Category Archives: Homophobia

Bryan Fischer Wins the Comstock Award (again)

fischer

Bryan F Bloviating Into the Ether

Bryan Fischer, president of the American Family Association, has won the Anthony Comstock Award for Priggery again. The award, in memory of the famous man of morals, Anthony Comstock, salutes self-righteousness and superiority assumed without any basis by people whose true happiness comes from creating problems, pain, and suffering for others. Comstock (1844-1915) famously

Anthony Comstock in his prime.

Anthony Comstock in his prime.

began his moral crusade by complaining to his superior officers during the Civil War that other soldiers were using profane language. Naturally, there was no reason for the use of filthy language, considering that the troops were engaged in a filthy war in filthy surroundings, doing filthy things to filthy other men. Why would they even consider cursing?

The reason Fischer received the award is his moving statement on his radio program today declaring the fight against homosexuality to be the defining battle of our time. Notice that he doesn’t focus solely on same-sex marriage, but goes for the whole magillah. I’ll tell you it was a big surprise to me because I thought we had left the battle against homosexuality way behind us, like when most of the country said, “Yeah, so you’re gay. So???” But not for Fischer. It is his calling to drive all those gays back into the closet where they belong.

I admit it felt strangely empowering to have him put us all in the group he calls ‘Big Gay’, like we belong with Big Oil and Big Business. But maybe it’s just me, because Fischer says that every time Big Gay gains ground (say, like, when courts interpret the law against discrimination against us correctly) Jesus is forced “into retreat.” Wow, the strength we have! I had no idea that the lesbian and gay push for marriage equality was anti-Jesus, or anti-Yahweh, or anti-Mohammed. I thought it was a demand for the same rights that Comstock and Fischer enjoyed just by being born.

Fischer did say, though, that if the “forces of sexual normalcy” (can’t wait to see what their uniforms look like) prevailed, America would be returned to that “shining beacon of morality and decency for the entire world.” Whew! At least there’s a way out. But–there’s always a but–if the “forces of sexual deviancy” (now those will be some dynamite uniforms) prevail, “every part of our culture is going to be corrupted, it will be contaminated beyond repair, and America…will plunge the world into a moral abyss of darkness and depravity.” OMG! Really?

What is ironic in what these holier-than-thou reformers spew on the airways and in meetings around the country and beyond is that they’re right. If something doesn’t change, if people don’t fight the good fight, our culture will be degraded, it will be despoiled, and we will pitch headlong into a new dark age. But it’s not because of gays and lesbians’ existing in this country. It would be because of the narrow, sanctimonious, misguided moralistic views of crazy Christians like Bryan Fischer, who wouldn’t recognize Jesus if he came back and spoke to him directly.

See, here’s the thing. These religious fanatics would have us deny science, believe without proof of any kind, and leave the governing of our country up to them. As you can see by the breadth of legislation passed by members of the Tea Party, who embody this religious fanaticism, the country is essentially running in place. Oh, except for Obamacare, where people are getting insurance they couldn’t get before, and things like the Lily Ledbetter Act that empower women to demand the same pay as men for equal work. And the winding down of two unnecessary wars. Yeah, except for things like that, the far religious right has done shit-all in moving this country forward. I’m figuring that’s because they want to move this country backward and, at least for now, keeping it from moving at all is good enough.

Fischer and his ilk have got their linens in a lump because the world isn’t the same as the one they remember so fondly, when they ‘had it all’, so to say. When men could treat women as their property and take their marriage rights when and where they wanted them, when there weren’t many uppity blacks who didn’t know their place, when fags and dykes stayed as hidden as possible, when the poor were that way because they were lazy-that’s what he misses, and that’s what drives him to his extreme, unsupportable positions. He’s going to have a cow when the United States Supreme Court declares that the right to marry belongs to all Americans. But he has Plan B. I’m sure he’s already booked a flight to Uganda, where he can feel right at home.

Sorry he couldn’t be here in person to pick it up, but I am honored to present the Comstock Award to Bryan Fischer. (I hope he understands the symbolism.)

