You may remember Kris Hansen being vehemently opposed to equality in Montana- now it seems she’s tied into the Gianforte craziness.
It’s a three-parter totally worth checking out.
You may remember Kris Hansen being vehemently opposed to equality in Montana- now it seems she’s tied into the Gianforte craziness.
It’s a three-parter totally worth checking out.
What is it about the “Other” that is so threatening?
In the wake of violent tragedy, can we just put down our own egos for a second and respond to pain, suffering and confusion with true compassion?
Some of us can, I guess. But the rhetoric from leaders who wish to respond to violence with even more violence is in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus- and I can’t wrap my head around how they twist “turn the other cheek” and “love your neighbor as yourself” and “those who live by the sword will die by the sword” into “Fight back or you’ll look weak” and “Hit hard, hit fast” and “Give everyone a gun” and still call themselves Christians.
It’s confusing, and I think we have to call it what it is- vengeful and hateful and xenophobic.
I’m tired of tolerating this rhetoric from “Christians”.
Found on the internet:
Illinois officials will begin investigating ExxonMobil to determine if the company discriminates against gay job applicants, putting a spotlight on the company’s employment practices as the Senate considers a bill that would make such discrimination illegal across the country.
The Illinois Department of Human Rights has accepted Freedom to Work’s complaint of employment discrimination against ExxonMobil, the first known time an LGBT group has used a “tester” case — in which a group submits similar applications from fictitious applicants who only differ in the relevant characteristic being tested — in an organizational lawsuit.
“Freedom to Work decided to take a successful strategy from the playbook of African-American civil rights leaders by employing matched-pair employment testing at Exxon and other federal contractors that lack LGBT workplace protections,” Freedom to Work president Tico Almeida told BuzzFeed. “We very quickly found evidence that Exxon has given unfair hiring preference to some lower qualified straight applicants over more qualified LGBT applicants.”
Another reason to avoid Exxon gas… Full story here.
While I continue to struggle to get along in the world with my GID (Gender Identification Dysphoria), articles like an opinion piece in the Washington Times today, displaying its JID (Journalism Identification Dysphoria), do not help. On a day when another headline read; “Ex-gay Christian ministry closes, apologizes to LGBT community,” I was also entreated to lines like these:
“Real girls and their parents reacted with the outrage that anyone not blinded by political correctness would have expected.”
“Sixteen states and the District have similar laws, according to something called the Transgender Law & Policy Institute.”
“The rights of the majority — in this case, for real girls not to have real boys use their toilet facilities — are subordinated to a vanishingly small minority, albeit one with political clout way out of proportion to its numbers. School restrooms are just the start, with locker rooms and showers after phys-ed next on an agenda that’s all about breaking down the real and traditional differences between the sexes.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/19/transgenders-and-toilets/#.UcM8JqIlSC4.facebook. (Emphasis added by the author).
Clearly, the Times does not know weather to wax sensationally or rationally. Or, perhaps this is the whole problem with the political right – they just don’t know how to talk about people with whom they take issue without relying on insulting, inflammatory rhetoric like that above. I apologize ahead of time if the right is able to prove me wrong on this. In any event, a professional journalist should be held to a higher standard, even in their opinions, although I must forgive “THE WASHINGTON TIMES” (Only By line) its professional lapses, given its apparent internal confusion about journalistic integrity and its own identity.
So, what is a “Real girl” Mr. Washington Times? (Oh, did I just make an assumption that a man wrote this article? You bet!) Is a “Real Girl” defined only physically, by her appearance, by her genitals? Or is it the heart, mind and soul that make a girl real? Is it a combination of the physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual? Perhaps. I know what my biases are, but, for the sake of Pete, does the Washington Times really want to limit gender to a static, stereotypical definition? Do I have to be barefoot, pregnant and subservient to a husband in order to be a “real” woman? The Washington Times might as well print their publication on papyrus in cuneiform. (Really ancient, as in pre-dating the dark ages).
