Archive for the ‘gay activism’ Category

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When You Can’t Prove What is Obviously True

December 31, 2008

It all started with a phone call from the new interim pastor of Paradise Christian Church* (wink and tip of the hat to preacherlady). 

“This is Reggie Dominy.  I’m the new interim pastor here at Paradise Christian.”

“Yes. Good to talk to you.”

“I’ll be selecting the hymns for the worship service from now on.  I guess you’ve been doing that for a while?”

“I’m really uncomfortable with that.”

“Why?  That’s not typically the organist’s job.”

“Well, it’s part of my job description.  I do it well and I’m not comfortable giving it up.” 

And that’s how the battle began.  That phone call lasted more than thirty minutes, and during that time, I found myself making some strong and defensive statements to a stranger who’s face I’d never seen.  I felt attacked, especially when Reggie said that he had to pick the hymns because we needed to change the way we do things since attendance at worship had decreased.  I told him that he was making it sound as if that was my fault; as if my music were the cause of people not attending worship services.  Reggie said he wasn’t saying that, but how else could I read that implication in the context of this conversation?

In the first service over which Reggie presided, there were at least five statements that sent up red flags in my mind.  From our phone conversation, it sounded like Reggie desired to create a solemn, even somber service steeped in traditional worship and laced with long moments of silence and reflection.  Nothing could have been further from the reality of what happened that very first Sunday in November. 

The humor was abundant as well as inappropriate.  Reggie set the tone in the announcements which are made before the organ prelude and the official start of the worship service.  As Thanksgiving was approaching and the Outreach committee was planning on giving food to several needy families, a plea was being made for congregants to donate canned goods.  Reggie’s pitch went like this:

“You know that can of salsa you bought seven years ago and it’s been sitting there on your shelf and you don’t know why you bought it?  Go ahead and bring that in for the food drive.”

It was then followed up with some muttered statement about buying a new can of something to go with it.  The request for food donations was being played for laughs, while the sincere request was downplayed.   Throughout the service we learned a few things.  For instance, it became clear that Reggie loves to eat deviled eggs.  And just in case someone might not have gotten that message, Reggie repeated his declaration of love for deviled eggs in the next four consecutive worship services.  We also learned that he likes to hear jokes, and that we should feel free to tell him Polish jokes and “jew” jokes.  For some reason, as Reggie made that statement, he hesitated, as though there were more kinds of jokes he enjoys, but felt it best to edit himself as this was part of his introductory sermon.  We also learned that there is a proper way to introduce onesself, which, one would know how to do “if you’ve ever been to college.”  What an effective way to discourage the “wrong” kind of people from attending church!

Most telling was the one particular family that Rev. Dr. Dominy made sure to mention in his sermon.  It was the one family in which the husband has a great job, the wife is a SAHM, and the two daughters are involved in dance lessons, baton twirling corps, and kiddie pageants.  They also happen to be the family who left the church in a huff, refusing to return until the full-time minister was either fired or resigned.  Dr. Dominy made sure to say their names, or compliment the beauty of the daughters, or involve the family in most of the services during November. 

On my last Sunday as music director, December 21st, Reggie did something that was at best unethical, and at the worst, creepy in the sense of looking too much like a child molester.  As part of his sermon, he asked the two little girls, both under the age of 12, to come forward and model their new Christmas dresses.  Embarassed, they walked to the chancel, where Reggie had them put their forefingers on their heads and do a ballerina turn for all to see the new outfits.  Then, in spite of smaller children moving back and forth between the sanctuary and the nursery, Dr. Dominy gifted the two “models” with presents, to be opened there in front of everyone. 

The weeks between that initial phone call and my final service were stressful. Communication between Dr. Dominy and myself was archaic.  He would leave handwritten notes, in the most screeching hot pink ink, on the piano.  I asked our secretary why he didn’t use email.  She replied that he wasn’t very computer savvy.  That statement that was refuted in the coming weeks when, during a sermon, Reggie mentioned looking things up on the internet.  It was countered again in a meeting of the church committees in which one member spoke of the email exchange that he and Dr. Dominy had. 

The hymns that Dr. Dominy chose were ancient, plodding tunes with dated language.  Although one of his stated reasons for taking the hymn selections away from me was the need to match the hymn texts to the scriptures, I seldom saw how the two aligned themselves.  Several times within those few weeks that Reggie and I worked in the same building, he repeated hymn choices.  I was left wondering if he selected hymns the way he selected the Psalms for our worship services:  numerically.  On his first Sunday in worship at Paradise Christian Church, Dr. Dominy selected Psalm One for our call to worship.  In subsequent weeks, the Psalms were used, in numerical order, regardless of the sermon topic, and regardless of the scheduled readings from the Revised Common Lectionary

The final straw came on the morning of December 19th.  I received a text message from our secretary asking me to call her asap.  I replied with a request that she email me, as I had students all day (with my teaching position at a public school) and would not have a break to make a phone call until late in the day.  The email arrived quickly, and in it, was a message from Dr. Dominy that said:

Ok  here goes.    Reggie left me a note to ask you if you got a brass ensemble for Christmas Eve.  If you did, please get the name of the group and names of their songs to me on Monday.  If you did not, please contact the band director at local school district.  She has some names of students who might be available or some other musicians in the area.  She can be contacted at local middle school xxx-xxx-xxxx  Her name is middle school music teacher her e-mail address is someteacher@someschool.