The Anthony Comstock Award for Breathtaking Stupidity

The Anthony Comstock Award for Priggery

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McCarthy Redux

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been said to have been a brilliant student at Harvard Law School. But it is hard to reconcile that successful law school experience with the arrogance he has demonstrated, the preposterous claims he has made, and the outrageous policies he espouses. Take, for example, that 2010 speech he made in which

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

he alleged that there were 12 communists on the faculty of the law school. Yes, he was that specific: there were 12. And he knew who they were. Sort of. More like he knew who he thought were communists. It was the type of accusation made by that paradigm of virtue, Senator Joe McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), in the early 1950s, when he was getting on a role, the world felt an incredibly dangerous place, and people were building fallout shelters in their backyards because they thought nuclear war with the USSR was imminent. The same Joe McCarthy who averred he had a list of 205 communists working in the US State Department, but who never produced his list of names.

In response to such a scurrilous allegation, the late Senator William J. Fulbright (D-Arkansas) said, “The junior senator from Wisconsin, by his reckless charges, has so preyed upon the fears and hatreds and prejudices of the American people that he has started a prairie fire which neither he nor anyone else may be able to control.” The junior senator from Texas has now entered that same arena, and it seems likely that he has no idea that his words could start a fire even more devastating than McCarthy’s. It is probably useless to point out to Cruz that there are no communists on the Harvard Law faculty, and that law faculties tend to have professors who could be described as ‘left-leaning.’ It is the nature of academics that liberals gravitate to it while conservatives tend to enter businesses. Fortunately, the New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer called him out on this, yet even then his spokesperson insisted that Cruz was speaking the truth. Hardly.

Where else does he go off the rails. Well, given where the country is in the same-sex marriage debate, with a majority of millenials wondering why there’s such fuss about it, Cruz had something to say about Dallas’s mayor marching twice in gay pride parades: “When a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that’s a statement and it’s not a statement I agree with.” Ok, homophobic. Check.

Or course, is against abortion. Very Christian. Neanderthal.

Joe McCarthy had a good run. He was born into a devoutly Catholic family. (There seems to be a high correlation between devout Christianity and outrageous politics, but more on that when I write about His Emptiness, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.) He was originally a Democrat but lost his first election, so he switched to the Republican party. He was elected judge of the 10th judicial circuit in Wisconsin in 1939, publishing slanderous materials about his opponent. After serving in the US Marines in World War II, he ran against Robert M. La Follette in 1946, where he accused La Follette of making a profit from the war and failing to join the military to fight. In fact, La Follette bought a radio station with a slim profit margin and was too old to join the military, but those truths meant nothing to McCarthy. He won, showing just how bad a job the American public does sorting out truth from fiction. On his first day in Congress, he called a press conference to give his views on how to end a coal miners’ strike then in full swing. (Does that arrogance sound familiar?)

He went along for a few year, failing to capture the nation’s attention. But then an investigation started into allegations that he had taken bribes from the Pepsi-Cola corporation. If proved, he might have been expelled from the Senate. He consulted with his closest advisors, which included a Catholic priest, who advised hi

Joe McCarthy - Colorized

Joe McCarthy – Colorized (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

m to begin a campaign to rid the government of communists. On February 9, 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, he held up that infamous piece of paper that he said contained the names of communists working for the government. It must have been then that he realized he could soar on slander and innuendo. He ran for the senate seat of the senator who investigated his allegations of communists in the woodwork and won. By that point senators were afraid of him and he continued his outrageous demagoguery.

What did him in was television. He took on the US Army in an investigation of undesirables and it was televised. People of all stripes could finally see what a bully he was, and how he offered no proof for his shocking claims. Harry Truman said of him, “This is the first time in my experience, and I was ten years in the Senate, that I ever heard of a Senator trying to discredit his own Government before the world….” The most dramatic remonstrance was Joseph Welch‘s comment to McCarthy after the senator was ripping into a witness: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

McCarthy was finally censured by the Senate for his behavior. He died of acute hepatitis brought on by alcoholism in 1957.

Do you seen the similarities between Senator Cruz and Senator McCarthy? What can be expected is that Cruz will eventually go too far. He has already alienated most members of the Senate. No one likes him. But he doesn’t seem to care, and like Joe McCarthy goes blithely on stating absurdities and horrendous policies. He will crash and burn, but not before much collateral damage is done. Reasonable people can only hope that his time on the national stage is short.

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What, Exactly, Do Republicans Believe?

I believe the results from the election this year are in and President Obama won, while the Democrats picked up some seats in the senate and house. I’d say I was certain in that belief, but many of the members of the opposition are simply not. These poor deluded members of our body politic think the election was stolen! Talk about sore losers.

