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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Captain Quahog 2.1 : When religion loses its credibility

Cool,

a real true died in the wool nutjob left a post on my blog!! Woo Hoo!

I'm in the big leagues now baby!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

When religion loses its credibility

Figured I would just post the whole damn article it's so good..enjoy.
Truth to Power!

And, if you like this one check this next: Christians Fundamentally Gone Wild over at the Smirking Chimp. No, it's not a porn video staring the good Reverend Haggard, James Dobson and Jerry Falwell. Man did I just creep myself out!


"Galileo was persecuted for revealing what we now know to be the truth regarding Earth’s place in our solar system. Today, the issue is homosexuality, and the persecution is not of one man but of millions. Will Christian leaders once again be on the wrong side of history?"

By Oliver "Buzz" Thomas, USA Today

What if Christian leaders are wrong about homosexuality? I suppose, much as a newspaper maintains its credibility by setting the record straight, church leaders would need to do the same:

Correction: Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God's followers.

Based on a few recent headlines, we won't be seeing that admission anytime soon.

(Illustration by Adrienne Lewis, USA TODAY)

Last week, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops took the position that homosexual attractions are "disordered" and that gays should live closeted lives of chastity. At the same time, North Carolina's Baptist State Convention was preparing to investigate churches that are too gay-friendly. Even the more liberal Presbyterian Church (USA) had been planning to put a minister on trial for conducting a marriage ceremony for two women before the charges were dismissed on a technicality. All this brings me back to the question: What if we're wrong?

Religion's only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop.

It's happened to Christianity before, most famously when we dug in our heels over Galileo's challenge to the biblical view that the Earth, rather than the sun, was at the center of our solar system. You know the story. Galileo was persecuted for what turned out to be incontrovertibly true. For many, especially in the scientific community, Christianity never recovered.

This time, Christianity is in danger of squandering its moral authority by continuing its pattern of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the face of mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. To the contrary, whether sexual orientation arises as a result of the mother's hormones or the child's brain structure or DNA, it is almost certainly an accident of birth. The point is this: Without choice, there can be no moral culpability.

Answer in Scriptures

So, why are so many church leaders (not to mention Orthodox Jewish and Muslim leaders) persisting in their view that homosexuality is wrong despite a growing stream of scientific evidence that is likely to become a torrent in the coming years? The answer is found in Leviticus 18. "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

As a former "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value. But here's the catch. Leviticus is filled with laws imposing the death penalty for everything from eating catfish to sassing your parents. If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all.

For many of gay America's loudest critics, the results are unthinkable. First, no more football. At least not without gloves. Handling a pig skin is an abomination. Second, no more Saturday games even if you can get a new ball. Violating the Sabbath is a capital offense according to Leviticus. For the over-40 crowd, approaching the altar of God with a defect in your sight is taboo, but you'll have plenty of company because those menstruating or with disabilities are also barred.

The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago. Selectively hanging onto these ancient proscriptions for gays and lesbians exclusively is unfair according to anybody's standard of ethics. We lawyers call it "selective enforcement," and in civil affairs it's illegal.

A better reading of Scripture starts with the book of Genesis and the grand pronouncement about the world God created and all those who dwelled in it. "And, the Lord saw that it was good." If God created us and if everything he created is good, how can a gay person be guilty of being anything more than what God created him or her to be?

Turning to the New Testament, the writings of the Apostle Paul at first lend credence to the notion that homosexuality is a sin, until you consider that Paul most likely is referring to the Roman practice of pederasty, a form of pedophilia common in the ancient world. Successful older men often took boys into their homes as concubines, lovers or sexual slaves. Today, such sexual exploitation of minors is no longer tolerated. The point is that the sort of long-term, committed, same-sex relationships that are being debated today are not addressed in the New Testament. It distorts the biblical witness to apply verses written in one historical context (i.e. sexual exploitation of children) to contemporary situations between two monogamous partners of the same sex. Sexual promiscuity is condemned by the Bible whether it's between gays or straights. Sexual fidelity is not.

What would Jesus do?

For those who have lingering doubts, dust off your Bibles and take a few hours to reacquaint yourself with the teachings of Jesus. You won't find a single reference to homosexuality. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting and a thousand other subjects, but there is nothing on homosexuality. Strange, don't you think, if being gay were such a moral threat?

