Monthly Archives: July 2011
Not much for you today, I’m afraid. I’m in the process of moving out of my apartment, so I don’t really have time for long blog posts.
A Russian man who tried to rob a hair salon ended up as the victim when the female shop owner overpowered him, tied him up naked and then used him as a sex slave for three days.
All things considered I’m not certain I should be saying “serves you right” to the would-be robber, worrying about why the hell Olga Zajac (the 28 shop owner with a black belt in karate) thought keeping him as a sex slave was a good idea when she could have just called the cops, or simply laughing at the ridiculousness of the entire situation.
Clearly Olga has some issues to work out, maybe she can do that in prison.
The would-be robber was eventually released, with Zajak saying he had learned his lesson.
Jasinski went straight to the police and told them of his back-room ordeal, saying that he had been held hostage, handcuffed naked to a radiator, and fed nothing but Viagra.
Both have now been arrested.
When police arrived to question Zahjac, she said: ‘What a bastard. Yes, we had sex a couple of times. But I bought him new jeans, gave him food and even gave him 1,000 roubles when he left.”
And with that, I am laughing. Not because rape is funny, never that.
It’s just…her reaction.
“What a bastard.” Sure I tied him up in the back room, force-fed him viagra and had sex with him, but c’mon guys. I gave him 1,000 roubles and food and new jeans, what more could he ask for? He’s just being sooo demanding. *sigh* Besides, he totally deserved it for trying to break into my hair salon.
Of course some people are claiming the story is a hoax. In the long run, it’s not a story I care to put too much effort into researching…it’s just a bit of interesting…well, not fluff exactly, but news that I thought would entertain. It does that, whether it’s true or not.
Pat Condell would never miss out on an opportunity to mock Andy Choudary and I would never miss out on a chance to partake in the mocking. Andy Choudary is just ridiculous, he’s almost the British, Muslim equivalent of Fred Phelps at this point.
Islamic extremists have launched a poster campaign across the UK proclaiming areas where Sharia law enforcement zones have been set up.
Communities have been bombarded with the posters, which read: ‘You are entering a Sharia-controlled zone – Islamic rules enforced.’
The bright yellow messages daubed on bus stops and street lamps have already been seen across certain boroughs in London and order that in the ‘zone’ there should be ‘no gambling’, ‘no music or concerts’, ‘no porn or prostitution’, ‘no drugs or smoking’ and ‘no alcohol’.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for the scheme, saying he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and ‘put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term’.
Choudary claims that their will be hundreds of people patrolling these “Sharia-controlled zones” to prevent all “drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, usury, free mixing between the sexes – the fruits if you like of Western civilisation.” as Choudary put it.
Scotland Yard and local councils are working together to remove the signs and find those responsible for putting them up and prosecute them. At least they are doing their job.
Considering Choudary admitted to being involved, shouldn’t he be the first one arrested?
Now for something completely different. (Oh come on, I know I don’t do pop culture much…but it is up there in the description of the blog.)
I’m working on a series of posts related to the Fish Out Of Water documentary from the last post, but I’ve been itching to do a post about this season of the series White Collar since about episode 2, because it represents some interesting moral dilemmas for all of the main characters, but especially the con man. Neal Caffrey.
If you haven’t watched this show and plan to. Or you haven’t been watching it recently and are a few episodes behind I would recommend you skip this post, because there are going to be SO many spoilers in here…
To keep things easy, I’m going to assume the readers know most of the plot of the show up to this point. If you don’t, why don’t you try the wikipedia page. It has a great overview.
To make a long story short, Mozzie has stolen a load of pre-World War 2 antiquities off of a Nazi submarine, antiquities that the FBI white collar crime and art crime units are looking for. Mozzie wants to sell the items on the black market and skip town with Neal, starting their lives as criminals again.
I’ve always had a fondness for Mozzie, with his horrible glass and funny walk and conspiracies theories and the way he never calls Peter (the FBI agent who works with Neil) by his name. He just calls him “The Suit” and Peter’s wife, Elizabeth, is Mrs. Suit. He’s just always been sort of endearing…until this season.
