Friday, March 31, 2006
First, the fundamentalists had a collective fantasy that there was a conspiracy of people stopping them from saying "Merry Christmas." Now, as The Washington Post
reports, they are claiming there is an all-out war on Christians. According to the Post:
This week, radio commentator Rick Scarborough convened a two-day conference in Washington on the "War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006." The opening session was devoted to "reports from the frontlines" on "persecution" of Christians in the United States and Canada, including an artist whose paintings were barred from a municipal art show in Deltona, Fla., because they contained religious themes.
It is time these fundies take a deep breath and relax. No one gives a damn how they pray, how often they pray or even if they say "Merry Christmas" until they get sore throats. People are just tired of their persecution and tireless work to pass discriminatory laws. If they simply live-and-let live, no one would care what they did. We could all get along. Unfortunately, they rather tell people how to live, punish those who disagree and say all sorts of nasty things.
Finally, about one-third of all Americans are conservative Christians. They own Alabama, Mississippi, Congress, The Supreme Court (almost) and the President. Actually, Dick Cheney owns Bush, but you get my point. So, for these folks to claim that there is some type of "war" against them is just plain paranoid, if not a bit crazy.
If prayers don't work, try pills, and maybe it won't seem like homosexuals and Jews and Atheists are out to get you. Here is the truth: We are not out to get you - so stop complaining and pretending to be victims. When Barney Frank becomes the Supreme Court's Chief Justice then, maybe we will take your whining a bit more seriously. But as long as you are still running the show - you look like a bunch of big cry babies.
A new and exciting Pew Research Center Social Trends study reveals
that the uneducated are more likely to be judgemental, bigoted and moralistic. Well, I hate to say I told you so....but, "I TOLD YOU SO."
Look, if you think that homosexuality is a moral issue, you need to read. Smart people know better.
If you are against stem cell research, you may be an ignoramous.
If you think beer should be banned and Vegas should be closed - get an education, not to metnion a life.
This poll reveals why social conservatives are always attacking the public schools. If everyone was literate and educated, they would not have a movement.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
I am on vacation today. Fortunately, Chris Lamparello will be filling in and posting. Even if you like his stuff better - that's okay - because at Wayne Besen.com, I can never be canned!!! Damn, it's fun to have my own blog.
By Chris Lamparello
Byron Weathersbee, interim chaplain at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, conducted a study which investigated whether or not students at the University remained celibate before marriage. Baylor, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, prides itself as being "the largest Baptist university in the world."
The study found that 62% of the males and 65% of the females had premarital sex. "To a large degree, we’re missing it," Weathersbee admitted. Even worse, the study found that only 27% of the young people entered marriage "chaste," which means they refrained from not only intercourse but oral sex as well. Who knew that a Baptist University could be such a hotbed of unhinged sexual activity!
The inability of moral pontificators to live up to the values that they pontificate about isn't at all surprising. This new study proves what gay people have known all along, that fundamentalists are great at preaching about values, but completely clueless when it comes to actually living them.
Not surprisingly, they don't fare any better after they get married, either. A recent Barna Research Group study found that born again Christians have the highest divorce rate in America. "While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time," admitted George Barna, founder of the group. And legalistic fundamentalists claim to be for the "sanctity of marriage"? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
by Chris Lamparello
Polls show that a majority of the country now supports "civil union" legislation for gays and lesbians, and a lot of gay people think that's a good thing. But is it? Personally, I consider the "civil union" option to be an offensive one. In fact, I'd rather someone be totally against any legal recognition for gay relationships than be for civil unions.
Civil unions exist for only one reason, and that's to maintain the social stigma that exists against gay people. They're an attempt to satisfy our constitutional principles of equality while enabling certain people to continue to feel superior to us as a group. In other words, they are a monument to continued prejudice.
There are really two main goals in the struggle for gay equality. First, that the laws to treat us the same as our heterosexual friends and family members. The second will be a bit tougher to achieve, however, and that's the battle against prejudice and ignorance. A person's inner beliefs don't change just because the laws do.
