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Monday, March 31, 2008

Rally to Promote Free Speech Could Inspire Hate Violence Against Gays

by @ 7:42 pm. Filed under hate speech

Concerned Women for America, Active Christian Media and other right wing groups are supporting a rally for anti-gay Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern. Being billed as a “free speech rally for Sally Kern”, the rally is a complete misrepresentation of reality. It is nothing more than an inspirational event for gay bashers and could ultimately inspire violence against gays and lesbians.

The press release states: “Recently, Rep. Kern has been under attack from radical homosexual activists and their followers over remarks she made regarding the homosexual agenda. Rep. Kern took a Biblical stand against homosexual activism and has refused to back down from her statements despite receiving death threats.”

This is a complete misrepresentation of the truth.

1) Kern went far beyond a biblical stand. Unless one of these anti-gay Christians can show me exactly where the bible compares GLBT folks to terrorists and cancer. Kern’s stand was not biblical at all, unless lies and corrupted science are biblical. If they are, show me the verse and chapter.

2) The investigators from Oklahoma found no death threats to Kern. This one is a flat out lie according to news reports.

Next, these people are framing this as a “free speech” rally, but Kern’s freedom of speech has never been in question or attack. In fact, this writer would like Ms. Kern to continue speaking exactly as she has been. She along with countless others like Fred Phelps, Stacy Harp, and Peter LaBarbera make it much easier to show what hate looks like in real life. I would ask Ms. Kern to continue speaking out with her outrageous claims, but know that folks like me will be pointing out every flawed piece of research you spew.

The truth lies with us. When everyday folks look around and discover their gay neighbors, teachers, preachers, and work pals don’t look or act anything like the monsters these people have painted us to be, they are the ones who will have to answer to history. It will be these folks that will be looked back at as the oppressors, the monsters and the predators, not us.

As I have said before, these folks have taken their feelings and fears about gays and lesbians and crafted facts to back them up regardless how flawed those facts are. It would have been more humane and scientifically more sound to take the true existing facts and let those shape your feelings. This void of reason will be the fall of their hate.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Failure of Prayer to Save Lives

by @ 8:31 pm. Filed under Atheism

They say the wages of sin are death, but it would appear that prayer doesn’t exactly help you either. In Clackamas County, Ore., a couple has been charged with murder after allowing their 15 month old child to die of a treatable infection. The reason they failed to get the child medical attention is that they were waiting for “prayer” to cure her. The couple are Followers of Christ Church in Oregon how have a history of choosing faith healing over medical care. This is sad considering it is not the only case of the same offense in recent weeks.

An 11 year-old girl in Wisconsin was allowed to die after her parents failed to seek medical attention, instead opting to wait and see if prayer would heal her. It didn’t work and the girl is now dead.

This more reason to question faith, question the efficacy of prayer. Question god.

Anatomy of Hate Speech: The Sally Kern Edition

by @ 5:03 pm. Filed under hate speech

Blow is Sally Kerns letter to the editor published today in the Oklahoma paper, the Tribune. I have added my notes and comments as needed.

Sally writes:

Here are some facts for my recent comments about the homosexual agenda. Health Issues: According to the CDC, men who have sex with men (MSM) have an HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population. The CDC found that MSM comprise only 1-2 percent of the population yet account for 64 percent of all syphilis cases. “The International Journal of Epidemiology” states that the mortality rate for those engaging in homosexual relations before age 20 have their life expectancy reduced by as much as 30 years. The CDC found both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B disproportionately affects MSM. The study “The Longevity of Homosexuals” found that the average lifespan for lesbians is only slightly higher than that of homosexual men.

Ms. Kern is using the junk science of holocaust revisionist and pseudo-scientist, Paul Cameron. The study she cites here has been discredited many times over. I feel sad that Ms. Kern most likely doesn’t know that. She is working from her feelings and finding facts to support them. Rather than using the facts to shape her feelings toward gays and lesbians. The result of this can be nothing more than hatred and fear.

Jim Burroway from Box Turtle Bulletin certified Ms. Kern today as a Cameronite. This was not a good thing, but a statement of how misled she is, and she is misleading others with these false facts.

Sally continues:

Homosexuals insist they are born gay, yet a study by Dr. Neil Whitehead and Briar Whitehead on various cultures states: “If homosexuality were influenced by genes, it would appear in every culture, but in 29 of 79 cultures surveyed in 1952, homosexuality was rare or absent.” Regarding homosexual couples and domestic violence, a recent study by the Canadian government states that “violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples.” The American College of Pediatricians cites studies (that report), “Violence among homosexual partners is two to three times more common than among married heterosexual couples.”

