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.

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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.

Apr 292009
 

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx represents the congressional district that includes my alma mater, and she has attended ASU events and activities to advance her political career and give her an undeserved credibility. Over the past several days, Rep. Foxx has made a number of inflammatory statements during the House’s consideration of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. Today, Rep. Foxx crossed a line when she took to the floor of the House, claimed that Shepard was killed as part of a robbery, and called the hate aspect of the crime “a hoax.”

Kenneth E. Peacock, Chancellor
Office of the Chancellor
Appalachian State University
ASU Box 32002
Boone, NC  28608

Subject: ASU’s association with U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx

Dear Chancellor Peacock:

I had the honor of meeting you some weeks ago at an alumni reception in St. Petersburg.

I was born, raised and lived most of my life in North Carolina. I am extremely proud of that upbringing, and am a very proud Mountaineer. The lessons I’ve taken from my upbringing and education have, I believe, served me well. I was incredibly impressed by your presentation and your enthusiasm for the University, and recognize the current budget pressures you must confront.

At the reception, I noted I’d been lucky enough to receive a small bonus from work, and promised to share that with the University’s program for the financially disadvantaged students. Perhaps, with the deepest regret I’ve ever felt in my life, I cannot continue my support of Appalachian State University. Even my pride in North Carolina is shaken, and I can no longer be proud of my home state.

Boone and the University are, as you know, in the Fifth Congressional District, and Virginia Foxx is the representative for that district. I have seen, on Rep. Foxx’s congressional website, a number of photographs with her appearing at ASU functions behind and beneath the ASU Banner.

Unfortunately today I saw a video of a statement made by Rep. Foxx on the floor of the United States House of Representatives opposing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. It was the vilest, most hate-filled, hateful, and un-Christian statement I believe I’ve ever heard come from a U.S. Representative. (And that is a pretty high bar.)

Obama_Shepherd.jpgTo advance her political career, Rep. Foxx claimed that Matthew Shepard was killed merely as part of a robbery. This is a lie, and Rep. Foxx is, or ought to be, aware of the record before making such a statement. The Laramie Police and Prosecutors said the two men lured Mr. Shepard from a bar by pretending to be gay, beat him to pulp, and left him hung, still alive, on a fence post for over 18 hours. The men attempted to use a “gay panic” defense during their trial, and one of the defendants admitted to beating Mr. Shepard because he was gay. How is that not a hate crime?

Yet Rep. Foxx had the gall to stand on the floor of the United States House of Representatives and say, “It’s really a hoax.”

Chancellor Peacock, I recognize the political reality with which you are faced, but as a gay man, who, while never having suffered as did Mr. Shepard, has been subjected to threats and discrimination, must also stand up to the very real face of hate. I have seen that in the face and words of Rep. Foxx, not only today, but in previous statements. So while I understand you will be able to take no action on this matter, I can act. I cannot, and will not, support any person, organization, group or institution that even associates itself with Rep. Foxx. A person with Rep. Foxx’s spirit of hatefulness and lack of integrity should not be actively exposed to the diverse group of young people under your charge as part of any University sponsored event

I hope you will appreciate that this is an extremely difficult decision on my part, but until such time as the University publicly denounces Rep. Foxx’s statement and bans her from access to the Campus or any University sponsored event, or until such time as the voters in her district recognize her for the hateful, dishonest person she is and vote her out of office, I will make no further contributions to ASU.

Again, I regret this decision, and hope that the time will be short when I can resume my contributions to my beloved Alma mater.

cc: Rep. Virginia Foxx

Dec 292008
 

Inauguration of President-Elect Obama For those of you living under a rock, President Elect Obama has invited Rick Warren, from the Saddleback Mega-Church, to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. Gay rights and other activists groups have strenuously objected, and Obama and his aides have made any number of statements defending the choice with the tired old line of how the Obama campaign has always been about “uniting people” and showing how “we can disagree without being disagreeable,” and blah, blah, blah. (That’s the part of the message Rick Warren needs to get, not his critics.)

Warren’s supporters are up in arms claiming that it’s “the gays” who are being intolerant and showing hatred. Even some politically naive gay activists keep saying to let it go, and keep our powder dry for the important issues. Of course, these would be the same activists who led the strategy that cost gay people their rights in ballot issue after ballot issue over the past several years.

So let me be clear in my response. In the case of claims by the Warren supporters (including you Obama), they are correct. I am being intolerant and am applying the standard applied by Warren and his supporters to love the sinner and hate the sin. I believe that the sin of hate and bigotry, most especially when used for monetary gain, should never ever be tolerated. I guess that fits the definition of intolerance, so I am guilty as charged.

