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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bitterness, Anger and other News

by @ 7:59 pm. Filed under Joe's Rants, Nonviolence

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I have really not felt much like writing. Whatever muse that usually drives me, seems to be off on vacation. I have been pre-occupied with some bigger news that is happening in my life, but I will save that for later when it is all confirmed. I also just finished an interview with David Ciciline, Mayor of Providence for “get” magazine that should be out in print in the next few days.

I have been watching the news about the Day of Silence and the Ken Hutcherson drama. It seems this man protested the protest against anti-gay violence. He complained about the Day of Silence being disruptive, then turned around to brag and celebrate his victory over the protest that was to protest anti-gay violence that was surly more disruptive than the Day of Silence. Not sure I can comprehend that mindset, but I can tell you it feels sad to read about the man’s glee at disrupting a protest against violence.

I also got myself tangled for a short while with a Stacy Harp supporter. Not sure what it is in me that believes that people will take the time to listen to each other and respect each other, but I do. I also know that can take lots of time and energy. The comments in this thread left me feeling exhausted just reading them, let alone replying. I don’t have that energy anymore. I have been blogging for 2 and 1/2 years seemingly to correct the same myths and lies over and over.

I sense so much bitterness, anger and frustration in their comments. That comes along with the references to Paul Cameron research that we die younger. I doubt they even know that is the source of that myth. There are also the typical myths and lies about GLBT folks and the inferences that gays deserve any violence that comes their way. One commenter wrote:

maybe if so many in the “GLBT” community weren’t working so hard to foist off their lifestyle on our children by telling my 8 year old son that someone wanting to stick their penis in his anus is perfectly natural and acceptable behavior maybe the folks that walk down the street so damned proud of the fact that they are a rope smoker or a carpet muncher wouldn’t get their asses beat down.

I am sad to hear anyone blame the victim for violence. It just does nothing to help anyone.

Eventually, I could see that nothing good or productive could come from the conversation there, so I ditched. Sadly, I find that to be the case with just about every anti-gay person I have ever had contact with especially Stacy Harp. Nothing good seems to come from talking with them. Aside from the understanding I gain of their thinking and where they are coming from, I see nothing good coming from direct conversation with people who are anti-gay.

I am growing to a point where I am happy to be with my partner, happy to hang with my dogs and just be. I am growing concerned about the direction this country is taking, but I am also getting older and tired. I see the bitterness and determination of people like Stacy Harp, Ken Hutcherson and the Peter LaBarbera’s of the world, to win against GLBT folks rather than win over GLBT folks. We as a country are more worried about who we have power over then who we have power with. These are some big mistakes if you take a look at what we are facing with food shortages and gas problems. Our population is heading for 9 billion and we don’t have the resources to feed all those people. You can guess where this will take us. (and they’re worried about who I sleep with?)

I don’t have their determination, but I also can happily say I am not carrying their anger or bitterness either. I think much of their reactions and movements come from a place of fear. None of them would be working so hard if they were not afraid what the world would look like should GLBT rights be granted. The flip side of that would be, what is there end game. What does the world look like should they get everything they are working to get? Do they even know?

With that all said, I am off to a behavioral health conference in Boston for a few days. I will check in but I won’t have time to blog much. In the meanwhile, I updated the page “My Journey to Nonviolence” feel free to catch up on where I am these days. I may even add some more later tonight as I have had a definite shift in my thinking lately!

UPDATE:

After checking in once or twice with the Cao Blog, I left this comment. I would be interested to see the replies to it.

the comment I left:

Stacy,
I have an entire blog filled with two years of writings denouncing glbt folks who use tactics like those. I feel confident I have denounced and rejected all forms of violence. If you feel that I should denouce it some more because it involved you then you should have emailed me and made such a request, not a demand. But think about it, why would I have made a specific mention of the mail you get? Why do you feel you are so important that I should denounce your email from activists? If you had made a reasonable request for me to denounce it, I would have but you made a demand instead. I don’t much give in to demands.

As for cao, I am not sure what you are even talking about. I did recently write a piece on my blog entitled how to oppose homosexuality without hate. One of the main points I made is that GLBT folks are human beings. We are capable of decent conversations but like most, would prefer that be civil discourse.

Civil discourse usually consists of “I” statements and valid points of argument.

