Extreme Conservatives Making Irrational Sense of the Irrational

Dobson, Huckabee, Fischer, and Westboro Baptist Church Blame Ct. Shooting on Sinners

James Dobson, Ph.D., founder of Focus on the Family radio and an evangelical Christian author, believes that the Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is linked to ongoing denial of God and religion in schools as well as gay marriage.  The massacre, according to Dobson, is due to the residents turning their back on God.

Like the flood that God sent to punish man’s wicked ways, the shooting serves as a warning or as The Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting outdoor funerals of U.S. Service members, attests “God sent the shooter.” Often, This Church equates acceptance of gays and lesbians with a punishment such as the shooting.  Besides the church, Dobson, Huckabee, and Fischer are lumped together for their rabid anti-gay rights stance through .

James Dobson

James Dobson

Excerpts from Dobson’s podcast:

Addressing listeners of his “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk” program, Dr. Dobson, recently  began by saying his “heart hangs heavy after the Newtown school shooting and how egregious it was that many innocent children were killed by lone gunman, Adam Lanza.

But then Dobson negates whatever compassion he has for the community by proselytizing:

“Our Country really does seem in complete disarray.  I’m not talking politically, I’m not talking about the result of the November sixth election; I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God.

I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition.  Believe me, that is going to have consequences, too.

And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give my honest opinion:  I think we have turned our back on The Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.”


What Huckabee and Fischer Espouse

Former Governor (R-AR) and Presidential Hopeful Mike Huckabee thinks the murder spree in Connecticut was caused by” removing God from the schools, linking the shootings to “tax-funded abortion pills and society calling “sinful” acts normal. Says this Fox News host, “we’ve escorted him (God) out of our culture and marched him off the public square and then we express our surprise that a culture without him reflects what it’s become.”

Bryan Fischer

Equally as venomous as Huckabee and Dobson, and often associated with anti-gay messages, is the radio host Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio.  Yesterday, Fischer defended his claims made last Friday after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School: “ God is a “gentleman” who doesn’t go where he is not wanted.  The shooting was evidence that the reservoir of “moral capital” that this nation had built up publicly honoring and recognizing God from its founding until 1962 has now been utterly depleted, thus weakening the shield of God’s protection and allowing Satan to get through.”

Conservatives Use Media as Cheap Shots

Although these evangelicals are not pulling the trigger like Adam Lanza, they are doing their best to figuratively shoot down the opposition and gay marriage in this country. You haven’t heard the last of them!





Scientists Discover Epigenetics May Be Responsible for Homosexuality

Theories of Causes of Homosexuality

Homosexuality used to be thought of as a result of a domineering mother and an ineffectual father.  Religious zealots still believe it’s a “choice” of  a “gay lifestyle.”  The hereditary link has been established, but because of twins’ studies, scientists knew it wasn’t just a genetic link. In identical twins, there’s about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you’d expect a much higher match.

Scientists Have New Theory Why Homosexuality May Run in Families

The new study, published by William R. Rice, Urban Friberg, and Sergey Gavrilets.  Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development.  Review of Biology, 2012%3B 87 (4)The Quarterly Review of Biology, December 11, 2012, concludes that epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality is passed on in families.

Here’s How It Works

The gene expression is regulated by temporary switches called epi-marks.  They constitute an extra layer of information attached to our genes’ backbones that regulates their expression. Epi-marks direct when, where, and how much a gene is expressed during development.

Different epi-marks protect different sex-specific traits from being masculinized or feminized – some affect the genitals, sexual identity or sexual partner preference. They protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone.

These epi-marks are usually erased between generations.  However, they can cause reverse effects when the epi-marks are transmitted across generations from fathers to daughters or mothers to sons, resulting in feminization of some traits in sons, such as sexual preference, and similarly a partial masculinization of daughters.

More Study Needed

In the current study, researchers produced and biological and mathematical model that delineates the role of epigenetics in homosexuality.  William Rice, lead author of the study and evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara, says that “these findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no “gay gene” can be found.  Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.”

The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in real-life parents-offspring pairs. There’s more verification needed, and epigenetic profiles genome-wide. Other studies are needed to look at epi-marks empirically.  This can be tested and proven within six months.

