Saturday, August 27, 2011

Queer Kids And Parenting

So I came across this letter to advice columnist Dan Savage today. In it a father is expressing concerns about his son, his son's boyfriend and their potentially weird/dangerous kinks. Dan Savage was in his usual good form, being far more conservative than any of his critics would admit. But I wanted to touch on one aspect of the letter and how it relates to parents, and Christian parents in general.
The boyfriend is 18 and sweet, but he's clearly the more dominant one. I'm worried that my son may not know how to say no to him.
So here's the thing, many traditional Christians see homosexuality as involving an abandonment of gender roles. That is usually not the case. This isn't to say that it's okay to ask a gay couple who's the "man" and who's the "woman" (most obnoxious question I've ever been asked more than once). But there does need to be an acknowledgement that there is a difference between masculinity and femininity, even if those two things aren't as strictly connected to ones genitalia as some conservatives would like to believe.

On to the point. Young gay men, particularly those likely to be the less dominant in a relationship, need advice just as much as straight kids. It's easier, I think, with young gay men who are more dominant, they need the same message whether gay or straight honestly. But it is the less dominant young gay men who often get left behind. We all tell young women not to let men take advantage of them, to be strong and know when to say no etc. But many young gay men need the exact same message. It may be difficult for the fathers out there to talk about sex and sexuality to their son in a way reminiscent of how they would talk to their daughter, but trust me they need that talk just as much.

Linda Harvey: "There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human."

Well thanks Linda, good to know I don't exist. Or, as you'd likely spin it, that I'm really just a heterosexual with a gay sex problem. These people just keep getting crazier by the minute. You can check out the audio yourself, but below is a snippet of the statements in question.
There’s one big fact that’s not backed up. There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human. One of the other things you’re gonna see as I mentioned is a big campaign GLSEN’s gonna roll out this year calling for ‘respect,’ respect! Not just for people, but for homosexual lifestyle. The PR campaign to hold up gay as a good thing: the lifestyle, not the person, because there are no such humans.
Here's "such [a] human" Linda, I'd love to talk to you. Oh, and this is the same Linda Harvey who claimed that gay people should be banned from being teachers.
Kids should not be put in the confusing position of having a teacher they like and respect in many ways who’s also known to be practicing homosexual behavior. Of course that’s where many of our children in public schools today find themselves because the National Education Association not only allows but applauds and defends openly homosexuality and even transvestite teachers…. The fact is that no homosexuality should be in our schools, period. When people leave that behavior behind, then they might be qualified for a job involving children. Out and proud homosexuals should not have jobs that involve children. I know that’s not the current policy in many schools but it should be.
She has also called for the government shut down of gay bars and other LGBT establishments.
So what could we do to make a serious dent in the HIV and syphilis disease track? One obvious approach is to stop promoting homosexual behavior to kids and falsely calling it an identity like race. We could also close down homosexual bars and bathhouses, that would be a start. God never created people to engage in these unnatural acts.
But don't worry, if you ask her I'm sure she'll tell you how much she actually loves gay people, and how she isn't bigoted or prejudiced against us at all.

It's Raining Closeted Republicans!

Step over Phillip.Hinkle, your time in the GOP closet spotlight is already over. Now it is time to meet Roberto Arango of Puerto Rico. This Republican politician recently had pictures of himself he had posted to the gay cruising site Grindr surface, and is now of course pulling a Weiner and going for the cover up. His excuse? He's recently taken some weight-loss pictures of himself for motivation...
You know I've been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I've been taking pictures. I don't remember taking this particular picture but I'm not gonna say I didn't take it. I'd tell you if I remembered taking the picture but I don't.
And of course he has no idea how they ended up on Grindr. And hey, who can say they haven't taken pictures of themselves as they loose weight? Totally reasonable. Wonder what kinds of weight-loss pictures they were...

