"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, May 31, 2013

I Love The Onion

Because it runs stories like this:

Reynolds, like all infants when they reach the ages between 2 and 10 months old, was intent on determining his sexual orientation, emphasizing that his decision was “just a lifestyle choice and nothing more.” While every baby reportedly makes a commitment to being heterosexual, homosexual, or transgender, Reynolds revealed that each infant has different reasons for their decision, explaining that gay felt like a good fit for his personality and disposition.

“My selection of a sexual preference was the product of a great deal of self-reflection,” said the newly homosexual infant, who added that he reached his decision completely on his own and was not influenced by his genetic makeup or any circumstances beyond his control. “If my sexuality means I get bullied at school, or that I end up feeling unloved and shunned for my entire life, or that I don’t receive equal protection under the law, then obviously that will be my own fault.”

Reynolds reportedly acknowledged that heterosexuality would have had some benefits, such as the universal right to marriage, the ability to adopt children without fear of scrutiny, and the feeling of being validated by his religion. However, the 16-week-old infant said that, in the end, he had decided to identify with a small minority that lacks many basic rights.

“Who knows? Maybe I’ll even change my mind at some point,” said Reynolds, explaining that he can, at any time, freely choose whom he is attracted to. “If I wake up one day and don’t want to be gay anymore, then I can just switch to being heterosexual, easy as that.”

“After all, it’s not like I’m stuck with this decision for the rest of my life,” Reynolds added.

Via Box Turtle Bulletin.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blowing Their Cover

What little there was left. Specifically, I'm talking about Mark Regnerus, his funders, and his co-conspirators. Prof. Darren Sherkat, who was the internal auditor for Social Science Review, which published Regnerus' joke of a study, has given an interview to the SPLC's Intelligence Report.

To call it "damning" is not nearly sufficient. The tip of the iceberg:

Isn’t a key criticism also that the study doesn’t actually address children growing up in households of self-identified LGBT parents?

The key measure of gay and lesbian parenting is simply a farce. The study includes a retrospective question asking if people knew if their mother or father had a “romantic” relationship with someone of the same sex when the respondent was under age 18. This measure is problematic on many levels.

Regnerus admits that just two of his respondents were actually raised by a same-sex couple, though I doubt that he can even know that, given his limited data. Since only two respondents were actually raised in gay or lesbian households, this study has absolutely nothing to say about gay parenting outcomes. Indeed, because it is a non-random sample, this study has nothing to say about anything.

I'm serious -- there's more, and most of it worse. Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Decoration Day

Jim Burroway starts off today's "Daily Agenda" with a reminiscence of Memorial Day in times past. We also called it "Decoration Day," and it included an obligatory visit to the graves of deceased relatives.

Now it's Memorial Day, devoted to remembrances of our war dead, although the cemetery visits still form a part of it for a lot of people.

Pace.

Small People, Part I

I wonder, sometimes, about the need some people seem to have to denigrate others -- not based on anything they've said or done, mind you, but simply because of who they are, who their parents are, the way they look, things like that. There's a couple of recent stories that kicked that one up to the front of my brain this morning.

First off, the "Mrs. Nice" of the anti-gay movement, Maggie Gallagher. She started off with this, in, of course The National Review, bemoaning the upswing in acceptance for things that she (read "the Catholic Church") finds immoral. Given her history, it's not so surprising that the nut is same-sex marriage:

I personally still cherish the hope that we can as a society eliminate cruel homophobia without jettisoning heteronormativity — which is the need for social norms and institutions to be oriented strongly around the problem and the blessing that sex between men and women makes babies.

This is a statement worthy of her mentor, Robert George. (I dissected one of his essays here.)

Perhaps she just doesn't get it, but the idea that we can eliminate homophobia without "jettisoning" heteronormativity is ludicrous on its face: until you accept that same-sex attraction is part of the normal range of human sexuality, you're keeping gay people in the category of "other."

She apparently got wind of the criticism, because, in true conservative fashion, when you say something ridiculous and offensive, double down.

Marriage equality is going to be used primarily to enforce the moral norm: no differences between straight and gay can matter. Or as Think Progress put it recently “At a basic level, it’s logically impossible to say that heterosexuality is better — or should be the norm — compared to homosexuality without simultaneously stating that homosexuality is worse — or abnormal. Either all people are equal in society or they are not; she cannot have her straights-only wedding cake and eat it stigma-free.”

It is possible to affirm an ideal without stigmatizing the alternatives–to affirm in the positive without pushing the negative. But gay marriage advocates insist that any affirmation of the ideal represents a denigration of them, no matter how expressed.