Sally spews these lies and studies that are over 50 years old. Just last night, 20/20 aired an episode featuring the largest study ever done on sexual orientation. So far, the lead researcher is convinced that the evidence strongly suggests sexual orientation is determined by biological and possibly genetics. So why is Ms. Kern spewing this? Did she not see the story? Has she not done her homework in sexual orientation or did she only choose to use facts that support her feelings of fear and hate and ignore the facts that say the truth.

She also mentions the American College of Pediatricians. This organization is a small religious organization with few members and no credibility. They have one employee and frequently are cited as a counterpoint to the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics who support and affirm gays and lesbians. I would guess that Ms. Kern is also unaware of this misinformation as well. Sadly, she is a victim of misinformation.

She continues:

The homosexual agenda’s influence on education is evident from their own organization’s literature. Re-authorization of the federal Head Start program assesses children based on the radical ideas of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Head Start curricula and assessments include gender issues, diversity and multiculturalism. A homosexual advocacy group, Safe Schools Coalition, has books for ages 2 to 8 promoting homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism.

Having books that mention or teach homosexuality is not promoting it. If I have books on playing cards, does that mean that every book on playing cards is promoting gambling? The flawed and scary logic anti-gay people use sometimes scares me.

She continues:

The book, “Tackling Gay Issues in Schools,” for K-12 gives teachers reasons for including homosexual, bisexual and transsexual lifestyles in schools. The Gay Straight Alliance offers instruction on teaching homosexuality in every subject. The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has materials promoting the homosexual lifestyle. The National Education Association is sending all 16,000 public school districts in the U.S. a 24-page pro-homosexual booklet telling students that homosexuality is normal. “It’s Elementary” is a training video used in schools to persuade children that the homosexual lifestyle is normal. There is a homosexual agenda in our schools.

The film, “Its Elementary” is an award wining film that gets kids to learn and talk about the difference we all have. I wrote a fact sheet on the film here. Sooner or later the anti-gay, religious forces are going to need to submit to the fact that homosexuality is a normal part of life and always has been. Like many of the other ideas in the bible, science will take the upper hand and disprove the bible.

On she goes:

Anyone who thinks there is no homosexual agenda need only look here in Oklahoma to the newly formed Equal Rights Project created to help elect candidates by bridging the gay/straight community. The Equal Rights Project states “We felt we were uniquely qualified to help those running in the South and the Bible Belt. Running in these communities is much different than in California and New York. Our idea was to train, educate and support all candidates who support equal rights for all.”

Yes, Sally there is a homosexual agenda. It would be to be treated equally with dignity. To not be compared with terrorism and cancer would be high on the agenda.

She ends with:

Homosexuals are already citizens who have equal rights. They want “special rights” for the acceptance of their deviant lifestyle. I’m thankful that Oklahoma is different than California and New York. I pray it stays that way.

Sally seems to not understand, nor want to see the discrimination, abuse and suffering of GLBT Americans. I still contend that if she took the time to really understand GLBT folks, her song and dance would change. I am happy to report that America is changing.

Turn Out Your Lights Tonight For One Hour!!!

by @ 2:47 pm. Filed under Nonviolence

Having millions of people turn out their lights, in thousands of homes, all over the world, all at once, in protest of Global Warming.  It is the perfect act of nonviolent direct action in the spirit of Mohandas Gandhi.   To make this work, each person must do their part.  Turn out the lights tonight, between 8:PM and 9:PM and be the change you wish to see in the world.

Religion + Bad Science = Recipe for Hate Crimes

by @ 1:23 pm. Filed under Atheism, hate speech

FROM: holy bullies and headless monsters

It was just a matter of time.

Besides her Biblical admonitions about homosexuality, Sally Kern said there were studies as to the so-called “danger of homosexuality.”

In the past, she hinted about the studies, focusing on the religious side of the argument. But in a recent letter to the editor, she sent out what she feels are proof of her claims.

She really should have stuck to the religious side of the argument.

Two things stood out in Kern’s letter to the editor:

The study “The Longevity of Homosexuals” found that the average lifespan for lesbians is only slightly higher than that of homosexual men.