English: Savonarola monument, Ferrara.

English: Savonarola monument, Ferrara. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I will grant you that, when you offer an incredibly weak, tone-deaf, Teflon-like candidate and pair him with a partner who would make Savonarola look good, and when you approve a platform (that is, a list of ideas and policies that you as a party believe in) that overtly tells gays, women, and undocumented immigrants that they are lesser than you, it’s likely that you would also be so moronic as to believe the loss was all due to machinations by the other side. Really, you give stupidity an entirely new depth of meaning.

Ever since Newt changed the goal from governing to winning, gaining seats and power has been the GOP’s pole star. So I see how much this election, the one that Mitch McGoniff insisted he would deny to the president, must mean to you. And the only response you can come up with is to promise to destroy the sandbox you’re playing in if the Democrats don’t give in to your demands.

This is where I’m in a quandary. I’m assuming your demands reflect what you believe in. So it’s safe to say you do not want to raise taxes on the rich. After all, you took a solemn pledge to St. Grover that you would never, ever, ever, even consider it. Why, I wonder? Who is this schoolyard bully who forced you to take this ridiculous pledge? And what would possibly happen to you if you broke that promise? Would the sky fall? Would the earth cease to spin? I’m sure you think it’s much more personal than that. You might have to face a virulent primary opponent, one more anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-global warming, and anti-government than even you are. But what if all of you decided to shove the pledge where the sun doesn’t shine? What might happen then?

Ok, so I get you want to protect the rich. But there must  be more, because you don’t give a shit about the middle class, and let’s not even talk about the poor. I have decided that you have a biased view of humanity in general. Since you have always been the party of business, I assume you think like many businessmen do. That is, you never believe that your employees are giving you the work you’re paying for, you always think they’re screwing you up the wazoo, and it’s clear to you that they want to take you for all you’re worth. Ok, ok, I know there are still some old Fezziwigs out there who truly care about their workers and their businesses, but the majority of you have joined the firm of Scrooge & Marley. It’s profits, profits, profits–that’s the bottom line. Workers are just interchangeable parts. No need to worry about them.

So you want to cater to the rich and not give a damn about middle class workers. As for the poor, I would bet a million that you think they are in the regrettable position they are because they are lazy, shiftless, no-account loafers, alcohol and drug abusers who want to rip off government the same way your workers rip you off. They’ve got no ambition and they are stupid, to boot. So why bother with them?

“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast. Harper’s Weekly, January 19, 1870. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, it’s becoming clearer. Protect the wealthy, barely tolerate the middle class working population, let the poor die by the wayside. “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” We sure have a hell of a lot of the former, so Ebenezer would feel pretty good about that. But what about those other odious groups? Women, for example. Well, we know you don’t want to pay a cent of public money towards women’s health care and you will never forgive the Supreme Court for its finding in Roe v. Wade. By the way, really nice to see how many fat, happy, white Republicans you picked for committee heads recently. What is it about women you’re afraid of? Must be something big.

There’s no question you still carry the seeds of racism within you. The blacks who join your cause are extremist to the core. As for the rest of the country’s blacks, you’re happy developing laws to ‘prevent voter fraud’ (ain’t happening, guys!) or, as it should be called, resurrected poll taxes. And you  have just about assured your party that the largest demographic of voters, Latinos, will not vote for you again. That leaves only the gays, and you certainly don’t want to offer them a seat at the table. They’d destroy your happy marriages, wouldn’t they?

So what we’ve got is a pro-rich, anti-middle class, anti-poor, anti-black, anti-women, anti-Latino, anti-gay party who is wondering where the hell they went wrong. And I saved the most nonsensical anti- for last. This party is anti-government. Yep, if elected they would move heaven and earth to dissemble the government. We’ve seen it countless times. John Bolton appointed as UN ambassador even though he hates the idea of a United Nations, congressmen like Todd Akins and Richard Mourdock with a dearth of science knowledge on the science and technology committee.

This has got to stop. The best thing for this country would be for the GOP to implode upon itself, like communism did in the old USSR. Let a new party arise, one interested in governing and happy to deal with facts and problems common to us all. That’s what I’ve got on my Xmas list this year!