Let's see -- there are no significant differences between gay and straight, unless, like most of the anti-gay right, you are obsessed with the mechanics of sex. And tying the "moral norm" to heterosexuality is loaded, at the very least, echoing the Catholic propaganda (not that Gallagher does anything else) that gays are "intrinsically morally disordered." Unlike an institution that shields pedophile priests.

As for "affirming the ideal without stigmatizing the alternatives" -- how, exactly, does one do this? Anything that falls short of the ideal is, by definition, not good enough. (Oh, and just in terms of formal argument, an assertion to the contrary does not counter a conclusion by your opponent. And that's all Gallagher can come up: argument by assertion.)

By way of background, Gallagher has her own page at GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project's website. Gallagher taking the pose that she cherishes the hope that we can do away with "cruel homophobia" (is there another kind?) is so much bullshit.

Back to my original question: why does she feel a need to cast a group of people, in this case gays and lesbians, as less deserving? Given her history and public statements, there are some obvious answers, but I'm not going to assume motivations. I'll just let that history and those statements speak for themselves. It's also worth noting that she shares this characteristic with the right in general -- the need to cast those who are different as "other." Partly this is a basic human characteristic -- we're tribal creatures, when all is said and done. And the influence of Christianity of a certain, Old Testament cast on conservatives in this country only reinforces that tendency: it's founded on a religion that itself was founded on group identity: anyone not of the tribes of Israel was lesser.

Given that America's real ideals are based on inclusion and equality, you have to wonder what country Gallagher is living in.

I'll probably come back to this topic -- there are a lot of small people out there.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scouting for All

Wayne Perry, President of the Boy Scouts of America, has come out in favor of admitting gay Scouts in an OpEd in USA Today. The part that jumped out at me was this passage:

Some have voiced concerns that this proposal could put children at risk of being abused. The BSA makes no connection between sexual abuse and homosexuality. The nation's leading experts agree.

Tony Perkins just got bitch-slapped.

By way of background, here's Soledad O'Brien taking Perkins apart on the "pedophile" thing. Although Perkins really does turn my stomach, it's worth watching to see a master demagogue in action.


Watch at about the 3:55 mark, where she asks him if he's saying all gay men are pedophiles. I didn't know anyone could backtrack that fast, especially since he's the one who introduced the issue to begin with. One thing that disgusts me about Perkins is that he doesn't have the balls to come right out and deliver his message in plain terms. He works by insinuation and implication, like that sneaky guy at the office who is after your job but isn't qualified to handle it. Perkins is an assassin, pure and simple. He's also a coward.

PS -- if you want some actual science on the homosexuality/pedophilia connection -- which doesn't exist except in the minds of Perkins and his ilk -- click through on the second link in the quote from Perry.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Computer Woes

Still going on. Working from the tablet, which has limits. I did manage to figure out how to access my full list of bookmarks, though, which helps.

And it looks like I'll have the computer back this afternoon, with everything that it's supposed to have.

(cross fingers)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Day Late

Been having massive computer problems -- it's been in the shop twice since Friday, and will probably be in again this afternoon.

At any rate, here's Marriage News Watch, yesterday edition:


Illinois has ten days.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cute Video du Jour

A country song, no less:


Via Gay Marriage Watch.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just for Fun

I haven't posted anything by Kazaky lately. Here's one I just discovered:


I'm not sure if I love it. No, wait -- let me restate that: I'm not sure how much I love it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Leave Home for a Couple of Hours

And another country mandates marriage equality.

Brazil makes fifteen.

Note to Brian Brown: Sorry, Brian -- it's a wave.

Benghazi!!1!eleventy!!

No, it's not Watergate and Iran-Contra rolled into one. Key point:
One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39% of them don't actually know where it is. 10% think it's in Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.

This is the Republican base we're talking about. Cuba?

The fun part is, it hasn't affected Hillary Clinton's ratings at all. (I'm taking the whole "scandal" more as a pre-emptive attack on a possible Clinton presidential run than as an attempt to bring Obama down, which ain't gonna happen.)

PPP's newest national poll finds that Republicans aren't getting much traction with their focus on Benghazi over the last week. Voters trust Hillary Clinton over Congressional Republicans on the issue of Benghazi by a 49/39 margin and Clinton's +8 net favorability rating at 52/44 is identical to what it was on our last national poll in late March. Meanwhile Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular with a 36/57 favorability rating.