Well okay, so I've never actually taken a weight-loss picture quite like that...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Willow Creek: Not Hate, Just A Double Standard

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz caused controversy recently by cancelling an appearance at the Chicago area mega-church Willow Creek in response to a petition calling the church homophobic. The petition cited the church's former, though long lived, relationship with the ex-gay para organization Exodus International, along with their statement following the dissolution of the relationship that the move did not indicate a change in their position. Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels recently responded to the controversy.

Personally I don't believe that anyone should be forced out of saying anything by threat of boycott. But I am suspicious of Mr. Hybels' claims that Schultz's decision was a business decision. It seems to me that a mere 700 some signatures on an online petition would hardly be enough to frighten the CEO of Starbucks, no matter how bad times may have gotten for the company. I think it more likely that Schultz had his attention drawn to the church's position on LGBT people by the petition and the buzz it got and decided he no longer wanted to speak there. Being a wealthy East Coaster, who isn't even a Christian (let alone and evangelical), he likely wasn't particularly comfortable with their position, decided to distance himself from it and gave them the courtesy of not making a big deal out of it by claiming their position had nothing to do with it.

I also enjoyed Mr. Hybel's take on what it looks like to love LGBT people as a church at Willow Creek. He claims to hold everyone there to a single Biblical standard, but in reality it is a double standard for the church's
queer members. If a straight person falls in love the standard for them is marriage and a family. If a queer person falls in love on the other hand the standard is denial and life long celibacy. And there will always be opposition from gay Christians like myself, and straight allies, who believe that Scripture, properly understood, does not support such a double standard.

I am sure that Willow Creek treats its gay congregants with respect (especially the celibate ones). As a matter of fact from what I've read from Andrew Marin the church is quite welcoming to the LGBT community, if not affirming. I'd even imagine the church leaders avoid the issue of homosexuality when they can, knowing that many of their congregants, both gay and straight, may not feel the same way they do. And while I frankly see no reason to castigate a church that at least seems to be heading in the right direction, the reality is there will always be opposition from the gay community to that heterosexists double standard.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Homosexualists Attack! Minnesota Edition

In digging around while writing my most recent post deconstructing Minnesota for Marriage's talking points I found this story about one of their lobbyists, Tom Prichard of the Minnesota Family Council. Mr. Prichard apparently demanded the defunding of Twin Cities Public Television because it was going to air a program promoting deviant sex and kinks to little kids involving a lesbian couple's family. Check out the evil lesbians below. Beware, it's pretty disgusting.

Shocking stuff, right?

Deconstructing "Minnesota for Marriage"

The battle over marriage equality in Minnesota is heating up, and the anti-equality coalition Minnesota for Marriage has launched it's web site. I'd like to take a minute to go through some of their main talking points and deconstruct them. Under the section "Why Preserving Marriage Matters" is the following:
Many people mistakenly believe that proposals to allow so-called “same-sex” marriage are about allowing a new, different and separate form of marriage to coexist alongside traditional man/woman marriage. They envision it as a different expression of the same marriage institution they have always known. 
However, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the legal issues involved in the debate, and with the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota. 
What is at stake in this debate are two competing definitions of marriage. One definition – advocated by gay “marriage” activists – would define marriage as the union of any two people regardless of gender, with the law treating the parties’ genders as irrelevant to the meaning of marriage. The other definition, contained in the proposed constitutional amendment and reflective of the collective understanding of virtually every nation throughout recorded history, is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
First of all, gotta love the typical scare quotes around marriage in the phrase "gay marriage". Because of course gay couples who have been married by a church (which in my mind is what really makes a marriage), lived together their entire lives, raised children together and built a family aren't really married, they're just pretending at best, mocking God at worst.