Here is a sample of what I have heard on this thread about me or at me from you guys….
-rather hypocritical of Joe
-he’s determined to sit on the pity pot
-he’s afraid of your jokes. So he refuses to answer
-You seem to me to be a very disturbed person
-You’re afraid of everything
-What a confused soul
-If you’re that much of a nonviolence freak
-He came here intentionally baiting
-Seems ole Joe is just “skeered” of everything
-What a fantasyworld you live in!

Is this what you call civil discourse? I am happy to have a civil conversation with most people, but this is not civil discussion. I avoid bully tactics, insults and name calling as I see them as unproductive and divisive. If you would like to engage in civil discussion, then email me, otherwise this looks like school yard bully play that doesn’t help anyone.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Evaluating Gay Health

by @ 2:48 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, Gay News, hate speech, Joe's Rants

Peter LaBarbera is calling on the media to demand a Federal investigation into the health risks of homosexual behavior.    Peter hopes that such an investigation would lead to proof that homosexual behavior is somehow dangerous, but he fails to mention that such an investigation is completely impossible.    To start which homosexual behavior is Mr. LaBarbera talking about?   Is is the homosexual dancing?  I thought that would be good for my blood pressure and keep me fit.  Perhaps Mr. LaBarbera is talking about homosexual house painting?  I know we homos love to decorate and that painting is a part of that, he must mean the behavior of painting? I admit, I have not painted in awhile and should really do something about that, but I am not sure the health risks of that.

All jokes aside, there is no specific behavior that could be labelled, ‘homosexual behavior’.  There is human sexual behavior.   There is no sex act that is solely homosexual.   Heterosexuals engage in the same “behaviors” that homosexuals do.   So, I am not sure that Peter has made a reasonable request (or demand) that the Federal Government.

Secondly to that, what if they did find risks? What do you propose Mr. LaBarbera?  What does your End Game Look Like?  Do you claim to have some secret plan to end homosexuality that you would like to enforce on all gay people?   What exactly do you want from us?

Day of Silence 2008 Part 2

by @ 11:20 am. Filed under Americans For Truth, Anti-Gay Bullying, Ex-gays, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Joe's Rants

There seems to be some level of irony that an event designed and created to bring attention to bullying is being protested by bullies.  Just this year alone, we have faced the tragic murder of Lawrence King who was murdered for asking another boy to be his valentine.  King was often the target of bullies and suffered greatly through the tauting and teasing.

Study show us that bullying has long term effects including a link to depression.   Kids who are bullied are more likely to drop out of school, get into trouble with the law and turn to alcohol and drugs.   Often kids who are bullied are perceived to be gay by other children.  This compounded with the negative enemy imaged of gays and lesbians by anti-gay organizations, causes children to take sometime violent measures to be sure no one “thinks” they are gay.

Today’s protest, the Day of Silence, is meant to make a statement about the bullying and the violence that can be associated with it.   One would think the opposition to gay rights would be equally as opposed to bullying and violence and thus supportive of this event.  One would think that Christian and other religious groups whose interest in in “saving” or ministering to gays and lesbians would be supportive of this event, but such is not he case.

The Rev. Ken Hutcherson is protesting the protest today at a school in Washington State.   Now, I try to refrain from calling people names and labeling someone a bully would be name calling.  I admit that fully, but I also admit that many anti-gay organizations and individuals just fit the definition of a bully.  While there is no official definition of a bully, which has made it difficult for lawmakers to address the issue, the dictionary defines a bully as:

The Hyperdictionary: http://www.hyperdictionary.com/search.aspx?define=bullying
1. [n] the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something
2. [adj] noisily domineering; tending to browbeat others
Synonyms: blustery, domineering, intimidation
See Also: aggression, frightening, terrorisation, terrorization

The first defintion, a noun, clearly describes the actions of many anti-gay individuals and organizations when you consider that many religious organizations are trying to scare gay people into going back into the closet or to try and change their sexuality.  The second defintion, an adjective speaks for itself, in connection to anti-gay religious organizations as they can be some browbeating on their part to send us into the shadows.

With all that said, it is no wonder they would protest a protest that protests them!

Read: Day of Silence 2008 Part 1

Great Quote

by @ 11:12 am. Filed under Joe's Rants

I wanted to share with you a quote I read today.  It was left as a comment by someone reading the transcript of the phone call I received from Stacy Harp.   This comment really sums up the silly idea that being gay is all about sex and was made by a handsome guy named Jason.