On the other hand, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about how we should treat others. First, he made clear it is not our role to judge. It is God's. ("Judge not lest you be judged." Matthew 7:1) And, second, he commanded us to love other people as we love ourselves.

So, I ask you. Would you want to be discriminated against? Would you want to lose your job, housing or benefits because of something over which you had no control? Better yet, would you like it if society told you that you couldn't visit your lifelong partner in the hospital or file a claim on his behalf if he were murdered?

The suffering that gay and lesbian people have endured at the hands of religion is incalculable, but they can look expectantly to the future for vindication. Scientific facts, after all, are a stubborn thing. Even our religious beliefs must finally yield to them as the church in its battle with Galileo ultimately realized. But for religion, the future might be ominous. Watching the growing conflict between medical science and religion over homosexuality is like watching a train wreck from a distance. You can see it coming for miles and sense the inevitable conclusion, but you're powerless to stop it. The more church leaders dig in their heels, the worse it's likely to be.

Oliver "Buzz" Thomas is a Baptist minister and author of an upcoming book, 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job).

"Let the People Vote...Then What?

For all the whining the anti SSM people are doing it would be interesting to see what their reactions will be if the ballot measure goes forward and loses. Does anyone with the ability to think actually believe that that will be the end of it? Right...

Lets put this right out on the table. These people who are against SSM, who signed this petition are homophobic bigots. Period.

To say that they aren't is a blatant lie. They can wrap themselves up in their 'Jesus Blankets' and shit on the Massachusetts constitution all they want, but that does'nt change the fact that they are bigots.

"A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from their own. The origin of the word in English dates back to at least 1598, via Middle French, and started with the sense of religious hypocrite, especially a woman.

Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to their prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false. Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views."


The anti-SSM people argue that they don't hate or discriminate, they just don't agree with our lifestyle. Fine, as so many more have said a lot more eloquently than I have: Mind your own god damn friggin' business then! You have absolutely no right to impose your religious or political beliefs on anyone else. The fact that the Massachusetts State Legislature voted again at the recent Constitutional Convention to postpone the vote has sent the religious right and Governor Hairdo into a tizzy.

I almost would be willing to 'let the people vote' if I didn't have to read one more freakin' editorial or letter to the editor of how the Massachusetts State Legislature is "rogue, or out of control". It's amazing how they are so adamant and vocal about the role of activist judges but when it suits their narrow-minded opinions "it's all good".

The hypocrisy of these people is sickening.

I wish they would find something else fixate on.

But then I realize this is what is supposed to happen.

For most of my life for, I have struggled with being 'different.' In our F***ed up hypocritical society difference isn't something that is necessarily valued. Sure, they may say that other peoples differences are the 'fabric of America' but when push comes to shove most people are scared to death of anything that doesn't conform to their own beliefs and ideals. It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I realized that being different was pretty damn cool. Yeah, I'm gay guy but that isn't all of me; just one of many parts. I have had girlfriends and boyfriends. Does that make me Bisexual, or just curious? I used to follow the Grateful Dead around (explains a lot don't it?) . Dead shows were actually one of the places that I felt the most comfortable. I could just be. I am also Portuguese, Native American, French Canadian and English. What does that make me then...a mutt I guess. But really, I am just a typical run of the mill American trying to get along in an increasingly hostile country and world. If you need to define me go ahead, but what would my definition be? A gay man? A Dead Head? A mutt? At different times of my life I have been different things. I have had different jobs, lived in different towns and States. Does that make me a hobo? (Although I always wanted to try and hop a freight train.) It's not that easy to label someone you don't know personally but the Mass Family type organizations of the world seem to think that they know exactly who and what the millions of Gay Americans are; evil perverts who are hell bent on converting their children and instilling "The Homosexaul Agenda" on society.

What agenda? Most of the gay folks I know are no different in their wants and desires as the straight folks I know. If anyone has an agenda it's the homophobic bigots of the world who have murdered, jailed, discriminated and harassed people who they perceived as different from themselves throughout history.