I am sending you the bulletin stuff so that you can give me the song titles by Sunday (or Monday morning at the latest)  The ones in pink he would like the brass ensemble to do  and he would like the choir and the brass ensemble to join in on the other carols as well.

Reggie said to contact him if you had any questions or suggestions.  xxx-xxx-xxxx

Thanks Dana

Interesting thing about this email:  I do not recall having a conversation with Reggie in which firm plans were ever made about the Christmas Eve service, let alone such an important detail about hiring or assembling a Brass Ensemble for the service.  At my first opportunity to call, I phoned Dr. Dominy.  In that phone call, I was verbally pushed around.  During a break from ministry, Reggie had been a car salesman, and a good one according to some accounts.  I could tell that I was being manipulated by his words.  He objected to my statements about why it would be impossible to assemble a brass ensemble just five days before the performance.  He interrupted me.  He cut me off.  He dismissed my professional musical advice.  Then I figured out what was going on.  I was being placed in a “catch 22” situation:  fail to assemble the ensemble, and Reggie could claim I’m not doing my job;  get one together in short order with no time to rehearse, no many to pay them, no music to give them, and have a disastrous performance on Christmas Eve and he could say that I didn’t do my job as well as I should have.  For me, given all that I had witnessed in the previous weeks, my only option was to resign.  My plan was to do so immediately, leave them without a musician for Sunday morning as well as Christmas Eve, but friends talked me out that plan. 

I learned that the committee charged with finding this interim pastor had failed to check his references.  They hadn’t bothered to call his former churches and talk to them about his strengths and weaknesses.  After handing in my resignation letter, and feeling crappy for about 24 hours, I decided that I’d look to see what I could find on this guy.   I did a search for “Dr. Reggie Dominy”  on Google and discovered that the guy is pretty computer savvy, contrary to previous claims. 

I also found one particular piece of information that confirms what I suspected from that very first phone conversation.  Reggie seemed to have some contempt for me from the very beginning.  It didn’t make sense that an interim pastor would walk in and start changing things before ever experiencing a worship service in the way that the members were accustomed to worshipping.  Interim pastors usually keep things going, the status quo, until the permanent pastor is hired.  This bit of information explains why he and I could never work together.

In the eight weeks in which both of us, interim pastor and music director, tried to do our duties, there was rarely a moment of kindness, of friendship, even an attempt to understand each other.  Attempts by Reggie to put up a facade of respecting and valuing me, at least in front of the congregation, fell flat.  At one service, Dr. Dominy said that he appreciated the “beautiful competency” that I brought to the services.   Competency?  Well, I must have some adequate skills when it comes to music.  It’s like saying “I love you” to someone and hearing “and I’m fond of you as well.” 

What could make us resist each other like oil and water?  The search results contained a major clue:  a letter to the editor of an online denominational magazine, written by one Dr. Reggie Dominy.   Here are some relevant excerpts:

I have no problem deleting statements from the Barman Confession (ah, another confession) that are editorial additions and weren’t originally there. Make it pure! I do have problems with ignoring cogent statements in the New Testament regarding homosexuality (Romans chapter 1 seems rather clear.) The Scriptures have to be our final authority about the actions and directions of God. What makes an action a sin at the time written but not in the present? More people lie and cheat others than participate in homosexual activity, and we all seem born with that narcissistic trait (this makes it a natural act); maybe the Church should support, or at least condone, lying and cheating.

            I hurt for gays and lesbians who have in the past been wrongly excluded from the Church. I also hurt for those devout Christians who believe the Presbyterian Church has abandoned them in this decision. They feel NO peace, NO unity, NO purity in the General Assembly decisions. Our voted inclusivity feels like exclusivity for many devout Presbyterians. They feel the Scriptures have been ignored. Many will leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Whole churches will leave. We do not now exclude homosexuals from church membership; but our ushering in their ability to be church officers and ministers will usher out other true believers from the whole church.

          There were times in the past when portions of our Presbyterian Church supported slavery. There were times when we excluded folks from the Lord’s Table because they weren’t of our ilk. There were times when we Presbyterians haughtily looked down on those who were not like us in faith and practice. There were times when women could not be ordained. We overcame and grew through those parochial sins.

