Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Bible Clearly Says - SERMON

U. S. Justice Department Files Brief Asking that Proposition 8 Be Struck Down

U. S. Justice Department Files Brief Asking that Proposition 8 Be Struck Down:
After playing to coy all week, the Obama Justice Department has filed an amicus brief in support of the gay Appellee in the appeal of the 9th Circuit ruling that found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional.  The Justice Department's brief is one of a host of briefs filed by parties ranging from PFLAG to prominent Republicans - a full list and descriptions of such briefs can be found here - that argue positions that vary from the proposition that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional to arguing that the U. S. Constitution requires marriage equality nation wide.  The Justice Department brief can be found here.  Here are some excerpts from the Justice Department brief:

[T]he president and attorney general have determined that classifications based on sexual
orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny for equal protection purposes. 12-307 J.A. 183-194 (letter from Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, to John A. Boehner, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives (Feb. 23, 2011). this case, like Windsor,
presents the Court with the opportunity to address the question whether laws that target gay and lesbian people for discriminatory treatment should be subject to heightened scrutiny.

classifications based on sexual orientation call for application of heightened scrutiny. each of the four relevant considerations identified by this Court supports that conclusion: (1) gay and lesbian people have suffered a significant history of discrimination in this country; (2) sexual orientation generally bears no relation to ability to perform or contribute to society; (3) discrimination against gay and lesbian people is based on an immutable or distinguishing characteristic that defines them as a group; and (4) notwithstanding certain progress, gay and lesbian people—as proposition 8 itself underscores— are a minority group with limited power to protect themselves from adverse outcomes in the political process.

B. Proposition 8 fails heightened scrutiny. Neither the interests asserted by Petitioners nor Proposition 8’s “actual purposes” as approved by its official sponsors suffice under that standard.

 First, petitioners’ central argument is that Proposition 8 advances an interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing because only heterosexual couples can produce “unintended pregnancies,” and because the “overriding purpose” of marriage is to address that
reality by affording a stable institution for procreation and child-rearing. But, as this Court has recognized, marriage is far more than a societal means of dealing with unintended pregnancies. see Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S.. 78, 95-96 (1987); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967). Even assuming, counterfactually, that the point of proposition 8 was to account for accidental offspring by opposite-sex couples, its denial of the right to marry to same-sex couples does not substantially further that interest.

Second, petitioners argue that Proposition 8 furthers an interest in proceeding with caution before departing from the traditional understanding of marriage. That was not one of the contemporaneous justifications for Proposition 8 and thus cannot properly be considered
under heightened scrutiny. in any event, similar calls to wait have been advanced—and properly rejected—in the context of racial integration, for example. see, e.g., Fiatson v. City of Memphis, 373U.S. 526, 528-529 (1963). even if proceeding with caution were important enough to deny gay and lesbian people the right to marry in California now, Proposition 8 does not embody
such an approach but rather goes to the opposite extreme.

.  .  .  [P]rotecting children from being taught about same-sex marriage is not a permissible interest insofar as it rests on a moral judgment about gay and lesbian people or their intimate relationships. see Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 577-578 (2003). nor does Proposition
8 substantially further any such interest given California’s educational policies, which have never required teaching children about same-sex marriage and which prohibit instruction that discriminates based on sexual orientation.

Proposition 8’s denial of marriage to same-sex couples, particularly where California at the same time grants same-sex partners all the substantive rights of marriage, violates equal protection. the fourteenth amendment’s guarantee of equal protection embodies a defining constitutional ideal that “all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.”City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Ctr., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). The object of California’s establishment of the legal relationship
of domestic partnership is to grant committed same-sex couples rights equivalent to those accorded a married couple. but Proposition 8, by depriving same sex couples of the right to marry, denies them the “dignity, respect, and stature” accorded similarly situated opposite-sex couples under state law, Strauss, 207 p.3d at 72, and does not substantially further any important  governmental interest. it thereby denies them equal protection under the law.

