In a country that doesn't (officially) recognize state-sponsored religion, whose Constitution says "all men are created equal," where bigotry and bias are abhorred — why do otherwise intelligent and sensitive people feel they can engage in hate speech against gay people?

Despite tenets such as [More...]



We're seeking other writers who would like to monitor news reports and file their discoveries and perspectives here. If you're interested, click here to send an e-mail.



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Holy Matrimony! According To Donald Wildmon's "Logic," Homosexual Marriage Is Now Legal In All 50 States

I know I spend a lot of time writing about ignorant hypocrites. I honestly just tackle what comes my way. Tomorrow, however, I'll be writing about a pretty cool guy (who just happens to be heterosexual) doing a really cool thing. That's a nice thing to hold until Sunday.

Today is Saturday, though, and I thought you'd appreciate a good laugh. Yup — it's Donny Wildmon and the AFA again. I swear he's trying to put together enough material to publish his own version of the series, "Letters From A Nut."

Sometimes the AFA e-mails escape my attention when they first arrive. Oh, I read them eventually — but a lot of time I have more important things to do from moment to moment than read the lies and delusions of a righteous, misguided holy roller. Such is the case with the note below. It came a few weeks ago, about the time the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" was going down in defeat, and has lingered in my "in" box.

But I truly believe God works in mysterious ways. Had I read this a few weeks ago, it might not have seemed as laughable. I might have taken some of it seriously enough to warrant a serious response. But now, weeks after the embarrasing outcome of the debate of Wildmon's pet issue, I'm in the enviable position to post it as some grade-A comic material.

Nevermind the fact that Wildmon employs such overblown hyperbole and overstated threats it would make a third grade writing teacher cringe; instead, focus on what he warns will happen if the measure goes down in defeat. Knowing that's exactly what did happen, lie back and wait for a better day to come for us all — it will be soon!, according to Donny — and think about what he must have felt when he heard the results.

May 28, 2006

Activist Judge Overturns Marriage Laws; Homosexual Marriage Now Legal In All 50 States

...How would you like to wake up one morning and learn that the above headline was the top story in every newspaper in America? That hasn't happened — YET! But gradually, little by little, that is where we are headed. A similar headline will appear in your paper soon unless enough people send a message to their U.S. Senators!

The vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment (sponsored by Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado), making marriage legal only between one man and one woman, is scheduled for a vote in the Senate June 6.

...How has a small minority of less that 2% been able to force this on the American public? One reason is that those who believe in traditional marriage have been silent.

Some Senators feel they are safe voting against the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) by confusing their constituents with a lot of political double talk. Regardless of the political double-talk, remember this: If a Senator votes against the MPA, he or she is in reality voting for homosexual marriage.

Your Senators need to hear from you today! Tell them you want them to vote for the MPA. Let them know that if they refuse to do so you will remember it when election time comes. That is tough language, but the homosexual grip on some Senators is so strong that that is the only language some understand.

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

Poor, Donny: So alone, powerless and scared. My heart really goes out to him. If only he'd push his ego aside for one moment and really listen to what God is trying to tell him. He's in my prayers. Honestly — he is.

But he won't ever be moved to do that until he stops lying to himself and his flock. "Less than two percent"? C'mon, Donny, you can't really believe you know better than what most educated people believe and prominent researchers have found. When you tell distortions like this, you don't instill faith in what you're preaching — to anyone. Besides, equality is equality, whether it pertains to a million people or a handful. We don't accord equal rights in this country by "majority rules." If we did, I have a feeling enough folks would step up to squealch your perogative to disseminate such poorly-constructed, simple-minded, easily-refuted arguments. You're kind of a pain in the ass, and I know a lot of people would favor the passage of a "Protection From Pains In The Ass" Amendment.

(By the way, can anyone tell me what the "homosexual grip" is? Does it cause serious sneezing and uncontrollable coughing? You'd think senators would be pushing for a vaccine for this.)

Fun With Forms: Donny Wildmon Takes On The Governor of Maryland; Success Improbable

Donald Wildmon is kind of thick. Until he starts developing a different line, the ways he tries to encourage fair-minded people to be more discriminatory and intolerant are going to continue to be met with laughter and a "this dude is really kind of thick."

In today's missive to his sheeple, Wildmon, who is self-appointed chairman of the self-created American "Family" Association, is up in arms because the governor of Maryland fired someone for publicly expressing views hostile to gays and lesbians.

I don't want anyone to believe I think this is anything less than a sticky episode. I think people should be allowed to express what they believe. It opens a door for more enlightened people to show them where their beliefs are faulty and how they are using their religion as an excuse to remain small-minded. And, the First Amendment allows us the freedom to express ourselves — and it doesn't say we always have to be right. By firing this employee, maybe the governor missed an opportunity to educate him.

On the other hand, the employee serves at the will of the governor in a position in which he determines policy for all citizens. His viewpoints indicates he probably is not motivated to provide service to all his constituents in an equal, fair manner — even those who happen to be gay. It's akin to the current argument well-rooted Americans are making: If your religious views won't allow you to dispense any medications to all your customers, then you shouldn't accept a job being a pharmacist in a place where you'll be expected to do just that (but that's a topic for a different day).

Still, I could potentially see merit in Wildmon's crusade du jour — if he stuck to the point and made it an issue about freedom of expression. But then he sends out an e-mail that mis-states the situation, exaggerates the governor's words and stance and the gravity of his action and, most notably, uses a poor argument to get his point across — and suddenly I'm believing one hundred percent that the governor did the right thing. Way to go, Donny! Way to change hearts and minds!

(Note to anyone who wants to see religion enter into and influence more of our public discussions — a notion I am not entirely against — within reason: If this man has taken up the pulpit to be your most prominent spokesman, I suggest you distance yourself from him A.S.A.P. — or at least force him to take an introductory logic course.)

So, on to the form that Wildmon wrote out for me to click and send:

I'm sorry to learn of your intolerant attitude toward those who hold different views from you concerning homosexuality and homosexual marriage.

I find it strange that you say your administration promotes tolerance, but is intolerant to those who hold different views.

I ask that Mr. Smith be re-instated in his position on the Metro board and be allowed to express his personal views just as you allow those who hold a different view of homosexual behavior to express their views.