There’s so much there that I could write about, and perhaps I will examine more of this letter on this blog at some point.  The important thing to notice is that while attempting to sound compassionate, even loving toward the “homosexuals”  it is clear that Dr. Dominy does not like gay and lesbian people.  Nothing else explains his immediate dislike for me, nothing else explains why he felt the need to change my job description, nothing else explains why he created a situation with the purpose to tarnish my integrity with a congregation who felt I was doing a fine job for them. 

Dr. Dominy believes that my orientation is a choice, and as such, is a sin, much like lying and cheating.  For him, the scripture about such things is clear, although, he’s managed to find some grace in the Bible for himself, being a divorced man.  There are many more scriptures concerning divorce, than there are homosexuality.  Reggie hurts for gays and lesbians who feel excluded from the church, but then goes on to reinforce that exclusion.  Homosexuals are welcome to be members in the church, but if they are given positions of authority, church officers and ministers, then true believers will leave the church.  Did you catch that?  Whether Reggie admits it or not, whether he would claim his words as his own or deny them, it’s stated clearly in that letter, gays and lesbians are not true christians. 

My mind goes back to that phone call.  I recall Dr. Reggie’s claim that if he had known I was going to be so opposed to his removal of my job duties, that the phone conversation was going to go so poorly, he would have come to my house and visited with me and my…friend.  He choked on the word “friend.”  I didn’t correct him and say “husband” because I felt like I had said so much that was in direct confrontation that I didn’t need to add to the tension of that phone call.  I can never file charges of discrimination because I resigned voluntarily.  Even if I had been fired, the situation created by Reggie would have appeared to be a legitimate reason to do so.  Discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry is seldom blatant, but at church it is couched in the language of love and compassion, making it all the more painful. 

A final word to my friends at Paradise Christian Church:  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said  “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

*all the names have been changed

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Gay-Bashed! (?) Part 2

December 3, 2008

While there was nothing violent about the last night’s incident, I can’t help but feel violated in some way.  It’s clear that the perpetrators intended to intimidate us in some way, even if they lacked the intelligence to figure out that a couple of gay men, living open lives, with a rainbow garden flag out front, would be happy to receive some gay porn magazines.  Did they think we would feel shame?  Did they think we would be angry?  We’re not girly-men, so we’re certainly not going to run away and cry! 

Still, that feeling of violation, that sense of being threatened remains.  There was no obvious threat, but the message seems to be “we don’t like your kind here, and we’re willing to do something about it.”   The strange thing is that we don’t get that message from our neighbors, nor do we hear it from the many people we interact with in this small community. 

So, what to do with that little bit of trepidation that causes me to inspect the house or cars for vandalism on a regular basis?  TAKE IT BACK!   That’s what I decided to do!   Racial groups take back the slurs that burned their ears for so long, minorities take the jokes and stereotypes and serve them up with humor for each other to enjoy.  Please!  When they’re making fun of a flaming queen, gay men swish better than any straight man ever could.

I took back the violation that occurred last night, and served it up with some chutzpah!

I'd like to thank the would-be gay-basher in a big way.

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Where is the Disconnect?

October 25, 2008
 
Supporters of California’s Proposition 8, which would create a ban on same sex marriages in the state by amending the state constitution,  seem to have some trouble getting their facts straight, no pun intended. I’ve noticed many new blogs appearing on www.wordpress.com with the sole issue being the support of Prop 8.  I visited one such blog recently and made a comment.  I was surprised and impressed that the blogger made an effort to contact me by email and engage in conversation. Within a few email exchanges, however, this particular blogger retreated to anti-gay tirades while ignoring the substantive discussion that had begun.  Allow me to make a few quotes from Trey’s email and make a few comments.
 
I don’t think its right for you to have benefits as a domestic partnership but be subject to greater hassle and scrutiny than a married couple. In CA, domestic partnerships have all the same legal rights as heterosexual marriages do, under the family code. That is why I am taking a stand. When the argument is truly about civil rights, I am not in favor of denying rights; however, I am adamantly against redefining marriage as an institution, which is what the CA supreme court did.  
 
So here’s something that the Federal Supreme Court declared back in 1954:  Separate is not Equal.  Trey the blogger feels that because domestic partnership registries are available to same-sex couples, civil marriage should be denied to gay and lesbian people.  California’s Supreme Court decided that the state’s constitution did not define marriage as 1 man and 1 woman, and ruled that civil marriage can indeed be 2 women, or 2 men, as well as a woman and a man.  The Supreme Court did it’s job; it ruled on the basis of the existing state constitution.  It did not, as Trey claims, redefine marriage.  Nor are these activist judges as many Prop 8 supporters would have the public believe.  Three of the four judges who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage were appointed to the court by conservative Republican governors. 
 
