Friday, July 26, 2013

One Man’s Fat Mouth Is another Man’s Lost Election

I read an article earlier this week that showcased a politician who refers to LGBTs as “soulless”. Yeah, you know the guy. I’m not sure if he is so brazen with his hatred because enough of his constituents foster the same attitude or because he mistakenly assumes they do. Either way he’s not alone in his campaign to keep LGBTs in the closet. I don’t know about you guys but there are days when it’s difficult for me to put a positive spin on loud-mouthed public figures like him. Maybe this will help.

Rumor has it the Republicans are huddled in a corner somewhere frantically trying to scrape together a new public image. Losing the last two presidential elections might not have convinced them that most voters don’t support their conservative agenda but the recent push for immigration reform and LGBT rights has their attention. They don’t have a good rapport with either of those groups. 2016 will be a landslide in the wrong direction if they don’t do something to distance themselves from the vocal radicals that want a straight, white, Christian nation. Good luck with that when you can’t pry them away from the microphone with a crowbar.

Here’s the good part. Every hateful tirade that hits the papers makes it less likely the voting public will see the GOP as anything other than a cold spiteful bunch with the same agenda that’s been pandering to the ultra-conservatives for over a decade. They can break out the Grecian formula and Botox but it won’t be enough.

So rant on Mr. Politician! Scream your hatred loud and proud. I’d love to see what the Democrats accomplish with a third term.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Why Ruin a Perfectly Good Rant

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of verbal tantrums condemning equal rights for LGBT’s. That’s not exactly a shock when it’s become obvious the conservative anti-gay movement is losing the battle an inch at a time. They’re not taking it well and their protests over something they consider fundamentally wrong range from idiotic to simply misinformed. I make it a point to ignore the idiotic ones. How can you have an intelligent conversation with someone who thinks the “gay panic” defense is a legitimate excuse for murder? You can’t and screaming at them accomplishes nothing.

However, not everything I’ve heard has been ridiculous. A good deal of it is just misinformed. Some of it is also good for a laugh. For example, the rants and articles that focus on the biblical tale of Sodom and the statement some groups feel it makes about anal sex. It’s evil. God says so. After all, sodomy was such an egregious sin God burned the town to ash in order to wipe the practice off the face of the planet…or so the tale goes. Since all gay men engage in anal sex in a non-stop orgy that takes over entire neighborhoods in San Francisco during Pride week they’re clearly evil. (Insert giggle here. Feel free to include an eye roll.)

I think Jay Michaelson said it best in his Huffington Post blog entry from a few years ago. “Reading the story of Sodom as being about homosexuality is like reading the story of an axe-murderer and saying it's about an axe.”(1) The sin the story highlighted was rape not sodomy but let’s not confuse the issue with facts. It would ruin a perfectly good rant to suggest they do a little research before they make another mistake like adopting the moniker “tea baggers” without first conducting a Google search. The rest of us find those little gaffes amusing though I’m not sure snickering is the reaction they’re going for.

In this case, a few minutes on the internet would dig up some interesting statistics about the practice of sodomy in the US that might send them searching for a new rant.  According to a 2010 study on sexual behavior, 10% of heterosexual couples admit to having anal sex on a regular basis.(2) The study also went on to say that only 66% of gay couples engage in it. By the Conservative “anti-sodomites” own claims, the gay population accounts for a mere 3-5% of the total population. You don’t have to break out a calculator to see what that means. 5 of every 100 men are gay. 3 of those 5 men practice anal sex. On the other hand, 9 of the remaining 95 men practice the same thing. (This is a good place for more giggling.)

In other words, they’re condemning the wrong group but far be it from me to ruin a perfectly good rant so, rant on. I could use a laugh.

1. Michaelson, Jay. (2011). Who Are The Real Sodomites? Huffington Post Religion

2. Center for Sexual Health Promotion. (2010). National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

The Group That Shall Not Be Named

I read an online story the other day that made me physically cringe. Depending on where you look, that isn’t uncommon anymore. The only reason I’m writing about this particular story is because it’s become a regular occurrence thanks to a group that dares to categorize itself as a “church”. Most of you know exactly which notoriously abhorrent group I’m talking about and I know I don’t have to spell out why it doesn’t qualify as a church. It’s a hate group by every definition of the term. We might as well call them what they are despite the White House’s refusal two days ago to officially label them as such.

Westboro Baptist’s latest bout of verbal defecation celebrated the deaths of a group of courageous firefighters in Arizona and included a threat to protest the funerals, no big shock in either case. Inflammatory statements are their hallmark as is kicking people while they’re down. We’ve come to expect nothing else but I wonder how many people understand their secondary motive for the open hostility and unconscionable comments?


WBC isn’t a large organization. In fact, their membership consists almost entirely of members of a single family. So why does such an obscure little group have a household name across North America and beyond? Because they make statements guaranteed to piss people off. Then those people spread the hate group’s name all over creation launching online protests, writing articles and blogs (like this one) and WBC gets free publicity with nothing more than a single statement. In short, those of us who loathe them do all the dirty work for them. We’ve made them famous and bestowed on them a status visible enough to attract the attention of other hate mongers. I don’t have to look at their tax returns for the past few years to conclude that fame has also likely earned them donations.

I know I’m not alone when I say I have no tolerance for hate groups and the blind, illogical doctrine they spread. I won’t support them and I won’t promote them. So effective as of the moment this post goes public I vow to stop giving WBC what they want. I will no longer forward, post or retweet stories about their hateful actions or comments. We all know what they are. We all know what they stand for and how completely ridiculous their claims are. Nothing they say or do is a surprise and increasing their bandwidth by spreading their name around doesn’t help our cause. It only helps theirs.

There is so much work left to do before we can say we’ve reached a point of true equality. I refuse to undermine our movement’s efforts by promoting those who scream that we don’t deserve simple acknowledgement let alone rights. Instead I plan to publicly support the groups fighting such blind hatred and turn my attention to helping those among us who are still struggling in the shadows.

I hope you’ll join me in my silent campaign to push this hate group back into obscurity. Let’s turn off the flow of free publicity and put our passion where it can do some good. Let them rant in their ugly little corner of a self-created hell. We’ll keep working toward the equal rights we deserve and we’ll see who ends up on top in the end.

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