Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"The Tyranny," the "Savagery," of the "American Family"

Judith Warner has a moving op-ed today in the New York Times about the 1960s family. Having grown up in the 1960s family in New York and New Jersey. It is this 1950s-'60s era that has defined my life, the way I understand family, church, education...life! Warner explains it beautifully and yet, for me, painfully:

Unlike the baby boomers before us, we “baby busters” of the ’60s never rebelled against the trappings of domesticity represented by our images of the 1950s. Many of us, deep down, yearn for it, having experienced divorce or other sorts of family dislocation in the 1970s. We keep alive a secret dream of “a model of routine and order and organization and competence,” a life “where women kept house, raised kids and kept their eyebrows looking really good,” as the writer Lonnae O’Neal Parker once described it in The Washington Post Magazine.

This was not a family where we who are LBTQG could ever feel comfortable. The gay characters in AMC's "Mad Men" are deep in the closet, covered by cigarette smoke and martinis. I saw my family in Albee's and Guare's plays of the 1960s living room dramas.

She closes with this observation:

How we seem to love and hate those men and women we never knew. What we would give to know their secrets: how Dad managed to come home at 5 p.m. to read the paper or watch TV while Mom fixed dinner and bathed the kids. How Mom turned up at school, every day, unrumpled, coiffed, unflappable. And more to the point: how they managed to afford the lives that they led, on one salary, without hocking their homes to pay for college, without worrying about being bankrupted by medical bills.

Click here for more.

Pace! B

Civil Unions: A Federal Option

There are more articles, essays, and op-eds that are suggesting that one way for President-elect Obama to redeem himself (partially) with the LGBTQ community is with a federal "civil union" bill, in which LBTQG and straight couples who choose not to marry could have a civil union, with all the same rights as those who wish to be wedded and "married" in communities of faith.

Such a push was evident this morning in the News and Observer op-ed by Chuck Small. In a possible address that Obama could give at his inaugural, Chuck Small puts in Obama's mouth the urge that all people have equal rights, including a contractual relationship, a.k.a., civil union or marriage. He ends with this refrain:

Is it too politically risky for the new president to take an immediate stand on such a controversial topic? Perhaps. But the political risk makes it no less a moral imperative for a man who truly believes in the ideal of a more perfect union.

Indeed, such a stance would tell us far more about what the nation can expect in an Obama presidency than any reading between the lines we attempt when we look at Rick Warren's selection to deliver the inaugural invocation.

Click here for more.



Monday, December 29, 2008

New York Times: Rich Vs. Kristol

Interesting tug of war in the New York Times editorial/op-ed section, as there has been in the Washington Post: Frank Rich scorned Obama for his decision to invite Rick Warren to do the invocation, and Bill Kristol scorned liberals for scorning Obama for the Rick Warren invitation.

In Rich's piece, "You're Likable Enough, Gay People," Obama tends to overestimate his ability to bring different people with different points of view together:

"As we saw during primary season, our president-elect is not free of his own brand of hubris and arrogance, and sometimes it comes before a fall: “You’re likable enough, Hillary” was the prelude to his defeat in New Hampshire. He has hit this same note again by assigning the invocation at his inauguration to the Rev. Rick Warren, the Orange County, Calif., megachurch preacher who has likened committed gay relationships to incest, polygamy and “an older guy marrying a child.” Bestowing this honor on Warren was a conscious — and glib — decision by Obama to spend political capital. It was made with the certitude that a leader with a mandate can do no wrong."

My colleagues believe that Obama and his team are tone-deaf to the situation faced by people who are LBTGQ in this society...as are so many others. As I've written recently, there are many people who keep on being amazed at how growingly intolerant people in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area are of LGBTQ people. We are no longer the liberal bastion of the South: we are becoming more homogenized and less diverse.

Click here for more.

Meanwhile, Billy Kristol scorns those of us who are liberal-progressives, basically telling us to grow up:

For one thing, there will be the invocation, delivered by Rick Warren. I suspect he’ll be careful to say nothing pro-life or pro-traditional-marriage — but we conservatives have already gotten more than enough pleasure from the hysterical reaction to his selection by the tribunes of the intolerant left. And having Warren there will, in fact, be a welcome reminder of the strides the evangelical movement and religious conservatives (broadly speaking) have made in recent decades.