I had always realized that, while Mozzie is Neal’s closest friend and criminal partner, Mozzie is kind of a bad friend. He actively dissuades Neal from trying to form normal attachments to anyone other than Mozzie. He never approved of Kate, he’s constantly trying to keep Neal from trusting Peter or Elizabeth or Peter’s team and becoming friends with any of them, he is happy when Neal’s girlfriend, Sarah, leaves him this season. All because he doesn’t believe that Neal should form permanent attachments, because they can’t afford to because of who they are…con-men.
The problem here is that I don’t think Neal would have ever become a serious con-man if he hadn’t met Mozzie. He learned everything about cons from Mozzie. Sure, he knew how to make a convincing forgery before that, but it was the cons that became his life and it’s the cons that are now preventing him from living his life.
And I think he can see that.
He’s struggling with it, because he can see that he likes his life. He is friend’s with Peter and Elizabeth and the rest of the team. He wants to go after Sarah and make her take him back. He doesn’t want to sell those antiquities and start running again, because he’s sick of running.
We still don’t know much about his past, but given his personality…I don’t think he ever liked running very much, he just ended up stuck and he was, frankly, relieved when Peter finally caught him and put him in jail the first time. That’s why, when he escaped from jail in the first season, he didn’t keep running, he waited for Peter to catch him again and take him back to prison…because he hates running. It’s why he hesitated to get on that plane with Kate at the end of season 1. It’s why he sabotages, subconsciously or purposefully, all of the plans that he and Mozzie put together to leave New York City.
And I think he’s starting to see the difference between the “friend” he thinks he has in Mozzie and the real friend he has in Peter. Especially in the episode that aired this week “As You Were”. At the end of the episode Neal breaks into Peter and Elizabeth’s house, while they are out, to find a safe where he thinks a partial list of the submarine’s manifest is hidden. (They can’t sell anything on the manifest while they are being watched by the FBI, they would be caught very quickly). He breaks into the safe and finds the manifest, among a pile of other important documents that you would keep in fire proof safe. One of those documents is a photograph of Peter’s team, with Neal right in the center. Neal takes a photograph of the manifest, but before he can leave Peter calls him.
Peter: That call you made before you left the office tonight?
Peter: Was it Sarah?
Neal: She hasn’t been taking my calls.
Peter: Ah man, that’s gotta be weighing on you.
Neal: You have no idea.
Peter: Listen, you and I have been through some stuff. And…we’ve had to keep things from each other, but…if you wanna talk. Y’know, I mean, really talk. I’m here for you.
Neal: Is this the loneliness of the van talking?
Peter: Maybe, maybe, but I think you deserve some happiness and whatever I can do to help you with that, let me know.
Neal: Thanks Peter, that means a lot.
Peter: Yeah, no problem.
The whole conversation had a marked difference from Mozzie’s “For what it’s worth I’m really sorry about Sarah…but you were going to have to cut ties with her eventually. Our days here are numbered.” I don’t think Mozzie knows how to survive without being a criminal. I think Neal could survive and thrive being a hero. That’s what makes them so different and that’s why when Mozzie calls, right after Peter. Neal lies to him and tells him the manifest wasn’t in the safe, because Neal doesn’t want to leave…but I don’t think he knows how to tell Mozzie that, so he’s grasping for anything that will give him a little more time to sort through this dilemma.
Though I think he already knows what he wants. He said so, right in this episode.
Jones: We can’t have it all right?
Neal: Why not?
Jones: Why not? Why not! Well because choices are sacrifices and, inevitably, that means giving up something you want for something that you want more. So now I have to ask. What does having it all mean to Neal Caffrey?
Neal: Never having to worry about money. Doing something that’s meaningful. Being surrounded by people I care about. Respect. That’s pretty much the dream.
Jones: (laughing) Screw you.
Neal: Screw me?
Jones: Screw you. You’re already living the dream.
Neal: Oh come on.
