Some people just don't get it - like the clueless New York Sun reviewer who panned the movie, "For the Bible Tells Me So" because it did not give adequate time to "both sides" of the issue. Meghan Keane writes:
"The film, which purports to document the intersection of homosexuality and the Bible, is more like a primer in the gay lifestyle and focuses on the existence of well-adjusted and happy gay individuals and their families...For people who agree, "For the Bible Tells Me So" will be an affirmative study, but the chasm is not entirely one of ignorance, and the film skips over those details. For all its talk of education and acceptance, the film manages to parody Christians much the way homophobes categorize gays."
Actually, the film accurately shows the obnoxious and ignorant behavior of the leading fundamentalist denominations. Far from a parody, it is a prescient look at today's right wingers. If they feel they look ridiculous, well, then, they should stop acting so absurd.
Furthermore, there are not "two sides" to this issue any more than there are two sides to slavery and Jim Crow. There is absolute right and wrong. What is the other side? To have millions of people lead lonely, miserable, suicidal lives because of a book - clearly man made - that was written thousands of years ago? Is state persecution - including support of sodomy laws - just another side? Or, is this just the latest attempt to bash a minority and wrap the hatred up in sophisticated garb?
FYI to Keane - it has not been called the "gay lifestyle" since the early 1970's. We have lives, not lifestyles. How insulting that the New York Sun would print that anachronistic phrase.
The final slap in the face is when Keane trots out the name of James Dobson as a voice of reason. If Keane would have done homework on this issue, it would have been clear that Dobson has serially distorted gay life and manipulated science for political gain. But, I guess such research would be too much to ask for Keane and the tabloid New York Sun.
Critics say Hillary Clinton may be too scripted, but it looks as if this script is delivering her a happy ending - the nomination. Indeed, the much-discussed/maligned "Clinton Cackle" (her exuberant laugh in public) appears to be working at winning over skeptics and making her appear as an agent for change. Indeed, it is working so well, that I am going to start cackling every chance I get, particularly in public appearances. I have been practicing the "Besen Belly-laugh" in front of the mirror all morning. I should have it down by Friday.
According to The Washington Post, she has consolidated her place as the front-runner in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, outpacing her main rivals in fundraising in the most recent quarter and widening her lead in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
For the first time, Clinton is drawing support from a majority of Democrats -- and has opened up a lead of 33 percentage points over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). Her popularity, the poll suggests, is being driven by her strength on key issues and a growing perception among voters that she would best represent change.
Yesterday, her campaign announced that it had topped Obama for the first time in a fundraising period, taking in $22 million in the past three months in funds that can be used for the primary campaign, to Obama's $19 million.
Is it time to say Bye Bye to Obama? Is it the end of the line for Edwards? It looks like Hillary will be the nominee. I am still undecided (but like Clinton). What are your thoughts on this?
Peter LaBarbara, a pornographer posing as a pro-family "reporter", left his wife at home and took a field trip to San Francisco to participate in the Folsom Street Fair - an XXX adult-themed costume party. He was joined by Allyson Smith, a sweet religious fanatic, as they skipped up and down the street full of people sporting whips and chains for hours - presumably hating every second of it. According to Porno Pete:
"These two reporters for Americans For Truth videotaped and photographed open sex acts on city streets - including orgies involving men fondling and sometimes fellating one another, as crowds looked on and took photos at this celebration of 'kink' that reportedly drew over 200,000 visitors. The relatively small number of police present took a 'hands off' approach toward the sadistic 'fair' - and did not stop the public sex and nudity."
Is there any doubt that Porno Pete will take a "hands on" approach to his exciting new video as he edits it alone in the dark? I can hardly wait to see his latest masterpiece!! His work is filmed with such pent-up passion that bursts with repressed titillation. As a connoisseur of films, I can always appreciate a talented director who knows his subject and is inspired by his work.
But, I do have one question for Porno Pete. What did you learn that was new or what did you film that was different from the past twenty years? Because, if you are just filming the same scenes year-after-year, you are no longer a spectator - but a full-blown fair participant. The fetish term that they might use to describe people like you and Allyson at the Folsom Street Fair -- "voyeur." Why not just embrace your proclivities Allyson and Pete? That is what the event is all about. Did you miss that central point?
In any case, good luck with your new movie and keep the sticky stuff off the video editing equipment. (just a little techie advice for you, Pete)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and openly gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) have declared transgender people a drag on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). To ensure its passage, they have introduced a non-inclusive bill that would offer job protection only on the basis of sexual orientation - not gender identity. There is a separate employment bill for transgender people, but it has about as much chance of passing as Sen. Larry Craig becoming the ad pitchman for Charmin.
