Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ice Cream 2

Melissa Etheridge shares her Grammy Award-Winning opinion with us, via The Huffington Post:

The Choice Is Ours Now
Mellissa Etheridge : I hadn't heard of Pastor Rick Warren before all of this. When I heard the news, in its neat little sound bite form that we are so accustomed to, it painted the picture for me. This Pastor Rick must surely be one hate spouting, money grabbing, bad hair televangelist like all the others. He probably has his own gay little secret bathroom stall somewhere, you know. One more hater working up his congregation to hate the gays, comparing us to pedophiles and those who commit incest, blah blah blah. Same 'ole thing. Would I be boycotting the inauguration? Would we be marching again?
That’s so funny, because HE DID compare us to pedophiles and "those who commit incest."
Mellissa Etheridge: He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays.
Oh poor baby. Waahhh, waahhh! that poor little thing for having to bear the burden of his anti-gay message being taken -- of all things -- as anti-gay!

Tell us Etheridge, has he made a video message to his congregation about those “regretted choice of words,” in the effort to correct the situation?

Did he say whether he regretted his choice of words in this interview as well?:
Rick Warren: The issue to me, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

Steven Waldman: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?

Rick Warren: Oh , I do.
Incest? Did you happen to ask him whether his 5,000 year old “definition of marriage” includes the incest that occurred in Adam and Eve’s family?

Or whether or not arranged marriages and women being treated as, and considered property, was just some sort of anomaly during that 5,000 year period?

How about his implied notion that being same-sex attracted is somehow the equivalent of being fundamentally attracted to ones family members?

Or his unspoken assertion that child rape is the same as a consensual adult same-gender relationship?

Or about the disconnect between what he told you about what he told his congregation, and what he told Ann Curry and Steven Waldman?
Mellissa Etheridge: He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection.
How touching, makes me fell all warm and asbestosy...

From Talk To Action:
Dr [Rick] Warren said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. "We shall not tolerate this aspect at all," Dr Warren said.
Did he also happen to express regret over that choice of words?

Or the context it was said in?:
Warren was speaking in support of Ugandan Anglicans who intend to boycott the forthcoming Lambeth Conference, and this harsh rejection of tolerance for gays and lesbians may have serious consequences in a country where homosexuals face harrassment and and the threat of imprisonment.
Or this:
Steven Waldman: One controversial moment for you in the last election was your support for proposition 8 in California. … Just to clarify, do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?

Rick Warren: I don’t know if I’d use the term there but I support full equal rights for everybody in America. I don’t believe we should have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles so I fully support equal rights.

[Clarification from Pastor Warren 12/15: I now see you asked about civil UNIONS -and I responded by talking about civil RIGHTS. Sorry. They are two different issues. No American should ever be discriminated against because of their beliefs. Period. But a civil union is not a civil right. Nowhere in the constitution can you find the “right” to claim that any loving relationship identical to marriage. It’s just not there. ]
Did you hear that, Etheridge? What he meant by “equal rights,” and “equal protection,” was that everyone has the equal right to not be protected!

And this:

Ann Curry: You're saying if it's part of your biology, it's your job to struggle against it if, in fact, it's the wrong--

Rick Warren: Well, here what I'm saying. I've had many gay friends tell me, "Well, Rick, why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners? It's the natural thing to do." Well, just because it seems natural doesn't mean it's best for you or society. I'm naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see. But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. And why should I reign in my natural impulses and you say, "Well, because I have natural impulses towards the same sex, I shouldn't have to reign them in." Well, I disagree. I think that's part of maturity. I think it's part of delayed gratification. I think it's part of character.
Got that Missy? The natural inclination you have for a partner, is exactly the same as Rick Warren’s natural inclination TO FUCK AROUND ON his partner!

Listen, if you want to try and reach him, be my guest, but don’t you dare minimize the consequential effluent that streams from that man’s mouth.

Update: OMG, check this out:
Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire, Rick Warren Edition
h/t NG

Curtis, A Commenter at Box Turtle Bulletin.

The simple BTB article is here.