Jones: You are the damned dream, with a tracking anklet. Am I wrong?
I think Neal’s only problem is that, even though he knows what he wants, he isn’t sure how to get it without hurting anyone. He was never cut out to be the be a con-man because he hates to hurt people and he hates to do anything for himself, he finds himself bending over backwards to do what other people want even when it makes him miserable. And now he’s struggling to find a way to tell Mozzie that he’s done with being a criminal, that he would rather stay and work the FBI than fly off to the Caribbean and become a criminal again.
Anyway, I’m now stuck watching a show where I want to slap a recurring character every time he’s on screen and tell him to stop trying to screw up Neal’s new life.
At least Eliza Dushku will be the guest star next week. That will be exciting.
While I don’t think it’s my job to dictate other people’s moral principle’s or the moral principles of their religion I do think that any person who is going to spout off about what their religion says about any particular social or moral practice needs to be well informed and hear about the issue from scholars on all sides of the topic, not just their side, before making any conclusions on what and who their god hates.
I can’t recall who said it, but I recall the quote “If God hates all the same people you do, you can be pretty sure you’ve created God in your own image.” and if you can’t stop hating those people, even after you’ve been shown that you’ve been misinterpreting your Bible for years…then God’s opinion was never a very important part of the equation was it?
When I sat down to watch Fish Out Of Water, after it was recommended on Canyonwalker Connections (one of the few pro-gay Christian blogs that I follow, despite not being a Christian myself), I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting. More of the same I suppose. You see, I’ve been arguing with the conservative Christian community about their views on homosexuality and gay rights since before I knew I was gay.
After a while, all the arguments about the “big 7″ – the Biblical verses that (supposedly) condemn homosexuality – get kind of stale and old. It’s not like either side has any new material to pull from.
However, I found myself enjoying the information in the documentary more than I expected to partially because it gave me some new perspectives on old arguments and partially because it reminded me of something that I had nearly stopped believing, but I’ll go over that later. For now, we’ll start with the beginning of the documentary and work from there.
The documentary was made by Ky Dickens, a graduate of Vanderbilt University in the great state of Tennessee. Why a lesbian chose to go to a conservative school in a conservative state? Because lesbian films are as guilty of lying to young lesbians as Disney is of lying to children about love.
She came out to her sorority sisters during her senior year of college.
It did not go well.
Everything from being told she was possessed by demons to being told she was going to hell.
Ky didn’t know how to respond to the verses that were being thrown at her.
But she, like myself, had real gumption and spent 3 weeks traveling to churches throughout Nashville. Asking pastors was the Bible said about homosexuality. She said that “One after another told me that the Bible had been grossly misinterpreted on this issue.” She said that she learned more about theology in those 3 weeks than she had in 12 years of Sunday school, which is, sadly, a common problem in churches. Controversial topics rarely make it into the topics of church discussion, at least not in honest discussion.
The information she gained she put into a letter to her former best friend, the person who now was her biggest opponent. That letter helped them begin to rebuild their friendship and she realized she needed to send this letter to everyone, everywhere.
That’s where the documentary comes in.
The documentary speaks about the political climate of the 2004 and 2008 elections briefly before mentioning the discussions she had with over 170 members of the LGBTQ community (many of which are interspersed through the documentary in short clips) many of whom seemed to know that they were ill-equipped to deal with the religious arguments that are thrown at them by religious fundamentalists. She also shows clips from her travels across the USA, getting people’s opinions on whether or not the Bible says anything about homosexuality. The answers were everything from “It doesn’t say anything”, “It’s in…Leviathan, I think?”, “Everybody knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah” (My response there is is, no, clearly, you DON’T know that story.) and “Yeah, it says some stuff against it, but I think it’s wrong.”
Then things get really interesting. The interviews with 11 pastors and Biblical scholars (only 2 of which condemn homosexuality, one of whom is Fred Phelps *rolls eyes*). I will mention that all of the pastors and scholars interviewed were heterosexual and here is a list.
