Monday, December 22, 2008

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

I'm not gay, but I support the "gay agenda." I wonder, if you're only pushing one issue, do you have an agendum? If so, gay-bashing would seem a failed, Rovian political stratagem that should have receded along with the power of the bitch-slapped GOP after the last election, so that gays and lesbians might enter a new dawn of equal protection under the law. It would seem, that is, until two things happened; Proposition 8, an initiative banning same-sex marriage, passed in California; and Barack Obama invited one of the bill's primary advocates to deliver the invocation at his forthcoming inaugural. To paraphrase the Three 6 Mafia, "It's hard out here for a gay."

While the majority of the populous is preparing to celebrate their new president, homosexuals must endure the galling sight of Rick Warren, pastor of the ironically named Saddleback Church near Los Angeles, delivering the invocation. Warren is the author of the bestseller, "The Purpose Driven Life," which received a lot of press a couple of years ago after that woman in Georgia read it to a rapist-killer, and he decided, with the assistance of a little meth, to allow her to live. Warren's philosophy may work for outlaws, but Rachel Maddow has reported on the fine print, now removed, from the Saddleback Church's website that said homosexuals who were unrepentant of their gay lifestyle would not be welcomed as congregants. (Did you notice how I so delicately avoided saying "church members?") That's reminiscent of a country club that bans Jews, or putting up a sign that says, "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone," and Warren is supposed to be one of the newer thinking evangelists that believe that climate change and the AIDS scourge are worthy of Christian attention. I suppose that gays are the last minority at which you can still throw stones, even forty years after the 1969 New York Stonewall riots. Before that, police were allowed to rough up and toss someone in jail for being publicly gay. You haven't come a long way, baby.

We were discussing how downright sorrowful it is that in this year of societal evolution, gays should suffer such a setback that rights granted them by the power of the state, could be taken back by a fear-driven ballot initiative. Melody said that everyone knows that you are born gay, and this discrimination is like hating someone because they have green eyes. I answered, "Not exactly, we all know what's at the core of this hatred, and it is "the act." Melody replied, "If that's what it is, then you're spending way too much time thinking about something that's not your business." But if it's not the act, why is it that so many homophobes seem to have no problem with lesbianism, especially if the chicks are hot? Melody is correct. Someone is born gay or they're not. Who would ask for all that tsuris? We all knew gay children with whom we grew up, but in the immortal words of Chris Rock, "they just didn't have anyone to be gay with" yet.

Candidate Obama could be infuriating, even to his most ardent supporters, during the campaign when he refused to engage his detractors. Then, after he won the nomination by running to the left of Hillary Clinton, his sprint back to the center was rivaled only by Ussain Bolt. I understand what Obama is attempting to do with the Rick Warren invitation. He's trying to bridge a gap between himself and "people of faith" who didn't vote for him in the first place and never will. But aside from Rick Warren's public comparisons of homosexuality with incest and pedophilia, Barack Obama is playing politics with God. This Saddleback symbolism may pacify some, but it violates the human code of conscience which demands, "First, do no harm." Not even the benediction by the sainted Reverend Joseph Lowery can't gloss over this bit of "scratch my back" politics with the Evangelical Right. It's sort of like putting lipstick on a pig.

Obama defended his choice of Pastor Warren and added that the message of the campaign was to promote dialogue between differing groups. Barack added that he had been "a fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans," while simultaneously opposing gay marriage. With heterosexual marriages failing at the rate of one out of two, and the out-of-wedlock birth rate skyrocketing even while the stigma of unwed pregnancy fades as we watch the gestation of the Palin teen, shouldn't we, as a society, be encouraging long-term relationships between loving couples, even of the same sex? Wouldn't that dampen the sexual promiscuity that the fundamentalists so despise, and lower the risk of acquiring AIDS in homosexual men? For those who consider same-sex marriage a threat to the public good, others still believe in the pursuit of happiness and the redemptive power of love. I think either John Lennon or Jesus taught that, too.

In this festive season of goodwill toward men, that should include gay men and women as well. And in this time of political renewal and the promise of a more just society, I take President-elect Obama at his word that he will be a "fierce advocate," for the only dis-included group at his upcoming gala. I understand that gays will march in the inaugural parade, but at the risk of aggravating straights by acting-up. Their mere presence has already been unjustly illuminated. Mainstream society's delusion is that this Rip Taylor, gay caricature has been accepted to be the norm, rather than the low-keyed, respectable citizen working at the desk next to yours, who also happens to be gay. That is who I wish Obama had considered before extending the invitation to Rick Warren to utter the opening words of a new era. A far better choice for the invocation would have been the Reverend Al Green of Memphis. Reverend Green has made it abundantly clear through his ministry and his music that his major concerns are "Love and Happiness." It makes you want to moan for love. The constitutionality of Proposition 8 will yet be tested by the California Supreme Court, so Merry Christmas everybody, and fight the power.

