Showing posts with label Mormon Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mormon Church. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hate Crimes, Shootings, Guns, Domestic Terrorism, and the History of Ignorant Attacks on American Sikhs

The focus of this blog is most commonly the violence and hatred with which hypocritical religious individuals and institutions shower LGBT persons.  After last weekend's mass shooting at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin, I am again made painfully aware of the violence and hatred that religious individuals and institutions are capable of hurling at those of other religions.  This shooting is another in an endless line of violence that results from the tragic combination of ignorance, hatred, religion, and weapons of mass destruction.  

Ignorance:  The Huffington Post article shares numerous quotes of those who perpetrated these crimes.  One murderer said: I'm a patriot and an American. I'm American. I'm a damn American," "I'm going to go out and shoot some towel-heads," "all Arabs should be shot," and his desire to "slit some Iranian throats."  There is a common pattern in the listed crimes: the Sikh victims were ignorantly assumed to be Muslims, specifically members of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda.  

Sikhs are not in any way Muslim, nor are they the members of al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11.  Neither are nearly 100% of the world's Muslims and/or Iranians.  Yet, innocent Americans of these backgrounds have now been the victims of eleven years of domestic terrorism perpetrated by self-proclaimed "real Americans."  Ignorance breeds hatred and violence.

Religion:  From what I've been able to research (I'm by no means an expert on Sikh beliefs.), the founders of the Sikh religion, the Sikh Gurus, did not believe in the exclusivity of their teachings or writings.  Contrast this with the founders of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism, who all believed that they had a divinely-inspired, exclusive claim to the one and ultimate truth.  In other words, our god is better than your god(s).  This is a recipe for violence in the name of one's supreme being.

Weapons of Mass Destruction:  Glock semiautomatic pistols and handguns have been usedin  the recent mass shootings in Oak Creek, Aurora, Tucson, and Blacksberg.  The high-capacity magazines that have been used with them have been created with one purpose only: shoot as many bullets in as few seconds as possible. The result is mass destruction, injury, death, and terror.

We live in a nation, where the right of a U.S. citizen to legally buy these weapons of mass destruction trumps the right of every other citizen to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  After last weekend's attack upon the Sikh gurdwara, we again see that the right to bear weapons of mass destruction also trumps the right to peacefully assemble and the right to worship or not worship as one sees fit.

We accept many limitations on our rights.  It's illegal to drive at unsafe speeds, because the result might be death.  It's illegal to smoke at many indoor establishments, because the result might be cases of lung cancer for those standing nearby.  It's illegal to self-prescribe medications, because one might do harm by means of an overdose or uninformed mixing of drugs.  It's illegal to drink and drive, because one might cause an accident killing others.  

If we accept these limits on our rights to perform these actions, because the result of these actions might be injury and death to others, why can we not accept limits upon the right of citizens to purchase and stockpile the semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines that have been the tools used to reap terror, destruction, hatred and death upon so many innocent Americans?

How many more times must the tragic confluence of ignorance, hatred, religion and weapons of mass destruction be allowed to occur before we legislate concrete, preventative measures to ensure the safety of all Americans? 

In the meanwhile, the ignorance of a few will continue to result in hate crimes perpetrated against the many.  

Here's what Lawrence O'Donnell had to say about the NRA after the tragedy in Aurora, CO:
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Dan Savage and Keith Olbermann Get to the Heart of the Hatred Involved in Religious Homophobia

     In the video below, Dan Savage and Keith Olbermann get to the heart of how religion conditions gay persons to hate themselves.  So much of what Savage says speaks true to my past experience of being trained to hate myself as "God created me." 

     An example of this is in an Advocate article by John Becker, a married gay man, who went undercover and experienced the "ex-gay therapy" offered at Michelle Bachmann's husband's "clinic."  So much of what they told Becker is what I was told in Catholic seminary "formation."  I'm so grateful that I escaped.

     Back to Savage and Olbermann.  Savage is brilliant at turning homophobic arguments on their heads.  (The first half of the interview is about the Tony-winning The Book Mormon and marriage equality in New York.)  Start the video at minute 11:00 to get the point about the homophobia preached by many religions, Christianity in particular.

Here's a little bonus video: "I Believe" from The Book of Mormon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Visual Aid: If Marriage Equality Becomes a Reality What Will Happen?

     Here's visual aid concerning all those nasty claims and myths from right wing Christians, Catholics and Mormons concerning same-sex couples' civil-marriage rights courtesy of Political Ironing at the PBH Network.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Plural Marriage, Racism, Homophobia, and Armageddon for "Big Love"

     Tonight is the series finale of HBO's polygamist-family drama Big Love.

     Here's a clip in honor of Bill Henrickson and his "true" Mormons:

     Because the other "true" Church of Latter Day Saints knows about the sanctity of marriage:

      Some LDS claim plural marriage is an immutable pillar of their faith.  Others have spent millions of dollars on smear campaigns against same-sex couples in an attempt to prove the Mormon church believes marriage is, has been, and always will be, as their God commanded, between one man and one woman.  But they are hypocrites.  LDS teachings are mutable.   