And this is the comment in question (bold mine):
December 22nd, 2008

Would you consider as an enemy or anti-gay activist anyone who in their honest conscious seeing something wrong of gay parents adopting children?
Humans are entitled to recognize bad vices in our society without the fear of unfair attacks and criticism. Do you feel so?
Why do we get the feeling that homosexuals count as friends those who wholly support their agenda without troubling questions? Yet they are ready defend themselves against likely innocent people who wish to voice their concerns.
I am certain you may not approve what was written on my blog recently about the gay lifestyle. But like others I reserve the right to alert others if there is a dangerous scent of poison gas before they are harmed by it.
I can understand how much gay advocates wish to harm themselves for their sexual gratification. But should others suffer such as young children to impress approval for your life choice? We see problems many gay individuals wish to ignore. And they consent others to join in with them toward their undoing. How could this ever be fair?

An Observant Human
Fellow commenters David C. and Rick, carefully and effectively addressed what was raised in Curtis' comment.

I would like to address what was said in his blog post, re:
I am certain you may not approve what was written on my blog recently about the gay lifestyle.
Curtis, you write very thoughtfully.

What a waste.

That said, there are some seriously classic lines in that article:
Therefore it is not my intention to remind people of what unclean or abnormal practices constituting homosexuality.

Daily these young persons could get unpleasant reminders of their ‘parents’ non-normal relationship.
But wait, we also get:
Website, Children Of Homosexual Parents Report Childhood Difficulties: http://www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_homokids.html

Website, Homosexual Parenting Studies Are Flawed, Report Says: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,29901,00.html
That first link goes to a Paul Cameron article (read about Paul Cameron here), and the second one is from 2001, and is used by Curtis to assert that gay parenting is inherently worse than straight parenting.

Judith Stacey is quoted, and she and her colleague Timothy Biblarz' research is cited extensively.

Judith Stacey is also a staunch advocate of gay parenting, and has spoken out about the MISUSE of her research:


Transcript of [Soulforce] Press Teleconference on LGBT Parenting Research
And then Curtis awards us with this irresistible little trophy:
Homosexual couples were given legal rights to adopt or have children via science. The children of those couples may often not be given choice of this arrangement. If a child is given permission to freely express his disapproval. Would the lead parent honor his feelings? And not force the child to accept an arrangement that could be adversely affecting his or her conscience? Yes I am wondering if the gay mother or father love their children enough to then forsake their homosexual lifestyle. What a lifetime story that would be for television movie. Rather than for me to go any further into that matter let’s consider the gay peoples’ decision not to work on December 10Th.
Good luck on your next lifetime, Curtis, bouncing from orphanage to orphanage to orphanage to orphanage...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Soulforce's Jeff Lutes gives further insight into the mind of Rick Warren.

Via the Bilerico Project

That Weird Hug from Rick Warren

December 19, 2008 10:00 AM

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Jeff Lutes is the Executive Director of Soulforce, a national civil rights and social justice organization dedicated to freedom for LGBT people through nonviolent direct action.
The beginning of that Jeff Lutes article:
In December of the previous year, I wrote a letter to Warren outlining my plan to bring a group of gay and lesbian couples, and their children, to visit his Saddleback Church over Father's Day weekend. I expressed our intent to attend worship on Sunday, and my hope that he and some families in his congregation would share a meal with us in an effort to reach beyond our differences and focus instead on the commonalities we share as parents and people of faith. In due course, I began a series of phone conversations with Warren's chief of staff. Over the next several weeks, we agreed that eight of our families would eat lunch on June 16 with Warren, his wife Kay, and six of their staff members. After the family meal, eight people from our group would then convene for a 90 minute conversation with Warren, his wife, and the six other church leaders. Here's where it gets interesting.
And it does get interesting from there...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ray Boltz: Singer, songwriter...Christian

Don't Tell Me Who To Love


2 things, not connected

State's hypocrisy on gay adoptions could tear apart this family

This is not about what's best for kids. It's a political agenda by people who consider homosexuals sinful deviants. And the image of gays living in stable relationships, driving minivans, and caring for damaged children undercuts their cause and their moral superiority.
Vatican & Pope Benedict XVI Side With Hate & Bigotry

Actions tell us a lot more about what a person really believes than their words do. A person who really doesn't want gays to be executed or thrown in jail will join the call to decriminalize homosexuality, including putting pressure on governments to eliminate their laws against homosexuality which cause gays to be executed or put in prison. A person who opposes efforts to decriminalize homosexuality and then gives lame, unbelievable reasons for this, is not someone who genuinely doesn't want gays to be executed or thrown in jail. The words and actions don't match, and since actions are more reflective of what the person really believes, then the words must be treated as false.