26 comments:

ghg said...

Not sure what to make of the Warren pick. My usually fierce skepticism that has been so fast and easy seemed to fade when Obama gained his ascendancy. It's almost as though instead of figuring that what people in power said came from some basic ignorance that was fueled by their need for power above all else, I now think that I must be missing something when Obama makes a decision because I figure he knows more than I do about it, or sees something on the other side that I don't have the vision for.

Funny position to be in.
It's as though I don't want him to be short sighted, unimaginative, unintelligent, or driven by the underbelly so badly that I'm willing to disbelief his capacity for it. Maybe I should put his picture up above some small altar I'll have built in my meditation room and say a few oms to him every morning. I kid, but my desire for him to always strive for the most "right" has me pinned at present.

I'd like to hear what Warren's message is. Maybe he'll redeem himself and blindside us all.

Anonymous said...

What's this? Randy criticizing Obama? It must be a new day.

Anonymous said...

Randy, Randy, "Come On Over To My House For Some Cake & Candy".

gimme a break said...

ya'll are making too big a deal out of this. everybody can't be gay and everybody can't be straight.
And we know everyone will never be happy at the same time.
just wait and see how it all plays out.
everyone take a deep breath.

Anonymous said...

Gays are either born that way or are bent that way from some early childhood experiences. One thing for sure is that it is not a conscious choice. It's not a case where someone says, 'Let me see, what do I want to be sexually fixated on? Toothbrushes, fire hydrants, fingers? Hey! I think that I will choose to be turned on by penis'. Yeah, that's it! I am going to be a queer'. Nobody would choose such a difficult course in life, yet there are people in the church who believe this. How utterly unintelligent. It is a deeply subconscious phenomenon. I've often wondered why the church chooses to be so hard on gays and not on all of the other folks who have alternative sexual desires. Why not bash fetishists? Sometimes I get the feeling that the only sexual act that is acceptable to them is missionary sex (the male must always be on top or it is kinky) and that neither party should get too much 'into it'. Frisky sex may be sinful. They seem to have forgotten that penis' and vaginas were made by God as well as all the pleasurable sensations that go with sex. Distorted ideas about sex from the 'righteous' take numerous turns. I read about a religious zealot who wanted an ordinance passed that required all pets to wear panties when they are in public. Talk about perverted! My beef with the church is that they excoriate gays and yet are powerless to do anything on their behalf. Apparently all they offer is the advise to grit their teeth and abstain for a lifetime through sheer force of will. Good luck on that. Some churches claim that people can be 'delivered' from homosexual behavior, but don't seem to have a clue as to how to appropriate the power to do so. What good is that? Why are people so concerned about the sex trip of others? I think that the gays would do better if they weren't so in-your-face confrontational. Just do your thing in your own bedroom and let others do their's. As far as gay marriage is concerned, what's the big deal? They can have a ceremony, exchange vows and rings and live together. They can will their belongings to their mate. What's the big deal about having the state recognize it? Just go your own way and do your own thing. Screw those who point fingers and make judgments. As long as the de jure elements are not discriminatory and those who either attack gays or otherwise violate their constitutional rights are prosecuted then where is the problem? Someone once said that most people have a deep-seated need to have someone to look down on. Maybe that is the source of the problem.

Anonymous said...

It appears that one of Obama's missions is to unite people from various polarized camps. I think that this is what he had in mind when he asked Warren to participate in his inauguration. He had been asked to speak at Warren's church and now he is returning the favor. It takes tremendous political courage to do what one feels is right, especially if it flies in the face of one's political base. I didn't vote for Obama, but I admire him for doing what he feels is right and taking on the heat that is thrown his way by those who disagree. He is putting his money where his mouth is. This bespeaks of a man who is guided by principles and not political expediency. A new type of politician is what he proffered in his campaign and this is an example of what he meant. It is refreshing to see a politician whose behavior is driven by principles rather than by polls. Liberals tend to throw such tantrums if things don't go their way. If he keeps up with this kind of thing I will vote for him in 2012 even if I don't see eye to eye with him on some of the issues. A principled politician is as rare as hen's teeth and if I find one I will vote for him regardless of anything else. This is beside the point, but I hope that he makes a move to decriminalize marijuana. Talk about something that will require political courage. It is senseless that so many lives are wrecked over the indulgence in a relatively harmless weed. Too many people, including a disproportionate number of blacks are incarcerated for smoking pot and some sanity needs to be brought to bear on this issue. This is one thing that the Democrats can accomplish that would never even be considered by the Republicans. If the Democrats do well during their tenure in power I may become one. I never thought that I would even think this much less say it.

