What Is Blogging For Truth?
It's time to stop listening to and believing them.
Let's tell the world our truths and stand up to speak for ourselves instead.
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
What is not so well known about Jerry Falwell, is that in 2005, two years before his death, he said in an appearance on MSNBC television, that he was not troubled by reports that the nominee for Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John G. Roberts (whose appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate) had done volunteer legal work for gay rights activists on the case of Romer v. Evans.
Falwell told MSNBC's Tucker Carlson that if he were a lawyer, he too would argue for civil rights for LGBT people. "I may not agree with the lifestyle, but that has nothing to do with the civil rights of that part of our constituency," Falwell said. When Carlson countered that conservatives "are always arguing against 'special rights' for gays," Falwell said that equal access to housing, civil marriage, and employment are basic rights, not special rights. "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. It's an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on."
Jerry Falwell it seems, had begun to see the error of his ways in his waning years. It would, unfortunately, be too late to undo all the damage to the civil rights of countless Americans of color, of the LGBT communities and of our belated response to the AIDS epidemic under Ronald Regan who listened to Falwell's Moral Majority and ignored it for many years. And it was too late to undo the damage done by his false beliefs about race and sexual orientation to the millions of his followers.
In 1979, Jerry Falwell formed the conservative Christian political force he called the Moral Majority. One reason he did so was his opposition to integration of public schools. "If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will," he said about the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision, "I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made.... The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."
He encouraged his membership to become elected to school boards because as he stated: "That certain teachings in public schools and secular education in general, are breeding grounds for atheism, secularism, and humanism," which he claimed to be in contradiction with Christian morality. He called on the United States to change its public education system by implementing a school voucher system which would allow parents to send their children to either public or private schools. His motives were to decrease the number of children attending public schools until they all would be shut down or taken over by Christian churches that toed his line.
Jerry Falwell wrote in America Can Be Saved that "I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."
Jerry Falwell always claimed he believed in the inerrancy of the Bible and followed it strictly, he might have done some good for his fellow man had he realized the Old and New Testaments contain a total of 31,156 verses - of which over 6,000 deal with alleviating poverty, defending the oppressed and caring for the widow and fatherless child, while not one verse deals directly with schools, abortion, segregation based on race or gay marriage.
See after the post for more about Meet Adam and Steve
Musings Of A Novitiate Ally: Part 1
Two weeks ago I was hanging out at Blind Tiger waxing enthusiastic about my new blog. Seth took a look at my flier, saw the words "GAY / LESBIAN / BISEXUAL / TRANSGENDER" and said "I'm not comfortable with transgender people." I shot back "Well, who would be?"
This was an exaggeration. I know that many people are comfortable with transsexuals. The point I was trying to make was "Dude. You get to be uncomfortable." This assertion was high in my constellation of mental talking points for several reasons.
Just a few nights previously I'd hung out at the Ramrod, and you'd damned well better believe I was uncomfortable. Why? Not because I was in a room full of gay guys on the gayest street in the gayest neighborhood I knew of. I was uncomfortable because the bartender was being a big drama queen, loudly telling the customer next to me about his sexual exploits. But I was beginning to realize something else: that I would have been just as uncomfortable with a straight woman saying the same things. Or a straight man - heck, that probably would have made me more uncomfortable because of the misogyny with which such exhortations are almost inevitably marbled. It wasn't that he was gay; it was that he was airing his musky laundry, and that bugs the shit out of me.
So you see, I learned that I'm never really uncomfortable with LGBT folks; I'm uncomfortable with behaviors that I may associate with them, but are actually found throughout humanity. And if I can shed my false discomfort, so can everyone else.
No. Fuck that.
I'm not that much of a happy-happy marginalizing Kumbaya-singin' Pollyanna. That ain't me, babe. Y'know why? Because I believe that we are, as a species, psychotic about discomfort. I mean, for gosh sake, does no one remember the land of the Lotus Eaters? There's a reason why Homer thought that those lazy fuckers missed the existential boat, and it's the same reason James T. Kirk would puke in his mouth at the thought of shunning discomfort. Our discomfort is made of our demons, and Facing our demons makes us mighty. Our discomfort is exactly that which does not kill us, and we all know what that does.
