Oct 012017
This entry is part 3 of 31 in the series Daily Douche-Bag

So who the hell is Bret Whipple you are probably asking. Well Bret is Cliven Bundy’s attorney (which makes him sleazy enough to earn the prize, but wait, there’s more). Bret, in court filings tried to claim that Bundy and his band of scofflaws were no different from the civil rights marchers of Selma, Alabama. Let that sink in for a minute.

In case you’ve been living under or a rock, or wisely just tried to forget this mess, let me offer some background on the Bundy Ranch incident. As CNN Reported:

The Bundys drew national attention at the time for refusing to pay the federal government more than $1 million in grazing fees. “I not only said no. I said hell no,” Cliven Bundy told CNN at the time over his refusal to relocate his cattle.

The land in Clark County, Nevada, became federally protected in 1989 after the government declared the Mojave Desert tortoise an endangered species. That effectively put an end to livestock grazing there. Most ranchers left. The Bundys stayed and continued raising their cattle but racked up fees and fines. Their refusal to foot the bill eventually drew the ire of federal agents, who seized a portion of their cattle.

Continue reading »

Franklin Graham–Today’s Daily Douche-Bag Award

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Jun 172016
This entry is part 22 of 31 in the series Daily Douche-Bag
Photo of Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham

Right now, it’s pretty hard to decide who to give our Douche-bag of the Day Award. There are just so many people vying for the honor, with lots of pastors leading the pack. Some awful things have been said in “Jesus’ name,” and we’ll get to those, but I decided to pull out Franklin Graham from that deck first.

Graham has one of the largest followings, and his secretary, who I spoke with, assured me she knows his heart, and he doesn’t hate anyone. I told her I knew his heart too, and it was full of either greed or hate (maybe both), and that I wanted him to stop claiming he was a Christian, in that it made the rest of look bad. That people like him have worked hard to make embarrassing to say you’re a Christian. Continue reading »

Oct 182014

Judge James RobersonLet it not be said that I won’t recognize when someone realizes they were wrong, and changes their direction. Chief District Court Judge Jim Roberson released a statement late Friday saying that all magistrates must comply with the law and perform same-sex marriages. You may remember that I’d written an article here at Deep Something about the issues with some North Carolina Magistrates thinking the Evangelical Christians have special rights when it comes to performing government duties. At first Judge Roberson was trying to give some out for those magistrates without creating an inconvenience for LGBT couples. I appreciate his interests here, but the government can give NO quarter to discrimination by government officials.

Judge Roberson’s statement was as follows:

To provide clarification in light of recent court decisions regarding the marriage law in North Carolina, all magistrates serving in Alamance County are required, as a part of their official duties, to perform marriage ceremonies for any and all eligible couples under North Carolina law presenting themselves for marriage. Additionally, a recently released legal memo, prepared by chief counsel for the Administrative Office of the Courts, and legal opinion issued by the University Of North Carolina School Of Government, conclude that the law in North Carolina requires a magistrate to perform each and every duty associated with the position in order to continue to serve as a magistrate. All Alamance County magistrates will comply with the law.

I’m not claiming that it had any influence at all on the Judge’s change of heart, but I’d faxed this letter to his office Friday morning: Continue reading »

Conservatives Hate Freedom

 Culture, Economy, Featured, Politics  Comments Off on Conservatives Hate Freedom
May 162012

Michael Lind has a great story at Salon.com today about how conservatives say one thing, but do another. I know that will come as a shock. Despite their claims of being the people bent on protecting Americans’ freedoms, they are actually the people who have, over the past 60 years, most sought to curtail those freedoms.

Lind is careful to make the distinction between true Libertarians and conservatives, and points out that, since World War II, conservatives have opposed every expansion of personal liberty in the U.S.

In the ’60s, Goldwater and Buckley, along with their adherents, opposed every civil rights measure for African-Americans. As is so often the case, they claimed they weren’t segregationist, they were opposing federal government interference, but this made them OK with state government interference in personal lives.

Up until 1965 the use of contraception was banned for married couples, and when the courts struck that down, and made abortion illegal, they didn’t even pretend it was for Constitutional reasons, but opposed it based on their religious views. As Lind puts it:

In other words, the very conservatives warning us about the dangers of “mobocracy” when it came to the welfare state had no objection to using the power of government to force their fellow citizens to live their private lives according to the teachings of Thomas Aquinas or the Book of Leviticus, as interpreted by semi-literate Southern Protestant preachers.

We explore here often not only their attempts to not only subvert the inalienable rights of LGBT people, but to, by state constitution fiat, curtail the rights.

They’re not better on the rights of workers and debtors and the poor, All people clearly covered in the Bible to which they so vehemently claim to be their authority. They have worked aggressively to inhibit workers rights to unionize and bargain for a better life, they have opposed the minimum wage at every stage, and oppose all workplace safety regulations.

Despite the biblical admonitions against usury, they have opposed every effort to help families refinance homes in which they are underwater. They have opposed taxes on the rich to help support the social safety net, and in many cases have worked for its removal.

Lind ends his piece with a chilling look at America if the conservatives had won their battles:

Formal racial segregation might still exist at the state and local level in the South. In some states, it would be illegal to get abortions or even for married couples to use contraception. In much of the United States, gays and lesbians would still be treated as criminals. Government would dictate to Americans with whom and how they can have sex. Unions would have been completely annihilated in the public as well as the private sector. Wages and hours laws would be abolished, so that employers could pay third-world wages to Americans working seven days a week, 12 hours a day, as many did before the New Deal.

This really is an article you need to read, especially if you are a conservative.