Mr. Natural said...

Think about this. Picture humanity as a pyramid. Apptitude, intelligence and overall wherewithal increase as you move toward the top. This means that relatively few of humanity have most of what it takes be a mover and shaker. Sure, a lot can be made up for by motivation, clean living, and hard work. But most of what it takes to succeed is concentrated at the top. When God passed out the goodies, I don't think that He intended for those at the top of the pyramid to horde it all on themselves. One of the things about love (God is Love, remember?) is a concern for those who need help toward the base of the pyramid. This is where most of humanity lives. Most people are not born with inordinate intelligence, apptitude, and wherewithal. I say all of this to say that it is apparent that God had in mind for those at the top to be more concerned for those at the bottom of humanity's pyramid. When everyone spends all of their wherewithal on themselves there will be a large number of people who lose out in the competition. My question is, who will love the unlovely, the stupid, the talentless? Do we say let them eat cake and forget about them? Did God have in mind for those with the most talent to indulge themselves and forget about those who struggle? I think not. This is the basis for policies of re-distribution of the wealth and it galls the selfish upper tier of humanity.

kimk said...

In the early 1970s there this heavily promoted glam-rocker Jobriath played at Overton Square. The record company put up this huge billboard of him naked and had him portrayed as even more of a flaming queen than David Bowie.

A pair of Memphis musicians opened for Jobriath and after they finished their set one of them announced the headliner by telling a joke. Wasn't real funny but you have to imagine the audience that the joke was aimed at. He said, "There's a rumor that Jobriath has never turned anyone down. Not true. It was a twelve year old boy once and Jobriath turned him face down."

That about right RJ?

Sputnik57 said...

Excellent commentary, ya'll. I'm surprised Mr. Natural actually agrees with me for a change. To kimk, yes, the Radiants opened for Jobriath at Godfathers in Overton Square, and it was memorably outrageous. And yes, that sounds like the sort of joke I might tell, only not on the microphone. I remember Fred Alfonso pacing the floor after Jobriath took the stage. Maybe that contributed to the club's burning.
Randy

Anonymous said...

Obama won the far left by building a rock-star style groupie network that shamelessly attacked any dissenters and forbade serious questions about his platform. The only thing that was allowed was praise and affirmation. Plenty of us were asking questions, but we were pummeled in the blogs like traitors. Now, they are telling telling us America is all better because the president is African American, and that is a "first". Never mind that he has back paddled as quickly as possible from essentially every major issue on which he won the support of the left, and all they have to console us with is that we are lucky that we have a Black man. Gee, thanks. That makes me feel so much better off.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Natural also thinks that drugs and prostitution should be legalized. There is no way to exercise control or to implement palliative measures when something is illegal. All you do is throw those who are involved in jail. Dope and sex have always been with us and will continue to be with us. I won't reiterate all of the reasons why legalization is a good idea. I only say this so that Randy can see that we probably have even more in common. I just hope that you can swallow some of my more conservative leanings. Actually, I am neither conservative or liberal. I am a mix of both (libertarian, actually) and it seems to me that when a person is all one way or the other he is catering to a party line. I say fuck the party and the party line and have some independent thoughts on matters. Besides, it keeps people guessing. Just when they think that they have you pidgeon-holed you blow their minds. Like asking the participants at a Bible study that I have just led if any of them would like to try some good Thai stick. I mean why not? They probably wouldn't object to my offering them a glass of wine. They both alter consciousness. The only difference is that moderate us of pot is better for your health. Turning them on to this can be a form of ministry, especially if any of them tend to drink too much.

Mr. Natural said...

I f-ed up on my name on the last post...non compos mentis, I guess. Forgive me.

Mr. Natural said...