.  .  .  even assuming that creating a safety net for “unintended pregnancies” was an actual and adequate justification, proposition 8 does not advance—much less bear a substantial relation to—that interest. petitioners (unsurprisingly) cite no evidence that denying same-sex couples the designation of marriage operates in any way to encourage opposite-sex couples to marry and procreate responsibly; it is difficult to conceive of any logical connection, let alone a substantial one, between that interest and Proposition 8. see pet. app. 75a (“we are aware of no basis on which this argument would be even conceivably plausible.”); cf. Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 605
(Scalia, j., dissenting) (rejecting “encouragement of procreation” as a basis for prohibiting same-sex marriage “since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry”).

There's much more, but you get the point.  There is NOTHING to support Proposition 8 - and similar constitutional amendments such as Virginia's - except religious based discrimination and out right animus.   If anything, the Justice Department is too polite to the religious and extremists who support Proposition 8.  They seek to punish gays, lesbians and same sex couples for refusing to conform to the hate, ignorance and  fear based tenants of far right Christianity.  That is their true agenda first and last and Proposition 8 personifies this anti-gay animus.  End of discussion.

To be pro-Gay Marriage is NOT the same as to be anti-traditional marriage.

     No one is preaching for you to be anti-traditional marriage!  But, what has become known as "traditional marriage" isn't because Gays in the past of hundreds and hundreds of years have never wanted to be married.  Gays, for all we know, have always been in the minority of every population.  They've been out numbered, so when it's been a matter of "majority gets to control the rules," "traditional marriage" has been forced to include only heterosexual couples and, thereby, grant to them "special" treatments under law.  

     Heterosexual marriages have potentials (maybe) for pro-creations.  So what?  Since when did every "traditional marriage" have pro-creation as its reason for being?  People have gotten married because they've been in love.  "Traditional marriage," I would say, has been about love.  Period.  Gay marriage SHOULD have been included in "traditional marriage" all along!

     It's about time (actually, it's long overdue) the correction (against the injustice) has been made!

So I don't understand your anti-Gay position!

     So I don't understand your anti-gay position!  Are you upset because good people don't believe what you do?  so you're trying to control other people's lives?  people whose lives aren't harming yours in any way? 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

75 Republicans Sign Supreme Court Brief in Support of Gay Marriage

75 Republicans Sign Supreme Court Brief in Support of Gay Marriage:
"At least 75 prominent Republicans have signed a legal brief that argues gay marriage is a constitutional right, the New York Times reports.

The document will be submitted to the Supreme Court this week and will support a lawsuit that aims to take down Proposition 8. The court will also hear arguments next month against the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars same-sex marriage on a federal level. The high court is expected to rule on the cases in early summer.

The conservatives who signed the brief are mostly out-of-office Republicans and former top officials who have not voiced their support for marriage equality. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and Jane Swift, and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, have all signed the document. Additionally, Meg Whitman, who supported Prop 8 when she ran for California governor, Stephen J. Hadley, a George W. Bush national security adviser and James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official, signed the brief." Full story here!

WGB:  See...not ALL Republicans are bad.  We have some that have our back!

Op-ed: I Was A Gay Boy Scout |

Op-ed: I Was A Gay Boy Scout |

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dear Republicans, You will not win until you....

     I've said this before, and I'll repeat.  Others have said it, and I think they should repeat.  

     Republicans, You will NOT win until you change your attitude (to an affirming attitude) towards Gays (that includes the entire LGBT parts of the population).  I'm not saying that you will win easily if you DO change, and it may be awhile to recover from damages you've set in motion.  Still, you will NOT win until you change your attitude to an affirming attitude towards Gays.

Friday, February 22, 2013

BREAKING NEWS :: Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court To Strike Down DOMA

BREAKING NEWS :: Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court To Strike Down DOMA:
"The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act's prohibition on recognition of same-sex couples' marriages in a Friday filing, arguing that laws that target gay people should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

Under such heightened scrutiny, as it is called, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli says that Section 3 of DOMA, which defines "spouse" and "marriage" under federal law as only those marriages between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.

In summary, the administration argues:
Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional." Full story here!

Churches have been so wrong about so many things... like these!

Some history about anti-Gay attitudes.

     Churches have been so wrong about so many things... like these!   I'll bet many keep their heads buried somewhere as if to say, "I refused to see the truth, therefore I can't see it."  I'd say they've gotten themselves out on a limb and haven't figured out how to get back to the true vine.

