Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Unfortunately, this is NOT as bad as it gets.
But it's close.
"Gay marriage is the tip of the spear, the weapon that will be and is being used to marginalize and repress Christianity and the Church."Just days after announcing an effort to spearhead a global boycott of Starbucks due to its stance on marriage equality, the National Organization for Marriage has been hit with a controversy of its own making: internal "strategy" memos that clearly outline its hatred for gays and its intent to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies." It also proposed to " interrupt this process of assimilation [in the Hispanic community] by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity" and targeted President Obama to be painted as a "radical" opposing traditional values.
It also boasted about the support of Rick Santorum:
"Senator Rick Santorum has recently agreed to use his voice in a nationwide automated call effort to solicit activists and donations."
"The current state of despair over the future of marriage is manufactured, a weapon in our opponents’ hand"
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”
…but we will be helped by an emerging new set of black leaders who are upset their voices and values have been ignored by the culturally liberal white elites.
The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be even more so in the future because of demographic growth. Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We can interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity.The use of two minorities in opposing another minority. Cool.
For a period spanning almost three years, the Maine Ethics Commission (along with its Attorney General's office) had been battling NOM concerning its disclosure of finances and donors. Ironically, the fatal memo points out how NOM valiantly tried to suppress such disclosure. In the end, NOM battled disclosure - through three civil courts - and lost. The Supreme Court recently refused to hear its appeal. The memo is a result of that decision in its disclosures. What NOM considered a victory in Maine, ultimately wound up biting it in the posterior.
Here’s the bottom line: Hollywood with its cultural biases is far bigger than we could hope to be. We recognize this. But we also recognize the opportunity – the disproportionate potential impact of proactively seeking to gather and connect a community of artist, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous noncognitive elites across national boundaries
Posted by DFV at 12:17 PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Great Senile Spirit Has Spoken. Pat Robertson has taken an ex-gay/born-again odyssey and crafted a story of demonic possession. Over two years ago, Pat Robertson's mental capacity was questioned when he posited that disaster-stricken Haiti had signed a pact with the devil. He has, of course, come out with similar pronouncements leading both sides of the culture to dismiss him as senile.* So it should come as no surprise that his latest revelation - that homosexuality is really the result of demonic possession - has been met with a certain amount of amusement.
But some people aren't laughing.
Of course, Robertson has his die-hard fans, that group of elderly living in nursing homes, touching their screens when Pat is on, hoping he'll cure them of their hemorrhoids. His demonizing of gays to this group is almost meaningless since most of them don't have the strength or wherewithal to wield a baseball bat or pull a trigger. But it's the rest of his outer circle, the ones who enable bullying in schools, the ones who need to believe in a "homosexual agenda", the ones who actively follow the likes of Bryan Fischer and Lou Engle - they are the ones from whom we must suffer silence in fear of lives.
Demonizing in America has become a sport at which certain people have become incredibly adept and truly bold: the ones who eschew the machinations of Fred Phelps support and embellish the homophobia of Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Tony Perkins remonstrates against dreaded "homosexual activists" almost weekly on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. The American Family Association calls for boycotts against any retailers supporting gay rights (the latest, being Starbucks and JC Penney) because homosexuals are "destroying" the American family.**
"Spirit of Death"
Perhaps the most harmful thing about Robertson's latest ruminations is that he uses a black "ex-gay" man to tell his story about how his "addiction" brought out misery for his family and how he was saved by "faith." The man's testimony seems harmless enough until he comes to equate his faith to the "Spirit of Life" and homosexuality to the "Spirit of Death." Yes, he actually uses those words, and in doing so becomes a fully adept demonizer on Robertson's program, enabling black ministers ala Eddie Long to preach against the "demon-possessed" gay lifestyle. The man also depicts his own life as simply one filled with deceit and online sexual hook-ups, a mass of guilt and devoid of any real affection to any of the men he experienced. In other words, homosexuality is just one mass of demonic lust.***
Enabler Of The Worst Sort
Of course, besides demonizing (literally) an entire community in one fell swoop, Robertson also became an exorcist-enabler. Horror stories abound concerning gay youth and even older men and lesbians being put through hell - often against their will - in order to "cast out" the demons driving their sexual urges and their orientation (see one below). He has became a staunch supporter of those people who for the sake of their own perversions of righteousness, torture to the point of irreparable psychological damage. He has become an enabler of Hell Houses and their "demonic" portrayal of same-sex weddings. He has even become an enabler of bullying, since most gay teens are taunted with "you're going to hell."
It is unfortunate that throughout his barely lucid ramblings, Robertson keeps harping at what is "wrong" without stopping to think that what he is doing might be wrong.
Such is the bliss of senility.
* He has reversed his previous stance on marijuana, calling for its legalization, and setting off a chorus of WTF!?s across the nation's Bible Belt and beyond.
** As if it needed any impetus.
***Certainly sounds like partner material to me!
Posted by DFV at 10:54 AM
Monday, March 26, 2012
Help Jeff Foxworthy with his upcoming program, The American Bible Challenge (WTF?). Instead of the same old David and Goliath questions, how about something more penetrating, more thoughtful, more ...