And in case you were confused by all the conflicting reports, this should clear it up:

In the day following the Benghazi attacks, Obama appeared at the White House Rose Garden alongside then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In his remarks, Obama referred to the incident as an “act of terror” and used the phrase again at a campaign rally the day after in Denver, CO. “I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished,” he said.

But [House Oversight Chairman Darrell] Issa (R-CA) claimed that Obama relied on the “act of terror” formulation to dissuade Americans from thinking it was a terror attack, thus improving his chances of re-election.

“The president sent a letter to the President of Libya where he didn’t call it a terrorist attack even when at the time the President of Libya was calling it pre-planned Sept. 11 terrorist attack,” Issa told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “The words that are being used carefully — like you just said, ‘act of terror’ — an ‘act of terror’ is different than a ‘terrorist attack.’ The truth is, this was a terrorist attack, this had Al Qaeda at it.”

There -- all clear now?

I haven't been following the whole thing all that closely. I'll wait for it to hit Netflix.

Via Balloon Juice.


Repent!

Or should that be "The sky is falling!"? Brian Brown, working himself into a frenzy:

The National Organization for Marriage today condemned the Minnesota Legislature for redefining marriage and predicted that the vote will lead to the DFL losing their majority in the 2014 election.

"Just six months ago advocates of redefining marriage said that there was no need for the marriage amendment because Minnesota already had a traditional marriage law on the books. Now, they’ve changed that law and imposed genderless marriage,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “Make no mistake, this vote will bring the demise of the DFL majority and end the
careers of wayward Republicans in the Legislature once voters have their say."

[. . .]

"The people of Minnesota did not vote for gay marriage in 2012,” said Brown. “They voted to maintain traditional marriage by maintaining the status quo. Our opponents bought a victory by claiming that marriage was not under threat of redefinition, but in fact they always intended to redefine it at the soonest possible moment. Legislators who voted to redefine marriage were foolish to do so. They cast a terrible vote that damages society, tells children they don’t deserve a mother and a father, and brands supporters of traditional marriage as bigots. We predict that this vote will be career ending for many legislators in Minnesota."

Well, it's nice to see them admit that maintaining the status quo means voting for discrimination.

And actually, the people of Minnesota voted against restricting marriage to NOM-approved couples. Seems to me that same-sex marriage is a natural result of that.

The rest of it is the usual BS, but I really wish I were in a position to pin Brown down on one thing: how, exactly, does same-sex marriage destroy society? I mean, there has to be a way that happens, right? What is it?

And I think this probably has something to do with the rant:
NOM was the largest funder of the marriage amendment campaign in 2012.

Loser.

Via Joe.My.God.

And as an antidote to Brown, here's a speech by Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk:


Monday, May 13, 2013

Number Twelve

Minnesota.

Brian Brown must be shitting bricks.  I can hardly wait to see the spin on this one.

And here's todays "Marriage News Watch" with Matt Baume:

Quote du Jour



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today's Must Read

This post from Digby on Elizabeth Warren.

"Morally Straight"

For some reason, that phrase jumped out at me while reading this post at Towleroad. It is, of course, one of the catch phrases and guiding principles of the Boy Scouts of America. It's taken to automatically exclude gay scouts and leaders, as though morality is somehow intimately tied to who you have relationships with rather than how you treat people.

That strikes me as pretty shallow. To my mind, morality is much more complex. But then, I was taught actual values (another word that's been sadly warped in our public discourse) rather than just rules. Perhaps that's why I found Paganism such a good fit -- every day, one is confronted with a series of moral decisions that don't lend themselves to cut-and-dried solutions, and if you follow Paganism's one rule -- "Do no harm" -- it can get pretty knotty.

As for the video (which I'm not going to post), the sentiments expressed are repellent, as much for their ignorance as for their bigotry. And have you noticed that these people are obsessed with sex?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Republican Philosophy of Governing

First, refuse to govern.  Block every attempt by the president to govern.  Then, impeach! Even if you can't come up with a legitimate reason.  Here's Rachel Maddow dissecting "Benghazi-gate" as the latest move to impeach Obama. For something. Or nothing.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


This is not a new thing for the Republicans. At this point, it's a time-honored strategy. Remember the last Democratic president?  (I'm also taking it as a pre-emptive strike against Hillary Clinton, since the Republicans know they stand no chance against her in 2016 and they're scared shitless she'll run.)

 Maha has a nice summary of the Republicans' refusal to govern -- or to allow anyone else to govern.

