If you want to read something disturbing, take a look at how much dough the right wing is raking in. For some perspective, consider that the richest gay group, the Human Rights Campaign, only brings in 20 million per year. This money is raised on the backs of gay families and then used for further gay bashing.
Church & State magazine lists the Top 10 Neo-Puritan groups. 1. Christian Broadcasting Network Founder, CEO and Director: The Rev. Pat Robertson 2004 Revenue: $186,482,060
2. Focus on the Family Founder and chairman: Dr. James C. Dobson 2005 Revenue: $137,848,520
3. Coral Ridge Ministries Founder and President: The Rev. D. James Kennedy 2005 Revenue: $39,253,882
4. Alliance Defense Fund President, CEO and General Counsel: Alan Sears 2004 Revenue: $17,921,146
5. American Family Association Founder and Chairman: The Rev. Donald Wildmon 2005 Revenue: $17,595,352
6. American Center for Law and Justice Founder and President: The Rev. Pat Robertson Chief Counsel: Jay Sekulow 2005 Revenue: $14,485,514
7. Family Research Council Founder: James C. Dobson President and CEO: Tony Perkins 2005 Revenue: $9,958,115
8. Jerry Falwell Ministries Founder and Director: The Rev. Jerry Falwell 2005 Revenue: $8,950,480
9. Concerned Women for America Founders: Tim and Beverly LaHaye 2005 Revenue: $8,484,108
10. Traditional Values Coalition Founder and Chairman: The Rev. Louis P. Sheldon 2005 Revenue: $6,389,448
If you are concerned about this imbalance in funding, please help even the odds by contributing to Truth Wins Out today.
The military's anti-gay policy has never looked more stupid and offensive than it does today. The anti-racist group Southern Poverty Law Center told the New York Times that the military was recruiting nazi skinheads to meet increasingly tough recruiting goals. Meanwhile, thousands of upstanding and morally sound gay soldiers are kicked out of the armed forces, including Arabic language interpreters.
Neo-nazi groups are urging their members to sign up for the military and to join light infantry divisions to start a race war when they return home. An article by Steven Barry in the National Alliance magazine, Resistance, outlined the strategy in vivid terms:
"Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman's war," Barry wrote. "It will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and 'cleansed.' As a professional soldier, my goal is to fill the ranks of the United States Army with skinheads. As street brawlers, you will be useless in the coming race war. As trained infantrymen, you will join the ranks of the Aryan warrior brotherhood."
This article makes me sick and shows that hatred for homosexuals is so strong in some quarters that Nazis are preferable. If the military can't meet its goals without recruiting scum, then it needs to reevaluate the war in Iraq and scrap the idiotic Don't Ask/Don't Tell. If you are interested fighting against this monumentally absurd policy join SLDN or a new group The Military Equality Alliance.
Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show featured an interview with the CEO of a plagiarism recognition system which was used to look through conservative pundit Ann Coulter's latest book Godless and a year's worth of her columns, RAW STORY has found.
John Barrie, the creator of iThenticate, called attention to three examples of what he calls "textbook plagiarism" in Coulter's book, as reported on Sunday by the NY Post.
Barrie told Olbermann that he stopped looking after he found more than enough examples of "lifted" passages, and that many of her footnotes appeared to be in error, as well.
New York's highest court today turned back an attempt by gay and lesbian couples to win equal treatment under New York State's marriage law, saying that the state constitution "does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex."
The majority opinion agreed with lawyers for New York City and New York State that there was a rational basis "grounded in the stability of the family as a child-rearing institution" for limiting marriage to a union of one man and one woman.
But it left open the possibility that the state Legislature could decide to allow same-sex marriages.
"We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex," Judge Robert S. Smith wrote in the majority decision. "Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."
Chief Judge Judith Kaye, joined by Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, offered a departure from the dry legal language of the main decision, noting that the plaintiffs represented a cross-section of ordinary New Yorkers, including a police officer, a doctor, a teacher and an artist, who wanted "only to live full lives, raise their children, better theicommunitieses and be good neighbors."