But on to the meat of the argument here, "generless marriage".  The anti-equality crowd loves to use this term because it seems to imply that if marriage equality is achieved all married couples will suddenly become androgynous, or maybe it's because it terrifies misogynists who can see their privileged role as "the man of the family" (i.e. the one who doesn't have to cook, clean, take care of kids etc.) slipping away along with antiquated gender roles. Either way the term is a bit disingenuous. I think gender-neutral would be a better term. What marriage equality will do is not make gender irrelevant so much as recognize that same-gender couples are equal to opposite-gender couples. And, as my Christian complementarian friends well know, equal doesn't necessarily mean the same (though I do think there are far more similarities than differences).

The page keeps up the "genderless marriage" meme further on.
Under the law, one definition of marriage would not exist alongside the other. Only one of the competing definitions of marriage would legally exist. As noted in a scholarly review published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “…once the judiciary or legislature adopts ‘the union of any two persons’ as the legal definition of civil marriage, that conception becomes the sole definitional basis for the only law-sanctioned marriage that any couple can enter, whether same-sex or man-woman. Therefore, legally sanctioned genderless marriage, rather than peacefully coexisting with the contemporary men-woman marriage institution, actually displaces and replaces it.”
This quote expresses essentially the same concerns as the one above. What I find interesting though is the fact that they fail to mention that the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy that they are citing is a decidedly conservative organization with a strong bias on this issue. And while I again take exception to the term "genderless marriage", I more or less agree with the idea stated.
Why has virtually every society throughout history defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman?
Gotta love this one. No matter how often the anti-equality folks are corrected on this idea, they just keep using it. The notion that "virtually every society throughout history defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman" is laughable. Not only has polygamy been the norm for much of history, but there actually are quite a few societies, though mostly tribal, who have recognized some form of same-sex marriage.
Protecting the interests of children is the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance. After all, government does not license or regulate any other form of intimate relationship – not friendship, or dating, or cohabitation. People are free, under the law, to live as they choose, cohabitate with whomever they choose and engage in sexually intimate relationships with whomever they choose – all without any governmental recognition or regulation.
While the idea that "children [are] the primary reason that government regulates and licenses marriage in the first instance" is debatable, I think children certainly are an important component of marriage and marriage law. But what does this have to do with same-sex couples?
But marriage is a special relationship reserved exclusively for heterosexual unions because only the intimate relationship between men and women has the ability to produce children as a result of that sexual union.
Ah of course! Marriage is about children, and banning any marriage that couldn't or wouldn't produce them is totally the best way to protect the children! Of course we don't deny marriage licences to the elderly, infertile or those who refuse to have children. And of course same-sex couples are perfectly capable of adopting and caring for children (you know, the ones that heterosexuals have abandoned), but whatever.
Marriage serves a vital and universal societal purpose – to channel biological drive and sexual passion that might otherwise become socially destructive into enduring family units that have the best opportunity to ensure the care and education of any children produced by that biological drive and sexual passion.
I totally agree! Sex is powerful and potentially destructive. Heterosexual sex in particular carries the risk of pregnancy. And hey, homosexual sex has its own risks as well. We all, every one of us, do better in a society that encourages us to channel our sexuality into healthy and safe intimate relationships. And society does better as a whole when those relationships are strong and capable of caring for children. But yet again I'm left asking what this has to do with same-sex couples.
By encouraging men and women to marry, society helps ensure that children will be known by and cared for by their biological parents. Whenever a child is born, her mother will almost always be nearby. But the same cannot always be said of her father. Men, especially, are encouraged to take responsibility for their children through the institution of marriage. Marriage is society’s mechanism of increasing the likelihood that children will be born and raised by the two people responsible for bringing them into the world – their mother and father.
While I see what they are getting at here, and I certainly agree that absentee fathers (or mothers for that matter) are, in general, a bad thing, I have to wonder if the anti-equality crown realizes how offensive this idea is to so many. And no, I'm actually not talking about gay people here, I'm talking about those who are adopted or who have adopted. Are these families somehow inferior to "natural" families because they are not tied together by biology? What a slap in the face such rhetoric is to those from adopted families.