I looked it up. And that is a study conducted by our friend Paul Cameron. The entire piece is called The longevity of homosexuals: Before and after the AIDS epidemic

If you aren’t familiar with Cameron, let me give you a few facts about him:

1982 – He invented a story about a child being mutilated in the bathroom by a gay man. When the police investigated and found the story to be false, he admitted to making it up.

1983 – He was kicked out the American Psychological Association after an investigation that he distorted the work of six researchers to prove negative theories about gay men.

1984 – A. Nicholas Groth, director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, complained to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of Psychologists about Paul Cameron’s usage of his work to make the claim that gays molest children at a high rate.

1985 – The Midwest Sociological Society censures Paul Cameron. Also, the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems both pass resolutions against him.

Like pretty much all of Cameron’s work, the study, The Longevitity of Homosexuals, derives from his infamous 1983 survey regarding gays and lesbians. The survey contained many errors. Of over 4,000 people asked questions regarding sexual behavior, only 65 claimed to be gay or lesbian. Also, even before the study was completed, Cameron had publicly said it will prove negatives about gays and lesbians.

To find a good chronology of Cameron’s distortions and lies (and how he has been rebuked and laughed at by legitimate researchers and physicians), you can go here, here, or here (pan down to the time line).

Kern also says:

“The International Journal of Epidemiology” states that the mortality rate for those engaging in homosexual relations before age 20 have their life expectancy reduced by as much as 30 years.”

What Kern does not tell readers is that in 2001, the authors of the study went on record with the International Journal of Epidemiology saying that the religious right was distorting their work:

Over the past few months we have learnt of a number of reports regarding a paper we published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the gay and bisexual life expectancy in Vancouver in the late 1980s and early 1990s. From these reports it appears that our research is being used by select groups in US and Finland to suggest that gay and bisexual men live an unhealthy lifestyle that is destructive to themselves and to others. These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being.

The entire letter is here but I doubt Kern will want to read it.

Now I did not decipher the rest of Kern’s letter, but it stands to reason that these two distorted pieces of work she cites negates her entire premise. And I’m sure anyone digging through her letter can find more distortions.

It’s sad on so many levels. The saddest part is that Kern continues to mix distorted studies with Christian beliefs.

Sooner or later this thing is going to come to a point. But who is going to get stuck?

By the way, I wrote a nice, polite letter to the editor outlining the problems with Kern’s sources. The address is tribune@bethanytribune.net

Hint, hint, hint.

The more Kern talks, the irresponsible she reveals herself to be.

But here is the rub. It doesn’t matter as long as the truth doesn’t come out. Someone has to make sure people know exactly what she is doing. Not the fact that she is a “bigot,” or a “homophobe,” but the fact that she is using bad studies from a man so filled with lies that he couldn’t be truthful if his blood was replaced with truth serum.

That is the task that needs to be undertaken here.

Site news and Additions

by @ 9:51 am. Filed under Atheism, Site News

I am still having some issues with Ipower and the SQL Server. This is causing the blog to load very slow at times. I got an email this morning saying they are in the last legs of adding some additional hardware to fix the issue. I hope it is repaired soon!

On a happier note, I have added and been added to the Atheist Blogroll. So, welcome to all those visitors who found their way here via the list!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sally Kern, Peter LaBarbera, and Active Christian Media

by @ 7:16 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, hate speech

Sally Kern, the Oklahoma State Representative who claims that gays and lesbians are more dangerous than terrorism or cancer has now claimed that PFLAG National has misrepresented her after their recent meeting. This has been the source of great joy for Peter LaBarerba who appears to be having some sort of a happy dance that rumors she was supporting non-discrimination laws are actually false. Rep Kern says:

“PFLAG has also spun my words to say that I am in favor of “sexual orientation” laws. I unequivocally do not support “sexual orientation” laws. While I do not advocate employers going on a witch hunt to fire homosexual employees who are performing their jobs in a manner just like any heterosexual employee, I do not support laws that would force employers to check their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, speech, and association at the workplace door.”

I actually was starting to think the women had been enlightened until I saw this. It appears she is staying the course of her original call to arms against GLBT folks.   Her words are just inspirational speeches for those who would harm gays and lesbians.

The fact Peter LaBarbera and Stacy Harp are still supporting a woman who compares gays and lesbians to other things in life we would seek to eliminate or destroy can only mean that these people are supporting a message of violence against gays and lesbians. People should be outraged at this.