Click here for more.

So what should Obama do next?

I like Frank Rich's idea myself: move quickly on issues pertaining to LBGTQ people:

McCarthy added that it’s also time “for President-elect Obama to start acting on the promises he made to the LGBT community during his campaign so that he doesn’t go down in history as another Bill Clinton, a sweet-talking swindler who would throw us under the bus for the sake of political expediency.” And “for LGBT folks to choose their battles wisely, to judge Obama on the content of his policy-making, not on the character of his ministers.”

It is time to change!



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Running for School Board Seat in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

What a surprise this morning to find my blog read and linked by Mark Schultz of the Chapel Hill News about my interest in running for a place on the school board of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS). Yes, the movie and story of "Milk" is an inspiration. However "Milk" was but one more inspiring message to run for public office, or this public office, which I have thought of for quite some time.

My interest in this position comes from many reasons:
* My bachelor degree (B. Music Ed./Therapy from the Univ. of Kansas, 1978), also brought me into special education contexts in working with young children with severe or profound disabling conditions. I worked for over two years in special education contexts;
* My M.Div. (Princeton Seminary, 1983) focused on human development and religious education;
* My Th.M. (Harvard University, 1985), focused on more courses on human development, education, and religious education, with most of my courses from Harvard Graduate School of Education;
* I have a Ph.D. in Special Education, with a focus in religious education, from UNC-CH, 1988. In other words, educationally I have experience in public schools, especially special education, and knowledge about educational systems and theories that I would like to see experimented with in the CHCCS;
* I have two children who went through the CHCCS schools, along with a former spouse who works in one of the elementary schools. I have seen the good, the bad, and the quite repugnant of CHCCS for almost 15 years. I am very interested (to paraphrase Clint Eastwood) bolstering the "good" of the system, addressing the "bad" of the system, and recognizing and addressing the areas of "in need of improvment" of this system, so that it is a better system for all children and their educational team;
* I taught Christian religious education at Duke Divinity School for over a decade until I was denied tenure because I am an out gay man;
* One of the groups of children, and faculty, staff, and administrators who have had a rocky time in the CHCCS are those who self-identify as LGBTQ. Now, two of the comments on the link made it sound like being an out-gay person running for the CHCCS would be easy:

Why not ....

Like a black man running for office in Harlem .... It's Chapel Hill - Carrboro ..... seriously, why not?

Good one, Turd-bo!

Hey, it's also kind of like if you ran for Grand Wizard of the Klan!

Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk-nyuk ,,,

But here is where reality breaks through: students, staff, administrators, and teachers who are openly LGBTQ do not have it all that easy in the CHCCS. They face subtle discrimination, are bullied, and treated as outsiders, as do the the children of those of us who are out and gay. What is mis-leading about the RDU area, especially Chapel Hill-Carrboro, is that the area is all "O.K." with out LGBTQ people...and that is not the truth. Out LGBTQ parents with children in the CHCCS have a hard time because our children are bullied by other children, staff, teachers, and administrators.

I would run for a seat on the School Board with interest in bettering the educational opportunities for all students in the CHCCS, including those students in special education contexts and those who are LGBTQ.

Click here for more!

O.K.: I'm very interested in running and close to announcing my nomination for a seat in the next election cycle.

Is there support for my nomination? Let me know!

And thanks, Mark, for reading the blog!



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rick Warren: A Flip Flop Saddleback Church

On queerty.com, I noticed this fabulous flip flop: while reporting that they had taken off the notice that gays weren't welcome unless they repented, there is this word from queerty.com that the notice is back on: LGBTQ aren't welcome to Saddleback Church, according to Ms. Cole, a representative of Saddleback:

"I wanted to make sure you were aware that the Q & A addressing homosexuality on the Saddleback Church Web site has not been permanently removed, but rather repurposed for clarity. I know your readers have noticed the change.

Attached is the audio response from Saddleback Associate Pastor Tom Holladay regarding the question, “What Does the Bible Say About homosexuality – is it a sin?” that will be posted later this morning on the site.

Wanted to make sure you were aware of this. Thanks!"

Here's a link to the blog site.