     Consequently, they've helped set in motion more damage than they'll ever know about.  More gays and lesbians have passed through their doors than they'll ever know.  More families have been torn apart because of church attitudes than they'll ever know.  More lives have been filled with more grief than they'll ever know, because of church attitudes that have been fueled by falsehoods (think "the father of lies.").  


Often Christianity is troubling....

     (I never intended to turn my thoughts into a long detailed essay.  I simply intended to spell out my abrupt thoughts as quickly as I could type them.) 

     As I was growing up

     when one "got saved," suddenly he was an expert in all things Bible and theology.  He / She was now ready to face the whole world and tell everyone how (and what) to believe.

     All sorts of books -- big books, little books, thick books, thin books, hard books, soft book --  were published in that day for average people to read and become experts about all things Christian, Bible, Theology, how to pray, how to receive..., how to fast, how to do this, and how to do that.  I'll bet we all know Christian people who have bookshelves lined up with such books.

     I was one of them, or maybe it was just me.  I became a "know it all for Jesus."

     Then, awhile later (years actually), I began learning.  In the process (lots of reading, thinking, conversations, etc), I became much quieter and, hopefully, more thoughtful.

     Bible contents are more complicated than they appear.  Christianity is not as simple as it may seems.  God is awesome!  I know less now than ever... about God, Heaven, Hell, etc.  

     I can't help but think I did it all backwards.  

     Perhaps, I should've titled this "some 'Christian' practices have been troubling."  


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Geography of Happiness According to 10 Million Tweets

The Geography of Happiness According to 10 Million Tweets:
"Sorry, Louisiana, you are the saddest state. And Hawaii (shocker!) you are the happiest. 

That's according to a team at the Vermont Complex Systems Center, who posted their new analysis of 10 million geotagged tweets to to They call their creation a "hedonometer."

They also found that the Bible belt stretching across the American south and into Texas was less happy than the west or New England. The saddest town of the 373 urban areas studied was Beaumont in east Texas. The happiest was Napa, California, home of many drunk people wine makers. The only town among the 15 saddest that was not in the south or Bible Belt was Waterbury, Connecticut. "  Full story here!

Top 5 Happiest and Saddest States:  (What are your thoughts?  Surprised with any of the "findings.")

Sunday, February 17, 2013 could think that Gays, Lesbians...just suddenly appeared...!

    The way history (as told by so many) reads, one could think that Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transexuals, Cross dressers, etc all just suddenly appeared, out of nowhere, on earth!  

     Truth is, we've more ways to tell the truth these days!

Saturday, February 16, 2013 Do you remember the first GAY BAR you ever went to... Do you remember the first GAY BAR you ever went to...: Were you nervous?  What was the name of the bar?  How old were you? WGB:   I will get us started.  I took a bus from my hometown of Taun...

Pro Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Comes Out

Pro Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Comes Out:
I am continuing my dialogue with Pastor Will Coats - I wrote a post a while ago about horrific anti-gay sermons Coats had published - which so far has been amazingly respectful and, admittedly much to my surprise shown Coats as wanting to understand how such preaching harms others regardless of how well intentioned it might be.   One of the issues that we've been addressing is the damage done by living a closeted life and the manner in which it isolates one from your loved ones.  Professional soccer player Robbie Rogers (pictured at left) has come out and on his personal blog he explains the difficulties of his years in the closet.  I completely identify with Rogers' narrative.  Here it is via his blog:

Things are never what they seem… My whole life I have felt different, different from my peers, even different from my family. In today’s society being different makes you brave.  To overcome your fears you must be strong and have faith in your purpose.

For the past 25 year I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations.   Fear that my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret.  Fear that my secret would get in the way of my dreams.

Dreams of going to a World Cup, dreams of The Olympics, dreams of making my family proud.  What would life be without these dreams? Could I live a life without them?

Life is only complete when your loved ones know you.  When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love. Life is simple when your secret is gone.  Gone is the pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret.

Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple.   Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.

I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates.  I will never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret. 

Now is my time to step away. It’s time to discover myself away from football.  It’s 1 A.M. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest.  Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear.  My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended. 
 I wish Rogers success and happiness as he moves forward with his life.  I hope he reconsiders leaving pro-soccer.

I don't want to be part of a "Gay Church."