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Gabby Cathy

Chick-Fil-A chicken strips

Chick-Fil-A chicken strips (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, waded hip-deep into the same-sex marriage debate on a recent radio show when he said “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Cathy’s religious convictions are well known, since no Chick-Fil-A store is open on Sunday. And same-sex marriage is still considered ripe to criticize, unlike miscegenation (destroyed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia in the late 1960s). Some day, Cathy’s comments will be seen for what they are: bigoted, biased, and archaic.

There have been swift denunciations of his stance. Boston’s Mayor Tom Manino wrote a scathing letter, agreeing he has the right to his opinion but suggesting that Chick-Fil-A had a snowflake’s chance in hell of opening in his town. The same goes for the councilman from Philadelphia. Their reactions are pretty much what you’d expect in a time when gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered folks are no longer unknown to the general public, when positive gay characters show up regularly on TV (an absolute imperative if we are to gain acceptance), and when some states do, indeed, allow same-sex marriage without the government or infrastructure falling apart.

Whenever something obscene or outrageous takes place in this country, one of our knee-jerk reactions is to ignore the rule of law and take matters into our own hands. But of course, that isn’t the way to deal with Mr. Cathy and his company. Boycott Chick-Fil-A if you are able to. That’s a positive way of showing your displeasure. Tell all your friends what a reactionary Cathy is. Think deeply about how organized religion fosters such bizarre thinking, and then think about ditching it for something more rational.

Protest outside Chick-Fil-A stores. Legally, of course. Make your point that way. But realize you will never change Cathy’s mind about what god has in mind for gays. (The answer is nothing, since there isn’t any god, but that’s for other posts to consider.) You can, however, change his revenue stream, by dissing the fast food operation every chance you get. Write letters to the editor, make it the subject of your blog posts (as I am doing right now) and alert everyone you know about the bigotry behind the chicken.

Someday in the not-too-distant future, this will be remembered as the minor event that it is. But for now, stand up and let Cathy know that you’re offended by his antediluvian statements. Tell him god told to you do it.

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The Devil is the Catholic Church

His Emptiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has named a new archbishop for San Francisco, Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone. What makes this an unerringly unfit appointment is Cordileone’s militant homophobia. He was instrumental in orchestrating the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage in California, and he is also one of only 18 prelates who have signed something called the Manhattan Declaration, a pledge to protect “the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty,” even if doing so means violating the law.

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what has Benedict done? Installed one of the most prominent anti-gay Catholic officials in the United States in one of the gayest cities in the 50 states. If that isn’t a slap in the fact to gays and lesbians, then it is one of the most ignorant actions a pope has taken in some time. It is clear the Church intends to continue to make life more difficult–if it can, and that’s questionable–for gays who still believe in the pablum the Church calls its magisterium, its teaching authority.

The Church hierarchy has, for centuries, declaimed same sex attraction as a sin. That is true even though homosexuality was rampant in the religious orders of both genders. They still cling to the damnable lie that gay sex is wrong. But they have let go of the other sins in the Old Testament, like killing witches (“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:27) or trimming your beard (“Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Leviticus 19:27).

The Catholic Church pursues this issue even though nothing in the New Testament indicates that Jesus had anything to say against gay men and women. That might be because the whole concept of sexuality was different in those times. The term ‘homosexuality’ was not even coined until the late 19th century. And still they persist.

While the Church avers that homosexual acts are the devil’s work, the truth is just the opposite. It is the Church that is the devil, pursuing what may be its final quarry because they have lost so much ground on the tenets of their faith. Very few Catholics in the US pay attention to the Church’s pronouncements. And why should they? The rantings of the old men in the Curia and an octogenarian pope who have never had sex (at least, that’s what they tell us!) have no relevance to the rest of us.

If you think about the issue of religion long and hard, and especially about Christianity, you will reach the point where you stop believing in god. And if there is no god, then all of the other crap churches, mosques, and synagogues have been broadcasting means absolutely nothing. The Catholic Church is now one of the enemies of progress, but unlike in the Middle Ages, when it had real power, it is a shadow of its former self. Benedict himself has proposed a smaller church with more hardcore believers, and the smaller the better.

For my brothers and sisters who still cling to the fantasy that is religion and are willing to suffer abuse and discrimination in this life in the hope of having an eternity of joy in heaven, I have two words for you: Stop It! It is bunk!

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