Rev. Gregory Dell
Dr. Amy Jill Levine
Rev. Dr. Fred Niedner
Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston
Rev. Dr. Gerald DeSobe
Bishop Dr. John Shelby Spong
Rev. Marylin Meekers-Williams
Rev. Dr. Linda Thomas
Rev. Dr. John Fellers
The first 9, jump right in to refuting the “Big 7″ verses that fundamentalist Christians use to condemn homosexuality. While Fred Phelps and David Ickes just sort of flail around and looks silly. Some might say this was unfair and that Dickens should have had more rational and capable people come defend their side, but I say that it’s not her fault that there are no rational people on that side of the argument.
As for the verses themselves?
Well here is a list of those.
Genesis chapters 2-3
Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13
1 Corinthians 6:9
Look for a series of posts on the arguments against of each of these verses in the next few weeks. Some of the arguments used were actually new to me and I would like to do more research on them before addressing them individually.
The next section of the documentary reminds us that Biblical verses are not the only problem in our way. We’ve all heard someone link homosexuality to pedophilia, bestiality and incest. My own mother has casually compared homosexuality to pedophilia in conversations that we’ve had since I came out to her! Which shows exactly how much she cares about my emotions…or, y’know, the facts.
Ky asked both ministers and psychologists to weigh in on the topic and, unsurprisingly, none of them hold with the view that gay marriage will lead us down a slippery slope into a morbid world of debauchery and child abuse. That’s just not realistic and it doesn’t hold up under the scrutiny of actual statistical facts about pedophilia.
In one of her final points, Ky discusses that no matter what Biblical point you want to argue, Jesus is always the focal point of Christianity. It’s right there in the name after all. And Jesus…well he never said anything about homosexuality, nor could you infer anything about it from his original teachings that would condemn them.
If you went up to Jesus and said ‘What do you think about homosexuality?’ Jesus’ response would have been ‘What do you think about love of God, love of neighbor and care for the poor? You’re asking the wrong question, because you’re focused on the wrong issue.’
- Dr. Amy Jill Levine
The real problem (and the place where communication tends to break down and debates tend to begin) is that there is a deep difference between academic and popular Christianity. Academic Christianity remembers that revealing the text of the Bible is complicated and a long process, you don’t just open the Bible and understand what it says…which is the way that popular Christianity wants to believe it is.
Reverand Marylin Meeker-Williams said it best in the documentary when she said the only part of the process that is not complicated is that God is love.
7 verses in the Bible ‘condemn’ homosexuality.
1% of the Biblical verses say anything about same-gender relationships.
Love is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible.
Which one of those things do you think your God was trying to tell you was most important?
The one thing that watching this documentary really helped me reclaim was a sense of hope. I am not a Christian, but I’ve spent a lot of time trying to regain a tenuous grasp on some hope that the Christian church (as an organization) could learn to accept homosexuality. It is sometimes hard to remember that there are actually are more rational and sane people at the top than we realize. When you are at the bottom of the heap, staring up through a pile of bloggers who wouldn’t know what the terms ‘historical context’ or ‘Biblical interpretation’ or ‘translation errors’ meant if they grew teeth and bit them on the ass. I’m surrounded by youtube videos of Fred Phelps screaming about Sodomites.
And then I turn on a documentary like this and I remember that sanity remains and intelligence is still alive somewhere.
And THAT is why you should watch this documentary, whether you’re like me…losing hope in the intelligence of mankind and losing hope that Christianity will ever evolve. Or maybe you just want any extra edge in those debates with pesky fundamentalist Christians…I know I can be accused of that myself. Or maybe you are those very bloggers I just mentioned. Trust me, the documentary is worth it. It’s on ITunes, go buy it and widen your mental horizons.
Another Pat Condell video and another day in which I have nothing to add because he sums everything I have to say up nicely. The Oslo killings were a travesty, the killer was insane, I do not support him or his ideologies one bit…he was also clearly psychotic and my opinions are not to blame for his insanity.
His insanity is not going to change my opinions on the nature of Islam.