Speaking of the Affordable Care Act (and we were, if you clicked through on the last link), the Republicans don't want anyone helping to implement it -- even the health-care industry, which loves the law.  If this all seems odd, given the extent to which Republican candidates have relied on money from the insurance industry and PhrMA, remember that the ACA is the signature achievement of that Kenyan islamofascist socialist usurper, who has done the unforgivable -- he won the presidential election.  Twice.  Instead of the white guys.

If the Republicans' behavior during the Obama administration appears to be somewhat childish, well -- that's because it is.

Double Whammy

We have a winner today -- two awards: the Through the Looking Glass Award and the Tony Perkins Award, to none other than Tony Perkins himself. Via e-mail, as reported at Joe.My.God. I'm going to do a little parsing -- you can get the full-dress rant at the link.

If you look at the dozen states with same-sex 'marriage,' homosexual activists are picking off the easiest targets: progressive pockets of the country that have rejected traditional morality.

Yeah -- like New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Iowa.

If conservatives can confine same-sex 'marriage' to these liberal jurisdictions, the evidence of why this policy won't work will begin to show.

The "evidence" is more likely to be FRC's donations drying up than anything else. That works for me. (They did have a rather significant shortfall last year, as I recall.) (Looking back at Perkins' statement, I am struck by the fact that it's nothing but empty posturing -- almost of Brian Brown caliber, but without the threats.)

It's time to look at the marriage scoreboard -- 30 states to 12 -- and recognize that same-sex 'marriage' isn't a wave that's sweeping the nation.

The timeline is what Perkins would rather ignore. Most of those 30 states banned SSM in 2004, on the coattails of the Bush campaign. Here's a nice graphic from the LA Times that gives you a good picture through last month. Since then, Delaware and Rhode Island have passed marriage equality bills, Minnesota may do so as early as next week, and Illinois is hoping to do so before the end of the month. The legislature in New Jersey is working to override the governor's veto of their SSM bill within the next year. Both Oregon and Nevada are in the process of repealing their constitutional amendments. And there is a challenge to Michigan's ban waiting on the decision by the Supreme Court in Perry (the Prop 8 case), which in itself could decide the issue, but I don't think the justices have the balls. Consider the progress in the past two years -- New York, Maine, Maryland, Washington State, Rhode Island, and Delaware have all instituted recognition of same-sex marriage in the past 18 months, all by either legislative action by the people's elected representatives or by popular vote. Note also that this is not occurring in a vacuum: in that same period, Denmark, Uruguay, New Zealand, France, and the tiny Dutch possession of Saba have joined the list of countries recognizing same-sex marriages, which now numbers 14. Scotland, England and Wales are still arguing about it, but the government is determined to go ahead, and Ireland is poised to put it to a vote, where it will probably win. Sorry, Tony -- it's a wave.

OK, I admit it -- I relish Schadenfreude, especially when it's from something like Tony Perkins' fantasy world crashing down around his ears.

Friday, May 10, 2013

More Guns!

Last week's tally of accidental deaths from guns, by David Waldman at DailyKos:
This week's compilation includes three God-given-but-somehow-forgotten guns, four accidents while cleaning loaded guns (which nobody ever does, though I've now found 102 who've done it so far this year), two home invasion shootings, one NRA-certified instructor shooting himself, six law enforcement officer FAILs, two more turkey hunters shot, and 10 kids accidentally shot, nine of whom either shot themselves or were identifiably shot by other kids under the age of 16. The victims are (or were) ages 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14 and 14. All were accidentally shot within a seven-day span, from April 27th through May 3rd.

Here's the punchline:

The new twist on the kid shootings this week was, of course, that two of the kids shot and killed younger siblings with their own guns, as opposed to guns belonging to parents or guardians which they found around the house. I felt sure earlier in the week that we'd all be talking about the Mountain Home, Alaska 8-year-old who shot and killed his 5-year-old sister with the rifle he'd taken hunting the day before. But that was before—one day before—the Burkesville, Kentucky 5-year-old shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with the rifle he'd been given for his 5th birthday. The 9-year-old girl shot the very next day by her 7-year-old brother in Auburn, Washington, was, it seems, shot with a rifle belonging to third sibling.

Need I say more?

PS -- Waldman published updates on Saturdays.

Via Balloon Juice.

I'm Speechless

From the man with no irony meter:

In a speech Wednesday at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed progressivism as "arrogant and condescending."

“Progressivism is well-intentioned but it is also — in my humble opinion — arrogant and condescending,” Ryan said, according to The Hill. “Instead of helping people make their own decisions, it makes those decisions for them. It makes Washington the center of power and politicians the center of attention.”

