10.14.2011

Bryan Fischer: Fornication & Homosexuality Should Be Illegal

Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, has done it again. He's calling for the criminalization of homosexuality. And fornication.

Nothing is surprising coming from Fischer's mouth. What do you expect from the loudest voice of a designated hate group?

Not much we can do to shut him up. But we can continue to expose him as the hateful, xenophobic, homophobic, asshat that he is.

Perhaps one day our nation's leaders will stop associating with, and pandering to, such bigots.







Personal Cremation Urns: Ashes In A Head

An urn you can believe in
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, more and more Americans are opting for cremation. The cremation rate in the U.S. rose from 25% in 1999 to 36% in 2009. By 2015, they project that number to reach nearly 50%.

Bad news for embalmers. But great news for urn manufacturers.

Enter Cremation Solutions, who have launched a line of Personal Cremation Urns, a concept which may or may not have been inspired by Futurama.

From the Website:
Never forget a face! 
Personal Cremation Urns for ashes are a new and exciting way to memorialize your loved one.  
Now we can create a custom cremation urn for ashes in the image of your loved one or favorite celebrity or hero, even President Obama!  
Personal Urns for ashes combine art and the very latest in technology to create a family heirloom that will be cherished for generations. 
They are built from just one or two photographs of any persons face. They are made of a tough polymere compond and a solid marble base. This is the most heartwarming and special memorial product available anywhere - "A Personal Urn."

Personal urns can have hair added digitaly for short haired people, as in the sample of President Obama. For longer hair we can add a wig to your specifications.

The Full sized Personal Urn for ashes stands at 11" and will hold all of the ashes of an adult.
 

Keepsake sized Personal Urn for ashes stands at 6" and will hold a portion of the cremation ashes.
Hair today, gone tomorrow

One would assume that if the 6" won't hold all the ashes of an adult, it would be ideal for those who wish to spread the ashes among family members. Perhaps as key chains, or hood ornaments.

Then there's this:
We will send you a proof of the Personal Urn for your comments and approval before we go ahead and manufacture.
Heh.

Ahead.






The We Do Campaign

Via Campaign For Southern Equality:
Since the WE DO Campaign launched on October 3, eighteen same-sex couples have requested – and been denied – marriage licenses at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office in Asheville, NC. The purpose of the campaign is calling for full equality under federal law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and resisting an unjust state law in North Carolina that prohibits marriage equality.

“There comes a time when you can no longer live as a second-class citizen and when you are called by your conscience to directly resist those laws that treat you as unequal,” says Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality and a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ. “We are saying, simply, we are equal people and laws that treat us as unequal, must change. We will continue to resist them until they do.”

On October 14, the final day of this phase of the campaign, Rev. Joe Hoffman and Rev. Cartledge will lead a public, interfaith blessing of all LGBT families at Roger McGuire Green, in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse. They will be joined by clergy from across faith traditions and from across the country. Following the blessing, clergy and community members will lead a large public action, which will be followed by an act of civil disobedience.
I'm not sure how anyone can watch the below video and not be overcome with sadness and frustration. To think that many out there feel a sense of satisfaction from viewing it is even more depressing.

Hopefully, for many, this video will serve to show how wrong these archaic laws truly are. We will look back on this time in history in shame and disbelief.

If you are in the Asheville area and wish to show your support for equality, you con read about today's schedule here.






10.13.2011

Condemnation Of Religious Bigotry Is Not Condemnation of Religion

A reader replied to the post Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality with a comment that has been echoed by many:
Overall, an excellent argument, somewhat marred by the author's sneer at religion, as though all religious people are against same sex marriage (and ignorant, to boot). As a UU minister who has officiated at many same-gender weddings, certainly I support the right-to-marry movement (on civic and religious grounds). But if the author wants to understand mean-spiritedness toward issues based simply on one's personal limited grasp of or appreciation for the issue, he should re-read his remarks related to religion, which I find offensive. Like him, I despair when religion or "bibleism" is used to stand in the way of what I consider to be a civil right, but individuals' religious perspective and identity can easily be as varied and as complex as their sexual orientation and gender identity. I have no problem with the author's embrace of Humanism (which is also variously understood by its proponents), but his Humanism neither entitles nor qualifies him to define and dismiss all religion. That he has done so makes him guilty of the same kind of arrogance and injustice he decries in homophobes.