Now, of course, the existence of “real” women suggests the existence of “real” men too. And what do they look like? I won’t even hazard a guess. But, I will bet it is “traditional.” Well, at least the Washington Times definition of traditional “real” men and women that it can trace for about the last century and to its Puritan, Anglo-Saxon cultural roots only. In truth, the differences between genders anthropologically speaking is much more fluid. (See, http://genderoutlaw.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/transgender-warriors-by-leslie-feinberg/)
Now, the Washington Times prints that trans people have some kind of “political clout.” Never mind that trans people are routinely excluded from health insurance policies for health related circumstances, and that they the are often the most highly discriminated against class of people. (See, http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/hrcTGguide.pdf). Heck, even local ordinances designed to provide anti-discrimination protections often have transgender exceptions – especially when it comes to bathrooms. So, what political gain does this imagined “clout” provide to a trans person?
And what about me – a post-op trans women? If I can not fit the Washington Times definition of a “real” woman or a “real” man, am I real at all. The IRS thinks so. So does the DMV, the local Election Administrator, the DFWP, my bank, my church, my work, my friends, and even all two of my enemies. Heck, I even have a credit score. Yes, I’m real, and I wish the Washington Times would get there too.
“Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle, or like, premarital sex between heterosexuals … it says that that’s a sin … I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ,” he said on the show. “So, I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize that person as a Christian.”
~ Chris Broussard, ESPN Commentator.
I do so wish to avoid judging those who judge others. Thus, I have tried to avoid comment upon the religious right rhetoric about LGBT people. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that statements like the above quote stray from even the most basic of Christian tenets, Jesus’s command that we “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34-35. Moreover, for a biblical literalist, the above scriptural interpretation (Not cited, but denominated as biblical by the phrase, “it says.” ) is simply inaccurate. Finally, one of the most basic rules of journalism is that the media represent all sides of an issue. And, there is another side to this story.
So, what is gained by my silence? Some great Christian leaders have posited that to be silent in the face of oppression is to join the oppressor. (E.g., Dr. King, and more recently, Bishop Gene Robinson). Thus, I gladly risk the criticism that I am being judgmental in favor of speaking out on behalf of the oppressed. I speak my truth to power.
Now, about Gay Christians. The term is neither an oxymoron nor disingenuous. I personally identify as LGBT and Christian. I believe that Jesus is Lord! According to scripture, I cannot make such a statement lightly, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3). Moreover, if I say it and believe it than scripture guarantees my salvation. (Romans 10:9). Hence, the scriptural formulaic equation for salvation is not exclusive. I can be Gay and Christian. And I am not alone in this belief.
There are a whole host or Christian organizations, many of which we see on Face Book every day, dedicated to the same proposition. We are in the minority now, but I believe that as we continue to change the world that all of Christendom will likewise evolve. One such group is called Fortunate Families, a national organization of Catholic parents with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender children, with a passion for social justice advocacy and a focus on the Catholic Church and LGBT issues. In my present church affiliation, Methodist, we have the Reconciling Ministries Network whose purpose is to mobilize United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love. The Episcopal church has an organization called Integrity, whose mission it is to inspire and equip the Episcopal Church, its dioceses, congregations, and members to proclaim and embody God’s all-inclusive love for LGBTQ persons and those who love them. Perhaps you know of others.
When it comes to scripture, I am merely a “jack-theologian,” so-to-speak. While I have a minor in religious studies, I certainly do not have any sort of divinity degree. However, I have at least read the passages to which I refer. I understand that they have been through multiple translations over the millennia, and were written in a vastly different culture with a vastly inferior world view, knowledge and technology, and that they were gathered into what we now know as the Bible by church fathers in the Third Century. (Even a cursory search reveals that the origins of the Bible is a complicated story rife with dissension and debate). Scripture did not even have line and verse until the 16th century. (The Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne). People believed over the entire 4,000 or so years that the various books of the Bible were written that the world was flat and the heavens (and God) resided a few hundred feet above them. Science now informs our world view to cast aside such notions, as well as the notion that the Biblical genealogy found in Genesis denotes the age of the world.