I think we can all remember a moment in our late teens or early adult hood when we needed to discuss something important with our parents, something that they would likely disagree with you on, but you needed to be a mature, responsible adult and have a mature conversation because that was the way to resolve the issue at hand.
10 minutes into the conversation and they don’t seem to be agreeing with all your well-thought out arguments.
So instead you start yelling at them in the middle of the living room, jumping up and down, acting like an idiot, throwing glitter all over the place and then you storm out of the house.
Oh wait, sorry, that was the gay community during a protest Michele Bachmann’s clinic in Minnesota.
This didn’t even start out mature. In fact, the people at the clinic dealt with the situation with much more grace than I would have under the circumstance’s.
This was just embarrassing to the gay community as a whole.
Sorry, I thought the gay community was trying to have a mature debate over the legalities of same-sex marriage. Clearly I missed the memo about how we were going to revert to being 5 years old and start throwing tantrums to get what we want.
Same-sex marriage is a serious topic, one that needs mature discourse, not glitter bombing.
You want same-sex marriage? That means being an adult, because, last I checked, 5 year old children can’t get married.
You want to be treated as an adult. Then you better start behaving like one.
By the way.
This glitter bombing was done by the same guy that glitter bombed Newt Gingrich.
(btw: This video is hilarious)
I know when you are pissed off at someone, it seems easiest to throw a fit and scream at them. Believe, me, I know. That story up there at the top, minus the jumping up and down and glitter, and add in a little sobbing hysterically, is actually something that I’ve done before.
But you lose respect when you react in that way.
So next time you get pissed off and feel the urge to dress up like a barbarian and go scream at a receptionist somewhere, because you think it will be a great way to get your point across…don’t.
(Note: There are many and varied differences between these two religions, but there are many similarities as well because of their background and the fact that they all basically stole their ideas from other religions. I’m not trying to start a theological debate about which religion is true, because I feel neither is, which religion is more moral, because sometimes it’s hard to tell, or anything else. I only want to point out a hypocritical double standard that I see applied to Christianity and Islam in our country.)
It’s often come to my attention that when the media starts talking about Islam and Christianity that they have a little bit of a double standard.
I’ll give you a generic example, because I really don’t feel like poking at any open wounds on the subject of terrorism right now.
If a Christian blows up a building and states it was because of his religious beliefs, he’s held up as a reason for why religious fanaticism is such a problem in our country and how Christians are hateful and mean.
If a Muslim does the same thing and claims it was because of his religious beliefs…oh he was just misunderstood and he was being manipulated by some person who didn’t actually believe in Islam, but some perverted fanatical version of the religion, because real Islam is good and peaceful and misunderstood.
Christianity is oh so violent. Islam is full of happy rainbows and unicorns that eat glitter.
The problem is, the verses in the Bible that substantiate all that violence…you can find verses just as bad, if not worse, in the Quran. All of that violence perpetrated by the suicide bombers? Yeah, it’s supported by Mohammed and, according to the prophet, Allah himself. More importantly, a huge number of Islamic people support suicide bombers and terrorism, at least in the studies that I found.
(admittedly, older research than I would like, but they don’t seem to have a more recent study.)
In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S.* are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified. Nonetheless, absolute levels of support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans are quite low, especially when compared with Muslims around the world.
But all of this?
Islam is a peaceful religion. Everyone seems to believe it. Even the bloggers I follow.
Islam believes in equality. While women in Muslim countries are lashed and thrown in prison for committing adultery when they were raped.
Yeah, that’s equality for you.
Islam is peaceful. While 73% of the Muslims in Lebanon and 13% in Turkey thought that suicide bombing was a perfectly reasonable thing to do in defense of their religion. (Let me put those numbers in perspective for you, if those percentages are the same today as in 2002, 73% 0f Lebanon is 3,083,193 people and 13% of Turkey is still 9,726,041 people. That could do some damage if they all decided it was time to “defend” Islam.)