I have an unshakeable [sic] belief that a two-parent, heterosexual nuclear family is the ideal situation for a child to grow up in. I think that single parent families are unfortunate too, and believe they are the result of immature sexual acts, very poor judgement, or, in many cases, the selfishness of one individual wanting out of a marital relationship to fulfill needs, sometimes carnal, sometimes emotional, etc.
Well, Trey, by all means, make sure that you maintain your two-parent, heterosexual nuclear family, and be prolific.  Encourage other heterosexuals to do the same.  But why view single parent families as merely “unfortunate”?  Why not work to make their existance illegal in the same way you wish to make gay and lesbian marriages illegal?  Given all this rhetoric about the importance of family and children, especially when considering same-sex marriages, it would make sense that Prop 8 supporters would also be working to make divorce illegal and doing all they can to prevent the creation of bastard children.  I don’t recall any legislators introducing that kind of legislation recently.
  
The biological procreation of society is only conducted through heterosexual relationships, for if a lesbian is inseminated by sperm from a gay man, there is not intimate love creating that life.  
 
Trey, my dear man, just what are you trying to say here?  Children produced out of acts of lust are not the same as children born to loving heterosexuals?  Or perhaps you are saying that assisted reproduction is a morally wrong.  Maybe you’re saying that gay sperm is less conducive to producing a viable life, or that the lesbian womb is hostile to the embryo.  The implication you’re making is that gay and lesbian couples are incapable of loving the children with which they are blessed.  Thousands of gay parents would disagree with you. 
 
If the gay community was not so adamant about pushing its lifestyle onto mainstream America, “forcing” acceptance through the courts, but was instead satisfied with equal protection in the workplace, equal rights in the courtroom during probate hearings, etc, there would be more harmony between the gay community and the rest of society.
 
Well, here’s the deal, Trey:  as a gay man, I am faced with countless expressions of the heterosexual lifestyle on a daily basis.  Billboards, magazine ads, pop ups and banners on the internet, signs on buses, radio and television advertisements, movies, tv shows, news reports, love songs on the radio, spam in my email inbox, all showing me some degree of heterosexuality, often blatant and even vulgar.  Your disgusting lifestyle is in my face 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  When I ask to have the same benefits of marriage as a straight couple, do not presume to tell me that I am forcing my lifestyle on anyone.  If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay guy!
 
But changing the definition of marriage, and then teaching homosexuality to young children upsets and shocks the conscience of many.
 
I’ve got news for you, Trey.  The definition of marriage has changed many times in the course of history.  Please don’t trot out the Biblical definition of marriage, or that God ordained marriage as 1 man and 1 woman.  It just isn’t so.  God ordained, and approved of the marriage of 1 man and 700 wives, and gave that man (Solomon) an additional 300 mistresses.  Marriage has quite often been 1 man and 2 wives.  Marriage has been arranged by the parents with the prospective bride and groom having no say whatsoever in the choice of their spouse.  In the past 100 years, we’ve come to believe that couples seek a mate in a process known as dating.  That couple marries, presumably, based on their love for each other and mutual compatibility.  In the course of history, this is a relatively new concept. 
Teaching children that gay and lesbian couples exist is socially responsible education.  And guess what?  Many children are already aware of this fact because of the kid in their classroom who has 2 mommies, or 2 daddies. 
 
Trey, when you’re willing to support a law that bans all marriages but those that can create the nuclear family consisting of a Mother, Father, and their biological offspring, I will take you seriously about your support for Prop 8.  Remember to include in your ban, heterosexual couples who are sterile, as well as couples who are past the age of childbearing years.  Sr. Citizens must be compelled to forego marriage and take advantage of that separate (but equal in your eyes) domestic partnership.  Younger couples who fail to produce children within a reasonable amount of time, should have their marriage licenses revoked. 
 
There is a real culture war going on, and I can’t sit back and pretend my family is not harmed by calling what my wife and I have the same thing that two men have.
 
And here is the real problem, isn’t it?  These good folks who claim to be so concerned about the family, about God, about country, just can’t stand to think that someone so different from them, someone whom they believe their God condemns, might actually be happy together.  Maybe even happier.  Draw the line, build the fence, create a group that is other.  And Trey, while you’re at it, why not round us up, load us on the train, and send us to a detention camp? 
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Hey Hatas! It’s Time to Walk the Talk

September 27, 2008

It’s time for the rubber to meet the road, and I’m not talking about fucking in the streets.  I have run into too many christians spouting off homophobic comments, writing anti-gay blog entries, that, when confronted, employ less than honorable journalistic skills and hide behind the common refrain “God said it in the Bible, I didn’t.  If you don’t like it, take it up with God.” 

So, homophobes, bigots, hypocrites, family values supporters, christians, and evangelicals/fundamentalists, take note:  it’s time to put up or shut up.  You need to find some ethical standards if you’re going to participate in the blogging world, and you need to be consistent about your beliefs.  In addition, you need to support your beliefs with scripture as well as demonstrate that you know some reliable facts before you form an opinion and put it out there for all the world to see.