And here's what actually went to the governor's office:

Dear Governor Ehrlich,

I'm concerned you might get notes such as the one (above) and mistakenly think they are an actual reflection of what fair-minded, kind Americans believe. In fact, the American Family Association is orchestrating a campaign to bully you into being less tolerant and enlightened than you are.

What concerns me the most is that, to arouse their "members," the AFA sent an e-mail that twists your words around, attributing sentiments to you that are overboard and not an accurate reflection of your stance. It would be one thing to relay the facts and encourage folks to have an opinion about this issue. It's another to lie to and manipulate people in pursuit of some heavy-handed end. Despite the AFA's self-proclaimed virtue, this behavior doesn't seem Christian at all.

Regardless, I applaud your recent action and stand with you in standing firm against those who use their religions as an excuse to be anything less than loving, understanding and compassionate human beings.

Macy's Apologizes, Reaffirms Commitment to GLBT Community

I knew the fat lady hadn't sung about this whole affair yet. Well, she's belting it out now — and it's a requiem for MassResistance. That's the name of the radically intolerant fringe group of mAssholes I wrote about on Wednesday — the ones who were boasting they organized an effort forcing Macy's to take down a window display of two male mannequins in front of a Gay Pride schedule.

It seems the group's impact on the entire episode was only a charade — enormously inflated and grossly overstated.

Macy's has issued an apology to the gay community because of what they call a "mistake" and has reaffirmed its commitment to gay and lesbian concerns.

From the letter of apology from Macy's East Chairman & CEO Ron Klein:

To the Members of the GLBT Community:

...First, let me stress that Macy's commitment to diversity and to the GLBT community is unwavering. Our history is rooted in inclusiveness, and it is a core principle of Macy's.

I do recognize, however, that during Boston Pride Week, our actions did not appear to support that commitment. Every one of us in the Macy's family sincerely regrets that what we had genuinely intended to be a celebration of Gay Pride Week became the center of a controversy.

For many years, our company has dedicated a window in our Downtown Crossing store in Boston to Pride Week, and we did so enthusiastically again this year.

When the controversy arose over the content of our display, the decision was made to maintain the display with no changes. We wanted to stand firm in our support of Boston Pride Week and the GLBT community — just as we always have.

Unfortunately, as sometimes happens in large organizations, a miscommunication occurred and the controversial mannequins were removed. Again, they were not removed because of pressure — but because of an internal breakdown in communication. Macy's mistake — unquestionably.

Some can also call our decision not to return the mannequins to the window a mistake. Historically, our windows dedicated to causes and celebrations have always been executed through the use of text and props such as posters. We traditionally do not feature mannequins in these "community windows" because the introduction of merchandise has no role in our tributes.

I would ask the GLBT community to consider all that we did do — and have done — for Pride Week and the GLBT community. We did feature the Pride Week calendar of events in our window; we have done so for many years and are committed to doing so in the future. We hope the GLBT community will look past one element in a window display and recognize the exemplary record Macy's has in support of diversity and the GLBT community. We are one of the most supportive companies in the country to our GLBT employees, including many members of senior management, as well as, vendors, and customers. Our annual support of Pride Week in Boston and in other cities across the country should clearly demonstrate our commitment.

Am I regretful that Macy's made a mis-step in this instance? Yes. I am also regretful that some may question our commitment to the GLBT community based on this incident.

However, I am hopeful that Macy's long track record of support for inclusion and diversity will be remembered by the GLBT community and will be a strong counterbalance now that the facts are known.

As a Macy's employee, I am proud that our company supports and marches in Pride parades in Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, St. Petersburg, Seattle, and New York City (where I have personally marched for several years). I am proud of Macy's participation in AIDS walks in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami and New York City. I am proud of Macy's Passport fashion event, held in San Francisco and Los Angeles, that has raised $21 million for HIV/AIDs research since 1988. I am proud of Macy's 86 ranking in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index — the second-highest ranking possible. And I'm proud of all the community partnerships, events, awards programs, marketing campaigns, recruiting efforts, and education and awareness programs undertaken by Macy's with and for the GLBT community.

I can tell you with deepest sincerity that Macy's commitment to diversity and to the GLBT community always will be an important part of our company and our community outreach.

I'm telling you — reading this makes me proud of the company — and regretful I didn't give the folks there the benefit of the doubt over a bunch of loony-toon zealots who have nothing better to do with their time than police store windows. This company has been and is one of our strongest allies, and — as this letter attests — their hearts and minds are well-rooted. If you gave them any guff over this incident, please let them know their apology is graciously and humbly accepted.


Boston Herald: Error, Not Pressure, Killed Gay Display

In Newsweekly editorial: Macy's Did The Right Thing

And continue to check out Boston Bud's excellent blog, MassResistance Watch, in which he consistently exposes the group's distortions and small-mindedness. One of his recent posts regarding Macy's apology letter astutely points out:
The last two paragraphs of the article caught my eye and is most interesting (and funny):

Brian Camenker, president of MassResistance, the conservative group formerly named Article 8 Alliance, which launched an Internet and e-mail protest against the store urging a boycott over the window, insisted it was his group that prompted the action.

“They definitely bowed to our pressure,” Camenker said, adding that he plans to send more e-mails urging supporters of his group to boycott the store chain because of Klein’s letter.

"And if I stamp my feet and hold my breath until I turn blue..." What I find funny is if you contrast that with them talking about the gay community calling for a boycott. This is from their June 13th email update:

As the Macy's incident continues to make news not only here but, we're told, now in Europe, the fun continues.

One of the interesting aspects of this is the complete fit that the homosexual community is having over it, which seems to us quite out of proportion to any rational reation. A major homosexual magazine, The Advocate, has called for a national boycott of Macy's because of YOUR show of force!

So using their logic, Article 8/MassResistance's boycott is because of YOUR show of force! Congrats!

I'm not certain I could ever find "logic" in Mass Resistance's delusional methods — but it's a point well-made nevertheless! Congrats, all!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Who Would Jesus Fire?

I simply love finding stories like these. They eloquently illustrate that the folks who are against "tolerating" gay people have views that go a lot more deep and insidious. Ignore them when they rally against the gays, and one day you'll be fighting them when they righteously try to pass laws saying kids shouldn't hold hands at roller rinks or people who are 18 years old shouldn't have the prerogative to live with whomever they please. Ludicrous, I know — but it's precisely these views to which these particular freaks subscribe.