I would also like to point out that legally recognizing same-sex couples in no way, shape or form effects the stability of the heterosexual family unit. Are the authors trying to imply gay couples getting married somehow forces or encourages men to abandon their children? Or are they simply trying to demean gay couples by pointing out the fact that the formation of our families often involves adoption? That would demean adoption itself of course, but as I mentioned above it would seem that the authors have no problem with such rhetoric.
While death and divorce too often prevent it, the overwhelming body of social science evidence establishes that children do best when raised by their married mother and father. Simply stated, children need both a mother and a father. No matter one’s view of homosexual “marriage,” it is undeniable that every child born into a same-sex relationship is intentionally denied the love and affection of one of her biological parents.
Actually  "the overwhelming body of social science evidence" shows that children do better with two married parents. Yes for much of history that has de facto meant heterosexual couples, but the research that has been done on same-sex families shows that the children of those families fare just as well as, if not better than, the children of heterosexual families. This is why every major medical and mental health organization in the country supports marriage equality.
Fundamentally, same-sex marriage advocates propose to shift the marriage paradigm away from what definition of marriage is best for society – especially for children – and squarely onto the desires of the individual adults who seek to marry. Under a genderless definition of marriage, the interests of children – and therefore society’s intrinsic interest in marriage – is eliminated entirely. Only the wishes of the two adults in question matter.
This one is an oldie but a goody, the idea that marriage equality is essentially a selfish endeavor on the part of LGBT people that diminishes the importance of children in the marriage covenant. First off, given that the elderly and sterile can marry, I think we can all agree that the desires of adults already (and justifiably) play a significant role in marriage. Secondly this line of argumentation ignores the millions of same-sex couples who are de facto married (that is they live as a married couple) and raising children. For these couples one would imagine that marriage equality is just as much about strengthening the legal bond between them and their children as it is about the legal bond between them and their spouse. This raises a familiar question for me, if it really is all about the children for the anti-equality crowd, why do they seem to care so little for the legal fate of the millions of children being raised by same-sex couples?
When a court or a legislature adopts a genderless definition of marriage, legal experts warn (and actual experience from other states and countries confirms) that there will be profound consequences for society. Those people who refuse to accept this redefinition of marriage will be punished by the law. Churches and religious organizations can lose their tax exemptions and be forced to abandon their core moral principles or face punishment. Individuals, small businesses and groups will be subjected to lawsuits and regulatory action if they refuse to condone the “new” understanding of marriage. Perhaps most profoundly, children at a very young age will be taught in school that marriage is between any two adults, no matter what they have been taught at home, in church or in their ethnic traditions. Under the law, those who believe otherwise will be treated as the legal and moral equivalent of bigots.
First of all I would like to point out how incredibly ridiculous this whole line of reasoning is. I could make the same argument as a racist that these heterosexists are making. Do not anti-discrimination laws based in race make those who "refuse to accept [the] redefinition" of racial norms into bigots? Why is no one fretting over the legal rights of white supremacists who draw their values from the Bible (as virtually all racists did in the past) being trampled? Why is no one concerned that "children at a very young age will be taught" that all races are equal, "no matter what they have been taught at home, in church or in their ethnic traditions"? This whole argument is silly.

Nevertheless, even if it wasn't ridiculous, it is still misleading. There is absolutely no evidence or reason to believe that "[t]hose people who refuse to accept this redefinition of marriage will be punished by the law." Nor is there any reason to believe that, "[c]hurches and religious organizations can lose their tax exemptions and be forced to abandon their core moral principles or face punishment." Religious institutions and individuals have the right to free speech under the First Amendment and marriage equality won't change that. Don't want to perform same-sex marriages at your church? Then don't! And hell while your at it feel free to ban interracial marriages, interfaith marriages or whatever else you want. It's a free country and you are welcome to be as prejudiced and/or bigoted as you'd like. The only area in which an individuals personal opinion on this matter could possibly be an issue is in public office and public accommodation. If you run a business that is subject to anti-discrimination law then you probably won't be able to get away with discriminating against gay people. Sorry 'bout ya.