Apr 242012
This entry is part 7 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

Well, of course the war over writing bigotry and discrimination into the North Carolina Constitution is in full swing. I am sadly disappointed that this is what my home state has come to, but I’m not surprised. I’ve talked to several of the legislators who voted to put this on the ballot, and they absolve themselves by saying, “Well, I just think the people should vote.” But when I ask them why they don’t put every civil right on the ballot, I was called, “absurd.” So according to one House member from Kings Mountain, and on Senator from Shelby, it’s absurd to put civil rights to a vote, unless of course, it’s the civil rights of gay people.

Sadly, I think both of the people I spoke with, truth be known, are inclined towards the homosexual side of the scale, but that’s for another time.

Here’s a video which says pretty much all that needs to be said…

Enough is Enough – The Fallout From The Gay Marriage Vote

 Election, Featured, Gay Issues, Places, Politics, Society, Tampa  Comments Off on Enough is Enough – The Fallout From The Gay Marriage Vote
Nov 172008

Maybe, finally gay people have decided that enough is enough when it comes to having second-class citizenship foisted upon us by krazy kristian kooks. Across the country Saturday were a series of rallies decrying the enactment of three marriage amendments on election day which enshrine discrimination in the Constitutions of Florida, Arizona and California. As angry as we may all be, we should not be surprised at the outcome. There is no leadership within the gay community, and practically no community left anyways. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has become a parody, and while I respect the work done by Equality Florida, they too have been totally ineffective.

Let’s take a look at some of what happened on election day. There are a number of factors that lead to the passage of these amendments. None of it should have come as a surprise, and some of it ain’t pretty.

The Mormon Church
The Mormon Church has become very much a focal point for the anger of the gay community, and they don’t like it. It’s been estimated that nearly $20m in funding for the Yes on 8 campaign in California came from people affiliated with the Mormon Church. It also appears the Church itself, in violation of a number of election laws, may have provided in-kind services such as phone banks and material support. Make no mistake, the LDS Church was a big part of the campaign to pass Proposition 8.

They have previously been active in campaigns to institutionalize the same kind of hate in Hawaii. I find it intriguing that a Church which used to (and to some extent still does) condone Polygamy, used to exclude African-Americans from membership, and were themselves persecuted, have now taken it on themselves to support bigotry and hatred around marriage rites.

“Everyone in the United States has a legal right to protest, which we support fully,” said Waterford Clayton, president of the Newport Beach stake LDS. “This is not about sexual preference. This is about the moral standing of marriage.” (Get it, the Mormons, of all people, are lecturing the rest of us on the “moral standing of marriage.”)

Something went wrong this time though. In an internal church document ([download#1]), the church made it clear they were pleased that the leaders of the Hawaii initiative were not being associated with the Church. This time though, the word of their unprecedented sponsorship did not go unnoticed, and now the LDS has the gall to whine and complain about being called out for it. Sorry guys, but that’s how that messy old thing called Free Speech works. I may not like your message, but I defend your right to say it, but it also means you have to make room for my speech as well, even if you don’t like the content. The Mormon Church has every right to take a stand against Gay Marriage, but Gay people then have a right to take a stand against any institution that supports hatred.

When people are angry, they need a focal point for their anger. There are lots of reasons and people and groups responsible for the outcomes on election day, but the Mormon Church is serving as a good focal point for the anger, and I’m OK with that for now, but at some point we will need to move beyond blame.  Continue reading »

Jerry Falwell is Dead

 Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Jerry Falwell is Dead
May 152007

Jerry Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority and the face of the Religious Right during the 80’s, is dead at 73.

Falwell was known for his opposition to gay rights and his harsh language towards gay people.  After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, he blamed the attack on “the pagans, the abortionists, and the feminists and the gays and lesbians”.

He supported apartheid:

In the 1980s Jerry Falwell was an outspoken supporter of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. When president PW Botha was elected President by the White South African minority, Reverend Falwell went to South Africa and made statements supporting the government there and urging American Christians to buy Krugerrands, a coin issued by the South African Government[17]. He drew the ire of many when he called Nobel Peace Prize winner and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu a phony. He later apologized for that remark and claimed that he had misspoken.

His views on Jewish people (of which Jesus was one I’d remind him) were not very flattering:

Falwell has asserted that when The Antichrist (“The Beast”) comes, he “must be, of necessity, a Jewish male.”

After Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith tells a Dallas Religious Right gathering that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew,” Falwell gives a similar view. “I do not believe,” he told reporters, “that God answers the prayer of any unredeemed Gentile or Jew.”

He had no shame when it came to money: 

November 1997: Falwell accepts $3.5 million from a front group representing controversial Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon to ease Liberty University’s financial woes. The donation, and several Falwell appearances at Moon conferences, raised eyebrows because Moon claims to be the messiah sent to complete the failed mission of Jesus Christ, a doctrine sharply at odds with Falwell’s fundamentalist Christian theology. (In 1978, before the Moon money started flowing, Falwell told Esquire magazine, “Reverend Sun Myung Moon is like the plague: he exploits boys and girls, and he should be exported.”)

And don’t forget, this is the same guy who decided Tinky Winky must be gay.

However in his later years he did mellow some and in August 2005 he made some statements that seemed to endorse some limited protections for gay and lesbian citizens.  Falwell stated that equal access to housing and employment are basic rights, not special rights and said that he supported civil rights for gay people. Guess he was getting concerned about this day coming, and learning first hand that God considers everyone his child.

“I may not agree with the lifestyle,” Falwell said. “But that has nothing to do with the civil rights of that… part of our constituency.

“Civil rights for all Americans, black, white, red, yellow, the rich, poor, young, old, gay, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or conservative value,” Falwell went on to say. “It’s an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on.”

I wish he and his family peace.