     Or do they still believe the once-immutable teaching that African-Americans and other persons of color are the cursed descendants of Cain?  Polygamist Brigham Young did. Here's a Young quote from a Utah State University Secular Humanists, Atheists, and Free Thinkers article, entitled, "Why I Don’t Believe: Racism in Mormon History and Doctrine:"
     Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110)
     Tonight, as I say goodbye to the Henricksons, I can only hope that someday the Mormon church will say goodbye to its homophobia as it did to its racism.
Image via Entertainment Weekly

     PS.  If gays were as dominant in football as African-Americans, would the LDS drop its teachings condemning homosexuals to improve BYU's chances of winning a national championship?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Gay Mormon's Story

     Here is one man's reflection upon Mormon beliefs and being gay, via the Miami Herald:
     Ben Jarvis has heard a lot of coming out stories.
     For the past 15 years, the southern California-based urban planner has been answering a hotline number for Mormons struggling with their sexual identity. Jarvis, a volunteer for Affirmation, a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Mormons, estimates he's talked to as many as 3,000 people.
     Many of them are "deathly afraid," their secret will be discovered by friends, family, or members of their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregations, he said.
     In a faith where the traditional family is deeply woven into theology and where there is seemingly no line between religion and culture, the potential losses for LGBT Mormons who come out can be devastating, Jarvis and others say.
     "There are so many great things about Mormon culture and the LDS church, but it is not a safe place for gay and lesbian people," said Jarvis, 42, a seventh-generation Mormon who came out in 1993 and has since left the church.
     Read the rest at:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mormon Update: Boyd Packer's Homophobic Speech Redacted & Protest in Salt Lake

     Here are a few quick updates on the reaction to the LDS Boyd K. Packer's very homophobic and unscientific speech at the 180th General Conference last Sunday:
     The LDS has edited the speech changing Packer's description of homosexuality as a "temptation" to a "tendency" and cutting his question asking why his Mormon god would create people with an "impure" and "unnatural" "pre-set" homosexuality.  The Salt Lake Tribune reports upon these changes here.  This is one response: 
     “It leaves it out there like this is a temptation, like this is something one can choose,” said Watts, a Provo father of six grown children, including a gay son and a lesbian daughter. “They’re trying to edit it and soften it and make it better, but it’s not going to work. [The speech has] gone viral. Everyone knows what he said.”  Packer and the church should have gone further in their subsequent statements, Watts argued. “It would be nice to have the church apologize and say they’re editing it because they’ve recognized that it’s caused a tremendous amount of hurt and discomfort,” he said. “I know many leaders of our church know that homosexuality is experienced honestly and involuntarily and is not amenable to significant change. I’m disappointed they don’t speak out.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HRC Protest Letter to Homophobic Mormon Church Leader

     In the wake of the recent wave of LGBT-bullying-related suicides, the Mormon Church is not letting up.  Religious leaders continue their hateful preaching against LGBT persons, which include countless children some of whom see no other way to reconcile their lives than to kill themselves.  

     Many of us are familiar with the struggle that so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens face. Anti-LGBT bullying in schools is out of control and has led to a number of recent teen suicides.
     Yet a top Mormon Church apostle has chosen this precise moment to broadcast a message of intolerance to millions.
     Boyd K. Packer, the second-highest Mormon leader, said same-sex attraction is "impure and unnatural" and can be overcome, and that same-sex unions are morally wrong and "against God's law and nature."
     Please add your name to our open letter showing the Mormon Church hierarchy that it has risked further alienating vulnerable LGBT youth with potentially devastating consequences – and after you sign the letter, please post it on Facebook and share it with your friends so people everywhere know that these views are scientifically wrong and misguided.
     Here's the text of the letter:
Dear Mr. Packer, 
I'm appalled that you chose this moment to deliver a sermon saying same-sex attraction is unnatural and same-sex unions are immoral. You have risked further alienating LGBT youth and potentially contributing to suicides of even more vulnerable young people. You've told them that their very identities are "impure and unnatural" and you've incited the violence and bullying that often drives them to suicide by repeating lies disproven by both science and the experience of millions of Americans who know their LGBT neighbors and care about them.
I hope you will cease putting young people in real peril and acknowledge the scientific truth: sexual orientation cannot be changed, nor should it be.
     Click here to sign the letter.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mormons, Catholics, & Fundamentalist Christians in the Crowded Marriage Bed

     Mormons, Catholics, and Fundamentalist Christians continue their unholy alliance to block and/or strip same-sex couples of their civil marriage and/or domestic partnership rights.  Their cooperation continues to baffle me as for centuries these groups have disdained one another.  They have conflicting theologies that indicate they don't even believe that they're all going to the same place after they die.