I don't know where to start. You can add your own observations in the comments.

If you want to see how out of touch Ryan's vision is, click through to the article at The Hill. Granted, part of it is ideological necessity -- have to somehow hold on to the 47% mantra, even if you have to give it a false moustache. But mostly, it's bullshit. I mean, consider who supports a paternalistic, intrusive government that takes away our right to make our own decisions about our lives.


Minnesota, Part I

Minnesota's marriage equality bill passed the House yesterday by a wide margin, 75-59. Some interesting details:

It was two years ago that a then Republican-led Legislature voted to put a question on the November 2012 ballot asking voters to limit marriage to heterosexuals in the Minnesota Constitution.

Voters rejected the amendment 52 percent to 47 percent. They also elected a slew of Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party legislators that switched control of the Legislature to the DFL and eased the way for the gay marriage campaign.

In the days leading up to the House vote, no Republicans signaled they would vote for the bill. But Thursday, 71 House DFLers were joined by four Republicans: David FitzSimmons of Albertville, Pat Garofalo of Farmington, Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury and Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie.

FitzSimmons successfully offered an amendment that added religious-freedom protections to Clark's bill and inserted the word "civil" in front of "marriage" to underscore state law deals with a civil, not a religious, status. It affects all marriages.

He, Garofalo and Loon said the beefed-up religious protections were key in gaining their support.

Loon said she decided Thursday on the floor to vote "yes." She said she was swayed by her colleagues' speeches and feedback from her constituents and family. Roughly 60 percent of residents in her district voted against last fall's marriage amendment.

That last bit struck me, particularly in light of this story:

A freshman Democratic state representative from a socially conservative district said Friday that he’d support the bill to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota, a key pickup for supporters as votes on the issue get closer at the Capitol.

Rep. Joe Radinovich, of Crosby, had been undecided. He said he decided more than a decade ago that he personally supports letting same-sex couples legally marry, but was conflicted knowing that many residents of his Brainerd-area district are more skeptical.

“This was not an easy decision, but at the end of the day I’d rather protect my integrity than my job,” Radinovich told The Associated Press. The 27-year-old lawmaker won his seat by just 323 votes last fall.

It's nice to know there are people in politics with consciences.

This could all be a done deal by Tuesday.

Of course, the anti-marriage crowd had to make a statement:

Minnesota for Marriage, the main group opposing gay marriage, issued a statement afterward urging the Senate to block the bill.

"The Senate must ask themselves whether or not they will choose to classify half of Minnesotans who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots under the law," the group said.

"They must decide whether it is important in Minnesota to encourage connecting children with their parents. They must decide whether or not mothers and fathers have a place in their law. We hope they make the right decision."

It must be frustrating to have to rely on irrelevancies to make your point. Let's see. . . .

I've not heard of a provision that classifies anyone as a "bigot." As far as I know, that word doesn't appear in the bill at all. And no one's going to call you a bigot for believing something -- it's when you try to ram it down everyone else's throat that it becomes a problem.

And of course, it's about children -- except it's not. If anyone knows of a provision in this bill that requires straight couples to give up their children, leave a comment. And as for mothers and fathers -- huh? Again, if anyone knows of a provision that eliminates mothers and fathers, comments are open.

And now -- Illinois? What's the hold-up?







Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Delaware

As of this afternoon, Delaware has joined ten other states, the District of Columbia, and three tribal nations in recognizing same-sex marriages:



Via just about everyone.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Sunday, May 05, 2013

And Yet Another (Updated)

At the risk of over-using the Through the Looking Glass Award, I have to make note of this:

Speaking at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., in front of a group of more than 500 financial advisors and investors, [Niall] Ferguson responded to a question about Keynes' famous philosophy of self-interest versus the economic philosophy of Edmund Burke, who believed there was a social contract among the living, as well as the dead. Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of "poetry" rather than procreated. The audience went quiet at the remark. Some attendees later said they found the remarks offensive.

It gets worse.

Ferguson, who is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and author of The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, says it's only logical that Keynes would take this selfish worldview because he was an "effete" member of society. Apparently, in Ferguson's world, if you are gay or childless, you cannot care about future generations nor society.

A question for Prof. Ferguson: Which is more selfish, a gay or lesbian couple who are willing or even eager to adopt a child who otherwise would have no home, or a straight couple who are determined to pass on their own genes?