How about some suggested questions? They must be question about the Bible, of course, but you can still be creative - God will let you!
Just leave question in comment area.
Posted by DFV at 12:18 PM
You Might Be A Right Wing Bible Thumper, If...: Foxworthy's New Bible Quiz Show Promises Unintended Laughs
You Might Be A Right Wing Bible Thumper if...
You have to give Jeff Foxworthy credit: he doesn't mind deprecation, especially self-deprecation. The man who coined the phrase "You might be a redneck, if...." and hosted "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" is getting set for some more deprecatory comments, even from some of his own fans.
Even without knowing much about the exact format of the program, The American Bible Challenge, it doesn't take a fifth grader to sense that the show will produce some very embarrassing, unintended moments.
From Punchline Magazine:
Part of the show will be centered around the contestant’s home lives, as the network explained their personal stories will be shared with the audience. Contestants will form teams and will represent “worthy faith-based organizations,” to which all cash won will go, according to GSN. The show pilot is scheduled to shoot later this month.
Foxworthy has promised to "to present the Bible in a fun and entertaining way."That was done by pop historian Kenneth C. Davis in his book "Don't Know Much About The Bible."* It didn't go over well with Fundamentalists.
KJV, NIV or PPP (Pure Pulpit Pimp)?
So which version of the Bible will Foxworthy use for his questions? If he doesn't use the King James Version, he's going to rile some people. Then again, saying all those "thees" "thous" "sayeths" and "begats" will make for more archaic-sounding buffoonery.
Foxworthy will also be walking a fine line in other areas: will interpretation have anything to do with the questions? Will the Bible be presented as absolute fact? Will he skirt socio-political issues such as homosexuality? Will he lean towards the David Barton history and mindset of EVERYTHING being set in the Bible? How Dominionist will he get? More pertinent: will the contestants be culled from our most visible Christian Right leaders? Can you imagine:
JF: "The Old Testament mentions the Witch of Endor. Where is Endor?"
Cindy Jacobs: "Was it shaped like a dragon?"
Pat Robertson: "I don't know, but I think it signed a pact with the devil."
JF: What was the sin of Sodom?
Bryan Fischer: Making the first homosexuals, therefore the first N*zis.
Tony Perkins: Homosexual activists forced Lot's daughters to become lesbians.
JF: How many wives did King Solomon Have?
Robert Jeffress: I don't know, but he was definitely not a member of the Mormon cult.
JF: Did God want the Israelites to slay all the Amelekites?
Ann Coulter: He only wanted them to slay their leaders and convert them to Christianity.
Sean Hannity: He didn't want to slay them at all, only waterboard them.
Other guests might include Chuck Norris, David Barton, Stephen Baldwin, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann, Tim Tebow, Linda Harvey, Kirk Cameron, Rick Perry, Bishop Eddie Long... and anyone Southern Baptist. The possibilities are endless.
Unfortunately, they might be much more interesting than the people Foxworthy considers sincere and knowledgeable, turning American Bible Challenge into one boring romp, a forum devoid of meaning...or entertainment.
*I highly recommend this book for the simple reason that it brings out all the discrepancies. Some of Davis' historical standpoints have been challenged, but the fact remains that Fundamentalists and Evangelicals hate him for calling them out. E.G.: there are TWO creations, the New Testament was not written by Matthew Mark, Luke and John and God couldn't seem to get his Son's birthday right.
Posted by DFV at 8:12 AM
Friday, March 23, 2012
The last of the big boycotts?
We are urging consumers across the globe to "Dump Starbucks" because the massive international corporation has taken a corporate-wide position that marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become the norm.
As such, Starbucks has declared it will use its influence and resources in a culture war against at least half its US customers, and against the vast majority of its international consumers who do not share Starbucks' position.
The National Organization for Marriage - aka Maggie Ghallagher - aka "Slaggie" by Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God) - has now initiated a boycott of Starbucks. Like JC Penney, however, Starbucks is holding its ground with its policies. Like Ben & Jerry's it sees the value of seeing things "through the lens of humanity." Like the Girl Scouts and their cookies, it's banking on diversity. Like Home Depot, it shows signs of support of the LGBT community.
There are so many national retailers being boycotted by NOM and its supporters (mainly the American Family Association) one wonders if people like "Slaggie" can purchase ANYTHING!
Responses and Results
Boycotts are nothing new. The first known boycott was that of the Meccans against the Hashemites so that they would withdraw their patronage of Mohammad. The Boston Tea Party was the first American boycott. The term "boycott" comes from a man named Boycott - a British land agent who was subject to a boycott by the Irish Land League in 1880. Perhaps the most violent boycott in history was the N*zi boycott of Jewish businesses. The purpose of boycotts has been mostly economic: if you want to get your point across, hit them where it hurts the most - in the pocketbook.
The Christian Right has for decades used boycotts as a means to demonstrate its displeasure with any organization or business. Whether they are effective or not in halting the gross national product, is another story. They seem to think they are, because they have kept calling for boycotts at an alarming rate. But manufacturers, retailers, franchises and other businesses are also steadfastly refusing to bend - at a rate corresponding to the Right's vehemence, much to it's chagrin.