Against that backdrop, we have the self-righteous and inflammatory conclusions above. They can be summarized as follows: The bible says that homosexuality is a sin in open rebellion to God and Jesus. In claiming to be LGBT and Christian I must, as Gene Robinson says, “unabashedly” assert that this statement is false! None of the Gospels attribute to Jesus as ever uttering a single word about homosexuality, much less the word itself, or that he would accord it to himself as “open rebellion.” No such word existed in Hebrew or Greek, the two main languages in which the books of the bible were written. The word “homosexual” is not in the Bible, except in oblique translations of the six or so references to men “lying” with men in the Hebrew text and Paul’s letters, the most notorious of which is found in Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Evidently, the only reason one lies with a female is to have sex. But is it okay if I lie with a woman until I need glasses? Sorry, I digress (impishly laughing to self with tongue firmly in cheek)).
The Hebrew term, shiqquwts is translated as “abomination” by almost all translations of the Bible. The similar words, sheqets, and shâqats, are almost exclusively used for dietary violations. Toeba, is also translated as abomination in some texts. Many modern versions of the Bible translate it as “detestable”or “loathsome.” I hear one Rabbi refer to it as “yicky.” Biblical literalists interpret this to mean that same-sex sexual activity is an abomination and therefore inherently sinful. (Note, however, that it is not one of the Ten Commandments).
However,please consider that a word or phrase which has been translated through multiple languages over centuries and the subject of great debate and disagreement among the worlds great scholars and theologians, inherently, cannot credibly be taken as a modern-day literal truth. Moreover, this supposed proscription was part of what is called the ancient Hebrew Holiness Code which highly regulated the everyday lives of ancient Hebrew men, from what they were to wear to what they were to eat. Violations of these rules were also called abominations. The code referred to how they were to treat one another too. Later prophets make this clear. In a little referred to scripture, Ezekiel says at 16:49-50: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.” Clearly, Sodom’s lack of hospitality is the abomination.
Yet, there is no mention of the word, “homosexual,” again defying the literalists. They cannot rely on the literal words of scripture to reach the result they want, but must interpret the meaning of the words used through their various translations over time in spite of later clarification within the Bible’s own pages. Now I wonder how to characterize the above quotation from the ESPN announcer. Is it hospitable, or detestable and loathsome? Is it an abomination? What would Ezekiel say?
Updated. See below….
Things seemed hopeful at the start of this session. From the Great Falls Tribune:
The Montana Supreme Court in 1997 ruled as unconstitutional the portion of the deviate sexual relations law that includes “sexual contact or sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex” in the definition that also includes bestiality.
Senate Bill 107, carried by Sen. Tom Facey, would remove it from state code. The Missoula Democrat said the time has come to strike a law that is unenforceable and offensive.
“Words do matter. I hope you can pass this bill to get the unconstitutional words out of our code,” Facey said.
Groups opposed to the law have tried for years to get the Legislature to formally strike language they argue is hurtful. Two years ago, a similar proposal to repeal the law cleared the Senate only to die in the more conservative House.
But since then, the Montana Republican Party has removed from its platform the position that it seeks to make homosexual acts illegal. The party remains opposed to gay marriage.
Freshman Republican state Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, of Superior, said he is co-sponsoring the measure because it “respects the rights of Montanans.”
But that was then, this is now. Jamee Greer, lobbyist for the Montana Human Rights Network said this yesterday:
The Montana Senate can’t even take an up-or-down vote on whether or not the law should say gays and lesbians deserve ten years in prison and/or $50,000 fines – simply for being gays and lesbians.
Word is they’re sending the bill back to committee to attach bad amendments to it requested by a Bitterroot-based anti-gay activist, Dallas Erickson. This motion would happen during the Senate floor session, possibly as soon as Wednesday (today).