You can reduce just about anyone’s relationship to sex if you completely ignore the humanity of the people involved.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day of Silence 2008 Part 1

by @ 6:46 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth, Anti-Gay Bullying, Ex-gays, Exodus, Gay News, hate speech, Joe's Rants, Nonviolence, Stephen Bennett

Part one of my thoughts on the day of silence are really just an exact repost of what I wrote last year. Not much has changed for gay youth. The problems, the bullying and the violence have gotten worse rather than better and sadly, we lost a few beautiful young lives in the process. Below is a repost of what I wrote on Last year’s Day of Silence. I will be writing my thoughts for this year and posting them soon.

Today marks the 11th year of the “Day of Silence“, a day that marks the silence that is forced on those who are being harassed about their real or perceived sexuality. Studies indicate that 1/3 of all students report being harassed over sexual orientation issues. The problem is very real and the silence kids experience is a form of structural violence that does its share of psychological damage.

Currently, a group called “Not our Kids” is asking parents to keep their kids home to protest the protest which is the Day of Silence. The coalition is led by none other than ex-gay, Stephen Bennett and it has been pushed hard by groups like Americans for Truth led by Peter LaBarbera. The actions of this group, pulling kids from school, only highlights the problem and brings more attention to the cause. While this coalition thinks they are making some statement by pulling kids from school, they are actually helping to support the meaning behind the Day of Silence since it is these very groups who create the climate that fuels the hate that causes the silence gay youth are forced to tolerate. The people who support the Day of Silence should send the people who don’t a thank you card since the brouhaha they have created helps bring the problem into the light.

As usual, groups like Americans for Truth, Stephen Bennett Ministries, Faith2Action and others ignore the real problems and offer no alternative solutions to the problems. They claim that homosexuality shouldn’t be discussed in the school, along with an array of issues they have deemed moral issues. I would ask, what gives these folks the power to decide what is a sexuality, science, educational or moral issue?

Homosexuality is not just a moral issue, it has a human face, especially when we are talking about youth. Anti-gay activists are so quick to call any outspoken advocate for gay rights “militant”, “Radical” or “Extreme” when we demand fair treatment or equal rights. The true facts show that these groups are far more militant in action and go to far greater lengths to spread misinformation and untruth than any other political group I have experienced. They claim up and down to be religious groups, but religion plays a small role and politics seems to rule the day.

Gandhi held the belief that each side of a conflict holds a piece of the truth and a piece of the untruth. He believed that nonviolent conflict resolution could be found if each group sat down and pulled together the truths each held and dispelled the untruths. I have personally seen more gays and lesbians willing to do this than I have ever seen from anti-gay groups. I have seen more gay activists willing to compromise for peaceful resolution on the issue than I have ever seen from groups like Americans for Truth or Faith2Action. I see these groups fight, complain and make demands to silence and dehumanize gays but rarely do we see any of them offer solutions to the problems gays and lesbians face and as it has been stated a thousand times in history, if you are not part of the solution, than you must be part of the problem.

The Problem:

  • The reason most commonly cited for being harassed frequently in schools is a student’s appearance, as four in ten (39%) teens report that students are frequently harassed for the way they look or their body size. Right behind was sexual orientation as one-third (33%) of teens report that students are frequently harassed because they are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual.

  • LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%).

  • 90% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past year.

The Solution from Anti-gay groups:

?

Other posts on the Day of Silence:

Christian Response to the GLBT Youth: Day of Silence?

 

Will Peter LaBarbera Protest this?

by @ 12:18 pm. Filed under Americans For Truth

Peter LaBarbera known for doing “research” at gay baths and street fairs like the Folsom Fair, should be packing his bags and heading to Florida to protest this “HETEROSEXUAL” sex club that holds “Naughty Teacher” Night and other fun gatherings.   They have Friday Night “Kinky Ice Cream Social” and a hot tub for 5 that can “get pretty hott”.

The club, called the Hunt club, appears to be someone’s home. It is a place where “members” can go for sex and socializing and condoms are provided.   Neighbors began protesting last Friday during the Naughty night.   They say, “community values” are important in the neighborhood, but denied suggestions that staunch Christian beliefs were propelling the protestor’s opposition.   Of course that because all the real Christians are at Folsom video taping the side action and protesting the gays.