There have been many comments that deserve to be addressed, but I wanted to clarify my comments on religion, since comments keep coming in, and since I feel it is an important component to the ongoing dialogue about LGBT equality.

My response to the commenter:
I'm uncertain why you find my comments so mean-spirited, arrogant, or injust. My comments in that paragraph state that, as someone who does not subscribe to religion, it is a violation of my rights to impose on me (and others who do not subscribe to religion -- or who do not participate in religious bigotry) legislation that is based on religious ideology -- particularly such ideology that does has no secular use.

In no way am I sneering at those who are religious. If you read my other posts, it will become clear to you that, although I have no stomach for religious bigotry or the encroachment of religion on policy, I believe that there are many religious people who are compassionate, progressive, and who do much good in the areas of social justice and equality.

Whether or not you want to admit it, religious bigotry is most often the root of anti-LGBT sentiment. And as my comments state, religion has no place in legislation. If you find it insulting that I refer to such religious ideas as supernatural, or superstition, then I can't help you there. Religion *is* supernaturalism, and it *does* involve superstition.

If you took offense to my "nonsense" comment, you may want to re-read the sentence. I did not state that *religion* belongs on that heap of nonsense. I stated that *religious arguments against same-sex marriage* belong on that heap of nonsense.

There is a difference.

I can't stress enough how important the faith community is to this issue. I believe it to be of utmost importance that churches, religious organizations, and religious leaders speak up about LGBT equality and the May 8 anti-LGBT Amendment vote. I have all the time in the world for Christian bloggers John Shore and Mark Sandlin, both of which are among the most important voices in this dialogue about religious bigotry.

Even the seasoned equality activists fighting the NC amendment are very insistent that this is not about religion. It's about religious bigotry, which many religious people abhor.

I am careful not to condemn religion. But I have no problem whatsoever condemning religious bigotry.




Crazy Victoria Jackson Goes To Occupy Wall Street

Victoria Jackson, the former SNL cast member, and current crazy person, decided to show up at Occupy Wall Street to see why everyone's so angry.

You could watch this video or you could just go ahead and pound your head into the desk now. Your choice.






h/t Joe My God




10.12.2011

Cheers, Champ: The Official Joe Biden Koozie

Who doesn't want a Joe Biden koozie?

You know, to 'keep your soda cold.'


Available at the Barack Obama campaign store for 5 clams.



God Releases 'Last Testament,' Tells of Adam & Steve

For those of you who have wondered why God has been on literary hiatus for 1,400 years, you will be pleased to know that a new tome is on the way.

The Last Testament: A Memoir, by God (with help from former executive producer of The Daily Show, David Javerbaum) will be available November 1.

In this new Good Book, God addresses several important topics, such as why He loves America, what He listens for in a good prayer, and which celebrities "are totally gay."

Most importantly, God finally reveals how he handles all those sports-related prayers.

He writes:
And so that is why I have never, ever, ever, influenced the outcome of a sporting event to determine the winner. 
I have only, on extremely rare occasions, influenced the outcome of a sporting event to affect the spread.

But perhaps most shocking to readers will be God's story of Adam and Steve, "the real first couple."

The Advocate has excerpted this story for your reading pleasure. It begins:
1 To resume:

2 It is often said — and even more often screamed at anti–gay marriage rallies outside the statehouse in Lansing — that I created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

3 Wrong.

4 Now will I tell the story of the first man, Adam; and of the companion I fashioned for him, Steve; and of the great closeting that befell their relationship.