I guess in their view of things, the world is a place that is constantly frightening, teeming at every moment with threats and temptation. It's so overwhelmingly evil that they feel the need to police it for you. Holding hands during a skate could never be an innocent, heart-warming sign of friendship like it was when you or I were kids. Nope — to them such behavior leads to STDs.

Now, who's corrupting our kids again?

I have young neices and nephews, and if anyone ever tried to teach them this shit — that the world is a constantly dangerous and evil place — I'd be kicking ass. Believe what you want — make your life as empty and as unfulfilling as you wish — but don't try to rob others of a view that says the world can be loving, fun and innocent.

These freaks are constantly trying to save others from the threats they perceive — which actually says more about them than the rest of us. What is it inside of them — what demonic force — causes them to see evil at every turn? What are they hiding? As they continue their righteous yet schizophrenic crusades, it's becoming more and more clear. We need to save our children and ourselves from them.

Fired – For Love Without Marriage

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, June 16, 2006 — The owners of a roller skating rink have fired an 18-year-old woman they called one of their "Top 10" employees because she moved in with her boyfriend, violating a company ethics policy that prohibits "live-in relationships of an intimate nature."

"I loved my job and I didn't want to leave," Crystal Plotner told the Coeur d'Alene Press this week.

She said she was fired after casually telling her bosses, Skate Plaza owners Marvin and Pat Miller, that she planned to move in with her boyfriend in mid-May.

Before terminating her, Plotner said the Millers said she and her boyfriend should "check out their church." She declined.

"Even if I had gone to their church, I don't think it would have saved my job," said Plotner, who worked at Skate Plaza for three years and made $9.25 an hour. "They didn't want me to live with my boyfriend. They were pushing their religion on me and I was offended. I don't have the same religious beliefs as they do."

Pat Miller praised Plotner, saying that "In all the years that we've employed people, she was one of the Top 10. It was a sad day when she left because everybody loved her."

But Miller added, "We've had our (employee) handbook out for many years and it does say if you live in an immoral way with a member of the opposite sex or same sex, you will be terminated."

Miller said that in talking with Plotner, they were approaching the issue as employers, friends and Christians.

"Our advice is not to do this," Miller added. "It's fine and certainly her business that she did, but either we throw the handbook out or follow what's in it."

Pat Miller said they attempt to set a good example in the community because their business draws young people.

"If we owned a roofing company, it wouldn't have mattered," Pat Miller said. "We screen our music carefully. We have a 4-inch rule. We don't allow petting, necking or bad language. You have to decide, what kind of establishment do you want to be? We want parents to feel comfortable bringing their kids here."

She said it is the first time they have fired someone for living with a boyfriend or girlfriend, though they have rejected some applicants for that reason.

"When we first put it in we checked with our attorney, and he said we could do it as long as it's consistent."

Skate Plaza's moral and ethics policy also bans such behaviors as "public displays of promiscuous activities, homosexuality, intoxication, use of profanity, lewd behavior, use of illegal drugs, child abuse, spouse abuse, unlawful relationships, cross-dressing, stalking and nudity."

Leslie Goodard, director of Idaho's Human Rights Commission, said the policies don't appear to violate Idaho employment law.

"There is no statute that directly prohibits discrimination based on marital status, and sexual orientation is not protected," said Goodard.

But Jack Van Valkenburgh, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Boise, said Skate Plaza might be violating federal discrimination laws.

"It sounds to me as though they're pushing their religious view of what a proper living situation should be," he said.

For her part, Plotner said she's through with Skate Plaza.

"They're already judging me for how I live my life and it wouldn't be the same," she said. — via The Associated Press

In case you missed it: Whose example of forgiveness and peace in this incident is stronger? The misguided couple trying to force their ideas about morality on everyone by, ah, cold-heartedly firing a good employee? Or the girl they've deemed as immoral who doesn't begrudge them, who essentially turns the other cheek?

And my favorite part of the article is when one of the holy rollers demonstrates her ignorance far and wide so we all will be sure exactly what kind of redneck dumbass she is:
"...Either we throw the handbook out or follow what's in it."

Memo to Ms. Miller: Since you wrote the handbook — and since it's kind of lame, anyway — maybe throwing it out is better than what you did. See, those of us who are confident in our faiths don't even feel the need to have a handbook. Take a lesson.


Let the Millers know what you think about their handbook. E-mail them at info@skateplazacda.com.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bring A Petition To Church! See What Happens!

For all the rest of us, church is a place to worship, share community and reflect on the goodness that comes from God's blessings on us.

For Donald Wildmon and the American "Family" Association, church is a prime spot to pass out political petitions seeking to bully an American company into ditching their efforts to promote tolerance and diversity — because, apparently, those aren't ideals of which Americans are supposed to be supportive anymore.

Via e-mail:

June 14, 2006

...Did you know that Ford Motor Company forces their employees to undergo "Diversity Training"? At Ford, "Diversity Training" means forced attendance at company sponsored meetings which are used to promote the homosexual lifestyle. Attendance is required. Employees cannot opt out. In their "Diversity Training" homosexual leaders present the homosexual lifestyle and teach employees to accept that lifestyle.

No other view of homosexuality is allowed to be presented. No one is allowed to speak against the homosexual lifestyle or present the serious health problems associated with it. At Ford, "diversity" means there is only one view of homosexuality — that presented by the homosexuals — and that is the only view Ford will allow.

Take Action

When asked to remain neutral in the cultural battle regarding homosexual marriage, Ford refused and chose to promote the homosexual agenda.

• Click here to call Ford Motor Company and let them know you are participating in the boycott.
• Click here to print out a Boycott Ford Petition and distribute at your church.
• Click here to sign the Boycott Ford Pledge if you have not already done so....


Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

Here's a word of warning. I'll be doing some travelling this summer and probably will be taking in some masses at churches outside my area. I consider church a sacred space — a place where I expect not to be bothered by marketing or incendiary political activity. If anyone — even in a polite manner — dares to put a petition such as this in front of me at church — well, let's just say you won't be going home with anything less than a crumpled, ripped-up piece of paper.

And, on top of that, you might just end up on the receiving end of a healthy, but very righteous, bitch slap, too.

I know the concept of church as a holy place is lost on hateful zealots such as Donald Wildmon. But I certainly won't be sitting idly by as he attempts to ruin it for the rest of us. Bring it on, Donny boy. Where would you like me to leave my mark?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What A Bunch Of mASSholes!