Merry Christmas!

And Mr. Obama: please simply have an LGBTQ person in your inaugural festivities and swearing in, perhaps make a new cabinet position with an out LGBTQ person (so far not represented among the Cabinet), overturn DADT and DOMA...soon! Then everything should be O.K.! O.K.?



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Washington Post Morning: Jonathan Capehart, E. J. Dionne, and Richard Cohen on Obama and Warren

This morning I had to get up early (darn it) because the Spirit was saying "arise!" On "Morning Joe! on msnbc, there was Jonathan Capehart, an out-gay journalist defending gay marriage against Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan. He let them speak a little bit too much for my taste, and he could've pulled in the comparison with the civil rights movement and gay movement better, e.g., both are minorities seeking equal rights.

Read Capehart's article today here.

Jonathan works for Washington Post. And there was a reference to two editorials in the Washington Post, one by E.J. Dionne, and the other by Richard Cohen re: Rick Warren's role in the inauguration! What a day for the Washington Post!

Cohen's sister is gay, and she is not throwing a pro-Obama party on his inauguration day because of Rick Warren. Click here for more.

Dionne thought that this was potentially politically savvy of Obama inviting Warren. Click here for more.

I couldn't get enough!

We are talking about all things gay! Would this be happening had Prop. 8 lost, or Rick Warren not be invited?

Who knows!



Monday, December 22, 2008

What do Pope Benedict and Rick Warren Have in Common? Homophobia!

This is classic: we are despised by both Rick Warren AND Pope Benedict!

Rick Warren's church, Saddle Back Church, in its small group ministries (How Methodist can you get?!) website explicitly says that homosexuals are not allowed:

We get lectures about civility and the need to welcome everyone, even those we disagree with, and Rick Warren won't even welcome us in his church. This is from the Saddleback Church's own Web site. You know things are bad when the church goes out of its way to explicitly say that you're not welcome as a member in their Web site FAQ. But we're supposed to welcome him to our inauguration. (Hat tip to reader Ken.)

Click here for more.

And then the Pope equated saving straight families from LGBTQ people as all of us saving the rain forest!

Click here for more.

Here's the good news: Obama hasn't invited the Pope--another homophobe--to be in his inaugural festivities.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saddle Back Church: No Gays (LGBTQ) Allowed As Members

All right: this crosses the line for everyone concerned, including Mr. Obama: Saddle Back Church does not allow openly LGBTQ people to be members of the Church.

This was all over the news last night.

So not only does Rev. Warren not support gay marriages, but no gay members for his church--this is not Jesus' church, is it?


So would Mr. Obama let someone read anything from the inaugural platform who was the head of a racist segregationist state, company, club, or organization in the name of diversity and unity, someone who voted against him for President?



Embarrassed, Again, in the UN

There are some countries in this world where it is a criminal offense to be LGBTQ. Amazing, and true, and thus horrible. Something should be done! The UN at least could come out protecting the human rights of all people, right?

And the UN was moving that way, but there are some countries and municipalities of the UN who voted against such a move: Russia, the Vatican...and the USA!

Oh fair, wonderful, loving United States of America. While the rest of the Western world moves forward to a place where all people are created equal, you remain stuck between a Church and a hard place, refusing to accept that gay men and women are just like everybody else, and deserve the same rights as everybody else. So, while 66 countries in the United Nations General Assembly agreed to pass a resolution decriminalizing homosexuality, this great nation refused to get on board. Of course, the U.S. isn't alone here.

Russia, China, the Roman Catholic Church and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference all refused to accept the language under the foolish excuse that it would also — stay with me here — legitimize pedophilia.

It's the first time the issue has been brought before the 191-member U.N.; a French-Netherlands effort brought it to the floor for a vote on the heels of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Click here for more.

When I first heard of this, I shook my head in wonder and disillusionment. I sighed. Expectations from the Bush Administration were met.

Fear? Obama as President would send Rick Warren to negotiate this in the UN.



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Are We Sister Souljah for Mr. Obama?