“Being a socially responsible organization is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size and resources to make a difference in the world…and we do.”
Ford Motor Company
Whether Ford Motor Company caved in to a boycott remains to be seen:
Marcey Evans, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an interview Wednesday that the AFA was misusing “diversity” by treating it as a code word for “homosexuality.” But “to Ford, diversity is a much broader definition than simply homosexuality,” she said. “Diversity is very important to Ford, and it goes beyond homosexuality.”Disney
"I think it would be a tragedy for us to exclude anybody."
Michael Eisner, Disney chairman, called the boycott "ridiculous" and denied it would have any effect on Disney. No effect financially, he said. Eisner denied that Disney was pushing an "anti Christian" or "anti family" agenda. "That’s ridiculous. We’re not pushing any agenda."Upon the celebration of Gay Day at Disney World, Pat Robertson forewarned Orlando, FL that it might be in for harsh weather "Maybe even a meteor."
The decision to produce Gay Pride t-shirts may not have been the underlying factor in the AFA's boycott of the global retailer. What really got to the AFA and it's resident homophobe, Bryan Fischer, was that proceeds of the t-shirts would go to the It Gets Better project, founded by Dan Savage.
Old Navy continued to sell the t-shirts for a long time.
"My instinct...is that spokespeople aren't really necessary unless a company is going through a profound change," he says. "We looked around...and Ellen was the one who stood out. She's honest, she's funny, she has integrity. Americans like her but they really trust her. She seemed to be the perfect person."
- Ron Johnson, CEO, addressing the boycot called upon JC Penney by One Million Moms regarding the use of Ellen Degeneres as a spokesman.
Girls Scouts of America
The video of a supposed Girl Scout requesting the boycott of Girl Scout cookies on the basis of the GSA allowing transgendered children into the organization, sparked a big controversy, but GSA held it's head up high:
"For 100 years, Girl Scouts has prided itself on being an inclusive organization serving girls from all walks of life. We handle cases involving transgender children on a case-by-case basis, with a focus on ensuring the welfare and best interests of the child in question and the other girls in the troop as our highest priority," a Girl Scouts spokeswoman told the Daily News in a statement.Home Depot
"Almighty God, we pray many more Christians will boycott Home Depot, who wrote a letter this week to the American Family Association saying they will continue sponsoring Homosexual Pride parades, and encouraging employees to dress in Home Depot aprons while marching in parades that defile children and promote sodomite sin."
For that response, Home Depot earned the witty sobriquet "Homo Depot."
BTW: It was recently discovered that the NOM website, dumpstarbucks.com, was around before the shareholders meeting - probably because it anticipated Schultz's response. The whole exchange is HERE at Good As You.
To some people the boycott business is ridiculous, but to others, it's a deadly serious game. Will there be more to come?
Duh, it's an election year.
Posted by DFV at 2:27 PM
Thursday, March 22, 2012
A new study by State Integrity.org shows the level of corruption in state government. And while some states are very surprising (New Jersey came out almost squeaky clean - New Jersey?!?), perhaps the most jarring of the findings is how many sates noted for their adherence to religion came out looking shady or downright crooked. To see the comparison, look at a Gallup Poll on importance of religion in the individual states.
So now we have it: two of our most religious states - Georgia and Virginia - are also two of the most corrupt.
A succinct breakdown:
Most Corrupt and Most Religious (both within the top 20): Georgia, South Dakota, Virginia, South Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah
Fairly High in Corruption and Religious Categories: Texas, West Virginia, Florida
Least Corrupt but Very Religious: Mississippi, Tennessee, Kansas
Least Corrupt and Least Religious: California, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts
The correlation has always existed.
Corruption and self-righteousness have always coexisted hand in hand, simply because the self-righteous believe themselves to be above others and the law. Just recently, we saw how politicians with a religious bent pander to the corrupt with impunity: Rick Santorum admitted to paying for the Iowa endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats.*
Pat Robertson's Virginia
Virginia's history of corruption goes back to the Dixiecrats of 1880 and came to fruition with the Byrd Democrats from 1920 through 1965:
The Byrd Organization (usually known as just "the Organization") was a political machine led by former Governor and U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr.(1887–1966) that dominated Virginia politics for much of the middle portion of the 20th century. From the mid 1920s until the late 1960s, the Byrd Organization effectively controlled the politics of the state through a network of courthouse cliques of local constitutional officers in most of the state's counties.
Pat Robertson's father, Senator Absalom Willis Robertson was described as a Bryd Democrat who opposed civil rights vehemently, snubbing Lyndon Johnson in the process.**
Robertson himself was involved in a bit of chicanery and corruption when it was found out that he was using Operation Blessing's airplanes to haul his own mining equipment, a stunt that almost landed him in jail. His political (and financial) ties to Virginia's politicians, however, came through. Robertson's close relationships with two African dictators, Mobuto Sese Seko and Charles Taylor were also scrutinized, but he weathered the subsequent controversies.