I read about this on a few sites after it happened. I'm linking to Billy Masters because — well, it's a pretty cool site. If you don't go there routinely to get the goods on your favorite celebrities, you're hopelessly missing out.

Anyway, check out how Macy's has snubbed their gay and fair-minded customers — buying into some sort of idea that arranging two male mannequins next to each other symbolizes gay sex and is something they need to censor:

This is Gay Pride Month, and it should be a joyous and uplifting occassion. But that's not the case in Billy's native Boston. To commemorate the event, the department store Macy's designed a window at its Downtown Crossing location around a schedule of gay pride activities. Included in the display were two buff mannequins — both in tight T-shirts and one wearing a gay pride flag wrapped around his waist. The conservative watchdog group Mass Resistance objected to the display and asked supporters to call Macy's and complain. Within a day, the mannequins were gone — although the schedule remained. Macy's spokeswoman Elina Kazan felt this was an acceptable compromise and stated, "[The display] did offend a few of our customers, and we had to re-examine it." The more things change....

OK — File this under: Isn't There Something Better You Could And Should Be Doing With Your Time? I guess the folks who "support" mASS Resistance have very, very simple lives. Still, they got the ear of someone at Macy's — so kudos to them. I mean, this display probably would have gone relatively unnoticed — but thanks to their efforts, the entire nation has gotten to see it. Way to go!

Macy's ought to be ashamed about being so easily duped. The two mannequins weren't even holding hands — how does that offend anyone? Was it what they were wearing? Maybe Macy's ought to consider that when they promote some of the spring lines.

But, that's cool. I tell you what — I know a few of my gal pals really object to the window displays that feature female mannequins in bikinis, undergarments or other revealing outfits. I mean, what kind of message does this convey to young girls?

But there is recourse. Macy's has just established an interesting protocol. If a display offends a few people and they call in to complain, they'll remove the offending parts. So, I assume they will be taking down any display that offends from here on out. Feminists — unite with your mass resistance! Gals who aren't skinny as store mannequins — don't take this crap anymore! Folks who think butt floss and naval-baring is offensive: RISE UP!

As I like to say: Stay tuned.

For Pete's sakes, people — This is fashion. Get over yourselves.


In researching this post, I found a great web site that keeps tabs on this group of mAssholes: http://massresistancewatch.blogspot.com. Visit and bookmark it now.

They are an interesting group. That is, if you equate "interesting" with "seriously disturbed."

According to the site, Macy's angered the mAssheads because they only removed the mannequins — they wanted the entire window display squealched. When that didn't happen, the group vowed to continue the fight:
Even though the mannequins were removed, [the group proclaimed,] "THAT IS NOT ENOUGH, WE MUST CONTINUE THE PRESSURE."


Even MORE entertaining, check out the blog published by these mAssholes themselves! It would be completely hilarious if it wasn't so hyperbolic, incendiary and ludacrois.

Wait a minute — no, it really is completely hilarious. For instance, the Massfaces really have an issue with what they see as a difference between Macy's "heterosexual" mannequins and the "gay" ones:

It seems [a Mass Reistance critic] is also confused over male-female physiology, and can't quite bring herself to admit that Macy's "gay" male mannequins do NOT exhibit normal pectoral muscles. (And she also seems to be strangely focused on Victoria's Secret mannequin breasts. Have they "undermined [her] confidence" in her own body? Why bring up Victoria's Secret in a discussion of radical homosexual propaganda?)

Wow. You can't make this shit up. I can't believe Macy's would ever feel inclined to align with these folks. I suspect they haven't been tipped off to the views they present on their site — otherwise they might not have been so easily fooled into believing they were dealing with sane people.

Hmmm — looks as though I have a few phone calls to make and letters to write. Again — stay tuned....


Macy's has made wikipedia. I'm thinking the fat lady is not singing about all this just yet:
A national boycott campaign has began for consumers (straight or gay) offended by Macy's decision to appease bigotry. Many cut up or returned their Macy's credit cards with a request to cancel their accounts. The boycott called for offended consumers to not shop at any store owned by Federated Department Store, Inc. until Macy's offers a public apology to the citizens of Boston, takes the mannequins "out of the closet," and puts them back into the store window.

And, as Queerty reports, an article in the Advocate, the gay and lesbian newsweekly, will bring the brouhaha to — well, pretty much every gay person in America and beyond (subscribers will relay the news to their friends and acquaintances who aren't Advocate readers). That can't be good.

In the end, as David at Queerty points out, the crux of the whole controversy is likely to be settled when Macy's reflects on this essential question:
Why cater to right-wing conservatives when they aren't your market, anyhow?


Below I've posted word-for-word a recent column by the Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman. His analysis is spot-on. And, the metaphor in his second paragraph is pretty accurate and telling, too. Sail on!

Foes Of Gay Rights Can't Win

June 14, 2006 — After the Senate's rejection of the Marriage Protection Amendment, supporters tried to portray it as nothing more than a temporary setback. "We are making progress," announced Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, noting that since the last vote two years ago, 14 states have approved bans on same-sex marriage.

If this is progress, it's on the order of a shipwreck survivor swimming toward the nearest island, 500 miles away: going in the right direction, but with no chance of getting there. All the leading indicators suggest that the smartest thing the amendment's supporters could do is pack it in.

They are getting no traction in the Senate. In 2004, 48 senators went on the record in support. This time, the number in favor was 49. Approving a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 out of 100 senators. At the current rate of progress, Tallahassee will be hosting the Winter Olympics before this measure is ratified.

Contrary to the hopes of supporters, the Senate vote was about as good as things will get. Mr. Brownback seems oblivious to the obvious, which is that when states ban gay marriage, they undermine rather than strengthen the case for the amendment.

If states can limit marriage to heterosexual couples, and if they can refuse to recognize same-sex weddings performed elsewhere (meaning Massachusetts), there is no need to fiddle with the work of the founders. That helps to explain why seven Republicans, including the apparent front-runner for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, John McCain, were willing to stand against the proposal.

The state-level successes on gay marriage are about the only ones Mr. Brownback's side can boast. On other fronts, the portents are anything but auspicious.

Start with public attitudes, which are growing more favorable to gays and gay rights. The hard right thinks the citizenry absolutely detests "activist judges," but when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stunning decision overturning state laws against sodomy in 2003, the public barely blinked. In fact, 74 percent favored striking down such statutes. If Mr. Brownback and his allies think the public is with them on gay issues, where is the federal anti-sodomy amendment?