I don't want to be a part of a "Gay Church."  What I want is to be a part of a church that has Gays in it who are welcomed and affirmed and worships the way I like to worship.

I don't want to be on a "Gay Bowling League."  What I'd like is to be on a bowling league that has some Gays in it who are welcomed and are never bashed.

I don't want to live in a "Gay Neighborhood."  What I want is to simply live in a regular town / city where there are some Gay people who flow in the main stream.

I don't want to be where everything is Gay, Gay, Gay.  Gay, Gay, Gay is simply too unreal and, in many ways, too suffocating for me.  What I want is to be where I can simply to be true to myself and everyone around me, and where I can mix and mingle with all sort of people in a natural way.

Don't misunderstand me!  Gay churches, Gay bowling leagues, Gay bars, Gay neighborhoods, Gay (this and that) have been saving graces for people in need of places where they can safely socialize.  I'm glad I found a few of them in my own lifetime.  Enough said!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Closing of 7 pm Service at Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea,...

Choir 7 pm Service Yoido Full Gospel Church Seoul, South Korea, February...

Opening 7 pm Service at Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea, Fe...

Closing of 5 pm Service at Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea,...

Choir 5 pm Service at Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea, Febr...

Opening of 5 pm Service, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea, F...

Closing of the 3 pm Service, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Kore...

Choir at the 3 pm Service, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea,...

Opening of the 3 pm Service at Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Ko...

Closing of 1 p.m. service, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea

Choir at 1 p.m. service Yoido Full Gospel Church Seoul, South Korea

Opening Singing Yoido Full Gospel Church 1 pm

Snow, Walking, Coffee, and Going to Church

Snow, Walking, Coffee, and Going to Church

A Seoul Trip for a weekend in February, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Christofascists: We're Not Saying Gays Are Pedophiles, But…

I fully agree with this article.  Christian should stop telling lies and start stating all the facts.

Christofascists: We're Not Saying Gays Are Pedophiles, But…:

As noted in a prior blog post, I've been in dialogue with Pastor Will Coats who recently gave several anti-gay sermons that seemed to parrot some of the worse deliberate anti-gays lies of the professional Christian crowd and the falsely self-named "family values" organizations.  Whether or not Coats is willing to be educated on the truth remains to be seen, but the avalanche of examples of the hate, animus and outright lies of the Christofascist forces just keeps on coming.  Right Wing Watch has captured hate group American Family Association’s Sandy Rios and Peter LaBarbera, a/k/a Porno Pete, of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (Porno Pete's latest one man vehicle for schilling for money peddling anti-gay lies), equating gays with pedophiles and then trying to pretend that they had not said what they just said.  The always despicable Linda Harvey was caught engaging in the same dishonest behavior.  Here are highlights:

As soon as the story broke that the Boy Scouts of America was considering a change in its national ban on gay members, Religious Right leaders immediately claimed that such a move would lead to an increase in child abuse in the Scouts.

But in a desperate attempt to play the victim, the very same conservative activists are now upset that they are facing criticism over their attempts to connect homosexuality with pedophilia.

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios invited Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality onto her show today to defend her repeated attempts to link homosexuality with pedophilia, all the while claiming that she didn’t really say it, except that she did.

Rios: The push back to me about this topic, I get emails about ‘how dare you say that,’ they say that I say this, I didn’t, but I am indicating it or hinting at it, that all homosexuals would go into Scouting because they were recruiting, looking for love interests, sexual objects. Is that fair Peter?

LaBarbera: I just think there’s so many levels on the Scout issue. First of all, just the whole thing of biology, I have a thirteen year old daughter, I don’t care how noble a guy is I wouldn’t want him out in a tent with my daughter. Do we want these young boys—and the fact is you read the writings of some of these men, I’m sorry it’s not nice, ‘hairless boys,’ you see this in the writings over the years, do we want that temptation in the Scouts? No. Also it’s already on record. We know that homosexual pedophiles go where the boys are. Whether it’s the Catholic Church, the schools, coaches—

Rios: Shall we say Jerry Sandusky.