Let’s take another look at the American Family Association’s boycott of McDonald’s.  I recently hit the tag surfer button here on my wordpress dashboard and ran across a young man who enjoys blogging about conservative issues.  Jermy Buffo seems to think that McDonald’s was acting improperly when it did two things:  requested a group discount for sending at least 15 employees to a training session known as the “Out and Equal 2008 Workplace Summit”  and donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  Bluffer then made some outrageous replies to comments at his blog, and employed some questionable practices while doing so. 

I confronted Mr. Fluffer with some hard evidence about his claims.  Claim #1 was that McDonald’s had suffered a huge financial blow because of the AFA’s boycott.  I provided a link to Yahoo’s stock reports which showed McDonald’s stock values had steadily increased since start of the boycott. I think most people would agree that this would indicate that the boycott is having no effect whatsoever.  Claim #2 was that McDonald’s was pushing the gay agenda above and beyond anything else.  I did the math for this guy, and showed him how McDonald’s gave a total of $30,462.50 for joining the NGLCC and attending the Equal and Out Conference.  Then I quoted from McDonald’s own website that shows they have donated $460 million in grant money over and above their corporate support of Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

The really disturbing stuff comes in how Boffo handles the comments.  One of my replies was totally deleted, which caused me to start making screen captures of my posts that were awaiting moderation.  At one point, Jerkmy accuses me of calling his writing “crap.”   I searched my replies and finally discovered that I had quoted another comment by a guy named Andrew.  Andrew had called the writing crap.  Now, remember, Jeremy claims he doesn’t delete any of the comments, however, when I posted the correction that Andrew had made the comment, not me, that particular post never made it to the blog. 

It’s just a bit of creative editing that allowed Mr. Bluffo, the right-wing, conservative, anti-gay blogger to accuse me of lying without ever having to admit to his own error.  So what have we learned from the religious right?  Make accusations, and never admit that you were wrong. 

Now let’s take a look at a woman who represents God, although I’m not sure if this is a self-proclaimed title or an actual endorsement from the Almighty.  I’m not sure who represents the licensing in this case.  Here’s a link to Janelinda, but let me warn you, the woman has no taste.  The font size, colors, and site theme more than clash, it hurts the eyes.  Janelinda caught my eye while tag surfing a few days ago. 

Here’s the exchange that got things rolling:

janelinda said: The truth is that Paul’s writings are clear that homosexuality is a sin rewarded by death. If the state won’t do it, the church will.

keltic said:  wow, it sounds like you’d like to kill all the gay people. as a matter of fact, it sounds like you’re threatening to do just that. will you pick up the first stone?

Now, I don’t put this out there to brag, but I know my way around the Bible.  I know which books are Old Testament and which are New Testament, I know the major themes, and I even hold a minor in religious studies.  I know that the verse to which this woman refers to does not have a death penalty attached to it.  I also know that Jesus silenced a group of hypocrites by saying “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” as a way of teaching that humans can not make that kind of judgment against each other.   Yet, here is a woman who is perfectly willing to make that kind of statement, and proclaim it loudly as her duty to God. 

Again, the deceit and unethical tactics commence.  Janelinda began using my comments as material for her blog entries, yet she would let my comments sit “awaiting moderation” for days on end. 

Another favorite tactic of the screeching fundamentalists:  when confronted, fling a little mud.  Case in point:  in reply to my question about why christians are concerned so much with homosexuality and less about divorce, in light of the fact that Jesus said nothing about the former and plenty about the latter, I got a response about pedophilia. 

Yes, Jesus was silent on the subject of homosexuality even as he was silent about molesting children.

I gave her the statistics that prove children are in more danger from straight people, but she chooses not to be confused by facts. 

Once again, I had to request that the owner of the blog post all of my comments, not just those they wanted their readers to see.  One comment has been lost completely, after which I began performing screen captures.  This particular blogger decided that my comments could go unpublished, but that she would use them as a starting point for ever more shrill homophobic posts.  A request to allow my posts to be made public was met with a disclaimer at the beginning of another blog entry about how nasty “teh gays” are. 

Now I am engaged in what can best be described as talking at each other, I certainly wouldn’t call it a dialog.  Ms. Jadedliah seems to think I don’t have an understanding of the Bible.  Notice how she ignores my questions about other laws or rules that are clearly stated in scripture.  She so cleverly turns that around to say that she doesn’t need to explain the law to me.  Of course she doesn’t!  I already understand the law, but I also understand that no one can ever fulfill the law.  I know that every time a fundie trots out a scripture with the intent to beat a homosexual into submission, they are ignoring all the words around it that condemn them 20 times more than God’s word condemns gays and lesbians.  Miss Jane claims to be a minister, called to preach God’s unchanging word.  So when asked about a few scriptures that imply women should never take on that role, she pulls a few more out of context to support her case. 