The only part of this with any grain of truth is the idea that "children at a very young age will be taught in school that marriage is between any two adults", and even that is a stretch. Certainly public schools would be required to treat all students and faculty equally, whether gay or straight. And as society further comes to accept gay people we will see more about them in our history books (just look at California). But so what? This just brings me back to what I said earlier about the rights of racists. If the anti-gay crowd has the right to ensure that their kids never hear anything (particularly anything positive) about gay people in public schools then do not racists have the same right? If I, using the Bible (or any other holy book) teach my children that God created all the races separately, meant for them to remain separate and even made some better than others, are my rights not being "violated" in exactly the same way as the heterosexists are when a public school teacher tells my children that actually all people are equal irrespective of race?

Finally I'd like to take a look at a claim made on their "The Threat to Marriage" page.
Right now, attempts are being made in Minnesota’s courts and in the Legislature to redefine marriage or eliminate it altogether. If activist judges or politicians were to succeed in redefining marriage in Minnesota in the future, there would be profound consequences for religious organizations, individuals, and small businesses—and for society itself.
This is just ridiculous. The Minnesota legislature already passed a bill banning same-sex marriage. The idea that the state is somehow on the precipice of being "forced" to accept marriage equality is laughable on its face to anyone aware of the situation there.

Further down that page there is a litany of misleading "consequences" of marriage equality that I will be looking at some other time, as this post has already gone on much longer than expected.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love, Hate, With Conservatives Sometimes It's Hard To Tell The Difference

These days the LGBT rights movement has made enough headway that most anti-gay crusaders feel the need to at least pay lip service to tolerance by claiming they really do love homosexual (so much so that they're working day and night on a cure for us!). That's why I respect Rebecca Hageline, she espouses her animus towards gay people openly, honestly and without reservation. It is, in a perverse kind of way, a breath of fresh air.

For example Hageline, in a Washington Times piece about her visit to Australia, said the following (emphasis mine):
[M]arriage in Australia is under attack by homosexual activists who seek to shoehorn their lifestyle choices into a shoe that will never fit: marriage. They want the law - and public opinion - to redefine marriage to include homosexual sex as something good, the moral equivalent of marital sexuality expressed by a husband and a wife.
History teaches that deviancy spurs decline, and the push to normalize homosexual relationships puts us on the fast track to disaster. But the bigger issue is what results when you fundamentally alter the basic building block of society. 
In my Australian speech, I warned that efforts to legitimize polygamy and pedophilia would follow in the wake of homosexual marriage.
The fiction of homosexual marriage surely will erode the morals and stability of society. It’s happening not only on the national stage, but also at local levels in ways that will affect your family and your children. 
Schools will get their doses of homosexual-promoting curricula in California; as that state is one of the largest textbook purchasers, California’s curricular decisions will create ripple effects for publishers and school districts across the country. Middle school and high school students in every state will be exposed, under the guise of suicide prevention, to the testimonies of drag queens, transvestites and formerly drug-addicted, HIV-positive homosexuals encouraging confused teens to identify as LGBT, embrace “their” community, and reject the “bullying” of their concerned parents.
 Wow. Just wow. So gay people's relationships are not even remotely equal to straight people's, the recognition of our relationships will lead to legalized pedophilia and polygamy, gay marriages are "fiction", and all LGBT people from history are "drag queens, transvestites and formerly drug-addicted [and] HIV-positive". Awesome. Good to know what you really think about us Hageline.

