Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

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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 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.
Tags: fundies
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