Additional Moral Concerns

Rice added “that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not ‘unnatural.’ We think that people who are gay or lesbian have the right to know, what is the biological foundation for this condition?”


Conservatives like Bryan Fischer, Host of  the nationally syndicated Christian radio show “Focal Point,” and Director of Issues and Analysis for the American Family Association, are already concerned that if homosexuality is rooted in physical causes – what he terms “genetic defect”- that this discovery may lead parents to abort gay children.


Church of England Banned From Holding Gay Marriages

The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages according to a shock announcement from the United Kingdom’s government.

However, more liberal and accepting religious organisations will be allowed to “opt in” to holding same-sex ceremonies, came the unexpected announcement from the Culture Secretary Maria Miller. The Church of England and Church in Wales had “explicitly” stated strong opposition and would not be included in plans that are due to be introduced before the next UK election, in 2015.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller

The Church of England, The Roman Catholic Church and some other denominations have been vocal in their opposition to same-sex marriage and are fully expected to oppose the bill at all costs, even with its added caveats.

In her statement, Mrs Miller promised a “quadruple lock” in the bill that would protect religious freedom, involving the following:

1) No religious organisation or individual minister will be compelled to marry same-sex couples or to permit this to happen on their premises.

2) Making it illegal for religious organisations or their ministers to marry same-sex couples unless their organisation’s governing body has expressly opted in to provisions for doing so.

3) Amending the UK’s 2010 Equality Act to ensure no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.

4) The legislation will explicitly state that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples and that Canon Law, which bans same-sex weddings, will continue to apply.

Mrs Miller confirmed that because the Church of England and Church in Wales had “explicitly stated” their opposition to equality and same-sex ceremonies, it was therefore right for the government to enshrine in the bill it would “explicitly state that it will be illegal for the Churches of England and Wales to marry same-sex couples”.

Other religious groups including the Unitarians, Liberal Judaism and the Quakers, are more inclusive to same sex couples and are in favour of same sex marriage.

This rather unexpected announcement will likely appease some of the critics in the conservative party and elsewhere that have not favourable be towards marriage equality. However, many are still aggressively campaigning against the bill, claiming the bill, even if it is passed will be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights. However as European law already puts religious freedoms beyond doubt with strong protections it seems unlikely they would side with a plaintiff against the ban.

Many in the gay community welcome the bill with one hand, the right to have a ‘marriage’ rather than a civil partnership ceremony, yet with the other hand are deeply disappointed that they wont be allowed to hold it in a ‘willing’ church of England church.

“We’re delighted about the government’s statement today and welcome the promise to legislate for equal marriage as warmly as on the three previous occasions that this announcement has been made. We’re particularly pleased that ministers have been persuaded to extend their original proposal in order to permit same-sex marriages for those religious denominations that wish to hold them. This is an important matter of religious freedom.” Said the head of equality campaigning charity Stonewall, Ben Summerskill.

Others are also angry the proposed bill does not include a change to open up the current civil partnership rules to heterosexual or different sex couples, thus making it truly equal to all.

The Catholic Church has already criticized the announcement claiming ministers ignored a 600,000-signature petition against marriage equality submitted during the government’s recent consultation on gay marriage. “The meaning of marriage matters. It derives that meaning from its function as the foundation of the family. The union of one man and one woman for love and mutual support and open to procreation has over the centuries formed a stable unit we call the family.” Reads their statement. So no change there then, the catholic church has always been clear on the fact that it doesn’t welcome gay people into its congregation or see gay people as equal. However some in the Church of England feel making it illegal for them to hold same sex ceremonies is a step to far, seeing it as binding manacle preventing progress and further alienating it from the wider society of today.

Whilst the pro marriage equality supporters are celebrating this announcement, those against are already drawing up their plans against us. There is clearly a long way to go before marriage equality comes to the UK, however this should be seen as a massive step forward and clearly the biggest since civil partnerships passed in 2004.

Settling For Less

Do you ever notice how many people wish the best for others and always say that they deserve it?  But in the same breath they may state something like, “I could never have what he has” or “I wish I could do what she did.”

