Friday, December 08, 2006
Please join with JewsOnFirst and CrossWalk America in a petition drive for the recall of Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game that teaches religious intolerance
Left Behind: Eternal Forces
is a video game that arms players to kill those who resist conversion to fundamentalist Christianity. (How sick are these fundie wackos? What kind of garbage do they teach their children?)
JewsOnFirst is joining CrossWalk America, a progressive Christian organization, to request the recall of the game because it teaches religious intolerance to young players.
Please visit the JewsOnFirst website and sign their petition.
The House ethics committee said Friday that Republican leaders were negligent by not protecting teenage pages from possible improper advances from Rep. Mark Foley but broke no rules in handling the allegations.
"In all, a pattern of conduct was exhibited among many individuals to remain willfully ignorant of the potential consequences of former Rep. Foley's conduct with respect to pages," the report
No one will be reprimanded, according to a report released by the committee. Well, isn't that typical of unaccountable Washington...bad shit happend, but no one was responsible.
A new Marist poll finds "Hillary Rodham Clinton is popular within her party but could have trouble winning the presidency." According to the poll:
"The former first lady held a double-digit lead over possible rivals," but [f]orty-seven percent of registered voters said they would definitely not consider voting for" Clinton.
Thoughts on Hillary running for president? Can she win?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTROVERSIAL LEADER OF 'EX-GAY' THERAPY GROUP STEPS DOWN AS CRITICISM MOUNTS
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Bows Out After Racist Ideology Discovered On Website
Miami Beach, Fla. - Truth Wins Out expressed satisfaction today in learning that Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, President of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has stepped down amid a cloud of controversy stemming from a polemic justifying slavery found on the group's website. NARTH had also taken heat in recent months for advocating child abuse against gender variant children.
"NARTH was a sinking ship and they had no choice but to throw their captain overboard," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "The group was quickly becoming the Mel Gibson of the 'ex-gay' world and this move was NARTH's desperate way of saying, 'timeout, we are going to rehab.' However, it may be too late, as no spin can erase their racist and anti-gay sin."
Trouble began mounting for Nicolosi after Canadian doctor Joseph Berger, who serves on NARTH's "Scientific Advisory Board" wrote on the organization's website that gender variant children should be sent to school in opposite-sex clothing so they can be "ridiculed" into conforming.
But criticism of NARTH reached a crescendo after "Scientific Advisory Board" member, Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf, penned a polemic on the group's website that seemed to justify slavery and said that African-Americans taken away in chains on slave ships "were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa."
The National Black Justice Coalition quickly called on NARTH to apologize and The Southern Poverty Law Center also turned up the heat by writing an illuminating article on the brouhaha. As a result, some NARTH members and supporters defected to protect their professional reputations. Dr. Warren Throckmorton canceled his appearance at NARTH's annual conference in November and former committee member David Blakeslee resigned.
Meanwhile, NARTH tried to dodge the controversy by remaining silent. When the organization finally addressed the situation, it blamed gay activists by calling the self-inflicted mess "political correctness gone amok."
When this strategy didn't fly, NARTH attempted a strained apology that only made matters worse as they seemed to shift the blame for the incident to readers by saying, the comments made by Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf about slavery "have been misconstrued by some of our readers."
"How can one misconstrue a diatribe that justifies slavery?" Asked TWO's Besen. "Dr. Nicolosi showed a stunning incompetence in the realm of public relations and for this he paid dearly. He kept digging a hole and failed to see that this mushrooming catastrophe would soon reach the national stage."
Indeed, the crisis exploded on October 15 after the Los Angeles Times published an article under the headline: "Ex-Gay Group Draws Fire From Allies." The sub headline screamed: "Backers raise concerns about online postings. One advocated ridicule of nonconforming children; the other seemed to justify slavery."
"NARTH had always operated on the fringes of the mental health community," said Besen, "but now the facade of respectability had completely crumbled and the entire nation saw NARTH as a radical group with peculiar theories on race and homosexuality."
On November 11, NARTH's annual meeting was held at the Renaissance hotel in Orlando. Truth Wins Out organized a protest against NARTH where participants wore duck suits and chanted "Quack, Quack, Quacks, Stop The Attacks" and "Slavery Is Never Justified."
"It remains unclear what occurred inside the hotel because NARTH has refused to discuss the details," said Besen. "However, when the participants emerged, Nicolosi had passed the torch and was no longer President. This is a significant development that no one would have predicted six months ago."
Dr. A. Dean Byrd, who is affiliated with the LDS church, was named president-elect. From Byrd's comments at the Orlando conference, there is no indication the organization is altering its extreme ideological approach to science.