     In the videos embedded below, the President of the Church of Latter Day Saints "spake" to the Mormon General Council about the "wickedness" and "Satan's [inaudible] substitute and counterfeits for marriage," meaning civil same-sex marriages.  He traces his authority from Jesus to St. Peter to Joseph Smith and then through an unbroken line Mormon male elders that have the "power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases" and to tell everyone else how to live their lives.   Mormons believe that the "priesthood keys of authority" were restored by Joseph Smith after nearly two millennia of Catholic and Protestant failure known as the "dark centuries of apostasy."  But when it comes to opposing civil same-sex marriage rights, those apostates make great bedfellows.

     One of those apostate bedfellows, the Catholic Church, has a different explanation for its divine authority.   The Catholic Church believes the myth that the authority/keys of Peter have been passed in an unbroken line from pope to pope and that the true church of Jesus Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church.  Mormons are the apostates.

     The other bedfellow, the Fundamentalist Christians, think the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon and Mormons are morons.  For fundies, authority comes directly from Jesus to each individual believer through the Bible.  But, don't go getting ideas different from your fundamentalist preacher, or you'll be shunned as ignorant, willful, and heretical.  BTW, for these true Christians, the ones who historically have been hated the most are Jews, Catholics, Mormon, and Muslims.  Fundamentalist Christians used to denounce black Christians because they supposedly didn't have souls (Mormons also believed in the "Curse of Cain").  Today, homosexuals trump all these evil-other groups.  Fundamentalists are sleeping with anyone who will vote against the gays. 

     If Mormons, Catholics, and Fundamentalists Christians believe in the same concept of marriage, then surely they must believe in the same concept of becoming Christian.

     Most Catholics see Mormonism as an adolescent religion that is based on the psychotic breaks or drug-induced visions of young boy who believed special underwear would keep him safe from harm.  Mormons aren't Christians.  Ten years ago, when I was in Catholic seminary, one of the common slippery-slope arguments used against giving same-sex couples even domestic partnership rights was that then we'll have to give polygamist Mormons the same and before we know it the gays will have paved the way for the legaliszation of polygamy.  The Mormons were the enemy.

     Fundamentalist Christians think both Mormons and Catholics are full of sin and going to hell because they haven't "accepted Jesus as their personal savior."  They re-baptize Catholic and Mormon converts.  In some circumstances, they even re-baptize other Fundamentalist Christians from slightly different one-true-churches.  

     But they all agree on marriage.  Right?

     Not exactly.

     Mormons believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, unless you were Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, in whose case marriage is between one man and thirty three females, including girls as young as 14 and 15.  Mormon marriage was between one man and multiple women and girls until it was necessary to ban polygamy in 1890 so that Utah could become a state in 1896.  So for Mormons, marriage is a never-changing institution, unless throwing out the beliefs of your religion's founder favors the political relevance and aspirations of the current church leadership.

     Catholics believe that marriage is between one baptized Christian man and one baptized Christian woman, who may or may not have been previously married.  If they were previously married and their previous spouse(s) is not dead then they have to go through the annulment process, in which those previous marriages are declared invalid, meaning they never really took place even though there might have been hundreds of witnesses and a priest who signed off on the wedding.  But if the previous marriage(s) was in the Catholic Church, it took place after the couple swore that they were entering the marriage of their own free will and that they would have children and raise them Catholic, and they got married in a physical Catholic church/building, unless they got the proper dispensations.  Catholic marriage does not include marriage between one baptized Catholic and one non-Christian.  These marriages are allowed to take place with a dispensation by the local bishop, but they are not sacramental marriages, they are civil marriages.  Which is an interesting distinction that Catholics pretend doesn't exist when they are arguing against same-sex civil marriages.  And by the way, if you were married in the Catholic Church before 1983, when the Code of Canon Law was revised, you couldn't marry your second cousin, but today you can.  So much for the never-changing institution of marriage.

     For Christian Fundamentalists, there are no annulments.  So if your spouse beats, tortures, and rapes you, you are stuck, unless you can prove that your abusive spouse commit adultery.  If you get a non-adultery-induced divorce and get remarried to a really nice person, who doesn't beat/torture/rape you, then you are going to hell.  Of course, you also must marry within your own sub-denomination of Christianity; if you don't you are disfellowshiped (i.e. excommunicated--a value which all these churches share) and are shunned from the community and your family.  Oh, and all of this is determined by the whim of your local pastor, who may or may not answer to a higher human authority, but has a direct line to the mind of god.

     So, while all of these (pseudo-)Christians have different tenants for what defines a marriage, they agree that marriage is a never-changing, sacred/sacramental, infinite bond between just one man and one woman, unless any of the above exceptions apply.
     The Mormon, Catholic, Fundamentalist Christian theological orgy must be kept out of the civil marriage bed.  


     This is the "logic" undergirding Mormon opposition to civil same-sex marriage.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What to Do with Those Gideon Bibles in Your Hotel Room

     Does it bug you that many hotels feel the need to proselytize their paying guests by sticking their version of the Christian bible or Book of Mormon in the room?
Image via FFRF
     The Bible of choice is the Gideon Bible.  If you don't know who Gideon was, he was a very bad man.  Read the image to the right, which is a sticker you can get through the Freedom from Religion Foundation to stick in those pesky evangelical Christian bibles.  Gideon's bloody legacy is preserved in the book of Judges.

