Showing posts with label Myth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Myth. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Visual Aid: If Marriage Equality Becomes a Reality What Will Happen?

     Here's visual aid concerning all those nasty claims and myths from right wing Christians, Catholics and Mormons concerning same-sex couples' civil-marriage rights courtesy of Political Ironing at the PBH Network.

Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine, Patron Saint of Gay Marriages

     Happy feast day of the god Lupercalia!  He's the reason for the season of love that we celebrate today.  Back in ancient Rome (before Christianity), February 13-15 were spent in festival, performing rites to purify the city for health, fertility and love.  In ancient Greece, Lupercalia was known as Pan.  Of course once, the Christians took over, this "pagan" feast was eventually syncretized into St. Valentine's Day.  And thank goodness, because flogging one's self bloody is not very romantic.

     As straight Christian couples around the world glorify their heterosexual love in name of St. Valentine's Day, homosexual couples continue to fight for their right to be civilly married.  The financial disclosure of political donations has shown that the vast majority of the funding for the campaigns to crush same-sex couple's civil rights comes from Catholics, Mormons, and Fundamentalist Christians.  What these "good" Christians don't realize is that they are repeating the history of their very own St. Valentine.  But now, they are the oppressive majority.

     Contemporary celebration of St. Valentine's Day is associated with the romantic legend of a third century Christian priest named Valentine, who broke the Roman marriage laws by performing banned marriages for young Christian men and women.  Yes, he was fighting for the the rights of his young flock to be married.  But don't blame the Roman majority.  Emperor Claudius II's Defense of Marriage Act was only trying to preserve the sacred and historically-founded unions of those who worshiped within the established Roman pantheon (and to keep those peace-loving Christians from dodging the draft).  

     Thus, when Christians gained control of the Roman Empire and usurped the right to marry, they changed what they now claim is the unchangeable institution of marriage.  [If you don't believe me or if you disagree, that's okay.  This is all according to Christian legend, and as I learned in my Catholic scripture classes, it doesn't matter if the scriptures are historically accurate, its the interpretation of the truth within the myth that matters.]

    For losing his life in the name of marriage equality and giving "straight" men everywhere an excuse to wear pink, St. Valentine should be the patron saint of marriage equality.  

Plus, the name, Valentine, is so gay.

Image Credits
  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Archbishop of Belgium: AIDS Is "Intrinsic Justice" for Gays; Elderly Priest Pedophiles Should Not Be Punished


     The head of the Catholic Church in Belgium has said that AIDS is “intrinsic justice” for homosexuality.  Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard also said that elderly priests found to have sexually abused children should not be punished.
     His spokesman Juergen Mettepenningen resigned over his boss’ remarks, AFP reports.
     Writing in a recently-released book on religious thought, Archbishop Leonard suggested that nature takes “vengeance” on those who “mistreat human love”.  He is also said to have called homosexuality a travesty of nature.
     Discussing HIV-positive people, he said: “When you mistreat the environment it ends up mistreating us in turn. And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance.  All I’m saying is that sometimes there are consequences linked to our actions,” the archbishop said, saying of AIDS, “this epidemic is a sort of intrinsic justice.”
     At a press conference, Mr Mettepenningen said of his former boss: “Monsignor Leonard at times acts like a motorist driving on the wrong side of a freeway who thinks all the other motorists are wrong.”
     Archbishop Leonard also courted controversy with remarks on Catholic priests accused of paedophilia.  Speaking on television last week, he said such priests should be spared punishment, which he termed “a sort of vengeance”.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last Known Pink Triangle Speaks about Being Placed in a Concentration Camp in Nazi Germany

     One myth thrown out by some conservative Christian Americans is that Hitler and the Nazis were gay.  Untrue.  Homosexuals were persecuted by Hitler, marked with pink triangles, and sent to concentration camps.  This is a historical fact.

     In the video below, Rudolph Brazda, who is possibly the last surviving Pink Triangle, speaks of his experience.

