An Open Letter to Franklin Graham

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Jun 152015
 
Photo of Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham

Dear Frankie:

It’s time we had a little talk, you and me. I know this whole idea that gay people (and all the LBT rest of them) might be starting to get some equal rights bothers you tremendously. I can’t figure out any sort of leap of logic that makes this such a big issue for you, unless, of course it somehow affects you directly.

It won’t affect your ministry. You’re still free to pray to whichever god/s or goddess/es you’d like, in whatever way you choose, and when you’d like. You can attend whatever church, temple, mosque, or other holy place you want on whatever day you choose. You can crawl into the pulpit of that holy place and say whatever awful and ugly things you want to say about your LGBT brothers and sisters, and any misogynistic thing you want about women. Even free to do some poverty shaming too. Yep, still free to do all that.

You “ministry” still gets to hire and fire whoever it wants, based on whatever criteria you select, because it is a religious organization.

The ability of gay people to marry really doesn’t have any impact on the ability of straight people to marry, but I know you already know that…you just can’t some up with a better argument. Gay people marrying doesn’t really affect your marriage, as best I can tell, unless you want it to. Like if you’ve just been waiting all this time to come out  once you can marry whoever you’re sleeping with on the down-low. I just don’t know how it negatively impacts your life, so that’s the only conclusion I can come to. The idea of gay sex and marriage is so appealing to you, that if normalized, you think every straight man, you included, will convert. (If that happens Frank, you let me know. That could be a problem, so I’ll help you work out a solution.) Continue reading »

Jan 172015
 
Kelvin Cochran, Former Atlanta Fire Chief

Kelvin Cochran, Former Atlanta Fire Chief

The story is based on a recent action by the City of Atlanta in which they fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for the publication of a religiously themed book, and how it was distributed within the department. The book included some pretty strong anti-gay comments, so of course the main characters in anti-gay, inc. are all grifting on Cochran’s martyrdom. I’d like to offer some reminders to these staunch defenders of “free speech.”

Let’s lay out the facts of the case (and not the overwrought screeching of the ‘phobes). First, as part of taking an executive level job with the City, Mr. Cochran had to agree to and sign a work agreement. One requirement imposed by the work agreement was that Cochran (like anyone else in a similar position) had to get the City’s permission for anything he might publish. This is not at all unusual. Cochran didn’t bother to get this approval.

The grifters have tried to make the claim it was all innocent, as the book was written for a bible study group in his church (in one explanation), or, was just given to a couple of friends who asked for it. Actually, it was given out by Cochran to several of his subordinates in the fire department. Let me remind you, he was the Chief, therefore had direct influence over the employment status of these people. This just isn’t acceptable in any work environment, let alone in the public sector. Continue reading »

Brian and Bryan Fail to Understand Constitution

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Aug 232013
 
This entry is part 11 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

Brian Brown Head 2Brian Brown of the anti-gay designated hate group National Organization for Marriage (NOM), and Bryan Fischer of the designated hate group American Family Association (AFA), both have their knickers in a twist over  recent court ruling out of New Mexico. In this ruling, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against a Albuquerque wedding photographer, Elane Photography who refused to work with a lesbian couple citing her deeply held religious beliefs.

Brian Brown says:

“This decision is outrageous. While simultaneously admitting that this decision will harm the Huguenins, the court uses its full power of coercion to force them to compromise their beliefs,” declared Brian Brown, NOM president. “This is not what this country was founded upon; governmental coercion has no place in the public square never mind the freedom of religion supposedly enjoyed by the Huguenins.”

NOM and scholars on both sides of the issue have long agreed that redefining marriage will be a direct threat to Americans’ First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Increasingly, gay-‘marriage’ activists are using the courts to force people of faith to violate their beliefs when a myriad of other options exist for the same-sex couples in question.

“While the court calls for compromise, they got it wrong in this case,” continued Brown. “The Huguenins should not have to compromise. Their beliefs are constitutionally protected. But the Willocks could easily have compromised by going to another photographer who would not have had such a conflict. Instead the Willocks forced the issue and used the power of the court to put the Huguenins in an impossible position – compromise their beliefs or give up their livelihood. There is nothing just about that.”