Why is discomfort so important to me? Well..
I went to Cornell from the fall of 1988 until the spring of 1992. During those four years I grew to loathe knee-jerk political correctness, which I later came to see as Nazi mind control. The best way to describe the atmosphere is to recount a short conversation in the dorm lounge. Folks were talking about abortion, and I was trying to articulate my view that the whole question of when a fetus becomes a baby seemed pointless to me: the point was that it was a potential human life, and the thought of cutting that off saddened me, even though I was pro-choice. I never got to that last bit, though. The girl arguing the feminist talking points cut me off with the big liberal conversation-ender du jour: she dismissed me as a man who would never have to make the decision. That I was on her side didn't matter. I wasn't toeing the party line, so I had to be shut up and shut down.
I thought about this for the umpteenth time. Then I thought of the 2004 elections, when some people voted for Bush because their religious leaders said that the liberals wanted to force people into gay marriages. And for the first time, I saw the small kernel of plausibility in those stories. I still say that the people who believed them were gullible fools, but when i think back to the PC mind-control attempts of the early ninetes it becomes understandable.
We are complicit in the backlashes that hurt our movement. We have to own that. We have to be smart: learn from our mistakes, choose our battles, and not try to control peoples' minds! People get to be uncomfortable with abortion. People get to be uncomfortable with homosexuals. I get to be uncomfortable with transsexuals, and if you disagree, then let's reframe this. Here's a short list of people who make me uncomfortable, in no particular order. If I were to sort the list and put transsexuals in, I doubt they would be near the top.
- Football players and gym rats
- People with lots of piercings
- Really fat people (I was really fat)
- Orange ladies who are supposed to look tanned
- Women with lots of makeup
- Young girls trying to look sexy
- Inconsiderate people, e.g. cell shouters and people who talk in movies or don't make room for others on the train
- People who disguise hate or a desire to win an argument as logic
- Ignorant people
- Myself, when I see my own ignorance
Being uncomfortable with other humans, not to mention our own inner workings, is part of the design specs of a human. We get to be uncomfortable. So to all you conservatives and religious folks out there: if anyone tells you that you're not allowed to be uncomfortable with homosexuals, you tell them from me - a liberal, fag-loving unbeliever - that they can go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut. No one gets to control your mind.
Last year, when I was going through some bad times, a good friend told me something that his mother had told him as a child: "If someone has a problem with you, it's their problem." This stuck with me, because I know that I worry way too much about what other people think of me. I wouldn't want to go too far in the opposite direction, because I find people who spend their lives proudly exclaiming "I don't give a shit what anyone thinks of me" to be particularly odious. But I could stand a good, heaping dose of "It's their problem." And it works both ways.
If I am uncomfortable with transsexuals it's my problem. If you're uncomfortable with the thought of homosexuality, it's your problem. I ain't a victim by a damn sight, and neither are you; they didn't make us uncomfortable; we just are uncomfortable. And our state of being gives us no more right to reduce another person to a second-class citizen than would an aversion to russet tones justify us in taking a razor to every redhead we saw on the street.
So. You get to be uncomfortable, and the operative word here is "be". Discomfort is a state if being - your being. You get to have your reactions. What you don't get to do is abrogate another person's rights because of your discomfort. You have an immensely powerful processor squelching about in your skull. You are capable of parsing your inner discomforts from your outer sanctions. Figure it out.
The mission statement of Meet Adam and Steve:
Many of you out there don't know anyone (or don’t think you know anyone) who is GLBT because of where you live. Some of you may think that all such people look or act a certain way, but this is simply not true. There are many lesbians that most people don’t recognize as such because they don’t fit the stereotype, and the same thing applies to gay men.
The folks on these pages were kind enough to let me photograph them, and to allow me to share their faces and their stories with you. Click on a few and see them as the normal people they are. I hope that this will help break some barriers, stop some ignorance within people, and help to spread a universal message of love.
As an LGBT activist, I would like to state, I have never read the book discussed in this film, nor do I know anyone who has........