One more thing about the re-distribution of wealth issue. What I said before is true, but lots of folks have misgivings about the role that government plays in the process of re-distribution. Many people who gripe about the issue probably wouldn't if they had any confidence in the government. Our government is so stupid, inept,ineffectual, wasteful, etc., etc. that I understand their resistance to the idea. I, for one, would rather see churches and synagogues be placed in charge of the actual re-distribution. I say this as a caveat to my sympathy for the neglected masses. In theory only a scrooge could be against improving the lives of others through sharing. In practice they may be reluctant because the sharing mechanism is flawed. Unfortunately, the government (and Wall St.) is mostly run by crooks. The government is run by stupid crooks while Wall St. is run by smart crooks. That's the only difference. And bear in mind that these are the folks at the top of the pyramid. I hope that Obama can do something about this, but I doubt it. Apparently, all governments through the ages have been and are crooked and wasteful (and, usually oppressive). However, I guess I would prefer to be screwed by a crooked and inept American government than a crooked and inept Russian, Iranian, or Chinese government. Does that make me patriotic?

Anonymous said...

This is just what I expected. Survey results were released that said that conservatives outgive liberals by an average of 30%, and that conservatives also volunteer more and give more blood than liberals. Also, it was found that Joe Biden has donated less than $1000 to charity over a 10 year period and I guess everyone has heard that it was found that uber-liberal Al Gore had donated less that $600 the year that he ran for president to charity. I thought that conservatives were supposed to be the stingy and mean spirited ones. What's up with this my lazy, stingy liberal friends?

Anonymous said...

I remember the disclosure that Gore had only given $600 to charity the year that he ran for office. I was stunned because he makes so much money and is so liberal. The year that this happened I had given about $6000 to charity and I only made $50+K that year. I am considered to be pretty conservative, too. It really brought home to me liberal hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Gore's situation reminds me of the saying that liberals are people who want to do compassionate things with other people's money. This is one of the truest sayings that I know of. I guess that the results of the survey that was mentioned gives creedence to this.

Father Farken said...

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkuh to all & to that witch that flicked me off on the NJ Parkway...a blessed winter solsice. I came across Rick Warren in a round-a-bout way. Rabbi Lipschitz sent me some interesting books by Dr. Ron Wolfson-Professor & Spiritual Director @ The University of Judaism in LA & cofounder of Synagogue 3000. Randy! You may know his uncle ...the blues singing rabbi from the early days @ Sun Records(or his later London Sessons) HOWLING WOLFSON! Dr.Wolfson quotes Warren quite a bit in G*d's To Do List! 103 ways to be an angel & do G*d's work on Earth! You are G*d's partner put on this earth to make small & great differerences in the lives of others & find the ultimate source of meaning for your own. According to Wolfson, Warren ain't bad for a SB...Southern Baptist! He wants everybody to know that everyone has a profound purpose in this world & to get a cracking! Of course my friend Shecky Kierkegaard McGirk sez he discovered his purpose when he was about 12 yrs. old...he was all by himself...You know it's crazy Shecky has been purpose-driven ever since! He needs our prayers! I don't agree with Warren on everything but the fellow's heart is as big as he is. The man (like the Farken) sure likes his groceries. Warren has been doing some praise worthy work in Rwanda before it was fashionable. 90% of the proceeds from his books go to alleviate poverty & combat AIDS in that country. I'm sure Rachael Medows is concerned about Warren's focus on abstinence & monogamy rather than the distribution of the magic condoms. Never the less he is making quite an impact in the name of love while old libs & neocons bitch & moan! And like Randy & the Rev Al Green I do think the the fat boy from Saddleback moans for love for the whole wide world! Sure I was hurt that another president has passed me by for the Invocation but let's get back onboard for the O-TRAIN ...Obama is prpose driven! And if I ever get the Father Farken Purpose Driven Bar & Grille Open ...You are all invited!The Peace of the Lord! FrFerghusFarken

Shecky Kierkegaard McGirk said...

