December 09, 2006

Mitt Romney Changes His Tune

The race for the 2008 presidential nominations is already well under way, and one of the contenders is the republican Governor of Massachussets, Mitt Romney. He has started his presidential campaign by lashing out against the state law that allows same-sex marriage. Saying that he is pandering to the far right wing of the party could sound cynical, but there is evidence to support that

This article in Bay Windows, a Boston LGBT newspaper, has some excerpts from an interview they had with Romney back in 1994, when he was competing for the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy. He's had quite the change in tune since then. Here's an excerpt:

I don’t just mean that each person can do what they want to do, I mean that our society should allow people to make their own choices and live by their own beliefs. People of integrity don’t force their beliefs on others, they make sure that others can live by different beliefs they may have. That’s the great thing about this country: it was founded to allow people to follow beliefs of their own conscience. I will work and have worked to fight discrimination and to assure each American equal opportunity. You’ll see that, for instance, in my relations in the workplace.

This recent column by Eleanor Clift in Newsweek discusses that strategy, starting out by stating:

There ought to be a prohibition against opportunistic politicians messing around in state laws to further their presidential ambitions.

Well, if I'm being cynical, at least I've got good company.

December 08, 2006

"T. D. Jakes Steps Up AIDS Efforts"

Given the lukewarm (at best) approach much of the African-American community has taken toward their GLBT brothers and sisters and issues that affect them, this was a very encouraging article to find in The Christian Post:

In the wake of a burgeoning evangelical movement combating the HIV/AIDS crisis, one of America's leading Pentecostal pastors stepped up his already ongoing efforts for AIDS awareness.

Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas launched a comprehensive campaign at the national and international levels to make a greater impact amid a growing crisis. The "It's Time to Step Up!" campaign comes as HIV infection is rising in every region in the world.

“More has to be done to halt the spread of this preventable and treatable disease and to address these frightening circumstances in the lives of all our brothers, sisters and children wherever they may live," said Jakes in a released statement. "We believe everyone has a role to play in educating the community about the challenges and issues surrounding this pandemic. As one of the largest predominately African-American churches in the nation, The Potter’s House is stepping up and taking action as part of a national and global offensive against HIV/AIDS.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

December 07, 2006

Merry Christmas...Or Not

The folks at the American Family Association are upset. They want everyone to have a Merry Christmas whether they want to or not! Here's their latest release:

Gap, which owns Old Navy, Banana Republic, Forth & Towne and Piperlime, has become the latest politically correct retailer, intentionally censoring the use of "Christmas" in their in-store, online and printed advertising.

Instead of referring to the season as Christmas, Gap instead uses the word "holiday." As hard as we tried, AFA could not find a single instance in which Gap-owned stores use the term "Christmas." Not a single time!

When one Old Navy store manager was asked by AFA if the word Christmas was in his store, he answered, "We have a lot of Christmas gifts in our stores, but the word Christmas is not used here. Everything is 'holiday.'"

Gap wants you to do your Christmas shopping with them, but they don't want to mention the Reason for the season. Gap doesn't want to offend non-Christians by using Christmas. The fact that their censoring the use of Christmas might offend Christians seems to be of no importance.

I've given the "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Hollidays" a lot of deep thought and reached this

Who gives a crap.

Really, why does any organization waste valuable time and money worrying about how you are greeted at a retail establishment? Is anyone really shallow enough to believe that a "Merry Christmas" greeting will instill the Christmas Spirit in anyone?

As Apostle Dale eloquently preached at our church this past Sunday, the spirit of Christmas is all about understanding why Christ was born on earth and why he wilfully gave his life for our salvation. That spirit is not something that can be generated externally--it must come from within our own hearts from an understanding of how Jesus loves us.

If we embrace that, we don't need someone to wish us "Merry Christmas."

If we don't understand what Christmas is truly about, it doesn't really matter what anyone says, does it?

December 05, 2006

Announcing the Sixth "International Carnival of Pozitivities"

Ron Hudson, who writes the blog 2sides2ron, is hosting the latest monthly installment of The International Carinval of Pozitivities. Ron provides the background for this blog carnival:

"I founded this blog carnival in June, 2006, to help fill the void of information in mainstream media and other sources about the impact of HIV/AIDS in the world. It seemed to me that all we were hearing about HIV/AIDS related to how new drug therapies were stemming the tide of deaths from this disease. In the West, we have, indeed, seen a drop in the number of AIDS deaths, but some important aspects of this story were being omitted. Side effects, cost, lack of access and medication failures were not being discussed. Neither was the impact of AIDS in the more poverty-stricken regions of the World and the lack of infrastructure for providing medication to the over 40 million people infected worldwide. Far more frightening, we have failed as a society to discuss transmission modalities in frank and honest ways. While the disease continues to spread, we avoid discussions about our true nature as sexual beings as if our shame and denial will make this disease vanish from before our eyes. Prevention of HIV/AIDS can only take place through honest and open discussion. It is in the spirit of promoting just such a dialogue that I founded the ICP. I am proud to see the project has survived its first six months and am honored by all past participants for their courage and commitment to the project. Please join us."

They were kind enough to include a story from this blog in last month's carnival, and I would encourage all of you to take Ron up on his invitation and visit the sixth monthly installment of The International Carnival of Pozitivities.

December 04, 2006

The Fight Is Never Over

The battle for marriage equality was won in Canada, but opponents are gearing up for a rematch.

Along with this, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is using his push to repeal the state's same-sex marriage law as a tool to gain conservative support for his potential 2008 presidential candidacy.

This is a reminder that, even when victories are won, there are those whose hatred of equal rights runs so deep that they will NEVER give up the fight. Supporters need to have the same resolve and understand that this is the reality that has to be dealt with.

Ultimately, it will be worth the fight because it's right.

December 03, 2006

Perspective on Baptists by a Baptist.

Rev. Jim Evans, who regularly contributes to the site Ethics Daily, gets it. No matter what the topic, when I read his columns, in my opinion he gets it.

So it was no surprise that I read this piece on the recent North Carolina State Baptist Associaion's recent declaration that any church that affirms a homosexual "lifestyle" cannot join the association, and any current member that does so would be expelled.

While not directly affirming the place of the homosexual in the church, Rev. Evans asks,

"For instance, in the book of Leviticus homosexual behavior is described as "an abomination." But the exact same word is used to describe the eating of pork. Why don't we have a campaign against bacon eaters?

In the few places in the New Testament where homosexual behavior is discussed, it is always included in a long list of behaviors including greed and gossip.

Greed and gossip?

Why is it we never hear anything about greedy gossips? If Ezekiel and Jesus are right, greed makes more sense as a threat to our standing at the final judgment than anything else. In fact, greed may explain our general lack of concern and compassion for the poor in our midst."

It's always nice to see somebody dishing out healthy doses of perspective.