     Non-Gideon Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, free thinkers, atheists, agnostics, etc., who don't ascent to the Gideon Bible's version of the universe have many options.  

     The bibles are there for the taking, so I say take them and throw them in the trash. That will be a few dollars spent on replacing the violent book rather than on political lobbying and ballot initiatives that take away people's civil rights and erode at the separation of church and state.

     So, when your traveling this holiday weekend, be sure to chuck those bibles.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

An Interview with a Survivor of Sexual Abuse Perpetrated by a Catholic Priest

     Here are some highlights from a Huffington Post interview of one of the first victims of child sexual abuse by priests to come forward nearly a decade ago, suing the Roman Catholic Church.  Titled "The Man Who Brought Down the Catholic Church," the interview delves into the perspective and experience of abuse-survivor "Princess" and provides a window into the church's hypocrisy and lies from the perspective of one, who was deeply damaged by the church.

     On the explosion of sexual exploitation on all levels -- pornography, prostitution, etc. -- and the hypocrisy of the Marriott-owning Mormons.
     Yeah, the media always uses sexuality to sell products, and the one thing in this country no one wants to talk about is that children are sexual beings. People are very uncomfortable with that and would prefer to ignore that reality. Still, companies, mainstream companies, have long used children by exploiting them sexually. Think of Brooke Shields' ad ["Nothing comes between me and my Calvins."]. She was what, 14 in that ad? That was very controversial in 1979, '80. I think it's not new, but yeah, people don't look at how come when you check into any Marriott Hotel, you can see all this porn, and yet they're Mormons. They're very conservative, but they're making money in porn. Most hotel chains do that. No one wants to really address it. They want it to go away, they want to sweep it under the rug.
     On the Catholic Church's contrition and continuing lies:
     But I mean, the Catholic Church continues to this day to lie about what they know and what they allowed. These press releases the Vatican has been handing out the last couple of months just shows them all to be bigger liars than ever.  But I mean, if you think about it, priests, the Catholic Church, they're not supposed to be having sex, and yet they're giving advice about experiences they're not supposed to know about. Which sort of makes no sense.  I don't believe for a minute that they're sincere or sorry that these crimes have been committed, and continue to be committed. I mean, they had seven hospitals in the United States built in the 1960s housing pedophile priests. And yet in 2002, and up to today, they claim that they didn't know the extent of the problem.
     On the public's perception and/or indifference to sexual abuse:
     I don't think that people, in general, realize the long-term effects that it has on people. I think some people think just, okay, that happened 20, 40 years ago. Buck up, things happen. Be a man, or be a woman. I think one of the reasons they have that reaction is society. Nobody wants to talk about it, because most people know someone who's been sexually abused, and a lot know someone in their family, or whatever, that has sexually abused someone
     I don't think they understand it completely, the general public. I think a lot of people want it to go away because it's ugly. They don't want to look at it or hear about it, and I don't think they want to -- I don't think a lot of people want to be educated about the subject matter, just because it's so distasteful. People don't want to hear about children being raped and how that impacts lives down the road. And it's scary, and it could be their children. I know it's one of the reasons they should hear about it, but I think it's one of the reasons that makes them uncomfortable.
     For the entire interview, click here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A New Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Dialogue Starting Point: More than Just Catholic Clergy Rape Children

      If Jesus were alive today, he'd be asking whether there are enough millstones for the preachers, priests, imams, rabbis, ministers, bishops, deacons, and other religious leaders, who molest, abuse, rape, and even murder children.

     Here is but a scratch in the surface of the reporting done on sexual abuse perpetrated by religious leaders in the past few days. 

    Roman Catholics do it.

     The Winnipeg Free Press reports an update on the sexual abuse of Legionaires of Christ founder Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, who was so saintly that he abused even his own illegitimate children.
     A Mexican man said Monday he is the son of the founder of a once-influential Roman Catholic religious order, and accused his father of repeatedly molesting him.  In a lawsuit, Jose Raul Gonzalez, 30, accused the late Rev. Marcial Maciel of abuse beginning at age 7. Gonzalez said Maciel led a double life, explaining his long absences from the family by saying he was a CIA agent and oil executive...Gonzalez said the abuse began when Maciel took him on trips in South America, England and elsewhere. Leaders of the Legion knew for decades that Maciel was a pedophile and did nothing to stop him, Gonzalez said in his legal claim against the group.  "He always said to us that he was an enemy of the lies, but he was the most liar, the biggest liar," said Gonzalez, at a news conference with his attorney, Jeff Anderson.
Image via BBC News 
     A high-profile former Roman Catholic priest in Italy has been charged with sexual abuse. Pierino Gelmini, 85, is alleged to have abused 12 young people at a drug rehabilitation centre he had founded.
    Muslims do it.