Now here's my usual lesson for those on the traditionalist side of this debate. Drop the "we really really don't have anything against homosexuals!" line already. If you generally believe what Hageline does, i.e. that gay marriage is a mockery of the "real" thing, it's legal recognition will lead to legalized polygamy and pedophilia and gay people really just have a mental illness which causes many of them to end up "drug-addicted [and] HIV-positive", then please do everyone a favor and stop trying to hide your animus behind caveats of love. It is not love to believe, absent any real evidence, what this woman believes. It is not love to call an entire class of people mentally ill because they happen to fall in love with the "wrong" gender. It is not love to connect homosexuality to pedophilia. So if you believe as Hageline does then grow some balls and start acting like her. Espouse your views plainly and bluntly without trying to pretend that you don't hold animus and prejudice against the gay community.

Randy Thomas: Gayest Ex-Gay Ever

It always cracks me up how incredibly gay many ex-gays come off as...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recruitment, An Oldie But A Goody

Well you'd think that at this point the whole "homosexuals want to recruit our children!!" bit would have been laid to rest. I mean when even prominent ex-gay and anti-gay voices are admitting that homosexuality isn't something one chooses (even if they then go on to compare it to alcoholism or disease) you'd think the idea that anyone could be "recruited" would seem universally ridiculous. And yet Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, an organization accused of being a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is claiming that Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project is all about "teh gays recruiting teh childrenzz!!"

I suppose calling being gay and out (along with being transgendered) "some other kind of perversion" is par for the course for the FRC at this point. What really frustrates me though is that these are the same people who will go on national television, debate their point as politely as possible and then look all shocked and hurt when someone calls them a bigot. "Heavens no," they protest, "we love the homosexual, we just want to help!" And they'll grin, looking all innocent and genuine, and most of the audience will never get to see their real face. Most of America will never see this garbage, the hate they're willing to spew when they know it's only the proverbial choir listening. This is the kind of stuff that needs to get dragged out every singe time these charlatans try to pass themselves off as innocent moderates being called all sorts of nasty names (by those mean homosexualists of course), and all just for holding to their religious beliefs.

It is time that these groups and individuals were exposed, and more importantly, that their underlying beliefs are exposed. Here's the reality of what people like Perkins really believe about gay people, in their minds we are: mentally ill, perverted, disgusting (or at least doing something disgusting), trying to recruit innocent children (likely through molestation), broken, diseased, unhappy and "part of Satan" as Michele Bachmann put it. This letter is just a bit of the proof. So next time you see or here one of these guys playing the victim, pretending like theirs is a reasonable, moderate position, just remember what they really believe.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Ducks And Weaves

This woman is better at dodging difficult questions than Obama circa 2008, and that's saying something. What I think this really highlights is how much the atmosphere around this issue has changed. A decade ago she would be able to easily stick by her virulently anti-gay record and statements without a problem. Now she clearly realized that she needs this all to go away lest she put off the moderates and independents. And that of course says a lot about what she thinks moderates and independents believe about gay people and their "satanic" lives.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Indiana Anti-Equality Representative Phillip Hinkle Caught Cruising Craigslist M4M Section

First and foremost, I think there is an object lesson to be learned in the story of Rep. Phillip Hinkly, who was recently caught trying to pay an 18 year old young man for sex. That lesson is one for those Christians on the traditionalist side who are convinced that the healthiest and holiest thing any homosexual can do is ignore their feelings and try to live a heterosexual life, essentially to live in the closet. Rep. Hinkle's life and behavior provide a telling glimpse into that closet.

Many gay men and women will talk about how awful being in the closet is from the perspective of the damage to the self, the self-loathing, depression, loneliness and isolation. These are all valid points, but to my Christian friends I would like to point out one other aspect of the closet, abject immorality. You know that image of the gay man on the prowl in the park, bathroom or bathhouse that the right enjoys holding up as normative for the gay community so much? Those men are almost always closet cases. The ones who are not generally picked up the habit during their time in the closet.