LaBarbera: Jerry Sandusky, the Boy Scouts. This is already a record. Homosexuality and the Boy Scouts do not mix and it’s just something that’s not appropriate and parents don’t need that worry. You have the fact of the other problem, which there’s a lot of in homosexual life, is this boy-on-boy predations.
Responding to a listener named Lawrence, Rios said that schools should once again prohibit gays and lesbians from teaching or any job involving children because they have “sexual aberrations in their life,” arguing that openly gay teachers “opened the gates to all kind of stuff” like female teachers who sleep with male students.
Like Rios, Linda Harvey of Mission America also played the victim by explaining that anti-gay discrimination is necessary or otherwise people like her would feel discriminated against.

On her daily radio alert, she said that boys will be “preyed upon” and face “mental, spiritual and possibly physical corruption” if the ban on gay members is lifted, which she says “would amount to blatant anti-Christian, anti-common sense discrimination.”

Never mind that most pedophiles and child molesters are HETEROSEXUAL MEN.   Rios and LaBarbera never let the truth and accurate facts get in the way of their agenda to malign and denigrate gays stirring up as my anti-gay hate and animus as possible among their ignorant listeners.  Yes, it's disgusting stuff, but all too typical of these people and their organizations.  It is little wonder that both have been registered as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center - the same organization that tracks Neo-Nazi and white supremacy groups.  As I advised Pastor Coats, if he wants to be taken seriously outside of knuckle dragging Neanderthal Christianist groups, the first step is to stop citing the faux research of discredited frauds and to stop repeating deliberate lies disseminated by AFA, LaBarbera, FRC, and similar hate merchant groups and individuals.

When ex-gays aren't ex-gay: It's not about hypocrisy. It's about language.