Jesus gave us the two most important commandments, and one was to love your neighbor as yourself. Rick Warren has not done that, and has worked aggressively to deny equal rights to gay people, and been dishonest in how he’s gone about it. Warren has compared homosexuality to incests and beastiality to be sure to arouse the gay sex “ick” factor. He has lied about the tradition of marriage in a video he taped in support of California’s Prop 8. Warren said, “We should not let 2 percent of the population determine to change a definition of marriage” — that definition being one man and one woman for life, of course, as he states moments earlier in the video — “that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years.”

Of course, none of that is true. The fact is that different cultures have supported different definitions of marriage which have included polygamy (see Mormons for the most recent example of this one), marriages involving children, forced/arranged marriages (still practiced widely today), and marriages for dowry. To even hint that Warren’s definition of the “Ozzie and Harriet” norm to which is referring has obtained, only and everwhere, for five millenia is a bold-faced lie, and Warren knows it to be a lie.

Sure, Warren invited Obama to visit his church, but even then he was less than honest. Warren spent an inordinate amount of time on the social hot buttons of abortion and gay rights instead of the promised attendtion on poverty and social justice. Oh, and let’s not forget he promised that McCain would not hear the questions in advance. We now know that too was a lie.

The day after Obama’s appearance, Warren compared abortion to the Holocaust when he said to Beliefnet that an antiabortion voter backing a pro-choice candidate would be like a Holocaust survivor voting for a Holocaust denier. Continue reading »

Boy In The Striped Pajamas, The – A Movie Review

 Culture, Featured, Movies  Comments Off on Boy In The Striped Pajamas, The – A Movie Review
Nov 232008
 

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Movie PosterEight year-old Bruno is the sheltered son of a Nazi officer whose promotion takes the family from their comfortable home in Berlin to a desolate area where the lonely boy finds nothing to do and no-one to play with. Crushed by boredom and compelled by curiosity, Bruno ignores his mother’s repeated instructions not to explore the back garden and heads for the “farm” he has seen in the near distance. There he meets Shmuel, a boy his own age who lives a parallel, alien existence on the other side of a barbed wire fence. Bruno’s encounter with the boy in the striped pajamas leads him from innocence to a dawning awareness of the adult world around them as his meetings with Shmuel develop into a friendship with devastating consequences.

Genres: Drama, Adaptation and War; Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.; Release Date: November 7th, 2008 (limited); MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some mature thematic material involving the Holocaust.

Starring: Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Cara Horgan, David Hayman, Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon

Directed by: Mark Herman

I was moved beyond words by this movie. It was maybe one of the saddest and most moving stories I’ve seen. All the actors were great, but especially Asa Butterfield as Bruno, the Nazi Commandants son, and Jack Scanlon as the Jewish child Schmuel were just remarkable. The music was beautiful in its simplicity, and by the end came to sound like a hymn.

This story has so many messages that it’s hard to know where to begin. First there is the story of the innocence of childhood. It is amazing to be able to see the world through children’s eyes, and realize how really simple the world can be. We just have to find those things we have in common with one another, and friendship is easy. There is the moral story of karma. Those who foment hate and evil may have it come around to bite them in the ass.

This movie was a stunning morality play, and I hope it will be seen by millions. This movie, like Schindler’s List, is an important story with an important message applicable to how we treat one another today, and a reminder of the importance of never ever standing by for this type of evil. At the end of the movie everyone in the theater sat quietly rather than making the usual dash to the exits. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was stunned into a soul searching reflection. Even as we began to leave, with the beautiful piano solo playing the movie theme that had become more like a hymn, people could only whisper in respect for the experience.

It was also amazing to hear the language used to teach hate for other’s, and see how it can br effective for those looking to blame their problems on someone else. It was remarkably similar to the words and tactics used by those today to dehumanize gay people.

Know that the film’s resolution, though admirably restrained and unsentimental, is devastatingly sad. Parents should take this into account. This beautifully rendered film is told in a classic and old-fashioned style, in the best sense, providing poignant and powerful teachable moments.

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Oct 262008
 

An article at the Florida Bilerico project points out the lengths to which the American Taliban will go in order to scare people. John Stemberger, lead proponent of Florida’s Amendment 2, is claiming that if Amendment 2 fails, the schools will have to indoctrinate children to gay marriage.

John Stemberger

John Stemberger

Failing to ban gay marriage in the state constitution could result in the indoctrination of schoolchildren into a gay lifestyle. Florida schools might have to teach that gay weddings are the same as traditional unions if the proposal fails at the polls.

In the first place, there remain four (one wasn’t good enough for the American Taliban) Florida statutes on the books which prohibit gay marriage, and they will still be on the books after this election. They have been challenged in court, and have, so far, stood a state constitutional examination.

In the second place, when the hell did any teaching of “marriage” enter the school curriculum anyway…straight or gay? I admit to forgetting a lot, and it’s been a long time since I was in school, but I just don’t remember ever being taught “marriage.” But hey, if you’re crazy and desperate, anything goes, right?