Update: Digby points out that Ferguson's remarks on gays and the future haven't been corroborated by a primary source as of yet (no video or audio has been released), but goes on to provide a much broader context for Ferguson's hypocrisy. He also seems to be obsessed by Keynes' sexual orientation.

From Amazon

Last Chance for Mother's Day Gifts in Electronics

Just think about that.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Through the Looking Glass

I haven't formally presented this award in a while, but in the wake of BSA's re-reevaluation of it's "no gays" policy and recognition of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, there are a lot of contenders.

First, Christopher Plante of NOM-RI:
This law will intentionally deny children one or the other. The full impact may not be seen next week or next year, but our children will be the ones who pay the price for this decision.

I'm still looking for the provision in Rhode Island's marriage law that forcibly removes children from opposite-sex families and awards them to same-sex families. (Plante goes immediately into protections for "religious freedom" -- no transition or anything. It's close to word salad.)

And from Penny Nance, of Concerned Women for America:


Or, as Crooks and Liars puts it:

When normal people think of the Enlightenment, they think of Newton, Locke, Voltaire, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Goethe, Paine, Jefferson -- and the ideas that helped launch the American Revolution. When crazy right-wing Christians think of the Enlightenment, they apparently think of...Nazis.

Penny Nance needs to learn some history -- like the fact that the churches were working hand in glove with Hitler.

And from Bishop Thomas Tobin, of Providence, RI, a pastoral letter no less:

At this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful. And because “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.

I'm just going to reprint the comment I left at the post:

[T]he phrase “objectively sinful” fascinates me — it just points up the complete disconnect between Church teachings and reality. There’s no such thing — “sin” is a completely arbitrary, subjective concept. The idea that “homosexual behavior is intrinsically disordered” is just the cherry on top — how can it conflict with God’s plan if God made gays? Sorry, but the whole thing is so much garbage. I’m reminded of a saying I ran across a long time ago, and I wish I could remember who came up with it: “Control sex and you control the people.” I guess that gives us the basis of the Church’s teachings on sexuality, and it has nothing to do with God.

The nominees wouldn't be complete with Jennifer Roback Morse, head of NOM's Ruth Institute. There's a good discussion going on in the comments, so just click through and read the whole thing.

Another must is Brian Brown of NOM, who is still in denial.

Does inclusive mean that you get rid of your founding principles? Are party platforms supposed to mean anything? If the party does that, the party is DONE! The party is DONE if the Republican party abandons traditional marriage! It will mean that it has turned its back again on not only its base but on the overwhelming majority of folks who identify as Republicans.

The unfortunate part of this is that the Republican party is shrinking, largely because of its stance on social issues. Should we throw Brown a life preserver?

To see Brown in full denial mode, check out this post at Good As You. He's really living in a fantasy world -- or pretending to.










Friday, May 03, 2013

Friday Grab Bag

Rhode Island has become the tenth state to recognize same-sex marriage. The Quote du Jour on this one comes from Brian Brown, as might be expected:

But Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, denies there is a national tide in support of marriage rights for gay couples.

"I don't know that I would say Rhode Island is a trend," Brown said, also questioning victories for supporters of gay-marriage initiatives in Maine, Maryland and Washington State last November. "Again, we're talking about states that are not necessarily indicative of the rest of the country. These are pretty deep-blue, liberal states we're talking about."

I think anyone who considers Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa to be "deep blue" is really looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses.

Via Box Turtle Bulletin.

Runner-up in that department is Asante Samuels, cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons, who doesn't understand why gays need to "flaunt" their sexuality like that.

Straight people are not announcing they're straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever? You know, what they prefer...So that's just how I see it. That's my opinion on things. All respect you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don't have to show it and flaunt it like that.

Speaking of persecuted minorities (did you know that Christians are persecuted in the U.S.?), Ken Hutcherson weighs in:

Have you ever noticed that those who support the gay agenda don't like Christians in sports, entertainment, or media? They really don't like us anywhere at all. Let's take Tim Tebow as a classic example. Tebow was asked to keep his beliefs quietly to himself, while Collins is celebrated for the 'heroism' displayed for exposing his off-court activities.

See, if you try to ram your Christianity down everyone else's throat (and have you noticed that's a favorite image on the anti-gay right? One wonders.) and they object, you're being persecuted. Seems to me that Jesus had something to say about that -- like praying behind closed doors, wasn't it?

Scary fact of the day: 29% of Americans think that armed revolution may be necessary to "protect liberties." As might be expected, that includes 44% of Republicans.

Via David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement. Read Badash's whole post -- he has some other scary figures for you.