When ex-gays aren't ex-gay: It's not about hypocrisy. It's about language.:
'Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English' photo (c) 2011, 成长中的小双 - license:
I hate stories like this. And I hate even more that so many people take such joy in them. This isn’t a happy story, but it’s an important one.
Earlier this week, a 24-year-old Christian blogger named Matt Moore was “outed” as having an active profile on a mobile hookup app for gay men. If you follow these kinds of stories, you may already have read about it. But I think both sides have missed what should be the important takeaway.
First, a little background: Matt’s story went viral last year when he posted a blog about his years of partying, drunkenness, and same-sex debauchery—and how he had turned away from those things to follow Christ. Christians do love a good redemption testimony, so the post spread like wildfire, and before he knew it, Matt was being held up as an example of how others could “leave homosexuality” like he had.
Then this week, the news broke that Matt had been spotted once more on a mobile app for gay men—one primarily used to facilitate short-term sexual hookups. Matt has confessed that it was, in fact, him, and that he has been in a difficult place spiritually of late.
Predictably, the gay press and the conservative Christian press have handled this story quite differently. From the gay press, the message is largely about hypocrisy: One more hypocrite exposed! Here’s more proof that “ex-gays” are really still gay! From the conservative Christian press, the message has been framed more as a temporary setback: We’re sad to see that our brother Matt fell to temptation, but there’s forgiveness in Christ and we’re glad to see him confess his sin and turn once more toward righteousness.
Both sides are getting it wrong.
For one thing, I don’t believe this is about hypocrisy or lying. Matt wasn’t, to my knowledge, saying one thing while doing another. I believe he meant it when he said last year that he had turned away from his past behaviors. He was honest at the time when he said, “I still struggle with homosexual temptations and have to fight the sinful urges on a daily basis.” He never claimed to be free of same-sex attractions, but he views them as temptations. At a low point in his life, he gave in to temptation in a way that contradicted his own conscience. Who among us hasn’t done that?
But while I don’t think this is about lying or hypocrisy, I do think the gay community has a right to be angry about this, and the reason for that rests squarely on the shoulders of the conservative Christian community.
If you’ve followed me for long, you’ve probably heard me say this a hundred times: There is a difference between sexual behavior and sexual orientation. When modern Americans refer to themselves as “gay,” “straight,” or “bi,” they are referring to their orientation—that is, their attractions—not necessarily to their behavior. 
When I say I’m “gay,” it means I’m attracted to guys. It does not mean I’m necessarily dating anyone, lusting after anyone, having sex with anyone, or even planning to do any of these things in the future. A “straight” woman might be promiscuous, or she might be a virgin. The same is true if she’s “gay.” Knowing what someone’s orientation is doesn’t tell you anything about their behavior, and knowing about someone’s sexual behavior (or lack of it) doesn’t tell you what their orientation is.
This is so important to understand, because it’s at the heart of why gay people get so angry about issues like this.
Even though Matt admitted in his original story that he was still (as some would put it) “same-sex attracted,” many Christians began retelling his story as an example of someone who was “no longer gay.” Matt’s story has become the latest in what are sometimes called “ex-gay testimonies,” stories of people who say they “left homosexuality” and/or are “no longer gay.”
These ex-gay testimonies are usually intended to bring hope, but they end up being used as weapons against gay people. Several of my gay Christian friends tell me that Matt’s story was used by people to belittle them for being gay or to prove them wrong when they claimed they didn’t choose their orientation. It wasn’t good enough to abstain from sexual behavior, their friends would tell them. They had to become straight like Matt Moore.
But, see, Matt Moore never became straight. And he never claimed he was straight.
Matt made the same mistake others in his situation have made. He used phrases like “leaving homosexuality,” meaning that he had stopped having promiscuous gay sex and going to gay bars. But homosexuality isn’t a place. It isn’t even a behavior. Plenty of gay people aren’t promiscuous, and plenty of gay people don’t go to gay bars. Some gay people even commit themselves to lifelong celibacy, but they’re still gay.
In my book, I talk a lot about my experiences with the ex-gay world and how testimonies are (intentionally or unintentionally) misused in Christian communities. This kind of story is sooooo common. People like Matt say they’ve “left homosexuality,” meaning that they no longer engage in certain behaviors they used to engage in, and other Christians use that as ammunition against gay people—some of whom have never engaged in those behaviors in the first place!
Hypocrisy? No. Misleading language? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
So let’s be clear about this. The word “gay” means “same-sex attracted.” Same-sex-attracted people are, according to the popular definition of the term, “gay.” That includes those who choose not to act on their feelings, such as my friend Wesley Hill. That also includes Matt Moore and many out there who have been held up as “ex-gays.”
What if Matt prefers not to use the word “gay” for himself? I have absolutely no problem with his saying, “I prefer not to use the term ‘gay’ for myself, though I am attracted to the same sex.” That’s his right. But this is not the same as saying that people can choose or change their orientation. If someone says, “I don’t like the term ‘black’; I prefer to be known as ‘African American,’” that’s very different from saying, “So-and-so is no longer black! Black people who are still black must have chosen to be! Race is a choice!” Ridiculous, right? But that’s what so often happens with sexual orientation.
I absolutely support Matt in his quest to live by his conscience and avoid sexual sin. I agree with him that much about his former way of life was sinful, and I think it’s good that he’s left it behind—even if he sometimes feels tempted to return. And while I don’t share his view that even a monogamous same-sex relationship would be sinful, I do support his decision to avoid even that, if that’s what he believes. What I don’t support is the use of stories like his to suggest that gay people can become straight, because that’s never been what his story was about, and even he never claimed otherwise.
So, Christians, let’s be careful with our language. “Not having sex” isn’t the same as “no longer gay.” And while we’re at it, let’s please stop using the phrase “leaving homosexuality.” If a prostitute stops having sex with men and becomes celibate, she hasn’t “left heterosexuality,” has she?
Oh. And one more point; then I’ll shut up.
For “Side B” Christians—those who believe gay sex is sinful—there’s another important lesson to be learned from Matt’s story. By his own admission, one of the reasons he turned back to his old behavior pattern was his feelings of loneliness and depression. One of the unfortunate secrets about being gay (or “same-sex-attracted” if you prefer) in the Side-B church is that it’s an incredibly lonely experience, even if you do everything you’re supposed to.
Fighting not only your sexual desires but your romantic ones as well is an incredibly daunting task, and without the constant support of your church family, it’s pretty close to impossible. If you’re a Christian who believes that this is what God calls gay people to, then at the very least, you need to make sure you’re willing to be there to support them in a major way. An occasional call to “give it to God” isn’t enough.
If the church spent half as much time thinking about how to support the needs of folks like Matt as about how to promote “ex-gay testimonies” or oppose “the gay agenda,” it sure would feel a whole lot more like Christ.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Private Faith?"