If this were a gay thing, LaBarbera would be on a plane with his video camera ready to expose those nasty homosexuals.  Since it is a residential community of heterosexuals in Florida, I doubt the same amount of exposing will go on from the anti-gays.   The reason is that if anti-gay organizations gave this heterosexual behavior any attention it would show that homosexuals are more similar to straights than different.   

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GET Magazine – Feature for April: Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project

by @ 9:09 pm. Filed under Gay News

03_08-cover.jpgA recent survey conducted during Gay Pride in 2007 showed that 1 in 4 Rhode Island gay men, bisexual men, and transgender individuals (GBT) experience domestic violence at some point in their life. Sadly, 85% of the respondents do not know any resources for victims of GBT domestic violence and 60% don’t believe RI domestic laws apply to same sex relationships. Far too many of us don’t believe it happens in gay relationships or perhaps we just don’t think about it.In an effort to reach out to GBT victims of domestic violence, the Verizon Foundation has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Massachusetts-based Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project (GMDVP) to expand its innovative 24-hour, hotline program throughout Southern New England, including Rhode Island.

Curt Rogers, Director of GMDVP and a domestic violence survivor, said “the GMDVP hotline provides a necessary service for victims who often fall through the cracks of traditional domestic violence hotlines or outreach.” Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence welcomed the hotline’s expansion into Rhode Island: “Our network of agencies is looking forward to collaborating with the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Hotline to ensure that victims are able to access specialized services.” Rogers noted that “when GMDVP first began in Massachusetts in 1994, there was reluctance from the GBT community to acknowledge and embrace the issue. It took six years for GMDVP to find acceptance within the Massachusetts GBT community. However, Rhode Island’s GBT community seems to be poised to acknowledge the reality of the issue and begin working to help victims.”

The GMDVP began in 1994 with a gay man who was turned away from multiple domestic violence shelters in Massachusetts solely because he is a gay man. He was determined to prevent this from happening to other gay men. From 1994 to 1996, a time their website calls the “start up years”, the organization was driven by volunteers, incorporated and co-founded the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Domestic Violence Coalition who main goal was to educated domestic violence service providers in Massachusetts. Over the next eighteen years, the GMDVP grew to multiple offices, multiple programs and countless awards for their efforts. The organization now offers a full array of domestic violence services, including a safe house, a 24-hour hotline and legal advocacy. Additionally the organization engages in aggressive education and policy advocacy activities to ensure GBT victims have access to services. “In my situation, I was turned away from domestic violence shelters while escaping an attempted murder because the mainstream shelters focused solely on female victims,” said Rogers.

GMDVP has operated a Massachusetts statewide 24-hour hotline for eight years. They now bring this valuable, life saving service to Rhode Island with the help of the Verizon Foundation, The philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. The Massachusetts and Rhode Island Verizon President says, “Verizon is very proud to work with GMDVP to assist on this worthy project.”

What is Domestic Violence?

There are many stereotypes driving the myths around domestic violence. The most common misconception is that domestic violence is just physical abuse, but is can be emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial control, social control, stalking or even sexual abuse. The next biggest misconception is that married heterosexual women are always the victims, but the victims come from any age, gender, race, education, cultural, religion and/or sexual orientation.

Domestic abuse is about two things: power and control over the victim. Despite what many people believe, domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his behavior. In fact, violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to take control over his partner. Tactics of control may include intimidation, denial and blame, isolation, accusations of infidelity, humiliation and physical violence.

What is different for Victims of Same Sex Domestic Violence?

I asked Iain Gill of the GMDVP to answer this question for me and he stated, “Firstly there are very limited services for GLBT people affected by intimate partner abuse. Secondly homophobia is still a virulent element in the U.S. culture, as well as bi- and trans-phobia. GLBT people affected by partner abuse can be reluctant to seek service from mainstream organizations, including the police, courts, and health care, for fear of being abused by the system. Then there is also a Lack of Knowledge issue: Most straight people know little about GLBT people and less about domestic violence amongst GLBT people. This lack of knowledge hampers providing support for people affected by GLBT partner abuse, whether the support is informal from family and straight friends or formal, through service-providers, such as mental health professionals or law enforcement. Add to that, increased isolation for GBT folks from family and co workers.”