This is who The American Family Association is:
The American Family Association's president Tim Wildmon has praised America Vision founder Gary DeMar as "one of the best writers out there in the Christian community and thinkers."
Gary DeMar on the February 2, 2006 broadcast of Today's Issues, a program of AFA's American Family Radio stated in an interview:
DeMAR: The definition of Christian Reconstruction is simply this: The Bible applies to every facet of life. That means not just the judicial aspects of life, such as civil government, church government, but business, economics -- every facet of society. The Bible has something to say about each area. For example, on homosexuals: We do not believe that homosexuals ought to be executed. The Bible doesn't say that homosexuals ought to be executed. What it says is this: If two men lie together like man and woman, they are to be put to death.
PORTEOUS: What the hell do you think that is?
DeMAR: Well, wait a minute. If a guy comes up to me and he says, "I'm a homosexual," that doesn't mean he's to be executed. If you understand the Scriptures, it says very clearly: If a man comes up to you and says, "I've murdered somebody," that doesn't mean that person ought to be executed.
GONZALES: Oh, so what you are saying, Gary, is, if you catch homosexuals in the act, then the Bible says to execute them.
DeMAR: The Bible lays forth the severest penalty, which would be capital punishment for two men who publicly engage in sodomy. DeMar continued by stating his nominal support for the death penalty for adulterers and abortion doctors:
GONZALES: If, indeed, the Reconstructionist movement ever made it in America, would you advocate these biblical principles being carried out: the execution of the adulterer, the abortionist, and the homosexual?
DeMAR: I'm saying that they could be implemented, yes.
The AFA defines itself as "a Christian organization promoting the Christian Biblical Ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on TV and other media"
It pursues its views and other issues through a number of activism efforts, including boycotts, "action alert" e-mails, publications on the AFA's web sites or in the AFA Journal, broadcasts on American Family Radio, and lobbying. The legal efforts previously promoted by the AFA Center for Law and Policy were eliminated in 2007.
Chief among its efforts were the recognition of Christmas in seasonal print advertisements; the criminalization of homosexuality; lobbying against same-sex marriage, and in opposition of equal-rights and hate-crime legislation that would include sexual orientation and gender identity under categories already protected and advocating censorship of print and electronic media.
The organization has an annual budget of roughly US $14 million and owns 180 American Family Radio stations in 28 states.
The AFA has boycotted multiple U.S. companies for various reasons, most often relating to Christmas controversies, pornography, support of pro-choice activism, and support of LGBT activism, including same-sex partner employee benefits.
These organizations include: 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Carl's Jr., Clorox, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Kmart, Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson & Son, Movie Gallery, Microsoft, MTV, Mary Kay, NutriSystem, Old Navy, IKEA, Sears, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, Target, Tide, Walt Disney Company, and PepsiCo.
Although the AFA criticizes the People's Republic of China for its persecution of Christians the AFA has yet to actually move to boycott retailers of Chinese goods. To the contrary, the AFA has urged its members to support retailers such as Wal Mart, which deal mainly in Chinese goods.
On October 19, 1998, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, led by Leslie Katz, wrote a letter to the AFA in response to an advertisement placed in the San Francisco Chronicle by the AFA regarding homosexuality and Christianity. The letter stated:
Supervisor Leslie Katz denounces your rhetoric against gays, lesbians and transgendered people. What happened to Matthew Shepard is in part due to the message being espoused by your groups that gays and lesbians are not worthy of the most basic equal rights and treatment. It is not an exaggeration to say that there is a direct correlation between these acts of discrimination, such as when gays and lesbians are called sinful and when major religious organizations say they can change if they tried, and the horrible crimes committed against gays and lesbians.
CNN -- Jesse Levey is a Republican activist who says he believes in family values, small government and his lesbian mothers' right to marry. Levey is part of the "gayby boom" generation. The 29-year-old management consultant is the son of a lesbian couple who chose to have a child through artificial insemination. He's their only child.
Critics of same-sex marriage say people such as Levey will grow up shunned and sexually confused. Yet he says he's a "well-adjusted heterosexual" whose upbringing proves that love, not gender, makes a family.