The greatest consolation for them is that same-sex marriage is still unpopular. But more than half of Americans endorse either gay marriage or civil unions, which are marriages in all but name. Vermont and Connecticut have legalized civil unions, without attracting 1 percent of the attention that has gone to Massachusetts. Once considered a radical step, this has the look of a sensible compromise.

A more telling sign is the huge shift in opinion on discrimination. In 1977, when Gallup asked if homosexuals should have "equal rights in terms of job opportunities," 56 percent said yes and 33 percent no. Now, opposition to this form of gay rights has only slightly broader appeal than the Socialist Workers Party. This year, 89 percent of Americans favored equal employment rights, with only 9 percent disagreeing.

That evolution suggests attitudes on gay marriage are likely to grow more positive, not less. The battle for tolerance largely has been won among young people, who will be guiding policy in the not-too-distant future. "They're much, much, much more accepting" of gay rights than their elders, says American Enterprise Institute polling expert Karlyn Bowman.

Growing tolerance presents a huge obstacle to another cause of social conservatives. Earlier this year, they were trumpeting a multistate push to ban adoption by same-sex couples - to prevent homosexuals from "experimenting on children through gay adoption," in the words of Russell Johnson, head of the Ohio Restoration Project.

It seemed a shrewd and logical follow-up to the state-by-state offensive against gay marriage. Since Florida was alone in explicitly outlawing adoptions by same-sex couples, the opponents of gay adoption thought they had a target-rich environment, not to mention a winning issue with voters.

But they had a little problem launching the campaign. Kent Markus, director of the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy at Capital University Law School in Ohio, says that in state after state, "it peeked above the surface and got knocked right back down. Nothing has gained any momentum anywhere in the United States."

Right now, the defeat of the marriage amendment is a disappointment to opponents of gay rights. But someday, it will look like the good old days. — Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My Point: Mary Matalin Is A Disingenuous, Morally-Bankrupt, Brain-Dead Whore For Republicans

I don't really know who Mary Matalin is (according to Think Progress, she's "a former counselor to Vice President Cheney and an influential strategist for the White House"), and I probably could care less. She's tripping all over herself these days to be Ann Coulter's defender. If that isn't a position akin to being a fluffer on an animal porn set, I don't know what is.

Check out the disingenuous drivel that falls so easily from this woman's lips:

IMUS: What did you make of the Ann Counter deal?

MATLIN: I take her larger point that in the absence of being able to make persuasive arguments you throw out messengers that — can’t be — it’s politically incorrection to argue with, you know the verbiage is a little, a little stressful.

IMUS: So you thought her comments about these women…

MATLIN: I take her larger point, which is —

IMUS: Why can’t you comment on her calling these women harpies.

MATLIN: Because that’s not her point. That’s completely not her point.

IMUS: Well no, but saying that they were happy their husbands got killed and were going to divorce them. And yeah, that they’re getting long in the tooth. Maybe they ought to think about appearing in Playboy, which is an option.

MATLIN: What do you think about her point? Her point that you can’t — you know Cindy Sheehan — if you throw yourself in the political arena, then you should be able to address political issues, and people should be able to speak back to you.

IMUS: I agree with her point.

MATLIN: Well, then that’s what I agree with.

IMUS: But I think it’s repugnant and repulsive and gutless to, and cheap and cheesey to call these women all these names. I mean, whether it’s right or not, it’s just something there’s just. You don’t go there.

MATLIN: That’s her stock and trade.

IMUS: But I’m surprised that you won’t condemn her for these repugnant remarks.

MATLIN: I don’t know her. I haven’t read the book.

IMUS: You don’t have to know her. You know what Hitler did. Did you you him? You condemn what he did.

MATLIN: Are you comparing her to Hitler?

IMUS: No, I’m not. Of course not.

MATLIN: This is the point. This is complete the point she’s making. These lefty crazy people go around calling us [unintelligible] and Hitlers and Nazis and everything and nobody say anything. She calls somebody a harpy and you’d think that the whole world was on fire.

No offense, but if that is/was truly Coulter's point (and I'm not at all certain she ever has a point beyond being a hot-headed ignoramus), it's up to her to make that point — succinctly, level-headedly, intelligently. If it's necessary for Matalin to translate and decipher Coulter's ramblings into something coherent — it's a point not made.

See, according to Mary Matalin, the way you make your point — the careful, reasoned language in which you craft it (that is, those of us with a maturity level beyond that of a 12-year-old) — is unimportant. Being sensitive, civil, unbelligerent — those are just quaint, superfluous values that don't augment or detract from your message.

When you have partisans defending the outrageous behavior of their most staunch spokespeople — no matter how outrageous their actions and diatribe are — it is certainly easy to see why civilized discourse in this country has become M.I.A.

Fine. You know, I think Mary Matalin — and Ann Coulter, too, for that matter — is an ignorant cunt-faced imbecile, soullessly clutching for power and defending characterless people just like herself because — by playing the loyal girl — the men in her party pat her head from time to time, slap her on the ass and say she "done good." Lacking any real moral compass or sense of worth, she continues to be easy prey for the Republicans she serves — and services. It's probably well past time she got off her knees, wiped the cum stains from her chin and endeavored to create a place in the world that would reveal her inherent worth — rather than chronically being a spaced-out fuck toy passed around by her right-wing pals.

Yikes.... I guess that was kind of harsh. But, no harsher than this. And, well, you see my point, right?

Fun With Forms: Kudos To The EPA!

For the record, here's the fun with forms makeover I gave the American Family Association's current alert (see post from this morning for background).

They wanted me to say:
Dear President Bush and Administrator Johnson,

I am greatly disturbed that an agency of the federal government, funded by tax dollars, would issue a proclamation celebrating June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. I ask that the EPA stop promoting this unhealthy and destructive lifestyle. I do not want my tax dollars going to a federal agency which promotes such behavior.

Instead, I wrote:
Subject: Don Wildmon Is A Total Nutjob!

Dear President Bush and Administrator Johnson,

I am greatly supportive an agency of the federal government, funded by tax dollars, has issued a proclamation celebrating June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Kudos!