I disagree with what I am hearing from the Obama staff about Rick Warren. He is not friendly to LGBTQ people, or any propositions in CA. Max Blumenthal of the Daily Beast wrote this about Warren:

A week before Election Day, here is what “America’s Pastor” told the 22,000 members of his Saddleback Church in Orange County: “Here’s an interesting thing: there are about 2% of Americans [who] are homosexual, gay, lesbian people. We should not let two percent of the population determine—to change a definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years. This is not even just a Christian issue, it is a humanitarian and human issue, that God created marriage for the purpose of family, love and procreation. I urge you to support Proposition 8 and to pass that on.”

So are we the punching bag for Axelrod and Obama and Gibbs?

Why'd we vote for this guy again? At least with McCain/Palin you knew what you were getting. That's what I like about conservatives: I know where they stand. They may not stand with us but against us, but at least I know it. Liberals like Obama stand with us some of the time. Remember: he does not support gay marriage. Nor does Biden.

Click here for more.



Rick Warren and Inauguration Invocation

The news was a bit of a shock: Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration. Rick Warren, who supported Prop. 8, who sees gay marriage as a sin (of some kind, read previous blog), is giving the invocation of a Democratic president, whose one core base was the LGBTQ community. Rick Warren!?

Two sides of the debate: Politically Marc Ambinder of Atlantic Monthly writes this:

From experience, one can presume that the decision to invite Rick Warren was made because (a) Obama likes the guy, and (b) he knows it would send a message to groups like the HRC, and to conservative Christians who might be wary of the new president. Not so much pandering as it is Obama's deft manipulation of the politics of symbolism. Obviously, Obama disagrees with Rick Warren on important issues. He has said so, many times, and publicly. And he agrees with him on other important issues. And ignoring something like Warren, a mainstream figure who commands the respect of million of Americans, would be foolish. Obama's message is: Rick Warren is a part of Obama's America, too.

Joe Solomese of HRC writes this:

Let me get right to the point. Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans. Our loss in California over the passage of Proposition 8 which stripped loving, committed same-sex couples of their given legal right to marry is the greatest loss our community has faced in 40 years. And by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.

Rick Warren has not sat on the sidelines in the fight for basic equality and fairness. In fact, Rev. Warren spoke out vocally in support of Prop 8 in California saying, "there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population ... This is not a political issue -- it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about." Furthermore, he continues to misrepresent marriage equality as silencing his religious views. This was a lie during the battle over Proposition 8, and it's a lie today.

Click here for more.

Response from my desk? Quick! Call Gene Robinson! According to Gene, he and Obama have already been talking.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Newsweek's Cover Story: Gay Marriage

By my nightstand I have a copy of Newsweek magazine's story on gay marriage. I paw through it now and then, read and re-read parts of it, and am amazed at the story. The reporter of the story looked fairly carefully at the biblical readings of unions of men and women, as well as men and men, e.g., Jonathan and David, along with polygamy, e.g., Abram along with Hagar and then there is Sarai...

And what do we do with a young girl by the name of Mary, who is betrothed but not yet quite legally wedded to Joseph, who bears a son out of wedlock?

As I've written and preached, and spoken out before, the nuclear family is a 1950s "tradition" that needs to be put away with some other relics of the '50s. Marriage and family are both categories and functions of society that keep changing throughout time, in all cultures, etc. They are, to use another phrase I've used often before, context dependent terms. This is not to make them "relative," but relevant by understanding the cultural context in which marriage, family, and unions are to be understood and practiced.


Click here for more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Homophobic Driven Life: Rick Warren is Scared of Us!

In Rick Warren's world view, and thus theology, is it possible to be gay (LGBTQ) and live a purpose driven life--and be a Christian?

In an interview with Beliefnet.com's director, Steve Waldman, Warren declares he's not a homophobe because he has gay friends, supports AIDS programs, and has even eaten in gays' homes.

I've heard this line before from other homophobes who were my boss in an institution of higher education.

Warren and his church supported Prop. 8.

Warren is a homophobe.

Here's the kicker. Ready?

Warren dodged Waldman's question about whether he supported civil unions or domestic partnerships, answering instead, "I support full equal rights for everyone in America," adding that he only opposes a "redefinition" of marriage. He went on to say he's opposed to gay marriage the same way he is opposed to a brother and sister marrying (that would be incest), a man marrying a child (that would be statutory rape), or someone having multiple spouses (that would be polygamy). Pressed by Waldman, Warren said he considered those crimes equivalent to gay marriage.