As I've noted before, no amount of prayer or therapy will make the need for intimacy go away. That deep seated desire to hold and be held by someone you truly love, are truly attracted to, doesn't go away. And when that desire is sublimated, ignored or repressed it tends to come out in destructive ways. Many on the traditionalist side of this debate argue that our sexual passions are an incredibly powerful thing, that we ought to heed God's will for them lest they run rampant in our lives, controlling us and eventually destroying us. And I absolutely agree with this assessment. That is why I find it so important to consider the fruit produced by what we do and say, how we live our lives, especially when it comes to something as important as ones sexuality.

Below you will see an example of the fruit produced by the closet. You will see what happens when one attempts to hide, deny or otherwise repress their natural, God-given sexuality. You see the closet is a place of darkness where the light of God and the church cannot shine. It is a place lacking entirely in integrity because it is a place of deception and obfuscation. And in this place of darkness patterns of sin can, and usually do, emerge. Patterns that can lead an outwardly upstanding, Christian man to send the following emails to an 18 year old teenage boy...
"Cannot be a long time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?"
"I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked."
"How about $80 for services rendered and if real satisfied a healthy tip? That make it worth while?"
"Final for the record, for a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?"
"If u want to consider spending night u might tell ur sis so she won't worry. Would have u back before 11 tomorrow. No extra cash just free breakfast and maybe late night snack."
Now Rep. Hinkle's story is blowing up because he is an anti-gay politician who has now been caught soliciting an 18 year old for gay sex. But don't kid yourself, this kind of thing goes on in the lives of regular people all the time. The ex-gays rarely hold on to that "ex" part, and those who do are still often caught "relapsing" at least once in their lives. And as any addict can tell you, for every time someone "relapses" publicly, there are certainly numerous times they've gotten away with it.

The closet, whether in its original incarnation or when gone back into after going the ex-gay route, is place lacking entirely in integrity. It is a place into which no light can shine, and thus a place in which all manner of evil can thrive.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Could Holocaust Revisionist Scott Lively Get Any Crazier? Probably...

Scott Lively, who has claimed that Hitler was gay and purposefully recruited gay men into the SS because of their innate brutality, has stepped up the ante. Now we apparently are not only to blame for the greatest tragedy of the last century, but we're also helping to usher in the apocalypse. According to Lively Harold Camping, the recent doomsday declarer, wasn't all that far off, "Harold Camping was wrong about Judgment Day, but he was right that the rise of the homosexual movement is a sign of the end times."

And of course we "gay activists" have chosen the rainbow our symbol not because it represents diversity, but in order to snub God himself:
Did you also catch the spiritual significance of the rainbow in this context? Why has the homosexual movement chosen the rainbow as its symbol? I think they are deliberately flaunting their sin under God’s nose while holding up the reminder that He promised not to destroy the earth by flood again. They are proclaiming “See, God, you can’t stop us!” which was the exact sentiment expressed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick when he signed the first “gay marriage“ policy in the nation into law: looking up at the sky he said something to the effect of “See, nothing happened.” The “gays” of course insist that Sodom was destroyed because of “inhospitality” not homosexuality, so they are completely blind to the deadly folly of flaunting “Gay Pride” under the rainbow banner. As Isaiah put it "..they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it. Woe to them, for they have brought evil on themselves" (3:9).
Not only are we all "flaunting [our] sin under God's nose," but it's supposedly that very sin that brought the flood in the first place...
Thus, the corruption of marriage was instrumental in bringing about the wickedness and violence that caused God to bring the flood upon the world. Jesus warned that “as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. ‘For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark‘” (Matt. 24:37-38, referencing Gen 6-7). Not only had marriage been corrupted, the people were so apathetic of that fact that they gave no credence to Noah’s warning that their sin would soon end in judgment.
Lively actually admits that no where is homosexuality mentioned as a reason for the destruction of the flood, but of course goes on to imply that it must have been. Because you know, the Bible says God hates gays, even when it doesn't...