Some bigots might get their panties in a bundle and try to demand the EPA to stop promoting diversity. But, this is America — where we hold up our diversity as one of our national strengths. Anyone who pays taxes, such as gay Americans, deserves to be respected, understood and celebrated.

I am thrilled you are using my tax dollars wisely.

You can do it, too! Go to the form now! Feel free to cut and paste my words!

Someone Please Help Don Wildmon With That Log In His Eye

I'll admit — the incendiary "Action Alerts" Donny Wildon and the American Family Association sends out used to anger me. But Wildmon and his nutjobs have such a propensity to be hyperbolic, over-reaching and illogical — now they just make me laugh.

I'm confident that's the response from the folks they target, as well.

In the current incarnation of these comic masterpieces, Wildmon has his panties in a bundle because the Environmental Protection Agency (which is "funded by your tax dollars" he points out) dares to observe gay pride month:

By the way, the rampant grammatical errors are the AFA's — not mine. I've cut and pasted this verbatim.

June 10, 2006

Environmental Protection Agency (Funded by your tax dollars) Celebrates Gay And Lesbian Pride Month

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), your tax supported agency of the federal government, is currently promoting June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.

The theme for the month is "Pride, not Prejudice."

The EPA Office of Civil Rights, Diversity Program for Sexual Orientation, is sponsoring an opening event to be held on June 14. On June 28 EPA will hosts Gilles Marchildon, Executive Director for Egale Canada (Equality Canada) as a guest speaker.

Karen Higginbotham, Director, Office of Civil Rights, states there will be other activities in which the homosexual lifestyle will be celebrated in EPA offices across the country.

I thought you might like to know that the EPA, funded by your tax dollars, has joined the push for the homosexual agenda.

To see the official notice which went out to all EPA employees, click here.

Take Action

Send your email to Stephen L. Johnson, EPA Administrator, and to President George W. Bush, to protest the tax-funded EPA celebrating this destructive and unhealthy lifestyle. Forward this to your friends and family.

Our children's future is at stake. Thanks for caring enough to get involved.

Email the EPA and President Bush Now!

If you think our efforts are worthy, would you please support us with a small gift? Thank you for caring enough to get involved.


"Crazy" Donny Wildmon, Founder & Chairman (edited)
American Family Association

Okay, Donny — let's break it down.

First, not every issue is important enough to alert the President. I'll admit, he seems to have your ear from time to time. But, I think we all can agree there are some things on which we'd rather have him spend his time other than your ever-changing crusade du jour. Iraq comes to mind. Oil policy and gas prices are two others. By any chance, is it your group that distracted the man when that note about bin Laden passed his desk in early September 2001? Yeah — let's strive to not have that happen again, K?

Second, you take offense to the rubric "Pride, Not Prejudice"? So your group stands for "Prejudice, Not Pride"? Well, that explains a lot. I'm glad we have it on record.

Third, ever read Don Quijote? The only reason I ask is that — well, let's just put it in the simplest terms possible, shall we? This issue = windmills. You = Quijote. I admire your tenacity in attacking this with gusto — you certainly are consistent. But your chances of making a dent = zero.

And forth, ahh, hate to burst your bubble — really, I do — but your entire specious argument rests on your battle cry, "funded by your tax dollars." This point is so important you feel the need to highlight it in your headline. This makes sense because I know you to be a money-grubbing piece of lint. Money motivates you and your work. If you couldn't make a quick buck off rallying simple-minded folks in the name of intolerance and, ah, prejudice (see above), I'm 100 percent this issue would not be so near and dear to you and you'd move on to other, um, "pursuits."

But — even though you don't favor them — gay people in this country (which is America — I point that out in case you have forgotten and think you actually live in the Nazi Germany of your dreams) pay taxes, too. So, it would be just as accurate to say, "Environmental Protection Agency (Funded By Taxes Collected From Gay People) Celebrates Gay And Lesbian Pride Month."

Well, that certainly is alarming and a cause to action. Oh — wait a minute — no, it's not. Not at all. Not. At. All.

I mean, seriously — this is sort of an important basis of your argument. I can't believe you didn't think it through. You're going to sound more and more silly and become more and more irrelevant if/when you send these things out and they're not based on solid reasoning by which at least a few people will be duped.

I'm sure you hear this from day to day, but it bears repeating here:
Luke 6: "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye."
OK, enough preaching from me today. (By the way, it would be GREAT if you would know when to quit, too, Donny. Really, it would.) I'm off to wreak some havoc with the form on your web site now. Ta!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ann Coulter: Godless — The Title Says It All

To think: All she did was have to insult the patriotism and sincerity of the widows of the victims of September 11.... Ann Coulter has made such an impact with her new book, she's planning a whole series!

In all frankness, this woman ought not have a soapbox for the vile things she says. She is an embarrassment to this country and our highest ideals, and the company that publishes her editions of Mein Kampf (Crown Forum) ought to be wholly ashamed. She has been caught lying. She's been charged with a felony in Florida. She has displayed an incredible lack of knowledge about the history of this country and its major events. And those are her redeeming qualities. She is completely devoid of tact, decency, maturity, expertise and worthy character. They give her a book contract? I doubt she'd be suitable for a job at a fast food restaurant.

And let's be clear — this isn't a liberal slam of her. Just check out what conservative sources such as FOX News (and others) have to say. If you aren't moved to click the link, at least know that the opening line of the report at FOX News reads:
What a moron. Ann Coulter, that is.
That she has called her latest book "Godless" seems much more a reflection of her than anyone about whom she might write. I guess it's valid, then, the advice they give authors: Write what you know.

If You Could Read Our Minds: Family Picture Day With The Inhofes

When a senator produces a picture of his family on the Senate floor, proclaiming it the prop de résistance and saying it illustrates a healthy, homo-free clan, I'd say he has effectively brought said photo into the public discourse — and is practically begging for some cheeky Photoshop parodies.

I'm happy to oblige.

To make the captions easier to read, you can click on the image for a larger version.

Oklahoma Senator Says The Stupiest Thing Ever Heard. Ever. Seriously -- EVER.

Speaking on the floor of Congress today, Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma uttered the stupidiest thing ever heard.
(Gesturing to a blown-up photograph of his family): As you see here,...my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I'm really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we've never had a divorce or any kind of a homosexual relationship.
Hat tip: AMERICABlog: Great Moments In Republican Bigotry

I wonder what Dick Cheney thought when he heard that one.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Thanks, George Bush, Et. Al.