And on top of all that, despite being an attorney (or maybe because of it), Stemberger and Florida4Marriage.com are being accused of violations of campaign finance laws. It seems that political organizations must disclose from whence comes their funding. Well Stemberger, who incorporated Florida4Marriage, also incorporated Florida Family Action as a not-for-profit. As such Florida Family Action would not have to disclose their donors. Now it turns out that Ads being run in favor of Amendment 2 say they are paid for by Florida4Marriage, but it turns out they actually paid for by Florida Family Action.

In fact, Florida Red and Blue, who filed the complaints, has a memo written by Stemberger encouraging people to donate to Florida Family Action rather than Florida4Marriage. When he was asked about it, The Florida Times Union reported the following:

Stemberger said having donors contribute to the lobbying group is proper and understandable – especially considering past backlash against donors like Amway Corp. founder Richard DeVos, a major donor.

“Some people want to remain anonymous. It’s because of the intimidation of our opponents.”

This to me sounds like an admission of guilt. The law says you can’t hide contributions for this kind of activity, regardless of the reason. The GOP has often been a primary benefactor of these kinds of initiatives, and have been in Florida up to recently. People don’t take actions like this unless they have a good reason to hide something. So let’s make Mr. Stemberger disclose who contributes to both organizations.

The Gay Cabal In Congress — Good Grief

 Congress, Election, Gay Issues, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on The Gay Cabal In Congress — Good Grief
Oct 162006
 

One of the right wing nut jobs is Cliff Kincaid at a group inaccurately called, Accuracy In Media.” This idiot has decided that there is a network of gay Democrats that have, over many years, infiltrated the Republican Party and the staff of the Congressional Leadership. I kid you not, this idiot has decided the Mark Foley issue is part of a Democratic dirty trick that’s been in the works for years.

I’ll let the goober-head speak for himself:

The complex nature of the “dirty trick” against the Republicans over the Mark Foley scandal is beginning to emerge. It doesn’t involve a George Soros-funded group or emails that had been in the possession of the media or shopped around by Democratic operatives. Instead, the GOP has played a trick on itself. The party brought so-called gay Republicans into positions of power in Congress only to realize that the confidential information they held about a secret gay network was political dynamite that could backfire.

At this point in the scandal, the issue is not whether there was such a network, but how big it is…A New York Times story by Mark Leibovich confirmed that gay Republicans have occupied “crucial staff positions” in Congress and “have played decisive roles in passing legislation, running campaigns and advancing careers.”

[…] If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick.

Some of my friends think I wear a tin foil hat sometimes. Holy cow, just listen to this guy:

So if the gay Republicans are not really Republicans, what are they? One veteran observer of this network told AIM that the Foley scandal should make it crystal clear that the gay Republicans are in reality “liberal activists” who want to use the party to advance the same [H]omosexual [A]gendaâ„¢ embraced by the Democrats.

So, somehow we’re powerful enough to bring down the entire Republican House Leadership, and maybe cause the Democrats to win control of the House…but we can’t prevent the Republicans from keeping us out of the Military, preventing us from getting domestic partner benefits, and from introducing stupid and bigoted Constitutional Amendments. I guess we just didn’t realize how much power we really have.

Of course, don’t forget, we actually have the power to destroy heterosexual marriage, just by being able to marry our own same-sex partners. I guess we should have known.

KY University Kicks Gay Student to the Curb

 Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on KY University Kicks Gay Student to the Curb
Apr 112006
 

The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., has kicked out a sophomore because he revealed he was gay on his MySpace.com page, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The university has a policy that says, “Any student who engages in or promotes sexual behavior not consistent with Christian principles (including sex outside marriage and homosexuality) may be suspended or asked to withdraw from the University of the Cumberlands.”

“We are different by design, and are nonapologetic about our Christian beliefs,” said university president Jim Taylor in a written statement.

While I am convinced that it is NOT in any way Christian to reject or otherwise exclude people, I think we have to allow people their beliefs. However misguided they may be.

I feel sorry for this young man, but if this were the policy when he enrolled, he should have selected another school. I would tell Ruth Malhotra the very same thing. I wrote about Ruth in another article posted today. Apparently she, as a member of the College Republicans (you know, training ground for the likes of Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, and Ralph Reed), is suing the Georgia Institute of Technology because they have a ban on speech that puts down others because of, among other things, their sexual orientation. I’d tell Ruth she also should have selected a different institution if she didn’t agree with the policies in place when she enrolled.

I have a strong suspicion that Ruth is applauding the action by the University of The Cumberlands, and has probably made the same comment I made. Unless she’s just hateful enough of people different from her that she believes those people shouldn’t have an education in the first place.

I hope when a judge hears Ruth’s case, he or she will note this University of The Cumberlands situation, and make the point to Ruth that she can’t have it both ways. Either the school is entitled to have their own policies and students have to make choices consistent with their own beliefs, or no school can have any policies related to discrimination, hate speech, or sexual orientation. But then again, Ruth is a white anglo-saxon protestant republican…so she’s part of the ruling elite, and probably can have it both ways.