Finding that Sally supports allowing employers to fire employees for being gay proves to me she has little or no understanding of GLBT folks. I feel confident if Ms. Kern spent some time learning about the issues, the struggles and the discrimination, she would sing a different song. I also feel confident that is true for Peter. (We all know that Peter LaBarbera has not understanding of GLBT folks)

For Harp, Labarbera and Kern this is about them not others. This is about them needing to make money, stay elected, and certainly because they are too afraid to stand up after all these years of spreading misinformation about gays and lesbians. Just the fact that everything they have to say about GLBT is negative should be your first clue that they have no balance in their view.

I am angry at this constant barrage of hate, but grateful that the majority of the world is moving away from it.

20/20 to Focus on Homosexuality Tonight!

by @ 2:38 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, Anti-Gay Bullying, Ex-gays, Gay News

Tonight’s two-hour show will have a segment on DNA, Biology and Sexuality.   Check your Local listings to see the time in your area.  I myself would love to see this sitting in a a room with Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Randy Thomas and Steve Bennett.  I will instead write about this later after I see the show.

It is expected the show will focus on the science we have so far about sexuality.   They are also doing a piece on ex-gays, religion and sexuality.  This should be interesting.  A printed piece can be found here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jesus, the Universe and Life: Another Reason I am now an Atheist

by @ 8:44 pm. Filed under Atheism

Continuing the small series I have been doing about why I am no longer a Christian, and how I became an atheist, I wanted to point out another of the larger reasons that Christianity and most religions stop making sense for me. In fact, these are some of the larger issues that drew me away from any belief that the bible could be the word of god. It is these beliefs that also caused me to think twice about any of the other explanations for theism.

All of the current religions on earth have two particular flaws that lead me to discount them as myths.The first of these flaws is the scope of unanswered questions about the origins of life. None of the current religions on earth mention earlier species of man or the dinosaurs. They have elaborate stories of the creation of the universe but none of the stories contain anything about the enormous scope of life on earth. There is no mention of the causes of disease which modern science can attribute many diseases to microbial life. Would the written word of god not want to warn us of the things that might kill us like viruses and bacteria?

The Torah, the Islamic text, and the bible are the written scriptures of the three Abrahamic religions. None of these texts mention dinosaurs, earlier forms of man, microbes, any many other forms of life. In fact, they also do not mention most animals outside the geographic location of the writings and beliefs. Hence there were no Kangaroos on the Ark and we never hear of any religion sacrificing a raccoon. Chances are because those animals are not native to the area or the time.

But wouldn’t a book, that is suppose to be the word of god, extend past what is immediately around us? Wouldn’t the creation story of any religion at best mention even briefly things that go beyond geographic locations?

In summary so far, this would make flaw number one: The shabby creation stories and lack of mention of some larger things like animals outside the regional scope.

The second of the big flaws for me was the lack of mention of the scope of the universe in any of the scripts. I feel convinced that a book that claims to be the inspired word of a creator, explaining the creation of all things would have some mention of what else is in the Universe. There is no mention in the texts for any religion (except scientology but that is certainly more a cult) about life outside or beyond this planet. In fact, there is no mention of other planets.

The three Abrahamic religions all mention the stars but speak of them as if they are 1) just there to leads us at night or 2) just decoration for us to appreciate from time to time. We now know that neither of those is accurate. We know what stars are and what they are made of and the explanations in the bible are pretty small compared to the scope of what we are talking about in reality. Billions and billions of stars and the bible barely mentions them? I find that quite suspect if this book were really sent to us by god.

The scope and size of the universe is another piece of the puzzle that lead me away from a belief in Christianity. I had a real hard time grasping the far reaching “saving” thing in the crucifixion and so on. Now, when Jesus died on the cross and saved us from sin, does that cover other life forms or just man? What if there is life out there? Did he go and die on a cross in the other galaxies or was what happen here payment for our sins on every palnet?

When religious folks say the world is fallen, is it just this planet or all the billions and billions and billions of planets? Do the Ten Commandments just apply to us or to every life form we might find?

I know some of you reading this think I am being a smart ass or anti-Christian, but these are really the thoughts I had when I was doing some soul searching over the past 20 some years.

I had a women email me one day and ask me how I could reject god. I don’t reply to those emails but I did think about it. It was never a rejection but more of a disappointment. It was like the light when off and I knew my mom and dad were really Santa. I was sad to stop believing. I wanted to believe in Santa, he sounded like he was just what the world needed, but he just isn’t real. That is exactly what I have gone through emotionally, mentally, and intellectually over the last 20 years.

I have to say, it would be nice to believe in god. The reality is I don’t believe in Jesus or god anymore than I believe in the tooth fairy, santa, guardian angels or unicorns. I use to see god as above all those things, but now the idea of a creator or savior falls into the same category as all the other gods I didn’t believe in like Thor, Allah, Ganesh or Zues. You can now add the god of my childhood, Jesus Christ.

National Organization for Marriage Coming to Rhode Island

by @ 12:01 pm. Filed under Gay News

An article from this week’s Divine Providence.

Unconfirmed reports have been presented to Divine Providence that the National Organization for Marriage is opening an office in Rhode Island next month. The National Organization for Marriage, or NOM “is a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it…NOM serves as a national resource for marriage-related initiatives at the state and local level” according to its website. In anticipation of the battle for same-sex marriage expected in 2009-2010, the New Jersey-based organization is recruiting support within Rhode Island.

NOM’s Director, Maggie Gallagher, is a nationally-recognized opponent of same-sex marriage and has testified before Congress on the issue. The organization utilizes a split 501c3 and 501c4 structure to permit it the latitude for both lobbying and tax-deductible fund-raising activities. A relatively new (2007) organization, NOM is the brainchild of Gallagher and Robert George, a Princeton professor, Harvard Law Emeritus and long-time foe of GLBT rights. NOM is unique in its academic approach to conservative activism. The Board of Directors includes Chuck Stetson (known for his uncompromising proselytizing of Christian fundamentalism), Witherspoon Institute Founder Luis Tellez, Brigham Young Professor Matthew Holland, Connecticut-based Ken von Kohorn and Brian Brown, and Neil Corkery, a native Rhode Islander (not affiliated with DATA).

Gallagher spoke at a meeting of Rhode Island Catholic leaders in early March. At that meeting, Gallagher stated “The big myth is that this is going to affect only ‘Adam and Steve…you want to ask me how is gay marriage going to affect you? Here’s my answer, people… like you and me who think marriage is the union of husband and wife are [going to be treated] like bigots who opposed interracial marriage.”

Anthony R. Picarello, Jr, General Counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the issue of legal avenues available to prevent same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, commented “the litigation will be costly for the Church in terms of money, time and reputation. It seems that politically is where this needs to be stopped, because that’s really the only place where there’s hope, and I’d say there’s good hope.” Picarello’s statements mirror statements by same-sex advocates, who have asserted in the past that the road to marriage in Rhode Island lies through the legislature, not the courts. In October, 2007, The National Organization for Marriage launched a statewide billboard campaign attacking Massachusetts legislators who voted to betray marriage in a June 14 vote on the Massachusetts Marriage Amendment. The first billboard was posted in Springfield criticizing Angelo Puppolo’s for his support of the marriage amendment. Puppolo was one of eleven legislators who changed his vote to support same-sex marriage after asserting his opposition to the amendment. The billboard features prominently “betrayed” and makes reference to Puppolo’s marriage vote.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Active Christian Media, Fath2Action Support Violence Message?

by @ 12:34 pm. Filed under hate speech

Active Christian Media, run by Stacy Harp and Faith 2 Action run by Janet Folger are asking folks to support Rep. Sally Kern and her message aginst GLBT folks.   Both Harp and Folger claim the Rep. Kern was only “declaring that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong and has serious consequences” but that isn’t what Rep. Kern did at all.  Rep. Kern compared GLBT folks to Cancer and made the claim that gays are a bigger threat than terroism.   That is far different than simply voicing opposition.

Sally Kern says:

If you got cancer or something in your little toe, do you say, well you know,  I’m just going to forget about it because the rest of me is just fine.  It spreads, and this stuff is deadly and it’s spreading and will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation. 

Ms. Kern is making a call to arms.   She is asking people to destroy GLBT folks before they destroy the nation.   Such comments and calls to violence should never be supported.    I believe Pastor Scott Jones said it quite bluntly when he pointed out the cancer is something we seek to eradicate and kill.   Terrorism is something we seek to eradicate and kill.  I am baffled that Ms. Harp and Ms. Folger would ask others to support a message thats seeks to eradicate and kill gays and lesbians.

Whether or not you support gays and lesbians, no one should support messages that compare gay people to things we should eradicate, annihilate and kill.   Such statements should be condemn and discouraged.   I would request that Ms. Harp and Ms. Folger acknowledge that their friend Rep. Kern just went too far and stop defending speech that ultimately leads to violence.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Americans For Truth vs. GAY

by @ 7:17 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, hate speech

Peter LaBarbera took some time to write this Easter message that makes the usual false claims about sexuality not being innate and people are not born gay. These statements are not congruent with the medical and scientific community. Study after study shows that homosexuality is linked to biology some way. While all the facts are not organized into little boxes like Peter would like, they are pointing the finger in a direction that is the opposite of anything Peter would have you believe about gays and lesbians. (You can read about the current research including the face study, a new twin study and a study of handedness at this link) I apologize my site is still loading really slow, but be patient it will load.

Peter goes on to make some strange comparisons that are not even real comparisons, like comparing homosexuality to rape, addiction, murder and other colorful but of course all negative things. Keeping in mind, Peter wants you to see gays and lesbians in negative lights and only negative lights.

Jeremy over at GAY took Peter to task over his one sided, myopic religious views and pointed out some of the many flaws and problems that plague Peter’s thinking. He gave Peter the 101 on making proper comparisons just like we were all taught in kindercare and Peter must have forgotten. I was happy Jeremy took the time to address this because I don’t seem to have the drive to correct Peter’s misinformation that I use to have.

Peter thus responded to Jeremy with more of his narrow minded theology and ample scientific errors. Peter writes:

“What Jeremy doesn’t understand is that just because he feels that his homosexuality is some innate “orientation” – a natural, innocuous desire – that does not make it true. The Bible – regarded by Christi-followers throughout the centuries as the divinely-inspired Word of God – takes a view that is polar opposite that of today’s homosexual advocates.”

You’ll see Peter starts off talking about biology and science but then strays off to the bible where science becomes a moot point. Someone should tell Peter that science is explaining sexuality to us and it isn’t saying what the bible is saying. Peter will just need to deal with the fact that the facts don’t line up with his bible, but the facts are reality.

To keep this cat and mouse game going, Jeremy has posted a reply to Peter’s reply that made me laugh out loud. First, it was the picture and caption that makes the ever adorable Jeremy look even cuter, but pretty damn funny trying to look all tough and Al Pacino-like…..(Taxi Driver) Beyond the entertainment value of this, Jeremy again, and as usual makes some great points about Peter’s closed mind and how different this whole conversation would be if Peter would stop and really look at the evidence.

Jeremy also takes Peter to task on his use of crappy ex-gay studies that rather than prove Peter’s point really make ours. The number of people who change their sexual orientation is so low it isn’t worth claiming people can change. Peter can only seem to show a few very unscientific examples of how gays can change and ignore the stories of hundreds of people who have showed him the harm of ex-gay therapy.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Reflections on Easter and Christianity

by @ 8:09 pm. Filed under Atheism

DISCLAIMER: This article is solely about my thoughts and beliefs and has no bearing on others thoughts and beliefs. (This article goes deeper into my mind then most, so please hold onto the bar. The following may take several passes before you get what I am saying. Trust me, this has been swimming around my head for 10 years, getting it out in 10 paragraphs might be rough.)

Continuing with my writing this week about my reasons for losing my religion and no longer believing in god, I thought I would write a bit about this Easter. Easter, which is celebrated tomorrow, marks the day Christians reflect on one of the main tenants of their faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The story of Easter is that Christ died and was then resurrected three days later and with this conquered death (created by god.) This then saved us from sin (also created by god). It is believed that through Christ’s death we somehow have been saved. I have always had the same philosophical question with this: “Saved from whom or what?” God created everything, including sin. He then sent his son to save is from what he created?

Most Christians I know have some very elaborate answers to this, but I still think this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Hence, I am no longer a believer. The whole idea that a creator would have to save us from something he ultimately had to have created is baffling to me.

We see the statement on bumper stickers, t-shirts and funny enough spray painted on the side of bridges (it is okay to vandalize as long as your message is from god) “Jesus Saves” is got to be the most popular phrase to spray paint on a bridge. Does it mean he shops discount or cuts coupons? No, it somehow means he saves people from sin (a concept he had to have created if he created everything).

A major belief for Christians is that Jesus died on the cross to “pay” for their sins, but exactly who did he pay? If Jesus is god, then did he pay himself? Of course he did, there is no one else to pay. The long and short version in a nutshell:

God creates man with the ability to sin, names that free will but being all knowing, is aware of everything we will do before we are even created.

God doesn’t like sin and gets angry that Adam and Eve eat fruit they were told not eat. They only ate it because the talking snake, that god had to have created because he created everything, told them to eat it. (Snakes talk?)

He destroys the world because of sin with flood but then starts over but keeping the sin thing as a concept.

God still dislikes sin so much, even though had to have created it, he created everything that he throws down some fire and brimstone on the City of Sodom because of their many sins.

Next, still unhappy people are sinning, he sends his son as payment for sin. The payment must be made (in a bloody, violent, crude and sinful fashion) creating the ultimate contradiction. God said “thou shalt not kill” but then sent his son to be killed “a sin” to stop sin? So the sin of breaking the commandment about not killing is the sin that saved us from sin? Did I mention that Jesus is god? That would mean that God sent himself to die and save us from himself?

If you have read the above and had a hard time making sense of it, that would be due to the fact it makes no sense. As I said, this article is more about why I no longer believe in Christianity and that would be because it stopped making sense.

I read this article on the blog Chester Street where the author is having as hissy about how Jesus is god. This complicates everything even further. Now, we need to add this factor to the mix. God realizes over coffee one day that payment is needed to someone for some reason for sin, so he determines that someone must be killed as payment for this to someone, even though he command us not to kill. He sends himself to earth in the form of his own son to be killed by us. He somehow determined that we need to sin to save us from sin. (Wow, my brain is tired and I am not even done with all the contradictions and philosophical issues with this yet.)

It baffles me even more that many Christians don’t question any of this stuff. They just believe it. Either that or they are not being honest about being “true” Christians. Sadly, they are ready to discriminate based on this stuff, go to war on this and even protest the funerals of those who went to war over this stuff. Is it any wonder that I object?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gay Scientists Search for Christian Gene

by @ 7:06 pm. Filed under Atheism, Gay News, Joe's Rants

A bit of reverse Psychology. I think it raises a good conversation on how dehumanizing the whole gay gene search can be.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Open Letter to the Gay Community

by @ 7:50 pm. Filed under Nonviolence, Nonviolent Communication

This is a letter I sent to the Victory Fund today.   It would be my hope that this message gets out.

Dear Victory Fund,

Thank you to the Victory Fund for your work exposing the comments made by Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern.   Her words were a stark and sad reminder how far we really have to go before we are seen as normal in the eyes of those living in the heartland of America.  I thought the video and the show of disapproval were a great way of bringing her comments into the sunlight of justice where they can be seen as the damaging and hurtful call to arms that they are.

Sally Kern’s words filled me with sadness.   To be compared to a terrorist because of who I love was and is painful.  I remember watching planes fly into the sides of buildings, killing thousands of people on September 11, 2001.   I remember wondering who would do such a thing.  I wondered how I could ever find empathy for those people.  I still struggle to do that, but need and wish to be compassionate and know I cannot truly be compassionate until I can find forgiveness when others do wrong against me.   I refuse to be anything but loving, forgiving and stronger than those who hurt me.  I believe it takes more strength to stand up in love than it does to lash out in retaliation.

To be compared with the same people who I saw flying planes into the side of a building is hurtful, but again I refuse to sink to the level and energy that produced such comments in the first place.   I refuse to hate Sally Kern and I also refuse to wish anything but the best for her.   I refuse to applaud those who sent her nasty messages or emails because I believe those things only serve to create more fear.  They do us no good.

I do applaud the rallies and petitions that call for her removal.  I applaud the nonviolent actions that respectfully and with dignity ask Ms. Kern to step down from her position.   I felt confident we could rise above such hate when I saw that a group of GLBT folks wanted to meet with Ms. Kern.   Nothing could be more powerful then knowing she has seen us in a true and real light.

I would hope that the next time the Victory Fund is in a position to bring such hurtful and inaccurate comments to the surface, that they urge the GLBT response to be nonviolent.   It is sad we need to make such a call but it appears we do.   Ms. Kern is no different than the Bull Connors, the Senator Bilbo’s or the Fred Phelps family, but our response must rise above the hate.  The only true remedy for hate is love.   The only force strong enough to defeat injustice is the power of unarmed and nonviolent truth.   We as GLBT Americans must learn from the civil rights movements before us that no matter how much violence and hate they shoot at us we will let no man drag us so low as to make us hate them.

Sincerely,

Joe Brummer

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"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
Mahatma Gandhi

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