Robertson is an advocate of Christian Dominionism, a theology that particularly lends itself to corruption.
The discovery that some of the most "religious" states are the most corrupt points out a hypocrisy of staggering proportions: in the world of the Christian Right, morality and ethics are not akin to each other, especially if ethics are looked upon as secular.…and corruption looked upon as a means for a particular end. Or in the words of Pastor Rick Warren:
*It was, of course, to help pay for "promotion" of that endorsement and not the endorsement itself. Right.
** From wikipedia:
In retaliation, President Johnson personally recruited State Senator William B. Spong, Jr., a considerably more liberal Democrat, to run against him in the 1966 Democratic primary. By this time, even some Byrd Democrats were moving away from obstinate resistance to integration as espoused by Robertson and the Organization's patriarch, Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Spong defeated Robertson in the primary in one of the biggest upsets in Virginia political history—an event that is considered the beginning of the end of the Byrd Organization's long dominance of Virginia state politics.
Posted by DFV at 8:19 AM
"We Hate Liberals, Buddhists And Muslims, But We Love Everyone!": Santorum Preacher Revises His Own "Get Out!" Diatribe
Barack Obama had his Jeremiah Wright. John McCain had his John Hagee (and Rod Parsley). Rick Perry had his... Rick Perry. Now Rick Santorum has his Dennis Terry.
In a diatribe against "liberals," Buddhists and Muslims (and by extension, all other political beliefs and religious faiths), Rev. Dennis Terry introduced Rick Santorum and told all of the imagined enemies of America to "Get out!" And while other religious leaders have voiced similar "Christian only" sentiments, it was Terry's vehemence that shook the country. It was a vehemence that laid raw hatred at everyone's feet.
Now Dennis Terry is trying to tell people that the video was "edited" and his comments "twisted." He is about love, after all, as all Christian are taught to love their brothers, even their enemies.
Just as David Barton revises American history to prove that America was founded as a totally Christian Nation, Terry is revising his own statements and actions right before our eyes (see both videos below). If it weren't so mind-numbingly disingenuous, his response to the blowback would be considered very low comedy.*
The hate-love back-peddling and specious reasoning is all around us, albeit in slightly different forms. Take, for example, Pastor Steven Anderson, who's strip mall church received national notoriety when he called for the death of Obama. When his Faithful Word Baptist Church was listed as a hate group by the SPLC (because of extreme homophobic sentiments), he retorted:
(Right Wing Watch)
"Am I all about hate? No I'm sure I'm more about love than I am hate," Anderson said. "I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are."Then there's classic Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association n the same subject:
The church leader, with a Bible in his hand during the interview, said he preaches his hatred for homosexuals and wishes death upon them.
That’s the reason we oppose the normalization of homosexuality, it’s not because we don’t like homosexuals it’s because we love them. I mean listen to me, if you love people, if you care about people, if they matter to you, their well-being is important to you, do you want to encourage them, do you want to support a lifestyle, do you want to subsidize and reward and provide special legal protections for behavior that’s gonna make them more likely to experience depression, suicidal ideation, homelessness and domestic violence?Disseminating false information is one way to get you listed as a hate group by the SPLC: depression and suicide are caused by he pressures of moralizers like Bryan Fischer, homelessness exists mostly for gay teens kicked out of their homes and domestic violence in gay households is so far below the national average as to be comparatively non-existent.
Assumptions, purposely skewed reasoning, and generalizations are the stock-in-trade of people like Anderson, Fischer...and Terry:
1. People do not worship Buddha in the same sense they would worship God. Buddha is NOT a god.
2.For all the pronouncements of David Barton, the America-was-founded-as-a-Christian-nation meme has never held water with reputable historians.
3. Not all liberals are "naysayers" and unpatriotic. It has even been argued that people who criticize their own country are, in a sense, more patriotic than their flag-waving compatriots.
4. "Get Out!" means just that: Terry wants people to leave who disagree with him.
5. Allah is the same God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That's why it is called an Abrahamic religion. Islam reveres the Old Testament of the Bible and Muslims are taught to respect Jesus as a prophet.
Terry sounds as if he gets his material from the ridiculous Conservapedia.
In addition, Terry also negates the power of his own oratory: his apoplectic "Get Out!" fires hatred from ever pore. It is unqualified hatred, raw and primeval. He can discount his words, but not the tone.
" 'Patriot' - The person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about."
- Mark Twain.
*Also worthy of note: Terry introduced Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in glowing terms: ""Tony Perkins is perhaps one of the godliest men I've ever known.". The FRC is listed as a hate group by the SPLC.
Posted by DFV at 8:15 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012
The Sadism Of San Francisco's MUNI: Making People Miserable For Decades, And Loving Every Second Of It!
READER: You can stick this in your "and-I-thought-my-own-transit-system-was-bad" file.
MUNI: You can just stick it.