     No! I don't believe that it's wise to bully people. Yes. I do understand that, like me, people do a lot of thinking in private moments, and do a lot of thinking that's rarely, if ever, made known to others, and that everyone is essentially on a private journey.

But, I don't understand why people, especially people of notoriety, rarely state explicitly whether they are Christian, Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.

Is it because they're afraid of a loss of income? Loss album sales? Loss ticket sales? Loss popularity?

I'm not talking about bullying. I'm talking about clearly making their faith known and sharing that part of themselves as openly and freely as everything else they do, not in a prideful, boasting way, but in a continual matter of fact way.

Yes, about Christians celebrities, I think I have a right to wonder why they so often seem so ashamed to speak for themselves on behalf of their Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm not judging whether or not they are Christians (or anything else). I'm simply confused about why they are so silent (given all the opportunities afforded to them) about it.

Yoido Full Gospel Church Seoul Korea

It had been awhile since I last spent all day in church. I attended the 1, 3, 5, and 7 pm devices here on 2-10-2013.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I never have understood why that preacher ...!

     I never have understood why that preacher had to to pray (screaming, "Spirit of negativity, I rebuke you...!) so loudly into a microphone (in his hands) inside that large church room in which there were only about dozen people!

If I've understood the reports about Jesus correctly,...

     If I've understood the reports about Jesus correctly, the one who prays the loudest (the most eloquently, the most publicly, the most anything) isn't the one who has truly revered God's presence.

Being a person after God's own heart never required...!

     Being a person after God's own heart has never required a Ph. D (nor a BA, BS, MA, or MS).  It might lead to such accomplishments.  It might not, and it doesn't have to.  The simplest person on earth living the simplest of life can be every bit as much a person after God's own heart as any person accomplishing the most in other ways of life.  

I don't care if he's Gay or not!

I don't care if he's Gay or not!  If I think he looks cute, that's the way it is!  I know how to keep my hands where they belong!

Ginseng Honey, as we approach Lunar New Years Day

     We're near Lunar New Years Day.  My boss, evidently, wants me to experience LOTS of good fortune, so she gave me this jar filled with 2400 grams of Ginseng Honey.  I wonder how long it will take me to use it all!

For the $200 I could pay for over sized / extra luggage...!

     I'm already contemplating my return flight to the USA in June.  What I don't pack will be left behind forever! I was thinking this.  For the same $$$ I could spend on over-sized and/or extra luggage, I could buy some new clothes and books after I land there!

The Cardiologist on the Near-Death Experience 2

The Cardiologist on the Near-Death Experience 1

Famous Cardiac Surgeon's Stories of Near Death Experiences in Surgery

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I guess I'll have to show ID to prove I'm a Senior Citizen!

  Yea!  I just thought of that!  I reached my 55th birthday last December.  In the USA, that's the age one can begin enjoying "Senior Citizen Discounts" in the USA, right?  But, as always, I'll have to pull out some ID to prove my age!  Sheesh!  You mean to tell me that I don't look 55!  What's a 55 year old supposed to look like????'re straight not because you read the Bible....

     I'll bet you're straight not because you read the Bible and decided to be straight.  I'll bet you're were straight already before you ever opened a Bible.  I'll bet you're straight simply because you're straight!

If you don't like homosexuality, then say that!

     If you don't like homosexuality, then say that!  That's more truthful than telling lies about what the Bible says (and doesn't say) and what science says (and doesn't say) about the matter!  

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'd rather see a beautiful man than a beautiful woman any day.

     I don't hate beautiful women.  In fact, I enjoy looking (not stalking, not lusting, not drooling) at beautiful women when I happen to see them.  Put a stress on "happen," because I have never in my life had any hunger for seeing any woman.

     By "beautiful" woman, I'm not talking about her body size, her body shape, the size of her breasts, her age, her skin color, her nationality, her hair color, or whatever.  For me, it's purely a happenstance I come across and I think "how beautiful she appears to be."  She might be old.  She might be large.  She might have very dark skin.  There's no set formula!  The whole world of people might think a certain woman is beautiful while I think not.  

     I'd rather see a beautiful man than a beautiful woman any time, any day.  I won't say I've never lusted after a man, but I will say that's not what I'm talking about here.  Just because I enjoy looking at beautiful men, and even if I enjoy (I do) pursuing pictures of beautiful men, that does not mean that I'm drooling and imagining myself in sexual situation with them.  As I see it, a person might LOOK beautiful, but may not seem so beautiful to my mind as I get to know him / her more.  

