Posts Tagged ‘homophobia



07
May
09

Prayer For a Caring Community

Bumped

A PRAYER FOR CARING COMMUNITY

(adapted from the Ten Commandments)

 Save your people, God who is our God:

From not loving you as we should;

From the worship of the gods of material wealth and comfort;

Continue reading ‘Prayer For a Caring Community’

04
May
09

Open Letter to Legislators of NY – Same-Sex Marriage

Whenever one writes letters to legislators it is always better if it is short, sweet and to the point. The problem with that is that the lack of logical arguments that can fit into a short letter tends to limit their educational and persuasive value. Short letters simply allow room to state an opinion – one among a plethora of opinions fielded by constituents – that do little to edify, persuade or even debunk opposing arguments.

Faced with this dilemma, I am writing a letter that is in two parts. The first simply states my opinion as a constituent and asks that my opinion be considered in deciding on the merits of legislating for same-sex marriage. The second part, which can easily be ignored if the legislator is so inclined, or read if he/she sees fit to consider logical arguments, outlines various points using opponents’ logic as a springboard.

Part 1.

Very briefly, I would like to state my opinion that it is a travesty that same-sex relationships are not afforded all the same civil benefits in New York as heterosexual married couples. Continue reading ‘Open Letter to Legislators of NY – Same-Sex Marriage’

03
May
09

Dignity For All Students

I have been asked repeatedly why I am a straight ally of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers. Whether it is because of things I write, things I say (for instance on the floor of my presbytery) or where I choose to be activist, the fact that I am straight and a minister seem to stand out significantly. There is, at the same time, suspicion and excitement that a straight minister would care enough to be visible in support of LGBT.

Jenna and I ran directly into this while present and active at the Equality and Justice Day put on by Empire State Pride Agenda. No less that a dozen times we were asked if we would allow our picture to be taken and placed on websites or blogs. We also entered into numerous conversations, all concerning the role of the church in oppression and anti-GLBT equality.

One specific effort of Pride Agenda is Dignity For All Students, a bill in New York that seeks to address bullying for any reason including sexuality and gender expression. When asked, I responded that my interest in this is very personal. I was on the receiving end of homophobic bullying in grade and high school simply because I was slightly built (hard to imagine now) and a little effeminate. My young life in school, along with some friends, was hell that left me contemplating suicide many times during my high school years.

While meeting with an aide of Senator Farley to make the case for Dignity, I stated the reasons for my interest and followed up by saying, “We have a moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable, and no-one is more vulnerable than our children.” As an expression of our concern in this issue and the dangers faced by those deemed by peers to be different, Jenna and I will be attending “train the trainers” classes for the Trevor Project, a nationwide hot-line for children and youth at risk and contenplating suicide.

To end of bringing as much attention to the issue as I can, I am reprinting the NY Times commentary by Charles Blow. Continue reading ‘Dignity For All Students’

29
Apr
09

LGBT Equality and Justice Day – NY Capital

The caucus gathering

The activists gathering

Yesterday, the Empire State Pride Agenda held it’s annual E&J day – a day that includes both political activism and a very visible public rally. The turn out again this year was phenomenal. Having had same-day and pre-registation in previous years, there was already a full roster of activists before the actual day arrived. Anyone showing up on the 28th with the hope of being part of the lobbying effort were sorely disappointed. Many of those did, however, stick around for the rally. Continue reading ‘LGBT Equality and Justice Day – NY Capital’

14
Apr
09

Then Comes New York

A week ago, I asked, “Where is New York?” Vermont’s legislature had just passed a marriage equality bill, and Empire State Pride Agenda’s Executive Director had just made a press release. New York’s legislative bodies, however, have been bandying the notion around, but seemed reticent to bring it to the floor.

Now enter Governor Paterson of New York. After ordering New York state departments to recognize same-gender marriages performed out of state, and to extend insurance and other rights to same-gender partners, Gov Paterson today announced that he will introduce legislation to allow same-gender marriages in New York. The full story can be read on CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/14/ny.same.sex.marriage/index.html.

Citing New York’s history of involvement with civil rights issues, the governor said, “There is clearly a problem in that those individuals who are gay or lesbian who would live in a civil union are still not entitled to somewhere between 1,250 and 1,300 civil protections” available to married couples. We would like to try to address that at some point in the near future.” It is time to start wotking in earnest on our state senators.

12
Apr
09

Resurrection – Pain & Joy

Ah!  Easter Sunday!  Christ has risen.  Alleluia. 

I always imagine the early morning Easter sun breaking through the darkness of the night.  I picture the angels Mary saw dressed in white.  There she was, standing in a garden filled with the color and the smell of Easter lilies, hyacinths, and azaleas.  Okay! So it’s not exactly accurate, but it is, for me, a brilliant and dazzling scene – a scene that inspires me and brings hope.

There are substantial differences in the four Gospel versions of the resurrection story. Much has been made of these differences – perhaps more than has been made of the other differences that exist in scripture.  There are enough differences that, while each depicts a brilliant and dazzling scene, it is tough to know which, if any, may be historically accurate. Continue reading ‘Resurrection – Pain & Joy’

07
Apr
09

Vermont legislates equality – where is New York?

message_from_exec_director

Shortly after Vermont’s legislature voted to override Gov. Douglas’ veto earlier today, we released the following statement:

“We are thrilled that Vermont—another one of New York’s neighbors—has passed a marriage equality bill through the state legislature. Less than a week after Iowa’s Supreme Court recognized the need to recognize and protect same-sex couples and our families, more than two-thirds of Vermont’s legislature sent the same message by overriding Governor Jim Douglas’ veto.