The only truth in Federico Lombardi's words above is his statement that the Holy See is not alone — more specifically, not alone in supporting hate, violence, and bigotry against gays over basic human rights for gays. That, however, is hardly a defense or justification. If the best a person has to offer is to point out that they aren't the only ones who believe and act in this manner, then it's a tacit admission that they have no genuine logical, empirical, or moral arguments to offer in their defense. If they had good arguments, then the number of people who agreed with them would be irrelevant. Truth does not depend on being in the majority position.

Ice Cream

By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com

Friends with the enemy

(Nice thought, eh?)
Glenn Stanton is a friend of mine. He’s also badly wrong about same-sex marriage, and I tell him so—frequently, publicly, and sharply.

Glenn has written about our relationship in the January issue of Christianity Today, where he describes us as “highly unlikely but dear friends.” It’s a good description.
Some background:

Glenn Stanton works for Focus on the Family, and has published a book called “Marriage on Trial.”

In that book, Glenn Stanton cites the Dutch Study to portray gay men as non-monogamous, despite the fact that this study required its participants to be non-monogamous.

From page 65,
Monogamy in male homosexual relationships is difficult to sustain, even in long-term relationships [10] And if we can’t expect monogamy of homosexual males in marriage, the social-norms bar gets lowered for everyone, making it even more difficult to expect in of heterosexual males.
And what does that footnote [10] include? The Dutch Study, a study that REQUIRED its participants to be non-monogamous.

Glenn Stanton thinks it’s ok to lie, and John Corvino thinks that Glenn Stanton’s lying is acceptable, and 365gay.com thinks Corvino’s approval of Stanton’s dishonesty is acceptable.

In addition, from page 24 of Marriage on Trial:
Question 3. Shouldn’t two people who love one another be allowed to commit themselves to one another?

Answer. Yes. But we don’t’ always call it marriage. Parents commit themselves to their children, but they aren’t married. Friends love and commit themselves to each other, but they aren’t married. Coworkers, athletes and soldiers can even love each other and enjoy great commitment, but we don’t call it marriage.
In other words, if you're gay, you're too stupid to know that your love is any different than that between a parent or child, or athletes, or coworkers, or soldiers, or moms and dads, or brothers and sisters, or pupils and coworkers, etc., etc., etc.

But hopefully, if people like Glenn Stanton surreptitiously dance around the subject like that, no one will notice that what they're really saying is that gay people are just too stupid to know the difference between their romantic relationships, and their relationships with their parents, or anyone else for that matter. But don't tell gay people that, they'll get offended, and start persecuting us for our "deeply held moral beliefs."

So thank you John Corvino, for giving credence to the notion that we should overlook the actions of “friends” -- who promote for a living -- the idea that we are blithering idiots when it comes to recognizing romance.

And now we move on to the Glenn Stanton portion of the articles (apparently this is a tandem effort). Oh, and By the way, Glenn Stanton, this isn’t about how I don’t like you being friends with a gay guy, it’s about how you’re a lying sack of shit, and about how your token "gay" friend isn’t calling you out on that fact.

Moving right along…

Glenn Stanton’s three page article (the one Corvino acknowledges above) has this statement on each page:

“Publicly arguing for traditional marriage is worth it even if I don't change many minds.”

Long story short, Glenn Stanton’s mind can never be changed, because Glenn Stanton could never be wrong. The only goal, according to Glenn Stanton, is to change other people’s minds.

In other words, FUCK YOU John Corvino, and all of the stupid little gay people like you who you represent, who are "less than" him.

But, as it would seem to me, by “publicly arguing” with you, it helps him to understand how to not be so “fuck you-ish” with his words.
John discovers things about me that surprise him, such as that I can believe the world is older than 6,000 years and remain an evangelical in good standing.
Where exactly does Adam and Eve fit into that "good standing" Mr. Stanton? You’re not confirming anything here, all you’re doing is demonstrating error in the perception of you.

You did the same thing with me.

All I ask is that you show your work. How old is the Earth? What parameters and/or what criteria do you use to determine this? Etc.

If you’re going to make the claim that your beliefs are based on the Bible, and then claim that you believe in an “old Earth” theology, then be willing to defend it and explain it.

I’ll accept it. I’ll say so right now, I’ll accept it, but spit it the fuck out and don’t be coy about it. Don’t just drop it like a bomb and expect it to be something that should be accepted at face value. Your friends at Focus on the Family don’t sing that same tune, and we know it, so why take us for that ride?