It seems to me the biggest difference is that Christianity has (on the whole, as far as organizations go) developed a fairly live and let live stance on the world. They are no longer trying to convert at the point of a sword or the fuse of a bomb, Islam still hasn’t moved past that stage. What does that tell you? I don’t know, that’s up to you to decide, but I know what it tells me…and it scares the shit out of me, to tell you the truth.
Because as bad as religious wars could be when they were fought with swords and guns, how much worse will they get when they are fought with nuclear bombs and biochemical diseases and people who are so willing to die and kill for their cause that they will strap a bomb to themselves and walk into a crowded building, full of civilians, and blow themselves up and their family, friends and religion all say they will be rewarded for those actions?
Yeah, think about that for a while.
*emphasis added by me.
When comparing your plight or the plight of your community to that of a historical time period, we have to remember to be sensitive to pain and suffering of others. It’s something that many writer’s struggle with when they are comparing a current event to a historical one to gain context. I often struggle with it on this blog. In fact, last month I wrote a blog which, during the writing, I struggled with whether or not using the holocaust would be cultural accurate and sensitive to holocaust victims and survivors. After long thought about what I was comparing I realized that the holocaust was not applicable because the situation I was describing was not nearly on the level of horrific that the holocaust was. I would be playing on the dramatic and painful recollection of something that didn’t even really apply to my point.
So I changed my focus and I applied the Japanese concentration camps to my blog instead.
For the gay community to choose to be marginalized and held apart from the rest of society would be like the Japanese walking themselves into the American concentration camps.
From all my study on the history of the Japanese internment camps, they were horribly unfair and against all the things that this country stood for, but their were no executions, no gas chambers and, all in all, were much more humane than Auschwitz and the other Nazi concentration camps.
That’s why, when I’m on The Advocate and I read comments like
Goproud sounds like a bunch of self haters and who have serious psychological issues, no right minded gay would vote to have Republican as their voice, totally like a Jewish Nazi syndrome.
I’ve always felt that being a Log Cabin Rebiblican or an GOPrude is akin to being Jewish and a member of the Gestapo, or black and being a member of the KKK.
GOP Proud? Are you kidding me? What’s next: Jewish Nazis? African American KKK? These self hating people are obviously suffering from arrested identity development. If they really think Bachmann is going to talk with them (let alone CHANGE her tune), they are, at best, incredibly naive, and at worst, f—ing BATSHIT CRAZY!
I find myself complete at a loss as to how to explain the extreme carelessness the people commenting have for the actually historical events that took place in the holocaust.
First of all, I don’t see any gas chambers or concentration camps and I don’t hear anyone talking about setting any up. For all that Bachmann may not like us and may want to “fix” us, she isn’t advocating locking us all up and forcing reparative therapy on us is she?
If she is, someone please inform me. Because I must have missed that memo.
In fact if ANYONE in the Republican party has been advocating this idea, please let me know immediately.
Secondly, we aren’t being tagged and identified as gay. If anything, the Religious Right is wishing we would take it all back inside the bedroom and pretend we don’t exist again. It’s like cocaine addictions in the 20s, all the rich people did it behind closed doors and no respectable people talked about it. You didn’t go to jail for it, you just kept it quiet.
They don’t want to lock us up, they just want to pretend we aren’t here. That’s not going to happen, so sad for them, but they still aren’t advocating pink triangles sewn on our clothing.
Third, I’m not informing on anyone or policing anyone nor am I helping a party that is trying to take over the country/world and murder millions of innocent people.
There is a massive difference between the Republican party and the Nazis and there is an ever more massive disconnect going on in the brains of the far left gays that think that the comparison is apt.
The fact that we are gay Republicans doesn’t mean we don’t want equal rights or that we are ashamed of being gay, we just don’t put the fight for equal rights or our sexuality in front of more pressing needs…like keeping our country running.
One would think that would be understandable.
But what do I know?
