September 30, 2006

Not Exactly Civil Discourse on Civil Unions

Thanks to PageOneQ for this tip on this disturbing story.

An incident occurred in a restaurant in suburban Milwaukee recently that shows just how deep the irrational, visceral hatred of GLBT people and the opposition to them having basic rights like marriage can run.

A group of lesbian, gay and transgender friends were sitting in this restaurant discussing the proposed Wisconsin constitution amendment that would ban civil unions and gay marriage. During that private, peaceful conversation, an individua joined them and eventually started punching two of the people involved. Before he fled the scene, he threw chairs and other objects and threatened to shoot someone.

The local police have yet to make an arrest, and the Antiviolence Project of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center is pushing for hate crime charges to be filed in the case.

I don't post this story to even remotely imply that this is typical of opposition to GLBT rights, but when is the last time you heard of a gay or lesbian person or a GLBT ally tearing up a restaurant or committing any similar act against people who oppose those rights.

While I am not comfortable with some comparisons I have heard to the civil rights battles of the 1960's and the struggle for GLBT equality, this incident does raise up one common thread in my mind. The hatred and bigotry that must be overcome to insure equality for GLBT people, just like it was for African-Americans, is deeply imbedded in a frigtheningly large portion of this nation's population. As anyone who pays attention knows, it has hardly disappeared regarding the African-American community and will be a constant presence through this generation and those who follow. Only continued advocacy and education can make that gradually diminish, and we can already see some evidence of that happening in today's society.

There is a long, long, long way to go, however, and it is incumbent upon GLBT people and their allies to keep pushing and advancing the cause. Equality won't happen by itself.

September 29, 2006

Congressman Resigns Over Lewd E-Mails to Teenage Boys

Mark Foley, a powerful Republican congressman from Florida, resigned today as more information came out about e-mail and instant messaging exchanges he had with male teenage pages.

I don't post the story here as another example of how evil Republicans or politicians can be. This is another example of what appears to be a self-loathing gay man buried deep in his closet, something I find very sad.

What is even sadder and more harmful is that this man was the chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children. He crusaded against using the Internet to sexually exploit those who were under age, even calling those who were guilty of this "sick people; they need mental health counseling." He was also, of course, very outspoken against gay rights.

It's bad enough when a person can't look themselves in the mirror and accept who they are. It's even worse when they have the power to not only hurt themselves but others like them, punishing others for their self-loathing.

At least now there will be one less person in Congress with the power to do that.

September 27, 2006

WHOSOEVER: Unhealthy Faith

10 Beliefs of an Unhealthy Faith

1. God's love and favor depends on my behavior.
2. All ministers are people of God and can be trusted.
3. Material blessings are a sign of spiritual strength.
4. I can work my way to heaven.
5. Problems in my life are a result of some kind of sin.
6. If it's not in the Bible it isn't relevant.
7. A strong enough faith will protect me from problems and pain.
8. God hates sinners, is angry with me, and wants to punish me.
9. Having true faith means waiting for God to help me; doing nothing until He does.
10. More than anything else God wants me to be happy.

September 26, 2006

Hate Mongering at the "Values Voter Summit"

Yes, apparently hate was one of the values in great demand at the summit held in Washington, DC last weekend. The "Values Voter Summit," led by James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and the other religious right "standard" bearers, featured some tough talk directed to the LGBT community (that might be you) and its allies (people like me). Here are some of the lowlights:

Bishop Wellington Boone, founder of the Wellington Boone Ministries: "But I want to tell you something is, they (GLBT people) don’t know, we’re driven by God to deal with this stuff, and I want to say to you that, in this regard, I’m not playing with you. That when it comes to the matter of this gay stuff, I know that a family is not a man and a man or a woman and a woman. It’s a man and a woman. That’s the creative order, and I’m not backing down."

Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Texas: As reported by People For The American Way. "he said, the gay rights movement was inspired “from the pit of hell itself,” and has a “satanic anointment.” The gay rights movement was birthed and inspired by the anti-Christ. He suggested that the anti-Christ is himself gay, citing a verse from the book of Daniel saying the anti-Christ will have no desire for a woman."

I would not suggest you blow these off as just intolerant rantings. This conference attracted several potential Republican presidential candidates and the current U. S. Attorney General. These statements and other intolerant, hateful remarks were not made as some little backwards church gathering in the heat of the moment on a Sunday morning. This was a serious national convention attended by some of the leading policy makers in the United States!

I'm posting these remarks and writing about the "Values Voter Summit" to make you angry (not at me please, I'm only the messenger). Hopefully any thoughts you have about sitting out the 2006 elections are overcome by reading trash like this. None of those presidential candidates sniffing around trying to gain favor with the mighty religious right came out and said anything publicly opposing this hatred.

It's up to the GLBT community and its allies to come out and publicly oppose the right wing's policies of discrimination and condemnation, especially when it comes time to cast you ballots on November 7.

September 25, 2006

IRS Targets A Church-A Pro-Gay Church

When you see the first part of that title, you may be thinking it is about time the IRS followed through on its threats to crack down on the legal restrictions of political activities by non-profit organizations. There would probably be widespread agreement about that point among the readership here, revoking the tax-exempt status of churches who preach politics rather than God's word.

You might be surprised, like me, to learn that their current target is a pro-gay, anti-war church in Pasadena, California. One would think that, with all of the right-wing, anti-gay political rhetoric being spewed from pulpits around the country the IRS might be putting the squeeze on one of them but noooooooooo, a liberal church is under investigation because of an anti-war sermon preached during the 2004 campaigns.

Maybe I'm getting a bit jaded, but I find the choice of this church quite odd. It couldn't have been politically motivated could it?

Of course, if any IRS representatives read this--I'm with you, you folks do a great job! Please don't audit me.

September 24, 2006

Announcing a new project, "Disciples From the Left"

I am proud and excited to announce a new project that I believe is a natural outgrowth of this blog. I am now editing a blog titled, "Disciples From the Left." The viewpoint of that blog will be similar to Straight, Not Narrow except that I will be addressing a wider range of issues. Rather than focus on GLBT related issues, I will be discussing topics like the war in Iraq, the economy, terrorism, and anything I find significant in the political arena. As I do here, I will be relating events and policies back to the Bible and the will of God. I believe much of what has been done in the U. S. society in recent years with the name of God attached to it has little to do with Him. I hope to provide a clear view of what the Holy Spirit has led me to believe is the TRUE will of God, one that does not include this nation continuing to move toward a totalitarian state, where torture is actually something to be debated, where rights are being restricted and privacy invaded on a routine basis.

It is time for Christians to take a stand, and I want to be counted among those who do stand up for God's true word and will for our lives.

I hope you check it out at

I am also seeking other like-minded individuals to participate in the project. Please notify me by e-mail at if you have something you want to say and would like to do on "Disciples From the Left."