Marginalizing us used to be a lot easier. People took it for granted that the laws would apply differently to us. Before gay folks were unknown to the vast majority of Americans, it was easy to believe that the military would fall apart if we were allowed in, or that children would grow up gay if we were permitted to be their school teachers. Those ideas have since become antiquated and embarrassing, and millions of Americans have abandoned them.
There is no longer any seemingly rational justification for laws that treat us differently, so those who want us to remain societal outcasts often invoke civil unions as a way to continue that marginalization while satisfying the legal demands of equality. When all is said and done, however, civil unions are plainly unacceptable because the only reason they exist is to preserve anti-gay prejudice, and that is not something any of us should ever support.
The New York Times
reports that the battle among Republicans over immigration policy and border security is threatening to undercut a decade-long effort by President Bush and his party to court Hispanic voters, just as both parties are gearing up for the 2006 elections.
Oh, isn't that too bad. I hope the Dems sweep through Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico in 2006 and 2008.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
CNN founder Ted Turner wasted no time slamming George W. Bush
and the war in Iraq at a benefit. The media-mogul said:
"We can't afford the war in Iraq. This is a big waste of time. I wish we would say, 'We won and we are going home.' We shouldn't be there. Bombing isn't a way of changing people's minds. You do that with education"...."We had a president of the United States who had been out of the country but once before he was elected," Turner said. "There's been a lot since....And this guy has his finger on the nuclear trigger, too-- reformed alcoholic, nothing wrong with that."
The United States Dictrict Court in the Ninth Circuit of central California has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Log Cabin Republicans
(LCR) against the US Military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy PageOneQ
The decision by LCR to not include the names of plaintiffs in the original suit resulted in the court ruling that the organization "lacks associational standing" to pursue the case. The Log Cabin organization has told PageOneQ they will re-file the case, meeting the decision's requirements.
It remains unclear whether the plaintiffs are unwilling to be named because they might be discharged, or because they are ashamed to be known as members of Log Cabin.Pam Spaulding Also Comments On This Story.
(McCain Gets Religion In Time For 2008)
First Sen. John McCain started kissing Bush's ass. Now, he is sucking up to right wing zealots. My-oh-my, the soul-selling lengths some people will go to in order to win the presidency.
The politician who fancies himself an independent thinker, has agreed to be the graduation speaker
at the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University on May 13.
"John McCain has embarked on a dangerous policy of appeasement that coddles the anti-gay base of the Republican Party," said Eric Stern, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats. "No Republican can win their party's presidential nomination without the institutional backing of Republican power-brokers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Over the past few months, we have seen John McCain back anti-marriage amendments, stump for anti-gay activists running for elected office and demonstrate his dependence on social conservatives," Stern said.
In his last presidential run, McCain gained a reputation for straight talk. In 2008, he may be speaking in tongues, before his campaign is over. It seems McCain will do and say anything to get his party's nomination. So much for McCain presenting himself as a different kind of politician.
The media has been duped again. They are breathlessly reporting the resignation of Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card, as if it matters. The Washington Post
ran the screaming headline, "Card's Departure Seen as a Sign President Hears Words of Critics."
Let's be honest. This resignation means virtually nothing. Card was a glorified butler who scheduled meetings and made flight reservations. Okay, that is simplifying his role, but he was not a crucial instrument of public policy and therefore does not signal a change of direction in the Bush Administration.
A real message of change would have been firing the architects of the many administration disasters: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Reshuffling the deck by ousting Card (no pun intended) is essentially a meaningless ploy to pacify critics. It also knocked the story of the leaked British Memo implicating Bush for instigating a war with Iraq off the front page.
Slick move on the part of the White House. To no one's surprise, it worked, as the media is predictably panting over Card's departure.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of watching pampered French students protest and burn cars
because they might have to work. They are in a tizzy over a new law that is intended to encourage the hiring of people under 26 by allowing employers to dismiss them without cause within two years.