Pat Robertson Embodies Irony

No Pat, I would rather not embrace a value system out of the eighth century, so could you please stop schilling your own?

Slam Poet Slams "That's So Gay"

Fantastic. That's a lot of talent for someone so young.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hip ≠ Right

A lot of great stuff came out of the Wild Goose Festival, including some amazing stories about the inclusion of LGBT people of faith. Kristin Rawls of Religion Dispatches has a piece up about the LGBT community's involvement in the festival. While there is much there to agree with, such as her statement that, "[i]n the future, festival organizers should invite a range of LGBT people to lead conversation from the main stage on their own terms rather than Campolo’s or Marin’s," I also found some of what was said disturbing. Yes, the festival should look to give a larger platform to actual gay Christians, rather than straight Christians who are known for talking about gay Christians. But statements such as, "the effort [to create a welcoming space for LGBT people] was marred by the inclusion of non-affirming contributors," bother me. Are we really calling for the exclusion of those who disagree with us? Having been the excluded group for so long are we willing now to turn around and exclude even the most well meaning of the 'homosexuality is a sin' crowd (such as Tony Campolo)? What kind of message does this send about the strength of our convictions, or our willingness to witness to the hope we have within us as gay Christians?

It can be difficult to straddle that fine line between affirming that our love is equal to heterosexuals love and any attempt to diminish that truth is heterosexism at it it's worse on the one had, and respecting the beliefs and opinions of those who sincerely and humbly disagree with us on the other. I understand the desire to shut out the other side to be honest, but unfortunately that can lead to just the kind of group think that leads people to say things like,
I felt the center of gravity of the mostly young, cool, hipster social justice-supporting attendees was overwhelmingly pro-queer. I thought Campolo and his cohorts were on a bit of an intellectual island… Pro-queer statements got cheered at panels; antigay statements were generally met with silence.
Um as someone who has grown up in the generation that gave birth to the, "young, cool, hipster[s]," I can say without a doubt that I want nothing to do with them. The idea that people ought to agree with us because that's what all the cool kids believe is ridiculous. Even worse that kind of attitude does a great injustice to the actual strength of our case. How can we expect anyone to take us seriously with such a childish attitude?

The biggest problem with this kind of group-think is the way it unleashes in us that which we so dislike in our adversaries. Nadia Bolz-Weber referred to those like Devin Murphy, whom the author describes as "a young member of the evangelical Calvinist tradition" as "young warriors." And in case you're confused, in the setting of a socially progressive, emergent church revival "young warriors" is rather unlikely to be a compliment. Bolz-Weber described such "warriors" as those “traditional conservatives who are not rethinking their theology," but rather, "dressing it up in designer jeans and hair gel, emulating the suburban ideal of what it means to be hip and urban.”

I'm sorry, when did hip come to mean true? Accusing those like Murphy of falsely "emulating the suburban ideal of what it means to be hip and urban" implies that such urbanity is the ultimate goal does it not? And why exactly is that the case? That kind of sentiment is incredibly elitist.

This kind of attitude is poison. I don't want Christians to support their LGBT brothers and sisters because it's "urban", "hip" or "cool". Such support is superficial and will evaporate as soon as popular sentiment turns against us. Rather I wan't Christians to support us because it's right, I want them to do it because it is what Jesus would have done, whether it is "hip" or not.

Journey Into Manhood Shows Off Ex-Gay Weidrness

Journey Into Manhood, run by Rich Wyler, is back in the news after NPR covered the program in response to the Bachmann fiasco. The retreat, which is pretty fringe even among ex-gay advocates, employs controversial "touch therapy" techniques. Apparently what men with unwanted same-sex attractions need is some alone time in the woods to cuddle with one another...

The bit at the end with the wife was probably the saddest. She clearly sees how much her husband is still attracted to men, she also clearly believes what her Church has told her, specifically that if they are faithful he will change. How much destruction will she have to witness in her life when that promise doesn't come through?