"It's time for NARTH members to emerge from their places of safety in the academy and in the public sphere and proclaim the truth about homosexuality - homosexuality is neither innate nor is it immutable," proclaimed Byrd.
Nicolosi co-founded NARTH in 1992 and has served as the organization's leader since its inception. While he will no longer be the front man for NARTH, sources tell Truth Wins Out that he will continue to play an active behind-the-scenes role with the group after he steps down in 2007.
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit think tank and educational organization that counters right wing disinformation campaigns, debunks the ex-gay myth, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT people. Besen, the group's founder and Executive Director, is the author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking The Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth."
- 30 -
Mary Cheney, the openly gay daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne, is pregnant, according to a published report.
Mary Cheney, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are "ecstatic" about the baby, due in late spring, The Washington Post reported in Wednesday's editions, quoting an unnamed source close to the couple.
The two women live in Virginia, where in November, voters passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions; state law is unclear on whether Poe could have full legal rights as a parent of Cheney's child.
If Mary and Heather run into custody trouble, they have no one to blame but themselves for putting the GOP in power. However, we both know that they are too rich and well-connected to have to worry about the pedestrian problems the rest of us have to deal with. Daddy can always place a few calls so they won't feel the sting of discrimination. After all, that is what conservatism is all about: "Me First" ethics - and let the rest of the people suffer.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
A couple of weeks ago I railed against
the Religious Right for turning Santa Claus into a wedge issue with theirobnoxious and offensive "War on Christmas" initiative. Through a pressurecampaign, extremist groups forced major retailers, including Wal-Mart andWalgreen Co. to replace inclusive "Happy Holiday" greetings in stores withthe more in-your-face "Merry Christmas."
While I love the joyous"Christmas spirit," my main point was that the insidious purpose behind thiscampaign was to force non-Christians into paying homage to the right wing'spale-skinned, suburban, Republican Jesus. After all, if you are Jewish, anda well-meaning, broad grinned store clerk bellows, "Merry Christmas," howelse can you reply but, "Merry Christmas?"
Well, you can get intoa tit-for-tat by barking "Happy Chanukah," but that tactic gets tiresomeand silly when you are snarling at a store employee that has been orderedto greet you that way.
In response to this column, several letterwriters pilloried me by claiming I was a big liberal crybaby who was readingtoo much into this campaign. The last thing the fundamentalists would everwant to do, they pleaded, was force their beliefs on anyone. The issue, theysaid, was about religious freedom and allowing God back into the public square.
The question is, whose God?
TheLeviticus-spouting loons are now up in arms because Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.,has said that he wants to take his Congressional oath with his hand on theKoran instead of the Bible.
This makes perfect sense, consideringa Muslim taking an oath with his hand on the Koran has infinitely more meaningto him than using another religious text. The question is why any rationalperson would object to this reasonable request? Unless, of course, the hiddenagenda is to send a message to religious minorities that Christianity isthe supreme religion in America.
The American Family Association -a group behind much of the War on Christmas farce - wasted no time launchinga campaign against Ellison. The AFA breathlessly urged supporters to "takeaction" by bullying members of Congress to "pass a law making the Bible thebook used in the swearing-in ceremony of Representatives and Senators."
Again, why would a Christian group want to compel a Muslim to swear on the Christian holy book?
Right wing columnist Dennis Prager answered
this question on AFA's website by ranting that Ellison's use of the Koran"undermines American civilization." It is interesting that the same hystericalverbiage used to prohibit same-sex marriage has now become a club againstothers who disagree with the fundamentalists.
Prager went on to makethe outrageous claim that only one holy book represents America, even thoughthere are literally thousands of religious belief systems in this nation.
"Forgiveme, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite bookis," wrote Prager. "Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serveAmerica and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in onlyone book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book,don't serve in Congress."
So, there you have it in a nutshell. The"War on Christmas" and the "War on Gay Marriage" and the "War on Rep. Ellison"are cut from the same intolerant cloth. If you don’t submit to the will ofthe right wing, the penalty is persecution and exclusion from civil society.
Ifyou want to shop in December, you will say Merry Christmas and listen toSilent Night. If you want your relationship recognized, you will marry aperson of a gender approved by the AFA's Bible. If you desire serving thisnation in Congress, you must swear by a book you don't believe in. Soundslike a free country, doesn't it?
Prager and his ilk have a poor understandingof America and seek to make this nation the Christian version of Iran. Theonly time Prager makes sense is when he argues that if we allow Ellison totake an oath on the Koran, it will open the door to other religious textsin such ceremonies. But so what if this happens? It would only strengthenAmerica and our tradition of religious freedom.