It damages the children, says Dale O'Leary, author of "One Man, One Woman: A Catholics Guide to Defending Marriage." She says that all children have a natural desire for a parent of each gender. But children of same-sex couples are forced to repress that desire because their parents won't accept it, she says. Their parents won't acknowledge their children's needs because they don't want to admit that they have caused their children to suffer.
O'Leary says she doesn't personally know any same-sex parents or their children. That's the problem, some children of same-sex children say. So many people are talking about them; not enough are talking to them, they say.
Some gayby boomers say they are tired of hearing that their family isn't legitimate. It's an argument many have heard since they were children. They learned that they didn't fit the definition of the "right" family, and worried how others would react if they found out about their parents.
The result: the children of same-sex couples often lived lives that were more closeted than their parents. "Many of us were so closeted that we didn't know others like us were out there," says Danielle Silber, a 26-year-old fundraiser for the International Rescue Committee, who was raised by lesbian mothers and gay fathers in Takoma Park, Maryland.
"In middle school, because of pervasive homophobia and taunting, I didn't tell any of my new friends in school about my family to the point where I wouldn't invite them to my birthday parties," Silber says. Silber says she didn't tell her parents about her fear of harassment because she was afraid to stand up for her family in school even though she was proud of them.
"Although I would normally turn to my family, I couldn't because I was ashamed that I was ashamed of them," she says.
Shame has now turned to pride for some gayby boomers. Many are now adults. They're writing memoirs, searching one another out online and have even formed their own support and advocacy group.
Please read the entire story at CNN.com
This is what a San Francisco Police Officer has to say about the raid:
h/t Dallas Voice
According to the Associated Press, the body of August Provost III, 29, was found in a guard shack Tuesday at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, California.
Rose Roy, Provost's aunt, believes her nephew was murdered and she doesn't think the military is telling the family the entire truth about what happened.
Relatives say there is evidence to indicate Provost was attacked because he was gay.
Roy says a friend of Provost called her and said when Provost was found, his hands and feet were tied, he was gagged, shot three times and his body had been set on fire. He was found early Tuesday morning in a guard shack when another person showed up to replace him on duty.
His aunt says he was proud to serve in the Navy. He had been in the military for two years and was stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego. Roy says he went into the military to help pay for the remainder of his college education. He had already completed three years, studying to become an architectural engineer.
Navy spokesman Capt. Matt Brown, described Provost as "a rising star in our Navy," who entered the service in March 2008. He had completed basic training and subsequent technical schools and was beginning preparations for overseas deployment.
Senator John Eichelberger commented "We are allowing them to exist" during a recent interview on WHYY in Philadelphia. Eichelberger is the primary sponsor of legislation to amend the Pennsylvania constitution to "protect" marriage, and refuses to apologize for his "exist" comment. Thanks to NGBlog for the video h/t.
Maybe Senator Eichelberger should read the article "Go South, Young Homo" in this month's Philadelphia Magazine. In it, Jessica Remo points out that the area is experiencing a Renaissance and becoming economically revitalized by an influx of gay and lesbian businesses and residents moving in. And the residents and traditional business owners have started welcoming the influx with open arms.
Kevin Gillen, a Penn research fellow, explains that "This is the classic pattern, the artists and musicians are the first to take a risk in an emerging neighborhood. Then come the gay couples, who typically don't have children and so don't have the same worries about safety and school districts as young families."
What she found most amazing was the welcome they were getting from the long time locals and fellow business people. Especially the elderly residents who have lived and raised their families in South Philly all their lives. They are discovering what all our neighbors tend to find out if they give us a chance, we tend to be damn friendly, open and honest, and very good for business. One elderly lady was almost complaining that since a couple moved in next door she has had little time to read her books, as they are often over visiting with her. Another long time resident told of the pierced and tattooed young man who let another resident know she had left her change behind on the counter of the local market.
I bet the residents of South Philadelphia could teach Senator Eichelberger a thing or two about what makes a real community and what it means to be a real neighbor.
Cross posted from Truth And Love After 40