our children.

I hope as you enjoy this three-day weekend that you take even one moment to learn something, anything about living a nonviolent life.   Learn about the “Beloved Community” and take one step toward making it happen.  Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, but we have the power to make that dream a reality.

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gay couples closer than straight couples.

by @ 2:15 pm. Filed under Gay News

A new study released disproves the theory of the need for gender roles in marriage.  I will post the article in its entirety:

Studies of lesbian and gay couples reveal some key factors that may promote healthier relationships in straight couples, a U.S. psychologist says.

Psychologist and researcher Robert-Jay Green of the Rockway Institute and of Alliant International University in San Diego says the studies of lesbian and gay couples found that the homosexual couples had flexibility about gender roles and an equal division of parenting and household tasks.

In a series of studies Green conducted with Michael Bettinger and Ellis Zacks, lesbian couples were found to be emotionally closer than gay male couples who, in turn, were found to be emotionally closer than heterosexual married couples.

“It all comes down to greater equality in the relationship,” Green said in a statement. “Research shows that lesbian and gay couples have a head start in escaping the traditional gender role divisions that make for power imbalances and dissatisfaction in many heterosexual relationships.”

Heterosexual couples could learn from gays couples about sharing housework and childcare, using softer communication in conflict and having more nurturing behaviors toward one another and their children, the researchers conclude.

This study just proves that gay marriage would actually be beneficial to straight marriages and that conservatives really need to dump the whole traditional gender roles. They could begin to advocate equality in marriages. Stop saying that the wife should submit to the husband and start saying that both need to have a marriage based on mutual love and respect.

The Myth of Gay Affluence, Randy Thomas and Needs

by @ 10:00 am. Filed under Ex-gays, Gay News, Nonviolence

As I have been writing lately, I don’t want to paint enemy images of those who are anti-gay. I want to focus more on the needs that are met for them by not supporting gay rights (even if I don’t know those needs). This task is not easy, especially when some of the arguments against supporting equality and fairness in our laws are not solid arguments, but facts taken out of context.

Randy Thomas of Exodus International has posted an article on his blog claiming, in summary, that gays make too much money to be considered oppressed and therefore we don’t qualify to say out battle is part of the civil rights movement. Randy writes:

Homosexuality is far from proven immutable. There isn’t a proven widespread pattern of discrimination for those who identify as gay either. But the point of this post and the above stats are proof that not only do those who identify as gay compete for good salaries very well… they get them. The gay identified community is the most prosperous, median salary wise, community in the country.

Believe what you will about what the gay identified community deserves or needs but the truth is that using “civil rights” language is disingenuous in that they do not meet the criteria set forth in The Civil Rights Act. It is not I saying this but the act itself.

Randy, in his post, was trying to make the claim that gays don’t fit the definition for a protected class because we don’t fit the criteria of 1) Immutable traits 2) Proven widespread discrimination 3) Economic Disenfranchisement.

For the first Randy claims:

“Homosexuality is far from proven immutable.”

I am shocked to read this from Randy who works at Exodus International. His own organization just helped to release the Jones and Yarhouse study that shows only a small number of people were able to achieve a small amount of change in sexual orientation. The short version being that homosexuality is not changable.

The definition of “immutable” is: “In object-oriented and functional programming, an immutable object is an object whose state cannot be modified after it is created.” (Source) For the vast majority of gays and lesbians, their sexual attractions have not been a choice, and have certainly been shown to be unchangeable. Even Randy would have to admit that he is still attracted to men or he would not need to call himself “ex-gay”, he would just say he is straight.

Next Randy claims:

“There isn’t a proven widespread pattern of discrimination for those who identify as gay either.”

This claim leaves me feeling troubled. This claim is void of all the stories of real people living in fear of coming out in a world that discriminates against gays. The Larry Craigs, the Ted Haggards, the Rock Hudson’s, and all the people who lived fearful, closeted lives. There are so many gays and lesbians living in fear right now that they will be found out, fired from their jobs or kicked from their homes. So many closeted men and women afraid that if people knew they were gay they would loose what they have. Not only are those fears real, in many cases those fears are a reality. People are fired from their jobs, people do loose their homes and people get sent away in shame when people discover they are gay or lesbian. Randy’s comments are just simply, untrue. I would ask Randy to clarify his statements, if not apologize for them. I don’t think he will, but I would ask.

It also needs to be said that the “Myth of Gay Affluence” is just that, a myth. It isn’t based in reality. This article (requires Acrobat Reader) will go into further details about just why Randy’s is misusing the numbers but for the short version I will say it comes down to what the numbers were meant for. The numbers Randy is using come from a Marketing study and they were never meant to represent the entire gay population. The represent a market of the gay population. What Randy has done is take them out of context and try to say we gays are too rich to be oppressed.

It comes down to needs. Even if Randy has decided that he wants to “not be gay” what need of his is being met by making life difficult for those of us who are happy being gay. I tried for many years to change my sexuality. In the end, I came to realize that, for me, it isn’t going to change. I am who I am and the fight to change into a straight person was doing me more harm than it was good. If Randy chooses a different path for his life, great, but why does that need to come at the expense of those of us who are done trying to change what cannot be changed.

