September 02, 2006

PFLAG begins "Straight for Equality" Campaign

The new national president of Parents, Families, and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) announded a new campaign the organization launched last week. Titled "Straight for Equality," they are calling for more heterosexual people to join the fight for civil rights for gays.

Come on, folks, there's plenty of room left on this bandwagon. John Cepek, the new president, said, "I think we're on the right side of history. We're just trying to get it to the tipping point more quickly."

Char Cepek, John's wife and the president of the Illinios chapter of PFLAG, said, "All we want is our law-abiding, taxpaying gay son to have the same civil rights as our law-abiding, taxpaying straight son."

Sound logic like that holds up very well under objective, rational scrutiny.

September 01, 2006

Christians Need to Seek Together

I relate a couple of my recent experiences and tie them in with scriptural teaching to make that point in my latest Gay Christian Outreach column.

A truly active and vibrant faith is one where we are all actively learning and teaching. This needs to apply to those whom we have strong disagreements with as much if not more than those people we agree with.

August 31, 2006

A New GLBT Ally?

Sometimes your friends, or at least allies, can come from strange places. That could be the case here judging from this interview given by Charles Barkley, former pro basketball player, current NBA analyst for TNT television, and potential Deomcratic candidate for governor in Alabama.

Barkley nas been considering jumping into the political fray in his home state for some years and appears to be inching closer to pulling the trigger. He has switched his party affiliation, saying the Republicans have "lost their minds."

Speaking on religion, he said, "Religious people in general are so discriminatory against other people, and that really disturbs me. My idea of religion is we all love and respect. We all sin, but we still have common decency and respect for other people. So right now I'm struggling with my idea of what religion is."

Regarding gay marriage, Barkley said, "I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it's not like it's going to be an epidemic." This is an excellent point, differing from those who act like allowing same-sex marriage would bring about the fall of civilization.

He closed with, "When you get elected to public office, you're supposed to represent everybody. Your job is not to take care of the rich or the poor or the black or the white. Your job is to take care of everybody."

I've heard a lot of political rhetoric this year that made a lot less sense than that.

August 30, 2006


Sometimes the circumstances in our lives can cause us to become confused. Confusion is a frustrating and uncomfortable state of mind to be in. But, confusion can actually be a good thing in the sense that it can be a warning sign to us that something has gotten off track. Being confused can be a great opportunity to take assessment and make some positive adjustments in our lives.

In the Bible the words confused and confounded are often used interchangeably. Here is a definition of both words:
Confounded - confused, befuddled, perplexed, mixed up - implies inability to continue.
Confusion - 1) perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements; filled with bewilderment. 2) lacking orderly continuity. 3) having lost your bearings; confused as to time or place or personal identity. 4) thrown into a state of disarray or confusion; 5) mentally confused; unable to think with clarity or act intelligently.

Also, some or all of the following conditions or situations may be present:
A state of disorder, shame, disgrace, dishonor, confoundedness, reproach, insult, humiliation, disconcertedness, disappointment, chaos, emptiness, instability, bewilderment.

Yet, we need not be consumed by confusion. The Bible offers us a great deal of comfort.
I Peter 2:6 - As it is contained in the scripture, behold, I lay in Zion a Chief Corner Stone, elect, precious; and they that believe on Him shall not be confounded.
Psalm 22:5 - They cried unto You and were delivered; they trusted in You and were not confounded.
Psalm 71:1 - In you, oh Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be put to confusion.
Isaiah 50:7 - For the Lord God will help me; therefore I will not be confounded: for I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

August 28, 2006

"Christian Coalition: A Question of Integrity"

This is a question being asked not by some "liberal media." Instead, Ethics Daily, a Baptist site I link to regularly, is addressing this concern.

Here is the key quote:

"If the Christian Coalition wants to present itself as a Christian group, and invoke the name of Jesus as their standard, then some drastic reform is needed. First of all, disclose funding sources. Faith based non-profits like Alabama Arise and Greater Birmingham Ministries make regular public statements about where their money comes from. Why can't the Christian Coalition do the same thing? In fact, it ought to be a state law. Citizens have a right to know who is funding efforts to affect our state government.

And the CCA needs to decide once for all whether they are a voter education group or a political action committee. Voter education is a worthy goal, but it should be carried out in a non-partisan manner. Candidate surveys should be designed to elicit and present actual information and not just weighted information designed to advance the cause of pre-ordained candidates.

Politics can be a rough and dirty business. The faith community is in a place to make the process better, but not if we get down in the dirt ourselves."


August 27, 2006

Harris: Non-Christians Will Legislate Sin

That is the declaration of U. S. Representative Kathrine Harris, representing the Miami, Florida area and, if that wasn't bad enough, currently the Republican nominee for a U. S. Senate seat. Lest you think this is merely something twisted or taken out of context, here is the quote from the Florida Baptist Witness newsletter (the warning bells are already going off, aren't they?).

Q: Why should Florida Baptists care about this election?
A: ".....If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong. ...

Just for good measure for the readership here, here's another selection from the same interview:

Q: Do you support civil rights protections on the basis of sexual preference?
A: Civil rights have to do with individual rights and I don’t think they apply to the gay issues. I have not supported gay marriage and I do not support any civil rights actions with regard to homosexuality.

I suppose GLBT people don't have any rights in her twisted little far-right wing mind.

Of course, remember this is the paragon of virtue who was Secretary of State in Florida during the 2000 presidential election voting fiasco in the state. There were numerous allegations of conflicts of interest and unethical behavior resulting from the way she handled voting recounts and the certification of the elections.

This from the AOL article I linked regarding her senate campaign:

"State GOP leaders - including Gov. Jeb Bush - don't think she can win against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November. Fundraising has lagged, frustrated campaign workers have defected in droves and the issues have been overshadowed by news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions."

Rep. Harris is not someone who has the moral high ground to say much of anything, but especially where it comes to portraying herself as one who won't "legislate sin." Of course, she didn't specifcally say anything bad about practicing sin in office, now did she?