If we could ensure that transgender Americans would be included in a couple of years, the "pragmatic" approach would make sense. However, let's drop all pretenses and admit that when we talk of an "incremental" approach it is code for at least a fifteen-year increment of time. Furthermore, with campaign seasons getting excruciatingly long, it is always an Election Year - thus a permanent excuse to perpetually exclude transgender people.
It is also clear that a minority as small as the trans community will never have the political clout to go at it alone, nor will they have the funds to wage a credible fight in Congress unless Bill Gates wakes up tomorrow and decides to have a sex change. To put it bluntly, their only chance at legal protection is under the gay and lesbian banner. So, dropping an inclusive bill means under no uncertain terms that we have abandoned transgender people and told them to fend for themselves.
The real question the larger gay and lesbian population must answer is whether it is worth it to sacrifice our rights in the immediate future to support transgender equality? This is not an easy call to make, as some purists would suggest. By opposing ENDA in its current incarnation, we will leave thousands of families vulnerable, particularly in "red states."
To me, this is a deeply personal issue because I was fired from a television news-reporting job in Bangor, Maine in 1994. There is nothing more I would like to see than the passage of ENDA, to help people who are now in the situation I once faced. I understand better than most the social and economic consequences of having a career short-circuited because of sexual orientation, with no legal recourse.
But, I also have the memory of working at the Human Rights Campaign's Pride booths each summer at a time when transgender people were excluded from ENDA. Inevitably they would confront us and I would dutifully defend our policy. The more I thought about it, however, the less I could justify my words and I could barely look them in the eyes. We were essentially saying, "stop piggybacking" on the gay rights movement. That is the same self-centered argument that right wing African Americans use today to justify exclusion of gay people from civil rights protections.
The HRC staff and leadership came to the identical conclusion and thus supported a new trans-inclusive version of ENDA. How bittersweet it must be for HRC to finally get an opportunity to pass its signature piece of legislation, yet have the occasion marred. Contrary to what critics are now saying, HRC cares deeply about transgender people and does want them included.
Personally, I would not support the current ENDA bill because we simply owe too much to the trans community. Unable to hide, they have been in the forefront of the movement, often at great personal risk. They have sacrificed much for those of us who could "pass," so now it is time to return the favor, even if it means biting the bullet on ENDA.
Some people think transgender people are a hindrance to greater acceptance. My years in the movement have taught me that thugs believe we are all "faggots" and religious fanatics think we are all "sinners," regardless of whether we wear suits or skirts.
Furthermore, the right will portray any bill - gender inclusive or not - as allowing men with beards in dresses to demand jobs as elementary school teachers. Remember, lying is what the far right does best and any member of Congress who votes for equality in any form will be smeared. So, why not do what is right and defend transgender inclusion?
What our community must do is tell Congress that it is morally unacceptable to dole out rights to only groups that poll well. Either a legislator believes in the principle of equal justice for all or they don't. As painful as it might be, we must reject a compromise that compromises our core values. The next time I come face-to-face with a transgender person, I want to be able to look them in the eyes and know I did the right thing.
Are the fundamentalists on the decline? Here is what an article in McClatchy says:
Today, their nearly three-decade-long ascendance in the Republican Party is over. Their loyalties and priorities are in flux, the organizations that gave them political muscle are in disarray, the high-profile preachers who led them to influence through the 1980s and 1990s are being replaced by a new generation that's less interested in their agenda and their hold on politics and the 2008 Republican presidential nomination is in doubt.
If I were a conservative Neanderthal, I'd be really depressed about this. The problem with the right is that they think God is directing them, so they they overreach (think Terri Schiavo). Furthermore, they actually believe that Americans want a fundamentalist Christian nation, when America is highly secular. Sure, people give lip service to conservative values - then they buy a Britney Spears album and purchase gory video games for their children, while clogging their arteries with fast food.
The truth is, people are sick of the scolds and just want to be left alone. All faith has been lost in a group that was silly enough to think George Bush was the "chosen one." The fundamentalists, on some level, know they screwed up the country by worshiping Bush, and this is reflected in their disinterest in politics.
Although, it certainly does not help when cynical phonies like John"Christian Nation" McCain and Mitt Romney are crassly bowing to conservatives. Watching these sycophants pander is enough to disillusion even the most loyal right wing republican. Is there a single candidate not made of plastic?