Big deal, at the age of 27 they still get job security. They need to quit whining and get to work. This is not to say I don't have some sympathy for France preserving its system. In the U.S., we love to talk about family values, but give workers virtually no time off to actually be with their familes. And then we wonder why we have a 50-percent divorce rate.
Nevertheless, the new rule in France seems wise and reasonable. Why get a job for life before you prove yourself? Heck, even college professors in America have to earn tenure before they get to coast.
I found a blog - courtesy of Ex-Gay Watch
- where a former "ex-gay" talked openly about suing Love In Action for damaging him. Take a look
and see his beef with the same group that forces kids to attend against their will.
An attempt to revive a constitutional amendment that would prohibit same-sex marriage
failed in the Maryland Senate, apparently leaving no further options this year for opponents of gay marriage.
Oh no! I'm sure the fragile institution of marriage will collapse before 2007, thanks to the Maryland Senate. Don't go near court houses in the state today, for they will surely be overflowing with married couples filing for divorce, now that a ban on same-sex marriage has been thwarted.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Fundamentalist Christianity has always been a "legalistic" religion, but the term has taken on a whole new meaning as the far right has unleashed its legion of lawyers to bully, harass and intimidate opponents. As the Neo-puritans increasingly lose in the court of public opinion, they are heading directly to the courts.
Blogger Justin Watt, for example, had recently placed a parody on his website Justinsomnia, making fun of an offensive billboard placed by the "ex-gay" group Exodus International. The Exodus billboard read: "Gay? Unhappy? http://www.exodus.to/
." Watt re-created the billboard on his site so it read, "Straight? Unhappy? http://www.gay.com/
This was clearly a legal parody of Exodus' ludicrous message and therefore was protected speech. Nevertheless, he and the website Ex-GayWatch, which reprinted the comical fare, were served with "cease and desist" letters from Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty Counsel.
The threats of frivolous lawsuits were conveniently dropped after Watt pushed back and enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups. However, this case underscores the right wing's new strategy of using their vast financial resources to bully opponents who may not have the financial means to fend off a legal challenge.
For example, Viroqua High School
in Wisconsin cancelled Diversity Day
after the Liberty Counsel sent a nasty legal letter. They offered the bizarre argument that the school was violating the Establishment Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment by not inviting fundamentalist Christians and "ex-gays" to denounce homosexuality. Thanks to the Liberty Counsel, the students did not get to hear speakers representing African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans and gay people.
With a taste of success, we are surely going to see more tort terror from the Liberty Counsel and other groups. GLBT and civil rights organizations must ban together and give school administrators the tools to fight off such challenges. If they do not, the right wing may systematically purge Diversity Days across the nation. Here are a few tips on how schools can fight back.Intent:
Diversity Days are clearly intended to foster understanding, open minds and further mutual respect in schools. They are about inclusion, while the aims of Liberty Counsel are about exclusion, and therefore disqualify them from taking part in such events.
They might argue that this is illegal because it does not allow for Christians to take part. This is demonstratively false, as fundamentalists can participate as long as they talk about ways to increase inclusion of Christians on campus. However, they have no special right to deviate from the lesson plan of teaching tolerance, to demean others.Sectism:
There are literally thousands of religions in the United States of America, including many different factions of Christianity. Clearly, a school isn't obligated to invite every last religious group in existence.
A school district can get around Liberty Counsel's complaints by inviting a speaker from a moderate Christian Denomination. Whether Liberty Counsel likes it or not, they represent just one of many versions of Christianity and are no more authentic, than say, the United Church of Christ or the Unitarians. To the best of my knowledge, there is no law that mandates that a school must choose a speaker representing Jerry Falwell's theological viewpoint. To suggest otherwise, is theocratic arrogance at its worst and what I refer to as "Sectism," because Liberty is asserting that its religious sect is superior to that of other braches of the faith. Nowhere in the Constitution does such imagined religious hegemony exist.Ex-Gays:
Inviting "ex-gays" to speak on campus is the intellectual equivalent of introducing unicorns into a zoology curriculum, just because a few superstitious people believe they exist. The "ex-gay" myth has been thoroughly debunked in every sphere from science to psychology. And the very people who claimed they have changed, usually have reverted back to their former gay selves.