Dear Reader: There is only one reason to ever recommend San Francisco's municipal transit system (MUNI) to anyone:
Today marked the 11,121st time MUNI has tried to make my life miserable. It always succeeds. Over the period of 38 years, it has taken my superlative love for the City and brought it down not one, not two, but ten notches: each day I wonder at how many fantastic things and people the City has to offer, then I experience MUNI. It's particular form of sadism depresses me. To make matters worse, I live in Park Merced and I'm tethered to the M Metro line. Everybody at Park Merced and at San Francisco State University is tethered to the M if they want to go anywhere. It could be said that the M is the worst of the worst which it may very well be, considering the alternatives.*
If you live in Park Merced, it takes 90-120 minutes to get near the Embarcadero; longer if the system has an intended "slow down". "Fiction!" say the MUNI administrators. "Fact!" say the people who actually have to ride the thing.
90-120 minutes. If you have an important 9AM appointment, better get up before dawn.
There are more horror stories about MUNI than there are MUNI cars...or drivers, but since I've had to suffer through it all for 38 grueling years, I might have a greater number than the average person. I've gotten stuck in the tunnel so many times that I've considered setting up housekeeping inside of it. I've gotten stranded (along with other passengers) when the driver says "this is the end of the line for me, take the next bus." There seldom is a "next bus" for 30 minutes. I was stranded at Bayshore and Cortland at 1AM. No explanation, just "get off!" I've known a driver to purposely give wrong directions to a slightly tipsy man as a joke. I've had a driver allow me to board a bus after I've asked if it went to a certain destination, then, after he started up, laugh, and say "but in the opposite direction!" I've known of a bus station being "lost" by MUNI (put in storage during renovation of the stop, then never found). But the worst experience of all did not involve and bus, a driver or even a route:
Life overlooking the Bayview disrict's 3rd Street was a constant stream of shootings and ambulances, possibly because that particular stretch, and one particular corner saw the most homicides in the city - 7 homicides in 5 years. The funeral parlors never knew a recession.**
One morning, I looked out the front window and saw a bizarre sight: on the most homicidal corner in the City, workers for the new T-line were placing sets of green steel benches, forming a "conversation pit".
It wasn't a bus stop. Nor was it near a proposed T-line stop. I spied a policeman surveying the scene, gesturing to the workers.
I ran downstairs and across the street.
"Office, what's next? TV and a gun rack for the shooters?" He looked at me with agreement.
"I know what you mean. The idots. On the worst corner and not a bus stop. They have their orders, though and I can't do anything about it, but maybe you can."
Get on the phone to City Hall, The Mayor, any friends who have friends. Once they rivet those damn things into the pavement, they're permanent and there's nothing any of us could do about it."
I had visions of men with high-powered rifles kicking back between rounds as if in a shooting gallery, so I ran back to my apartment, made frantic calls and within an hour, the cop, the workers, the benches had vanished. I breathed a sigh of relief: the building had gone through jack-hammers (on Saturday mornings no less!) repeatedly correcting MUNI's damage to sewers and late-night tweakers having parties on the unfinished station platform (our building spanned a good portion of the block).
(Side note: my MUNI karma being what it is, I rode the maiden voyage T-line train downtown - all 400 passengers got stranded near the Cals-Trans station. MUNI's general manger gave an immediate press conference for mea culpas. BFD)
What MUNI has against the citizens of San Francisco is anyone's guess, but since absolutely no one on earth could possibly be that inept, that stupid, that clueless about public transportation, it's safe to say that the constant screw-ups are done for MUNI's amusement. And yes, I've seen station attendents laughing at the frustration of riders. I've seen workers lumbering around at a rate that would make a sloth look like Speedy Gonzales, giving disdainful glances to people. The last act of true civility I've witnessed was the thanks a driver gave to passengers when they alerted her that she was going in the wrong direction (MUNI had pushed her on to a new shuttle route without telling her exactly what that route was***).
And as everyone knows, making polite-but-critical remarks to MUNI is useless, simply because it positively revels in its sadism. MUNI is absolutely immune to criticism: only when outcries reach fever pitch does MUNI react, and usually with a costly promotional stunt like Clipper. Think of Clipper this way: a convenience for MUNI with only slightly easier access to a platform or buss stop where you'll wait for MUNI just as long. Using money for additional cars has never been a priority for MUNI.
As for rectifying the mess we call MUNI, well, many people have proposed scrapping it entirely and having the City purchase a fleet of donkeys. But then sadism comes through again: any MUNI driver would be reported to the SPCA.
*Sorry, the 28 (Baker Beach) and the 17 (tools around in circles in Park Merced or goes to West Portal by way of the North Pole) do not count - not if you need to get to civilization or BART.
**But going to the funeral of a gang member was dangerous, since the gangs always tried to pick off a few relatives.
***This actually happened TWICE on the same shuttle route - the other driver was not as appreciative)
Posted by DFV at 11:48 PM
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Hate Ascending To The Heavens: Rabid Hate Groups Rise, With Anti-Gay Church Groups Leading The Choir!
(summary: Anti-gay, faith-based hate groups are on the rise and the Southern Poverty Law Center has just released its final list. This post is an up-to-date attempt at educating the reader about all of them - with the least amount of snarky cynicism. It's a lengthy - but serious - read. And yes, it's a work in progress.)