Randy goes on in the comments to say:

I believe that the gay community has the same civil rights and civil liberties and freedoms in place already or they would not be as prosperous as they are (as a community.)

When I read this I feel sad and angry. So many gays and lesbians are not prosperous at all. The National Gay and Lesbian task force recently released a report showing 1/3 of New York’s homeless population is made up of gay youth. I wonder where in Randy’s mind those youth fit in? I wonder if Randy would be willing to rethink he illogical notion that because a group has money and are prosperous that they have all the rights they need. Such thinking wasn’t accurate when it came to the jews. Such logical wasn’t true of many other groups either. I hope Randy could meet his needs in some other way than painting inaccurate pictures of gays and lesbians.

I hope my response to Randy Thomas’ article make Randy think through what he has said and I would hope, since I believe he values the truth, he will post a correction.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Holy Crap Ola Batman….negative portrayals of [add group here] lead to violence against said group

by @ 11:39 am. Filed under Americans For Truth, Gay News, hate speech

I have been saying for years now that all the negative portrayals of Gays and lesbians by Christian groups leads to violence against gays and lesbians.  Now, in a shocking statement responding to the TV show “Law and Order” doing a show that portrays Christians as anti-gay, a Christian advocate says:

In the opening of the NBC show’s episode last week, a leader in a college Christian ministry, who opposed homosexuality, was portrayed as being guilty of making death threats against a professor studying the “gay gene.” The lead detective also refers to Christians as “Bible thumpers.”

There is a relentless attempt by the media to stereotype Christians as prone to violence, said Dr. Gary Cass, chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, as he criticized the producers as insensitive.

“There’s a tendency on the side of the media to make what I call a ‘moral equivalency’: If you are a fundamentalist Muslim, you are violent. If you are a fundamentalist Christian, you are violent,” he told The Christian Post.

Contrary to the media’s portrayal, Christians are often the victims of violence and not the perpetrators, said Cass. He noted that there are rare reports from around the world of Christians murdering a Muslim or a Hindu but frequent news on Hindus murdering Christians.

He added that it is negative portrayals of Christians like that featured in “Law & Order” which are used to “legitimate violence against Christians.” 

I wonder if LaBarbera, DL Foster or Bennett think this Law and Order is okay?   I wonder how they feel about negative portrayals leading to violence against Christians and if it will change their approach toward gays?

Nonviolence in Action: Phags for Phelps

by @ 9:54 am. Filed under Gay News, Joe's Rants, Nonviolence

I have written so much on this site about nonviolence and the quest for gay rights.   This email dialogue between Shirley Phelps Roper and an Austrailian Out journalist, Josh Kilmer-Purcell  is amazing.  This Aussie must be the reincarnation of Gandhi to be able to see things the way he does.

Purcell has started a website called Phags for Phelps.  He points out that the Westboro Baptist Church’s anti-gay stand and outrageous actions have done more for gay rights than any other source.   When the Aussie based Same Same caught on to this they arranged an email interview of sorts.  Purcell’s response in love to such hate is amazing and inspiring.

Here is a sample:

Q: What does Shirley think of the way you view the Phelps’ work? Does she agree that their homophobia actually works in our favor?

JKP: I don’t know if Shirley really cares whether or not their actions work in our favor. Shirley and the entire church believe that warning the world about the sin of homosexuality is the gospel which God sent them to preach. So as long as they’re doing their best to deliver it, I don’t think they care what the results are.
They do not hate GLBT people. They believe God does. As she’s explained to me: if she didn’t warn me that I was going to hell, that would be an act of hatred. She loves me enough to tell me her truths. Not my truths. Her truths. And as long as I believe that someone is sincerely acting out of what they think is love, I have no qualms with loving them right back.

Please take a moment to read the whole thing over at Queerty then think about what Purcell has said and apply it to people like Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Stephen Bennett or James Dobson. 

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The differences between the finances of FOTF and HRC.

by @ 11:43 pm. Filed under Gay News

I am writing this because the anti-gay organizations seem to claim that gay organizations are more succesfull then them is because they have so much more money to spend promoting gay rights than their organizations have to fight gay rights.
At Charity Navigator they have listed the annual revenues of both FOTF and HRC. I will list both revenues here:

Focus On The Family Revenue
Total Revenue$142,279,843

Human Rights Campaign
Total Revenue$9,558,317

Note the huge difference in revenue between the two. Even if Focus on the Family only used 10% of its revenue to fight gay rights they will have outspent the human rights campaign by nearly 2 to 1. The only reason why gay organizations are successful at what they do with the little money they have is because they built their reputation on integrity and honesty. When you lie it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at people to promote the lies, the truth always has a way of getting out, and when it does the person or people lose integrity, and sway with the public. So I ask the anti-gay organizations that even if they don’t support with homosexuality they should for their own sakes remain nuetral when it comes to gay rights before the public finds out about the lies you spread and you lose revenue.

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