A tendency exists in many, me included at times, to berate one’s own abilities and settling for less than what we deserve.  I know now when I catch myself doing it, I quickly state, “no you are wrong, you can do whatever you want to do, when you want to do it!  I deserve no less than the best!”

In many cases, the root cause of the self-berating is a less than good self image.  If we all could see the inherent potential that lies in each of us, and truly believe it was there for the picking, at any time we willed to do so, how many of us would berate ourselves and our abilities a lot less?

It saddens me when people settle for less than what they deserve because they don’t have a good sense of self. I pray to the universe that they awaken someday and realize they are better than what they think they are.

This is no truer than when one is in the closet… yes that damn closet again!  It has been the focus of many an article I write, but being in the closet due to fear of the unknown and a self image grounded in what others think, prevents people from not settling for less than what they deserve.

Incessantly closeted individuals hear from others how terrible being gay is or that it is sinful and against God’s wishes.  Naturally hearing such horrible things directly impacts how one sees themselves and is especially detrimental if their self image is based on what others think rather than on what they think of themselves.

Make a decision to celebrate who you are and your potential contributions to society as an openly queer individual.  There is no greater feeling when one can, to borrow a quote from the Matrix, “know thyself.”

When one’s true essence is firmly grounded within, there is no stopping the power of the individual to obtain anything they want.  Settling for less than what is deserved becomes no longer an option.

Rain To Rainbows For New York

NYC Pride announced this week the official New York City Pride theme for 2013 will be “Rain to Rainbows.”
The theme will spotlight the many positive changes that have occurred despite the struggles the LGBT community still faces. NYC Pride will host their annual barrage of events commemorating the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, beginning with the Rally and ending with the Dance on the Pier.

NYC Gay Pride

“After years of inequality in this country we are finally turning the course towards receiving full equality. While this won’t be achieved overnight we are proud of our community’s accomplishments over the last decade and look to the future with a positive stance on the state of LGBT rights. We cannot and we will not forget about the hardships LGBT citizens endure on a daily basis across this country and the world. We will focus on how we can best turn the negative slowly into a positive,” said Chris Frederick, Managing Director of Heritage of Pride. “With the Supreme Court deciding on same-sex marriage days prior to NYC Pride’s largest day we are cautiously optimistic that history will turn in our favor.”

Marriage legislation has passed in more states and, more notably, for the first time by popular vote. Polls are consistently showing a majority of Americans support gay marriage. The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases for its 2013 docket that could ostensibly end the larger debate across the country. This year’s theme aims to acknowledge these milestones and embody the adversity we’ve faced and the unceasing progression towards that magical spot somewhere over the rainbow.

“Whether it is a rainbow in the sky or a rainbow flag flying high above The Stonewall on Christopher Street in NYC, a rainbow symbolizes hope and peace after a storm of any kind,” said Tish Flynn, Media Director of Heritage of Pride. “We want to show the world that there’s always a way to turn rain into rainbows.”

“Look, but Don’t Touch”: Message of The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints

New Mormon website Repackages Old Message

On the new Mormon’s website: mormons and gays.org., “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction,” a collection of conversations” on same-sex attraction contains the church’s stand on homosexuality: “the attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on the attraction is.” This view is not unlike Catholicism and other religions.

The rest of the church’s message is a variation on this theme.  There are videos in which gay and lesbian Mormons discuss their redemption by relinquishing “sinful behavior.” Church leaders speak about AIDS counselling among other topics.

Elder Dallin H. Oakes of The Twelve Apostles, the highest governing body of the church, in the first video states: ”there is so much we don’t understand about this subject, that we’d do well to stay close to what we know from the revealed word of God.  What we do know is that the doctrine of the church, that sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married, has not changed, and is not changing.  God’s law is not ours to change.”

According to Michael Purdy, a church spokesman, the site is part of an effort by the Mormon Church “to teach and clarify” the church’s position on homosexuality.  The Church was severely criticized after it funded California’s Proposition 8, a ballot measure that called a ban on gay marriage.