     Though, unlike with women, my pursuit of pictures of beautiful men is deliberate, just as with women the whole world might think of a certain man as looking beautiful while I think not.  I might be the only one who thinks a certain man looks beautiful.  Though I deliberately pursue pictures of beautiful men, my finding them is somewhat happenstance just as with women.  I turn a page and there he is attracting my attention like nothing / no one else at the moment.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cyndi Lauper "True Colors"

What Actually Happens in ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

     What's we're talking about, I would say, is the Gay person becoming a lab rat for the experimenter.

As noted on this blog, the United Nations has for the first time begun examining so-called "ex-gay" therapy and may well eventually come to condemn the practice.  Meanwhile a California law that bans the use of the witch doctor like therapy is being challenged in court by snake oil merchants who have found the "therapy" a useful means to self-enrichment with little care for what ultimately happens to their client.  Their sole goals are (1) money and (2) keeping the myth alive that being gay is a "choice" or "lifestyle" - claims that are repeated over and over again in the briefs filed by anti-gay forces in the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Given the dishonesty of the "godly Christians" who champion this bogus therapy, it is useful to look at what really happens during the course of such therapy.  A former patient of a reparative therapist - who won an out of court settlement against his therapist - provides a peak at the cruel batshitery that is the norm in such programs.  Here are excepts:

There’s no doubt that with the California state legislature passing a bill to ban therapies aimed at trying to “change” the sexual orientation of minors, “reparative therapy” is once again going to make headlines. I was in a form of reparative therapy in British Columbia, Canada, for six years, after which I filed a medical malpractice suit against my former psychiatrist, “Dr. Alfonzo,” for treating my homosexuality as a disease.

In 1989 I entered Dr. Alfonzo’s care after coming out as gay and being rejected by my family. Within months, Alfonzo presented me with conflicting causation theories, said that I would never be happy as a homosexual, that my same-sex desires were the result of faulty parenting, and so my body had been trained, “through years of homosexual activity,” to respond only to men.  

Three years into the therapy I suffered a physical and mental breakdown precipitated by prolonged, near-fatal doses of five concurrent psychotropic medications, one of the many ways Alfonzo “helped” suppress my libido so that I could “flip over to the other side” (to heterosexuality). When it became clear, despite the medications and near-daily “feeling therapy,” that my same-sex erotic desires were not diminishing, Alfonzo ordered me to bottle my feces and to sniff it whenever I was attracted to a man. “You need to be reminded where homosexual men stick their penis,” he said. “You need to be reminded that homosexual relations are not pleasurable.” When none of that worked—I was still attracted to men, only now all erotic desire seemed to elicit the smell of feces—Alfonzo threatened to hook my genitals up to electrodes. “Without my help,” he told me weeks later, “you’ll probably just get AIDS and die.”

The idea that reparative therapy “repairs” anything, let alone changes erotic desire, is, to paraphrase author Joan Didion, a story we have told ourselves in order to survive. When we talk about reparative therapy we are really talking about suppression of desire, about dissociation, depersonalization—we are talking about the incommensurable trauma that lives on in the person who has undergone what I now consider to be psychic lobotomy, where the “surgeon” probes into the psychosexuality of the individual, cutting and scarring their way toward the establishment of a “different” sexuality, while the “patient,” severely undermined by lifelong messages of heteronormativity, becomes co-conspirator in their own loss of agency.

Enacting laws to make it illegal to practice reparative therapy on anyone under the age of 18 is only a start.

So much pain and so much suffering - all so that the Christofascist can feel superior about themselves and not have to face the reality that the passages in their all too fallible Bible about homosexuality are false.  They are the writings of ignorant nomads and herders that have no place in the modern world.  They need to be discarded like so much else in the Leviticus code have already been discarded.

"Does God Love Me?" is NOT the question!

     Every human being (along with everyone and everything else) is surrounded by the love of God more than he / she will ever know.  God's love is there for the taking, there for the exploring, there for the enjoyment of all.  

     The question for me to answer is this.   "Do I love God?"