Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Too Gay for Figure Skating" Johnny Weir's Revenge on the "Butch" Evan Lysacek

     Remember how during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, Johnny Weir was under attack by hypocritical skating athletes and fans for being "too gay for figure skating"?

     Well, he just got a little revenge.  Watch him out the gold-metal-winning, supposedly butch but sequin-snake-wearing Dancing with the Stars' headliner Evan Lysacek.  Weir roomed with Lysacek's ex "girlfriend" in Vancouver and has the inside spin.

Thanks to Towleroad for the video link!

Christian Pastor Attacks Gay Mayoral Candidate in Gainesville with Hate Speech in the Name of Jesus

     The Gospel According to Hate is alive and well in Gainesville, Florida, where openly gay mayoral candidate, Don Marsh, is under attack by the Christian right. 

     Pastor Wayne Sapp of the Dove World Outreach Center (How gay is that name?) put a video on YouTube in which he preached his hatred and homophobia.  I would have posted it here and commented, but it's been removed from YouTube because it violated You Tube's terms of service.

     The Independent Florida Alligator was able to post the video before it was taken down.   Watch the video by clicking here.  Look into the kind of ignorance that breeds such hatred in the name of the Christian god.

     "Here in Gainesville, they’re getting ready to have a run-off election between two candidates, and one of them is openly a homo, gay, fag — whatever you want to call him.  We got one running for mayor of Gainesville, trying to convert Gainesville into Homo ville. We can’t have it." 
     As his anger and hatred boil, Sapp nearly strangles the camera, but he claims to represent a loving god.

     Here is a link to a different video from the Dove World Outreach Center website explaining how they don't judge gays.   The video rips homosexuals for spreading lies and hating free speech, and then goes on to say that:

  • Homosexuals only live to age 40. 

  • 36% of homosexuals are child molesters. 

  • 80% of homosexuals have STDs.
     These ignorant lies are what breeds hatred and violence against LGBT persons.  The speaker claims that Dove's Christians don't hate homosexuals, but their pastor's words include gay-slurs that are hate speech and have been used historically to incite violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.  (The video also displays the hatred that Dove's pastor stirs up toward Muslims.)

     I need not pass judgment on the holy Christians of Dove World Outreach Center.  Their own words stand as judgment.

NPR Reports that U.S. Bishops Are Quitely Putting Pedophile Priests Back into Parishes


     Yesterday Cardinal Levada, formerly archbishop of San Francisco and a top dog at the Vatican, issued a statement attacking the New York Times for its articles connecting the pope to the mishandling of priest-pedophiles. In his statement, Levada claimed that, since the 2002 Dallas Charter (new guidelines for how to deal with sexual abuse allegations in the United States), the Catholic bishops have not been putting pedophile-priests back in the parish.

     He lied. Or he's ignorant. Or both.

     Today, National Public Radio reports that over the past few years, as U.S. media attention surrounding the church's handling of sexual abuse has died down, some bishops have been quietly reinstating accused (and even convicted priests) back into ministry.

     One such case involves Bishop John Steinbock of Fresno, who sneaked the Rev. Eric Swearingen back into a youth ministry position.  NPR reports:
     In 2006, the jury found 9 to 3 that Swearingen had abused Rocha [who was twelve when the abuse occurred]. But it could not decide whether the diocese knew about it. Rather than go through a new trial, the two sides settled. At the time, Steinbock said he thought the jury got it wrong, and that while the Catholic Church should protect children, "doing this cannot be done in such a manner as to punish innocent priests."
     "Bishop Steinbock continues Swearingen in ministry to this day, choosing to believe the priest is innocent, choosing to protect the priest, and choosing to disregard entirely the judicial finding by a jury that found he had committed the crime of sexual abuse against Juan," says Rocha's attorney, Jeffrey Anderson. Today, Swearingen serves as priest at Holy Spirit parish in Fresno, where he also oversees the youth ministry.
     So, in his twisted mind, Steinbock believes that he isn't violating the Dallas Charter by sticking a priest who was found guilty of sexual abuse back into youth ministry. 

     Wrong!  He's still violating the charter.  The NPR report continues: 
     "If there's a credible allegation, they're out of public ministry. Period," says Theresa Kettlekamp, who oversees the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She says there are no exceptions to this policy. "There's not a caveat that says, 'You're out of public ministry but you can volunteer at Goodwill. You're out of public ministry but you can be a priest over at Feed the Children,' " she says. "No, it's very clear. They're out of public ministry."
     The key is the word "credible."  Steinbock didn't think that a guilty verdict of 9-3 was credible.  The majority vote was wrong.  (Sounds like he should join the Tea Party.)  So, the abusive priest is returned to ministry.  The church cocktail of power, arrogance, and denial is quite intoxicating for the princes(ses) of the church.

     The church may have adopted strict policies of how to deal with predators and allegations, but as always with church documents, how those policies are interpreted is open to interpretation.  Remember--each bishop is prince of his own diocese.  The pope is merely a first among equals.  Which means the pope gets to have his "I don't have any responsibility for any of it" cake and eats his "you bishops will do what I say concerning gay rights, women's rights, etc. etc." cake, too.

     Another case reported by NPR:
     In 2003, a criminal-trial jury convicted the Rev. Michael Fugee, a priest in Newark, N.J., of molesting a teenage boy. Later, an appellate court overturned the verdict because of the judge's instruction. Rather than undergo a new trial, the prosecutors and the Archdiocese of New Jersey agreed to keep Fugee away from children. When officials at a local hospital where Fugee was serving as a volunteer chaplain — saying Mass and ministering to families — learned of the criminal trial in his past, they were horrified.  Archbishop John Myers declined to speak on the record, but his spokesman says that Fugee's assignment was only temporary and did not involve regular ministry to children.
     So, it's okay for a priest-pedophile to return to ministry in Newark, if he doesn't have "regular ministry to children."  Archbishop Myers doesn't get it.  It only take one irregularity--one child alone in a hospital bed, in a bathroom, or behind a curtain--for a pedophile to act. 

     In closing, NPR reports:
     Anne Barrett Doyle, who works with the watchdog group BishopAccountability.org. She says that recently, bishops have started quietly returning to ministry priests who previously have been accused of abuse. "I think they feel that the crisis has died down in the public mind," she says. "Therefore, they have some confidence that if they go ahead and reinstate these priests, that they'll get very little backlash." Doyle and others have identified about a dozen clergy who have been accused, arrested or sued for abuse and returned to ministry. She says the process for investigating priests is secret, and often the diocese says nothing about the charges against a priest when it returns him to ministry.

General Sheehan Apologizes to Dutch Military but Not to the Gays that He Insulted

     A few weeks ago I posted about the angry Dutch response to retired U.S. Marine Corps General John Sheehan blaming gays in the Dutch armed forces for the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, in which Jesus-loving Christians massacred Muslims.  Sheehan released an apology yesterday via email.  I know.  How tacky!

     The Defense Ministry released an e-mail Tuesday from Sheehan, a former NATO commander who retired from the military in 1997, to retired Dutch Gen. Henk van den Breemen saying he is sorry for his statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 18.  In the e-mail, Sheehan says the 1995 murder of some 8,000 Muslim men in Bosnia's Srebrenica enclave "was in no way the fault of individual soldiers." [He goes on to state:]  "I am sorry that my recent public recollection of those discussions of 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military."
     Is it just me or did Sheehan not apologize to the gays?  It's great that he apologized to the Dutch and all, but he also slammed homosexuals worldwide with his homophobic statement.  He never once mentioned the word "gay" or "homosexual" in his apology.  Instead, he talks around the issue referring to the Dutch military's "thinking on some specific social issues."  What a wimp.  He can't even say it.  What's wrong, general, don't you have the balls to apologize to a bunch of queers?

    You can read the entire "apology" over at DownWithTyranny! in a post titled, "General Sheehan demonstrates the fine art of apologizing when all you're really sorry for is getting caught."  That about says it all.