Supportive Family Reactions:  “Hate the sin, but love the Sinner”

The new website asserts that “biological determination for same-sex attraction” does exist, but how you react to these temptations and urges determines whether you are sinful.  Although the statement falls far short of complete acceptance, for the first time, the words “gay and lesbians” appear at all in a church-approved statement, and acknowledges that being gay is not a choice.

The church calls out for its members to “reach out to all of God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters” with love and understanding.  What needs to change is to help our own members and families, understand how to deal with same gender attraction and react to gay loved ones in a Christian way.”

Glacial Shift in Thinking, but Not Okay with Gay

For gay activists, the Mormon church has not gone far enough.  Since gay sex is still a sin, it leaves a gay Mormon two options:  either live celibately or get married to a heterosexual so you can be married for eternity, according to the Mormon religion.

These “mixed orientation marriages” don’t work.  Studies found that 85% of mixed-orientation marriages across society fail within three years.  Mormonism actively seeks to “pray the gay away” with counselling that aims to train gay people to be able to exist in heterosexual marriages.  Reparative or conversion therapy rarely has the desired long-term effect; instead, it typically causes depression, low self-esteem, and frustration.

While the Church may think they are being more tolerant, the net effect of regarding “the gay lifestyle” as being sinful still alienates LGBT Mormons and keeps them from practicing fully in their religion.

UK to Recognize Foreign Same Sex Marriages.

In a new announcement revealed last week, overseas gay unions are going to be recognized in law in the United Kingdom as civil partnerships, which will afford  foreign partnerships the same equal legal rules and protections as British same sex civil partner  couples.

The UK government placed an order to make an  update to section 20 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, to extend the list of overseas same-sex relationships from 25 countries to 75.  Therefore,  from the end of January next year gay couples from various countries including, Brazil,  Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden will be able to have their legal status protected while residing in the UK.

The Women and Equalities Under-Secretary Minister Jo Swinson saw this as a positive move,  “it was ‘great to see that so many countries across the world have legalised same-sex unions.  The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was a significant milestone in UK history, so it’s completely right that we now ensure our law reflects these changes and set an example for other countries to follow.” she said.

Jo Swinson

The change to the law will make it quicker and easier for gay couples overseas to work out if their overseas relationship will be treated the same as a civil partnership in the UK.


UK Prime Minister Supports Gay Marriages in Chruch!

The United Kingdom moved ever closer to full marriage equality last week when the Prime Minister, David Cameron pledge his support for gay marriage, both in civil offices and religious places of worship such as churches, synagogues and mosques. Speaking after an event in Redditch last Friday afternoon he said “I’m a massive supporter of marriage and I don’t want gay people to be excluded from a great institution.” However he had it clear that even though he is a passionate support of same sex marriage, he doesn’t want religious institutions to be forced into conducting gay ceremonies, “But let me be absolutely 100% clear, if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn’t want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it. That is absolutely clear in the legislation. Also let me make clear, this is a free vote for Members of Parliament but personally I will be supporting it.”

David Cameron

The results of a government consultation on marriage equality will become known in the next few days however, information already leaked suggests that not only the government go to Europe to fix in a legal lock to protect churches and religious from being sued should they choose not to conduct same sex marriages. The UK Culture Secretary, Maria Miller will formally launch the same-sex marriage bill on 13th December, when she officially reveal the government’s response to the consultation. A government spokesman said: ‘We are committed to bringing equal civil marriage forward and the consultation results will be announced next week. We are very clear that religious organisations must be protected and that none will be forced to conduct same-sex marriage. EU law is very clear that this is the case and we will additionally bring in very strong legal locks to ensure that this is watertight.’

Many believe the legislation will pass when it is debated in Parliament as the leaders of all three major parties have already confirmed their support for gay marriage, Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister said ‘I’m a supporter and always have been of same sex marriage, because I think marriage is a wonderful thing, a wonderful institution. It’s a demonstration of a couple’s commitment to each other, of their loving relationship and they wish to celebrate that in the eyes of society and I think we should make that celebration, that ceremony if you like, available to everyone regardless of who they are. It’s very important to remember that in our plans we’re not going to force any church or any religious denomination to hold same sex marriage ceremonies if they don’t want to but I do think it’s time that we allow any couple, no matter who they are, to marry if that’s what they want to do.’