Vermont was the first state to pass a law recognizing same-sex couples through civil unions and now becomes the first state to provide real marriage equality for same-sex couples through a vote in the state legislature. This is truly a victory for LGBT people in Vermont and across the country.

But I’m embarrassed for New York State. Continue reading ‘Vermont legislates equality – where is New York?’

31
Mar
09

Homophobia, Apartheid, et al

           Periodically, I suffer from the delusion that culture and society can actually be understood, and that I can speak with some knowledge towards that understanding. This fabrication in my mind, fortunately, passes with time, saving poor innocent bystanders the terror of witnessing the inner workings of my mind. Alas, this is not one of those times.

Reader beware! These may be nothing more than the ramblings of a madman.

           I am recovering from my former life – being a recovering addict, recovering economic exploiter, recovering sexist, recovering racist and recovering homophobe. In my newer life, I am a combatant in a war against all manner of exploitation, oppression, manipulation and dehumanization of any and all people. There is, as you know, no worse critic that someone recovering from a particular expression of a disorder. Continue reading ‘Homophobia, Apartheid, et al’

12
Mar
09

Running Someone Through the Wringer … several times

Paul Capetz is my one sorrow from the two years I spent at United Theological School in the Twin Cities, my alma mater. I never took a class from Paul, although I benefitted from his faith, wisdom and intellect in other ways. I have no doubt that Paul would have joined the ranks of Chris Smith, Jann Weaver, Eleazar Fernandez and Sharon Tan as exceptional teachers I have experienced first hand. Don’t get me wrong, NONE of the professors at United from whom I took classes were less than great, but these just stood out as truly inspiring. To my great disappointment, I will never know Paul firsthand as a teacher.

I could also never know, firsthand at least, the stress and agony that Paul must be feeling at the hands of an unwieldy ecclesiastical judicial process that is far better equipped at passing a “hot potato” than actually making informed, judicious decisions. Rather than fill some with awe at the intricate workings of judicial machine, which is how I have read some comments, it should fill all Presbyterians with shame. As always, the hand-wringing and juggling of important matters has a human face, and I can only imagine the agony that Paul must feel at times. Continue reading ‘Running Someone Through the Wringer … several times’

04
Mar
09

Right (Re)Defining “Bashing”

“BASHING”a word that has long been used by minorities to describe the actions of mobs and people motivated by hate. Some on the religious-right, because of the attention on gay bashing, have started to appropriate this word to talk about how they are being discriminated against. This video is potentially troubling because of some fo the images, but is a must see for those who wish to understand how the word “bashing” in being co-opted and watered down. Continue reading ‘Right (Re)Defining “Bashing”’

03
Mar
09

Doth Thou Protesteth Too Much?

There was an interesting study recently released that measures the appetite for pornography based on scales of religious and social conservatism. The results of this survey are not surprising when compared to other results released years ago.

In the old report, arousal was measured in men, who self-identified from very anti-LGBT to liberal, when they watched “gay porn.” Not surprisingly, those who had the most negative attitude about GLBT had more erectile arousal than those who had less. The results of the survey showed that homophobia is as or more likely to be caused by shame and suppression of innate homosexual tendencies as any other cause.

This recent survey, and the summary article in New Scientist, seems to show a similar pattern Continue reading ‘Doth Thou Protesteth Too Much?’

27
Feb
09

Is Hate a Mental Disorder?

We live in interesting times. Since the election of Barack Obama, hate groups have begun growing. Since the economy has tubed, hate groups have begun growing. Hate, it seems, flourishes whenever major change occurs or disaster strikes. According to a CNN article, “Growing Hate Groups Blame Obama, Economy“, hate proponents seem to think they have very rational grounds for their attitudes and actions. As a culture we seem to regard hate with varying degrees of disdain or apathy. Blatant racism is largely disdained, while blatant sexism is discouraged and heterosexism seemingly encouraged. All, however, are based on irrational fears and anti-social behavior. In what way are any to be considered normal responses? Continue reading ‘Is Hate a Mental Disorder?’

25
Feb
09

The Nature of Marriage

I would like to direct your attention to a discussion on Soulforce forums. The discussion is not primarily about same-sex marriage, although it does enter into the discussion, but about the nature of marriage in it’s most basic form. What is it that makes a marriage?

The post was started by 17 year-old Jennifer – one of my favorite 17 year-olds because of the depth of her thoughts and her gentle spirit. The answers have ranged from the almost, but not quite, mundane to purely and simply eloquent. One of my favorites is post #6 from u-dog, one of the other ministers on the boards. Jennifer’s inquiry began:

What is marriage? Continue reading ‘The Nature of Marriage’

16
Feb
09

Two Poles are Better than One

cropped-al-blog-header-3.jpg

In response to some inquiries that have been made about my rather cryptic title for this blog, I am going to unveil at least some of my thoughts behind the choice, and ponder further on the possibilities.

Gestalt – The obvious and, of course, most pedestrian assumption would be that it is based purely and simply on the fact that I am Bipolar. While, admittedly, that gave some impetous to choosing the moniker “Ministry From Two Poles”, it does not explain the rest of the name, “… or Preaching From Both Ends”, or the choice of header art. Continue reading ‘Two Poles are Better than One’

05
Feb
09

This Broke My Heart – How About Yours?

divorce_vid2This is a movie from the Courage Campaign in California. It is truly poignant. I encourage all, no matter your thoughts on same-sex marriage, to see this video and ponder the effects of potentially being forced to divorce your spouse.

Or, you can go to http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce

Perhaps this begs a question. If you don’t believe they should be married to each other, who do you believe they should marry?




... or, preaching from both ends

WELL, HELLO! YOU’RE HERE.

That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

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