Recognizing domestic violence is the first step to stopping it.

If you believe you or someone you love is involved in an abusive relationship, it is important to get help. It is important that we overcome our fear of getting involved. It is also difficult to get many victims to admit they are in an abusive relationship. Some of the warning signs may be frequent injuries that always seem to have an excuse of an “accident” or mishap, frequent harassing phone calls from a partner, or sudden withdrawal of an otherwise outgoing person.

The best thing you could do is get some sound advice by calling the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project’s Hotline at 1-800- 832-1901.

Day of Truth is lacking its main ingredient

by @ 8:51 pm. Filed under Ex-gays

Daniel Gonzales over at Box Turtle Bulletin has produced another informative video about the Ex-gay Myths.   He writes:

The religious right legal group Alliance Defense Fund started an anti-gay “Day of Truth” in response to the pro-gay “Day of Silence.” The “Day of Truth” is little more than an excuse to push ex-gay misinformation on queer youth in public schools which prompted me to make a video examining and mocking ideas promoted by the “Day of Truth.”

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Phantom Penis Theory

by @ 9:37 am. Filed under Transgender

A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies explores the idea of phantom body parts, including sexual organs.   The theory behind the study is the brains body map may include body parts that are not there.   Children who were born without arms can have vivid phantom sensations of having arms, including complicated gestures such as waving goodbye.   The theory was first noticed in soldiers who had the legs or arms removed who would expereience phantom pain or sensations that their missing body part is still there or in men who have been in accidents and have lost their penis report having the sensation of it still being there, including phantom orgasms.   Women who have had a breast removed due to cancer report similar sensations that their breast is still there.

The theory also explores transgender men or women who were born feeling they are not the gender the body displays.   These transgender men actually experience phantom sensations of having a penis, even though they have never had one.  Also, men who have had a male to female transition don’t report having the same feelings or sensations for the penis they had removed, claiming it was never a part of their body image in the first place.

It has never been that shocking or hard to believe for me that some people are born in  the wrong body.  That their brains don’t match or link up with their bodies.   We have had people with all sorts of crosswiring in the brain who see sound or hear colors.  We have people who are born with both sets of sexual organs.  With the realization that all thoise biological occurances have been documented and studied, it makes complete sense to me that someone would feel that they are living in the wrong body.

From the article:

When a limb is amputated, the area of the brain representing that limb is no longer activated by touch. But such areas do not become vacant lots. They get invaded by nerve fibers from adjacent brain areas that map intact body parts. When those parts – say the face or shoulder – are touched, sensations are felt in the missing limb.

Not long after this discovery, a few people wrote to Ramachandran to say that they experienced phantom penises after losing the organ in an accident or to disease. They even had phantom orgasms.

This got Ramachandran wondering whether the phantoms applied to transsexuality. To find out, he surveyed 20 male-to-female transsexual women and 29 female-to-male transsexual men.

You can finish reading about this study by clicking here GENDER IDENTITY AND PHANTOM GENITALIA

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What does opposition to homosexuality minus the hate look like?

by @ 6:55 pm. Filed under Joe's Rants, Nonviolence

Many times on this site, I have offered to anti-gay Christians the idea that they could still oppose homosexuality without spewing hate or contributing to the culture of violence that exists for gay people. I still truly believe that can be done. I would like to start offering some concrete suggestions that anti-gay, Christian organizations could use to oppose homosexuality but without the hate speech.

I would appreciate pro-gay folks taking a moment to empathize with those who are oppose gay rights and give them some concrete requests to how they can voice religious opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage without promoting violence or hate toward gays. Understanding that some people believe homosexuality is against their religion, not everyone who voices opposition to us is a religious extremist. Some people just hold different beliefs. Perhaps we can talk about better ways to voice those beliefs and even run organizations that lobby for anti-gay rights groups without hate.

I would also ask pro-gay folks to try their best to frame their request in Positive Actions Language. In other words, ask people what you DO want them to do, not what you DON’T want them to do.