Why back to committee? If it comes up quietly during an executive action, which can happen at pretty much any time, maybe there won’t be network television news cameras in front of them. Maybe the Associated Press and USAToday will miss it.
Maybe, just maybe, some members of the legislature can get away with labeling gay and lesbian Montanans as “deviates” and “felons” for another year and avoid the national embarrassment that will surely come with such an unfortunate decision.
Maybe, just maybe.
Maybe they’ll knock it off if we get enough attention on this issue. Anyone have Rachel Maddow’s number?
It is a simple question: do you think gays deserve to be associated in the law with those who molest animals, and punished by fines of $50,000 and ten years in jail?
JUST VOTE ALREADY!
What was the first thing this shiny new Congress did?
Well, Daines, who ran on a “more jobs, less government” platform, cast one of his first votes in favor of the House continuing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) which denies hundreds of benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
Apparently when Daines said “more jobs” he meant “more jobs for lawyers defending blatantly unconstitutional archaic laws.”
DOMA is the Clinton-era law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. This law denies benefits to the same-sex partners of military members killed while fighting for our country. It also prohibits the federal government from recognizing bi-national same-sex couples in immigration cases, which has led to several high-profile deportations. It also refuses to acknowledge same-sex spouses in relation to Social Security survivor benefits.
This law is clearly unconstitutional, which is why in early 2011 the Obama administration’s Department of Justice announced they would no longer defend the law. Our illustrious House members though chose to pick up the torch of bigotry and continued to defend the law at the taxpayer’s expense. Thus far, Steve Daines, John Boehner and the Republicans in the House have spent more than $1.7 million defending this law.
The latest expenditure in support of DOMA was actually buried within the House of Representative rules that the new Congress approved today. Generally these rules simply lay out the process for how the House will run. To bury an appropriation inside this bill is an unprecedented abuse of the process.
This is just the latest example of the clear hypocrisy of Daines and his tea party colleagues advocating for smaller government except for when they don’t.
DOMA, ruled as unconstitutional ten different times in seven different cases, will face the US Supreme Court later this year.
Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill, which would impose the death penalty on certain people convicted of having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, seems poised for passage soon.
The Associated Press reports that Rebecca Kadaga (pictured, left), Uganda’s Parliamentary Speaker, announced yesterday that the bill will be going forward for a vote in the next few weeks:
“Ugandans ‘are demanding it,’ she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of ‘the serious threat’ posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as ‘a Christmas gift.’
“ ‘Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,’ the activists said in a petition. ‘We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.’ ”
A report in The Advocate notes that the bill can be put to a vote in a matter of two weeks.
A news story in the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News provides some background on the criminal status of homosexuality in Uganda, as well as what the proposed law would mandate:
“Even without the law, Uganda already has laws that criminalize homosexuality and is one of 76 countries where it is illegal to be gay. The proposed law would broaden existing laws, and includes the death penalty to those convicted of aggravated homosexuality and life imprisonment for those convicted of the offense of homosexuality.
“Aggravated homosexuality is defined as gay acts committed by parents or authority figures, HIV-positive people, pedophiles and repeat offenders.
“Offense of homosexuality is defined as same-sex sexual acts or being involved in a same-sex relationship.”
Shamefully silent on this bill have been the Catholic bishops of Uganda, a heavily Catholic nation. Indeed, earlier this summer it was reported that the Catholic bishops reversed their position from quiet opposition to the bill to outright support for it.
Catholic leaders in the U.S. have spoken in opposition to the bill, including Ambassador Thomas P. Melady, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. President Barack Obama has called the bill “odious.”
More Catholic voices will be needed to defeat this horrendous law. Indeed, in July Ugandan LGBT rights advocatescalled on the international community, including religious leaders, to lend their voices to oppose the bill.
Catholic bishops here in the United States and Vatican leaders in Rome need to lend their voices to international opposition to the proposed law. Silence is not an option at this point. Too many innocent lives hang in the balance.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry