Brian and Bryan Fail to Understand Constitution

 Business, Courts, Featured, Gay Issues, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Brian and Bryan Fail to Understand Constitution
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.

Hate Group Leader Gets Fake Degree from Fake University

 Featured, Gay Issues, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Hate Group Leader Gets Fake Degree from Fake University
Mar 052013
 

It really doesn’t get more appropriate than this. National Organization for Marriage (NOM) head, Brian Brown, tweeted out the picture below a couple of days ago from his “commencement.” The Coalition of African-American Pastors, a co-sponsor of NOM’s hate march on the Supreme Court next week, awarded Brian an honorary doctorate  of letters degree from the American Urban University.

It should be noted that the American Urban University corporation was suspended a while back. The president of American Urban University was (self-named) Bishop George D. McKinney from St. Stephen’s Cathedral Church of God in Christ in San Diego, CA. Bishop McKinney is one of the organizers of Coalition of African-American Pastors. It should be noted, the “university” is a townhouse in Long Beach, CA. Check it out, 224 E Randolph Place Long Beach, CA 90807

fakedegree

So let’s see how this all adds up:

  • Catholic and Mormon tithes spent to keep gay people as second class citizens – Nearly $50 million;
  • Salary to Brian Brown from his hate group from those same sources – ~$250k
  • An ill-fitting mortar board at a jaunty angle on a head that’s two sizes too big at a fake graduation from a fake university presented by a fake Bishop – Priceless.

Seriously, it’s like at the last-minute someone realized they needed to try to at least make it look like something legitimately academic so they found a mortar board in the kindergarten Sunday School class.

 

Back with My Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting

 Crime, Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Back with My Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting
Jul 232012
 

I haven’t been posting anything really in a long time. I’ve been writing so much for work, that even though there are lots of things I want to write about, I just haven’t been able to find the motivation. However, there are a couple of stories lately I would like to share some thoughts about, and one is the horrible event at the movie theater in Aurora, CO this past weekend.

Here is my primary thought. To everyone who was actually touched by this calamity, my prayers are with you and your families.

My second thought is, everyone else needs to just take a breath, and let’s bring some sanity to the discussion. We all want to know why. We want to understand how this person came to this place. We want to assign some motivation, some identifiable cause. We want to blame someone or something so it will look like we can control these situations. We want these answers because we want to be safe. We want to know how to identify this person in the future, or how to create circumstances where this can never happen again.

There are already those taking to the airwaves and the internets to blame Hollywood’s violent movies, gaming violence, guns — both the lack of regulations and the lack of a gun-toting savior, our mental health system, troubled youth, social media, normalization of gun violence, lack of prayer in schools, gays, abortions. I’ve heard criticism of parents who brought children to the movie premier, midnight openings, and once in a while, even some mention of the alleged shooter.

We search for meaning in madness, and don’t take the time to simply grieve. I understand that very basic human compulsion. But “why” will drive you crazy. Has everyone in the entire country forgotten what it’s like to be around a two-year-old, … Why? Because I said so. Why? Because I’m in charge. Why?….” Sometimes there’s just no good reason anyone can articulate for some of the things that happen in this world.

In my Sunday School class were doing a study from a book called The Psalms for Today by Beth LaNeel Tanner. Coincidentally, This past Sunday’s lesson was “Learning to Live Without Fear.” Appropriate for the time, no? This coming Sunday’s lesson is on Psalm 13, and the Chapter is titled, “Living In A Broken World.” The first five verses of the Psalm are, in the American Standard Version:

How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou forget me forever? How long wilt thou hide they face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Jehovah my God; Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Let mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; Lest mine adversaries rejoice when I am moved.

You see, even David didn’t have all the answers. Sometimes he cries out to God for some sign, for some deeper understanding. The Rabbi in Ecclesiastes often has the same response. They don’t understand why some things happen in this world, yet we desperately want those answers. However, the rhetoric we’re getting so far is not going to do anything to heal anyone, nor the nation, nor the world.

In her book, Dr. Tanner talks about how the Israelites often, for protection, carried a Psalm rolled into an  amulets. We Christians wear crosses and many wear St. Christopher necklaces. Dr. Tanner writes, “We have become a society where fear sells everything from the latest weather forecast to new cars. Much of our economy is fueled by tapping into our fears. If we own the right things, we can protect ourselves and our family from harm, and that will make us happy. We have replaced amulets with things that supposedly will keep us from harm and offer that ever elusive contentment.”