What Brian doesn’t get, or doesn’t want to get, is his lack of understanding about how the freedom of religion clause works. First, these folks are not being coerced, nor required, nor ordered to alter their religious beliefs on iota. They can stay the hateful, small-minded, bigoted people they are today, clinging to an inaccurate interpretation of an ancient text. The court hasn’t said a single word about that. They can still pray to the god, gods, or goddess of their choosing. Again, nothing’s changed. So stop with the drama queen routine Brian.

More than 200 years ago, Americans decided to develop and live in a societal arrangement governed by civil laws, underlying a set of inalienable rights. They even felt compelled (because this was a committee effort after all) to enumerate some of those rights. One of those was a right to religious freedom, but another was the right for each person to receive equal treatment within that society. Now I admit we’re still trying to perfect that concept, but what it means is, your individual rights will, sometimes, seem to you to be restricted, because the larger societal rights will take precedence. But that’s not even the situation here. They aren’t being forced or coerced into changing their religious beliefs.

The slippery slope here has been noted. That ancient text speaks to slavery only in the affirmative. My Methodist Church was divided over that very issue, with many using their religion and the Bible to justify slavery. So, what Brian, and everyone else who listens to him and sends money, needs to get, is that, based on his argument, if I have a strongly held religious belief that slavery is OK…then society (the civil government) has no right to keep me from owning a slave.

Who’s the arbiter here? Who decides which deeply held religious convictions we are going to respect? Who gets to determine that it is really is a deeply held religious belief, and not economic opportunity? We do, the American people through our founding documents, our elected government, and the courts.

And Brian, we have found your arguments lacking. So as a civil society, we’ve decided that when you open your doors to conduct commerce in our society, you have an obligation to provide your services and goods to anyone who walks through the door with the means to buy them, but you can hate them just as much while taking their money as you do when they walk past your store hand-in-hand.

Fischer is a bit more succinct in one of his many twitter posts:

Again, he sets up a false dichotomy. Lot’s of people are religious, Christian even, and gay. Despite a lot of churches and pastors doing all they can to run them off (see more here). No Bryan, you don’t have to choose. If you open your doors to the public, we decided a long time ago in this country, you have to serve all the public. You can still hate people based on any little thing you want to use, but you don’t get to pick and choose who you sell to.

Their screeching just grows more shrill the more they realize they are losing this battle.

Dec 072012
 
This entry is part 9 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

Brian Brown, President of leading gay hating group National Organization for Marriage, has, not surprisingly, done what he so often does and tweeted a blatant lie. According to Ms. Brown (and yes, I used the right title, we all know about people who claim to be straight but obsess over all things gay), a “Christian Vendor” in Maryland was forced to close down because of gay marriage.

Let’s just clarify Ms. Brown’s little white lie. First off, his tweet is false on its face. The business didn’t “close.” According to Matt Grubbs, owner of Discover Annapolis Tours, he has shut down the “wedding part” of his business on the advice of his attorney…not the whole business.

So why did his attorney recommend this. Well, it’s because Grubbs, who claims to be a “Christian,” didn’t want to abide by the public accommodation laws of Maryland, and treat everyone equally. He’d do weddings for straight people, but didn’t want to do them for gay people. So, to Grubbs and Ms. Brown, this is an infringement of his religious freedom rights. You know, just like some of those good Christian people ought to be able to open restaurants and not serve blacks because they have a religious objection to black people being free. Continue reading »

Sometimes the Truth Hurts – Unless You're Too Stooopid to See The Truth

 Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Sometimes the Truth Hurts – Unless You're Too Stooopid to See The Truth
Aug 312010
 

Perhaps one of the biggest loons in the anti-equality campaign if former Executive Director (now Board Chairperson) of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Maggie Gallagher. Maggie had a child out-of-wedlock, has been married twice, and despite basically making herself the self-proclaimed world champion of traditional marriage, has never been seen at any event with an actual husband or any of her children. What a sad and small person she is. It would be easy to feel sorry for her, but she’s made it her mission in life to foment hate against loving, committed gay couples, so she gets what she deserves. In this case, a well deserved cartooning is in order.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bCu2eGCjz4]

Their whole argument about children doing best with a “mommy and daddy” rings less and less true everyday as more and more scientific research (realizing they don’t care much for real science or peer-reviewed research) shows that children do just fine (and in some cases slightly better) with parents of any gender and/or orientation, so long as there are two parents. Researchers at Stanford University just came out with another study confirming that children of gay parents do just as well. Poor Maggie, hate and bigotry, even against Gay people, just becomes harder and harder to justify, but at least she makes a good living at it.