He thought that if Prop. 8 had lost, pastors would be able to be sued for "hate speech" by not marrying LGBTQ couples.


We pastors get to pick and choose who we will and will not marry.

Click here for more.

Warren is a homophobe.

The purpose driven life is a homophobic movement.



Let's Hear it For the Penguin Couple!

All the LGBTQ blog sites--towleroad.com, advocate.com, and queerty.com, to name a few--are covering the amazingly not amazing story of two male penguins taking over the duties of parenthood for their own adopted eggs. Animal behavioral scientists are pointing out what we are seeing in other zoos, along with "March of the Penguins": male penguins are nurturers of the young eggs, while it is the mother/female who goes out to get the food.

News from China of another couple of male penguins who are taking care of their own brood of eggs, doing what apparently comes, um, naturally: taking care of the young, just like many dads--gay and straight alike.

Click here for more.



Monday, December 15, 2008

MILK: The Movie

Yesterday I saw the movie "Milk." I've read the good and so-so-reviews of the movie. Nevertheless, for a bio-pic, I thought this ranked right up their with "Ghandi," "Ali," and "Ray". It was well told, with the flash-backs hung on the narrative line as "Harvey" tells his story in a cassette tape recorder (that looks like one I have upstairs).

The movie is a "must" for not only those of us who are LGBTQ, and straight allies, but for all of those who need the inspiration of moving forward in speaking truth to power, especially in the day and times that the stress is greatest.

One of the psychological games I like to play is this: which person would I a) most be like if I were in a similar situation? and b) which one would I most LIKE to be like in such a biopic? For example, when watching flicks on the Holocaust, e.g., Bent, Schindler's List, Sophie's Choice, the question is daunting: while I would like to say I would be outspoken and prophecy with my life, it comes at a steep cost. Likewise, I've met those people who seem to play well the role of "cog" in society's machine, without a question or thinking about what they are part of.

Likewise, in "Milk": are you Harvey? His partner Scott? Others in the camera shop? Dan White?

This is where a film becomes a teachable moment.

Sadly, as my friend Steve Petrow has remarked in his review in this week's Independent Weekly, many in this younger generation (40 and under) know little of Milk. This film is important.

Milk was the first out gay politician who won an elective office as an out gay man. There are now 600 in this country.

I'm thinking of running for the School Board for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Community School System. Any campaign managers out there who read this blog?



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Speaking Truth to Power, Evangelical Style

In my earthlink.net account website, a collection of interesting things happening in the world, there was this little article about "Top Evangelical Resigns After Supporting Gay Civil Unions." Apparently the Rev. Richard Cizik, the representative for the National Association of Evangelicals, came out in support of gay civil unions on NPR's "Fresh Air" on Dec. 2, 2008. This was more than the other members of the NAE could take, speaking truth to power about the love found between two people. The argument against people living in a monogamous relationship because they are of the same sex is losing because some evangelicals want it both ways: to object to us for being "promiscuous" while objecting to us "getting married." Which way do you want us to live? After all, being gay is not a choice, but who we were created to be.

Click here for more.

Pace! B

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mike Huckabee on "The Daily Show": Religion and Being Gay: A choice?

Watch and listen to the debate last night on The Daily Show (thanks towleroad.com for the clip idea), in which the debate revolved around Mike Huckabee's defn. of being gay: a lifestyle choice is his defn. of being gay.

Jon Stewart was brilliant in his give and take with Mike Huckabee.

Here's the clip!





Sunday, December 7, 2008

Iowa: The Next Battle Ground for Gay Marriages

Tomorrow, the state supreme court of Iowa could decide in favor of letting LGBTQ couples wed. the reason? Not letting LGBTQ couples wed is an abridgement of a person's/couple's civil rights. The outlook for gay marriages in Iowa looks good:

Francois predicts that the Iowa Supreme Court, like other courts, will rule in favor of the gay couples.

"On the pure legal, constitutional issue, it's close to a no-brainer that two adults ought to have the right to marry whoever they choose — that the state ought not to be preventing that," he said.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Dawn and Jen BarbouRoske of Iowa City, who have two daughters and said they want their relationship and their family to be fully recognized under the law.

