March 18th, 2005

Getting angry through really good art

I love it when I get the opportunity to watch a brilliant independent film, even moreso when the film is as well done as Latter Days. Last night, after months of prepping from several different people on how much I would love this film, D bought the DVD and we finally watched it. I cannot find the words to convey how much I adored it, and how I hope everyone reading this will take the opportunity to see it.

I was reading stories of GLBT Mormons and getting a better idea of how oppressive this religion is on not just them, but on people of color and women as well. I didn't really grasp just how oppressive and misogynistic it truly is. One of the stories I came across is about Steven Epperson, a former assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University, who was told that his services would no longer be required as of the end of August 1997. I found the text of a sermon he delivered prior to his excommunication that is one of the most beautiful things I think I've read in a long, long time.
"This association affirms by covenant that "we are grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and enables our faith," understanding and vision. We claim that "the living tradition we share draws from many sources." If that is really true of us, then we welcome whatever you bring here that you still cherish from your previous religious home. We know that you have left it, or that you are straying from it, for a reason. If that past clings to you like a blood-sucking ghost, we will stand by you and help you with our own hands to pry it off and help you heal. If there is dead wood to cut away, then let us help you sharpen your axe. If you need to curse and to cry, we better be ready and willing to stand by you."
Very inspiring indeed. Someone please direct ladysisyphus to this!

I also found a story about a married Mormon couple who had gone so far as to write a book called Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Behavior, in which they claimed that homosexuality was an addiction of some sort, strewn with the kind of well versed LDS rhetoric that I'm so completely incensed by. Fast forward a few years, they are now divorced, have both come out as gay, and are currently living open and out lives - much to the horror of the Mormon church. For her part, Martha Beck has written a new book entitled Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith that chronicles her journey. I'm very interested in reading this. For his part her father, renowned LDS scholar Hugh Nibley, (whom she charges sexually abused her as a child, a charge that runs rampant within the LDS) has his own website called Hugh Nibley Defense which more than refutes any allegations of wrongdoing and goes further in an effort to discredit her - all under the guise of still loving her and with the promise of welcoming her home with open arms. Even his biographer jumps in the fray. Another organization called Affirmation.org is available to GLBT Mormons who have been excommunicated or otherwise made a pariah by the church. I found many more stories there.

Then you have the flip side of this issue, or rather the uglier and considerably more contemptible side - the Right Wing Fundamentalist/Fascist/God Nazi faction of Christianity, who invent outrageous lies in an effort to sway stupid impressionable folks. For instances, look no further than Homosexual Urban Legends - A Website of the Traditional Values Coalition. They even let you link to their bullshit site with a banner:
Don't say I didn't warn you, this is some of the sickest bullshit I've ever seen...
They claim that we're all pedophiles, that we're all going to die from AIDS, and even use other Fred Phelpsian tactics like dishonoring the memory of murdered people like PFC. Barry Winchell, whose life and death was depicted in the Showtime film Soldier's Girl, which I also recommend. It also details the love of Barry's all-too-short life, my friend Calpernia Addams. You can get a condensed version of this outrageousness from the equally contemptible Chronowatch, which was created solely to bash the evil San Francisco Chronicle for being too liberal a news source.

Adding insult to injury, it was reported this morning on Americablog that a member of the Greater San Diego Business Association and owner of two gay bars has been denied a funeral at the University of San Diego and in any Catholic church or chapel in the Diocese of San Diego.

You read that correctly, they're denying him a funeral because he owned two gay bars.
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PLEASE READ & LINK TO THIS POST!!

Witch Hunt in Georgia Public Schools, DO NOT stand for this! TAKE ACTION NOW!!!!!!!!

Kathy Cox, School Superintendent of Georgia, the woman who caused this state much embarrassed regression into the 1950's with her declaration that "Evolution is a negative buzzword" and subsequent campaign to have evolution removed from biology curriculum (reccommended reading here) is proposing a state board rule that would require parental permission for any after school activity. Right now parental permission is only required for athletics, but the new rule would cover all extracurricular activities including support groups, advocacy groups and clubs. The rule is actually designed to eliminate gay rights, advocacy and support groups in high schools. Because the members of these organizations by and large do so without their parents knowing they are gay, it would force many students struggling with their sexual identity away from the only support available to them.

Senator Nancy Schaefer, antigay Fundie and all around heinous beast, has already tried to get this passed in the legislature this session and it failed.

"Students and parents affiliated with the gay student support groups have their own concerns. Because many students can't talk to their parents about their sexuality or consider their parents unsupportive, requiring written permission could dissuade many from attempting to join such groups" parents and students say.

That's the point, said state Sen. Ralph Hudgens (R-Comer), who sponsored a bill this session that would have required similar disclosure. "I just believe that any child who would want to go and join that club, if they have to have their parents' permission, they're not going to feel comfortable going and asking Mama or Daddy to do it,'' he said.

The AJC article where the above quote comes from:

http://www.ajc.com/friday/content/epaper/editions/friday/metro_24a3387f829042d80056.html

The people to contact are:

All State BOE Members: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/doe/sboe/index.asp
Georgia DOE Legal Services Department: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/doe/legalservices/proposed_rules.asp

The proposed board rule can be viewed at:

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/_documents/doe/legalservices/proposed/pr160-5-1-.29.pdf

Public Hearing Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 from 12 – 1 p.m.
Proposed Adoption Date: April 14, 2005 at 9 a.m.
Location: State Board Room, Georgia Department of Education
2070 Twin Towers East, 205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Written Statement Deadline: March 30, 2005

Talking Points:

  • Unnecessary level of paperwork involved for already overworked staff and students a like.
  • Would deter membership in groups to assist those struggling with issues they may not want to involve their parents in such as physical abuse, sexual abuse and rape in addition to gay rights and advocacy organizations.
  • You cannot legislate or force a parental bond. Forcing parental permission will not increase parental communication; it will only cause further friction as the student is forced to withdraw from the outlets available to them.
Make sure your written statement is submitted to the Legal Services department before March 30th!

Spread the word! They WILL listen if we provide them with an overwhelming voice against such an action. Already I have contacted dailykos.com. Georgia Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign about this. I will NOT be complacent, and neither should you.

Much love and respect to arie for this invaluable information

You can help spread this message!!
Copy and paste the code below to add this link to your journal or website:

No, no, no...

You've got it all wrong as usual, people:



The stickers are supposed to be big enough to cover your nose AND mouth at the same time...

*grumble*

If there were any real care or concern for Terri Schiavo within the ranks of these people trying to hard to block the removal of her feeding tube, they'd realize just how cruel they are being making her a poster child for the pro-life, right-wing Christian terrorist movement. This is pathetically sad.

EDIT 3:39PM

Schiavo feeding tube reported removed
Source: MSNBC [Link]