If after all this time, that’s the best you can do, then to me it shows you have something to hide. Again, if you don’t want that to be the perception, then open up and explain yourself.
It's an interesting point that prompted me to ask our audience why many Christians, as well as Scripture-twisting revisionists, never address either the Creation narrative or Jesus' clear affirmation of that narrative in the Gospels. These pericopes show the centrality of male and female to the family anthropologically, sociologically, and theologically, teaching us that male and female bear the image of God in unique, essential ways. Humanity and the family need male and female to need each other.
OMG. Spare me out of my fricking mind. If at this point, you are STILL maintaining the notion that somehow the anomaly of “gayness” or “homosexuality” or of “same-gender attraction” is trying to DO AWAY WITH MALE AND FEMALE ITSELF, then you, Glenn Stanton, are a hateful bigot for the sheer sake of enjoying it.

Good god man, "male and female?" Do you really think God "anointed" you with the notion to hate what you're already hard-wired to hate? Do you think the rewards of Heaven are that easy?

I'm not saying that that the answer is difficult, but seriously, take a closer look.
This part, however, takes the cake:
I clarified my opposition to all sexual relationships that are not between a husband and wife. But I also said that whenever one human denies herself for the good of another and dedicates herself to the other's value, that was a praiseworthy thing. True selflessness is an intrinsic good, whether the person is a lesbian, a gossip, or a tax-cheat.
Gossip or tax-cheat?

Comparable to a lesbian?

Glenn T. Stanton, you are an asshole.

Nothing really counts after that.
Belated h/t to NG

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the defense, digging that hole, where they belong.

Some excerpts from a recent Christian Post article (article quotes in green, and emphases mine):
Media Misconceptions on Bible, Homosexuality

In the aftermath of the passage of California's Proposition 8, Newsweek and Hollywood are the latest players to launch their attacks on traditional marriage supporters and the biblical case against homosexuality.

And Christians are taking issue with the misconceptions, factual errors and holes in the arguments being presented in popular public spheres.

"Religious objections to gay marriage are rooted not in the Bible at all, then, but in custom and tradition," [Lisa Miller writes in Newsweek‘s current cover story "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage"] "The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it’s impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours."

Rejecting Miller's arguments, [Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission] said the Bible clearly prescribes marriage as heterosexual, citing passages in Genesis, where God pairs Adam and Eve
Remind me again Mr. Land… In order to propagate the race, did Eve have sex with their son(s), or did Adam have sex with their daughter(s), or did their children just have sex with each other, or was it a sexual free for all in the beginning?

Also, at which point did God change His mind and decide that incest was officially a sin?
The confusion is also played out in the Funny Or Die video, "Prop 8 – The Musical," […] "It seems to me you pick and choose. Well please choose love instead of hate," Black sings.
Exodus speaker and head of the Ministry to Homosexuals Task Force in the Southern Baptist Convention, Bob Stith:
[D]enounced Hollywood's attempt to make biblical arguments. "Anyone who cares to spend thirty minutes of serious study would see the many flaws in Black’s argument," he said.
You've got two minutes, Bob, depending on the reader, and that includes my responses. Give it your best shot.

...aaand, go:
Clearing up some of the confusion, Stith called it a "factual error" to claim that Scripture says homosexuals are an abomination. "It is an error to say the Bible says that. It doesn't. It calls homosexual acts an abomination, not homosexuals," he commented.
Oh, so it’s just the sexuality part of our human existence that’s an abomination, and not the mere fact that we exist.

My, yes, that does clear things up.
"In the same passage in Leviticus that speaks about homosexuality the Bible also warns against incest, bestiality, and adultery," he said. Also, "while the New Testament doesn’t mention shellfish (and some would argue that Acts 10 clears that argument up) it clearly continues the biblical prohibition on homosexual acts."
According the Bible, remarriage is adultery, and Adam and Eve and/or their children committed incest, but you don’t seem to have a problem with either of those details.

So that's not only not a "flaw" in Black's [as Jesus] argument that you "pick and choose," but a confirmation of it.

And the "pick and choose" part was the core of the argument.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason."

From the GLAAD blog:
On the Dec. 9 edition of KPFA’s “The Morning Show,” host Aimee Allison spoke with Seamus Hasson, founder and chairman of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Rev. Susan Russell, priest at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena.