Earlier today received an email from my outgoing Republican State Rep. Shirley Gomes (who I have voted for in the past) detailing the Con Con vote last week. She voted against postponing the vote which was no surprise to me as she has repeatedly stated her views on SSM. I wrote her back and asked her exactly what I said above: would a yes vote on SSM be accepted by Mass Family and herself. I am guessing I will get back the standard GOP reply: "The people have a right to vote, I hope we can come to the understanding that people have different opinions ect..." It's sad, as I personally know Mrs. Gomes and her family. I grew up going to school with her children, her nieces and nephews. Mrs. Gomes is of Cape Verdean ancestry.
She grew up in the same town on Cape Cod as I did and still lives there. Would she be defined as a woman, a mother, a State Rep., a Cape Verdean, or worse yet a... republican?

I guess where I am going with this is that we all are many different things to ourselves and others. Nobody is the same. We all have differences. One of my favorite movies is 'Harold & Maude'. If any of you reading this have seen the movie you'll know what I am talking about.
In one scene they are in an arboretum (I think it's the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park) any way, they are looking at a bunch of daisies that all look the same. Maude asks Harold what kind of flower he would like to be and he says "One of those" She asks why and he says "Because they are all the same". She sort of scolds him in her Ruth Gordonish way: "But they're not" she says, "They have all sorts of discernible differences, some are short, some are long some have different size petals". Anyway, that's pretty much the gist of their conversation. That scene always gives me a shot of 'good vibes'. What I wish everyone should and would understand is that people are not that different from those daisies. We have may have different beliefs, cultures nationalities, sexualities, but in the end we are all the same. Arms, legs, eyes, ears, mouths, noses...

Even if we don't have all the parts we are still human beings. Well, at least some of us still are.

So, to vote or not to vote, that is the question. Should the civil rights of a minority group of American citizens be put to a popular vote? Of course I think not, but the wingers, bigots and homophobes say yes. Surprise Surprise.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, regardless of how offensive or ignorant that they may be, but your opinions are crossing the line when you advocate writing discriminatory laws into our State constitution.

I have pondered what would happen if a petition was initiated to prevent arrogant white republican men(that's redundant eh?) the right to marry. Actually that's not such a bad idea. We would be ridding the world of so much hot air it just might be the cure to global warming.
Can you imagine the uproar. I for one would sign that petition; hell I might even start it myself. I am sure I would gather more than enough signatures to get it on the ballot...wait a minute, that's discriminatory ain't it? See, the difference between me and them is I don't give a rats ass what they do in their private lives or who they marry, (as repulsive as it makes me to think of the say, Dennis Hasert having sex...) I just threw up in my mouth.

I just don't get the fixation that these people have with other peoples private lives. What is the obsession with homosexuality? I am pretty sure it's some sort of twisted sexual repression.

I don't know any hot Christan Fundies. Who the hell would want to F*** them? (Oops, I did it again.) Me thinks they do protest a bit to much. Intolerance is usually a sure sign of repression; lashing out against another group that you have decided are inferior to yourself even though you yourself are one of the group you detest. A vicious circle.

I was always under the assumption that in this country we are free to be who and what we want. "To each his or her own". That people's differences are what make them unique and individual. Are we all supposed to be this homogenized version of what a bunch of uptight sexually repressed bigots say we should be? What a boring world it be.

Imagine a world filled with sexually repressed republicans.

The horror, the horror.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Civil Rights by Popular Vote?

Over the past few years as the SSM (same sex marriage) issue has run its course one of the things that amazes and baffles me about the current attempt by the bigots at Mass Family is... are people really that stupid? Can't they see through the homophobia and the bigotry of these people? It's pretty transparent to me although I actually take the time and make the effort to keep myself informed. I don't get my information in 10 second sound bytes from a MSM that could care less about the quality and truth of news. One of the reasons our nation was hijacked by Cheney/ Rumsfeld cabal was that so many people in this country not only are aphetic about politics, they are down right stupid.

I am always amazed by shear numbers of people who just don’t vote. In this last election I was heartened by the numbers all across the country but I bumped into a few people I know that said they weren’t going to vote. I think I scared the crap out of one of my neighbors because I told her that if Cheney and Bush had there way we would be in war after war and her children would be nothing but cannon fodder for their war machine. Harsh, you bet. Reality, damn right! But then aren’t I as bad as them for using fear to GOTV? Hmmm...I don't give a shit! I live in the real world. Not some fantasy Theocratic play land where everybody praises Jesus and we shit roses.