     An imam pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage boy at a Gulf coast mosque.  A judge put Yasser Mohamed Shahade on probation for 10 years and designated him a sexual offender Thursday. He will be deported to Egypt.  He faced 15 years in prison if convicted of the initial charge, sexual battery on a minor. His attorney confirmed that he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of lewd and lascivious molestation.  He was arrested in May 2009 after a boy who stayed overnight at the Masjid Omar Al Mukhtar mosque said he had been assaulted.
     Evangelical Christians do it.

Image via WTMJ
     The Sheboygan County Sheriff's department arrested a Sheboygan pastor for sexually assaulting a child just one day after he was released from jail for a different charge involving a different child.  27 year old Travis Gandy worked with children as a music pastor for five years at Praise Fellowship Church in Sheboygan. The criminal complaints said both of his alleged victims knew him through the church.
     A minister at Greenwich church as been put on leave after being arrested on child porn charges.  According to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston, on Tuesday,  [Rev.] Simeon Stefanidakis, 59, was charged with four counts of transportation of child pornography and one count of child pornography possession.  Stefanidakis is accused of transporting the kiddie porn in October of 2008 while he was living in Brookline, Mass. Federal prosecutors said that he served as minister, teacher, counselor and “medium” at the First Spiritual Temple in Brookline. 
     Baptists do it.

     A Baptist pastor from Warren charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy made incriminating statements about the incidents to investigators, the city’s police chief said. It’s those statements -- combined with the boy’s and text messages between the pair – that led a judge to keep Christopher Settlemoir, 26, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church and K-12 school in Warren, in jail on $1-million bond today – despite claims of innocence. “This has come as quite a shock to him,” attorney Mark Torrice said while representing Settlemoir at an arraignment this afternoon in 37th District Court in Warren. Charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, Settlemoir faces up to life in prison if convicted.
     A 75-year-old former Palestine pastor has been indicted by an Anderson County grand jury on two charges of sexual misconduct — one of which allegedly occurred more than 20 years ago.  Hezekiah Stallworth, 75, of Palestine was indicted Thursday on felony charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by sexual contact, according to Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe.  Stallworth was a well-known figure in the local Christian community and had preached at two churches — Oak Grove Baptist Church in Elkhart and Beulah Baptist Church outside of Palestine — prior to his arrest in February.  Stallworth was arrested by Anderson County sheriff's authorities on Feb. 26 on the indecency charge, just five days after he allegedly fondled the breasts of a 7-year-old female in an office at Oak Grove Baptist Church following Sunday services, authorities have said.  The pastor allegedly lured the young girl into his office by offering candy, according to authorities.  Following Stallworth’s arrest earlier this year, Lowe said an additional victim came forward, alleging she was sexually assaulted by the accused man on or about March 15, 1989.
Image via The Daily Gleaner 

     A former St. John River Valley pastor convicted of two sex crimes was sentenced to 16 months behind bars Friday.  Fred Hanson, 61, appeared in the Court of Queen's Bench for a sentencing hearing on one count each of sexual exploitation and sexual interference.  Hanson was convicted by a jury in May. The counts stemmed from incidents between May 2006 and December 2007 while he was the pastor at the Plaster Rock Free Will Baptist Church.

     Jews do it.

     A rabbi from the Hod HaSharon region in Israel has been arrested and was accused of raping underage girls. The rabbi offered advice and family counselling to the girls and their families.  According to Press TV, a rabbi from the nation of Israel has been accused for raping underage girls between the ages of 14 and 16.  The report states that the girls, and even the girls’ families, went to the 56-year-old rabbi for family counselling and advice. The rabbi was able to keep his victims quiet by threatening to excommunicate them or curse them if they had charged him for his acts.
Image by Daily News
     New sex abuse allegations - at least one stretching back more than a decade - are surfacing against a once-respected Brooklyn rabbi recently convicted of molesting a teen.  A 29-year-old Borough Park man went to cops last week saying that Rabbi Baruch Lebovits fondled him in a ritual bath, known as a mikvah, when he was just a teen.  Several more men have reached out to police to share stories of sexual abuse at the hands of Lebovits, sources said.  "What he is charged with is the tip of the iceberg," said one law enforcement source.  Lebovits was sentenced in April to 10 to 32 years in prison for sex assaults on a 16-year-old boy - a stunning turn in the life of a cantor who led popular religious services in Brooklyn and upstate.
     Mormons do it.

     After being sent out to deliberate at 10:45 a.m., a Schleicher County jury returned a verdict of guilty for Abram Harker Jeffs at 11:40 a.m., less than an hour.  Jeffs, 39 and a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was charged with sexual assault of a child. He is the latest in a series of men from the YFZ Ranch, an FLDS community near Eldorado, to be prosecuted on child sexual assault charges since the state raided the ranch two years ago.  The state alleged that Jeffs assaulted a girl with whom he was in an FLDS “spiritual” or “celestial” marriage on May 12, 2006, when Jeffs was 34 and already legally married and when the girl was 15.
     Scientologists do it.