We have this overblown fear when things like this happen that is out of proportion to the real danger. It’s been noted that, while nothing takes anything away from terror and pure evil of this event, the 12 people killed here represent merely one-half of the total number of people killed by guns on an average day in the United States. John Mueller writes: “International terrorism generally kills a few hundred people a year worldwide—not much more, usually, than the number who drown yearly in bathtubs in the United States. Americans worry intensely about “another 9/11,” but if one of these were to occur every three months for the next five years, the chance of being killed in one of them is 0.02 percent. Astronomer Alan Harris has calculated that at present rates, the lifetime probability that a resident of the globe will die at the hands of international terrorists is 1 in 80,000, about the same likelihood that one would die over the same interval from the impact on the earth of an especially ill-directed asteroid or comet.”1

Let’s take a look at some of the rhetoric up to now. Not surprisingly, the krazy kristian kooks have taken to the internets will all sorts of bullshit. Continue reading »


  1. As quoted on American Broadcast Network’s 20/20, Feb. 23, 2007. John Mueller was commenting about his book Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (New York: Free Press, 2006). These statistics apply to the world in general and not war zones such as Iraq. 

NOM Fund Raising with Lies

 Family, Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on NOM Fund Raising with Lies
Sep 032010
 

I know it will shock you to learn that the National Organization for Marriage is running a radio ad to, among other things, raise money, with a complete stream of lies. So, are you off the floor yet (I know you fell over when you heard). So, many thanks to Matt from stop8.org who took the time to analyze their ad, statement by statement to point out the lies. I guess that old “baring false witness” thing isn’t important if your fighting teh gayz. I mean some sins are worse than others, so if you have to commit one fight one, it’s must be OK, because they’re all Christian.

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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.

NOMs Hip 2M4M Campaign

 Entertainment, Fun Stuff, Gay Issues, Society  Comments Off on NOMs Hip 2M4M Campaign
Jul 282009
 

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), one of the extreme right-wing fringe groups, has what they think is a hip new campaign they called 2M4M. Kind of like the tea-baggers, I’m guessing they didn’t think through the title completely before going public.

But that’s just fine, since it gives us all plenty to laugh about. And Joe Sudbay at Americablog has tipped me off to hilarious video by Andy Cobb about the 2M4M initiative by NOM.

May 062009
 

The brohaha over Carrie Prejean seems to be continuing as nudie pictures have surfaced, and she seems to think the contract she signed with the Miss California organization doesn’t mean anything. It all sounds so Christian to me. I mean how dishonest and hypocritical. Seems a perfect with today’s version of professional Christianity.

I’m sure most everyone’s seen the nudie photos of Ms. Prejean. She claims to be only 17 at the time and trying to become a Victoria’s Secret model. (Now there’s a fine Christian aspiration if ever I heard one.) The problems with all that is that everyone seems to think the boob she’s hiding with her arm appears to be Jugs Version 2 (post Miss CA purchase). Also, it raises the question, why wasn’t the photographer arrested for kiddie porn?

Of course Prejean goes all “oppressed because of her Christian beliefs” on us, claiming that people are just out to hurt her, and she’s really just a nice little Christian girl who was trying to get a job. The problem there, her contract with the Pageant specifically requires that she disclose if she’s ever done nude modeling. Miss Christian apparently lied about that one.

She appeared in the NOM ad, made appearances on their behalf, and done unapproved interviews. Once again, all that is a violation of the terms of the pageant contract. No one is out to get her, and she is NOT oppressed. Pulleaze…this girl has simply ripped up a binding contract, to which she willing agreed, and is out shooting herself in her pretty little feet.

Lying and failing to keep you legal commitments are not family or Christian values. She needs to quit playing that card. Do I care if she did some nude modeling? Of course not. Do I care if she does a NOM ad? Of course not, but I do care that she’s aligned herself with the professional christians, herself taking on this holier than thou attitude, but failing to explain how she’s managed to completely ignore her contractual obligations.

I hope they take the crown from her. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. Of course the professional christians will then parade her around as a martyr, but those who bother to learn the truth will realize she is just a spoiled little opportunistic bitch, who is also a sore loser.

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