I’m just a Jewish Nazi anyway…
You have no idea how many blogs I’ve started writing and stopped, halfway through, about Michele Bachmann and her family’s gay reparative therapy clinics and the Iowa Marriage Vow debacle. There are at least 3 unfinished drafts here on wordpress and even more that I just deleted completely, because nothing I was going to say really meant anything in the long run.
I had several good points about the Iowa marriage vow, but many other bloggers have already made them. As for the ex-gay clinics…on a personal moral level, I can’t stand the Bachman’s, however this is a free country and they are free to run any business they like (Even if it does bother me that her husband actually doesn’t have a license to practice, but that’s apparently legal in that state…) and it’s not like they are holding people there against their will or performing electroshock therapy or lobotomies (as far as we know) so they aren’t exactly Mengele.
Now, while I wouldn’t vote for Bachmann on the basis of my own moral principles (and the fact that I just don’t think she has what it takes to be president), there is another level to all of this that I would like to consider.
When did the gay rights movement stop being a fight about equal rights and start being a fight about people’s morals?
My morals are my morals, Bachmann’s are hers. I don’t agree with her’s and she would not agree with mine. I don’t think that either of our morals should be forced onto the rest of society, I don’t think that everyone should be forced to believe that gay people are good and normal parts of society as much as any other person or forced to believe that gay marriage is okay…I just want equal rights and I want the federal government to stay out of my life as much as possible. Which is one of the many reasons why a federal amendment, for or against, gay marriage would be so wrong on so many levels.
And that is the discussion that the gay community needs to be having (that gay conservatives are having) with Republicans now. Not a discussion about morality, because that’s never going to change their mind. If the religious among them are ever going to change their mind about gay people or gay marriage, it’s going to be a long process of soul searching that they will do on their own…not through rhetoric or anger thrown at them by liberals and the gay community. (or the Human Rights Council, who is not Bipartisan by any definition of the word, no matter how much they would like to pretend. That might be a blog for another time.)
We can’t fight with our morality and then claim they have no right to use their own to justify their position. The only way to convince them to change their opinions is to remind them that this is about state’s rights, not morality. I know, I know. I’m repeating myself…I do that a lot on this blog. While I would never claim to be as skilled as Ayn Rand, her writing does teach you a thing or two about pounding a point through even the thickest of skulls if you repeat it enough.
Sometimes I question GOProud, like I initially did when I heard they were requesting to sit down with Bachmann and talk to her. My moral sensitivity just went “yuck!” but then I read this interview that Chris Barron (Chairman of GOProud) did with The Advocate (the whole interview is gold, read it please) and I just about stood up and cheered, because, once again, they proved that they are on the same page as me.
You all came out in opposition to “The Marriage Vow” but took a more issue-focused approach to it, I guess, saying it was an expansion of government power. Whereas the other groups are saying it’s basically an immoral thing to sign. Do you agree it’s an immoral thing to sign?
For years the gay community and gay leadership have told people that what they care about is equal rights and equal benefits for people. So now we have actually moved to a conversation where we don’t actually care about equal rights and equal benefits. What we care about is now the morality of the issue. We now have started parroting the talking points of the other side from six years ago. Instead of talking about the bottom line and the rights and benefits to gay people, now we are talking about the morality of it.
So you think it’s counterproductive to say it’s just wrong to sign “The Marriage Vow”?
I think that if you want to get into a conversation about whether or not something is immoral, then you better be prepared that the other side is going to use the exact same language. And I thought that was the same type of language we had been trying to avoid for years. We’ve been trying to focus on the rights and responsibilities and the benefits and making sure that everyone had the same opportunities, not to get into some pissing match with people about whose got better moral standing.
It’s just at the end of the day, supporting the federal marriage amendment is fundamentally against everything that conservatives have traditionally believed. It would lead to the largest single power grab by the federal government from the states in the history of this country. What do you think is the more compelling argument for conservatives? To have Joe Solmonese tell people that it’s immoral for them to oppose same-sex marriage or for them to hear from a conservative that supporting a federal marriage amendment would be a federal power grab from the states that defies the base of conservative principles.