     97 year-old Rudolf Brazda is probably the last surviving man to have been deported by the Nazis for being a homosexual. In a video interview for Yagg he remembers his years as a prisoner at the Buchenwald concentration camp. He had previously given his precise and moving testimony to Jean-Luc Schwab, of the French organization Les “Oublié(e)s” de la Mémoire (Forgotten from Memory), who turned it into a fascinating book: Itinéraire d’un Triangle rose (Itinerary of a Pink triangle).
     The son of Tcheckoslovaquian immigrants in Germany, Rudolf Brazda was 20 when Hitler rose to power. He had lived his homosexuality freely and openly until the law penalizing homosexuality, the notorious “Paragraph 175″, was toughened by the Nazi regime. On August 8, 1942, after having gone to prison twice, he was sent to the concentration camp of Buchenwald, where he was given the number 7952, and a pink triangle.
     Here is the video of Brazda telling his story:

Thank you to Towleroad for introducing me to Yagg.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Democratic Presidencies Bring More Income Growth than Republican

     Here is something to consider when  voting in November, especially if like SHE and I you are scraping for dollars.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ex-Gay Christian Adam Hood Condemns Homosexuality while Wearing a Gold Ascot, What Is There to be Learned from This?

     Adam Hood, of the fundamentalist Christian group Recycle Your Faith, is the star of a recent set of videos about homosexuality being "one of the worst forms of depravity."  Hood is a self-proclaimed ex-gay, who was saved by Jesus and made straight by what he calls a miracle.  

     He delivers his message adorned in a gold ascot.
Image via Towleroad
     The first begins with the quote:
     A recent study shows that 92% of non-Christians ages 16-29 associate Christianity with being "anti-homosexual."
     Hood begins by saying that 100% of "outsiders" should view Christianity as anti-homosexual, because his bible is "so clear."  He speaks with pleasure and pride about how anti-gay his understanding of his god and his bible is.  

     Later, he goes into the typical "sin isn't right just because it feels good" Christian moralizing.  What he forgets is that according to Christian morals and scripture pride, judgment of others, and self-righteousness feel good, too, but indulging in these sins, while in a video wearing a gold ascot, is apparently okay.

     Here is an example of some of Hood's reasoning:
     [Homosexuality]'s a sin that God [sic] will damn.  If they stay in that sin, they will be damned to hell and rightly so, because they need to be quarantined because they will continue in their rebellion and try to bring that gangrene into heaven. God's [sic] not having it, okay?
     This type of thought in certain religious people and their religious institutions is the basis for all the anti-gay laws in the world.  If their gods will quarantine gays by dropping them into hell, then building their god's kingdom involves quarantining/segregating/burning gays here on earth.

     Hood also blames homosexuality on boys having been fatherless or sexually abused by a man, which are both myths.  There are plenty of homosexuals, who had loving fathers and/or were never sexually abused.  It sounds like he's going to one of my old Catholic counselors.  Also, very Catholic are his self-projected conclusions about what is natural and unnatural.

     Hood continues in a second video telling the story of his drug addiction, affinity for fame and wearing costumes, and his involvement in witchcraft, all of which took place while he was gay.  

     His conversion came when a homeless man read his mind and exposed his worries about going to hell.  This triggered a mental breakdown, during which orderlies were tying Hood down.  In that moment, he prayed and found peace in Jesus.  He was checked into a psych ward, where he believed that a possessed man in the next room was going to tear him apart.  When Hood "whispered" Jesus' name, the possessed man went mad.  Then, Hood became a "hardcore, on fire Christian" stating, "I mean martyr me for Jesus" Christian.  

     Hood admits that he had been on every drug you can imagine.  He never mentions detox and his mental breakdown as possible reasons for the mind reading power of the homeless and for possessed patients trying to silence his prayers.  No, it's all because he was gay.

     Hood then talks about the "miracle" of his god giving him "natural affection" for a woman.  Notice that he doesn't say "sexual attraction."  He talks about his first orgasm in his wife on their wedding night, how he screamed Jesus' name.  He talks about how much he loves women, loves his wife's body, and loves women physically.  But, he never says that he loves them sexually.  