Jen BarbouRoske tells of searching for a preschool for their daughter and almost settling on a place before being told the girl wouldn't be allowed to talk about her family during family units. In court records, Dawn BarbouRoske expressed her worries over a medical condition her partner suffers from that could require hospitalization and once required an emergency room visit.

"I was terrified that the hospital staff would refuse to recognize our relationship, and that I would not be permitted to stay by her bedside," she said.

Dawn BarbouRoske said in an interview that they want people to understand they are "just everyday folks" who are seeking the same rights as other Iowans.

"We just happen to be in love with someone of the same sex. We are committed to our community, our neighborhood and taking care of our kids," she said. "When it comes down to it ... whether you agree or not about same-sex marriage, it really is a basic civil right."

One state at at time.

One day at a time.

Click here for more.



A Biblical Case for Marriage of LGBTQ Couples in Newsweek Magazine:

This from newsweek.com (click here) in support of gay marriage from a biblical perspective. As I've stated in this blog and in my book ON BEING A GAY MARRIAGE, the biblical norm or tradition for marriage is not friendly to the 1950s idea of what is marriage in modern American society. The nuclear family is not the biblical understanding of the family: never was, never will be, no way, no how. For example, take Abraham and Sarah's family: are they a model for modern American society? Polygamy anyone? Having sex for sex's case? How about the way that Mary was impregnated outside of marriage, and not by Joseph, her earthly husband?

Here's the last paragraph, which is quite moving:

More basic than theology, though, is human need. We want, as Abraham did, to grow old surrounded by friends and family and to be buried at last peacefully among them. We want, as Jesus taught, to love one another for our own good—and, not to be too grandiose about it, for the good of the world. We want our children to grow up in stable homes. What happens in the bedroom, really, has nothing to do with any of this. My friend the priest James Martin says his favorite Scripture relating to the question of homosexuality is Psalm 139, a song that praises the beauty and imperfection in all of us and that glorifies God's knowledge of our most secret selves: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And then he adds that in his heart he believes that if Jesus were alive today, he would reach out especially to the gays and lesbians among us, for "Jesus does not want people to be lonely and sad." Let the priest's prayer be our own.



Prop 8: LIberals and Hollywood Elite vs. the African American Church

In the NYT.com this morning, there is an interesting article about the fraying or disunity of rainbow politics, the idea that opposites or those who are in paradoxical relationship with each other except for one goal in common--such as voting for Obama--work together for the common good.

But that's not what happened in CA: opposites voted for Barack, but one group--largely the African American church members who voted (7 out or 10) for Prop. 8--stood to rip a constitutional right away from a minority, largely LGBTQ people:

A coalition is composed of groups that may dislike — or even hate — one another, but who understand the shared political expediency of standing together. Rainbow party politics involve bringing together masses of people who are identified by being burdened by a particular grievance. Soon enough — in groups forged of such friable bonds, and almost always when matters of morality and lifestyle come into play — you will discover that one oppressed group does not necessarily support the goals of another oppressed group.

And this:

Furthermore — and perhaps even more painfully for those of us who support gay marriage and all that it represents — Christian teaching on marriage is not the only reason so many blacks supported Proposition 8. Although it has come as a shocking realization to many in this community, a host of sociological studies confirm that many blacks feel a significant aversion to homosexuality itself, finding it morally and sexually repugnant. And here in essence is the problem with the Democrats’ big tent, as well as the grounds for a wholly new kind of culture war that is probably going to make us long for the clear lines and simple enmities of the old one. The New Deal coalition was a mass movement based on building a more just economic and political order, embracing Protestant evangelicals and Catholic immigrants, segregationists and integrationists, radical left-wingers and unionized working men from the steel belt, all holding their noses with one hand and pulling the lever with the other. Many of us who voted for Mr. Obama want the same things that the New Dealers wanted; we aren’t trying to advance a cause as much as we want to regain so much lost ground.

Click here for more.

Now, what is interesting is that there is a group of progressive evangelicals who are worried about the protests against certain churches because they voted pro-Prop. 8.

Things are heating up!

Pace! B

Friday, December 5, 2008

Should We Get Married? It May Soon Be Possible in Carrboro, NC!