In the same vein,the family of an American soldier recently killed in action had to continuefighting for his rights even after his death. They wanted to have on his marker the Wiccan symbol denoting his spiritual belief. Although his family'swishes were upheld, they should not have even been questioned.
In America, there can be no religious test for patriotism or public office,but that is exactly what busybodies like Prager are proposing. If this ruinousvision ever prevails, America, as we know it, will have ceased to exist.And I swear by that, on whatever book I so choose.
In his increasingly absurd attempt to remake himself to please Rev. Jerry Falwell, Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) is going through laughable contortions on the gay issue. Here is what he had to say to ABC News:
** "I believe that the don't ask, don't tell policy is working in the military."
** "I believe in the sanctity and unique role of marriage between man and woman. But I certainly don't believe in discriminating against any American."
** "I do believe that people ought to be able to enter into contracts, exchange powers of attorney, other ways that people who have relationships can enter into."
** "I just want to point out again, I believe that gay marriage should not be legal, OK? But I don't believe that we should discriminate against any American because that's not the nature of America, OK?"
** "I don't believe we should discriminate against anyone in the workplace. But I don't think we need specific laws that would apply necessarily to people who are gay."
It sounds like McCain is trying to have it both ways. He might as well just say that he was for gay rights before he was against them. It seems that some people will say or do anything to become president. So much for his "independent" streak.
Matt Hill Comer, a student at UNC Greensboro today wrote a great column
discussing how a stealthy "ex-gay" camp recruited him and other North Carolinians with a slick brochure.
"After first going public with Ignite's promotional invite, I quickly found out that I wasn't the only gay North Carolinian to receive it," wrote Comer. "Pam Spaulding, a nationally respected lesbian blogger who lives in Durham, also received the invite. Ignite's targeted email campaign toward gay youth and activists is telling of an active attempt to recruit gay youth in the South."
It is absolutely disgusting that Exodus is secretly trying to get its slick and sick message out by mailing its destructive message to the gay community, particularly youth. Hasn't the organization caused enough depression, divorces and suicides?Memo to Alan Chambers:
When are you going to tell us what really happened with the Desert Stream molestation case? What did you know and when did you know it? Don't you think you should come clean before you go after kids?
Famed paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey is giving no quarter to powerful evangelical church leaders who are pressing Kenya's national museum to relegate to a back room
its world-famous collection of hominid fossils showing the evolution of humans' early ancestors.Leakey called the churches' plans "the most outrageous comments I have ever heard."
This really shows how weak the faith is of fundamentalists. The only way they can maintain their charade is by hiding science and treating a museum exhibit as if it were a back room brothel. Shame on these nutjobs for standing in the way of the truth. They are a real threat to the evolution of mankind, in that knowledge is the only way this species will move forward. Unfortunately, they take every chance they can to place ignorance above education, at the peril of humanity.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Crooner Lance Bass and his boyfriend, Reichen Lehmkuhl, have called it quits
, People magazine reported on its Web site Monday. Bass' publicist, Ken Sunshine, didn't respond to a message from The Associated Press. The AP was trying to locate a representative for Lehmkuhl.
Note to stars coming out: Don't parade your partners - even if they are hot. If you are part of Hollywood, gay or straight, you will probably split up within a year. Those are just the hard facts. While we appreciate your unbridled enthusiasm, we have seen this show before.
President Bush today accepted the resignation of John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressing deep disappointment that "a handful" of senators had blocked his confirmation last year.
Actually, there are a lot of Republicans that can't stand Bolton and think he is a jerk. How many Republicans would want to work for this walrus? The goofy mustache alone is reason enough to vote against this parody of a man. That Bush thought he was the right person to represent America at the U.N. speaks volumes about his incompetence and bad judgment.
Check out the website Atheist Delusion
for your amusement. It spoofs fundamentalism by sarcastically pretending to oppose atheism. It is a well done parody and a worthy five minute diversion for a good midday laugh.
Please share your thoughts on the site!
With two years to go, Bush is in a race to achieve the title as "worst president in the history of the United States." Historians are comparing him
to Herbert Hoover, who wrecked the economy and caused the Great Depression. Bush has flubbed Iraq and has no domestic accomplishments to boast of. To add insult to injury, he compiled his failures with a Republican House and Senate - so he has no excuse for his terrible tenure.
We can only hope and pray that two years pass quickly before Bush's incompetence and general stupidity bring down this country. As long as Bush is at the helm, America's future is bleak. I've been saying this for six years - and historians will say this for eternity.
Bush is so damn dumb, I bet his presidential "library" will have no books and be stocked with comics depicting his tragically comic presidency.
He should resign while he is ahead - of Nixon.