You will not move from what God has said in the Bible? that is excellent news!
1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

as well as 1 Timothy 2:12-14 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

So you are condemned by your own words. “I was called to ministry. I didn’t decide this myself. I was called when a child to preach the gospel.”

To whom do you preach? Only other women? You have been instructed by God’s Holy Word to keep silent. why is it that you, by your own admission, disobey God’s commandments?

I admit to playing devil’s advocate in this exchange.  I believe women have a rightful place in ministry.  I’m just baffled by a woman who can ignore clear scriptures about her own position within the church, then turn around and issue condemning decrees about gays and lesbians with those same scriptures.

So here is my request, Mr. Fluffer, Ms. Janelicka, and all you other hate-filled (love the sinner, hate the sin) types of christians/ fundies/ evangelicals/  right-wingnuts/ conservatives/ homophobes.  Do us all a favor and start living your lives in a more consistent fashion.  When you write an offensively homophobic blog entry, have the balls to go exactly where you intend it to go. 

For instance, if you want to use Leviticus as your basis for hating on the gays, you’ve got to be willing to kill us.  The scripture is clear.  It doesn’t say that the government has that responsibility, it doesn’t assign that duty to some church committee, it is entirely up to God’s people to stand up and do the right thing:  Kill those Faggots! 

If you’re going to skip lunch at McDonald’s because they gave a few nickels to a gay & lesbian organization, you’ve got to hold fast to that commitment.  Now, go out and find all the other businesses that support homosexuals and boycott them as well.  Need some help?  Here’s a list:  Burger King, Pepsico, Frito Lay, Wells Fargo, Kodak, Levi’s, Pacific Gas & Electric Co (Californian’s united for Hate, turn off those lights!), Motorola, American Express, Shop n Save, Cub Foods, Blue Cross of California, Comcast, Capitol One, Coors Light, AT&T, Marriott, Ramada, Hilton, Southwest Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, UPS.  Have we hit you where you live yet?  You, homophobes calling for boycotts and screaming that granting civil rights to gay and lesbian people is giving them special rights, need to walk the talk!  Stop giving your hard-earned straight dollars to all these companies that are pushing the gay agenda!  Do it now!  I mean it. 

Stop listening to music created by gay people.  That means you’ll have to give up all your Judas Priest albums (Rob Halford is gay), no more Clay Aiken, Johnny Mathis, or Barry Manilow.  No Stephen Sondheim, Elton John, or K D Lang.  How’d you like Ray Boltz’s music back in the day?  Surprise, he just came out too.  Is the music minister at your church a male?  He may be deeply closeted, but he’s most likely gay.  Don’t sing along until you can have him fired and replaced by your 85 year old aunt Stella.  Into classical?  Change the station when Aaron Copland hits the airwaves, or Samuel Barber, or even Tchaikovsky.  Don’t even think of going to the theater for a Broadway show;  you’ll find more gays than you can shake a stick at, whether you’re into shaking sticks or not! 

Need some more help?  Go buy a gay magazine like Out, or Advocate, or Instinct.  Don’t worry about reading any of the articles, just make a list of the companies who advertise in the magazines.  Then, keep that list handy whenever you need to make a purchasing decision.  You’ll need to avoid Tylenol products, Avis car rentals, premium movie channels, all the major clothing designers, and most travel destinations. 

But why stop there?  Let’s bring the hate a little closer to home.  Who does your hair?  Have you been going to that gay man for your latest hairstyle?  Stop it!  What’s your favorite restaurant?  Make sure that chef with the short hair isn’t a butch lesbian.  Got a car that needs maintenance?  Be sure to ask the mechanic if he’s ever had a cock in his mouth.  And for God’s sake, don’t go to the garage that has a woman working on cars.  Does the coffee shop employ androgynous baristas?  Go get your morning java at the convenience store. 

You think that “millions and millions” of Americans want to recognize marriage as being one man and one woman?  That’s great, a little hyperbolic, but great.  If it’s as you say it is, then there should be no problems finding businesses, large and small, that will assist you in your boycott of all things gay.  Think globally, act locally.  Hate universally.

I have one small favor to ask.  Could you email me and let me know what time you intend to be here to stone me?  I’d hate to be late for my own funeral.

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McDonald’s is All About “teh gays” So Don’t Eat There!

July 9, 2008

That’s right folks, the American Family Association is highly insulted that McDonalds would make a donation to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  So miffed that they are asking all good christians, and anyone else they can strong-arm, into boycotting the fast food restaurant chain.  They’ve even mounted a website for this very purpose. 

McDonalds’ exact sin, according to the AFA’s inflammatory website, is that they donated an amount of money to the NGLCC which may have qualified them to be listed as a corporate partner.  Recently, an executive from McDonald’s corporation was elected to the NGLCC’s board of directors.  The amount of the donation, from some reports, appears to be $20,000, which considering the billions of dollars generated by McD’s, is chump change. 