5 For after I created the earth, and sea, and every plant and seed and beast of the field and fowl of the air, and had the place pretty much set up, I saw that it was good;

6 But I also saw, that by way of oversight it made good administrative sense to establish a new middle‑managerial position.

7 So as my final act of Day Six, I formed a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed life into his nostrils; and I called him Adam, to give him a leg up alphabetically.

8 And lo, I made him for my image; not in my image, but for my image; because with Creations thou never gettest a second chance to make a first impression;

9 And so in fashioning him I sought to make not only a responsible planetary caretaker, but also an attractive, likeable spokesman who in the event of environmental catastrophe could project a certain warmth.

10 To immediately assess his ability to function in my absence, I decided to change my plans; for I had intended to use Day Seven to infuse the universe with an innate sense of compassion and moral justice; but instead I left him in charge and snoozed.

11 And Adam passed my test; yea, he was by far my greatest achievement; he befriended all my creatures, and named them, and cared for them; and tended the Garden most skillfully; for he had a great eye for landscape design.

12 But I soon noticed he felt bereft in his solitude; for oft he sighed, and pined for a helpmeet; and furthermore he masturbated incessantly, until he had well‑nigh besplattered paradise.

13 So one night I caused him to fall into a deep sleep; fulsomely did I roofie his nectar; and as he slept, I removed a rib, though not a load‑bearing one.

14 And from this rib I fashioned a companion for him; a hunk, unburdened by excess wisdom; ripped, and cut, and hung like unto a fig tree before the harvest;

15 Yea, and a power bottom.

16 And Adam arose, and saw him, and wept for joy; and he called the man Steve; I had suggested Steven, but Adam liked to keep things informal.

17 And Adam and Steve were naked, and felt no shame; they knew each other, as often as possible; truly their loins were a wonderland.

18 And they were happy, having not yet eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge That Your Lifestyle Is Sinful.
Continue the story of Adam & Steve here at The Advocate.

In addition, the chapter on sports can be read at Scribd.



10.10.2011

We Are All Equal

A must-see for North Carolinians.

In September 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to place an amendment on the May 2012 ballot restricting the liberties of minority couples in the state. This video documents the outcry against this act as it would historically be the only portion of the state constitution that would restrict individual rights.



Visit Equality NC to see how you can help.



The 10 Nuttiest Quotes From The Values Voter Summit (And 1 Sensible One)

This past weekend, thousands of cultural conservatives descended upon Washington, DC for the Values Voter Summit, sponsored by designated hate group Family Research Council. Each of the major GOP presidential hopefuls were in attendance, as were dozens of political and religious figures with well-documented affinity for religious bigotry, discrimination, xenophobia, and dishonesty

While this cast of characters generally toned down their rhetoric on the national stage, the event was in no way devoid of bilious remarks and poisonous ideology (and some good old fashioned insanity):

Bryan Fischer: "I submit to you that not a single one of our unalienable rights will be safe in the hands of a president who believes that we evolved from slime and that we are the descendents of apes and baboons."

Glenn Beck, in reference to Occupy Wall Street: "The violent left is coming to our streets" to "smash, to tear down, to kill, to bankrupt, to destroy."

Bryan Fischer: "Just as Islam represents the greatest long term threat to our liberty so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment...we must choose as a nation between homosexuality and liberty, because we cannot have both."

Mat Staver: "The battles we face in America today are not about necessarily tangible borders but intangible ones, they involve the borders around life, liberty and family. And these borders like those physical borders in Israel are under intense attack. In America we are witnessing fierce battles to boot God out of the public schools and out of the public squares, to teach even the youngest of our children about sex and homosexuality, to make America a tax-supported right for any reason and to redefine the very definition of family and marriage."

Bryan Fischer: “We need a president who will treat homosexuality not as a political cause at all, but as a threat to public health...Homosexual behavior represents the same threat to human health that injection drug use does. I believe we need a president who understands that neither homosexual behavior nor injection drug use represent lifestyles that any responsible government ought to normalize, legitimize, legalize, protect, sanction, or subsidize."