Kate Winlet via WHYfame?
     I remember speaking like this, back in high school, college, and seminary, while trying to pass as straight.  As long as I talked about how much I appreciated the physical beauty of women's bodies, how much I verbalized that Kate Winslet was gorgeous, and how much I loved my numerous female friends, then I wasn't gay.  It didn't matter that, when it came to sex, I wanted men.

     Here is Hood's description of being part of the "gay community" and how it felt:     
     Probably at the lowest pit of my drug run, I ended up in the gay community in San Francisco, and, um, was a pretty well known club celebrity in the city, um, here in the city, and, um, dressed up everyday in the most extravagant wow costumes.  I felt like it was family.  You know, the gay community offered you celebrity.  It offered you affirmation, even men would pay attention to me.  Well, growing up my dad wasn't at home, I didn't have that.  But I didn't understand these things while I was in it.  I thought it was the rightest thing for me to be doing.  I thought that was who I was, and it was even righteous and holy.  I really did.
     This sounds just like my experience of seminary and priesthood, which promised me family/brotherhood, made me a parochial celebrity, inundated me with affirmation and the attention of men that I called "Father," and allowed me to dress up in extravagant costumes.  I was surrounded by people that assured me what I was doing was righteous and holy and believed that it was the rightest thing.

     In many ways, I see myself in Mr. Hood.  We shared the same struggle of trying to reconcile our homosexuality and religion.  Where he went down the dark rabbit hole of drugs that exists in a certain circles of the gay population, I went down the rabbit hole of sexual abuse, power, and manipulation in certain circles of the Catholic priesthood.  

     Our experiences of these cultures were tainted with pain and scandal, but that doesn't mean that every member of these groups is depraved or abusive.  I make strong statements on this blog about the hypocrisies and hatred that religious persons espouse, but I also know that not all religious people share these odious beliefs.  Sadly, Mr. Hood is not one of those people.

Here are the videos.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Proposition 8 Proponents' Attorney Argued Same Sex Marriages Will End Society

     The closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger were heard by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker yesterday.  The ruling will come later this summer.
Charles Cooper (via LGBT POV)
     The Los Angeles Times reports (My comments are interspersed.):
     Charles Cooper, attorney for proponents of the measure, told Walker that the “marital relationship is fundamental to the existence and survival of the race. Without the marital relationship, society would come to an end.”
     Because gays will destroy society?  Where have we heard that one before.  Pat Robertson & Jerry Falwell, Rick Warren, Martin SsempaJim DeMint, Mike Huckabee, the American Family Association, the Vatican, the U.S. military, etc. etc.  Just last week in Ghana, an anti-gay protest of 3,000 marched in the streets claiming that the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah would befall their nation if they didn't outlaw homosexuality, the protest's leaders claiming that gays wear diapers.  

     As if heterosexual Christians aren't doing enough to destroy the institution of marriage themselves.  Yes, scapegoat the queers.  That's an original and time-tested strategy.

     But wait a minute, if the purpose of marriage is to ensure procreation, then how did human beings evolve, exist, and procreate long before the patriarchal version of the institution of marriage was created?  Every other species on earth procreates successfully without the "marital relationship."  Cooper's argument is completely flawed.  The human race survived and thrived long before marriage, and if Cooper's doomsgay prophesy manifests, the human race will continue to procreate.
         That relationship, he [Cooper] said, is between a man and a woman and its main focus is procreation and “channeling” the sexual behavior of heterosexuals into “stable, marital unions.”
     Once again, I have to ask, does this mean that divorce should be made illegal?  Define "stable."  Should we pass laws defining a stable marriage and only allow heterosexual couples in so-called "stable, marital unions" to have sex and procreate?

