104th: It belongs to the chiefest in company to unfold his napkin and fall to meat first, but he ought then to begin in time & to dispatch with desterity that the slowest may have time allowed him.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
This has nothing to do with gay rights, but I was looking for information on Cathy Rigby today, for an upcoming review, and ran across this rather weird page!
Today's Search Engine queries:
Note--I changed the Picture of the Day for yesterday. I substituted a photo of the California LGBT Caucus.
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH
9 December 2004
It just doesn't seem like Christmastime without a hate letter from Don Sorensen.
Each year for the past many years, I have written a letter to the editor regarding the Boy Scout Christmas tree lot, and encouraging people not to support the lot because the Boy Scouts of America discriminates against gay and athiest children and potential leaders.
Each year after my letter appears, I get hate mail from Don Sorensen saying that because of my letter, he is doubling his yearly contribution to the Scouts (which surely must have run into the thousands after all these years of doubling it).
But, alas, Don (whom I never met in person) died earlier this year. At the time of his death, he and I were experiencing an uneasy truce. A few months before Don's death, his wife died. When I read about her death in the newspaper, I sent him a card, saying that this was not a time for ideological differences, but that I wanted to express my sympathy for his loss.
I received two letters and two phone calls from Don following my card, each time expressing amazement that I would be so kind to him. I had the feeling that he was softening, if not toward the issue of homosexuality, then at least toward me as a person. He seemed to no longer think I was the spawn of Satan.
I also felt, as December rolled around, that I had kind of said it all in letters over the years about the Boy Scouts and was kind of lukewarm on writing another letter this year in general.
But then two things happened that made me realize that I couldn't NOT write my letter this year.
First, CBS and NBC refused to air an ad from the United Church of Christ. Check this page to see what all the fuss is about. Basically, the ad features an arresting image: a pair of muscle-bound bouncers standing in front of a church and telling some people they can attend while turning others away.
After people of color, a disabled man and a pair of men who might be gay are turned away, the image dissolves to a text statement that: "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."
Then, as images of diverse couples and families appear on screen, an announcer explains that, "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."
According to a written explanation from CBS, the United Church of Christ is being denied network access because its ad implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies -- and is, therefore, too "controversial."
Rev. Robert Chase, director of the UCC's communication ministry says "We find it disturbing that the networks in question seem to have no problem exploiting gay persons through mindless comedies or titillating dramas, but when it comes to a church's loving welcome of committed gay couples, that's where they draw the line."
On the heels of this brouhaha came the bill introduced in the California State Assembly by the Traditional Values Coalition which seeks not only to ban gay marriages in the state, but also to remove all domestic partnership rights that same sex partners currently have. As I said yesterday, if this bill passes, Ellen could be barred from seeing Shelly in the hospital, among other things.
I went on the Traditional Values Coalition web page this morning (I'm not going to give them the extra publicity by posting a link!) and learned that they are saying that gay people don't really want gay marriage, they want to destroy the traditional notion of marriage to allow for polygamy and group sex. They say that if gay marriage is permitted, fathers will be allowed to marry their daughters (I'm not really sure how that follows logically, but then I fail to see the logic of most of the pronouncements on this web site.)
The whole thing would be laughable if it weren't that there are so many people in this country who actually believe this crap.
It just continually boggles my mind that with all the serious problems in the world today, these religious activists continue to go after people who simply want to live in committed, loving relationships. (Unlike the multi-divorced Newt Gingrich or the casually married Brittney Spears or the Marry-a-Stranger-for-Money Darva Conger.)
Are religious activists not incensed about the 17,000 innocent deaths--the "collateral damage" in Iraq? Iraq Body Count is keeping a tally. Seems to me some other organization has the number even higher. Do these numbers mean nothing to those who profess to be pro-life?
Would they be upset to read the article in a London newspaper which opens with the following chilling statements:
I haven't heard that on the evening news, have you? Why do you suppose that is? You don't suppose news in this country is being filtered, do you?
I may not have heard that the Pentagon feels the war is a disaster, but I did hear that traditional marriage is under attack by "gay activists." Surely that is much more important to this country than the fact that we are helping to swell the ranks of Al Qaeda.
Terrorists may destroy this country, but God the country won't have any gay couples at the time and no gay couples will enter any God-fearin' church.
Truly a noble goal. Jesus must be so proud.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Walt, his sister and friends