McD’s has been clear about their support for diversity, and for their commitment to fighting discrimination.  The following is an excerpt of the letter sent to Donald Wildmon and the AFA, by Pat Harris, the Global Chief Diversity Officer for McDonalds.

“We treat our employees and our customers with respect and dignity, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other factors.  We support our employees’ personal involvement in organizations of their choice.” 

“McDonald’s is associated with countless local and national affinity groups here in the United States.  We have a well-established and proud heritage of associating with individuals and organizations that share the belief that every person has the right to live and work in a community free of discrimination.”

It appears that Donald Wildmon and his christian friends don’t appreciate that McD’s would be nice to “teh gays.”   He doesn’t like the corporation throwing its coins to an organization that is committed to helping businesses owned by the members of the lgbt community.  Wildmon, by past boycotts, appears to want to tell businesses to whom they should market their products, and it is always the gay and lesbian community that Wildmon believes should be ignored. 

The McDonald’s Boycott website has a page for comments.  Jeremy of G-A-Y was trying to make some neutral statements, but evidently, the site is being moderated and only the anti-gay, anti-McD’s comments get published.  I decided to give it a shot.  I made a vaguely anti-McD’s comment, but tried to insert a cryptic message.  It got in.  Here’s the screen shot:

 

 

I know you can’t see that picture very well.  My message included sentences that started with letters in G,A,Y and made sort of an anagram.  I wasn’t too clever with my statements, which come across as anti-McD’s, but I did manage to sneak in the word “GAY” by separating the first letter from the rest of the word as I began each sentence. 

“G ood thing I saw this. I took my kids there often when they were younger. A ny thinking person would know to eat elsewhere. Y esterday I vowed not to return.”

So, Game On!  Can you slip in a cryptic message to the AFA’s comment section at Boycott McDonald’s?

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Spiritually Deaf and Blind: 2 out of 3 Ain’t Bad

June 23, 2008

I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in somewhat of a dialog with a Southern Baptist Minister for the past day or so.  I thought the discussion was pleasant until this morning when the minister voiced his concern that he was being targeted for his anti-gay speech.  Very quickly, he shut down his church’s blog to comments from the general public.  Note to bloggers:  if you put it out there in the public realm, you can be sure someone will see it, comment, and perhaps disagree with you. 

Pastor Rick’s blog announced that he would be preaching against gay marriage this Sunday morning (June 22) and gave the scripture reference.  I suspected that this would be prooftexting so I made a comment that asked Pastor Rick to go beyond Romans 1: 18-32, and include Romans 2, which demonstrates what Paul was trying to teach the christians in Rome at that time.  Many believe that Paul was condemning homosexuality with this scripture, but careful reading reveals that this is just not the case.  It is hard for some christians to accept this, and this appears to be the case with Pastor Rick. 

By Sunday afternoon, we get a sense of the direction this is going to take.  Pastor Rick feels targeted by myself and the one other person out of six that I messaged about this blog. I brought it to their attention with the purpose of reading my response, not to engage in an attack against Pastor Rick.  We very quickly hear the slippery slope arguments of allowing gay marriage will mean that polygamy, child prostitution, and all forms and expressions of sexuality would become legal.  In a later response to my friend, Matt, Pastor Rick distances himself from comparing homosexuality to child rape, yet it’s clear by listing them together, even in an order meant to show levels of depravity, that P. Rick does not think very highly of gay people. 

I downloaded the sermon and listened to what the good pastor had to say.  I took some notes.  There was a carefully planned introduction that made sure the audience knew that this week’s news story about gay marriage came from a sinful place: California. He now refers to it as the “left coast” because it has “left” America’s morality; it’s left sensibility. There you go, let’s get started with the sweeping generalizations.  P. Rick is in favor of a theocracy as evidenced by his statement that “What is not legal in God’s eyes should not be legal in man’s eyes.”  Human dignity regarding LGBT people is disregarded throughout the sermon as the vocal inflections imply sarcasm: “People who say they are gay” and an elongation of the word “ho-mo-sex-u-al” with a drawl.  Keep in mind, Californians, because of you, “we’re going down the toilet.”

Outside of Matt and myself, Pastor Rick knows all he knows about gay people from his 2, count them, 2 college friends who are gay.  Here’s what Pastor Rick knows:  gay people are not happy, they are afraid of disease, and afraid that their partner will leave them because “that’s the nature of this kind of relationship”; they live in fear.  When Matt pointed out that these were “sweeping generalizations” P. Rick pointed to his 2 college friends as evidence that this was not a generalization.  Hint, P. Rick: drawing a conclusion about an entire group of people based on your experience with just 2 of them is generalizing.  Perhaps these college friends are just losers. 