     Newser reports via the Sydney Morning Herald from Australia:
     The Australian branch of the Church of Scientology helped a stepfather cover up his sexual assault of his pre-teen daughter and blamed the girl for the attacks, the victim has revealed. The daughter, now an adult, says her stepdad molested her from the ages of 7 to 11, and that Scientology official Jan Eastgate told her and her mother to lie to police about the abuse—and that it was her own fault.
Sunday school teacher/murderer Melissa Huckaby via Mercury News  
     Even harmless Sunday school teachers do it.

     A newly released court document shows that Melissa Huckaby drugged her 8-year-old neighbor, Sandra Cantu, and sexually assaulted her with a rolling pin before stuffing her body into a suitcase and throwing it into a Tracy irrigation pond last year. For her crimes, Huckaby, a 29-year-old former Sunday school teacher, will spend of the rest of her natural life in prison without the possibility of parole. In a surprise move, she pleaded guilty last month to murdering and kidnapping Sandra. In exchange, prosecutors took the death penalty off the table and dropped sexual abuse charges. Also dropped were charges in two unrelated drugging cases involving another Tracy girl and a Hayward man whom police today said was her ex-boyfriend. A theft case she was facing from Tracy was terminated. 
     I feel like I'm going to vomit.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hateful Comments Left on this Blog

     Here are some examples of the comments left on this blog by those who claim to worship a loving god.  These comments are typical of those that use religion to preach the Gospel According to Hate.

     This first set of anonymous comments was made by a good Catholic earlier today.  Don't you feel the love of Christ in these words?

     Comment left on the post "I Hate the Crusades and the Inquisition"
     No matter how much you one [sic], it was the homosexuals (like yourself) who took over the Church in the 60 [sic] and started a mass conspiracy of pedophilia. No matter how much you say it isn't so does not make it any less true. So don't piss on my leg and tell me its raining. (Anonymous)12:57 PM
     Comment left on the post "I Hate Tradition"
So, it was tradition for Ancient Greek men to take young boy lovers, is that what you are suggesting Mr. Anti-Pedophile who I know for sure is a pedophile himself.  (Anonymous) 12:55 PM
     Comment left on the post "I Hate Loaded Religious Questions"
and [sic] yet you refuse to admit that the pedophilia in the Church was an organized plan conducted by a kabal of homosexuals to take over our Church. Go to hell where you belong.  (Anonymous) 12:53 PM
     Comment left on the post "Saint Nazi I"
I know you are a pedophile yourself!  (Anonymous) 12:51 PM
     Comment left on the post "Woman Tackles Pope; Seminarian Clutches Pearls"
And I know you are apart [sic] of the despicable cover up of sexual abuse! Admit you are one. Admit that you and the pedophiles are apart [sic] of a gay kabal that took over our Church. (Anonymous) 12:49 PM
     Comment left on the post "Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Law, with Racial Profiling Language"
Unborn babies are human too. I love how you claim others are hypocrites when you are yourself protect the same group of people (homosexuals) who infested our Church and molested young boys. How dare you refuse to expose these pedophiles as homosexuals when you of all people know that they are!  (Anonymous) 12:46 PM
     Comment on the post "Sinead O'Connor Tells Rachel Maddow that Pope Should be Criminally Investigated"
What hypocrisy, this is the same woman who abuses her own children and has a severe mental problem which she refuses to treat. She also supports homosexuality which we all know is what caused all the sexual abuse in the church.  (Anonymous) 12:37 PM
     Shortly thereafter, I recieved this email:
We are going to fight people like you.  The people who claim the Church has persecuted them for being gay when they are the same people who molested millions of children.  The people who orchestrated a gay kabal to bring down the church in shame and scandal 
Stay away from my church and how dare you complain about pedophile priests when you were or are one of them. I know who you are and I know what people like you did, now you make yourselves look like victims and heros to cover your guilt.
Down with the Lavendar Mafia!
     Here's a comment that was made last week by a loving and holy Mormon on the post "Mormon Traditional Marriage: One Gay Man Plus One Straight Woman Equals Big Love."
ScottyLDS said...
HOW DARE YOU post this garbage about Ty and Danielle! You don't know them. You don't know the Matis' [sic]. You don't know jack. Boy, you better hope your pansy butt never crosses my path. Your misuse of copyrighted material on this blog is something I find offensive. Remove it now, or I will rip you apart as I have done to other pro-homosexual blogs that have posted copyrighted material on their pro-homosexual websites.
I will be in touch with you. If you don't remove this material from your gay blog, I will report you to those entities of whose copyright labels you have greedily, flamboyantly, and vainly mocked! 
May 25, 2010 4:40 PM
      Attitudes like these are exactly why I am writing this blog.  The Gospel According to Hate that some religious people preach is not only an affront to those that they target with their wrath and ignorance, but it also erodes the good that some persons of faith still do in the world. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mormon Traditional Marriage: One Gay Man Plus One Straight Woman Equals Big Love

     Gay Mormon writer, Ty Mansfield, who wrote In Quiet Desperation is getting married to a woman.  This is how Mormon, Catholics, and fundamentalist Christian in the United States want to save their "traditional marriage" values.  What hypocrisy!