  1. To start with, I would ask that folks who run organizations opposed to gay rights, write blogs or even just write to the local paper, start talking about anti-gay violence and condemning it very vocally. The first way to show us that you don’t support violence against gays and lesbians is to speak out on that violence as much as you speak out on everything gay you don’t like. If you are truly out to spread a positive biblical message, then speaking out against the violence against us is right in line with the work of Christ.  It is also just the right thing to do.
  2. If you claim you are a resource on homosexuality whether biblical or not, be sure your information is balanced and based on PEER REVIEWED research. Refrain from using the work of Paul Cameron, Bell and Weinberg and certainly Dr. John Diggs (who also uses Cameron and previously refuted science) as those are not peer-reviewed science.   Sure, both sides of this cultural war can provide all sorts of stats that say all sorts of things. If your work is truly about being compassionate and truthful, then prove it by using real science and not pseudo-science.   Present both sides, not just the side you want to hear.
  3. Use language that disarms rather than insults. If your message is truly about “reaching out” to gays and lesbians than stay away from calling us insulting and dehumanizing names like sodomite and militant. Strongly, I would recommend you drop the use of the word “homosexual” as an adjective to describe us as it will only make gays and lesbians cover their ears or put up their dukes to defend. Use words like “gay” or “same-sex attracted”.   If your mission is to “save us” or “help us” then we need to hear what you have to say. We don’t hear you when you offend us right from the get go! If your message is really directed at those who already think we are sick and evil and would beat us up in a dark ally, call us what you want, it is working. Hate crimes are up against us, your work is effective. Your work inspires others and I would like you to think what reaction you are trying to inspire, change in the world through compassion or violence? I am not happy you oppose my life, but could you at least express your concerns and beliefs without insulting me or calling me names?
  4. Gay kids are getting bullied and that is statistically proven. They are also attempting and too often succeeding at suicide. That is also a fact.  Promote youth safety.  If you are opposed to teaching about homosexuality in schools or anti-bullying campaigns that include homosexuality as a subject, then you damn well better have a solution to offer that stops the violence and shame that makes life miserable for these kids. Don’t just think of ways to stop what pro-gay advocates are doing to stop the bullies. If you don’t like what pro-gay advocates are doing, then come up with a solid plan to stop the bullying based on sexuality and present it. Otherwise, start supporting the efforts to protect kids who are perceived as gay from being tortured and abused.
  5. Find balance! If everything that comes out of your organization is a negative message about gays, then something is wrong. Gays and lesbians want the same things out of life that you do. I cannot and will not believe that you unable to come up with ways to present your message without the barrage of negative pictures of gays and lesbians. That barrage of negative-only articles and statistics creates enemy images of gays and lesbians that can and do lead to violence against us. We value our safety and would like you to value our safety as well.
  6. Work with us! Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but did you ever think to meet with us and talk about how your needs could be met? Gays and lesbians really are reasonable human beings. Have you ever thought of setting up some meetings with your organization and pro-gay organizations to see what you can work on together and what you can agree on. Then move to the things you don’t agree on and see of you can work some stuff out. The most amazing problems in the world were solved by the most unlikely of collaborations. Try it, it could create peace (something this planet is in great need of).
  7. Choose your metaphors carefully! The only reason this is a “war” is because you continue to promote it as one. If you promoted it as a collaboration or a disagreement, then it would be that instead of a war. This is America, we are both entitled to advocate for what we believe is right. That doesn’t mean we are enemies, it means we want different things and we have different beliefs. I would request rather than presening gays and lesbians as the enemy that people should “defeat” that you could present this as more of a negotiation of ideas not a war.
  8. Admit it when someone on your side just goes too far. Comparing us to terrorist went too far. You all know that, but rallied anyway. I don’t believe for one minute you are really agreed with Sally Kern, you supported her to tow the party line. Stop! When someone goes to far, call them on it. Prove you can be reasonable and you may find we are reasonable back! It is amazing what can be accomplished when people truly make an effort to be reasonable. (and stop expecting the other side to do it and be the change you wish to see in the world)
  9. We would appreciate it if you could acknowledge that our requests are valid requests even if you disagree with what we want. There is no secret agenda. We want equality and safety. Those are the goals and they are reasonable. Their are multiple tactics and strategies going on to try and reach those goals. Gays and lesbians are from all walks of life and many different beliefs. We have many different “lifestyles” and backgrounds as well. We don’t all agree with each other about the best strategy to reach the goals of equality and safety. We even bicker amongst ourselves trying to decide the best way to get what we want, but there is no secret agenda. We just want equality. We would appreciate it if you would take the time to really hear our requests and needs and think not about how to sop us, but how to help us. Example would be “I don’t support X but would be willing to support Y.”
  10. Lastly, vow yourself and your organization to abandon myths about homosexuality, especially the one about us choosing to be gay. No one chooses to be gay. Each time you say that you minimize the whole issue to a simple choice and if it were so simple, I wouldn’t be writing this list of requests right now. I would be out marrying a women and having children, but I am not. I am writing this list of requests I hope you will at least consider.