I just got back from a wine reception this evening. As I mingled, one topic that came up here and there was the "Defense of Marriage" Act George Bush and his pals have decided to push to the fore this week. I'm an openly gay man; I have no problem speaking publicly about this issue. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the overwhelming support I heard — from all sorts of people. Straight people said they feel the measure is discriminatory and illogical. People 30 years older than me said they feel this is a bad time in our nation's political history. Everyone — every person to whom I spoke — expressed solidarity, support and encouragement.

Granted, this was an event associated with an artistic endeavor. Still, the folks present weren't all artists. There were donors, fans and board members. I can't be sure, but I assume people from both major political parties were present. It wasn't a group of liberals, by far.

Again, I didn't expect this — and it really struck me. Sometimes I can grow really disenchanted with "America" — meaning, I sense our country is headed in the wrong direction because we simply have the wrong leaders at times. But, Americans — "We, the people" — never let me down. We're generally good people, looking out for each other, realizing we all live here together — a proud country with a proud tradition of recognizing each of our inherent dignities and staunchly believing in liberty and justice for all.

So, thanks, guys. Had you not endeavored to be such intolerant despots this week, the conversations tonight might never have happened, and I wouldn't feel as comfortable and proud to be a gay American.

Nevada Gubernatorial Candidate: George Bush Is A Gay — Or In The Least A Bisexual — American

I can't vouch for the authenticity of this claim — but it sure is interesting to report it's being made.

From www.waynemadsenreport.com:
(June 4, 2006) George W. Bush's marital problems have just taken another turn for the worse. Apparently, Mr. Bush has not only engaged in an extra-marital affair with a member of the opposite sex who is also a senior member of his Cabinet, but also a member of the same sex. WMR received the following release this morning from Leola McConnell, Democratic candidate for Governor of Nevada (who has been endorsed by WMR). McConnell is a one-time professional dominatrix.

"President Bush's speech to the nation Monday. If he doesn't say he's a gay American or at the least a bisexual one then he shouldn't be making one at all. And the notion that it would be in regards to writing bigotry into our nation's Constitution is reprehensible. Too bad it isn't me doing the rebuttal because in 1984, I watched him perform (with the enthusiasm of homosexual male who had done this many times before) a homosexual act on another man, namely Victor Ashe. Victor Ashe is the current Ambassador to the nation of Poland who should also come out like former Governor McGreevey of New Jersey and admit to being a gay American. Other homo-erotic acts were also performed by then private citizen George Bush because I performed one of them on him personally.

"I am the woman this website (bushssecretlifein84.tripod.com) speaks of that has been posted on the net nearly two years now. None of this would be the business of anyone but President Bush's little ruse to save his failed presidency by using DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] to divide Americans one from the other has to be exposed as the act of a desperate closeted homosexual man. The only crime in being GLBT is in the hiding. The President needs to come clean with the American people about his own past sexual behavior before he tries to besmirch the humanity of people in search of sincerely committing to the same bonds of matrimony he's afforded. He violated his own vows of monogamy having a homosexual affair with a long time family friend of whom his wife had no knowledge. His hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.

"I had planned to run for governor of Nevada without going into any of this but his planned nationally televised address to the nation makes it necessary for me to address his attempt at division in as public a way as he picked to try this Bushification of reality regarding same sex marriages.

Leola McConnell
Liberal Democratic Candidate for Governor of Nevada"

Evil Dwells In Minnesota Church

Remember when church was a refuge from the politics in which we might have been embroiled? Remember when church was a place where untold peace and compassion reigned? Remember when any church's doors were open to all who felt moved to enter, instead of what they have become lately — country clubs where insincerity and separation prevail, and folks try with all their might to keep "those people" out?

George Bush, Karl Rove and the Republican conservative crusaders have changed all that. They wanted to change America — and they have. In their never-ending thirst for power, they have corrupted the holiness of the church setting. Their actions have made it so churches are centers of hate and hostility and are therefore increasingly irrelevant in all our lives. God is weeping, I am sure.

The Washington Post article below chronicles where we are. It is remarkably sad people who are striving to be part of a community of believers are actively being turned away. I don't know what to make of it. No matter what you wear, no matter what you've done — if you are there to partake in the healing that receiving holy communion represents, it is especially evil to be denied. Communion was never meant to be for a select few. I'm surprised anyone could ever feel this is either practical or blessed.

(Editor's Note: The headline of the article at the link makes a judgement call with which I wouldn't have gotten away in my high school journalism classes. The folks wearing sashes are not "activists." That's a politically-charged word that carries a weight not befitting the eloquence of the display. The writer says as much in his copy. I've changed the headline here and feel qualified to do so (my journalism degree makes me comfortable making such an editorial decision). The Post ought not to have made such a careless copy error.)

Communion Denied To Church-Goers
Gay Rights Supporters Wear Rainbow Sashes to Minn. Mass

Monday, June 5 — More than 50 gay rights activists wearing rainbow-colored sashes were denied Holy Communion at a Pentecost service yesterday at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in St. Paul, Minn., parishioners and church officials said.

In an act that some witnesses called a "sacrilege" and others called a sign of "solidarity," a man who was not wearing a sash received a Communion wafer from a priest, broke it into pieces and handed it to some of the sash wearers, who consumed it on the spot.

Ushers threatened to call the police, and a church employee burst into tears when the unidentified man re-distributed the consecrated wafer, which Catholics consider the body of Christ. But the Mass was not interrupted, and the incident ended peacefully, said Dennis McGrath, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

"It was confrontational, but we decided not to try to arrest the guy," he said.

The dramatic episode capped several years of increasing acrimony over the Rainbow Sash Movement, an effort by gay Catholics to counter what they view as homophobia in the church.

Beginning in 1997 in England, some Catholics have worn the sashes over their left shoulder to Mass each year on Pentecost, the day on which the New Testament says the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus's disciples. Because the holiday is a celebration of God's gifts, "we think it is an appropriate time to celebrate the gift of our sexuality," said Brian McNeill, a rainbow-sash organizer in Minneapolis.

For a few years, sash-wearers were allowed to receive Communion in some U.S. cities, including Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rochester, N.Y. But since 2004, most U.S. bishops have cracked down on the movement.