Judge Vaughn Walker (via SFGate)
     Walker continually pressed the sometimes flustered Cooper on just what marriage means and why the state should care about it. Why does the state regulate marriage, he asked. Do people get married to benefit the community? Why doesn’t the state just consider it a private contract?
     Walker: “Why is it that marriage has such a large public role? What is the purpose?”
     Cooper: “This relationship is crucial to the public interest.… Procreative sexual relations both are an enormous benefit to society and represent a very real threat to society’s interest.”
     Walker: “Threat?"
     Cooper: “If children are born into the world without this stable, marital union … both of the parents that brought them into the world, then a host of very important, very negative social implications arise.... The purpose of marriage is to provide society’s approval to that sexual relationship and to the actual production of children.”
     If the purpose of marriage is to "provide society's approval to that sexual relationship and the actual production of children," then society is doing a shitty job by permitting so many children to be born into families of pedophiles, rapists, drug addicts, embezzlers, child-beaters, religious fanatics, mentally abusive, neglecting, self-centered, overbearing, disordered, cheating, lying, etc. etc. parents.  Where are all the laws that define and monitor marriage stability, determining whether a couple can conceive?  On what planet does Cooper live?

      Those who adopt go through rigorous screening processes before being allowed to become parents.  Olson presented evidence of studies showing that adoptive parents are more likely to provide a stable, nurturing household than your average married couple. Perhaps we need to take the babies born to those deemed "unstable" by Cooper's standards and put them all up for adoption.  That's it.  Stable same sex couples may actually save the human race by adopting and raising the children of abusive, unqualified, and unstable heterosexuals, who don't live up to Cooper's standards.

     And what of our soldiers that die in action?  Should their children be taken from their single mothers and placed in "stable" homes that have one mommy and one daddy?  Where does it end, Cooper?
Ted Olson (via Advocate)
     Cooper took Theodore Olson, attorney for the gay and lesbian couples who filed suit against Proposition 8, to task for claiming that Californians could support the ban on same-sex marriage only “through irrational or dark motive, some animus, some kind of bigotry.”
     People's religious beliefs don't excuse their actions, especially in a country where there is freedom of and from religion. Voting to take away the rights of a group, who holds different religious beliefs, is unconstitutional. 

     As for the dark motive, animus and bigotry, were not an endless barrage of commercials financed by religious groups channeled into my living room in 2008 purporting scientifically disproved myths and stereotypes of homosexuals as deviants, who were trying to prey on children in the school systems?  If that's not animus and bigotry, what is?
     Olson’s viewpoint, Cooper said, “denies the good faith of Congress, of state legislature after state legislature and electorate after electorate.”  To which Walker responded: “If you have 7 million Californians, 70 judges and this long history, why in this case did you present but one witness? ... You had a lot to choose from. One witness, and it was fair to say his testimony was equivocal.”
      Equivocal:  equiv-o-cal,  \i-ˈkwi-və-kəl\  According to Merriam-Webster, this is the definition of equivocal:

a: subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse [an equivocal statement]  b: uncertain as an indication or sign [equivocal evidence]
     Ouch.

     To download the full transcript click here.  My favorite moment came when during Cooper's argument, he sounded flustered and stated something like, "I'm losing my voice."

     We could only be so lucky.
  
Here is Kate Kendell's optimistic response after witnessing the closing arguments.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gay Blood Donations Ban Upheld in U.S.

     The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services voted to continue its unscientific and homophobic Reagan-era ban on gay men's blood donations.  In a 9-6 vote, the committee decided to keep the ban of any blood donations from men who have had sex at least one with another man since 1977.  So, if you've ever wondered why Father Fitzgibbons and Pastor Lovejoy aren't lining up at the parish blood drive, now you know why. 

     On Wednesday a group of legislators, led by Massachusetts senator John Kerry and Illinois representative Mike Quigley, issued a joint statement in support for amending the ban.
     "There is no prescribed consideration of safer sex practices," the lawmakers argued. "Individuals who routinely practice unsafe heterosexual sex face no deferral period at all, while monogamous and married homosexual partners who practice safe sex are banned for life," Kerry and his colleagues wrote to officials.
     Addressing the committee on Thursday, Kerry said he was joined by the nation's largest blood-banking organizations in opposition to the current policy. The American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and America’s Blood Centers have all blasted the policy as “scientifically and medically unwarranted.”
     "This is a discussion with real social significance for gay men," Kerry said before the committee. "They are clearly the target of this policy, which was initiated in the early '80s, when little was known about HIV/AIDS, except that gay men seemed to be contracting it almost exclusively. Today, this lingering policy carries with it a social stigma for this population that is still engaged in battles for civil rights on a whole array of fronts."
     So, who's blood would you rather have in a transfusion?