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has just published its list of hate groups in the U.S. up through 2011: an increase in such groups of 61 percent in the last 11 years. The dramatic rise is due, the SPLC said, to the popularity of the Patriot Movement. It did not, however, imply that the increase was a result in America’s decline in I.Q. (as I would have).
The SPLC defines hate groups as those which "... have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics". The SPLC states that hate group activities may include speeches, marches, rallies, meetings, publishing, leafleting, and criminal acts such as violence, although not all groups listed by the SPLC engage in criminal activity.
"ATTACK OR MALIGN"
Perhaps it is fitting that Abiding Truth Ministries (aka Defending Family The Family) is first on the list of faith-based hate groups: founded by Scott Lively, author of The Pink Swastika, it is probably the most virulent and evangelical of the hate groups. Evangelical in the sense that it has been one of the more successful groups exporting hate to different countries, in particular Latvia, Monrovia, Russia and Uganda. The group Watchmen On The Walls was founded by Lively and Alexey Ledyaev in Riga, Latvia. A controversy concerning Watchmen came to the fore when a young man who was perceived to be gay (in Sacramento, CA) was killed by avowed Watchmen.*(2)
AFA has been criticized by civil rights organizations and other entities for what have been described as controversial stances, in particular the "propagation of known falsehoods" and "demonizing propaganda" about homosexuality, which in November 2010 led to its being named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center
Fischer has proven to be an "equal opportunity bigot" since his daily radio rants include homosexuals, feminists, Native Americans, Muslims and African Americans. It has been speculated that there isn't a group that Bryan Fischer does not hate. Simply put, Fischer seems to hate everyone who is not Bryan Fischer. Fischer and the AFA have called for boycotts of: 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Carl's Jr., Clorox, Comcast, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Kmart, Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson & Son, Movie Gallery,Microsoft, MTV, Mary Kay, NutriSystem, Old Navy, IKEA, Sears, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, Target, Tide, Walt Disney Company, and PepsiCo. ... To name a few.
AFTAH is Peter LaBarbera and Peter LaBarbera is AFTAH. Known by the LGBT Community as "Porno Pete" for his penchant for gay pornography and attending LGBT events like the Folsom Street Fair (San Francisco) in order to photograph licentious behavior. From wikipedia:
LaBarbera is founder and president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), which describes itself as "dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda". It was a 501(c)3 United States tax-exempt organization until stripped of that designation following years of failing to file the appropriate paperwork.But even though LaBarbera continues to look like a rather insipid joke on the American public, his daily radio program still hosts people from other various faith-based hate groups. His latest cause is the support of Kirk Cameron, the former "Growing Pains" actor recently in the news about his anti-gay remarks.
Bethesda Christian Institute -
In 1994 Reisman spoke at a conference of Christian right leaders in Colorado Springs, saying that homosexual "recruitment is loud; it is clear; it is everywhere." She estimated the homosexual population at the time to be 1-2% but predicted at least 20% (and possibly over 30%) "of the young population will be moving into homosexual activity" as a result of recruitment.Reisman endorses Scott Lively's Pink Swastika (quelle suprise). She was also the only witness for the prosecution at the Mapplethorpe obscenity trial.
"We believe that the whole Word of God must be applied to all of life. It is not only our duty as individuals, families and churches to be Christian, but it is also the duty of the state, the school, the arts and sciences, law, economics, and every other sphere to be under Christ the King. Nothing is exempt from His dominion. We must live by His Word, not our own."The Chalcedon Foundation is the source of all things Recontructionist and R.J. Rushdoony, its founder. For years, it was shunned by mainstream Christians as too severe in its fundamentalist views of Biblical government. But due to the inroads of today's Christian Right into politics, the Chalcedon Foundation has begun a resurgence.*(5).
Faithful Word Baptist Church -
"Am I all about hate? No I'm sure I'm more about love than I am hate," Anderson said. "I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are."Besides that, Pastor Steven Anderson and the church are famous for:
In the US, the term "the gay agenda" was first used in public discourse in 1992 when the Family Research Council, an American conservative Christian group, released a video series called The Gay Agenda as part of a pack of materials campaigning on homosexual issues and the "hidden gay agenda". In the same year the Oregon Citizens Alliance used this video as part of their campaign for Ballot Measure 9 to amend the Oregon Constitution to prevent what the OCA called special rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Paul Cameron — co-founder of the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality in Lincoln, later renamed the Family Research Institute — appeared in the video, wherein he asserted that 75 percent of gay men regularly ingest feces and that 70-78 percent have had a sexually transmitted disease. The Gay Agenda was followed by three other video publications; The Gay Agenda in Public Education (1993), The Gay Agenda: March on Washington (1993) and a feature follow-up Stonewall: 25 Years of Deception (1994). The videos contained interviews with opponents of LGBT rights, and the series was made available through Christian right organizations.Homosexual Agenda. Oregon Citizens Alliance. Family Research Council. Family Research Institute. Paul Cameron.
"...one overriding mission: to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy, and drug abuse".With post titles like Gays In Military = Traitors In Military, one can guess just how virulent the FRI's homophobia really is. And its leader is the legendary mis-informant, Paul Cameron.