The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are among some other religious denominations that have voiced their anger and complete opposition to same-sex marriage, however there are some, perhaps more enlightened religious groups, including Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism, that are in favour of gay marriage and are believed to be likely to apply to be allowed to stage ceremonies. The recording clerk for the Quakers in Britain, Paul Parker, said: “For Quakers, this is an issue of religious freedom and we don’t seek to impose this on others.”

With the majority of society supporting the move in the UK there has never been a better time for marriage equality to come to fruition.

‘Europe’s first gay-friendly mosque’ opens’

Breaking the prejudices of Islam – a Muslim prayer centre, which has been called Europe’s first gay-friendly mosque opened in Paris, France last Friday.
According to it’s founder this new prayer centre is designed to be the first step in breaking “prejudices in Islam”. However the move has been criticized heavily by other religious leaders.

Indeed most of the city’s Muslim leaders have condemned its launch with anger and hostility for what they claim is going “against the spirit of Islam”. Yet this new “mosque” is nothing more than a small room inside the house of a Buddhist monk in the eastern suburbs of Paris.

Dalil Boubakeur, head of the Grande Mosqueé in Paris, told local media that the opening of a new place of prayer for gay Muslims goes against the rules of Islam. “The mosques that are already there accept everyone so creating one specifically for homosexuals is against the spirit of Islam. Worshippers go to a mosque to worship god, they don’t go to demonstrate their sexuality,” Boubakeur said. “This is an abuse of the definition of a mosque.”

Islamic views on homosexuality are very unambiguous – its condemned in at least 13 verses of the Koran and the only legitimate sexual relationship is that between a man and a woman.

This new “mosque” promises to break two major Islamic taboos, welcoming gay Muslims and not separating men from women, the mosque’s founder, French-Algerian gay rights activist and practicing Muslim Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, said “It’s a radically inclusive mosque, a mosque where people can come as they are.”

Zahed has already caused controversy and outrage among the French Muslim community when in April he became the first French man to marry another man in a Muslim religious ceremony, saying “I am sure that if the Prophet Mohamed was still alive, he would marry gay couples” at the time.

Zahed is hoping this new prayer room will be just the beginning and aims to eventually create a cultural centre and library, “This is just the first step in a long-term struggle to deconstruct prejudices within Islam in France.”

Sieze Your Moment

Life is a process.  It is a progression of actions and events that move us toward a goal or a series of goals.  In order to make those goals a reality, deliberate thought occurs which will propel us forward toward finding a way to get what we want.

Conversely, that same deliberate thought can serve to make us stand still or actually move backwards.  Fear of making a decision and stepping out of our comfort zones will prevent us from movement forward toward achieving our life’s purpose.  It can create such inertia, that we simply make a decision to not make a decision!

In order for personal growth to occur, we must consciously make decisions that will benefit us rather than those that will hurt us.  Clearly, life is also about making mistakes which serve as a learning experience for the future.  However, there comes a time in one’s life when our thought process becomes refined enough to allow a more systematic thought process to occur, to weigh choices and options, which will lead to making the best decision possible.

Making the right decisions also means that we must seize the moment!  Each decision begins with a gut feeling or some sort of internal spark that gives us inkling as to whether what we are thinking is a good decision or a bad one.

Many times, when I seize my moments, there is a clear indication that what I am doing is the right thing.  When it’s the wrong decision, that same voice inside sends a message outward telling me that I need to think more about a decision I have made.

Being queer, the thought process involved in coming out is very similar.  There comes a point where we all decide that no longer will we stay in the closet.  There is a “seize the moment” kind of epiphany that happens where we just decide to thrust ourselves out of our fake shell and begin to live our true selves.

The process of coming out is also a series of decisions, with each building momentum forward to the ultimate decision to actually begin to tell people that one is queer.  In each instance, we “seize the moment” and decide to take an action that will help us become who we are meant to truly be.

Decide today to “seize your moments.”  Listen to that voice inside that will propel you forward.  Trust your intuition and don’t look back.

Seize your moments. Love yourself.