I am sure if people sat down at the table and made the decision to hear each other’s needs and feelings, so much could be resolved. I believe we get so wrapped up in the idea of winning, we stop hearing and we stop being rational.   Both those opposed and those in favor of gay rights are guilty of this.    I would advocate for rational reactions over knee jerked reactions and war like metaphors as they will let us move on to more important issues like the environment and wars. Who marries who will become extremely unimportant when we have no planet to get married on because it either died or was blown up!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Words of Wisdom: Jeremy Hooper

by @ 10:07 am. Filed under Gay News, Nonviolence

I have long admired the choice of nonviolence that Jeremy Hooper uses on his website, Good As You. Jeremy makes a choice to not call our opposition names or say means things yet calls them out on their anti-gay ways. He uses the power of humor and wit to change hearts and minds. I would aspire to do the same but I am not that witty or clever (at least not online.)

This May 6, 2008 issue of the advocate has a small piece written by Jeremy Hooper on why he has chosen this method of activism:

He writes:advocatefirstperson.jpg

It’s one part strategy, one part sincerity. While it’s true I made a deliberate choice to take a more pacifist approach, it honestly feels more like that tactic chose me. When I entered into this “culture war” debate, the stones just felt wrong in my hand. The more I studied the fight, the more I began to feel that victory would come by highlighting the slings and arrows that are directed toward our community, not by regifting those weapons in a pro-gay fashion.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Defeating Darwin in 4 Easy Steps

by @ 3:45 pm. Filed under Atheism, Evolution

The uber right wing group, Renew America has an article up today that try’s to promote ID by debunking Darwin in four steps, but the 4 myths the writer has chosen are the four most popular tactics by creationist. All of these goofy things have been refuted, so why don’t these creationists stop using old worn out myths….

The writer, Bryan Fischer says:

Before we even start, we ought to notice that, if evolution is true, there would be no way to know it. Because evolution teaches that everything that exists is the product of the random collision of atoms, this logically includes the thoughts I am thinking about evolution. But if my thoughts are the product of the random collision of atoms, there is no reason to think that any of them are true — they just are.

The funny thing is you can stop there. As soon as any creationist says that evolution is random collision of atoms, I close my ears and stop listen or in this case I stop reading. There is nothing random about it. Random would imply it is like aimlessly throwing darts at the wall. That is not the case at all.

Mr. Fischer also says:

Intelligent Design theory offers not only a Watchmaker but a Watch-winder; evolution does not.

What he doesn’t tell you is that by offering a watch-winder, intelligent design creates a new set of questions rather than a set of answers. Who created the watchmaker and did that being also create the watch-winder? Evolution seeks to give answers not new questions.

There are far more qualified people to refute this mythology than me and I bet they have more time then me. I will leave it to them.

Quick thought on the Pope’s Visit to America

by @ 2:14 pm. Filed under Atheism

homeless-streets.jpg

The Pope has come to spread some message about god to America wearing his prada loafers and traveling in his million dollar bullet proof buggy. Being my cyncial self, I doubt very much he going to be successful at getting this message at there to everyone.  Convincing the starving and homeless folks in America that god cares about them and their poverty while selling his bullet proof buggy alone could feed them for a year is tough.  He will go home to his mansion with servants they are going back to their cardboard box and a soup kitchen.   I can’t speak for others, but hypocrisy makes me angry.  

Wouldn’t a spokesman for Jesus Christ at least in some way resemble Jesus Christ?

I wonder what it feels like to be watching the Pope travel with his entourage and fancy cars telling people god loves them when you have no money and little hope.   What is it like to hear that message while your home is on the forclosure auction block and your job just got shipped to India?  What happens when you have no money and two sick kids?

It is easy to say nice things to the poor about how god has a plan for their lives when god’s plan for you is a mansion in Rome.

If you think about it today, in celebration of the Pope’s visit, gather up some canned foods and take them to your community food bank.