     Published in October of 2004, this anti-gay message explains that for a gay Mormon, suicide is more honorable and justified than engaging in a homosexual act. Mansfield’s co-authors are the parents of Stuart Matis who, at the age of 32, committed suicide because of an inability to reconcile his Mormon upbringing and his own homosexuality. They also continue to support LDS leaders, who perpetuate discrimination against the LGBT community.

     As a practicing family therapist and doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy at Texas Tech University, Ty and his beliefs perpetuate a false hope that sexual orientation can be changed and that by way of Mormon doctrine homosexual lifestyles should be rejected and treated as an abhorrent practice. Through inaccurate and false counsel about homosexuality, in the past, gay men were advised to marry women claiming the temptation would subside [just like the Big Love storyline this past season]. And while LDS leaders have stated they no longer perpetuate said advice, as Carol Lynn Pearson explains, “Enough women have been sacrificed on that altar.”
     Mansfield and his fiancée Danielle Palmer have announced their wedding date as May 22nd 2010 in the Salt Lake City LDS temple.
     To read about Danielle and Ty's story, and how back in her college days as a self-proclaimed "Men's Chorus groupie," she watched Ty sing in the flamboyant BYU choral ensemble, but didn't fall in love with him until the god of Facebook reconnected them, click here

     And this is supposed to restore the sanctity of marriage?  Parents like those of Matis are the ones who are destroying children and families.

     I wonder who his best man is.

How straight are these gals?

Previously on Big Love:

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gay Mormon Suicide Memorial

     Mercury News reports:
    Ten years ago, Henry Stuart Matis walked up to the steps of a Mormon church in Los Altos with a note reading "Do not resuscitate" pinned to his shirt, and shot himself.
    He was a 32-year-old gay man and devoted member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and after a lifetime spent struggling to reconcile the two, explained in a suicide note that "for the first time in over 20 years, I am free from my pains.

    "As I believed that I was a Christian, I believed that I could never be gay," he wrote. "Perhaps my death ... might become the catalyst for much good ... Your actions might help to save many young people's lives."

    Early Thursday morning — the 10th anniversary of Matis' death — a group of local Mormons and others held a memorial vigil for Matis in Los Altos.

    Starting at Cuesta Park with songs and brief speeches, about 20 people then walked up Grant Road, carrying roses and candles. They ended up on the sidewalk in front of the LDS stake center on Grant Road in Los Altos, where they set up a small memorial display with an image of Matis' tombstone and stories about his and other gay Mormons who have committed suicide.According to a statement on its Web site, the Mormon church believes that acting on "same-gender attraction" is a sin and gay church members must remain celibate.

    George Cole, a San Francisco resident who is gay and serves on the executive committee of Affirmation, a support and advocacy group for gay and lesbian current and former Mormons, said he didn't know Matis personally but has "lost too many very good friends to suicide.
    "I know what it is like to seriously consider taking your life," he said. Cole said he left the Mormon church in 2002.  "I chose happiness and fulfillment at the cost of not having the church in my own life."
     So did I, Cole.  So did I.

     If you or anyone you know is considering suicide call 1-800-SUICIDE or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

     For LGBT children and teens, contact the Trevor Project at  1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).  

     If someone you know is going to commit suicide right now, call 911.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bull Sunday

     Super Bowl Sunday swooped in overnight with its usual recipe of subplots, masculinity, and patriotism.  Today is as close as it gets to an unofficial national holiday: the day that millions of people gather to stuff their round faces full of junk food and cheap American brew, while chiseled young men risk traumatic back and brain injuries for gladiator glory.  

     The military machine, a loom, will see its propaganda-weave payoff with strategically placed generals flipping coins, sportscaster-enhanced intel about how Joe Football did a tour in Iraq, and campaigns of pre and post commercial-break inserts that show off our digitally-camouflaged troops (unarmed with their weapons of mass destruction and terror) in some far away desert wasteland cheering on the Saints or Colts like good ole boys.  Since they scream like maniacs for football, just like you and me, then it's okay to occupy foreign nation with people just like you and me.  

     Peppered within the troops and amongst the players on the sidelines will be the periodic Roman collar or gold cross bearing chaplain which easily goes unnoticed under the bellowing of "God Bless America" by a Queen and all the religiously-correct signs of the cross after touchdowns or the non-Catholic finger-points to the heavens.   

     The biggest question leading into the game is which scripture passage will St. Timmy Tebow be wearing in his Focus on the Family sponsored abortion protest commercial, cowritten by CBS, which has changed its name from Columbia Broadcasting System to the Christian Bull Shit network.  And more than likely, the "My mommy didn't abort me, so shame on you sinners who did have or support something that is legal in this country" ad will no doubt be followed by silicon enhanced breasts, small panties, horny young men, and alcohol, encouraging young children to be American and fuck for god and country.  And if the sex-sells commercials don't follow St. Timmy's message, then surely an extreme closeup and slow fade from the heavily painted and scantily clad sideline cheerleaders' silicon-enhanced mammary ducts will do.  