How do you get anything done in terms of moving gay rights forward if you can’t say anything when it comes up because speaking out might motivate the other side?
You can. It just depends on who the messenger is.
But how do most gay people do it if they are the messenger all the time?
Well we talk about it all the time. And it’s an important dialogue that we’re participating in. It’s why it’s important for us to have the opportunity to sit down and talk to Michele Bachmann. This is part of that process. How effective do you think it would be if GOProud demanded a meeting with Nancy Pelosi, if we sent out emails blasting Nancy Pelosi for something? It’s not going to be very effective on moving Nancy Pelosi on an issue. At the end of the day, it’s about the message and the messenger.
So you are more effective on this because you are conservatives speaking to conservatives?
Absolutely. It’s common sense. Why should any Republican care one iota what HRC says? They’ve already endorsed Obama. They haven’t even given us a chance to have our field set.
Of course, judging by the reactions of the comments on the article, the usual readers of the Advocate are still ultra liberal, still unwilling to listen to reason and completely can’t see a rational argument when it smacks them in the face.
Barron, you and I can just keep taking lessons from Ayn Rand okay? Eventually they’ll understand.
I’m a terrible procrastinater when it comes to packing for a move. I will say “I’m going to pack today” and then I’ll find myself on the other side of town, at Starbucks, reading Atlas Shrugged until 8pm. I don’t plan to procrastinate, but it always seems to happen.
Today I managed to put it off until after 3 in the afternoon. I still have two weeks until my lease is up, which is amazing for me really…when I moved into this apartment I packed everything in the space of a single evening…the night before I moved.
The other problem I have is that I am a packrat of the absolute worst kind. I inherited the problem from my mother and her mother before her. When packing starts we always say “we are going to get rid of all the stuff we don’t need!” only we don’t specify what we don’t need, so my mother finds herself saying “I know I haven’t worn this purple polyester pants suit in nearly a decade, but you never know when I might need it again!” and into the box it goes. Or my grandmother who has dozens of years worth of Better Homes and Gardens and other magazines and can’t bring herself to throw them out because she really just loves the articles.
When I moved into this apartment, space wasn’t an issue for me, time was. So I threw absolutely every single one of my possessions into boxes without even considering what was important or not. Considering I was moving out of a two bedroom apartment where I was sharing a room and bathroom and closet with my teenage sister and the rest of the apartment with my parents, it wasn’t like I had too much stuff for a one bedroom, one bath apartment of my own.
In fact, my apartment looked a little bare. So I went shopping with my mother. We went to a used furniture place and picked up an art easel that turned into an interesting table in the living room and bought a dining room set. I went through my parent’s storage unit and took a love seat and end table and a massive dresser that was gathering dust in the corner from lack of use.
I was given extra room and I expanded to fill it. That’s what people usually do. We don’t really think about the future. I wasn’t even considering the possibility that I might have to pare down the amount of possessions I had in a year so that I could move into a dorm room.
But now I’m facing that problem and I can’t afford to be a packrat anymore. I’m axing some of the sentimental stuff that I’ve kept for years and throwing out and giving away clothing that I kept because “You never know when I might need it/it might come back into style.” (I feel the need to note that plaid dress pants have never been in style in my era, and are not likely to come back, and the fact that a pair were even in my closet is mildly scary. I think my mother’s closet is trying to migrate to mine.)
And you know what, it’s sad, because some of things that I’m having to give away or put in storage for a year or so are things that I really like having around. My dresser is, arguably, my favorite piece of furniture. Real wood, great workmanship, but it’s huge and would take up way to much space in my dorm room so it can’t come with me.
I think we can all say this same thing about this country’s budget. There are a lot of nice things in it that we wish we could keep, but we just don’t have room for right now because they aren’t necessary (like my dresser and bedside table and couch and…*sob*) and there is a lot of crap that we just need to get rid of because saying “you never know when we’ll need it again” is not a good excuse for spending billions of dollars to keep it. (like the 20 pairs of shoes, pants and shirts that I through out while I packing my closet up. That was just scary.)