There is much more in the sermon, but I want to take a look at the interaction that took place today, in P. Rick’s blog.  In the comments section of his blog, I pointed out the inconsistency regarding his “sweeping generalizations” as well as the religious and political conservative’s opinion that LGBT people should be denied Civil marriage.  I asked how he can deny gay and lesbian people the opportunity to commit to each other in a monogamous relationship, then turn around and ridicule them for being promiscuous.  It’s clear to me that people, gay and straight, have looked to their religious leaders for guidance and received bad advice.  When your pastor stands in the pulpit and says that gay men have sex with hundreds of other men in their life time, the young gay man sitting in the pew hears this is what is expected of him because of the way God created him.  Gay people hear that their relationships are worthless, not valid to be considered for marriage, and often fulfill that expectation. 

At this point, something seems to snap.  Pastor Rick is suddenly complaining that we’ve taken the time to respond and engage in discussion.  In what appears to be anger, he states “You guys knocked on MY door. YOU initiated this. You are the ones that conspired together to make comments on my church website.”  I apologized and assured Pastor Rick that he had not been “targeted” and that there was no conspiracy.  Here’s the final paragraph of my last comment:

You, Bro. Rick, have a degree in psychology. You are probably aware that not only the American Psychological Association, but other professional organizations believe that a homosexual orientation is naturally occurring and unchangeable. How is it justifiable to deny people CIVIL rights based on your religious beliefs when the science says this is natural for some people?

Perhaps that is what ended the discussion.  However, I noticed something about all of my comments; most of them were ignored. There was no acknowledgement that he did indeed make generalizations based on stereotypes or limited exposure to LGBTpeople.  There was no response to my appeal to his psychology degree and the scientific evidence of which, as a psych major, he would surely be aware of.  There was no hint that he understands a marriage license issued by the state government is not the same as a religious ceremony conducted by a minister in a church.  Instead, we get a mantra of “it’s a sin” because God says it is, and a list of buzzwords typically used by fundamentalists to degrade LGBT people:  lifestyle, alternative choice, and claims that orientation is changeable, yet groups like Exodus can not provide valid and reliable studies to demonstrate this. 

Finally, Pastor Rick explodes with this:

You are using a common intimidation argument by GLBTgroups. Civil rights are reserved for groups of people based on race, gender, disabilities & age, but not sexual orientation. While there have been some gains by GLBTgroups in this arena, you aren’t guaranteed civil rights based on your sexual preferences. So don’t go there.

Matt,

 

To all, since this is my website, I get the last word. Comments are now turned off on this post.

 

 

 

My thanks to Wendy at bridgeout for the idea of using the church sign generator to create this pic. 

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God “Rains” Down His Wrath on the Anti-LGBT Crowd

June 18, 2008

I haven’t seen it. Maybe it’s out there and I haven’t looked hard enough.  I even thought about writing it myself.  I had misgivings about it, so I ran it past a friend of mine who just graduated seminary and got ordained.  She confirmed what I thought, and so I chose not to write it.  It would be taking advantage of other people’s misfortunes, even tragedies, and would discredit your reputation, she said.  

It’s the flooding in the mid-west and the article that I’m imagining is one in which a rabid gay activist charges that this disaster is divine retribution for anti-gay hate crimes.   A connection could be made, in much the same way that Christian leaders have blamed gay folks for natural disasters, as well as acts of terrorism. 

Hate crimes against gays and lesbians have doubled in Michigan.  Flooding has occurred in parts of Michigan.  Could there be a connection?  I so wanted to write a ranting blog entry blaming hostile bigoted fundamentalists for causing God’s wrath to literally rain down on Michigan and the mid-west.  I just couldn’t do it, not even as satire.  I couldn’t make myself write that entry because I know that it’s wrong to take advantage of suffering people and use them for political gain.  I would be stooping to the level of those I oppose. 

The odd thing is that although there are a lot of strong, even militant, gay activists writing online, I haven’t seen any of them take this opportunity to swipe at their opponents. No one has jumped at this chance to blame christians who support anti-gay marriage amendments, or conservative political leaders who resist enacting hate crime laws to protect LGBT people.  No one seems to be willing to say that this devastation is God’s response to the intolerance, bigotry, or prejudice that we have allowed in this country. 

Why do you suppose that is? 

Maybe it’s because we understand that a loving God doesn’t send natural disasters as punishment.  Maybe it’s because thinking people know that invoking God’s judgment to support one’s own political agenda is unethical.  Maybe, having been on the receiving end of such treatment, even the most militant of gay activists have enough compassion to bypass this chance to beat up on the fundamentalists and their political cronies.

To all the folks in the mid-west, I wish you well.  I wish you a speedy recovery from this disaster.  I wish you all the assistance that this country can send to you.  By all means, please forgive me if this little blog entry sounds like a way to use your misery for personal gain.