In my little hamlet of Carrboro, NC--the very same place that had one of the first out gay elected officials (Mike Nelson as Mayor), and claims to be the Paris of the Piedmont--the news around town is this: we could be a town that puts forth a resolution asking the legislature to allow same sex marriage. The resolution was passed unanimously. Click here for more.

The idea behind this resolution is to start a debate in the state of NC. What is awkward is that NC isn't ready to have such a discussion yet. We can't vote for a bill that outlaws bullying that includes LGBT youth.

But we have to start somewhere, and why not start the debate from my hometown!



Thursday, December 4, 2008


A group of 700 clergy of the Episcopal Church voted to create the Anglican Church of the U.S. It is a break, a schism, within the Episcopal Church in the U.S., and thus the world-wide Anglican communion:

From the Washington Post:

Conservatives from the Episcopal Church voted yesterday to form their own branch of Anglicanism in the United States and said they would seek new recognition in the worldwide church because of their growing disenchantment over the ordination of an openly gay bishop and other liberal developments.

In the past five years, a small but growing number of Episcopal parishes and dioceses have voted to leave the church, but yesterday's vote, at a meeting in Wheaton, Ill., represents the biggest split for Anglicans and presents a new challenge to U.S. church leaders and the denomination's world spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

The conservatives remain upset about the 2003 ordination of Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the role of female clergy, the church's definition of salvation and changes to the main book of prayer.

Click here for more.

The ripple effects will be felt by all Christians in all our denominations and gatherings, including those of us in the PCUSA, as well as UCC, UMC, ELCA, to name but a few. All of our churches are going to probably go through such a split, if it hasn't already.

History lesson: there was a similar split of people when it came to slavery in the US in the 19th century. Some churches, like the UMC and Southern Baptists, only made peace within its respective bodies in the latter part of the 20th century.

This is not a way of peace.

But this is what is true: God is moving in the church. And God moves in ways of love. That two people can find each other, and love each other, must drive some people absolutely crazy.



Gays...the Next Civil Rights Movement?

This has been bouncing around the blogs: are we who are LGBTQ the new civil rights movement?

This issue was in today's News and Observer, where there are parallels being drawn between LGBTQ people and the African American community, both outsiders to the majority: straight and white.

Click here for more.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

They Like Us! They Really Like Us!

To paraphrase Sally Field's winning an Oscar Award years ago, "They like us, they really like us!" According to GLAAD, there is wider/broader/deeper acceptance of LGBT people in society, whether we are marrying or serving in the military services:
  • Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition. (Gay and lesbian couples are able to marry in two states, and comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws exist in only five others and the District of Columbia.)
  • U.S. adults are now about evenly divided on whether they support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (47% favor to 49% oppose).
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults favor allowing openly gay military personnel to serve in the armed forces. (The current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law bans military service by openly gay personnel.)
  • About six in 10 (63%) U.S. adults favor expanding hate crime laws to cover gay and transgender people. (Hate crimes laws cover gay and transgender people in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and an additional - 20 states’ laws cover sexual orientation but not gender identity.)
  • A slight majority of U.S. adults (51%) favor protecting gay and transgender people under existing laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. (Existing non-discrimination laws cover gay and transgender people in only 12 states and the District of Columbia, and eight other states’ laws cover sexual orientation but not gender identity.)
  • Nearly seven out of 10 U.S. adults (69%) oppose laws that would ban qualified gay and lesbian couples from adopting children. (In several states, gay and lesbian couples are banned from adopting.)
Click here for more.

The reality is this: the more those of us who are LGBTQ are open and honest in our lives with others around us, the more we will be accepted for who we are: human beings created in the image of an incredible God!



Monday, December 1, 2008

World's AIDS Day

This is not an auspicious day in the life of the world: World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, is a day I would rather not have to live with anymore. It points to the need to continually raise consciousness about those who are living with or have died from HIV-AIDS, as well as those countries and programs that are making progress toward teaching people throughout the world about safe sex, getting tested, and making treatment for this chronic disease available to all.

Salon.com, nyt.com, towleroad.com...all of these websites have essays, articles, and news reports, telling people about what is happening in our world today in re: to HIV-AIDS.