     1.  A heterosexual IV drug user that learned to shoot up with his mother when he was fourteen and shared needles consistently (he rinsed them out with water because his mother said that was good enough), but after he moved out at eighteen, kicked the habit, and now, at twenty-one has yet to have an HIV test because only those queers get AIDS.

     2.  A heterosexual and churchgoing Catholic woman in her late forties, who had a hysterectomy in her early thirties and has been having unprotected sex with her husband (who screws around on business trips) and secretly with two other other men (her husband's best friend and a co-worker at Catholic Charities) and doesn't use condoms because she can't get pregnant, and well, because Catholics can't use condoms.

     3.  A straight man, in his late fifties, who's married, and has unprotected sex with his wife, who he trusts is monogamous.  He's monogamous, or at least he has been for the past ten years after one of his younger mistresses got pregnant.  Since he only did it with women, he couldn't possibly have HIV, right?

     4.  A priest, who is forced to give blood in the parish blood drive because it will make a great PR moment for the local paper, who lies when asked by the phlebotomist about having had sex with a man since 1977 because it's none of her business nor is it the business of the twenty parishioners gathered around to watch father get pricked.  Swallowing down a panic attack, father goes through with the blood donation.  He loses sleep for weeks, worrying that he might have AIDS, but he's too frightened to get tested, to be stigmatized.  It's better to just let go and let god.  After his guilt dissipates, he makes his occasional "retreat" into the big city's gay district for a weekend of anonymous pleasures.

     5.  A single gay man, who uses condoms when having anal sex, which isn't all that often and  much less so than the media and religious homophobes scare people into believing.  He's only had anal sex with six or seven different men and always safe, except for that one time twenty years ago.  Since then, he prefers oral sex, cuddling, massage, and kissing, you know, behaviors that don't put him at risk for HIV, and has had only protected anal sex occasionally.  Aware of and educated about STIs and HIV, he responsibly gets tested for HIV every three months and for the remaining barrage of STIs every six months.  He knows that he's negative on all counts.

     6.  A gay man, who is in a monogamous relationship for five years.  Both he and his partner had all their tests, first when they started dating and again after six months of being monogamous.  They are both HIV-negative.

      Examples 1, 2, 3, and 4, could all give blood under current regulations.  The honest gay men, 5 and 6, could not.  

     I am a trained HIV test counselor, who in my last job gave HIV tests as part of my duties.  I can tell you that of these five examples, numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all at high risk for having been exposed to HIV and need HIV tests.  #5 is at extremely low risk, so much so that he would be counseled to only come back for an HIV test if he had an anal sexual encounter in which he didn't use a condom or if he was worried the condom broke.  #6 is not at risk, period.

    These examples show how our government's gay blood ban is ridiculous and serves no purpose other than to continue to marginalize and discriminate gay men and to scapegoat them for the AIDS epidemic.  There is no scientific basis for this ban.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Current TV's New Documentary "Missionaries of Hate" Explores the Anti-Gay Christian Movement in Uganda

     Current TV is airing a new Vanguard documentary called "Missionaries of Hate," Wednesdays at 10/9c.

     The documentary explores how Christian preachers in Uganda are generating support for Bill No. 18, the kill-the-gays bill.  These pastors include Americans that travel to Uganda, as well as well-known locals, such as Martin Ssepma of the "homosexuals eat poop" lunacy.

     Here's the log-line via Current TV:
     Correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to Uganda, where many question whether the growing influence of American religious groups has led to a movement to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. As an anti-gay movement spreads across the continent, gay Africans and their families face an increasingly uncertain future of isolation, imprisonment or even execution.
     Embedded below are parts 1, 2, and 3 of "Missionaries of Hate."


     Current's synopsis of "Uganda Is a Christian Nation: Missionaries of Hate, Part 2":
     Uganda is almost 90 percent Christian, and American evangelicals such as Rick Warren, Benny Hinn and Joyce Meyer are hugely popular. An American-led conference in March 2009 promoted the idea of a "gay agenda" and may have introduced Ugandan religious and political leaders to many of the anti-gay ideas that are now widely held. Mariana interviews David Bahati, the member of Uganda's parliament who introduced the anti-gay bill, and Pastor Martin Ssempa, who is angry that Rick Warren has condemned the proposed law.


     Current's summary of "Pastor Martin Ssempa's Crusade: Missionaries of Hate, Pt. 3":
     The leader of Uganda's anti-gay movement is Pastor Martin Ssempa, a skilled and savvy showman who uses press conferences with international media and church services to present his sermons on the evils of homosexuality. He shows hard-core gay pornography and has a young woman testify to being seduced into being a lesbian by activists.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brazilian Archbishop Dadeus Grings Blames Sexual Abuse Scandal in Catholic Church on Society and Homosexuals

     Oh Brazil, largest Catholic nation in the world, home to priest-pedophile sex tapes, we thank you for  blessing us with yet another Catholic leader, Archbishop Dadeus Grings, who preaches ignorance in the face of sexual abuse, and in the process, exposes the attitudes that caused and continue to fuel the scandal in holy dysfunctional mother church.

     Some will say that Grings is just some lunatic local bishop, but he's the Archbishop of Porto Alegre, one of the largest dioceses in Brazil.   Also, he's just following the lead of the Vatican's #2, Cardinal Bertone, who blamed the gays a few weeks ago in Chile.

     The AP reports (my comments are interspersed):
     Archbishop Dadeus Grings — a conservative priest who has made controversial statements in the past — told the O Globo newspaper at a Brazilian bishops conference that society's woes are being reflected in the sex abuse scandal enveloping the Roman Catholic Church.
"Society today is pedophile, that is the problem. So, people easily fall into it. And the fact it is denounced is a good sign," Grings told O Globo.
     Society "is pedophile."  Does that mean that everyone is a pedophile?  I'm confused.  I thought only a very small percentage of people were pedophiles.  Using your logic, Archbishop, we could also say that society is religious violence, because a minority of the world's believers kill in the names of their gods.  We could even say venture to say that the Catholic Church is religious violence.
     Grings denounced the abuse within the church, but he said internal punishment of priests guilty of abuse was sufficient and that police should not be involved.  "For the church to go and accuse its own sons would be a little strange," he said.
     Finally, an admission of guilt from an archbishop that keeping cases of sexual abuse from the civil authorities is the way the Catholic Church operates!  

     Let me get this right then, Archbishop: if the church handing its pedophile-priests over to the civil authorities would be "a little strange," what does that say about the church continuing to enable priests to mouth-rape thirteen-year-old boys or to rape and impregnate little girls?
     The archbishop also said it was important to help children avoid homosexuality.  "We know that the adolescent is spontaneously homosexual. Boys play with boys, girls play with girls," he said. "If there is no proper guidance, this sticks. The question is — how are we going to educate our children to use a sexuality that is human and suitable?"
    Really?  I'd like to ask all the heterosexual readers out there if they played with kids of the same sex, before they were properly guided until their heterosexuality stuck.  

     And what does this say of all the gay priests in the church, who received the best Christian formation the church had to offer?  Were they not "properly guided" within this holy system?  

     Maybe Grings is trying to tell us all that he played with boys in the past.  The question is what age was the archbishop when "proper guidance" made him realize that sexually messing with boys was not proper?

     Grings also said the acceptance of homosexuality in society could pave the way for the acceptance of pedophilia.  "When sexuality is trivialized, it's clear that this is going to affect all cases. Homosexuality is such a case. Before, the homosexual wasn't spoken of.  He was discriminated against.  When we begin to say they have rights, rights to demonstrate publicly, pretty soon, we'll find the rights of pedophiles," he said.
     Again the outdated and scientifically disproved myth that homosexuality leads to/equals pedophilia.  These bishops really need to embrace the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution if they want to be credible in this dialog.  

     Grings has balls, in that he openly admits that the Church discriminates against homosexuals and  so should the state.  And, he's proud of it, unlike his spineless American counterparts, who keep whining, "We're not bigots, we're religious."
     In 2003, he argued that only 1 million Jews died in the Holocaust, though a few years later he recanted. Experts say 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.  Last year, he outraged Jewish groups in Brazil by telling a magazine that "more Catholics than Jews died in the Holocaust, but this isn't known because the Jews control the world's media."
     No wonder Pope Benedict likes this guy so much.

     Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Archbishop Grings: ignorant, homophobic, antisemitic, priest-perpetrator-protecting Catholic, who has been ordained to preserve the succession of Jesus' apostles.  Wouldn't that Jewish Jesus and his Jewish apostles be so proud?  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Archbishop Myers Opposes Discussion of Gay Marriage at Seton Hall

     Seton Hall University is a major Catholic university. In a diverse and collaborative environment it focuses on academic and ethical development. Seton Hall students are prepared to be leaders in their professional and community lives in a global society and are challenged by outstanding faculty, an evolving technologically advanced setting and values-centered curricula.
     That is Seton Hall University's Misson Statement as approved by the Seton Hall University Board of Regents, Thursday, June 6, 1996.

     The English word university comes from the Latin word universitas, which means "the whole , total; the universe, the world."  A university is meant to provide a universal education, in other words, teaching the academic whole.

     In an attempt to do this, Seton Hall University has scheduled a course on same sex marriage for the fall academic semester, which university officials say is "designed to explore the controversial issue without advocating for either side."

     An academic exploration of one of the major civil rights debates facing the current generation of university students sounds reasonable, right?  That sounds like a university trying to prepare its students to be professional and community leaders in a "global society," where they will have to be able to work in a "diverse and collaberative environment" while maintaining their own values, right?  It's just Seton Hall living up to its mission statement, right?

     Wrong.  According to Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, New Jersey, the course, by its very nature of exploring the reality that there are two sides to the same sex marriage equality argument, violates Catholic teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.  NJ.com reports Meyers' words:
     "This proposed course seeks to promote as legitimate a train of thought that is contrary to what the Church teaches. As a result, the course is not in synch with Catholic teaching," Myers said. "Consequently, the board of trustees of Seton Hall have asked the board of regents to investigate the matter of this proposed course and to take whatever action is required under the law to protect the Catholicity of this university."
     Therefore, according to Myers' logic, anything that is not "in synch" with his version of Catholic teaching cannot be taught.  That would mean, no courses on women's liberation (especially in the church), no courses on the science or psychology of human sexuality (that don't teach only about unprotected vaginal sex that results in an ejaculation inside of the woman), and no classes on Church history that mention the philosophical and theological viewpoints that are viewed as valid by the Arians, Nestorians, Marcians, Donatists, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, Old Catholics, New American Catholics, or any heresy or schism in the history of Christianity.  Basically, Myers is calling for a style of learning that only teaches one view of the universe and humanity (the Vatican is at the center of the universe).

     If this is the way Catholic institutions are supposed to teach, then why do they call themselves universities? They are anything but universal.  Sticking your head in the ground is no way to teach a generation how to interact in a viable way with a global society.

     As for Myers' ability to shut down the class, NJ.com reports:  
     As archbishop, Myers does not have the authority to cancel a class. But the conservative archbishop serves as chairman of Seton Hall’s board of trustees and president of the school’s board of regents, the governing body that oversees academic issues.
     Larry Robinson, Seton Hall’s vice provost, said the course was approved by both the political science department and the dean’s office.
     The "Official Voice of Seton Hall University," the Setonian, reports associate professor W. King Mott and the program of Women and Gender Studies's academic reasons for offering the course:
     The class is not an advocacy course, according to Mott. Rather, it teaches the issue of gay marriage from an academic perspective. “It is one thing to say ‘I am for or against gay marriage,’” Mott said. “It’s another to actually understand the issue.”
     The course will teach various cultural perspectives of marriage, such as Eurocentric and Asian views, Mott said.  The course will also include an analysis of the contemporary political situation regarding gay marriage, such as Proposition 8 in California. Additionally, it will include a look at which states allow and prohibit gay marriage and what that means, Mott said.  Finally, students taking the course will write an analysis on gay marriage from a perspective they choose after they have been educated on the issue...Mott said he hopes his students will have the ability to form an educated opinion after taking the class, regardless if it is for or against the issue.  “I hope my students gain an appreciation and respect for disinterested analysis that can be used to formulate an informed opinion,” Mott said.
     Forming an informed opinion via disinterested analysis, now that's a frightening goal for Catholic universities, indeed.  Of what is Archbishop Myers, author of Space Vulture, so afraid?  That his Catholic students might actually form their brains and consciences, be able to articulate themselves intelligently, and possibly come to disagree with the church?  If this is the case, then Myers and the Catholic Church have already lost the debate.

     I, for one, think it's fantastic that Catholic "universities" would not offer courses on marriage equality and that they don't teach about the academic, philosophical, theological, scientific, psychological, etc. views and facts that contradict Catholic teachings.  There's no better way for the Catholic Church to dumb itself out of an argument than by not understanding the other side.  Look at how well it worked with Galileo, women, liberation theologians, Darwin, Kinsey, victims of sexual abuse by beloved Catholic clergy, etc. etc.

     Let them keep forming their flock in ignorance.  This only strengthens the reality that, to rest of the world, the Catholic Church is an archaic, outdated, superstitious, and self-serving political and financial monster that needs to take its place in the halls of Ra, Isis, Osiris, Mithras, Zeus, Venus, and the other gods, who've faded into myth, and rightly so.

     One might ask, why is Archbishop John Myers so adamant that gay rights not be academically analyzed in his universities.  Well, an old lawsuit provides a compelling reason.  Archbishop John Myers is gay.

     The suit, now pending in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, was filed on December 13 by Bob Hoatson—a 53-year-old New Jersey priest considered a stalwart ally among survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. Hoatson, the now-suspended chaplain for Catholic Charities in Newark, is suing Egan and nine other Catholic officials and institutions, claiming a pattern of "retaliation and harassment" that began after Hoatson alleged a cover-up of clergy abuse in New York and started helping victims.
     But that's not all his lawsuit claims. Halfway through the 44-page complaint, the priest-turned-advocate drops a bomb on the cardinal: He alleges that Egan is "actively homosexual," and that he has "personal knowledge of this." His suit names two other top Catholic clerics in the region as actively gay—Albany bishop Howard Hubbard and Newark archbishop John Myers.
     There's no better reason for a closeted Catholic cleric to be against gay rights than to justify his own compartmentalized life.  How do I know this?  Because I used to do the same thing.
Image Credits:
Seton Hall Pirates logo by SportsLogos.net
Archbishop John J. Myers in Cassock by NJ.com 
Seton Hall Catholic Cheerleader Values by CollegeHoops.net
Archbishop John J. Myers Alien Science Fiction Writer by NJ.com
Seton Hall Basketball Gay Moment by Syracuse.com
Cover of and Authors of Space Vulture by SpaceVulture.com

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lady Gaga and Ke$ha Invade Afghanistan, Do Ask, Do Tell

     This video of U.S. troops in Afghanistan dancing to and lipsyching Lady Gaga's "Telephone" stars Privates Big Rob, Pilon, Conley, Castor, Eichor, Baker, and Malibu Milkshake Melcher.

     Besides entertaining hundreds of thousands of pro-military, anti-gay homophobes, the video does many things.  It:
Your tax dollars at work.
Tonight Lady Gaga, tomorrow village bombing.

And for all you Air Force lovers, here are your gay cadets hard at play in Ke$ha's "Tik Tok."


     For more on the gay Air Force experience read Here's What We'll Say by Reichen Lehmkuhl.


     Thanks to Towleroad for the video leads.