     And this, my fellow Americans, is Super Bull Sunday.

     Now, I love football.  I'm not saying we should end football.  All I'm saying is that the way the Super Bowl has been being packaged, and even more so this year by CBS, is making the Super Bowl a mere vessel for the hetero, military, and Christian right wing complex of our nation.  Don' believe me?  Then ask yourself these questions, honestly.

     What would happen if Queen Latifah decided to hold the hand of her lesbian partner while singing "God Bless America," or if she turned and kissed her on the lips immediately following the last note?  Would that be viewed as American, as okay?  What would happen if a player scored a touchdown and immediately prostrated himself on the field facing Mecca?  Or if he shouted "Allah akbar!" as he pointed into the cameras?  Would he get a taunting penalty?  A stint at Gitmo?  What would happen if within the barrage of commercials inundated with heterosexual sexual images, a commercial with a product for homosexual patrons played?  What if in the midst of the "God bless our troops" and "Support our troops" comments and ads, a commercial protesting the wars and promoting military withdrawal and pacifism were played?  What if commercials from the Freedom from Religion Foundation supporting the separation of church and state aired?  What if a star football player was in a commercial and talked about how he's only alive because  years ago his mom's life-ending pregnancy tragically ended with a life-saving abortion and paved the way for her to give birth to three more children including her gay, ex-Catholic, atheist football-star son?   What if...?

     In all the news reports and blogging about St. Timmy Tebone and Focus on the Straight Family's anti-abortion commercial that will air during the Superbowl and four times during the pre-show today one thing is crystal clear: CBS is playing the hypocrite.  There's no doubt in that matter, especially after CBS refused to air's commercial protesting the Iraq war half a decade ago because of it's political content, not to mention PETA or the gay friendly United Church of Christ's past denied Super Bowl commercial submissions.

     Focus on the Family is one of the leading benefactors and propaganda machines attacking  equal civil rights for LGBT persons, and Family's spot gets the nod, while gay dating website's spot got cut for its inappropriate gay material.  But just a few years ago, CBS aired a Snickers commercial with gay sexual behavior in it, not to mention the number of man-on-man hugs and butt slaps that will be aired during the game today.  (One of the original Snickers Super Bowl commercials was cut only after LGBT rights groups protested the commercials encouragement of violence against gays.)  So, CBS has shown where they stand: to the right and in favor of freedom of speech for the Christian Right, not all of America.

     So, what are those football fans who protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, support a woman's reproductive choice, believe that LGBT persons deserve full and equal civil rights including marriage and ad time, and are not charismatic Christians to do?  Are we to exclude ourselves from the cultural holiday of Super Bowl Sunday?  Are we to protest and not watch the game of the year?  Will it even make a difference if one, two, or even twenty-five million people protest by not watching the game?

     I doubt it.  Because, we don't have the money.  We don't watch, and CBS won't care.  They already have the money in the bank that Focus on the Family paid them for St. Timmy's testimony.  CBS knows exactly what they're doing.

     Does this mean that political advocacy groups are now going to have to raise millions of not-for-profit dollars a year to get Super Bowl air time?  Why not?  We already have to spend millions of dollars paying for ad time to try to retain our equal civil rights from attacks by Focus on the Family and their Mormon and Catholic friends.

     CBS has made this an entirely new bowl game.

   Postscript:  If you TiVo (no, not Tebow) the game and start it an hour late, you can fast forward through all the propaganda and just enjoy the game itself.  Also, you can pause it when the men in tight pants show off their packages or pat each others' pretty butts.  Click here to watch the other gay-themed add that CBS rejected.

Monday, January 11, 2010

No Freedom of Information for Gays

     One right we apparently don't have is the right to view the public trial and to know what the right-wing Christian, Catholic, and Mormon-backed supporters of "traditional" marriage are saying about homosexuals, and what lies they will continue to spin, in order to keep us second class citizens.  The Supreme Court will give it's final word hopefully on Wednesday, as to whether the federal trial public video coverage will be shown.

     On Friday, opponents of Prop. 8 sent petitions signed by more than 140,000 people urging TV coverage of the trial.
     "It's vital that this trial be open to the public," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign Institute in Los Angeles. "The outcome will affect millions of people, and it's the American way to open the judicial process to the public."
     Foes of Prop. 8 criticized the appeal to the Supreme Court as a desperate attempt "to shut cameras out."
     "Those who want to ban gay marriage spent millions of dollars to reach the public with misleading ads, rallies and news conferences during the campaign to pass Prop. 8. We are curious why they now fear the publicity they once craved," said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
     "Apparently transparency is their enemy, but the people deserve to know exactly what it is they have to hide."
     Yes, transparency is their enemy, as throughout the campaigns in California for Prop 8 and in Maine for Question 1, the holy religious people who've supposedly got god on their side have been trying to keep their spending and their actions under wraps all along.  So much for the truth setting them free.