Bryan Fischer: "By God's blessing, we have not been hit by a Muslim attack since 9/11. I suggest that in part, we have Major League Baseball to thank. You remember that the week after 9/11 Major League Baseball converted the seventh inning stretch from the singing of 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' to the singing of 'God Bless America?'"

Rep. Steve King: "I believe that the declaration was written with divine guidance. I believe that God moved the Founding Fathers around this country and the globe like men on a chess board."

Robert Jeffress: "That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult...Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.”

Glenn Beck: "There is a race war that is going on in our country, declared by the black panthers and Louis Farrahkaun and anybody else says that America, somehow or another, stole the land from Mexico. There is a race war. It wasn't started by us, but they have declared it and we must end it."

Ed Vitagliano: "...The male desire to go out and conquer and to wander. I think that is part of the makeup of a man, but marriage helps to channel those things in a constructive way. I believe that's why there's so much promiscuity in the male homosexual community, because they're two men who behave the same way and there is no civilizing influence in their lives."

The most sensible and compassionate quote from the weekend came from Mitt Romney who stated:

“Our values ennoble the citizen and strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today [Bryan Fischer], has crossed that line. Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind."

Amen.




Pastor Reviews Video Game About Child Abuse -- And Loves It.

Paste Magazine has a review of the role-playing game, The Binding of Isaac, which is based (of course) on the biblical story of the binding of Isaac.

In the biblical story from Genesis, Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount  Maraiah.

While it may be a strange concept for a video game, it is apparently (oddly) compelling. And probably the first game about child abuse.

Paste had Drew Dixon review the game. Drew is a pastor. He has an MDIV in Christian Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He's a parent and a soccer coach. He also happens to love video games. He's also the editor at Christ and Pop Culture, a Christian Web site, and a contributor to Relevant magazine.

Dixon describes the game:
The game doesn’t give you much time to reflect on what is transpiring as you are thrown into a realm of bizarre and harrowing monsters and even stranger items. On the surface it’s a rogue-like game that pays homage to the original Zelda. However, when I actually considered what I was doing in the game, I could not help but be troubled. Isaac doesn’t fight enemies with sword and shield but with the tears of a neglected child. And the items he collects make his quest more bizarre and difficult as often as they aid him. And the items that actually do help him are telling. When Isaac finds dog food, it gives him health. Was he forced to eat this? The spoon and the belt will make Isaac run faster, reminiscent of running from an abusive parent. Upon finding “Sister Maggy” or “Brother Bobby” Isaac is joined by a ghost-like drone that helps him fight his minions. Were these real siblings? If so how did they die? In between levels the player is greeted with short animations of Isaac’s dreams in which he is mocked by other boys and neglected by his mother.

One could imagine that Dixon will get a lot of grief for taking on this assignment. But one has to hand it to him for sticking his neck out there and showing that sometimes a game is just a game, a myth is just a myth, and that all Christians are not the knee-jerk reactionary zealots who find every pop culture appropriation of Judeo-Christian narrative to be blasphemous.

But again, it's a game about child abuse. The game doesn't shy from the fact that this is more than just a biblical story in a video game setting. It takes liberties with the narrative and tosses in a few doses of A Child Called It.

Dixon concludes:
Isaac is the kind of game that I should hate. I am not a fan of overly challenging games. Additionally I am a Christian pastor and Isaac certainly takes a lot of liberties in its “retelling” of the classic Bible story from which it takes its name. The game is deeply dark, and often unsettling. There is nothing simple, understandable, or light about child abuse. Thus Isaac is thoroughly discomforting, challenging, and darkly funny. The game won’t make you able to understand child abuse but it will make you feel for Isaac—sometimes deeply. Other times it will completely bewilder you, much like Isaac’s world has done to him.



More about the game at Steam.