Cameron, whose "research" has gotten him ousted from the American Psychological Association, The Nebraska Psychological Association, The American Sociological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association, has stated that the average age of gay men is 42 (a statistic he got from reading obituaries during the AIDS crisis) and equated homosexuality to drug use. He has also been roundly chastised by individual researchers for extremely shoddy methods:
[Psyschologist Gregory M. Herek]: "Because the data are essentially meaningless, it is not surprising that they have been virtually ignored by the scientific community."The American Family Association and the Family Research Council (see below) repeatedly cite Cameron's work as gospel. It is perhaps those citings more than anything else, in fact, that have led the SPLC to label both as hate groups.
The group, which is entirely focused on the alleged evils of homosexuality, attacks gay people on a wide variety of levels. But it keeps coming back to the idea that gay sexual activity should be illegal.But, of course, H.O.M.E. still loves the sinner but hates the sin.
Illinois Family Institute -
“There was something profoundly good for society about the prior stigmatization of homosexual practice… . [W]hen homosexuals were ‘in the closet,’ (along with fornicators, polyamorists, cross-dressers, and ‘transexuals’), they weren’t acquiring and raising children.”Higgins has also argued against the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell because gays are traitorous and deceptive since they entered the military under false pretenses in the first place. Desperate times call for desperate logic.
Jewish Political Action Committee
The absence of a website does not mean the absence of hate. Looking up the Jewish Political Action Committee may seem like a lesson in futility until you see the evidence of their existence:
The only thing that can be said for other groups is that courage of conviction runs through their hatred. Not so with JPAC: there is no publicized leader*(7), there is no official organization, even though people claiming to part of the group have protested at various places against same-sex marriage. Political influence seems to be undercover.
You could say that because of their vehemence (evinced in their signs), they are a faith-based terrorist group, attacking at a moments notice.
“How in the world can the left be aligned with these folks? Well, there’s a real simple answer, I think, in that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They all hate the actual Judeo-Christian heritage and those who uphold it, they hate the West ... they hate the ideology, they hate the freedom. It’s a spiritual thing, they hate Jesus Christ.
"Homosexual activists and their allies are, in case one hasn't noticed, the torch-carriers for a movement to destroy biblically-oriented Christianity and its positive influence on our culture."
There’s one big fact that’s not backed up. There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human. One of the other things you’re gonna see as I mentioned is a big campaign GLSEN’s gonna roll out this year calling for 'respect,' respect! Not just for people, but for homosexual lifestyle. The PR campaign to hold up gay as a good thing: the lifestyle, not the person, because there are no such humans.
Whereas the Anoka-Hennepin School Board is considering removing the protectiveSexual Orientation Curriculum Policy, an action that will undermine the academic focus of this district and open the door to pro-homosexual and related conduct materials in the school curriculum thereby exposing students to concepts hostile to their religious faith and or moral conviction...As Rolling Stone put it, the evangelicals had created a war on gay teens. It did not help matters for evangelicals that Anok-Hennepin is in U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann's district. And besides Mrs. Bachmann, the Parents Action League cited the support of: National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality , American College of Pediatricians, Facts About Youth, Exodus International, Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays, Mission America, Family Research Council, Courage, and JONAH.
- resolution presented to Anokin-Hennepin School Board, Jan. 9, 2012
“As homosexuals die off due to AIDS, the remaining AIDS carriers prey on children to replenish the ‘Homosexual Community.’”Save California -
"Democrats give the homosexual activists what the homosexual activists want, and the homosexual activists want children. So the Democrat governor gave the homosexual activists the brains of children, six million children in California government schools now are going to be suffering under an eighth school sexual indoctrination law, the most direct, in-your-face brainwashing I’ve ever seen."
Sons of Thundr (Faith Baptist Church)
Smokers and drug addicts don't live as long as non-smokers or non-addicts, so we consider smoking and narcotics abuse harmful. The typical life-span of homosexuals suggests that their activities are more destructive than smoking and as dangerous as drugs. Two and eight-tenths percent (2.8%) of gays died violently. They were 116 times more apt to be murdered; 24 times more apt to commit suicide; and had a traffic-accident death-rate 18 times the rate of comparably-aged white males. Heart attacks, cancer and liver failure were exceptionally common. Twenty percent of lesbians died of murder, suicide, or accident--a rate 487 times higher than that of white females aged 25-44. The age distribution of samples of homosexuals in the scientific literature from 1989 to 1992 suggests a similarly shortened life-span.Also:
2. Sexual fidelity in marriage and abstinence before marriage
3. Opposition to homosexuality and other "deviant sexual behaviors"
4. Opposition to pornography
5. Patriotism (supporting national boundaries, the Armed Forces, political participation, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, and personal responsibility.)
6. Opposition to "liberal" immigration reform (reform without first securing the U.S.-Mexico border)
7. Freedom of Christians' attempt to convert non-Christians
8. Opposition to addictive behaviors (gambling,addictive drugs, alcohol, and smoking)
Sheldon was an associate of Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist jailed for influence peddling. Sheldon lobbied members of the US Congress to kill the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Abramoff directed his client, eLottery, to pay $25,000 the Traditional Values Coalition.