I gotta say I was more afraid during this election than I have ever been before. If they were left in power…I shudder to think. As it is now, I am not sure if the Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal is more dangerous now that they are being pushed out. What will they do to hold on to power and continue to pursue their agendas?

So civil rights and voting; that’s the big story here in Massachusetts the past few days. With our State Legislatures voting to postpone the Constitutional Convention last week effectively null and voiding the bigoted attempt by Mass Family at altering our State Constitution, the usual bigots are out in full force. The “Let the People Vote” side is crying foul as they say their rights are being violated and the good guys (sorry I’m bias) are just happy that this could be the end of what could have potentially been a very divisive and nasty campaign. What amazes me about the people who are against SSM is that they won’t admit that they are homophobic bigots. Almost every one of these people will say, they ‘don’t care about what people do in their personal lives but…’ or ‘I have many gay friends’. Who are they kidding? Seriously! I have relatives that signed the anti- SSM petition who I probably will never speak with again. I wrote one of my relatives a letter that ‘expressed’ my displeasure with her singing it and let’s just say I probably won’t be attending any family functions with any of those people anytime soon. If I knew anyone personally who signed it I would confront them about it. We actually had 2 people running for the State Legislature here on the Cape who were both gay but one, unbelievably was against SMS. I’m guessing that he will be discussing that with his psycho analyst down the road. These people really are delusional.

Civil rights should never, ever be put to a majority vote, period. And, we need to take this back from the religious extremists who are making a mockery of our judiciary and State government. All they seem to have is hate in their black cold little hearts and they aren’t happy unless they have someone, something to hate and discriminate against. They say that this is about democracy and fairness. Bullshit! This is about civil rights for all Americans, straight, gay or even bigoted. I wish we could somehow shut these people up but sad to say they will most likely always be here waiting for that time, that issue that they can use to divide people and push their radical agenda forward. They really are pathetic aren’t they? They are nothing but bullies who have to have some to pick on. To me, they are nothing but cowards.

I guess the best way to shut them up would be how we just did it, by voting. I just hope that every person who didn’t vote is at least aware of what just happened in our country. We achieved change in Washington by voting. The war, the wars that these criminals seemed so intent on dragging us into will now at least be subject to oversight that will hold these people accountable for what they will do and most important what they have done.

For awhile, back a few weeks ago, I was so full of despair about the direction our Country was headed in I was actually thinking that it might be time for me think of moving to Canada, or some other country that actually had a democratically elected government that wasn’t on the verge of becoming a Police State. I figured for sure they were going try and steal this election, and or we would have another ‘terrorist attack’ that would be so bad, so awful that it would allow them to declare martial law and postpone or put off the election. I would not put anything past these neo-con criminals; desperate people who are afraid of losing power do desperate things. Although we still aren’t out of the danger that these people pose to out nation, at the very least their power to terrorize us has been diminished.

I guess that so many people came out to vote this election it threw off all of their voting schemes. The sheer numbers of people who showed up and voted null and voided most of, if not all their attempts at “dieiboldng the vote”

See, it does sort of work, the system. But even if somehow the anti-SSM assholes succeed at getting their bullshit petition on the ballot in 2008, there will be thousands of people who will do everything their power to make sure that these soulless bastards don’t win. Let the people vote my ass. How much you wanna bet that if the petition does somehow go to the ballot and it loses, which it looks more and more like if it did it will, these assholes will start screaming about how the system is broken. These bigots will never stop. It’s the hate that drives them and makes them feel alive. We may not be able to shut them up, but we got them running scared. With a little luck and a lot of hope we will keep them on the run for good!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

While Rome Burns...

103 (correction:105)US Service Men died in Iraq last month and the wingesphere and MSM focus on John Kerry's inability to tell a joke?!

Who owes who an apology?

How many more lies?

How many more distractions?

How many more people are going to die?

How much longer?

How absolutley pathetic and dispicable these people are.

This is waterboarding

I have nothing... just watch.

found over at Blah3