School districts can circumvent the right wing's insistence on inclusion of ex-gays with limited effort. All they have to do is cite the American Psychiatric Association, which says that, "The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior." What kind of administrator would want to invite in a group that could potentially cause so much damage to students? Having ex-gays is the equivalent of brining in Phillip Morris to discuss the "other side" of the smoking debate.
In the short-term, we can expect as much gavel pounding as Bible thumping, with the right wing taking cases to increasingly friendly courts. The Wisconsin war over Diversity Day and the imbroglio over the ex-gay parody are warning shots that the right has launched a new legal strategy. Let's not wait until Diversity Day is called Divinity Day before we respond to this ferocious assault on our mainstream values.
('Moral Fall' Michael Stars In Video)
The American Family Association is having a fire sale
on the video "It's Not Gay," featuring the not-so-ex-gay
Michael Johnston. After I bitterly criticized the AFA for committing fraud on the Al Rantel Show, it appears they are trying to get rid of their stock by reducing the video to $10.
The price I'm worried about, however, is the one paid by unsuspecting people who believe the lie that the HIV + Johnston is really an "ex-gay." They should speak with the gay men in Virginia Beach, as I have, that were in an orgy with him and ask them if they think he is "ex-gay."
By peddling this video, the AFA has shown that it is a hate group with no regard for the truth or the lives of gay men. Only a malicious and morally malignant organization would sell a video that is false, misleading and dangerous. As far as I'm concerned, AFA's leader, Donald Wildmon, should be put in jail for selling "I's Not Gay." His group is knowingly committing fraud and should be shut down until it stops selling this phony video.
(Bush Was Determined To Go To War)
A memo by a British advisor
to Tony Blair shows that George W. Bush was rushing to war - and it mattered little whether Saddam actually had weapons of mass destruction. Bush was also prepared to start a war by painting a U.S. surveillance plane in U.N. colors, hoping Saddam would shoot at it. Additionally, the memo reveals that Bush and Blair foolishly thought the war campaign and efforts to install a new government would be relatively easy.
One look at today's horrible headlines
reveals that they were dead wrong in their disastrous assessment. Does a single person who isn't brainwashed still think this war was justifiable? Fortunately, public opinion polls
show that Americans are finally
catching on to Bush's foolish war and are no longer so easily bamboozled. But, it all may be a moot point, as we have reelected Bush and he has committed troops for the duration of his presidency and beyond.
Those of you who read this page daily know that I have spoken out forcefully against impeachment. Upon the discovery of this damning evidence, I am revising my opinion and think that removing this president should remain an option that is on the table. Certainly, Sen. Feingold's motion to censure the President seems reasonable in light of the new facts.
In Minnesota, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson
was recorded telling a group of conservative rural pastors that they did not need to support a Constitutional Amendment banning gay people from marrying because several state Supreme Court justices had told him they would never overturn the state's Defense of Marriage Act. The problem is, what he said turned out to be an exaggeration. He called his misdeed, "sanding off the truth."
While it is unfortunate that he got caught in a fib, his mistruth surely pales in comparison to the horrible lies and smears endured by gay people each day by Amendment supporters. If lying is wrong for Johnson, it is just as abominable for anti-gay forces that are only able to succeed by outright distortions and creating an ugly climate of fear.
Before the right wing attacks Johnson, they ought to discard their own sandblaster which has whitewashed their white lies for decades.
My Florida Gators defeated Villanova to get to the Final Four!!!!!!! They will play - make that destroy - George Mason University on Saturday. GOOOOOOOOO GATORS!!!!!!!!