Tom Brown Ministries -
From the website:
The gay militants are trying to persuade society that homosexuals are born that way, and so to expect change is unreasonable, and quite impossible. So they have searched and searched to try to find a gay gene, but to no avail. I can assure them that they will never find one, because if there was one, then homosexuality would be decreasing, because homosexuals would not procreate as often as heterosexuals, and thus, would not be passing down the gene.True Light Pentecost Church
The sub-human culture created by the anti-christ and magnified by the Sodomite/Lesbian movement , encouraged by the current government under Pres.Obama has further brought end-time prophecy to a final state....Where is your faith...? Will you be a part of the remnant army that will not bow or compromise..that will fight the great sodomite/lesbian army?United Families International
"Reputable studies and decades of successful treatment show that homosexual behavior can be changed."The UFI hates Lady Gaga with a vengeance... and loves NARTH.*(9) The primary premise of UFI is that homosexuality is a disorder that can be CURED through reparative therapy. UFI has tried (unsuccessfully) to have sodomy laws repealed.
Westboro Baptist Church -
It is interesting to note that only when Fred Phelps' famous little group starting picketing soldiers' funerals was it denounced by the other subsequent faith-based hate groups.
If you haven't heard about Fred Phelps, then it is suggested that you go back to your old planet and read up on him. The "Man Addicted To Hate" and his motley family was in the news even before he tried to dance on Matthew Shepard's grave. Books have been written about his escapades and he has been banned from entering foreign countries. Like Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, Fred Phelps is an equal-opportunity hate machine, hating everyone who isn't Fred Phelps. And his "sister sites" prove it: GodHatesIslam.com , GodHatesTheMedia.com ,GodHatesTheWorld.com, JewsKilledJesus.com, BeastObama.com, PriestsRapeBoys.com, and AmericaIsDoomed.com.
Early on, Phelps used the Bible to castigate gays and even made up Bible verses to prove his point*(10) It is not his belief that the Bible condemns homosexuality that qualifies him as a hate group, however, but the virulence of his attacks: his pickets and signs border on violence, trying to cause as much emotional harm as possible. His protests are considered sadistic in the extreme. He taunts people from behind the First Amendment with absolute glee.
Needless to say, any support shown for him would be akin to condoning evil. But he has more supporters than you think: the "distancing" is not very convincing. The Christian Right should come under fire for not doing what they condemn others for: not policing their own. Fred Phelps should have been excommunicated from Christianity a very long time ago.
Windsor Hills Baptist Church
“Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all the reported child molestations in the U.S. Many homosexuals openly admit that they are pedophiles because they cannot actually reproduce, they resort to recruiting children.” - Pastor Tom Vineyard, testimony given against the passage of Oklahoma City's inclusion of sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination law.The Windsor Hills Baptist Church and its Pastor, Tom Vineyard, present the most obvious qualifications of hate groups as put forth by the SPLC: "attack or malign."
The statistics Pastor Tom Vineyard cites in the video below are bogus beyond belief.*(11) They are also predicated to produce as much bigotry and violence as possible against gays. The fact that he was given a voice at the hearing in the Oklahoma City Hall was a classic case of giving undue respect to anyone with an "Rev." in front of their name.*(12)
You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide
The ministry's mission statement explains their aims to reshape America "by re-directing the current and future generations both morally and spiritually through education, media and the Judeo-Christian values found in our U.S. Constitution." The organization has garnered letters of support from school personnel, as well as some religious and political figures.But...
DUNKERTON, Iowa — School officials at Dunkerton High School were expecting to deliver a positive message about good choices when they invited the Christian rock bank Junkyard Prophet to perform at a student assembly, but instead were treated to a lecture condemning homosexuality and images of aborted fetuses. Students and faculty said the assembly started well with music, and a message focusing on how some music can have a bad influence on kids. But after performing, the group reportedly made offensive remarks about gays and transgender people, and told the girls they “were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins,”reported the LaCrosse Tribune.Bradlee Dean
“They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42,” said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band’s performance.
You Can Run is the mainstay of Bradlee Dean's ministry.
Dean has advocated for imprisonment of gays and lesbians, and has said that gay men molest an average of 117 children “before they get caught,” and that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians.
Here is Dean's latest statement about President Obama:
He purposes to demoralize, pervert, weaken, and overthrow America and our Constitution, with marriage and our children in his sights. He told the Department of Justice not to defend marriage (DOMA); he appointed an education czar who wanted to queerify the elementary; and he even went so far as to repeal the law that prevents sodomy and bestiality in our military when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
*10. During a radio show "debate" with noted Biblical scholar Daniel Helminiak, S.J., Phelps amused Helminiak by quoting a passage that didn't exist, prompting Helminiak to say "That's in the Bible? What page is it on?"
*12. Sorry, but the snarky in me seeped in unexpectedly. I apologize to the reader, but not to "Rev." Tom Vineyard.
Posted by DFV at 1:43 PM