Last year, Cardinal Francis Arinze, head of the Vatican department in charge of worship, wrote a letter to Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St. Paul, stating that the rainbow sash is a sign of protest against the church's teachings on sexuality and that the Mass is not an appropriate forum for protests.

The movement's leaders insist that wearing the sash is not an act of protest.

"When Archbishop Flynn and Cardinal Arinze say it's a protest, I say, 'But you guys aren't the ones wearing it — we are, and we see it as a celebration,' " McNeill said. "The premise of the sash is that gay people are part of the Catholic community, part of the people of God. We are there proudly celebrating Mass." ... — By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Out of anyone, the man mentioned in the second paragraph, who broke his wafer into pieces to share it with those being castigated, behaved in the manner most "Christian." His act gives me hope that the spirit of Jesus was there that day — and perhaps it has begun to change hearts and minds. I sincerely can't believe I am saying this referring to a church, but — nonetheless — his powerful, brave act reminds me that even in the most evil and hostile places the spirit of God can be found.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

President Bush: "Today, I Want To Explain Why I Support Slavery..."

Here's a handy tool I propose that will help all Americans cut through the b.s. and separate the wheat from the chaff when President Bush makes any speech about a fringe issue to appeal to his base.

Pick a topic about which you feel it's important for the president to comment. It can be any topic — even a historical issue. As a matter of fact, a historical issue can provide a rich perspective. With that in mind, I'll pick "slavery."

When reading any of the president's remarks, substitute the concern you've chosen with the issue President Bush has put at the top of his agenda. The results will be revealing and enlightening.

(If I was a programmer, I'd create a web page that asks a user to choose a topic on one page and returns that input to a second page, where that topic is substituted automatically. If there is a programmer reading this, I think this would be easy enough — please, by all means — take my idea and run with it!)

OK, here we go — let's substitute "slavery" for the topic of President Bush's most recent radio address.

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Next week, the United States Senate will begin debate on slavery. On Monday, I will meet with a coalition of community leaders, constitutional scholars, family and civic organizations, and religious leaders. They're Republicans, Democrats and independents who've come together to support slavery. Today, I want to explain why I support slavery, and why I'm urging Congress to pass it and send it to the states for ratification.

Slavery is the most enduring and important human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught us that slavery promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Slavery cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious, and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society. Government, by recognizing and protecting slavery, serves the interests of all.

In our free society, people have the right to choose how they live their lives. And in a free society, decisions about such a fundamental social institution as slavery should be made by the people — not by the courts. The American people have spoken clearly on this issue, both through their representatives and at the ballot box. ...Congress approved slavery by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, and President ... signed slavery into law. And since then, voters in 19 states have approved amendments to their state constitutions that protect slavery. And today, 45 of the 50 states have either a state constitutional amendment or statute defining slavery. These amendments and laws express a broad consensus in our country for protecting slavery.

Unfortunately, activist judges and some local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine slavery in recent years. Since ..., state courts in Washington, California, Maryland and New York have overturned laws protecting slavery in those states. And in Nebraska, a federal judge overturned a state constitutional amendment banning slavery.

These court decisions could have an impact on our whole Nation. The Defense of Slavery Act declares that no state is required to accept another state's definition of slavery. If that act is overturned by activist courts, then slavery recognized in one city or state might have to be recognized as slavery everywhere else. That would mean that every state would have to recognize slavery redefined by judges in Massachusetts or local officials in San Francisco, no matter what their own laws or state constitutions say. This national question requires a national solution, and on an issue of such profound importance, that solution should come from the people, not the courts.

An amendment to the Constitution is necessary because activist courts have left our Nation with no other choice. The constitutional amendment that the Senate will consider next week would fully protect slavery from being redefined, while leaving state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than slavery. A constitutional amendment is the most democratic solution to this issue, because it must be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate and then ratified by three-fourths of the 50 state legislatures.

As this debate goes forward, we must remember that every American deserves to be treated with tolerance, respect, and dignity. All of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another, and all people deserve to have their voices heard. A constitutional amendment will put a decision that is critical to American families and American society in the hands of the American people, which is exactly where it belongs. Democracy, not court orders, should decide the future of slavery in America.

Thank you for listening.

No, thank you.

It ought to be fun to do this after Dubya makes his remarks tomorrow, too. Stay tuned.

When Presidents Gay Bash

President Bush is readying a major speech tomorrow about a topic he feels is so important right here, right now, it deserves his direct intervention and comment. What is this pressing concern?

The situation in Iraq? Nope — Rumsfield has that thoroughly under control.

The beginning of the hurricane season and the preparations we ought to take to ensure another American city isn't wiped away? No — I believe that's scheduled for next winter.

High gas prices? No — no plans to tackle that, ever.

The subject at the top of Dubya's priority list these days is same-sex marriage. It ought to be crystal clear why he dubs himself a war president, calls himself "the decider" and swaggers like a man who is in complete command of the minutia of concerns that threaten us. Let's just pray there's no memo such as "Bin Laden Determined to Strike" sitting within his "in" box at the moment.

Recent editorials and articles have brought to light that conservatives, liberals and moderates alike know precisely what this focus is: a grand ruse designed to shift attention away from everything unfavorable and unpleasant that is engulfing us and the Bush administration these days. But think about that for a moment. Bush is paining for a polical sleight of hand, and all he can come up with is gay marriage — a measure that inspires impassioned feelings (not all desirable for Bush) and that he, himself, doesn't really have an inkling of a chance to actually directly influence? There is no "good news" Bush can highlight tomorrow to deflect attention from all the bad? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And, oh, how screwed we all are.

Rousing the base is one thing. But even the GOP base feels the pinch from gasoline prices. The GOP faithful around New Orleans are still dealing with the fallout over the dereliction of duty when Katrina struck. People are gravely concerned Iraq has just become a place we send soldiers to die. Trying to rouse your base with a fringe issue is something you pull when all things are going your way — when those folks are so happy with you they can believe you will attack windmills like Don Quijote and might actually succeed in making a difference. But, when your base actually has more important things on their minds, bringing up a fringe issue — especially one they see you haven't had any success in bringing to fruition despite all your outcry thus far — comes across as disingenuous, poorly-timed and hopelessly out-of-touch.

Take my advice, Dubya. Drop the gay-bashing. It will make Mary Cheney happy (it's her turn now, after all) — and might actually make you appear — shall I say it? — presidential.

No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome at the United Church of Christ.


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