Judge Kaye added: "For most of us, leading a full life includes establishing a family," and looking forward to a wedding "as among the most significant events of their lives."
She suggested that it was wrong for the plaintiffs to be denied the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage, "because of who they love," adding that New York had a tradition of equal rights, and "the court today retreats from that proud tradition."
Judge Kaye is correct. Today's court decision was illogical and represented cowardly judges that ginned up convoluted logic. Perhaps, they were afraid that they might get hate mail from the right wing and be called (gasp) "liberals."
This will go down as one of the worst decisions in the state's history.
Is size all that matters to the Anglican Church? It appears that the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, is willing to steamroll gays to prevent a seismic schism that would decrease membership rolls. In a document titled "theological reflection," Williams asked all 38 regional churches in the worldwide Communion to agree to a "covenant" that could stymie a church's ability to elect openly gay bishops. Those churches that did not adhere would have their status downgraded and become second-class affiliates.
This plan would create an ecclesiastical caste system, with conservatives playing the role of Brahmins, while GLBT affirming churches would become the new untouchables. Yet, it would still allow the demoted denominations to share in Communion.
Not surprisingly, such a convoluted compromise pleased neither faction. Six right wing dioceses declared they would bolt the Episcopal Church, while the Diocese of Newark named an openly gay priest as a candidate for Bishop.
What disturbs me about this debate is that Williams is known for his supposedly liberal views. So, if he sees gay people as equals before God's eyes, how can he so easily relegate them to the back pews with an admonition to behave and be quiet?
The painful nature of this debate brings up existential questions that leaders such as William seem unprepared to face. For example, is the more successful church the one brimming with members based on bigotry or is it the smaller institution walking in righteousness?
While keeping the Communion together is a worthy goal, the price that conservatives are asking is too high for Anglicans of conscience to pay. Those who have embraced full inclusion of gay and lesbian leaders have embarked on a journey and have been enlightened. Once they see homosexuals as spiritual soul mates, it is impossible to go back into the darkness.
What Williams is essentially asking is that liberals subjugate wisdom and undermine understanding for the greater good. But in their hearts, liberals know that something so bad can't truly be for the greater good. They are being asked to reconcile the irreconcilable and it will never work.
The Archbishop of Canterbury cannot expect progressive Episcopalians to look their gay friends in the eyes and then treat them as inferior. Gay people are either equal and deserve full inclusion, or they are not equals and deserve castigation. The search for middle ground in this equation is futile. If the church thinks Equal-lite is the solution, it is headed for a schism.
In a sense, this skirmish is no longer about gay people in the Anglican Communion. It is about whether the church is still a conduit for spiritual integrity and intellectual honesty. If members can no longer be true to their beliefs, then the institution will have lost much of its power and meaning. Is a church that dictates one's conscience rather than allowing one to live as his conscience dictates worth saving?
Liberal Episcopalians should take comfort in the fact that history does not look kindly on splinter church groups that broke away because of intolerance towards minorities. The Southern Baptist Church will always have the stain and stench of slavery hanging over its biography. I can't think of an instance where a religious group that chose the side of discrimination turned out to be right in history's judgment. In recent years, for example, the Vatican apologized for its treatment of women and Jews. Although there is little hope that the current Pope will change his archaic views, his embarrassing actions will cause a future Pontiff to grovel over today's abusive treatment of gays.
As a practical matter, most church-goers won't even notice the missing malcontents if the Anglican Church splits. The New York Times reported that a Connecticut priest asked his flock how many of them had even heard of the Anglican Communion before the war over homosexuality erupted in 2003, and only a third raised their hands. Given this tenuous connection, it is hard to see how leaving the backward churches behind will cause significant trauma.
I'm not a marriage counselor, but my untrained eye sees a pretty good case for divorce. Many in the Episcopal Church have evolved into a new spiritual species and it will only be stalled by the Neanderthals that remain stuck in another era.
Yes, bigger can be better, but the Anglican Church may soon learn that the size of ideas matter more than the size of membership lists.