A landlord should be able to discriminate

 Featured, Gay Issues, Legislature, Politics, Society  Comments Off on A landlord should be able to discriminate
Feb 162013
 
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Hate Groups

david_smith_ifiAccording to David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay group claiming to be concerned with protecting heterosexual-only marriage, “A landlord should be able to discriminate and say, Look, I don’t want to rent my apartment out or my condo out to anyone who doesn’t share my values.”

This from an article at One News Now, an arm of the SPLC designated hate group, American Family Association, which discusses the recent passage of an equal marriage rights bill in the Illinois Senate. David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute tells OneNewsNow that homosexual marriage is not equal. “That’s not to say that homosexual people are not equal — I’m saying that the relationship is not equal; they are two different things,” Smith shares.

Yet despite that fact that the Senate attached an amendment that explicitly states no church or other religious organization will be forced to solemnize same-gender marriages, that’s just not enough for Smith.

And why would that not be enough. Well, because despite their claims:

This fight has never been about marriage. Gay people aren’t clamoring to get married in churches (most want nothing to do with church), they simply want the same legal protections offered by the government to people in long-term committed relationships. The fight is because David E. Smith, despite claiming to be a Christian, is really a liar. In one breath he says he believes homosexuals are equal, yet in another he says business owners should be able to discriminate. That’s not “equal.”

You see David E. Smith is either one of the biggest idiots in Illinois, or one its biggest liars. The article goes to state, “Smith remains concerned that, should the measure become law, people of faith who own businesses such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, and wedding halls will be forced to do business with homosexuals.” Well, I hate to tell him this, but they are already prohibited, by Illinois state law, from discriminating. This changes nothing.

So David, which is it, are you an idiot or a liar, or both?

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.” ((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.))

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 »