October 07, 2006

Conservatives Contradict Themselves in Foley Scandal

As this report from the San Francisco Chronicle states, there are conservatives who are trying to weasel out of responsibility for permitting sexual predator Rep. Foley to continue unpunished until he was recently outed.

There are conservatives who are saying they feared taking any action against Foley because they would then be labled as gay-bashers. Of course, they are saying that while people like Tony Perkins are gay bashing with the old, inaccurate, correlation between homosexuality and pediopheila.

From the Chronicle report:

"Patrick Sammon, executive vice president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a 20,000-member national group of gay and lesbian Republicans, scoffed at the notion that Hastert and other GOP House leaders dragged their feet on the Foley case because of the gay-bashing issue.

"These anti-gay groups should be ashamed. They're trying to use this horrible situation to advance their own agenda. It's despicable,'' said Sammon, who decried Foley's conduct. "This is a personal and political scandal. It should not be used to denigrate gay and lesbian Americans.''

Hopefully voters will remember that in November.

Judge's Nomination Held Up Due to Committment Ceremony

Notoroius anti-gay senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) is holding up the nominaton of Janet T. Neff to the U. S. District Court in Michigan because she participated in a committment ceremony for a same-sex couple.

According to this report in The Adovacte:

Brownback cited recent instances in California and New York where local officials issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples contrary to existing laws. ''I don't know what she did,'' Brownback said. ''That's why there's a factual question.''

Brownback has asked the U.S. Justice Department for a formal legal opinion in addition to asking Neff specific questions. Joe Solmonese, president of the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said commitment ceremonies ''have nothing to do with the law. This was a symbolic expression of love between two people. This is nothing more than Sam Brownback looking for another opportunity to rear his bigoted head and find a way to attack gay people."

Brownback claimed about the judge's actions, "''It seems to speak about her view of judicial activism."

I believe this actually says a lot more about Senator Brownback's views on judicial activism than judge Neff's. After all, if the legislature filters out judicial appointments of people who don't agree with them, isn't that a passive-aggressive type of judicial activism in itself?

October 06, 2006

UCC Strikes Back at FRC's Latest Homophobic Smear

In my recent post about the scandal swirling around former congressman Mark Foley's e-mails to underage pages, I wrote about comments spewed by the head of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins. He used this situation to claim that "the real issue was the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse."

The leader of the United Church of Christ, their general minister and president Rev. John H. Thomas, has stepped up and taken a stand. "Perkins recent remarks are destructive to gay and lesbian persons and their families and distract the nation’s attention from the real issue at hand, which is protecting young people from sexual predators,” said Thomas."

“To suggest that gay and lesbian persons should be barred from public service, as Perkins has implied, is akin to suggesting that white, straight males should be kept out of politics because of Bill Clinton’s sexual misdeeds,” Thomas said. “To attach this debate to sexual orientation is not only ludicrous, it’s dangerous. Many gay and lesbian persons serve honorably in public office.”

“If anything, this nation’s culture of silence with respect to gay and lesbian people has taught us that hiding, shame and denial, as in Foley’s case, are not healthy ways to live as a gay or lesbian person — not for them as individuals and not for us as a society,” Thomas said.

“One of the tragic elements in the recent incident involving Mark Foley is the way the media give credence to those who make the unfortunate, salacious and inaccurate leap that Mr. Foley’s behavior is rooted in his sexual orientation.” Chase said. “Such characterization slanders an entire group of citizens and fuels the forces of suspicion and division that plague our country.”

Well said, Rev. Thomas. It's good to see a religious leader with perspective who is willing to take the initiative to speak out against ones who misrepresent facts in order to spread hatred and bigotry.

October 03, 2006

GOP Leaders Sell Out Principles to Protect Foley's Vote

When you hear Republicans talk ad nauseum about values, keep this in mind--they value nothing more than winning and don't care who gets hurt in the process.

I believe that was already fairly obvious, but information coming out regarding the Mark Foley situation makes that even more so.

Foley, of course, is the Republican congressman who resigned last week after the revelation of perverted e-mails he sent to underage congressional pages. More is coming out about how much the party's leadership, all the way up to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, knew about the situation and their failure to take any action besides informal warings to pages to stay away from him.

The Republicans valued Foley's party-line voting record more than protecting young volunteers from a sexual predator.

Meanwhile, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council used this situation to launch another right-wing attempt to tie in homosexuality and pedophilia. Classy move, but about what I would expect.

One of the functions of government is supposed to be the protection of it's citizens. Who, then, will protect us from the government and its alleged leaders?

October 02, 2006

"Religion Gone Bad"-Drifting Away From Jesus

I'm linking to a review over at the excellent site "The Prodigal Sheep" of Mel White's latest book, "Religion Gone Bad." Here are a couple of excerps:

"White traces the development of this movement and its growth in influence through the particular prism of its apalling and utterly inexcusable treatment of LGBT people. Drawing on sociological research into the roots of fascism, he explores the uncanny and extensive parallels between historical fascist movements and the spirit of fascism masquerading as 'Judeo-Christian' morality."

"White doesn't really ask this question outright, but it's hard not to: What is the difference today between moderate-to-extreme Islamic mullahs who preach death to Jews and Westerners in their mosques and whose words incite others to hateful violence, and 'Christian' fundamentalist clergy who preach death to gays and lesbians from their pulpits and whose words also incite others to acts of violence?

There is none."

"If the American Taliban have their way, LGBT people won't merely be pushed back into the closet but will be permanently made second or third class citizens, or worse."

There is some very thought provoking, and scary, stuff here. Check out the entire review, then I suspect you may want to read the book.

October 01, 2006

"Healing, Feeding, and Loving, Not Nationalism"

This is a wonderful, heartfelt editorial written by a pastor in the Midwest and published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are the parts that jumped out at me:

"I want to celebrate my unity with sisters and brothers who seek to follow the God that I know in the healing, feeding and teaching ministries of Jesus, not the ones who use Jesus' name to bomb abortion clinics. I want to build on the unity that I share with others who recognize God's kingdom as one of justice, peace and inclusive love, not those who use Jesus' name to preach hate. I no longer trust that a container labeled "Christian" necessarily has contents that I'm willing to share"

"We would like to say that all Christians share the basic values of God's love, but it is in the name of Jesus that the Alliance Defense Fund trains attorneys "to battle the radical homosexual legal agenda." In the name of Jesus, American Vision's leader, Gary DeMar, writes that another "long-term goal" should be "the execution of abortionists and parents who hire them."

I think I would be really blessed if I ever have the opportunity to visit Pastor Hawker's church.