WHAT'S ALL THE HOOPLA? MY WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A SAME SOX MARRIAGE FOR OVER 20 YEARS! WE SHARE THIS ONE BIG ASS DRAWER OF SOX AND WE ARE ATTRACTED TO THE SAME EXACT SOX. ITS THAT SIMPLE! SOME TIMES OUR SOX CAN BE DIRTY...EVEN ROUGH BUT FOR US THERE IS NOT SUCH A THING AS BAD SOX! WE DO NOT SHARE SOX WITH ANY ONE ELSE! NOW I MUST GO AND PUT MY PRESENT UNDER MY WIFE'S BUSH! Got to keep the candles burning! HAPPY CHANNUKUH! SHECKY

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered why homosexuality is the church's most villified sin. It seems to be number one. What about the sin of divorce? The church has as many divorces as the larger society. Or how about extra-marital sex? Studies show that there is not much difference between the church and the rest of society when it comes to this. No one seemed to care that Palin's daughter got pregnant through extra-marital sex, but if her daughter had been gay there would probably have been marching in the streets to protest her sinfulness. I say this to say that the church is selective in regard to the sinners that they choose to bash. It has been said that we tend to be more forgiving of our own sins than the sins of others and I think that this certainly applies here. If the members of the church are guilty of a particular sin (with the exception of homosexulaity) they seem to get a pass, at least relatively speaking. Judgmentalism and hatred are also supposed to be sins, but the church seems to condone these at least when it comes to homosexuality. Why does the church hold homosexuality as an especially despicable sin and let many of the others slide? What about Christian men who like anal sex with their wives? Or have their wives dress up like Bo Peep and throw vegetables at them in order to 'get off'? Do they get a pass?

SIREEN said...

Dear Shecky (who is no) Kierkegaard McGirk! You are disgusting with all your Freudian slipage, sexual inuindoes & stupid ass sophmoric humor! Acting as if you have come out of the closit because of some kind of same sox attraction is just pathetic! You need more than some kind of Oral Roberts healing on what's left of your big old noggen. You need to see Dr. Anal Roberts, the Freudian Psycholigist, to put you away in some sort of rubber room for the protection of what is left of the human race. And as my mama said ...IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SEX...YOU JUST AINT GETTING NONE! And Randy...of course you are not gay but to embrace the gay agenda! Are you crazy? I say love everybody & the hell with all that baggage they call their agenda. And everybody is an expert on homosexuality. The way I see it...Some may be born that way! Some may experience life situations that bring them there, Some might make choices that way! Hell some might just be sucked into it! Whatever! But all are created in the image of God and need our acceptance & respect...but the hell with all that here is what you are going to do list because I am a flaming special needs homosexual project! Give me a break! Some one has to stand up to all the Heterophobia running around our society today! There! I said it! Thank you Jesus!
Yours Truly! SIREEN

Anonymous said...

Well, Jimmy Swaggart liked to have prostitutes lash him with his neck ties and call him nasty names. His church gave him another chance, which he subsequently blew. But, if he had been gay there would have been no second chance. He would have been shipped off to the gulag. So, I guess that answers your question.

Father Farken said...

As a man who happens to be a priest I consider myself at best a recovering chauvinistic piglet. As a southern caucasian good ol' boy I am a recovering racist.
As an all American pro life straight person ...a recovering heterosexist. To woman, people of color, lesbyterians & gays, I am deeply grateful for stretching my mind, deepening my heart, & convincing my soul that no human being should ever be patient with bigotry, prejudide & narrow mindedness at the expense of its victims. Prejudice disfigures the observer, not the person observed. Shouldn't a relationship be judged by its inner worth (kindness, understanding,affection as well as desire) rather than its outer appearance? Me? I am just an ol' chunk of coal...an eunick for the Lord! But like you I am going to be a diamond someday (Shavers). The love of G*d is so much larger than our sins, mistakes & misunderstandings...orientations. As Augustan sez! Surrender all to the unlimited love of G*d & do what ever you want! The kicker is if you do what Augustan says all selfishness will be removed! The Peace of the Lord!
Father Farken

Anonymous said...

Huh?

Father Farken said...

FATHER FARKEN SEZ... To Anon.12/29/08-9:33AM
Hunh? I seem to have that effect on people. A person walked right out of the middle of my Christmas sermon. His wife assured me that he wasn't upset with the sermon..rather he was sleep walking. Allz I been trying to say is let's make room for the President-Elect's choice Rick Warren to pray the invocation at the inauguration lest we be guillty of right wing Christian bashing & let's make room for brothers & sisters from another orientation lest we be guilty of left wing gay bashing. Hell! now I am confused. The peace of the Lord! FATHER FARKEN

Anonymous said...

Father Farken, that is cool. I have been suggesting for some time that there be a little bit of balance in this blog. I guess you will have to be the one to provide it.

Anonymous said...

I think Kinky Friedman had it right. When asked if he was ok with gay marriage he said,"sure, why shouldn't they be as miserable as the rest of us"