The segment centered around a full-page advertisement run by the Becket Fund in the Dec. 5, 2008 edition of The New York Times. The ad sparked controversy for its unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims about supposed “violence and intimidation” against religious groups since the passage of Proposition 8.

Aimee Allison (KPFA Morning Show Co-Host): So, Rev. Russell was commenting, there may be a few individuals, but not a movement. Seamus Hasson, your response to that: if there are individuals, why are anti-Prop 8 movement folks being painted with that broad brush?

Seamus Hasson: Well, whether it’s an organized movement like Al Qaeda or whether it’s the Al Qaeda-like, um, inspired acts of terrorism elsewhere, people are right to be concerned about, um, radical Islamist violence-
And yet it was the Becket Fund -- of which Seamus Hasson is founder and chairman -- who just the other day had this to say in the slanderous NoMobVeto NYT ad:
"Furthermore, beginning today, we commit ourselves to opposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry - against any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason."
Even Al-Qaeda is an islamist movement, so shouldn't he be publically shaming himself right about now - just to round out the cycle of two-faced double speak?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christian Persecution Complex

I went looking for some insight after the recent spate of tantrums* thrown by these sore winners in response to Prop 8 backlash and found a piece from Salon from a couple of months ago, more relevant even today.
The right's two-pronged religion of rage and self-pity
Glenn Greenwald
Thursday Oct. 2, 2008 12:33 EDT

The Right in this country -- meaning the faction that followed George Bush for the last eight years -- long ago ceased being a movement of political ideas and is driven by two, and only two, extreme emotions: (1) intense, aggressive rage towards their revolving door of enemies, and (2) bottomless self-pity over how unfairly they're being treated. As their imminent defeat looks increasingly likely (potentially on a humiliating scale), these two impulses are in maximum overdrive, feeding off one another in endless self-perpetuation (the more they lose, the more victimized they feel, the more they rage against their enemies who oppress them, etc.).

The Right's rejection by the public can't possibly be due to anything they have done. It can only be due to some extremely vicious enemy that oppresses them uniquely and so very unfairly.
He also links to another complimentary article:
The strategic rationale for fashioning one’s group as victims is clear: the public sympathy gained from victimhood can mean the difference between political support and indifference or opposition. Victimology allows activists to rally the troops, to build solidarity by conceiving an existential threat from outside.
218 comments worth of analysis as well.

As one commenter put it:
And getting a massive defeat on November 4th will only confirm their persecuted status. And they will love their feeling of being persecuted for every minute of the next four years. For them, feeling persecuted is more important that victory.
So if they’re coming apart at the seams after having achieved victory over the ‘gay menace,’ one wonders what the rhetoric (or worse) would be like had they lost those ballot measures.

It is clear now that their ego-addictions will never be sated. The depth of dishonesty, hypocrisy, and just plain idiocy -- openly expressed -- is truly stunning. Legal recognition of their supremacy is clearly not enough for them, they won’t stop until they've established a constant stream of secular recognition for it too.

It’s starts to make sense then why they literally define themselves by their hatred of gays. They not only need a group to oppress, they need one that is guaranteed to fight back. Thereby justifying, or redefining their oppression as defensive, thus creating a constant loop of ego-gratification. Oppress, wait for backlash, claim victimhood, justify oppression. Rinse, and repeat.

And with “God” as their egos, their will then becomes “God’s will,” and opposition to them is opposition to “God.”
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

-Susan B. Anthony
In essence, their will is their religion. Deny them one, you deny them the other, and persecution complex ensues - circumventing any need for introspection or self-reflection, and ensuring that their own self-created delusions of grandeur remain safely hidden from conscious view.

And apparently (save for some of the leaders) they truly are that stupid. I just went through it with my mother the other day. I brought up how Palin didn't know what a VP does, I brought up Iraq and WMD’s. She wasn’t defending any principle or fact of any kind, the only thing she was defending was the ‘fact’ that she was right. Fortunately I was in rare form that day and was able to get through to her that it wasn’t what she believed that was at issue, it was why she believed it. (Though I’m sure we’ll be having that conversation again (and again and again and again…))

* Jack Black and Hollywood Stars Defame Christ and the Bible; Apology Demanded.
* NoMobVeto NYT ad
* The WND Pat Boone piece comparing Prop 8 protesters to the Mumbai terrorists, which has to be read to be believed.
* Responses to Lisa Miller's Newsweek essay
(and everything in between)