Just for the record….

by @ 9:32 am. Filed under Joe's Rants, Nonviolence

The same person who has this to say about me as a person: 

“The homosexual activists online, such as Joe Brummer, are exactly the type of homosexual I have encountered that have been anything but compassionate, kind etc. They indeed are the true hate filled liars and slanderers, unrighteous, unholy, sexually immoral and deviant. It’s no wonder they act the way the do….”

and also this to say about me as a person:

And I do keep in mind that most homosexuals aren’t haters, liars, antiChrist bigots like Joe and Kevin are. But they certainly are bad representatives of the homosexual community and certainly won’t win me or any other Christian I know to their beliefs or side. Now maybe if they were more loving and tolerant and less hateful and less bigoted, then bible obeying and bible believing Christians like me, could have an open dialog. Until they see the error of their ways and how they truly treat people like me, who they truly despise and truly hate, then no progress would be made.

then follows that up with:

Maybe they should keep that in mind before they pick up their next verbal stone and sling it in my direction.

Am I the only one who finds that confusing….. “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of thing, right?

Is what she really saying that if I write anything about anti-gay Christian activists and the misinformation they spread about gays and lesbians, I will have personal attacks and name calling to make me think about he next time I fling stones?  Does she really think I am flinging stones?   Is she hoping I will be too scared of her name calling to continue writing about anti-gay propaganda?   Is she hoping I will change the presentation of my articles on hate speech by calling me  a deviant?   I am baffled at this.

I have to admit, that is confusing, but I can see that Stacy feels distressed and anguished at Kevin’s and my writings about her.   She has read our articles as attacks on her as a person rather than us attacking her writings and public comments about gays and lesbians.    This reminds me that sometimes how we say things and what we mean by them are not always what our listeners hear. 

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed…Exposed!

by @ 8:23 pm. Filed under Atheism

Ben Stein’s new film, “Expelled” is now in theaters. This massive piece of religious propaganda called “Expelled” is being shown in theaters to promote the idea of intelligent design (ID) as an actual scientific theory. It is not, in fact, it is not even close as the film, Expelled claims.expelled.jpg

The film, Expelled makes a number of claims, all of which are about frightening including that Evolution is wrong. One of the claims in the film Expelled, is that ID is being suppressed. Ben Stein says: “Intelligent design was being suppressed in a systematic and ruthless fashion.” That is completely false….

The FACTS:

Intelligent design has not produced any research to suppress. When prominent ID proponent Michael Behe was asked about his research, and why “you don’t do those tests?” he responded, “I myself would prefer to spend time in what I would consider to be more fruitful endeavors.” If even proponents of ID do not think it is a fruitful enterprise, why should the scientific community take any interest in it?

As shown elsewhere on this site, the supposed cases of suppression offered in Expelled are dishonest attempts to make mountains out of molehills and to create martyrs where martyrdom does not exist.

Intelligent design is scientifically unproductive, and this perhaps explains why scientists like Guillermo Gonzalez and Michael Behe publish far fewer papers after they become attracted to intelligent design. Ultimately, intelligent design’s lack of success in science departments is the fault of the flawed and unscientific nature of intelligent design itself, not the result of bias in the scientific community.

The issue is not the suppression of ID, but the lack of warrant for its scientific claims. And ultimately, ID has an uphill struggle to demonstrate that it is, indeed, science. The fundamental problem with intelligent design as science is that intelligent design claims cannot be tested. Scientific testing requires that there be some set of phenomena which are incompatible with your idea. No observation could possibly be incompatible with a claim that an “intelligent agent” (whom everyone recognizes as God) acted to, say, introduce information into a system. Untestable claims are not scientific claims. Regardless of their attractiveness as religious ideas (although many people of faith strongly reject intelligent design) intelligent design has not passed muster as science.

—————————————————–

You can find more of the claims of the movie Expelled at this Expelled Exposed Website where all of the claims made by the movie Expelled are being examined and refuted with actual science.

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS IN NO WAY PART OF A MOVEMENT TO CREATE A GOOGLE BOMB ABOUT THE MOVIE CALLED EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED. THIS IS JUST A POST ABOUT EXPELLED AND ANY RESEMBLANCE TO A GOOGLE BOMB IS JUST A FIGMENT OF YOUR EXPELLED IMAGINATION.

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